For the first time, researchers have been able to test a theory explaining the physics of how substances like sand and gravel pack together, helping them to understand more about some of the most industrially processed materials on the planet.
Paris' Cathedral of Notre Dame has a ghost orchestra that is always performing, thanks to a sophisticated, multidisciplinary acoustics research project that will be presented during Acoustics '17 Boston. In the project, computer models use recordings from a live concert held at the cathedral and detailed room acoustic simulations to produce a novel type of audience experience: a virtual recreation of the live performance using spatial audio and virtual reality.
The US could slash its energy use by the equivalent of what is currently used by 12 to 15 million Americans if commercial buildings fully used energy-efficiency controls nationwide.
A new algorithm generates practical paper-folding patterns to produce any 3-D structure.
For democratic elections to be fair, voting districts must have similar sizes. When populations shift, districts need to be redistributed -- a complex and, in many countries, controversial task when political parties attempt to influence redistricting. Mathematicians at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have now developed a method that allows the efficient calculation of optimally sized voting districts.
Mechanical structures in steerable cars are optimized to fit exactly one particular shape of the toy. If designers want to reuse such a mechanism with different shapes, the necessary adjustments to the components were often unmanageable for non-experts. Scientists at IST Austria have developed an interactive design tool that allows users to easily adjust a mechanical template to the shape of their choice. The tool will be presented at this year's prestigious "SIGGRAPH" conference.
Is it OK for children to count on their fingers? Generations of pupils have been discouraged by their teachers from using their hands when learning maths. But a new research article shows using fingers may be a much more important part of maths learning than previously thought.
'A single phrase can conjure up completely different images in our minds, depending on how that concept is organized in our mental models,' said Samarth Swarup, a research assistant professor at Virginia Tech.
Snakes exhibit incredible evolutionary adaptations, including the ability to rapidly regenerate their organs and produce venom. The Castoe group at the University of Texas at Arlington studied these adaptations using genetic sequencing and advanced computing. Supercomputers of the Texas Advanced Computing Center helped the team identify a number of genes associated with organ growth in Burmese pythons, study secondary contact in related rattlesnake species, and develop tools to recognize evolutionary changes caused by natural selection.
The evolution of the amniotic egg -- complete with membrane and shell -- was key to vertebrates leaving the oceans and colonizing the land and air but how bird eggs evolved into so many different shapes and sizes has long been a mystery. Now, an international team of scientists took a quantitative approach to that question and found that adaptations for flight may have been critical drivers of egg-shape variation in birds.