college of letters and science

Welcome to Did You Know?

October 30, 2018

Welcome to Did You Know?, the UC Davis College of Letters and Science research blog. Our posts cover interesting people, projects and events within the college. This is a team blog published by the college's professional writers in marketing and communications, with occasional guest posts from faculty and students.  

Feel free to contact us with story ideas or comments at lettersandscience@ucdavis.edu.

Exploring a Strange Underwater World

December 11, 2018
Robert Zierenberg, professor emeritus in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, has studied seafloor vents since the first ones were discovered in the eastern Pacific Ocean in 1977.

Mantle Neon Illuminates Earth’s Formation

December 05, 2018
The Earth formed relatively quickly from the cloud of dust and gas around the sun, trapping water and gases in the planet’s mantle, according to research published Dec. 5 in the journal Nature. Apart from settling Earth’s origins, the work could help in identifying extrasolar systems that could support habitable planets. 

Why we need #ClimateFriday

December 04, 2018
Concerned that recent climate reports might not receive the public attention they deserved, scientists began using the #ClimateFriday hashtag on Twitter to highlight findings of the reports.

First Jellyfish Genome Reveals Ancient Beginnings of Complex Body Plan

December 03, 2018
Jellyfish undergo an amazing metamorphosis, from tiny polyps growing on the seafloor to swimming medusae with stinging tentacles. The first in-depth look at the genome of a jellyfish — the moon jelly Aurelia aurita — reveals the origins of this successful survival strategy.

Thermal Transistor Handles Heat at the Nanoscale

November 29, 2018

You’ve felt the heat before — the smartphone that warms while running a navigation app or the laptop that gets too hot for your lap.

The heat produced by electronic devices does more than annoy users. Heat-induced voids and cracking can cause chips and circuits to fail.

Schematic of the experimental thermal transistor. A slice of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) sits on a piece of silicon dioxide, bathed in a solution of lithium ions. (Sood et al, Nature Communications)

Physics Alum Hunting for Neutrinos

November 27, 2018
Julie He (B.S., physics, ’16) wanted to help people — maybe by being a doctor — but discovered instead how to make a difference through physics. She is now building a science career that will fulfill her goal of ensuring a healthy world.

Cool Class: Volcanic Adventure

It’s 3 a.m. and a group of UC Davis students are beginning an hours-long trek across barren lava fields under a sky crowded with stars. The sunrise trek is part of Geology 138, a class that vividly brings to life the basics of volcanology — how a volcano works and what are the signs of unrest.