Sunday, 7 September 2014

Researcher Advances a New Model for Dark Matter

Orange waves and blue rays represent the effect of quantum evaporation. Credit: University of Kansas / KU News Service
Astrophysicists believe that about 80 percent of the substance of our universe is made up of mysterious “dark matter” that can’t be perceived by human senses or scientific instruments. “Dark matter has not yet been detected in a lab. We infer about it from astronomical observations,” said Mikhail Medvedev, professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Kansas, who has just published breakthrough research on dark matter that merited the cover of Physical Review Letters, the world’s most prestigious journal of physics research. Medvedev proposes a novel model of dark matter, dubbed “flavor-mixed multicomponent dark matter.” “Dark matter is some unknown matter, most likely a new elementary particle or particles beyond the Standard Model,” Medvedev said. “It has never been observed directly, but it reveals itself via gravity it produces in the universe. There are numerous experiments around the world aimed at finding it directly.”

Friday, 5 September 2014

You spend 40 minutes every day blind

It's not that your eyes aren't working. Your mind is actually blocking images all the time, and refusing to process them. Whenever your eyes move, your brain doesn't process what would normally be very dizzying blurry images coming from the retina. To fill in the gaps of time, your brain creates an illusion for a fraction of a second to keep us from noticing. This is called "Saccadic masking" and it keeps us from experiencing motion blur.

Your brain replaces the blurry images with static images of your next object of focus. Whatever you look at after moving your eyes appears to stay still for a long period of time, because it is actually the same image stretched for a longer period of time to cover up the blur. This is called the "stopped-clock illusion", when the first second on a clock after you turn to look at it appears to take longer than all the other seconds.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Do We Live in a 2-D Hologram? New Fermilab Experiment Will Test the Nature of the Universe

Fermilab scientist Aaron Chou, left, project manager for the Holometer experiment, and Vanderbilt University graduate student Brittany Kamai peer into the device that will test whether the universe is a 2-D hologram. Credit: Fermilab.

A unique experiment at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory called the Holometer has started collecting data that will answer some mind-bending questions about our universe – including whether we live in a hologram. Much like characters on a television show would not know that their seemingly 3-D world exists only on a 2-D screen, we could be clueless that our 3-D space is just an illusion. The information about everything in our universe could actually be encoded in tiny packets in two dimensions. Get close enough to your TV screen and you’ll see pixels, small points of data that make a seamless image if you stand back. Scientists think that the universe’s information may be contained in the same way and that the natural “pixel size” of space is roughly 10 trillion trillion times smaller than an atom, a distance that physicists refer to as the Planck scale.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

China is progressing: Closer to supersonic submarine

China has made a step closer to making supersonic submarines that from Shanghai to San Francisco could arrive in less than two hours, reports portal Saut Tea Morning Post.

The new technology developed by a team of scientists from the Laboratory for complex flow and heat transfer from the Institute of Technology in Harbin, made ​​it easier for submarines and torpedoes to move under water extremely high speeds, according to the portal.

Lifang Chen, professor of mechanics and engineering fluid, said the innovative approach of this team, caused that they can now create complicated air "bubble" necessary to move quickly under water.

"We are very excited about the potential that it brings" he said, adding that there are still many unknowns to be solved.

Water causes more friction and resistance to movement than air, which means that ordinary submarines can not move as fast as an airplane, according to the portal.

Recalls that during the Cold War, the Soviet military developed a technology called
super-cavitation, which included a "package" submarine inside air bubbles to avoid problems caused by water resistance. 

supersonic submarine
Scheme supersonic submarines: From Shanghai to San Francisco in less than two hours

The Soviet super-cavitation torpedo called Ĺ akval able to reach the speed of 370 km / h or more, which was much faster than any ordinary torpedo.

In theory, the super-cavitational vessel could, under the water reaches the speed of sound, or about 5,800 km / h, which, according to the report of California Institute of Technology in 2001, could lead to reduced travel time from one to the other shore of the Atlantic Ocean to less than hour, while traveling from one to the other shore of the Pacific ocean took about a hundred minutes.

This is for now only in theory, scientists are skeptical of the practice.

In addition to Russia, the development of vessels and weapons based on
super-cavitation technology deal with countries like Germany, Iran and the United States, according to the portal. 

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Sending Humans to Mars a Principle of Space Exploration, Says Former NASA Director


Let’s say it straight. Mars is, without any doubt our next step in space exploration, sparking our imagination for many years in spaceflight history. After sending tons of scientific rovers, it’s about time to send human pioneers to start colonizing the Red Planet. The only question is when will we reach that highly anticipated milestone? “Sending humans to Mars around 2033 should be the single organizing principle of future space exploration,” Professor G. Scott Hubbard of Stanford University and former NASA Ames Research Center director told astrowatch.net. He will give a speech on Sept. 6 about Mars exploration at the European Mars Conference (EMC) 2014 that will take place in Podzamcze, Poland.

Friday, 22 August 2014

If you collapse an underwater bubble with a soundwave, light is produced, and nobody knows why

It’s a phenomenon called sonoluminescence. Sonoluminescence is a physical occurrence by which sound turns into light. Scientists have been trying for 70 years to explain it, but have had no success. No one has managed to explain how a bubble of air in water can focus sound to cause light, but it happens.

Some minor revelations have surfaced, however. At first, physicists thought friction was to blame, but in the late 1980s, they discovered that a sound wave’s path expanded bubbles and heated the gas inside them to temperatures hotter than the sun’s surface. That collapse with the heat, they thought, created a glowing plasma. Thirty years later, that is still the going theory.

However, researchers have suggested that different physical mechanisms must be at work and that there must be multiple kinds of sonoluminescence. What’s been concretely determined so far, though, is that it has to do with the size of the bubble as well as the OH emission from the bubble when it bursts.

If the science goes much further, it could be possible that some day sound and gas could be used to light underwater areas, exceeding the limitations of conventional lights.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Vision for Mars Rovers


Seeing is believing. Our great visions of space exploration require also a trustable vision system. Curiosity rover snapping dozens of pictures every day is capable to see the Red Planet in different way than the human eye. Needless to say, human vision is highly adapted to the specific conditions here on Earth. “The exploration of Mars will require radically different qualities of the vision system because of both the Mars atmospheric properties and the range of things that this vision system will need to be able to see.” Yosef Akhtman of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) told astrowatch.net. “In particular using an RGB camera, which was developed to mimic human vision on Earth is a bit naive and far from optimum.” Akhtman will give a speech on Sept. 7 regarding adaptive vision system for extraterrestrial exploration at the European Mars Conference (EMC) that will take place in Podzamcze, Poland.

 
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