Posted September 27, 2010
To get a sense of what parts of the planet are seismically active, check out this animation of global earthquake activity from 2009:
The "ring of fire" around the Pacific Ocean shows up clearly, and the relative quiet of the continental United States is also evident from this video. The largest earthquake of 2009, the 8.1-magnitude Samoa quake occurred on September 29, but the Haiti quake does not appear, as it occurred January 10, 2010.
Posted September 20, 2010
In honor of September as the ninth month, let's take a look at element number 9 on the periodic table: fluorine.
Fluorine is famously reactive, and potentially dangerous, but it also is a great example of the organization of the periodic table. Elements in the second to last column are missing one electron in their outermost shell, and they're always looking to react with something that can donate just one more electron.
Jacob Clark Blickenstaff is Assistant Professor of Physics and Assistant Director of the Center for Science and Mathematics Education at the University of Southern Mississippi.