When it rains these days, does it pour?

For his undergraduate thesis project, senior Thomas Muschninski working with professor of physics Jonathan Katz published an article in Nature Climate Change showing that the signature of an increase in storminess could be extracted from precipitation data for the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. The scientists suspect the same signature lies hidden under naturally stormier weather at other locations as well.

Cornstarch might have ended the Gulf spill agony sooner

Last year’s attempt to kill the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico by pouring heavy mud down the well bore may have been defeated by an instability that led to turbulent mixing of the oil and the mud. Jonathan Katz, PhD, professor of physics at Washington University in St. Louis, had suggested a simple solution to the problem: cornstarch. Experiments described in an article published recently in Physical Review Letters suggest his solution might have worked.