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« Science: June 2006 | Main | Science: August 2006 »

Science

The Elusive Black Holes

Scientists have been looking for black holes in space. For the last 2 years. They can't find them. The only explanation is that the blackholes are hiding from us and they're very good at it. They are clever like that.

"Naturally, it is difficult to find something we know is hiding well and which has eluded detection so far," says Volker Beckmann of NASA Goddard and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, lead author of the new report to be published in an upcoming issue of The Astrophysical Journal. "Integral is a telescope that should see nearby hidden black holes, but we have come up short," he says.
...
...perhaps the hidden black holes are more hidden than astronomers realised. "The fact that we do not see them does not necessarily mean that they are not there, just that we don't see them. Perhaps they are more deeply hidden than we think and so are therefore below even Integral's detection limit," says Bassani.

By min | July 27, 2006, 1:03 PM | Science | Comments (0)| Link



Why Should We Buy Solar Power?

We can make our own. China has built a nuclear fusion device that they call the "artificial sun". If the test is successful, it will be a new source of energy.

Scientists told the newspaper a successful test will mean the world's first nuclear fusion device of its kind will be ready to go into actual operation, the newspaper said.

The plasma discharge will draw international attention since some scientists are concerned with risks involved in such a process. But Chinese researchers involved in the project say any radiation will cease once the test is completed.

Let's hope they're right about that radiation thing.


By min | July 27, 2006, 11:58 AM | Science | Comments (0)| Link



"New" Discovery

I'm sorry, but they're just discovering this now?

The U.S. scientists found that some magical substance in mushrooms may have the function of altering consciousness.

I mean, they thought that all the references to funny mushrooms was what? Hip slang?


By min | July 12, 2006, 1:48 PM | Science | Comments (1)| Link



Foreign Accent Syndrome

An English woman has suffered great distress after coming through a stroke only to lose her accent.

The woman from the north of England, who had a very distinctive "Geordie" accent, now speaks with what some hear as an Eastern European accent and others hear as Jamaican. She is one of only 50 people to have suffered from foreign-accent syndrome, which was first recorded in Norway during the Second World War.

Linda Walker said: "I was devastated. I don't sound like me. It is so strange because you don't feel the same person. Not only did I have a stroke but I got lumbered with this foreign accent syndrome as well.

"I want my own voice back. It's like losing a big part of your identity. You don't feel like the same person any more."

Foreign-accent syndrome occurs after substantial brain injury and is not always correctable through speech therapy.


By min | July 7, 2006, 9:52 AM | Science | Comments (1)| Link



Lost Dimension

There is a color that loses a dimension when the temperature is cool enough. A DIMENSION. It goes from 3-D to 2-D. That's crazy. Remember, no matter how thinly you slice something, there's still 3 dimensions. It might be microscopic, but it still has height, width, and length. Now they've discovered a color that can shed an entire dimension just like that.

The most recent research, published in today's issue of the journal Nature, shows that at the lowest temperature point at which the change of state occurs -- called the Quantum Critical Point -- the Han purple pigment actually loses a dimension: it goes from 3D to 2D.
...

They observed that at high magnetic fields (above 23 tesla) and temperatures between 1 and 3 degrees Kelvin (approximately -460 degrees Fahrenheit), the magnetic waves in three-dimensional crystals of Han purple "exist" in a three-dimensional world as per conventional wisdom. However, below those temperatures, near the quantum limit, one of the dimensions is no longer accessible, with the unexpected consequence that magnetic ripples propagate in only two dimensions. (Kelvin is the temperature scale used by scientists; zero degrees Kelvin is absolute zero, a temperature so low it is experimentally unreachable.)

The magnetic waves in the pigment exist in a unique state of matter called a Bose Einstein condensate (BEC), so named for its theoretical postulation by Satyendra Nath Bose and Albert Einstein.

...



Research such as this could aid in the understanding of processes important for quantum computers. It is believed that this type of computer would operate based on quantum magnetism to perform many different computations at once. Theorists believe this capability could produce answers to mathematical problems much more quickly than is currently possible with conventional computers.

I don't get the part about quantum computers. I'm still stuck on the whole 2-D thing. What i want to know is how would this affect the Hulk's pants? Would it keep them from getting shredded all the time? Which also brings to mind a second question. If Banner and Reed Richards know each other, how come Richards never gave the poor guy some unstable molecules? He's buying new purple pants every week, ferchrissakes. C'mon, Reed. Help a guy out.


By min | July 6, 2006, 12:24 PM | Science | Comments (3)| Link



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