Science Caturday: Feline scientists in training

Hi folks — Greg Gbur aka “Dr. SkySkull” here!  Michele couldn’t be here for Science Caturday this week and she asked me to fill in.  My wife and I have a lot of cats at home, who are of course all scientists in training, so I thought I’d share a few of their research interests.

First up is Rascal, one of our youngest cats at about 3 years old.  He recently showed interest in a “simple electric train” that you can built with magnets, a battery, and coiled copper wire.  A video demonstration of this effect has been making the rounds recently, and I just wrote a blog post explaining the physics of it.

"Iz magneto-electric mouse!!??"
“Iz magneto-electric mouse!!??”

Next up is Fluff, who is about the same age as Rascal but is not related.  We went on a “kitten-adopting frenzy” around that time!  Fluff has shown great interest in magnetic levitation, though in the end of his research he decided that he hates it.  And terra-cotta warriors.

These little platforms are fun to play with and can be ordered online.  They use time-varying magnetic fields to stably levitate the platform, in a manner similar to that of maglev trains.

Our cat Sophie has followed in my career path somewhat!  I started my physics career studying fundamental particle physics, and eventually decided that I preferred less fundamental but still interesting optical science.  Sophie started out ruminating over the implications of string theory…

"What if the whole universe is made of stringzzzz...zzz..."
“What if the whole universe is made of stringzzzz…zzz…”

…but, like me, grew fascinated by pretty lights!  Christmas trees tend to do that to cats.

"My Dogz... it's full of starz!"
“My Dogz… it’s full of starz!”

I could go on, but I think you can see the point! Have a happy holiday season, everyone!

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