Monthly Archives: September 2016

2016 Nobel Prize Winners Cream of the Scientific Crop

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering what happened to that quiet guy from high school who was always carrying around a scientific notebook, you may want to check out the latest Nobel Prize Winners. While these geniuses may not have been in your social crowd in school, their deep thoughts and future plans might have been the reason. These bright individuals could be well on their way to becoming a Nobel Prize holder. These are the cream of the scientific crop who have been recognized in 2016 by being awarded a Nobel Prize.

Scientific Crop


The 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to David J. Thouless, F. Duncan M. Haldane, and J. Michael Kosterlitz for “theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter.” While lay people may not understand what that means, it is a significant advancement in the area of physics.


For the design and synthesis of molecular machines, the Nobel Prize committee has recognized Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir J. Fraser Stroddart, and Bernard L. Feringa in 2016. Molecular studies are something that is ongoing and which will affect many different areas of chemistry, medicine, and health studies for the future.


Yoshinori Ohsumi has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of mechanisms for autophagy.


The official Nobel Peace Prize for 2016 has been awarded to Juan Manuel Santos for his efforts to bring his country’s more than 50 year long civil war to an end.  The Nobel Peace Prize is the most well-known of the Nobel Prizes awarded each year, and is always given to someone who has made significant strides in achieving or working toward peace.


Many people aren’t aware that there is a Nobel Prize for Literature. Those of us who keep tabs on the people who have reached us over the years were thrilled to find out that Bob Dylan has been awarded this prestigious recognition in 2016. Mr. Dylan was recognized “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” Folk music fans from the 60s are very familiar with Bob Dylan, and it seems that his musical contributions through the years are recognized in today’s multicultural and diverse world as well.

The Nobel Prize committee is made up of a group of people who are able to see and recognize the value of the discoveries and ideas of the people in the scientific community and throughout the world in positions of influence. The decision to honor someone with one of these awards is not taken lightly. The person must have truly done something or discovered something that benefits humankind. The categories for Nobel Prizes cover nearly all aspects of science, humanity, and world matters.

When you look around at your coworkers and contemporaries, do you ever take notice of those who seem to be completely immersed in bound notebooks or studying obscure topics? Those are the people who often find themselves being considered for Nobel Prizes. The people who develop new ideas, discover amazing facts and reactions, and create a better world for the rest of us.

Scientific notebooks

The Importance of Good Laboratory Notebook Practices

Establishing good laboratory notebook practices begins in high school. It is important for science and engineering instructors to require that their students have a proper notebook to record their work in for the class. Some students might question why they need to write in their notebooks and why they cannot just use a laptop or tablet instead. Instructors should be prepared to answer these types of questions by educating their students with the following information.

Laboratory Notebook

  • Recording theories, experiments, and their outcomes in notebooks makes it easy to review later and ensures the student can build upon prior experiences to improve upon and potentially reach the desired outcome. Plus, it is much easier to make notations, sketch drawings, and other such things quickly and easily in paper notebooks.
  • Notebooks allow students to record every vital detail about coursework and related projects. In some courses, students are required to write a final paper at the end of the course that covers the projects they completed throughout the class. Having access to a notebook where everything was recorded makes it easier for students to compose their final papers.
  • Numerous university and college courses will require students to use the appropriate notebooks. Learning how to properly use notebooks while still in high school will prepare students now, so, when they start college, they will already be familiar with using these types of notebooks with their classes.
  • Handwritten notebooks in ink establish a record of the work completed and time period. This can be important later in life should your students pursue a career in science, engineering, medicine, and other such fields. Often, filing for a trademark, patent, or copyright requires being able to prove various details and/or being able to defend oneself against legal actions, should another obtain one of these protected items for a similar item.

Recording Information in the Notebooks

Part of establishing good notebook practices is learning how to record information. First, everything from text entries to drawings and sketches should be written in ink, never pencil. Next, rather than scratching out mistakes and errors, or attempting to cover them up with correction fluid, it is better to leave them alone and simply draw a single line through the entry and record an explanation why it was crossed out.

It is also recommended to record any materials you used and their amounts in your notebook. This way, if you need to repeat an experiment or alter it later, you will have a record of what you already used and how much of it. Further, if you are working in a team, lab notebooks can help show each person’s contributions. For any entries you make, remember to sign your name and date under them to show your contributions to the project.

Laboratory Notebook

There are many different styles of notebooks out there to choose from, and the best ones to use are ones with permanently bound pages available from Scientific Notebook Company. Please feel free to contact us at 800.537.3028 for assistance in selecting the best notebooks for your students, research projects, or coursework.

Rosetta Spacecraft’s 12 Year Mission Comes to an End

After twelve years traveling through the cosmos, the Rosetta spacecraft’s mission came to an end after it crashed into comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Rosetta followed Churyumov-Gerasimenko for more than a decade and six billion kilometers, giving scientists incredible insight into the beginnings of the solar system and the universe we live in along the way.

