Sunday, April 29, 2012

New Particle Discovered at CERN

Physicists from the University of Zurich have discovered a previously unknown particle composed of three quarks in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) particle accelerator. A new baryon could thus be detected for the first time at the LHC. The baryon known as Xi_b^* confirms fundamental assumptions of physics regarding the binding of quarks.
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Xi baryon

The Xi baryons or cascade particles are a family of subatomic hadron particles which have the symbol Ξ and have a +2, +1 or -1 elementary charge or are neutral. They are baryons containing three quarks: one up or down quark, and two heavier quarks. They are sometimes called the cascade particles because of their unstable state; they decay rapidly into lighter particles through a chain of decays . The first discovery of a charged Xi baryon was in cosmic ray experiments by the Manchester group in 1952. The first discovery of the neutral Xi particle was at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in 1959. It was also observed as a daughter product from the decay of the omega baryon (Ω−) observed at Brookhaven National Laboratory in 1964.
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Smashing Pumpkins Reveal 'Oceania' Cover and Track Listing: Preview live versions of songs from the band's seventh studio album

The Smashing Pumpkins will release Oceania, their seventh studio album, on June 19th. Though the record stands on its own, it was created as part of the band's ongoing 44-song work-in-progress Teargarden by Kaleidyscope, which has been released song-by-song since the end of 2009.
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Friday, April 27, 2012

Smashing Pumpkins: "I'll have the last laugh"

When he isn’t writing demonic riffs for the Veronicas, launching pro-wrestling companies or slagging off Pavement, Billy Corgan continues to make music with The Smashing Pumpkins. This July the twitter-loving frontman will lead his Pumpkins back to our shores to headline day three of Splendour In The Grass and play alongside the likes of Jack White, At The Drive-In and Bloc Party. 
During the week FasterLouder gave Billy a call to ask one ‘dumb question’ and talk about new albums, spiritual biographies, girlfriends, Courtney Love, twitter and much more.
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Thursday, April 26, 2012

'Sounds of Silence' Proving a Hit: World's Fastest Random Number Generator

Researchers at The Australian National University have developed the fastest random number generator in the world by listening to the 'sounds of silence'.

The researchers -- Professor Ping Koy Lam, Dr Thomas Symul and Dr Syed Assad from the ANU ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology -- have tuned their very sensitive light detectors to listen to vacuum -- a region of space that is empty.
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Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Peter Diamandis: Abundance is our future

Onstage at TED2012, Peter Diamandis makes a case for optimism -- that we'll invent, innovate and create ways to solve the challenges that loom over us. "I’m not saying we don’t have our set of problems; we surely do. But ultimately, we knock them down.”

Scientists See Solution to Critical Barrier to Fusion

Physicists have discovered a possible solution to a mystery that has long baffled researchers working to harness fusion. If confirmed by experiment, the finding could help scientists eliminate a major impediment to the development of fusion as a clean and abundant source of energy for producing electric power.
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Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory


David A. Gates

Plasma Science and Fusion Center @ MIT

Ohmic heating (Joule heating)

Alcator C-Mod


General Atomics

Greenwald limit

Martin Greenwald

Culham Centre for Fusion Energy

Magnetic Islands in Plasmas

Density Limits in Toroidal Plasmas

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Planetary Resources

Planetary Resources, Inc. is a company that was founded in 2012 to expand Earth's resource base. As of April 20, 2012, only a list of major investors and advisors is known; a number of the project's backers are notable for their entrepreneurship and interest in space, exploration, and research. Some also have previous involvement in space research. It is speculated that Planetary Resources is "looking for ways to extract raw materials from non-Earth sources," as the means by which it would (as stated in its press release) "add trillions of dollars to the global GDP." There is speculation they are looking into mining asteroids, with one source reporting anonymous verification of that claim.
The company has scheduled an "announcement" for Tuesday, April 24th 2012 at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington. Tickets for this event were offered for sale to the general public, at a basic price of (U.S.) $25.00. 
There is an eponymous website, registered on February 22nd, 2012, by an entity calling itself Anderson Astronautics. At present, the publicly-accessible area of the site includes only a title-page. This has the company logo, a notice for the April 24 announcement, some basic contact information, and a "sign-up" form, for those who wish to be notified of new developments via email. Joining involves an email confirmation process, which gives access to a basic "user settings" page at the site. Changes to the website have been promised for the day of the announcement.
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Planetary Resources, Inc.

New material shares many of graphene’s unusual properties

Graphene, a single-atom-thick layer of carbon, has spawned much research into its unique electronic, optical and mechanical properties. Now, researchers at MIT have found another compound that shares many of graphene’s unusual characteristics — and in some cases has interesting complementary properties to this much-heralded material.
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Mildred Dresselhaus

Shuang Tang




Hinode and SOHO Paint an Asymmetrical Picture of the Sun

Approximately every 11 years the magnetic field on the sun reverses completely -- the north magnetic pole switches to south, and vice versa. It's as if a bar magnet slowly lost its magnetic field and regained it in the opposite direction, so the positive side becomes the negative side. But, of course, the sun is not a simple bar magnet and the causes of the switch, not to mention the complex tracery of moving magnetic fields throughout the eleven-year cycle, are not easy to map out.
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Hinode: Mission to the Sun

Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO)

James Cameron on Earth's Deepest Spot: Desolate, Lunar-Like

The Mariana Trench's Challenger Deep—the deepest point on Earth—looks as bleak and barren as the moon, according to James Cameron, who successfully returned just hours ago from the first solo dive to the ocean abyss. 
At noon, local time Monday (10 p.m. ET Sunday), the National Geographic explorer and filmmaker's "vertical torpedo" sub broke the surface of the western Pacific, some 200 miles (322 kilometers) southwest of Guam.
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Deepsea Challenge

Saturday, April 21, 2012

In the Family

"In the Family" centers on one of the notable performances I've seen — if, indeed, it is a performance. Perhaps Patrick Wang is exactly like that. Then he must be a very good man. He wrote, directed and stars in the film, but it's not a one-man show. It is about the meaning of "family." This is his first feature, and may signal the opening of an important career.
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Friday, April 20, 2012

TV as Thin as a Sheet of Paper? Printable Flexible Electronics Just Became Easier With Stable Electrodes

Imagine owning a television with the thickness and weight of a sheet of paper. It will be possible, someday, thanks to the growing industry of printed electronics. The process, which allows manufacturers to literally print or roll materials onto surfaces to produce an electronically functional device, is already used in organic solar cells and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) that form the displays of cellphones.
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Bernard Kippelen

Georgia Institute of Technology

Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics (COPE)

Animal: Frans de Waal: Moral behavior in animals

Empathy, cooperation, fairness and reciprocity -- caring about the well-being of others seems like a very human trait. But Frans de Waal shares some surprising videos of behavioral tests, on primates and other mammals, that show how many of these moral traits all of us share.