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June 2020
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A Wizard's Guide to Understanding Vacuum and Vacuum Coating (Don McClure)

In an April of Human Isolation, Photos From the Animal Kingdom

By Abigail Malate, Inside Science

Across the world, humans aren't the only ones affected by global upheavals. Pandemics affect the animal kingdom as well as people. While most of the human world hunkers down for yet more days of isolation, wildlife can inspire us to contemplate how humans are as much a part of the environment as they are. In Belgium, a llama’s antibodies may assist scientists researching ways to fight COVID-19. In western Kenya, a new species of bat helps to launch a collection of research articles for scientific advancement. Finally, monkeys in Nepal and Uganda show just how closely humans and animals interact. This month, we take a look at the state of global animal affairs. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Image credits: Ajay Sharma
Anti-Vaccine Messaging Is Well-Connected on Social Media

 By Marcus Woo, Inside Science

A new social network map shows a well-connected anti-vaccine movement, now intertwined with coronavirus conspiracy theories.  A video dubbed "Plandemic" that brought together unsubstantiated and debunked claims and conspiracies about the coronavirus, featuring a  discredited virologist  who is also aligned with the anti-vaccine movement, gathered millions of views last week . READ FULL ARTICLE.

Image credits: N. Velasquez and N.F. Johnson
Hubble Space Telescope Celebrates 30 Years

By Jason Socrates Bardi, Inside Science

It’s one of NASA’s longest-living and most valuable telescopes, sending back amazing space images to Earth for decades. This month, the Hubble Space Telescope hits its 30th year in orbit. Some of its biggest discoveries have shown us that the expansion of the universe is actually accelerating, something that wasn’t envisioned when the telescope was launched in 1990. WATCH VIDEO.
 Deep Ocean Currents Carry Plastic Microfibers Into Seafloor Hot Spots

 By Joshua Learn , Inside Science

Researchers discover hot spot off the coast of Italy with up to 1.9 million pieces of plastic per square meter.  The deep waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea off the western Italian coast hold centuries' worth of shipwrecks and lost cargo from past civilizations. But new research shows that recent civilization has left a heavy burden on parts of the seafloor. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Image credits: Image courtesy of Ian Kane.
New Gait, Developed on Poppy Seed Soil, Could Help NASA Rovers Explore Moon and Mars

By Meredith Fore, Inside Science

Researchers have developed unique gaits for rovers to prevent them from getting stuck in deep sand or soil.  Alone on the desolate surface of Mars, NASA rover Spirit rests in an unmarked grave. Spirit became trapped in a pit of loose sand in 2009; engineers tried for months to extricate it, wheels spinning, to no avail. Since then, scientists and engineers have been searching for better methods of rover locomotion across loose, soft soil.   READ FULL ARTICLE.

Image credits : Courtesy of Goldman Lab, Georgia Tech
Delayed Kentucky Derby Could Make Rescheduled Run in September Faster

By Brian Owens, Inside Science

Racing later this year could influence which horses will be at their best -- and their chances of winning.  The first Saturday in May is usually a festive occasion in Louisville, Kentucky, culminating with the running of the Kentucky Derby, arguably the most famous horse race in North America. But this year it will be eerily quiet, as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the race to be postponed until September.  READ FULL ARTICLE.

I mage credits : mingis/ Shutterstock

Heavy Rains May Make Volcanoes Rumble

By Rebecca Boyle , Inside Science

A new study suggests a correlation between volcanic activity and heavy rainfall, but other volcanologists are skeptical. Despite its lush tropical flora and pristine beaches, Hawaii would not have been a great place to be two years ago around this time. On April 14-15, 2018, some 49 inches of rain deluged the island of Kauai in 24 hours, setting a rainfall record for the entire United States. About two and a half weeks later, on Hawaii, the archipelago's Big Island, the volcano Kilauea awakened. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Rights information: Public Domain

How to Fly a Helicopter on Mars

By Catherine Meyers, Inside Science

NASA will soon see if specially designed blades spinning really fast can carry a small chopper through the planet’s barely there atmosphere.  This summer, the   Mars 2020   mission is set to blast off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on the start of a half-year journey to the red planet. Its star passenger is the Perseverance rover, tasked with searching for signs of ancient life and collecting rock and soil samples. But tucked underneath the 1-ton rover is a 4-pound companion vehicle that could quietly make space exploration history, becoming the first power-controlled aircraft to fly on another planet. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Image credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech
The Beautiful Patterns Left Behind When Whiskey Dries

By Chris Gorski , Inside Science

Scientists can tell where whiskey came from by the patterns it creates. It started with a sabbatical and a case of whiskey. Time away from the usual research and teaching responsibilities -- and a bit of inspiration. University of Louisville mechanical engineer Stuart J. Williams wanted to learn more about how particles and fluids interact, which is called colloid science. And just before he was set to spend some time working with an expert in the field named Orlin Velev, Williams talked to a colleague at the Kentucky-based beverage giant Brown-Forman, who mentioned that whiskeys happen to contain colloids. Thus a project was born. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Image credits: Individual images by Stuart J. Williams, composite arrangement by Abigail Malate, staff illustrator
Rights information: This image may be reproduced with this Inside Science story.
Moiré Patterns Reveal Materials' Hidden Properties

 By Yuen Yiu, Inside Science

By overlapping materials with periodic properties, scientists can detect features otherwise too small to be seen directly. Moiré patterns, named after the wavy-looking French fabric, are the mesmerizing dark bands you see when looking through layered fences or when taking a picture of a TV screen. More than just a visual illusion, the underlying geometry of Moiré patterns has a wide range of applications, from special beacons that guide ships into port to anti-counterfeiting designs on paper money. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Rights information: Public domain

In Bacteria, Some Daughters Are Born Old

By Nala Rogers, Inside Science

Bacteria engineered to glow green are helping to show how damage from aging is passed down through generations.  When bacteria reproduce, they divide into two equal daughters. At least, that's the traditional view. For decades, differences between the two daughter cells were put down to random chance.  READ FULL ARTICLE.

Image credits : Rost9/ Shutterstock
Why Is an Empty Shampoo Bottle So Easy to Knock Over?

By Abigail Malate, Inside Science

Two physics experts answer a bewildering shower thought.  Knocking over a shampoo bottle is an annoyance most of us have experienced, especially when the bottle is almost empty and seems to fall at the slightest nudge. In a recent  article  from The Physics Teacher, physicists knocked over shampoo bottles and showcased basic physics concepts such as center of mass and force of impact in a series of simple experiments. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Striving to MAKE A DIFFERENCE in the lives of our students.

One of the SVC’s long-term goals has always been to support charitable, educational, and scientific activities. As its first initiative, the Foundation created a scholarship program aimed at supporting enterprising students and practitioners who have an interest in furthering their education in the field of vacuum coating technology. 
The Foundation also grants travel awards to students to attend and present technical papers at the annual SVC Technical Symposium. Since its inception, both programs have awarded over $250,000 in scholarships to students from the United States, Canada, China, Lithuania and Spain.
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