Vivien Thomas: Surgical Pioneer
One of the most beloved parts of The Franklin Institute is The Giant Heart. While many visitors learn a lot about the heart from this exhibit, few probably know about Vivien Thomas, the Black scientist who developed many techniques for heart surgery, as well as taught future cardiac surgeons.
Benjamin Franklin's United States Flag
When visitors enter Jordan Lobby at The Franklin Institute, they see four flags: the United States flag, the state flag of Pennsylvania, the flag of the City of Philadelphia, and a flag with 13 8-pointed stars and red, white, and blue stripes – the Franklin flag.
Science of Emotions: Excitement
I love a good roller coaster, and I rode a great one this weekend! So, it’s fresh in my mind as to why we often use roller coasters as one of the best examples to define excitement in everyday life. I could feel my palms getting sweaty in anticipation of the unknown. My heartbeat started to race as I got nervous going up the first steep climb. And then there was the exhilaration of feeling like flying as we plunged and soared along the track.
Legodelphia: A Conversation with the Artist
Since 2006, The Franklin Institute has been the home for Legodelphia: a mini Philly, by local artist, Austin Mosby. Mosby graciously lent his sculpture to the Institute through our Artifact Loan Program, so that visitors may see a new perspective of our beloved city. I was able to chat with Austin about his process behind creating Legodelphia.
Women Known as 'Computers'
You've likely heard of the 'women computers' working in the space program in the early to mid-1900s through the film Hidden Figures. but did you know that there were 'computers' in other fields?
The Franklin Institute Artifact Loan Program
Curatorial Staff with Lightning Rods on loan from Josh Sapan (IC2012-001)
Science of Emotions: Understanding Anger
Can Anger Be a Good Thing?
Summer’s Best Meteors – The Perseids, 2022!
The summer’s premiere astronomical event, the Perseid meteor shower, runs from late July through late August, peaking around mid-August. Meteors are sand-grained-sized particles of space rock typically “melted” out of the icy nucleus of a comet. The melting occurs when the comet passes near the sun during its orbit around the solar system. The meteors are usually distributed along the orbital path of the comet and fall into the Earth’s atmosphere when we pass through the comet’s path. The comet associated with the Perseids is Comet Swift-Tuttle, first identified in 1862.
Who Created Time Zones?
Throughout history, inventors have sought ways to solve problems and make people’s lives better. In the video series Ingenious, hosts Trace Dominguez and Susannah Carroll discuss how innovations build on previous inventions to create things that we all live with and use every day. Often, these innovations improve upon what came before. Other times, they remedy issues that new inventions create. One such invention was time zones.
3D Printing Assistive Technology
An image of a palm utensil holder. The device assists people that have a hard time gripping utensils to eat. It can also potentially be used on a person’s foot if they do not have or have use of their hands.
What is the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)?
The world has seen the first breathtaking images from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST),offering possibilities for new discoveries that will help to further explain the complexities of the universe.
How to Measure a Supermoon
If you’re looking to up your dose of lunar light, tonight’s the night to get a full charge. This month’s full moon occurs July 13 at 2:38p ET. More importantly, it occurs on the day of this year’s ultimate Supermoon. Of all the monthly lunar perigees this year, the July 13 perigee is the closest of the whole year. I guess we can call it a super Supermoon!
How to Read the First James Webb Space Telescope Image
Image source: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI
This first image from James Webb Space Telescope was released July 11. The Webb science and engineering team was recognized for extraordinary work but not much was said about the image itself, except that it shows some of the oldest light ever seen by humans. Let’s go further toward understanding what the image actually shows. Here’s how to interpret this first JWST ultra-deep field image:
What we see at first glance are bright stars, some small spiral galaxies, and lots of smaller blobs ranging in color from tan to red.
An Update on the Artemis 1 Mission to the Moon
NASA’s next expeditions to the Moon took a step closer to reality when the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket passed its final dress rehearsal tests in late June.
The Story Behind the Telephone
In our new video series, Ingenious, Susannah Carroll and Trace Dominguez look at the history of many inventions that have changed our world – including the telephone. Most people know Alexander Graham Bell as the inventor of the telephone, but there is so much more to that story.
Curious About Love?
As we launch the second season of The Franklin Institute’s podcast, So Curious, we’re excited to take you on a journey through the science of love, sex, and relationships.
The Science of Stress
Imagine something that’s scary. Exhausting. Maybe overwhelming. Or even incredibly exciting. Any of those might immediately spark a feeling for you about what it means to be “stressed out.” From a scientific perspective, however, stress is a complicated thing. In general, scientists think of stress as your body’s response to being pushed out of balance. But what causes stress, how your body responds to stress, and the long-term impacts of stress all involve many factors: physiological, behavioral, emotional, and cognitive.
3D Printing in Healthcare
Written in partnership with The Jefferson Health Design Lab.
3D printing has become a hot topic over the last two years as rapid manufacturing has addressed some of the supply shortages experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there is more room for 3D printing in healthcare beyond masks, face shields, and ventilator parts.
Ready? Set? Go for the Gold!
As we marvel at the incredible athletes at the Winter Olympics, it’s always fascinating to look at the science and technology behind their performances. For me, my interest in the techniques of winter sports ironically started with a computer game—the Winter Games sports simulation that I played as a kid (back in the 1980s on my family’s Apple IIe computer!).
Happy Winter Solstice!
For this second week of December, the northern half of the planet experiences its earliest sunsets for the year. We’re used to the Winter Solstice - December 21 - being thought of as the “shortest day of the year” but it’s just one of a trio of days that work together to set the astronomical framework for the winter season.
Learning About the Omicron Variant
The World Health Organization declared the omicron variant of the coronavirus to be a “variant of concern” last week. Since then, it seems like the only thing we know is that there’s a lot we don’t know! So let’s talk about all the science that’s going on right now that will help answer some of these questions.
What is the Perseid Meteor Shower?
Meteors are sand-grained-sized particles typically “melted” out of the icy nucleus of a comet as it passes near the sun during its orbit around the solar system. The meteors are usually distributed along the orbital path of the comet and fall into the Earth’s atmosphere when the Earth passes through the comet’s path. The comet associated with the Perseids is Comet Swift-Tuttle, first identified in 1862. It has an orbital period of about 120 years and was last seen in 1995.
How to See the June 10 Ring Solar Eclipse
Don’t miss the unusual "ring" solar eclipse, this Thursday morning, June 10. Solar eclipses occur when the moon lines up directly between the Earth and the Sun. For Thursday’s eclipse, the moon is a bit farther from the Earth, appears a bit smaller than usual, and doesn’t completely cover the sun. the result? A ring of sunlight around the moon’s silhouette! The full ring eclipse is visible across northeastern Canada and the Arctic regions. For viewers elsewhere, it’s a partial eclipse.