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South African Astronomical Observatory

South African Astronomical Observatory  

An observatory at an altitude of 1770 m near Sutherland, Northern Cape, owned and operated by the South African government's National Research Foundation. It was founded in 1972 by combining the ...
US Naval Observatory

US Naval Observatory  

The US government observatory in northwest Washington, DC. It was founded in 1844, taking over the astronomical work of the US Navy's Depot of Charts and Instruments. It moved to its present site in ...
Lonsdale, Dame Kathleen

Lonsdale, Dame Kathleen   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Scientists

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003
Subject:
Science and technology
Length:
420 words

...Crystallography ( 1952 , 1959 , 1962 ) and also produced a survey of the subject in her Crystals and X-rays ( 1948 ). As a Quaker and a convinced pacifist Lonsdale refused to register in 1939 for government service or civil defense despite the fact that as a mother of three young children she would have been exempted from any such service. Fined £2 in 1943 , she refused to pay and served a month in Holloway prison instead. When, 285 years after its foundation, the Royal Society finally decided to admit women to its fellowship Lonsdale was the first...

Turing, Alan Mathison

Turing, Alan Mathison   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Scientists

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003
Subject:
Science and technology
Length:
1,166 words

...a symbol taken from a finite set of symbols (in a simple case 0 and 1). The control unit of the machine can be in one of a finite set of internal states (states S 1 , S 2 , S 3 , etc.). The machine has a ‘program’, which is a set of groups of five symbols. For example, one set of five symbols might be S 1 01XS 2 , where X is R, L, or N. This is interpreted as meaning that the machine is in state S 1 (the first symbol of the five) and reading 0 (the second symbol). In this state it replaces the 0 by 1 (third symbol). If X = R it moves to the next cell on the...

Planck, Max Karl Ernst Ludwig

Planck, Max Karl Ernst Ludwig   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Scientists

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003
Subject:
Science and technology
Length:
876 words

...and the frequency of radiation he had to introduce a constant of proportionality, which could only take integral multiples of a certain quantity. Expressed mathematically, E = nh ν, where E is the energy, h is the constant of proportionality, ν is the frequency, and n = 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. It follows from this that nature was being selective in the amounts of energy it would allow a body to accept and to emit, allowing only those amounts that were multiples of h ν. The value of h is very small, so that radiation of energy at the macroscopic level...

Einstein, Albert

Einstein, Albert   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Scientists

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003
Subject:
Science and technology
Length:
2,929 words

...experimental error. It was from this moment that Einstein became known to a wider public, for this dramatic confirmation of an unexpected phenomenon seemed to capture the popular imagination. Even the London Times was moved to comment in an editorial, as if to a recalcitrant government, that “the scientific conception of the fabric of the universe must be changed.” In 1916 Einstein was ready to publish the final and authoritative form of his general theory: Die Grundlage der allgemeinen Relativitätstheorie (The Foundation of the General Theory of...

South African Astronomical Observatory

South African Astronomical Observatory   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Astronomy (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018

...Northern Cape, owned and operated by the South African government’s National Research Foundation. It was founded in 1972 by combining the facilities of the Royal Observatory at the Cape of Good Hope (founded in 1820 ) and the Republic Observatory, Johannesburg (founded in 1905 ). A 1-m reflector was moved to Sutherland from the Cape and a 0.5-m reflector from the Republic Observatory, joining a new 0.75-m reflector; the latter two were decommissioned in 2015 . A new 1-m reflector replaced the 0.75-m in 2016 . The 1.88-m Radcliffe Telescope, originally...

Large Marsupial Carnivores

Large Marsupial Carnivores   Reference library

The Encyclopedia of Mammals (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2007
Subject:
Science and technology, Life Sciences
Length:
4,090 words
Illustration(s):
3

...28.5cm (11in), female: 25cm (10in); weight male: 1.0kg (2.2lb), female: 0.7kg (1.5lb). Coat: white spots on brown body, small hallux, long-haired tail. Breeding: may be seasonal. Conservation status: Vulnerable. New Guinean quoll Dasyurus albopunctatus New Guinea. Widespread in rain forest habitats above 1,000m (3,300ft). head–body length male: 22.8–35cm (9–14in), female: 24.1–27.5cm (9.5–10.5in); tail length male: 21.2–29cm (8–11in), female: 22.1–28cm (9–11in); weight male: 0.6–0.7kg (1.5lb), female: 0.5kg (1.1lb). Coat: white spots on reddish brown body,...

