The standard Periodic Table is an iconic data visualization, but it’s not the only way to represent the relationships between elements. This beautiful “ribbon” version was designed by James Hyde in the 1970s.
(more…)Tag: Physics


The CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics is a 2600page tome of random facts and figures, from the speed of sound in various media to the chemical composition of the human body.
My sixthgrade teacher’s copy was one of the most fascinating objects of my childhood, and it still makes me giggle with delight.
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The time it takes to properly roast a whole turkey is proportional to its weight to the ⅔ power. My old mathematical modelling textbook specifically recommends 45 minutes per lb^{2/3} when cooked at 350℉.
For a spherical turkey of uniform thermal conductivity α and density ρ, a precise formula has been derived:
t = \ln\left(\frac{2(T_h  T_0)}{T_h  T_f}\right) \frac{1}{\pi^2\alpha} \left(\frac{3}{4\pi\rho}\right)^{2/3} m^{2/3}
where the oven is set at T_{h} and the center of the turkey needs to reach a temperature of T_{f} from T_{0}.
The more general ⅔ power law does not depend on unrealistic assumptions about the turkey’s shape or thermodynamic properties; it can be derived from pure dimensional analysis and applied to turkeyshaped meatbased objects by fitting a curve to specific cook times used by chefs.