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Alexander von Humboldt, the inventor of nature

The Shakespeare of science, comparable in fame to Napoleon Bonaparte, inspiration of Charles Darwin, the father of modern ecological thinking: Alexander von Humboldt is considered by many to be a lost hero of science, and today, almost 250 years since…

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Basilicata geosites

What is a geosite? There are landscapes that looking at them seem to have been there forever, set in the surrounding nature like pearls of rare beauty. Yet these wonderful corners of the world have changed with the passing of…

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At the origin of rocks: the secrets of paleomagnetism

Dear rock, tell me how your magnetic crystals are oriented and I'll tell you when, under what conditions and in what part of the world you were formed. It's not magic, but a subject known to geologists as paleomagnetism. Every…

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Brief history of geothermal energy

It accounts for 25% of the energy needs of Tuscany, 1.3% of national demand and it is estimated that in 2050 it could meet 3% of the electricity demand of the entire planet. And yet we can say that currently…

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2015: a year of soils

2015 was proclaimed "International Year of Soils" by the General Assembly of the United Nations, following a proposal made by the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) and accepted by the UN during the 68th United Nations General Assembly held on…

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Magnets and superconductors

The phenomenon of magnetism Which one of us has not played at attracting small pieces of iron with a magnet? A magnet is a material that can attract iron and other metals, like cobalt and nickel. The magnetic properties of…

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Van Allen belts

The spectacular phenomenon of polar auroras The Van Allen belts are responsible for polar auroras, one of the most fascinating phenomena that we can see on the Earth. Polar auroras consist of coloured belts that stretch across the sky giving…

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Small steps, great footprints

Which one takes up more space, an apple or a steak? Have you ever wondered how much space is taken up by an apple or a steak? Quite easy: an apple occupies about 0.6 sq. m while a steak occupies…

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Landslides

Water and gravity in action Very punctually, with the arrival of the spring and autumn precipitations, the topic of landslides in our country returns. Landslides are a destructive phenomenon that cause damage to man made structures, often causing victims among…

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