Sioux Falls Scientists is a group made up of people who love science as well as those interested in science, and scientists themselves. This website provides news articles, documentaries, courses and books that describe how science works and the latest discoveries of science, especially the latest discoveries in the fields of global warming and evolution science. Located in Sioux Falls, SD, the Sioux Falls Scientists have meetings and social gatherings where people of free thought and open minds meet and share ideas, share what they have learned about science and share what they think about the latest science discoveries.
To become a member of this group join
Sioux Falls Free Thinkers on Meetup.com
Our meetings and social gatherings are posted at Sioux Falls Free Thinkers on Meetup.com. Sioux Falls Free Thinkers Upcoming Events can be seen on the Meetup.com Calendar.
The Sioux Falls Scientists group will never have any dues. Membership is not required to attend our meetings. This group will probably never have any formal rules except treating other members and their opinions with respect and giving everyone equal time to speak. This group will never purge members for expressing their opinions or for forming their own group of people interested in science in general or in a particular field of scientific study. The only loose requirement is that members, and those attending our meetings, have an interest in one of the subjects of the Sioux Falls Free Thinkers websites.
We look forward to seeing you at one or more of our events and meetings!
Life Changing Event: Trilobites: When I was in 5th or 6th grade I found a 400 million-year-old fossil of a Trilobite in a 10-12 inch limestone rock in a gravel pit near the home I in lived in the country. I brought it into school and asked the science teacher whether or not it might contain more fossils. The IDIOT took it from me and using a hammer broke the rock in half right through the fossil ruining it. I realized then that I knew more about science than did the science teacher.
The Chinese Take The Lead Again!
7-9-17 China’s impossible engineering feat
China’s impossible engineering feat
Suspended 565m (1,853 feet, over 1/3 mile) above China’s remote south-west mountains, the Beipanjiang Bridge took decades to construct and has revolutionised bridge-building around the world. (Webmaster's comment: China has taken the lead with it's infrastructure projects, while America's decaying infrastructure collapses into ruin.)
7-7-17 China’s quantum satellite adds two new tricks to its repertoire
China’s quantum satellite adds two new tricks to its repertoire
Era of ultrasecure communication inches closer. China’s quantum satellite has met two more milestones, performing quantum teleportation and transmitting quantum encryption keys through space. Scientists teleported the properties of photons, or particles of light, from a ground station in Tibet to the satellite. A record-breaking quantum satellite has again blown away the competition, achieving two new milestones in long-distance quantum communications through space. In June, Chinese researchers demonstrated that the satellite Micius could send entangled quantum particles to far-flung locations on Earth, their properties remaining intertwined despite being separated by more than 1,200 kilometers (SN Online: 6/15/17). Now researchers have used the satellite to teleport particles’ properties and transmit quantum encryption keys. The result, reported in two papers published online July 3 and July 4 at arXiv.org, marks the first time the two techniques have been demonstrated in space. (Webmaster's comment: The Chinese have taken a clear lead in this cutting edge technology. In response Trump has cut our science budget.)
6-15-17 Quantum satellite shatters entanglement record
Quantum satellite shatters entanglement record
Intertwined photons were beamed to two Chinese cities 1,200 kilometers apart. Using the quantum-communications satellite Micius, researchers successfully sent entangled photons to two cities in China. The result paves the way for a future worldwide quantum network. Particles of light born in space have connected two cities via a quantum link about 10 times longer than any created before. A quantum-communications satellite beamed photons to Earth, separating them by more than 1,200 kilometers. The feat showed that the particles of light can retain a strange type of interconnectedness, known as quantum entanglement, even when flung to opposite ends of a country, researchers from China report in the June 16 Science. The previous distance record was about 100 kilometers (SN: 6/30/12, p. 10). Launched in 2016, the one-of-a-kind satellite is laying the groundwork for a space-based network of quantum communication. “It’s a huge achievement for quantum entanglement and quantum science,” says physicist Thomas Jennewein of the University of Waterloo in Canada. (Webmaster's comment: There can be no doubt! China has taken the lead in cutting edge science! And Trump is cutting our nation's science budgets!)
