Merging mathematical and physical models toward building a more perfect flying vehicle

When designing flying vehicles, there are many aspects of which we can be certain but there are also many uncertainties. Most are random, and others are just not well understood. University of Illinois Professor Harry Hilton brought together several mathematical and physical theories to help look at problems in more unified ways and solve physical engineering problems.

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Researchers find genomic evidence of rapid adaptation of invasive Burmese pythons in Florida

Florida has become a haven for invasive species in the United States, but perhaps the most well-known of the State's alien residents is the Burmese python. These giant snakes, native to Southeast Asia, have become well-established over the past few decades and even flourish in their new environment.

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A new way to measure nearly nothing: Ultracold trapped atoms to measure pressure

Many semiconductor fabricators and research labs are under increasing pressure from, of all things, vacuum. These facilities need to remove greater amounts of gas molecules and particles from their setups as new technologies and processes demand lower and lower pressures. For example, the vacuum chambers in which microchip manufacturers lay down a series of ultrathin layers of chemicals step by step—a process that must be utterly free of contaminants—operate at about one hundred-billionth of the air pressure at sea level. Some applications need pressures at least a thousand times lower than that, approaching the even more rarefied environments of the Moon and outer space.

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Genomic evidence of rapid adaptation of invasive Burmese pythons in Florida

New researchers set out to determine whether pythons could have adapted to an extreme Florida freeze event in 2010. They generated data for dozens of samples before and after the freeze event. By scanning regions of the Burmese python genome, they identified parts of the genome that changed significantly between the two time periods, providing clear evidence of evolution occurring over a very short time scale in this population.

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