Exact sciences

We talk about mobility and index theory with Dr. Piotr Nowak, who received a Starting Grant from the European Research Council for a project entitled “Rigidity of groups and higher index theory.”

We talk to Igor Zubrycki, doctoral student at the Faculty of Robotics at the Institute of Automation at the Łódź University of Technology and winner of this year’s INTER competition of the Foundation for Polish Science, about robots supporting children on the autism spectrum disorder (ASD), artificial intelligence and dangers posed by machines.

Water and fire are thought of as extreme opposites. So what does water have in common with the great fireballs known as stars? Data from the Herschel Space Observatory indicate that young stars are where water molecules are formed.

Mapping storm activity across the globe at time scales ranging from minutes to years is an important element of measuring and forecasting climate change. The WERA system is being used to verify models of the influence of various types of solar activity on the lower layers of the ionosphere. We hope that one day it can also be used on Mars.

No one could have expected that on the first day that LIGO detectors were running, scientists would register signals of gravitational waves. We discuss the watershed discovery confirming the general theory of relativity with Dr. Andrzej Królak from the PAS Institute of Mathematics and Dr. Michał Bejger from the PAS Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Centre, both members of the Virgo-POLGRAW group.

In the world of Darwinian rivalry, where the fittest individuals take advantage of others, explaining acts of altruism poses one of the most fundamental problems in evolutionary biology. In a previous issue of Academia magazine (4/2015), Dr. Kinga Wysieńska-Di Carlo and Dr. Zbigniew Karpiński explored this issue from the perspective of sociologists; here it is viewed through the prism of mathematics.

Almost all matter in our Universe exists in the form of plasma. Although it’s not easy to generate on Earth, it has a vast range of applications in medicine, biotechnology, farming and industry.

In the International Year of Light, Dr. Bogdan Wszołek opened a private observatory in Rzepiennik Biskupi. He writes for us about how he fulfilled his dream and the future he’s planned.

Looking for a needle in a haystack? That’s a piece of cake in comparison with scouring through thousands of images packed with hundreds of millions of stars, trying to spot a few hundred unique objects which very much resemble stars but are actually quite a different type of object. But let’s start from the beginning: why are we searching for quasars by looking at the Magellanic Clouds in the first place?

We talk to Dr. Ewelina Ciecierska, winner of the Maria Skłodowska-Curie award, about prize-winning nanofillers, the value of working in a group, and the presence of women in a traditionally male-dominated world

According to the most recent report from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, one in eighteen patients in European hospitals has experienced at least one illness as a result of infection while receiving treatment. That’s a total of 3.2 million of people per year. The pathogens are usually bacteria picked up from surgical tools and hospital equipment. At the PAS Institute of Physical Chemistry, we have devised a method of functionalizing surfaces with an antibacterial coating which is harmless to human cells

The heaviest element known today has the atomic number of 118. Can still heavier atomic nuclei exist? Where do the boundaries of the periodic table of elements lie?

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