Discovery & Innovation

Equations connect ancient settlements to modern cities, says CU-Boulder anthropologist

Visitors to the ancient city of Teotihuacan—with its pyramidal structures arranged in careful geometric patterns, its temples, and its massive central thoroughfare, dubbed Street of the Dead—in Mexico may have the sensation they’re gazing at the remains of a society profoundly different from their own.
 
But new research from anthropologists armed with a bevy of recently derived mathematical equations shows that in some fundamental ways, today’s cities and yesterday’s settlements may be more alike than different.

Ancient settlements and modern cities follow same rules of development, says CU-Boulder researcher

February 12, 2014

Recently derived equations that describe development patterns in modern urban areas appear to work equally well to describe ancient cities settled thousands of years ago, according to a new study led by a researcher at the University of Colorado Boulder.

JILA atomic clock sets new world records

Feeling out of synch? The world’s most precise clock is now located on the CU-Boulder campus.

In a laboratory at JILA—a joint institute of CU-Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology—researchers have developed a new strontium atomic clock that has set world records for both precision and stability. It “ticks” 430 trillion times per second.   

CU-Boulder alum and NASA astronaut Steve Swanson heading for space station

January 22, 2014

Making his third flight as a NASA astronaut, University of Colorado Boulder alumnus Steve Swanson will blast off for the International Space Station aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on March 25.

Swanson, who earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering physics from CU-Boulder in 1983, will serve as flight engineer for Expedition 39, which already will be underway on the ISS. In late May, Swanson, who considers Steamboat Springs, Colo., his hometown, will become space station commander as Mission 40 begins on the ISS.

CU study a step toward more-efficient wind farms

Being first in line has its advantages, even for wind turbines, which are propelled by comparatively smooth wind flow that helps them produce near-optimal power at varying wind speeds.

A pair of new studies sheds light on toddler sleep

In the basement of a building on the University of Colorado Boulder’s east campus, sleep researchers have been busy trying to explain one of the biggest mysteries of parenting: Why won’t my child just go to sleep?

The Sleep and Development Lab, headed up by integrative physiology Assistant Professor Monique LeBourgeois, specializes in early childhood sleep: why it’s important, what happens when there isn’t enough of it and why sometimes it seems so hard to come by.

ISS

CU-Boulder to fly antibiotic experiment, education project on ants to space station

December 13, 2013

A University of Colorado Boulder research center will launch two payloads aboard Orbital Sciences Corp.’s commercial Cygnus spacecraft to the International Space Station on Dec. 18, including a biomedical antibiotic experiment and an educational K-12 experiment involving ant behavior in microgravity.

Severe 2012 solar storm narrowly missed Earth

A massive ejection of material from the sun initially traveling at over 7 million miles per hour that narrowly missed Earth last year is an event solar scientists hope will open the eyes of policymakers regarding the impacts and mitigation of severe space weather, says a University of Colorado Boulder professor.

CU-Boulder researchers use video games to spark kids' interest in coding

In grade school classrooms across the country, students have been hard at work this semester trying to figure out how to smash a virtual frog with a virtual truck. They’re building their own video games—inspired by the 1980s classic Frogger—and there are a thousand details to work out. 

In the end, the students will have built a video game. But more important, the students will have learned how to code—whether they knew it at the time or not.

CU-Boulder-led team finds first evidence of primates regularly sleeping in caves

December 04, 2013

Scientists have discovered that some ring-tailed lemurs in Madagascar regularly retire to limestone chambers for their nightly snoozes, the first evidence of the consistent, daily use of the same caves and crevices for sleeping among the world’s wild primates.

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