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from Science News
Dmitry Khavinson and Genevra Neumann didn't know anything about astrophysics. They were just doing mathematics, like they always do, following their curiosity. In 2004, they posted a new result, an extension of the fundamental theorem of algebra, on MathSciNet, a preprint server.
Five days later, they received an e-mail. Congratulations, it said. You just proved Sun Hong Rhie's conjecture on gravitational lensing.
Gravitational what? Khavinson, of the University of South Florida in Tampa, and Neumann, of the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, had never heard of it. So they started a crash course in gravitational lensing.
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PODCASTS: From Balloons to Space Stations: Studying Cosmic Rays
Cosmic rays have mysterious qualities about them that scientists continue to research in order to better understand their origins and composition. Dr. Eun-Suk Seo, a professor of physics at the University of Maryland, and her colleagues, fly enormous balloons as large as a football stadium and a volume of 40-million-cubic feet for extended periods over Antarctica to study particles coming from cosmic rays before they break up in the atmosphere.
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