Worksheet of the Week

Worksheet of the Week

Scientists Find Key to Short Gamma Ray Bursts

Short gamma ray bursts that occur in our solar system are some of the brightest explosions to be observed by scientists. These explosions occur when the life of an ultra dense neutron star is ended by a catastrophic collapse to a black hole. The result of these short gamma ray bursts releases as much energy in one second as our entire galaxy does in a year. Scientists have long speculated that enormous magnetic field strengths are the key ingredient to explaining these powerful emissions, but had not been able to recreate such forces.


At the Albert Einstein Institute (AEI), scientists set out to determine how these magnetic fields—one hundred million billion times stronger than Earth’s magnetic field—could be generated from neutron stars that have a much lower magnetic field strength. These scientists were able to explain this phenomenon by finding rotating plasma layers in these magnetic fields that were continuously rubbing together. This process is called magnetorotational instability and causes magnetic fields to become extremely amplified. Until now, scientists had not been able to recreate this phenomenon without the present numerical simulations.

Scientists at AEI simulated a hypermassive neutron star with an ordered magnetic field that was then subsequently made more complex as the star continued rotating. Once it becomes dynamically unstable, it eventually collapses to a black hole. These simulations have shown and confirmed the presence of magnetorotational instability and its effect on the rapid amplification of these stars magnetic fields.

The results of these findings have a two-fold effect. First off, it shows the development of the magnetorotational instability in the framework of Einstein’s theory of general relativity. Secondly, and most importantly, it has a profound astrophysical impact because it proves that ultra strong magnetic fields could be the key ingredient in understand the massive energy release of these short gamma ray bursts.


Submissions Coming Soon!

How many of you Blasters have read the Math Blaster Times and longed to be an intergalactic reporter? Well, that opportunity is on its way as you will soon be able to submit your own content! Share epic tales of your quests throughout the galaxy. Tell hilarious jokes or mind-boggling riddles that entertain your friends. Post images of amazing discoveries or show off your Pod to your fellow Blasters. Stay tuned for updates on this awesome, new feature and jump at the chance to have your voice heard and even be featured in the Math Blaster Times.

Worksheet of the Week


Breaking News: School of Dragons is Now Open!

Your kids are invited to join Hiccup, Toothless and the gang from DreamWorks Animation’s hit film, “How to Train Your Dragon,” in an all new world where curiosity and science lead would-be dragon trainers down the road to unbelievable discoveries. There is no better time than now to have your little learners get their horned helmets on to transform into a Viking villager on the Isle of Berk!

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Greeted by a few new characters and familiar faces, students at School of Dragons will be able to ride atop the back of their first winged dragon as they fly into the secluded school grounds. There, they will meet with Viking leaders and some of the new teaching staff like Heyral, the school’s headmaster, to get the lay of the land before they embark on exciting educational missions that challenge them to put their basic strategy and time management skills to the test. From farming to fishing and routine dragon training exercises, there is more than enough to keep any young Viking busy as they explore Berk and some of it new neighboring parts.

The further a player progresses with missions and basic day-to-day tasks, the more they’ll be able to earn in order to customize their avatar and game. School of Dragons’ in-game stores allow your kids to create unique Viking avatars as amazing in-game extensions of themselves. Students can change the look of their hair, eyes, outfits, accessories, and so much more!

Celebrate the arrival of this all new world of learning by grabbing your kids for an adventure at School of Dragons. Registered players will be able to walk through the village on Berk or area likes the Great Hall, which were made famous by the hit film. Tell your kids to get their horned helmets on because it’s time to learn all about what it takes to train you’re their very own dragon.

Your Journey at School of Dragons

Have you begun your Viking journey at School of Dragons?  Upon arriving at the incredibly vast world, a newcomer can be overwhelmed by all the fun activities to do.  From choosing your dragon companion to flying, the excitement is limitless.  Which dragon species did you choose?  What was your first quest like?  Tell us about your budding adventure in the comments below!


Begin Your Viking Adventure at School of Dragons!

Classes have begun at School of Dragons! After hearing so much about this foreign land called Berk, jump into your spaceship to see what the fuss is all about. School of Dragons has attracted young Vikings from planets near and far, all hoping to become legendary dragon trainers.


First, team up with your dragon companion at the Hatchery.  Once you’ve picked your new best friend, you can take on new quests and watch them grow alongside you.  Utilizing the scientific method, apply your findings to help your dragon grow big and strong as they learn to fly and breathe fire.  As your bond increases, so will their abilities that you will use to become a master dragon trainer.

Surprisingly, you will find that this new adventure has some familiar qualities where you can draw from your experience as a Blaster. Now is your chance to solidify your reputation as an elite dragon trainer in Berk just as you made a name for yourself as a premier Blaster at the Intergalactic Space Station.