Streams

Adam Frank

Adam Frank appears in the following:

What Is The Value Of An Education In The Humanities?

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

In a recent Skype call with a Dutch friend, we discussed her kids and their college experience. Apparently, there had been protests on campus about costs and payments.

"How much are they paying now?" I asked, gritting my teeth in preparation for the answer. "Well," she said, "it's now about ...

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The Planets We Don't Have

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Imagine that, while traveling, you find yourself in a new city and decide to go to the zoo.

After looking around for a while, you notice something odd. All of the animals you see come in three sexes. There is the usual male and female — and there's also a ...

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Are Snowflakes Truly Unique, Like You?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

So, it finally snowed for real here in Rochester last night.

Yeah, I know what you're thinking: Upstate New York equals lots of snow. Well, not for us this weird winter. (Buffalo, of course, has gotten its share.)

I stood outside for a while under a streetlight watching the giant ...

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Paris Climate Agreement: Success Or Failure?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Politics and science are two very different beasts.

Science, at its best, tries to extract some measure of truth about the world from a combination of observation and theory. Politics, even at its best, may be more concerned with perception than truth, using the former as a means to advance ...

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How Real Is Reality?

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Each day when you wake up, the world is, for the most part, unchanged from the day before.

The sun rises again in the east. Your underwear falls if you drop it. The water in the sink spirals down the drain like always. Just as important, your mattress won't turn ...

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Lesson Of The Day: The Magnus Effect

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

So, just cause it's the sweet space between Christmas and New Year's doesn't mean you can't still learn new, cool things — like physics.

Today's coolness is the Magnus effect, which is all about how spinning, flying things get driven sideways.

You've seen this in the way spin on ...

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Do You Really Know Why Earth Has A Solstice?

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

It's the solstice again, which is an astronomer's favorite time of year. That's because it's one of the few occasions where we have anything semi-practical to say to anyone.

"Hey, Adam, you're an astronomer. What's this whole solstice thing about?"

Well, I'm glad you asked.

Let's start with why we ...

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Explaining The Celestial Logistics Of The Winter Solstice

Monday, December 21, 2015

Why doesn't the winter solstice have the earliest sunset of the year? NPR's Ari Shapiro explores that and other fun celestial news with NPR blogger Adam Frank.

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In A Solar System Really Close By, 'The Expanse' Comes To TV

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

As we all await the premiere of the new Star Wars movie, I'd like to indulge in a wee bit of heresy. Maybe — just maybe — something far, far better than The Force Awakens is making its appearance Tuesday night.

Now, just hear me out as you prepare ...

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Humanity's Coming Of Age On Planet Earth

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

The Paris climate meeting is now heading into its home stretch, as world leaders debate what to make of a human future on a changing planet.

As an astronomer, however, I'm used to taking the long view on things. From that perspective, a startlingly different understanding of climate change appears ...

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Explaining Einstein's Theory Of General Relativity On Its 100th Birthday

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Einstein's theory of general relativity turns 100 Wednesday. Astrophysicist Adam Frank tells us what this meant for science.

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Instead Of 'What,' Be Grateful For 'When' This Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

This year at Thanksgiving tables across America, folks will sit down with family and ask themselves the time-honored question: "What am I thankful for this year?"

It's a moment that makes Thanksgiving one of the best ideas we ever came up with. But this year, I thinking of tipping that ...

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After Paris: Reason, Faith And Love

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

I'm good at abstracting things. It's part of my job description as a theoretical astrophysicist.

This weekend, however, I spent much of my time restraining that impulse. I didn't want to hide in the comfort of a million-year perspective or the view from 30,000 light-years. It felt important to keep ...

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As A Fruit Fly Hatches, A Choreography Of Cells Unfolds

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

When physicist Erwin Schrodinger considered the question "What Is Life?" his answer was the creation order amidst a cosmic sea of chaos.

In other words, life is a local triumph over entropy. But to hear that idea is one thing; seeing its reality is quite another.

In this video ...

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Is It Moral To Explore, And Colonize, Mars?

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

There are many thought-provoking moments in the new movie The Martian.

From the nature of human endurance to questions of science and politics, it's a film that deserves the success it has gained (how many films can throw around terms like hexadecimal and Hohmann Transfer like ...

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Why Fighting Climate Change Requires Changing The Narrative

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

NPR blogger Adam Frank says Americans need to stop carrying the guilt of climate change, so that we can move on and fix it.

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Maybe It's Time To Stop Snickering About Aliens

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Have you heard the big news? If not, you haven't been paying attention to your Facebook feed.

For the past week or two, the Internet has been lighting up about alien megastructures that might, or might not, be orbiting a star called KIC 8462852.

So what should we make of ...

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Reinventing Infrastructure: How Hard Is It?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The nation's vast transportation network is a modern-day wonder built from highways and streets, off-ramps and interchanges, cars, trucks and buses. And the fossil fuel that powers it all represents another modern wonder — a complex network of linked drilling platforms, refineries, pipelines, rail lines and trucking operations.

The scale ...

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Why The Future Of Transportation Depends On Changing Infrastructure

Thursday, October 15, 2015

NPR science blogger and astrophysicist Adam Frank argues infrastructure must change in order to develop new, environmentally friendly forms of transportation.

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In Space, Using The Toilet Is Quite An Operation

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The enormous success of the film The Martian has a lot of people talking about life in space.

What is it really like spending months in small enclosure with a bunch of other astronauts while surrounded by death via a hard vacuum? People being people, it turns out that after ...

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