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HYDRAULIC FRACTURING or FRACKING is the technique used to release natural gases (shale, tight, coal seam), petroleum or other substances.
A distinction can be made between low-volume hydraulic fracturing used to stimulate high-permeability reservoirs, which may consume typically 20,000 to 80,000 US gallons (76,000 to 300,000 l; 17,000 to 67,000 imp gal) of fluid per well, with high-volume hydraulic fracturing, used in the completion of tight gas and shale gas wells; high-volume hydraulic fracturing can use as much as 2 to 3 million US gallons (7.6 to 11 Ml) of fluid per well.This latter practice has come under scrutiny internationally, with some countries suspending or even banning it. The first use of hydraulic fracturing was in 1947, though the current fracking technique was first used in the late 1990s in the Barnett Shale in Texas.
Detractors point to potential environmental impacts, including contamination of ground water, risks to air quality, the migration of gases and hydraulic fracturing chemicals to the surface, surface contamination from spills and flowback and the health effects of these. State and federal regulatory agencies and the industry are working to address these concerns. The EPA is conducting a study, set to be released for peer review at the end of 2012, of hydraulic fracturing’s impact on drinking water and ground water resources.
Click here to sign the petition to ban fracking in California.
Google commemorates the German physicist Heinrich Rudolf Hertz.
Why is it always better to look for shooting stars just before dawn? This shows a simulation of the Earth going on its orbit around the Sun, and encountering the debris from a comet that has passed by. This is precisely what the Earth has been doing for the past couple of days, creating the Perseid meteor shower. The A.M. half of the Earth is at the front of the orbit, and like a car’s front wind shield it picks up a lot of the debris. Have a look out for meteors again tonight! [code] [more]
Applying a tiny electrical current to the brain could make you better at learning maths, according to Oxford University scientists.
They found that targeting a part of the brain called the parietal lobe improved the ability of volunteers to solve numerical problems.
They hope the discovery could help people with dyscalculia, who may struggle with numbers.
Another expert said effects on other brain functions would need checking.
The findings are reported in the journal Current Biology.
Some studies have suggested that up to one in five people have trouble with maths, affecting not just their ability to complete problems but also to manage everyday activities such as telling the time and managing money.
Representation of a time zone/axial tilt
As part of the Discover Primary Science programme, Discover Science & Engineering (DSE) has announced that 493 primary schools around Ireland have received an award of science and maths excellence.
The award acknowledges both primary school students and teachers who have demonstrated both good knowledge and clever application of science and maths in the classroom within the curriculum.
The programme is in its sixth year and has more than 3,000 participating schools with more than 3,700 teachers registered.
Physics and size
We at Clear Science initially compared atoms to tiny solar systems. Here we see where that comparison is incorrect.
The laws of physics are slightly different depending on how big something is. The solar system and our everyday world have rules called Classical Mechanics. (And the Theory of Relativity is a part of Classical Mechanics that deals with very massive or fast things, like planets and stars.)
Atoms and the particles that comprise them are ruled by something called Quantum Mechanics.
When physicists talk about a “Theory of Everything,” they mean slightly different equations that work out at all sizes: a unification of Classical and Quantum Mechanics.