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Observations

Observations

Opinion, arguments & analyses from guest experts and from the editors of Scientific American

How to Fly a Model Helicopter Using Only Your Thoughts

For decades, scientists have been developing brain-computer linkages they hope will enable people to manipulate objects hands free . Duke neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis reported a few years ago that a monkey fitted with implanted electrodes could use its brainpower to control the walking patterns of a robot ...

June 4, 2013 — Larry Greenemeier

Spooky Action on Broadway: A Quantum Drama by Brian Greene

Fans of Brian Greene’s NOVA programs, such as The Fabric of the Cosmos, will no doubt enjoy what amounts to a 90-minute live episode. Kicking off the 2013 World Science Festival in New York City on Wednesday night, the show, “Spooky Action: The Drama of Quantum Mechanics" provides an entertaining and thought-provoking journey through the strange reality of quantum mechanics.Greene serves as host and narrator, and he gets help from stage actors who deliver famous (and infamous) lines from physics history, such as Albert Einstein saying that god doesn’t play dice with the universe, Niels Bohr responding that Einstein shouldn’t tell god what to do and Werner Heisenberg saying that Erwin Schrodinger’s wave equations were bullshit (at least that is how his German got translated to English onstage).With the help of a Princeton University colleague, Greene also conducts an onstage double-slit experiment, in which particles passing through two closely spaced slits form over time the classic light-dark interference pattern of waves...

May 30, 2013 — Philip Yam

Getting Killed for Saving Lives

Three suicide bombers stormed the office of the International Red Cross in Jalabad, Afghanistan earlier today and at least one guard has been killed.

May 29, 2013 — Christine Gorman

How to Use the Bathroom on a 20-Hour Plus Solar Airplane Flight [Video]

In a bid to set the record for longest distance solar flight, Andre Borschberg will pilot the Solar Impulse airplane from Phoenix to Dallas. Total flying distance, barring route deviations due to weather or other factors, would be nearly 1,400 kilometers, or more than 200 kilometers farther than the previous longest flight set in 2012.On May 3, in just under 20 hours, the Solar Impulse airplane flew from Moffett Field near San Francisco to Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix...

May 22, 2013 — David Biello

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