In honor of the spacecraft’s now completed mission, we’re going to take a look at the history of Rosetta, and what made it so important.

Rosetta spacecraft

A Mission of Firsts

From the beginning, the Rosetta mission was an ambitious one. It was no coincidence that the spacecraft was named after the Rosetta Stone, the tablet that was able to allow researchers to decode Egyptian hieroglyphs upon its discovery. Rosetta’s mission was, like that stone tablet, to unlock long-held mysteries and provide knew knowledge for scientists to base the future of their discipline on. In this case, those mysteries were the origins of the solar system, and Rosetta would help solve them by studying the building blocks of stellar bodies themselves: comets.

The Rosetta mission included a number of scientific firsts, including being the first mission that successfully put a spacecraft into orbit around a comet, and the first mission to land a probe on a comet’s surface. Though Rosetta’s probe, Philae, was not able to report any data after it bounced into a cliff wall upon landing, the fact that the mission was able to get a probe to touch down on a moving comet is an impressive step forward for space exploration.

The End of the Line

Rosetta has been subject to harsh conditions since the beginning of its mission, such as heavy radiation and extreme temperatures. After twelve years of enduring these conditions, it was believed that the spacecraft would not last much longer. Once the comet 67P began to move to the outer solar system, which would take it beyond the solar-powered Rosetta’s range, the scientists leading the project decided that the spacecraft’s mission had come to an end.

Even in its last moments, the Rosetta spacecraft provided its scientist handlers with potentially invaluable information. As the spacecraft proceeded toward the surface of the comet, where it would reach its final resting place, Rosetta’s cameras and instruments recorded and transmitted video and readings on 67P’s side walls and caverns. It is hoped that this data will help scientists back on Earth discover more about how comets are formed, and how they behave when exposed to different interstellar conditions.

According to Daniel Brown, a Nottingham Trent University astronomy expert, the data collected by the Rosetta mission were “as powerful as Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon,”1 and that data collected by Rosetta and Philae have already led to a better understanding about how planets are formed, and the roll comets play in the creation of stellar bodies.

Rosetta comet

Ready to make your own scientific discoveries? Then you’ll need the proper study equipment. Contact Scientific Notebook Company today for all your laboratory notebook needs at 800-537-3028.


Recently Discovered: Earth’s Oldest Ocean Crust Formed 340 Million Years Ago

Dr. Roi Granot, a scientific researcher from BGU (Ben Gurion University of the Negev) in Israel recently discovered the earth’s oldest ocean crust under the Mediterranean Sea. It is estimated the crust is 340 million years old and is a significant discover.

Ocean crust is much thinner than continental crust. It is formed when volcanic tubes under the ocean erupt, spewing forth magma from the mantle. When it hits the cooler ocean waters, it starts to harden. During this process the minerals within the magma become magnetized to the earth’s magnetic poles.

As such, they are essentially bar coded time stamps as to when the crust formed, since scientists can determine the direction the magnetic materials were aligned to, and match that to the earth’s magnetic poles for a particular time period.

Oldest Ocean Crust

Ocean crusts have been studied in great detail throughout the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. One important difference between ocean and continental crusts is that ocean crusts are recycled back into the earth along subduction zones. Since the earth recycles ocean crusts on a continuous basis, the oldest ones are roughly believed to be about 200 million years old or less, depending on the area in the world. It was previous believed the crusts in both oceans were among the oldest on the earth.

What makes Dr. Granot’s research interesting and exciting is that, previously, not much research was conducted in the Mediterranean due to a rather thick layer of sedimentary coverage over the ocean crust in this region. However, thanks to advances in technology and magnetic imaging, Dr. Granot was able to overcome this previous obstacle.

As a result, he was able to capture images of the magnetic striping found within the crust at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. He and his team of researchers covered some 7,000 kilometers of sea floor in the Herodotus Basin region from 2012 to 2014. To capture the alignment of the magnetic stripes within the crust, they used a device called a magnetometer that they towed behind their boat.

340 million-year-old ocean crust

By using the magnetic striping, along with various patterns within the stripes, Dr. Granot was able to date the sea floor to roughly 340 million years ago. He further hypothesizes that the basin is a remaining remnant from the Tethys Ocean, which existed long before today’s oceans. If his hypothesis is correct, it would also be a great scientific discovery, as it would mean that the world’s oceans formed earlier than currently believed.

Additional research is still needed to further substantiate Dr. Granot’s findings. You can be sure that Dr. Granot and his team of researchers recorded their findings in scientific notebooks for future study and research. These official laboratory notebooks are like the ones you can find at Scientific Notebook Company. Contact us today for official research, laboratory, student, and engineering notebooks for your scientific and engineering projects by calling 800.537.3028.