6-15-17 Chinese satellite beats distance record for quantum entanglement
Chinese satellite beats distance record for quantum entanglement
Entangled photons survived transmission to locations 1200 kilometres apart on Earth, a feat that could kick off the use of quantum satellites for secure communications. Less than a year after they launched the world’s only quantum communications satellite, Chinese researchers have for the first time ever sent entangled photons from space to ground stations on Earth. “This is the first step towards worldwide secure quantum communications, and maybe even a quantum internet,” says Anton Zeilinger, an expert on quantum physics at the University of Vienna in Austria. One of the building blocks of a secure quantum network is the ability to exchange entangled photons between two parties. When a pair of photons are entangled particles, measuring one instantly influences the state of the other, regardless of the distance between them. To create a cryptographic key, the two parties, say Alice and Bob, use the results of a series of measurements on pairs of entangled photons. The key can then be used to encrypt messages that are sent over a regular channel. The duo can also detect the presence of an intruder who tries to intercept and retransmit the entangled photons, because doing this destroys the entanglement. Last year, researchers in China established a record separation between Alice and Bob: entangled photons were exchanged over a distance of 404 kilometres using non-commercial, high-quality optical fibre.
6-15-17 China's quantum satellite in big leap
China's quantum satellite in big leap
The term "spy satellite" has taken on a new meaning with the successful test of a novel Chinese spacecraft. The mission can provide unbreakable secret communications channels, in principle, using the laws of quantum science. Called Micius, the satellite is the first of its kind and was launched from the Gobi desert last August. It is all part of a push towards a new kind of internet that would be far more secure than the one we use now. The experimental Micius, with its delicate optical equipment, continues to circle the Earth, transmitting to two mountain-top Earth bases separated by 1,200km. The optics onboard are paramount. They're needed to distribute to the ground stations the particles, or photons, of light that can encode the "keys" to secret messages. "I think we have started a worldwide quantum space race," says lead researcher Jian-Wei Pan, who is based in Hefei in China's Anhui Province.
6-14-17 Chinese scientists to grow potatoes on the moon
Chinese scientists to grow potatoes on the moon
Chinese scientists will attempt to grow potatoes on the moon as part of a forthcoming lunar mission. According to a report in the Chongqing Morning Post, the potatoes will be sealed inside a "mini ecosystem" as part the Chang'e-4 mission due to launch next year. They'll be sharing a small cylinder on the surface of the Earth's only natural satellite with silkworm larvae as part of a series of experiments, Professor Xie Gengxin of Chongqing University told the paper. The goal is to see whether the insects and spuds will survive on the lunar surface, and the end result will yield important insights about the viability of a future human colony, China Radio International says. Potatoes played a central part in the 2015 science fiction film The Martian, based on the book by Andy Weir, where Matt Damon plays an astronaut stranded on Mars, resorting to potato farming in order to survive. (Webmaster's comment: The Chinese are seriously taking the lead in planning for the future colonization of space.)
Vaccinations Save Lives In Many Ways!
3-15-17 See how bacterial blood infections in young kids plummeted after vaccines
See how bacterial blood infections in young kids plummeted after vaccines
Newcomer pneumococcal vaccines have led to huge reductions in blood infections among young children. To celebrate birthdays, my 2- and 4-year-old party animals got vaccinated. Measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough for the older one (thankfully combined into just two shots), and hepatitis A for the younger. Funnily enough, there were no tears. Just before the shots, we were talking about the tiny bits of harmless germs that would now be inside their bodies, teaching their immune systems how to fight off the harmful germs and keep their bodies healthy. I suspect my girls got caught up in the excitement and forgot to be scared. As I watched the vaccine needles go in, I was grateful for these medical marvels that clearly save lives. Yet the topic has become fraught for worried parents who want to keep their kids healthy. Celebrities, politicians and even some pediatricians argue that children today get too many vaccines too quickly, with potentially dangerous additives. Those fears have led to reductions in the number of kids who are vaccinated, and along with it, a resurgence of measles and other diseases that were previously kept in check. Doctors and scientists try to reduce those fears with good, hard data that show vaccines are absolutely some of the safest and most important tools we have to keep children healthy. A study published online March 10 in Pediatrics shows a particularly compelling piece of data on the impact of vaccines.
SOME REALLY BAD NEWS!
3-9-17 EPA boss says carbon dioxide not primary cause of climate change
EPA boss says carbon dioxide not primary cause of climate change
The statement from Scott Pruitt, the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, contradicts all the scientific evidence. The new chief of the US Environmental Protection Agency has said he does not believe that carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming. EPA administrator Scott Pruitt said measuring the effect of human activity on the climate is “very challenging” and that “there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact” of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. “So, no, I would not agree that (carbon dioxide) is a primary contributor to the global warming that we see,” Pruitt told CNBC’s Squawk Box. Pruitt’s view is at odds with mainstream climate science, including NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The two agencies reported in January that Earth’s 2016 temperatures were the warmest ever. The planet’s average surface temperature has risen by about 2 degrees F since the late 19th century, “a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere”, the agencies said in a joint statement. Environmental groups seized on Pruitt’s comments as evidence he is unfit for the office he holds. “The arsonist is now in charge of the fire department, and he seems happy to let the climate crisis burn out of control,” said Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune.
