Category Archives: ScotBlogs Contributed

A Physicist in Austria

As mentioned in my previous post, I’ve just recently returned from a research trip to Vienna, Austria.  I was there for two and a half weeks, and fortunately, I had plenty of time to see some sights!  I first visited … Continue reading
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Wooster Physics in Vienna, Austria!

After several years of being department chair, I am very much enjoying being on research leave this year.  A research leave is an opportunity for Wooster faculty to take a semester or a year just to focus on our research, without … Continue reading
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Wooster’s Fossils of the Week: Modern vermetid snails, a slipper shell, and an oyster

Not actually fossils this week, but cool nonetheless. This complex specimen is in our Invertebrate Paleontology teaching collection with no label giving its original location. In the foreground is the underside of a slipper shell gastropod identified as Crepidula fornicata. … Continue reading
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How thick was the ice?

AMHERST, MA – Our Keck project studying the construction of a glaciovolcanic ridge in southwest Iceland is in full swing and our students are hard at work on their research. You may remember that we traveled to Iceland this summer to … Continue reading
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Wooster’s Fossils of the Week: Demosponge borings in a muricid gastropod from Florida

Technically these are “subfossils” since this appears to be an old shell still within the Holocene, although it is possibly eroded out of Pleistocene sediments and then redeposited on a Florida beach. It is a muricid snail eroded enough to … Continue reading
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Wooster’s Fossil of the Week: A naticid gastropod from the Pliocene of southern California

This week’s fossil comes from our teaching collection. It’s label appears to be from the late 19th Century. It is a naticid gastropod (“moon snail“) listed as Polinices galianor. That name, which I can only find in two lists and … Continue reading
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Alex Melchert heads home to Wisconsin tomorrow

Here’s the latest update sent to campus this evening from Dean of Students Scott Brown:  Dear Wooster Family: I write with the great news that Alex is well enough to travel back to Wisconsin tomorrow, where he will continue his … Continue reading
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Wooster’s Pseudofossils of the Week: Artifacts in thin-sections of Ordovician limestones from southeastern Minnesota

It is always exciting to a geologist when thin-sections of curious rocks are completed and ready for view. A thin-section is a wafer of rock (30 microns thick) glues to a glass slide and examined by transmitted light through a … Continue reading
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Wooster’s Fossil of the Week: Spiriferinid brachiopod from the Lower Carboniferous of Ohio

Sometimes I choose a Fossil of the Week from our Invertebrate Paleontology teaching collection because students have responded to it in some way. This week’s fossil brachiopod has confused my students a bit because it is an internal mold (unusual … Continue reading
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Raptor Interplanetary Transport Engine

Why has SpaceX chosen methane to fuel its Raptor rocket engine? Robert Goddard’s first rockets used liquid oxygen O2 or LOX and gasoline. The Saturn V moon rocket first stage used LOX and refined kerosene. The Saturn V second stage used … Continue reading
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