Bugs

Bugs   Reference library

The New Encyclopedia of Insects and their Allies (3 rev. ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Science and technology, Life Sciences
Length:
8,981 words
Illustration(s):
5

...is currently regarded as affiliated to the Heteroptera. The suborder consists of a single family, the Peloridiidae, which includes about 25 species occuring in Australia, New Zealand, and South America, where the insects are found in Chile and Patagonia. The adults are small (2–5mm/0.08–0.2in), greenish‐brown in color, have tiny antennae and a broad head with laterally placed eyes, and live cryptically in mosses and liverworts in temperate forest regions. Aphids and Scales Suborder Sternorrhyncha Made up of aphids including the greenfly and blackfly, the...

river management

river management   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to the Earth

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003

...Dam on the River Nile ranged from 2.0 to 8.5 m, but 18 years after the dam became operational, maximum degradation had stabilized at 0.7 m. As both scientists and the public in general become aware of these unfortunate consequences of river management, there is a growing demand for management that aims, as far as possible, to restore natural channel characteristics and functions. Brookes, A. (1994) River channel change. In. Calow, P and Petts, G. E. (eds) The rivers handbook: hydrological and ecological principles , Vol. 2, pp. 55–75. Blackwell Scientific,...

Squirrels

Squirrels   Reference library

The Encyclopedia of Mammals (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2007
Subject:
Science and technology, Life Sciences
Length:
7,903 words
Illustration(s):
10

...0.7–2.2 squirrels per hectare, or 0.3–0.9 an acre). By contrast, in boreal coniferous forests in which pine and spruce seed abundance varies over time and between areas, both males and females frequently abandon territories when food becomes scarce. When the spruce‐cone crop fails, adult males disperse after mating, and adult females after they wean their litter. Since reproductive rates and adult and juvenile survival are directly related to the food supply, red squirrel numbers within an area can vary between years by an order of magnitude of 0.03–0.3...

Technology and Applied Sciences

Technology and Applied Sciences   Reference library

Hassan Radoine and Aaron Segal

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Science, and Technology in Islam

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014
Subject:
Religion, Science and technology
Length:
2,516 words

...especially in the Gulf countries, investment in science and technology is very low compared with the global average. According to the World Bank’s development indicators, from 1996 to 2003 Muslim countries spent on average less than 0.4 percent of their gross national product on research, in comparison with a world average of 2.3 percent. This statistic reflects a huge gap to be bridged, an undertaking requiring deliberate, long-term policies. The problem is systemic, and quite important: The ability of Islamic countries to catch up to the West in science and...

Porpoises

Porpoises   Reference library

The Encyclopedia of Mammals (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2007
Subject:
Science and technology, Life Sciences
Length:
2,601 words
Illustration(s):
3

... Coastal temperate N Atlantic and N Pacific, Baltic, and Black Sea. head‐to‐tail length 1.4–2.0m (4.5–7ft); weight 40–80kg (88–176lb). Skin: dark gray cape with mottled lateral surfaces, subtle eye patch, distinct flipper stripes, dark chin patch, white abdomen; triangular dorsal fin. 20–29 teeth in each row. Conservation status: Vulnerable. Burmeister's porpoise Phocoena spinipinnis Coastal S America from Peru to S Brazil. head‐to‐tail length 1.6–2.0m (5–7ft); weight 60–100kg (132–220lb). Skin: uniformly dark gray dorsal and lateral surfaces,...

Larks

Larks   Reference library

The New Encyclopedia of Birds

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Subject:
Science and technology, Life Sciences
Length:
2,503 words
Illustration(s):
5

...Length 12–24cm (5–9in); weight 15–75g (0.5–2.6oz). Plumage Most are brown and streaked, some with black and white markings; the Black lark is completely black. Voice Melodious songs, some short but others prolonged warblings, often given in flight. Nest Most build cups of dead grass on the ground; some build more complex, partly-domed structures. Eggs 2–6; speckled in most species. Incubation 11–16 days. Diet Seeds, insects. Conservation status 2 species – Rudd's and the Raso lark – are Critically Endangered; 2 others are Endangered and 4 Vulnerable....