4-4-17 CO2 set to hit levels not seen in 50 million years by 2050
CO2 set to hit levels not seen in 50 million years by 2050
We are pumping CO2 into the atmosphere so fast that by the middle of this century the gas could soar to its highest levels for 50 million years. We are pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere so fast that it could soar to its highest level for at least 50 million years by the middle of this century. And that’s even worse news than it sounds, because the sun is hotter now than it was then. This is one of the conclusions of a study looking at how CO2 levels in the atmosphere have changed over the past half billion years and comparing that with future scenarios. “CO2 in the past was not as high as we thought,” says Gavin Foster at the University of Southampton in the UK. Thanks to bubbles of air trapped in Antarctic ice, we have a good picture of CO2 levels over the past 800,000 years. But going further back in time is much more challenging. Foster and his colleagues have compiled data from more than 100 different studies to produce the best estimate yet of how CO2 levels changed in the past 420 million years. Among other things, the researchers corrected for the fact that studies based on carbonates in fossil soils are now known to have overestimated past CO2 levels. Their compilation suggests that the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere never rose above 3000 parts per million during this time period, whereas some earlier studies have suggested levels were as high as 5000 ppm at times. And by looking at future CO2 emission scenarios, they say the level will soon reach its highest for at least 50 million years. What’s not in doubt is that when CO2 levels were higher than in pre-industrial times, the planet was much warmer and had no ice at the poles. (Webmaster's comment: This is how the human race will end. The great frying!)
3-3-17 First yearly CO2 forecast predicts one of biggest rises ever
First yearly CO2 forecast predicts one of biggest rises ever
The forecast suggests levels of the greenhouse gas could briefly pass 410 parts per million in May, just four years after first passing 400 ppm. Now for the carbon dioxide forecast: levels of this gas in the atmosphere will rise by 2.5 parts per million to average 408 ppm in 2017. And the monthly average could exceed 410 ppm for the first time during this year’s peak in May (CO2 levels rise and fall each year with seasonal changes in plant growth). The precise forecast is 409.86 plus or minus 0.61 ppm. It is just four years since the peak level of CO2 first exceeded the troubling milestone of 400 ppm. If its concentration keeps rising at this rate, it will double compared with pre-industrial times well before the end of the century. A doubling of CO2 will warm the planet by about 3°C in the following decades, and by up to 6°C over the next few centuries. The prediction of a 2.5 ppm rise this year is the first ever official CO2 forecast by the UK’s Met Office. It was actually made last November, but the weather organisation has only just made it public. “We were able to successfully forecast the record CO2 rise that we saw last year,” says Richard Betts, who leads research into climate impacts at the Met Office Hadley Centre. “Now we’re getting happier with the method, we are going to start to do it as a routine forecast every year.” The forecast is specifically for Mauna Loa in Hawaii, where CO2 levels have been monitored since the 1950s, providing plenty of fodder for forecasters. Levels at other sites can differ slightly. CO2 is the main greenhouse gas responsible for warming the planet. Prior to the industrial age, levels in the atmosphere were around 280 ppm – and had remained below 300 ppm for at least 800,000 years. Now they have shot up to more than 400 ppm. (Webmaster's comment: And the world is trying to do something about, but not Donald Trump's America!)
3-3-17 US drinking water at risk from Trump’s cuts to pollution rules
US drinking water at risk from Trump’s cuts to pollution rules
By dismantling guidelines designed to protect US waterways from pollution, Trump is shifting the problem downstream – and leaving the taxpayer to pay for it. It’s difficult to square the rhetoric with the action. On 28 February, Trump signed an executive order restricting which bodies of water are subject to pollution regulations. Just hours later, he told Congress his administration aims to “promote clean air and clean water”. For more than a third of Americans, drinking water comes from streams or rivers, which don’t stop at state boundaries. Removing the power of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to enforce clean water laws will just push those responsibilities onto individual states. The Waters of the United States rule was added to the Clean Water Act of 1972 under the Obama Administration in 2015. It expands the EPA’s purview from “navigable” waters to any continuous flow of water. If the rule is dismantled, Trump’s speech was just politics and not policy. Leaving pollution standards up to individual states could mean that pollution from one state’s lax laws could disproportionately affect neighbouring states that share waterways. “How land is managed in one state will affect what happens downstream,” says Durelle Scott at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. “When we think about water management, we have to think about the entire watershed.” (Webmaster's comment: Clean drinking water will soon be a thing of the past thanks to Donald Trump! Your children's lives are at serious risk!)
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Welcome to those interested in Science!.