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The Effects of Atmospheric Attenuation on Cosmic Ray Muons: How is Surface Level Cosmic Ray Muon Flux Affected by Atmospheric Attenuation?

Sun et al. | Sep 11, 2021

The Effects of Atmospheric Attenuation on Cosmic Ray Muons: How is Surface Level Cosmic Ray Muon Flux Affected by Atmospheric Attenuation?

Cosmic rays are high-energy astronomical particles originating from various sources across the universe. Here, The authors sought to understand how surface-level cosmic-ray muon flux is affected by atmospheric attenuation by measuring the variation in relative muon-flux rate relative to zenith angle, testing the hypothesis that muons follow an exponential attenuation model. The attenuation model predicts an attenuation length of 6.3 km. This result implies that only a maximum of 24% of muons can reach the Earth’s surface, due to both decay and atmospheric interactions.

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A Quantitative Analysis of the Proliferation of Microplastics in Williamston’s Waterways

Schafer et al. | Feb 17, 2019

A Quantitative Analysis of the Proliferation of Microplastics in Williamston’s Waterways

Plastic debris can disrupt marine ecosystems, spread contaminants, and take years to naturally degrade. In this study, Wu et al aim to establish an understanding of the scope of Williamston, Michigan’s microplastics problem, as well as to attempt to find the source of these plastics. Initially, the authors hypothesize that the Williamston Wastewater Treatment Plant was the primary contributor to Williamston’s microplastics pollution. Although they find a general trend of increasing concentrations of microplastics from upstream to downstream, they do not pinpoint the source of Williamston’s microplastics pollution in the present research.

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Artificial Intelligence Networks Towards Learning Without Forgetting

Kreiman et al. | Oct 26, 2018

Artificial Intelligence Networks Towards Learning Without Forgetting

In their paper, Kreiman et al. examined what it takes for an artificial neural network to be able to perform well on a new task without forgetting its previous knowledge. By comparing methods that stop task forgetting, they found that longer training times and maintenance of the most important connections in a particular task while training on a new one helped the neural network maintain its performance on both tasks. The authors hope that this proof-of-principle research will someday contribute to artificial intelligence that better mimics natural human intelligence.

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The Effect of Wind Mitigation Devices on Gabled Roofs

Kaufman et al. | Feb 20, 2021

The Effect of Wind Mitigation Devices on Gabled Roofs

The purpose of this study was to test devices installed on a gabled roof to see which reduced the actual uplift forces best. Three gabled birdhouse roofs were each modified with different mitigation devices: a rounded edge, a barrier shape, or an airfoil. The barrier edge had no significant effect on the time for the roof to blow off. The addition of airfoil devices on roofs, specifically in areas that are prone to hurricanes such as Florida, could keep roofs in place during hurricanes, thus reducing insurance bills, overall damage costs, and the loss of lives.

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The effects of early probiotic supplementation on the germination of Arabidopsis thaliana

Gambino et al. | Oct 25, 2020

The effects of early probiotic supplementation on the germination of <em>Arabidopsis thaliana</em>

The use of fertilizers is associated with an increase in soil degradation, which is predicted to lead to a decrease in crop production within the next decade. Thus, it is critical to find solutions to support crop production to sustain the robust global population. In this study, the authors investigate how probiotic bacteria, like Rhizobium leguminosarum, Bacillus subtilis and Pseudomonas fluorescens, can impact the growth of Arabidopsis thaliana when applied to the seeds.They hypothesized that solutions with multiple bacterial species compared to those with only a single bacterial species would promote seed germination more effectively.

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Modeling the effects of acid rain on bacterial growth

Shah et al. | Nov 17, 2020

Modeling the effects of acid rain on bacterial growth

Acid rain has caused devastating decreases in ecosystems across the globe. To mimic the effect of acid rain on the environment, the authors analyzed the growth of gram-negative (Escherichia coli) and gram-positive (Staphylococcus epidermidis) bacteria in agar solutions with different pH levels. Results show that in a given acidic environment there was a significant decrease in bacterial growth with an increase in vinegar concentration in the agar, suggesting that bacterial growth is impacted by the pH of the environment. Therefore, increased levels of acid rain could potentially harm the ecosystem by altering bacterial growth.

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The effect of wild orange essential oil on ascorbic acid decay in freshly squeezed orange juice

Sebek et al. | Feb 25, 2022

The effect of wild orange essential oil on ascorbic acid  decay in freshly squeezed orange juice

The goal of this project was to see if the addition of wild orange essential oil to freshly squeezed orange juice would help to slow down the decay of ascorbic acid when exposed to various temperatures, allowing vital nutrients to be maintained and providing a natural alternative to the chemical additives in use in industry today. The authors hypothesized that the addition of wild orange essential oil to freshly squeezed orange juice would slow down the rate of oxidation when exposed to various temperatures, reducing ascorbic acid decay. On average, wild orange EO slowed down ascorbic acid decay in freshly squeezed orange juice by 15% at the three highest temperatures tested.

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Geographic Distribution of Scripps National Spelling Bee Spellers Resembles Geographic Distribution of Child Population in US States upon Implementation of the RSVBee “Wildcard” Program

Kannankeril et al. | Aug 17, 2020

Geographic Distribution of Scripps National Spelling Bee Spellers Resembles Geographic Distribution of Child Population in US States upon Implementation of the RSVBee “Wildcard” Program

The Scripps National Spelling Bee (SNSB) is an iconic academic competition for United States (US) schoolchildren, held annually since 1925. However, the sizes and geographic distributions of sponsored regions are uneven. One state may send more than twice as many spellers as another state, despite similar numbers in child population. In 2018, the SNSB introduced a wildcard program known as RSVBee, which allowed students to apply to compete as a national finalist, even if they did not win their regional spelling bee. In this study, the authors tested the hypothesis that the geographic distribution of SNSB national finalists more closely matched the child population of the US after RSVBee was implemented.

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Are Teens Willing to Pay More for Their Preferred Goods?

Johnson Jr. et al. | Sep 28, 2019

Are Teens Willing to Pay More for Their Preferred Goods?

Each day we are flooded with new items that promise us a better experience at a better price. This forces buyers to continuously chose between sticking to what they know, or trying something new. In turn, companies need to be aware of the factors affecting consumer choices, that too within the different fractions of society. In this study the authors investigate the effect of survey-based price setting on profits made based on African American teen purchases, and how African-American teen loyalty to a particular brand affects their willingness to pay a higher price than the market average for their preferred brand items.

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Firearm-purchase laws that limit the number of guns on the market reduce gun homicides in the South Side of Chicago

Krishnan et al. | Jan 24, 2022

Firearm-purchase laws that limit the number of guns on the market reduce gun homicides in the South Side of Chicago

Gun violence has been a serious issue in the South Side of Chicago for a long time. To intervene, regulators have passed legislation they hoped to curb -if not completely eradicate- the issue. However, there is little analysis done on how effective the various laws have been at reducing gun violence. Here the authors explore the association between firearm purchase laws passed between 1993-2018 and the incidence of gun homicide in Chicago's South Side. Their analysis suggests that some laws have been more effective than others, while some might have exacerbated the issue. However, they do not consider other contributing factors, which makes it difficult to prove causation without further investigation.

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