Moles and Desmans

Moles and Desmans   Reference library

The Encyclopedia of Mammals (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2007
Subject:
Science and technology, Life Sciences
Length:
2,652 words
Illustration(s):
3

...under forests and grasslands but also under heaths. Desmans are aquatic in lakes and rivers. Shrew moles construct tunnels, but forage in the litter layer. Size Head–body length ranges from 2.4–7.5cm (1–3in) in the shrew moles to 18–21.5cm (7–8.5in) in the Russian desman; tail length from 2.4–7.5cm (1–3in) to 17–21.5cm (6.5–8.5in), and weight from under 12g (0.4oz) to about 550g (19.5oz), both in the same species. Coat Desman fur is double layered, with a short, dense waterproof underfur and oily guard hairs; stiff hairs enlarge the paws and tail for swimming...

Giant Panda

Giant Panda   Reference library

The Encyclopedia of Mammals (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2007
Subject:
Science and technology, Life Sciences
Length:
1,198 words
Illustration(s):
3

...were about 1,000 pandas remaining in a region of 13,000sq km (5,000sq mi) scattered across six isolated mountain ranges in central and western China. Within the ranges, the habitat is further fragmented into more than 20 smaller patches by cultivation and logging. The Chinese government has designated 33 giant panda reserves, and over 50 percent of their habitat now enjoys protected status. Beside safeguarding the species, these conservation programs have many other benefits. The pandas' mountain habitats are vital watersheds that support thousands of people...

Human ecology

Human ecology   Reference library

Magic Universe: A Grand Tour of Modern Science

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Science and technology, History of Science
Length:
3,236 words

...decades. A sensible policy would be to help them find alternative sources of affordable protein, so that they don't need to hunt so much. The first task was to gauge how much protein was involved. Estimates put it at around 2 million tonnes a year. In pursuit of answers, the UK Bushmeat Campaign brought together more than 30 non-governmental organizations, concerned with human welfare as well as with conservation. The campaign explicitly linked the survival of species such as chimpanzees and gorillas to the sustainable development and nutrition of the peoples of...

Ringtails, Pygmy Possums, and Gliders

Ringtails, Pygmy Possums, and Gliders   Reference library

The Encyclopedia of Mammals (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2007
Subject:
Science and technology, Life Sciences
Length:
4,199 words
Illustration(s):
5

...(13–15in) in the Rock ringtail possum; tail length from 7.1cm (2.8in) to 20–27cm (7.9–10.6in), and weight from 7g (0.2oz) to 1.3–2kg (2.9–4.4lb), both in the same two species. Form Coat gray or brown, with paler underside; often darker eye patches or forehead or back stripes (particularly in species feeding on plant gums); tail long, well‐furred (in most gliders), prehensile, and part naked, or featherlike. Diet Ringtails and gliders are primarily folivorous, although they also eat fruit; other species are more omnivorous, also including insects, larvae...

Gannets and Boobies

Gannets and Boobies   Reference library

The New Encyclopedia of Birds

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Subject:
Science and technology, Life Sciences
Length:
2,299 words
Illustration(s):
5

...species, divisible into three allospecies. Distribution N Atlantic, South Africa, Australasia (gannets); pantropical oceans (boobies). Habitat Breed mainly on islands and isolated rocks. Size Length 60–85 cm (23.6–33.5 in); wingspan 1.41–1.74 m (4.6–5.7 ft); weight 0.8–3.6 kg (2–8 lb). Females larger than males, or sexes similar. Plumage Adults of all species have white underparts (except for some races of the Red‐footed booby), with variable amount of black or brown above; most have brightly colored bills, faces, and feet. Voice Raucous or sonorous...

True Seals

True Seals   Reference library

The Encyclopedia of Mammals (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2007
Subject:
Science and technology, Life Sciences
Length:
13,702 words
Illustration(s):
9

...and the pup is weaned at the point when the male becomes dominant. Little is known about the seals'mating behavior, although it seems likely that the males wait for the female to come back into estrus in the last few days of weaning the pup. Usually family groups remain 1–2km (0.6–1.2mi) apart, but occasionally other males will approach across the ice, in which case a fight lasting as long as six minutes may ensue. Old male crabeaters are heavily scarred, probably as a result of fights during this mate-guarding phase of breeding. Leopard seals and killer...

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