Your Brain Doesn’t Slow Down Until You’re in Your 60s – Later Than Thought:
Mental speed, which is the speed at which we can deal with issues requiring rapid decision-making, does not change substantially over decades. Psychologists at Heidelberg University have come to this conclusion. Under the leadership of Dr Mischa von Krause and Dr Stefan Radev, they evaluated data from a large-scale online experiment with over a million participants. The findings of the new study suggest that the speed of cognitive information processing remains largely stable between the ages of 20 and 60, and only deteriorates at higher ages. Another finding of the study was that average information processing speed only progressively declined with participants over the age of 60.The Heidelberg researchers have hereby called into question the assumption to date that mental speed starts to decline already in early adulthood. In order to verify this theory, the researchers reevaluated data from a large-scale American study on implicit biases. When evaluating the data, Dr von Krause and his colleagues noted that, on average, the response times of the test subjects rose with increasing age. However, with the aid of a mathematical model, they were able to show that this phenomenon was not due to changes in mental speed.
The chemistry behind your LCD flat-screen devices- How a scientist changed the world:
In a laboratory at the University of Hull 50 years ago, a new chemical compound was created that would impact the world as much as any drug, fuel or material. The man responsible for this society-changing invention was George Gray—his new liquid crystal molecules (now known as 5CB) made liquid crystal displays (LCDs) viable and kickstarted the multibillion-dollar flat-screen industry. The structure of LCDs is made of liquid crystals and small LED lights where the liquid crystal connects with each LED light to polarize the light released. This allows order within the LCD system and allows only certain orientations of light through, making a clear picture possible. In order to create the effect of turning LCDs on and off two layers of filters which when oriented the same way over one another lets light through, but when oriented in opposite directions causes light to not be let through, which allows an LCD screen to turn on and off. However, this reorientation ability was only possible through the discovery of George Gray who was able to develop a liquid crystal that was positively charged at one end. This new compound would allow the creation of the first LCD screen and would become the thinnest form of television ever created.
A rare collision of dead stars can bring a new one to life:
A carbon-and-oxygen-rich star with a helium-burning core may rise out of the merging of two dead stars called white dwarfs (illustrated). NICOLE REINDL (CC BY 4.0)
Like a phoenix, some stars may burst to life covered in “ash,” rising from the remains of stars that had previously passed on. Two newfound fireballs that burn hundreds of times as bright as the sun and are covered in carbon and oxygen, ashy byproducts of helium fusion, belong to a new class of stars, researchers report in the March Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters. Though these blazing orbs are not the first stellar bodies found covered in carbon and oxygen, an analysis of the light emitted by the stars suggests they are the first discovered to also have helium-burning cores. The stars may have formed from the merging of two white dwarfs, the remnant hearts of stars that exhausted their fuel, another team proposes in a companion study. Such a merger would have produced a stellar body covered in carbon and oxygen with enough mass to reignite nuclear fusion in its core, causing it to burn hot and glow brilliantly. To test this hypothesis, Battich and her colleagues simulated the evolution, death, and eventual merging of two stars according to Tiara Battich and her team. The team found that aggregating a carbon-and-oxygen-rich white dwarf onto a more massive helium one could explain the surface compositions of the two stars observed by Reindl and her colleagues.