While everyone's biding their time for next week's Nobel prize announcements -- and in some cases, indulging in some speculative predictions -- scientific progress marches on. Case in point: Physicists have found Evidence Of A Particle That Is Its Own Antiparticle, both matter and antimatter. Researchers observed the signature of “Majorana particles” -- originally predicted in 1937 -- inside superconducting iron.
Not just for Harry Potter: New York scientists unveil ‘invisibility cloak’: University of Rochester researchers discover way to hide objects from sight using inexpensive and readily available lenses. You Could Make Your Own Invisibility Cloak for Less Than $100.
A Real Tractor Beam based on the 19th century physics of George Stokes.
Setting Insect Data To Music Helps Scientists Find Patterns. The music let you notice the emergent pattern in cicada-singing right away.
Force of nature gave life its asymmetry: 'Left-handed' electrons destroy certain organic molecules faster than their mirror versions.
A beautiful animated infographic deconstructs the mechanics of flight.
Emergence: The Remarkable Simplicity of Complexity. "Recent work by Enkeleida Lushi and colleagues from Brown University showed how bacteria in a drop of water spontaneously form a bi-directional vortex, with the bacteria near the centre of the droplet circulating in the opposite direction to those near the edge. Since the bacteria do not consciously decide to create the bi-directional vortex, such behaviour is said to be emergent."
Strata: Aiko Miyanaga Designs the Process of Constant Change with an ever-evolving series of objects like books and keys made from Napthalene. “Instead of disappearing into air, it is continuously crystallised through the conditions of temperature and humidity, and even the breath of the visitors.”
Astronauts May Moonwalk Faster than Expected. Apollo astronauts hopped across the moon because of their stiff suits, not because of low lunar gravity.
Relativistic Frame-Dragging: The Strangest Theory We Know Is True. "Perhaps the weirdest prediction of relativity is that rotating masses twist space around them. This effect is known as frame dragging, and it is most dramatic around black holes. But even the Earth’s rotation twists space ever so slightly. In 2011 a spacecraft known as Gravity Probe B successfully observed this effect due to the Earth."
Accelerating the fight against cancer: As charged-particle therapies grow in popularity, physicists are working with other experts to make them smaller, cheaper and more effective—and more available to cancer patients in the United States.
Uncertain Math May Be Better Math. "A model can only describe something based on what it knows, however, and with fluids in particular there are usually many things that go unknown."
If the US Congress Got To Legislate Physical Laws: "Existing Law: For every action, there shall be an equal and opposite reaction. New Law: For every action, there shall be a vicious and disproportionate reaction, followed by many months of inaction."
CERN turns 60, celebrates six decades of peaceful collaboration for science. Scientific American highlighted The Biggest Moments at the Famous Particle Physics Lab. Related: Quantum is an Art-Science dance collaboration out of CERN, premiering in Brooklyn. Also: Sonify ALL the data! The Symphony of Particle Smashing, as Performed by CERN Scientists.
No Signs of Dark Matter Yet from the World's Deepest Underground Lab. Related: Exploring the monstrous creatures at the edges of the dark matter map. What if dark matter is so strange we can never detect it?
The ‘Smoking Gun’ of the Big Bang (Part 1): How the Cosmic Microwave Background — the Big Bang’s leftover radiation glow — continues to shed light on the birth of our Universe. Related: On the FQXI Podcast, astrophysicist Andrew Liddle discusses the new analysis from Planck that suggests that the BICEP2 signal could have been caused by dust, not gravitational waves -- and why if they did pick up gravitational waves, this is bad news for inflation theory. Also: When Science Gets Ahead of Itself. "As a scientist who spends a lot of time explaining science to the public, I just wish the BICEP2 press-released team had waited. I wish they'd have let the usual scientific process run its course before they made such a grand announcement. If they had, odds are, it would have been clear that no such announcement was warranted — at least not yet — and we'd all be better off."
Advanced LIGO, designed to detect gravitational waves, will be 1000 times more powerful than its predecessor.
Photons weave their way through triple slit. Even curving, counter-intuitive paths have to be considered when calculating photon trajectories.
A recently detected high energy neutrino seems to have coincided with x-ray flare emitted from center of our galaxy.
Physicist turns smartphones into pocket cosmic ray detectors.
Physicists have turned a single molecule into a sensitive microphone.
Weird Crystal Can Absorb All The Oxygen In A Room -- And Then Release It Later. This could potentially make fuel cells, space travel, and scuba diving a lot more efficient.
Why Coconuts Could Be The Hydrogen Storage Material Of The Future: Coconut flesh contains secret ingredients that dramatically enhance its ability to store hydrogen, say material scientists.
How to Measure the Speed of Light With Pizza at Home and Other Important Pizza Science.
Everything you need to know about Rosetta, the comet-harpooning robot.
"Philosophy of Cosmology" is a newly-forming field. Here are ten questions from Sean Carroll to think about.
The Sound So Loud That It Circled the Earth Four Times - the eruption of Krakatoa.
Fermilab physicist Don Lincoln on how Particle Physics Informs the Ultimate Questions.
Martin Perl, Physicist Who Discovered the Tau Lepton, the Electron’s Long-Lost Brother, Died this week at 87.
