Magnetic soap made for oil spills

Publication:   Date: January 25, 2012   View Article

Scientists have created the world’s first soap that can be controlled by magnets.

That’s right: magnetic suds.

The breakthrough may revolutionize industrial cleaning products and the response to environmental disasters such as oil spills, reports the research team from Bristol University in England.

Animals Use Chemical Compasses, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 30, 2008   View Article

The idea that some animals navigate by “seeing” Earth’s magnetic field has been shown to be feasible in laboratory tests, a new study says.

First proposed about 30 years ago, the theory suggests that sunlight absorbed by molecules in the eyes of animals such as birds and bats triggers a chemical reaction.

Birds Can “See” Earth’s Magnetic Field

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 27, 2007   View Article

To find north, humans look to a compass. But birds may just need to open their eyes, a new study says.

Scientists already suspected birds’ eyes contain molecules that are thought to sense Earth’s magnetic field. In a new study, German researchers found that these molecules are linked to an area of the brain known to process visual information.

Magnetic Field Weakening in Stages, Old Ships’ Logs Suggest

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 11, 2006   View Article

Earth’s magnetic field is weakening in staggered steps, a new analysis of centuries-old ships logs suggests.

The finding could help scientists better understand the way Earth’s magnetic poles reverse.

Earth’s Core Spins Faster Than Surface, Study Confirms

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 25, 2005   View Article

Analysis of nearly identical earthquakes that happened years apart proves that Earth’s moon-size inner core rotates faster than the rest of the planet, a team of geophysicists report today.

The finding is “unambiguous” and should settle a nearly decadelong debate over the matter, said Xiaodong Song, a geophysicist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Why Does Earth’s Magnetic Field Flip?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 27, 2004   View Article

Earth’s magnetic field has flipped many times over the last billion years, according to the geologic record. But only in the past decade have scientists developed and evolved a computer model to demonstrate how these reversals occur.

“We can see reversals in the rocks, but they don’t tell us how it happens,” said Gary Glatzmaier, an earth scientist and magnetic field expert at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Earth’s Magnetic Field Is Fading

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 9, 2004   View Article

Earth’s magnetic field is fading. Today it is about 10 percent weaker than it was when German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss started keeping tabs on it in 1845, scientists say.

If the trend continues, the field may collapse altogether and then reverse. Compasses would point south instead of north.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach