Facts About Science: 50 Facts to Deepen Your Understanding

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Science, with its myriad wonders and discoveries, continually reshapes our understanding of the world. From the depths of oceanography to the complexities of genetic inheritance, each fact in this compilation illuminates a unique facet of scientific inquiry. Whether uncovering the secrets of deep space or delving into the microscopic world of enzymes, these 50 facts about science offer insights that expand our knowledge and appreciation for the boundless realms of scientific exploration. Join us on this journey through fascinating discoveries and fundamental truths that underscore the marvels of our universe.

1 Mr. Wizard’s Scientific Inspiration

Mr. Wizard’s Scientific Inspiration-Facts About Science-Facts About Science

Watch Mr. Wizard’s science television program, running from 1951 to 1965, inspired many people to pursue science careers. Approximately 50% of applicants to Rockefeller University in the 1960s and 1970s cited him as their initial inspiration for becoming interested in science.

2. Science historian James Burke’s 1978 TV series “Connections” explores the interconnected nature of historical events driving innovation. The series argues that one cannot consider the development of any particular piece of the modern world in isolation, but rather that interconnected, isolated events are what drive history and innovation.

3. The Irish philosopher and chemist Robert Boyle, 300 years ago, listed inventions he hoped science would achieve one day. Astonishingly, we have only accomplished over half of them.

4. The Boy Scout Nuclear Science Merit Badge requires building a Geiger counter, planting irradiated and non-irradiated seeds, and visiting an accelerator or university to study the nucleus or nucleons.

5. Although impressed by “Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica,” the UK’s science academy couldn’t publish Isaac Newton’s book because it was nearly bankrupt from funding “The History of Fish.” Fortunately, scientist Edmond Halley financed the printing.

6 Exploring Archaeoacoustics

Exploring Archaeoacoustics-Facts About Science-Facts About Science

Archaeoacoustics involves the use of acoustical study as a methodological approach within archaeology. This field may involve examining the acoustics of archaeological sites or exploring the possibility of extracting sound from ancient objects.

7. Botanist Reid Moran’s scientific paper holds the record for the longest title on Wikipedia at 250 characters. Despite its lengthy name, “Cneoridium dumosum (Nuttall) Hooker F. Collected March 26, 1960, at an Elevation of about 1450 Meters on Cerro Quemazón, 15 Miles South of Bahía de Los Angeles, Baja California, México, Apparently for a Southeastward Range Extension of Some 140 Miles,” the paper consists of just five words. It is humorous yet factual.

8. Mundane science fiction focuses on plausible extensions of existing science and technology, situating stories on Earth or within the Solar System. This genre avoids interstellar or intergalactic travel and excludes alien contact.

9. The 1950 toy lab set “Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Laboratory” contained actual uranium ore, polonium, a Geiger counter, and a cloud chamber. This set, intended for educational purposes, provided children with hands-on experience with radioactive materials.

10. Faustroll, a fictional pataphysician born in 1898, is associated with “Pataphysics,” an absurdist parody of scientific obscurantism. Pataphysics examines imaginary phenomena that exist in a realm beyond metaphysics. Dr. Faustroll, who was born at the age of 63 in Circassia and died in the same year, heads the College of Pataphysics in Paris. Remarkably, a crocodile once held the Vice-Curator position at the College of Pataphysics.

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11 Project Steve vs. Creationism

Project Steve vs. Creationism

A conservative think tank listed 700 scientists who publicly rejected evolution in favor of creationism. In response, the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) launched “Project Steve” in 2003 and found 1,250 scientists named Steve who support evolution. This fact about science illustrates the overwhelming support for evolutionary theory.

12. The “Pauli effect” describes the tendency of technical equipment to mysteriously malfunction in the presence of certain individuals. The effect, named after Austrian theoretical physicist Wolfgang Pauli, became famous because Pauli’s presence was often associated with spontaneous mechanical failures. In one instance, machinery broke even in his absence, but later, his colleagues discovered that he had been passing by the laboratory on a train at the exact moment of the malfunction.

13. In 2004, researchers demonstrated that the organic molecule 9,10-Dithioanthracene (DTA) could “walk” in a straight line on a metal surface by mimicking bipedal motion. During their experiments, the molecule took 10,000 nano-scale steps on a flat copper surface, with its sulfur-bearing linkers acting like feet that alternately lifted and propelled it forward.

14. The Catholic Church considers the Theory of Evolution to be “virtually certain.” Fr. George Coyne, the Vatican’s chief astronomer, stated that “intelligent design isn’t science, even though it pretends to be. If you want to teach it in schools, intelligent design should be included when teaching religion or cultural history, not science.” This stance highlights the Church’s acceptance of evolution as a scientific fact.

15. In 2007, the science advocacy group Sense About Science contacted manufacturers of 15 “detox” products. None of the manufacturers could provide a clear definition of what they meant by detox.

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16 The Egg vs. Chicken Debate-Facts About Science

The Egg vs. Chicken Debate

Science shows that the egg came before the chicken. A bird that was not a chicken laid the first egg, and around 312 million years ago, the first amniotic (hard-shelled) egg appeared on land. Chickens are domesticated descendants of the red junglefowl, dating back at most 8,000 years. This fact about science clarifies a long-debated question.

17. The first woman to earn a PhD in Computer Science in the United States was Mary Kenneth Keller. She also earned a Master’s degree in Mathematics and Physics and helped develop computer programming languages. She was a Catholic nun.

18. The Allais Effect describes the unpredictable behavior of pendulums during solar eclipses, such as changes in their arcs. Although various labs have found conflicting data, this phenomenon appears real and remains unexplained by known processes like tidal forces, suggesting it may involve the moon interfering with the sun’s gravitational field.

19. Due to China’s early discovery and love of ceramics, they didn’t produce any glass between the 14th and 19th centuries. This lack of glass production meant they had no mirrors or windows, which left them behind in certain scientific advancements, as they didn’t develop lenses and other crucial scientific instruments.

20. The “shower effect” refers to the phenomenon where people have more creative ideas while showering or doing moderately boring activities. Physicists and authors have reported that 20% of their most creative ideas and problem solutions emerged from a wandering mind. Later studies termed this phenomenon “the shower effect,” recognizing it as a valid fact about science and creativity.

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21 Sugar Molecule “Handedness”

Sugar Molecule

Sugar molecules exhibit “handedness,” meaning they have a right-hand orientation. While artificial sweeteners can be left-handed versions of the same molecule, our bodies cannot absorb them, yet they still taste sweet.

22. Our brain continuously undergoes phagocytosis, a process in which cells consume smaller cells or molecules to eliminate them from the system. So essentially, our brain is constantly eating itself.

23. When cooled just below its boiling point, helium exhibits unique behaviors, such as dribbling through molecule-thin cracks, climbing up the sides of a dish, and remaining still even when its container spins due to its frictionless flow.

24. The Bronx High School of Science boasts nine Nobel Prize-winning alumni, surpassing the total number of Nobel laureates from China or Spain as of June 2024.

25. The brain needs sleep to eliminate harmful free radicals and spent molecules from its hard-working fuel cells; otherwise, it runs the risk of becoming overwhelmed by its own biological waste.

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