Graphene's most problematic superlative is its price. Sure, you can make one of the most expensive materials on earth with a pencil and tape. But scaling up production requires something other than a really big piece of scotch tape. Related: Cheap graphene/quantum dot hybrid outperforms rare metal as fuel-cell catalyst.
A fun way of understanding E=mc2.
Assume a spherical cow.... The value of idealized models.
These Soundscapes Turn National Statistics Into a Maze of Noise. "Tactically-placed speakers create immersive sonic environments where the visitor can experience whole data sets and interact with them to become part of the performance."
Wireless voice quality STINKS. Here's why, and also why it doesn't have to. Technologies such as VoLTE and HD Voice could improve sound quality, but cellular carriers aren’t deploying them fast enough.
Entanglement Made Tangible: experiment for demonstrating quantum entanglement in the macroscopic realm.
A quantum analog of data compression has been demonstrated for the first time.
Return to the Antikythera Shipwreck: Marine Archaeology Goes High-Tech.
Archaeology's Enemy Number One: Salt. Research shows how salt in the environment can destroy ancient buildings and art.
Battle between NSF and House science committee escalates: How did it get this bad?
Anti-Gravity Anti-Gravitas: In the late 19th century, the concept of anti-gravity-something wasn't taken so much seriously as it was a half-prank.
Yes Virginia, There Are Quantum Jumps.
In the Enigma Machine Family: the Hagelin Cryptographic Machine, 1942.
Statistician Creates Model To Predict What's Next in Game of Thrones. "The approach that [Richard] Vale has taken is to use the distribution of characters in chapters in the first five books to predict the distribution in the forthcoming novels."
String Theory: Oxford Scientist Explains the Physics of Playing Electric Guitar Solos.
These Geeky Theme Songs Become Electric When Played On Tesla Coils.
Inventor Creates a Math-Infused Bicycle. "Several years ago, retired military officer Guan Baihua invented what may be the ultimate geometry geek bicycle. The front wheel is a pentagonal curve, and the back wheel is a reuleaux triangle (a triangular curve)."
The Epic Story Of Johann Bernoulli, The Meanest Man In Math.
The math behind McDonald's Monopoly sweepstakes shows the only properties that really matter.
How to Solve the Famous Birthday Problem. What are the chances that two players on the same soccer team share a birthday? How about two students in the same algebra class? Both seem pretty unlikely, right? The answer might surprise you.
Some of your co-workers are much more likely to spread disease than others. Now a new study of office networks reveals how to spot them.
On the bubble: Avoiding a golden syrup disaster at 30,000 feet.
How I Rewired My Brain to Become Fluent in Math - Sorry, education reformers, it’s still memorization and repetition we need.
New evidence says the 'man in the moon' came from lunar plumbing, not an asteroid impact.
To Catch a Cosmic Ray: The Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina has spent almost ten years looking for the source of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays — but to no avail. Now the observatory faces an uncertain future.
Could White Dwarf Stars be Higgs Boson Laboratories?
In a Planet-or-Not Debate, Some Astronomers Say "Long Live Planet Pluto!" Disagreements continue over Pluto's planetary status, with a recent debate held at Harvard for scientists to weigh the pros and cons.
New mathematical approaches to gain insights into how proteins move around within lipid bilayer membranes.
Why you'll never see the beauty of the universe without help.
Dorkly Examines the Pros And Cons Of Robotic Exoskeletons. Pro: Xenomorph-fighting action! Con: No alien friends.
MacArthur “Genius” Winner: Math Might Help Crack Mysteries of Schizophrenia. Danielle Bassett uses "complex systems theory and other mathematical tools to unravel the obtuse workings of the trillions of connections that constitute the networks that criss-cross the human brain."
Hagfish Slime: Biomaterial Of The Future?
The Difficulties of Nuclear Containment: Espionage Threatened the Manhattan Project, Declassified Report Says.
Weapons-Grade Private Enterprise: "[D]uring the Cold War, the world had 65,000 nuclear warheads and around 2,000 tons of the fissile stuff – mostly weapons-grade uranium and some plutonium — that make nuclear warheads so effective.... Thomas Neff, a physicist/non-proliferation expert at MIT, figured out how the situation might be improved with a little private enterprise."
In the Energy Shadows, the US Continues Push Toward Nuclear Fusion.
Virginian Reactor Will Test an Output-Boosting Fuel Design. A new fuel rod design will be tested in a full-size reactor, but some worry it could bring fresh safety problems.
A Must-Watch Mystery About A Man Trapped In A Probability Experiment.
Steampunk Air Travel, 1843: "This etching by George Cruikshank "Air-um Scare-um Travelling," from The Comic Almanack (1843), satirizes speculative hopes for balloon flight."
Giant Clams' Iridescent Lips Snatch Solar Energy. Shiny cells coating the iridescent lips of giant clams reflect light and direct it towards photosynthetic algae within to create energy.
Concept house harnesses the power of tidal waves for electricity.
God, Darwin, and College Biology Class. "It’s irresponsible to teach biology without evolution, and yet many students worry about reconciling their beliefs with evolutionary science. Just as many Americans don’t grasp the fact that evolution is not merely a “theory,” but the underpinning of all biological science, a substantial minority of my students are troubled to discover that their beliefs conflict with the course material."
Life Looks Really Different Through an MRI Machine.
"Nikola Tesla Dood," An Animated Music Video by Sarah Donner and The Oatmeal Praising Nikola Tesla: