A Particle Full of Charm

The Xicc++ particle will become a tool to observe the strong force in another light.

By Shelby Traynor

Collage by Alex Hanson using an image representing the new particle observed by LHCb, containing two charm quarks and one up quark. (Image credit: Daniel Dominguez/CERN)

Almost two-hundred metres beneath the France-Switzerland border, physicists at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider have observed a new particle. A charming particle. They’ve been on the look-out for him for some time, and now they’ve got him— Xicc++.  

The name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but this guy is more than meets the eye. He’s heavy. He’s charming. He’s a subatomic particle, and he’s a real catch. CERN’s particle smasher— based near Geneva, Switzerland— spotted the fellow during the Large Hadron Collider beauty experiment, or the LHCb experiment for short.

Xicc++ is the elusive brother of the proton, neutron, and of a number of other composite subatomic particles. These particles are all a part of the same family, because they’re all made up of three quarks. What are quarks, you ask? Well, let’s dive in. Continue reading “A Particle Full of Charm”

Instagram Photo Diary: Museum of Science

Documenting a day at the Museum of Science, with a special spotlight on the POPnology exhibit.

Photos and text by Alex Hanson

My mom and I took a trip to the Museum of Science in Boston yesterday, and had a total blast interacting with the exhibits and taking photos along the way. Below, find my Instagram photo diary of the trip. 

Continue reading “Instagram Photo Diary: Museum of Science”

“We Are All Matter, and We All Matter”

In class last week, Melody pointed out her love of a sentence on the final page of the paper.

By Alex Hanson

This semester I have been granted the absolute highest honor of taking a class with my friend and HERpothesis collaborator Melody Xu. Our class focuses on feminist science studies,  science and technology studies, and tinkering in technoscience. Last week, we read a paper called “Animal Performances: An Exploration of Intersections between Feminist Science Studies and Studies of Human/Animal Relationships,” by Lynda BirkeMette Bryld, and Nina Lykke. The title is a bit intimidating, and the text offers theoretical concepts that required me to reread several paragraphs, but it is overall a really interesting look at the way feminist science studies can apply to human’s relationship and perception of animals. (If you’re interested, you can find the paper here!)

In class last week, Melody pointed out her love of a sentence on the final page of the paper: “We are all matter, and we all matter.” In the context of the paper, it is addressing each individual’s ability to blur the separation between humans and animals. On it’s own, I think this quote is beautiful because it connects humans to the rest of the universe as “matter”— that inanimate “stuff” that makes up everything but also feels very separate from us as human individuals— and addresses the individual power we hold because we are made up of that matter. Since Melody brought it up in class, I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. I made this image of the quote in order to do its some justice with bright colors and a bold font.

Saran Toure On Interning At The American Museum of Natural History

“I get to inspire them to think deeper and encourage them to deepen their interests. Those people are the reason I show up at the museum every weekend.”

Interview by Alex Hanson
Photo: Saran working at the museum. Courtesy of Saran Toure.
One of my favorite place in New York City is the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH). Naturally, I find myself there often, and on one of my most recent visits I met Saran Toure, a high school student and Saltz Intern at AMNH. Saran was posted at the upper level of the Hall of Ocean Life, at a cart fitted with tanks of plankton, dishes, and magnifying glasses. She was answering questions from museum visitors as well as facilitating plankton observation and dishing out amazing facts about the tiny sea creatures, including the fact that jellyfish are a type of plankton! I was struck by Saran’s impressive ability to share her knowledge in a fun and engaging way, so I caught up with her in an email interview in December to ask her about her amazing internship and her goals for the future.

Continue reading “Saran Toure On Interning At The American Museum of Natural History”

One Year of HERpothesis

Celebrating our contributors!

Featured image by Charlotte Southall

Hey all!

Today marks one year since HERpothesis launched as an online publication. It’s been an absolute honor to work with the women who have contributed their writing and art to the site. They see the world in so many colors and dimensions intersecting at a million points. Highlighting these intersections, fascinations, and illuminations with them, in their words, and with their art, is the most fun project I could ask for. It brings me such joy to work with these amazing ladies— their ages range from early teens to early twenties, their interests bridge STEM and the arts, and they’re tackling the big questions with curiosity and humor. I want to give them a big thank you for making HERpothesis what it is, and to thank all their friends, family, and fans for reading, sharing, and discussing their work.

Below, I want to give a shout out to every lady who has contributed to HERpothesis in the past year.  Continue reading “One Year of HERpothesis”

Catching Up With Sci Chic

An interview with Sci Chic founder Erin Winick.

Interview by Alex Hanson

Feature Image: Women sporting Sci Chic jewelry, provided by Erin Winick

Back in February, mechanical engineering student Erin Winick introduced HERpothesis to the fashionable side of science when she shared the story behind Sci Chic, her jewelry line inspired by STEM. Now, Sci Chic is a little more than a year old and has grown exponentially in both reach and the products offered. Erin has done an amazing job creating a business, a brand, and bringing STEM to the masses through Sci Chic. I caught up with her to ask about Sci Chic’s development and her goals for the future.

