Submitted by Richard Smith on August 31, 2009 - 12:42
Sharks have been around for over 400 million years, pre-dating the dinosaurs by some 200 million years. 400 million years is quite a time to perfect the swift swimming skills that make sharks one of the most efficient predators on the Earth. But it's not only technique that makes sharks fast. Their slippery streamlined shape helps to minimizes pressure drag, and a specialized skin layer (dermal denticles) minimizes skin friction drag and serves as the inspiration for riblets.
Submitted by Richard Smith on August 25, 2009 - 16:22
As part of the recent "Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing" (SciDAC) conference, an evening was devoted to choosing the top 10 scientific visualizations of the year. This year Wired ran an article on the most recent award winners, which raised the awards' profile to the visualization world's equivalent of the Oscars. So what does it take to win visualization awards? Read on for my 'simple' 5-step plan.
Submitted by Richard Smith on August 18, 2009 - 10:15
The Northrop Grumman B-2 is the epitome of a stealthy flying wing. However, a recent study has shown that the Horton Ho 229, a World War II (WWII) flying-wing prototype, also shared a number of characteristics with the B-2, including stealth - 45 years prior to the first flight of the B-2.
Submitted by Richard Smith on August 3, 2009 - 14:06
On my recent visit to the London Science Museum, amongst computing, rockets and VTOL exhibits, I also came across some historic British airplanes in the Flight Gallery. In this post I'll focus on the World War II era airplanes that played a pivotal role in defending the skies above Britain.
Submitted by Richard Smith on July 27, 2009 - 08:42
FINA, the governing body of swimming, has banned the full-coverage, low-drag swimsuits that are credited with aiding swimmers in breaking nearly all the world swimming records in the last year or so. I discussed drag reduction and its application to swimming in the lead up to the Beijing 2008 Olympics, where the Speedo LZR Racer swimsuit was the garment of choice for all would-be champions. In Beijing all but a couple of the existing Olympic records survived the LZR clad swimmer onslaught. Records were not only broken - they were smashed by huge margins instead of following a relatively steady historical progression.
Submitted by Richard Smith on July 9, 2009 - 09:09
The London Science Museum houses some historic exhibits as I found out on my recent visit. I've already posted articles on computing and rockets. Next up I'll cover a series of exhibits that related to the world's first Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) fixed-wing jet fighter - the Harrier 'jump jet.'