Astrophysicist Adam Riess shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2011 for his work on distant supernovae, which demonstrated that the universe was not only expanding--but that its expansion was accelerating. Now he's hunting for clues that might explain why, and one of the prime suspects is a mysterious force known as dark energy.
Estimated altitude for this flight was about 115,000 feet, says Raul Oaida, 18-years-old. Raul launched the shuttle, along with a video camera and a GPS tracker, by way of a large helium balloon. Flight time was about three hours--the shuttle landing about 150 miles south of where it took off.
Bell Labs in New Jersey was to technological innovation in the mid-20th century what Silicon Valley in California is today. An editor at Fast Company magazine describes the environment which fostered 13 Nobel Prize winners and the development of radars, lasers, transistors, satellites and mobile phones.
The so-called ethane cracking, or "cracker," plant would convert ethane from bountiful Marcellus Shale natural gas liquids into more profitable chemicals such as ethylene, which are then used to produce everything from plastics to tires to antifreeze.
The Nobel Prize-winning chemist made the link between man-made chemicals used in spray cans and the depletion of the Earth-insulating ozone later. His scientific work and advocacy for a ban on these chemicals, called CFCs, led to a public appreciation for humans' impact on the planet. He was 84.
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