Alex: You last wrote about Sci Chic for HERpothesis in February. How has Sci Chic developed, as a creative pursuit, since then?

Erin: We have grown and branched out a lot! We have really worked to build a community around Sci Chic and bring in women in STEM collaborators, include more areas of science, and sell in more places than just our website. We have included more earth science and math jewelry, as examples.

How have your goals changed since you started Sci Chic?

We have moved on from just trying to prove our idea to trying to reach a larger audience! We have products we have gotten awesome feedback on, know how to 3D print our products, and are set up to grow. Now we are working on building more videos, blogs, educational materials and ways for people to experience Sci Chic. We want to increase the prominence of science inspired fashion and spark every day conversations about science. Continue reading “Catching Up With Sci Chic”

Out of This World

Spacey illustrations by Sonja Katanic.

Illustrations and Captions by Sonja Katanic

Couch Surfing

When you finally feel at home somewhere, your new habitat, and it’s just in time for you leave. The feeling of floating there, suspended in this state, this longing to stay forever is unbearable.

day-13

Space Girl

This is a piece of art I did that is completely different to any self-portraits I’ve ever done. It is not who I am, nor who I will be. It is my ideal, who I wish I could be. Unshackled of any earthly responsibilities, the epitome of calmness and serenity, and most importantly, anxiety-free. She is a character I think about a lot, and one I even created a constellation in the sky for.

space-girl-web-size.jpg

Find more of Sonja’s art on her Instagram page @spicy_astro_babe.

HERpothesis Coloring Pages

Download your own HERpothesis coloring pages!

Coloring is awesome: it’s creative, fun, colorful, and easy to turn into a social activity. All you need is a bucket of crayons and a crew of people ready to color. This is why HERpothesis paired up with Cookie and Coloring Club at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized to for a HERpothesis coloring event! We turned a few illustrations from the HERpothesis site into coloring pages and let the fine people of Cookies and Coloring make them their own. Check out some photos from the event below! Keep scrolling to find the coloring pages we used at the event, so you can create your own HERpothesis art. Send a picture of your creation to herpothesis@gmail.com so we can share your coloring masterpiece on our social media.

Happy coloring!

Much love,

Alex Hanson

Editor-in-Chief  Continue reading “HERpothesis Coloring Pages”

Take-Home Museum Exhibit Celebrates Female Sci-Fi Writers

Catalysts, Explorers, and Secret Keepers: Women in Science Fiction aims to immerse the reader in a world of science lore that was built by women.

By Julia Arciga

Illustration: “Scholars’ Tower” by Julie Dillon (2014), courtesy of Catalysts, Explorers & Secret Keepers: Women of SF Kickstarter page

From Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to her more contemporary counterparts, women have always had a full, strong voice in the written science-fiction realm. Now, The Museum of Science Fiction’s Journal of Science Fiction is creating a full anthology celebrating women in sci-fi storytelling.

Catalysts, Explorers, and Secret Keepers: Women in Science Fiction is a “take-home exhibit” from the museum that aims to immerse the reader in a world of science lore that was built by women.

“Ultimately we want to highlight and underscore [the role of women in sci-fi] with this project,” said Monica Louzon, managing editor for the Journal of Science Fiction. “I see a blog post about the issue here and there, and some women have won Hugos this year and that brought a lot of attention to women in sci-fi— but women writing science fiction is nothing new.” Continue reading “Take-Home Museum Exhibit Celebrates Female Sci-Fi Writers”

Cyborgs and Technofeminism: The World of He, She, and It

This is far from just a simple cybernetic love story.

By Melody Xu

Collage by Alex Hanson, using the cover art from He, She, and It

The year is 2059. After the Two Week War of 2017 which nearly destroyed human civilization as we know it, the world is now run by twenty-seven enterprises — commonly referred to as the multis — which have formed their own social hierarchies and standards of living. However, most of the population lives in the barren and nearly destroyed world (the glop) that exists outside of the multis’ enclave, a place that is overrun by poverty and crime. Despite the huge gap between the rich and the poor, technology has never been more advanced. People in this new world communicate by plugging themselves into machines and projecting themselves into Cyberspace. This is the world of He, She, and It.

In this 1991 cyberpunk novel by Marge Piercy, the story starts with artificial intelligence expert Shira, who lives in one of these multis, Yakamura-Stichen (Y-S), losing custody of her son Ari to her ex-husband in an emotional custody battle. Afterwards, she decides to live the heavily controlled confines of Y-S in order to return to her hometown of Tikva (which means hope in Hebrew). Tikva is one of the few last “free towns” left in the world, remaining unallied with any of the twenty-seven corporations. However, in Piercy’s future world, where information is even more precious than gold, Tikva has been under the attack of “information pirates”, dangerous computer programmers set on unlocking the secrets of the town’s mainframe. The cyborg Yod was illegally created for the single reason of combating these attacks. However, before Yod can protect the city to his full capacity, the cyborg must be able to pass as a human and Shira is tasked to help it with its socialization. During their time together, they eventually fall into a romantic relationship and become allies in both fighting to protect Tikva and for custody of Avi again. Continue reading “Cyborgs and Technofeminism: The World of He, She, and It”