Martian water in Carbondale, Illinois.

Martian water in Carbondale, Illinois.

McEwen et al.’s Science paper on Martian water yesterday is exciting stuff! Especially for us, because our models can simulate fluvial geomorphology on Mars.  The plastic media we use is particularly good at forming sapping channels, which are...

A landmark paper in physical modeling.

A landmark paper in physical modeling.

A groundbreaking physical modeling study was published this week in PNAS (subscription required). NSF has a press release here. Christian Braudrick and others at EPS-Berkeley used a 17m flume filled with a mix of lithic and plastic particles to achieve what they call...

Approaching the elegance of an insect.

Approaching the elegance of an insect.

The NY Times published an article on insect aerodynamics last week (and also a beautiful photo series featuring recent science photos). I’ve been immersed in micro-hydraulics for a few weeks now. Our Emriver models work in this realm of centimeter-deep flows and...

Thermoplastic sedimentology.

Thermoplastic sedimentology.

I’m pretty sure our work with plastic media will never end. I’ll be 90 years old and still messing with the vagaries of color, cost, shape, density, and size. Though we’ve talked to a lot of sedimentologists, it just now occurred to me that...

Media research with a microscope.

Media research with a microscope.

Once again we’re doing R&D on plastic media, this time analyzing color for the Emriver Em2 models. This one is tricky because the stuff is post-industrial recycled. We have to keep the cost down, and can’t pick the colors exactly, but must deal with...