The Science of Style: In Fashion, Colors Should Match Only Moderately
Fashion is an essential part of human experience and an industry worth over $1.7 trillion. Important choices such as hiring or dating someone are often based on the clothing people wear, and yet we understand almost nothing about the objective features that make an outfit fashionable. In this study, we provide an empirical approach to this key aesthetic domain, examining the link between color coordination and fashionableness. Studies reveal a robust quadratic effect, such that that maximum fashionableness is attained when outfits are neither too coordinated nor too different. In other words, fashionable outfits are those that are moderately matched, not those that are ultra-matched (“matchy-matchy”) or zero-matched (“clashing”). This balance of extremes supports a broader hypothesis regarding aesthetic preferences–the Goldilocks principle–that seeks to balance simplicity and complexity.
Fermi finds a “transformer” pulsar
This artist’s rendering shows one model of pulsar J1023 before its radio emission (green) vanished. Normally, an outflow of high-energy particles from the pulsar staves off the gas stream from its companion.
In late June 2013, an exceptional binary containing a rapidly spinning neutron star underwent a dramatic change in behavior never before observed. The pulsar’s radio beacon vanished while at the same time the system brightened fivefold in gamma rays, the most powerful form of light, according to measurements by NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.
"It’s almost as if someone flipped a switch, morphing the system from a lower-energy state to a higher-energy one," said Benjamin Stappers from the University of Manchester in England, who led an international effort to understand this striking transformation. "The change appears to reflect an erratic interaction between the pulsar and its companion, one that allows us an opportunity to explore a rare transitional phase in the life of this binary."