SVConnections May 2016
May 2020

People May Be Constantly Sniffing Their Hands Without Knowing It

By Nala Rogers, Inside Science

Humans' compulsion to touch their faces may be part of a subconscious instinct to smell themselves. People touch their faces constantly. They do it without thinking, even now during the coronavirus pandemic, when health officials say not to. By some estimates,  nearly a quarter  of respiratory illnesses could be prevented by hand-washing, implying that people often contract such illnesses by touching their faces. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Image credits: fizkes/ Shutterstock .
Upgraded LIGO Detector Could See Black Holes Being Thrown Out of Galaxies

 By Meredith Fore, Inside Science

Scientists may soon be able to observe a dramatic, long-predicted consequence of Einstein’s theory of general relativity.  When a bullet is fired from a gun, the gun recoils to compensate for the bullet’s momentum. This conservation of momentum still applies when the most massive objects in the universe -- black holes -- collide and merge with each other. During these mergers, recoils can be powerful enough to send the merged black hole flying out of its home galaxy, at speeds of up to 10,000,000 miles per hour. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Image credits: NASA
Around a World That Is Practicing Social Distancing

By Abigail Malate, Inside Science

Factories, national parks, and dense urban areas worldwide feel the effects of COVID-19. This March, we see how COVID-19 has affected people all around the globe. Facing social distancing, self-isolation, and shortages in medical supplies, these pictures show how everyday people are coping with the pandemic. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Apollo 13’s Successful Failure

 By Peter Gwynne, Inside Science

Fifty years ago, an explosion changed the flight of Apollo 13 into a saga of skill, fortitude, and resilience. A reporter who covered the mission recounts the details.  At first, it all seemed routine. On Saturday April 11, 1970, I was sitting in the   press bleachers   at NASA's Kennedy Space Center watching my seventh manned Apollo launch in seven months, the fifth lift-off of the mighty Saturn V rocket, and the start of the third journey to the   lunar surface . READ FULL ARTICLE.

Image credits: NASA  (Scan by Ed Hengeveld)
Genetic Sleuthing Yields Names for Unmarked Graves

By Jesse Kathan , Inside Science

Researchers use the DNA of currently-living Quebecois to help identify their ancestors. French settlers first arrived in Quebec in 1608, but until the late 19th century, their dead were buried without gravestones. Now scientists are using DNA from those individuals and genealogical records to link the people who were buried to their modern-day descendants.   READ FULL ARTICLE.

Image credits : Rennett Stowe via Flickr
Rights information: CC BY 2.0
Suspending a Single Molecule Inside a Drop of Helium

By Yuen Yiu, Inside Science

The experimental technique could help reveal the fundamental chemistry in photosynthesis and photovoltaic materials.  By suspending a single molecule consisting of just two metal atoms in a tiny droplet of liquid helium, physicists have demonstrated a new way to study the ultrafast vibrational dynamics of molecules. The technique may help researchers develop high-performing organic photovoltaic materials for future solar cells.  READ FULL ARTICLE.

I mage credits : Markus Koch
Rights information: This image may be reproduced with this Inside Science article.
Toilet Tracker Analyzes Your Outputs

By Katharine Gammon , Inside Science

Researchers have created a tech that can track health markers -- all from the toilet seat.  Analyzing urine and stool has long been an important tool in a doctor’s kit for diagnosing infections, diabetes and some cancers. Now, an international team of researchers are finding ways to integrate analysis of many markers of health -- including the flow and viscosity of, well, bodily functions -- into a smart toilet to give users a full picture of what’s coming out of them.   The new report   was published today in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Mars Regularly Shakes from Quakes, NASA Lander Finds

By Charles Q. Choi, Inside Science

The space agency’s InSight lander has detected hundreds of marsquakes since arriving on the red planet about 15 months ago.  NASA's InSight lander has detected the first clear signs of quakes on Mars, rumbles from mysterious sources that generate ripples scientists are using to probe the red planet's hidden interior, new studies find. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Image credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Quantum Computers are Hotter Than Ever -- Literally

By Yuen Yiu , Inside Science

Two independent research groups have created the first superconducting quantum computers that can operate above 1 K, overcoming a major obstacle. Two separate groups of researchers, one from University of New South Wales in Australia and one from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, have independently developed similar quantum computing devices that can operate above 1 on the Kelvin temperature scale, up from the previous 0.1 K range. The feat clears a major hurdle that has prevented current quantum computers from being scaled up into more powerful machines. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Image credits: Wouterslitsfotografie for QuTech
Lab-Grown Meat Climbs to New Heights on Scaffolds of Soy

 By Charles Q. Choi, Inside Science

Someday, such supports could allow meat in the lab to grow from tiny hamburger-nuggets into something more like steak. Growing meat without animals may one day become easier using scaffolds made of soy, a new study finds. In 1932, Winston Churchill predicted that "we shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing, by growing these parts separately." Increasingly, scientists are making this vision a reality by growing meat from cells in labs. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Image credits: Courtesy of Aleph Farms
Why Towels Get So Stiff When You Dry Them on the Line

By Catherine Meyers, Inside Science

A small amount of water bound to the surface of the towel acts like glue to hold the cotton fibers together.  The stiff, crunchy feel of an air-dried cotton towel is caused by a small amount of residual water “gluing” the fibers together, new research shows. Even in the driest climates, cotton naturally retains water because its main component -- cellulose -- attracts water molecules. At 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 C) and 60% relative humidity, about 8% of cotton’s weight is water.  READ FULL ARTICLE.

Image credits : Paul Maguire/ Shutterstock
What Is Autism?

By Emilie Lorditch , Inside Science

A child neurologist talks about the challenges of autism.  Audrey Brumback is a physician and scientist who specializes in the care of people with neurodevelopmental challenges such as autism. She leads a team of researchers in their quest to understand how changes in the brain’s electrical activity cause the symptoms that many people with these disorders experience. She is dedicated to finding new therapies to treat disorders and to helping parents find answers to questions about why their child might have autism. WATCH VIDEO.
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.
Society of Vacuum Coaters | PO Box 10628, Albuquerque, NM 87184

 Phone 505/897-7743  | Fax 866/577-2407 | |