Flow in the asthenosphere drags tectonic plates along

New simulations of Earth's asthenosphere find that convective cycling and pressure-driven flow can sometimes cause the planet's most fluid layer of mantle to move even faster than the tectonic plates that ride atop it.

How to freeze heat conduction

Physicists have discovered a new effect, which makes it possible to create excellent thermal insulators which conduct electricity. Such materials can be used to convert waste heat into electrical energy.

The vessel not taken: Understanding disproportionate blood flow

Each time a blood vessel splits into smaller vessels, red blood cells (RBCs) are presented with the same decision: Take the left capillary or the right. While one might think RBCs would divide evenly at every fork in the ...

Understanding dynamic stall at high speeds

When a bird in flight lands, it performs a rapid pitch-up maneuver during the perching process to keep from overshooting the branch or telephone wire. In aerodynamics, that action produces a complex phenomenon known as dynamic ...

Quantum physics and origami for the ultimate get-well card

Paper-based diagnostic tests are cheap, convenient and biodegradable. However, their use is limited by conventional dyes—which are not bright enough to show trace amounts of analyte, are prone to fading, and can be environmentally ...

Fast-flowing electrons may mimic astrophysical dynamos

A powerful engine roils deep beneath our feet, converting energy in the Earth's core into magnetic fields that shield us from the solar wind. Similar engines drive the magnetic activity of the sun, other stars and even other ...

InSight prepares to take Mars' temperature

NASA's InSight lander has placed its second instrument on the Martian surface. New images confirm that the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package, or HP3, was successfully deployed on Feb. 12 about 3 feet (1 meter) from ...

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