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Showing posts from January, 2012

Boldly going where no space telescope has gone before: the James Webb

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will go farther into space -- that “final frontier” -- and add to scientific knowledge in ways no previous space telescope has done before. Even before the telescope's completion and launch, the process of developing its sensors and other technology is already having an impact in fields such as laser eye surgery and manufacturing. Check out these new SPIE Newsroom videos to hear first-hand from NASA scientists Joe Howard and Lee Feinberg about JWST and how work on the telescope will, as Feinberg says, continue to “serve humanity for a long time.” First, Joe Howard: " JWST blazes new trails in optical design ." And next, Lee Feinberg: " JWST technologies already bearing fruit ." Read more about the project on the NASA JWST website . How many innovations do you use every day that began as space technologies?

Hands-on science: chemicals required

Cover of a 1950s-era chemistry set, as featured in an EDN blog by Paul Rako. Do you know a child who is the proud possessor of a science kit? As much as you may love the idea of kids playing with science, maybe you shouldn’t feel too excited for them. As Paul Rako noted in a recent  EDN blog (“When kids really had fun with science”), today’s kits are not what they used to be. For example, one of the illustrations in his blog shows a newer chemistry kit proclaiming that it contains “no chemicals”! Actually, after reading in Paul’s blog and his reader’s comments about what one could do with 1950s-era kits, it’s clear that while today’s kits have less potential for pyrotechnics and high-voltage excitement, that might be a good thing in some ways. But it also brings to mind some comments made last summer by Marc Nantel , Associate Vice President of Niagara Research at Niagara College Canada, a Senior Member of SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, and Cha