BSJ

The Butler Scholarly Journal

Category: Science

  1. Pauli: The Quantum Croupier

    You are at a poker table, a poker hand face down in front of you, accompanied by several poker faced players, and the scent of whisky and cigars no poker game is without! As you look around, waiting for the first of five cards to be revealed, you think hard about what the card might be; one of four suits, and thirteen numbers. Until it’s turned over, you have no choice but to think of it as any one of these cards. Finally, the moment arrives. You peer down at the card, apprehensive (though no one notices, because you also have…

  2. Building Blocks of the Universe

    ‘You’re a star’ is a term often used to thank someone when they have done something kind for you, but how accurate is this statement? Realistically, that person is clearly not a giant astronomical object fusing hydrogen in their centre of mass and emitting high levels of radiation, but on a fundamental scale, a human and a star are actually composed of the exact same things. Consider the chair that you are probably sat on. It is most likely either made from plastic or wood. Let us assume that it is plastic, or more specifically, polyethylene, which is a common type…

  3. Dragons on Mars

    On May 25th of this year, one of the most significant milestones of the space age was achieved. An unmanned spacecraft, Dragon, docked with the International Space Station: the first commercial vehicle to do so. Dragon is a transportation space craft, designed and built by the private organisation SpaceX, which has been collaborating with NASA since 2010. The COTS (Commercial Orbital Transportation Service) program in that year saw NASA fund several private companies, such as SpaceX, half a million dollars to develop reusable spacecraft. The rationale was described by NASA administrator Michael Griffin several years prior; “We believe that when we…

  4. Finding a “New Earth”

    A new “Super-Earth” has just been discovered orbiting a dwarf star in our galaxy only 42 light years away. Although this sounds like a huge distance, when compared to the size of our galaxy it is not that far at all. The planet HD40307g is one of 3 new planets found to be orbiting the star HD40307, residing the furthest away from the star in its habitable zone and being only 7 times the mass of the Earth. The team that spotted the planet used the Harps instrument at the European Southern Observatory in Chile. This instrument detects small changes…