The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists says Earth is now closer to human-caused doomsday than it has been in more than 30 years because of global warming and nuclear weaponry. But other experts say that's way too gloomy. The advocacy group, founded by the creators of the atomic bomb, moved their famed "Doomsday Clock" ahead two minutes on January 22, 2015. It said the world is now three minutes from a catastrophic midnight.
Just because concrete is the most widely used building material in human history doesn’t mean it...
Optimization algorithms, which try to find the minimum values of mathematical functions, are...
NASA and Microsoft have teamed up to develop software called OnSight, a new technology that will...
Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) is one of more than 32 comets imaged by NASA's NEOWISE mission from December 2013 to December 2014. This image combines a series of observations made in November 2013, when Lovejoy was 1.7 astronomical units from the sun. The image spans half of one degree. It shows the comet moving in a mostly west and slightly south direction.
Researchers who are building the highest-resolution map of the Greenland Ice Sheet to date have made a surprising discovery: two lakes of meltwater that pooled beneath the ice and rapidly drained away. One lake once held billions of gallons of water and emptied to form a mile-wide crater in just a few weeks. The other lake has filled and emptied twice in the last two years.
This 40x photo of micro algae won 17th Place in the 2014 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope. It was taken by Rogelio Moreno of Panama using polarized light and lambda plate.
Researchers have built a rice-grain-sized laser powered by single electrons tunneling through artificial atoms known as quantum dots. The tiny microwave laser, or "maser," is a demonstration of the fundamental interactions between light and moving electrons. The researchers built the device — which uses about one-billionth the electric current needed to power a hair dryer — while exploring how to use quantum dots.
In Silicon Valley, it's never too early to become an entrepreneur. Just ask 13-year-old Shubham Banerjee. The California eighth-grader has launched a company to develop low-cost machines to print Braille, the tactile writing system for the visually impaired. Tech giant Intel recently invested in his startup, Braigo Labs.
European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet training for spacewalks at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, USA, with ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano. Pesquet will fly to the International Space Station in 2016. Parmitano finished his six-month Volare mission in November 2013.
It turns out the Beagle has landed after all — but it never called home. The gone-but-not-forgotten spacecraft Beagle-2 went AWOL on Christmas Day, 2003, when it was supposed to land on Mars and start transmitting data back to Earth. Instead, the British-built craft went dark. After several months, it was declared lost — presumed to have been destroyed during its approach or while trying to land on the red planet.
This ghostly puff of smoke is actually a mass of swirling gas and cloud at Venus’ south pole, as seen by the Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer aboard ESA’s Venus Express spacecraft. Venus has a very choppy and fast-moving atmosphere — although wind speeds are sluggish at the surface, they reach dizzying speeds of around 400 km/h at the altitude of the cloud tops, some 70 km above the surface.
This 2x photo of mouse brain vasculature won 14th Place in the 2014 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope. It was taken using light-sheet fluorescent microscopy.
IBM has announced the first winner of its Watson University Competition, part of the company's partnership with top universities through its cognitive computing academic initiative. The winning team of student entrepreneurs from the University of Texas at Austin will receive $100,000 in total in seed funding to help launch a business based on their Watson app, which offers the promise of improved citizen services.
Public screenings have become an important part of major sports events. In the future, we will be able to enjoy them in 3-D, thanks to a new invention. A sophisticated laser system sends laser beams into different directions. Therefore, different pictures are visible from different angles. The angular resolution is so fine that the left eye is presented a different picture than the right one, creating a 3-D effect
A quantum network requires efficient interfaces over which information can be transferred from matter to light and back. Physicists have shown how this information transfer can be optimized by taking advantage of a collective quantum phenomenon. The collective interaction between the particles and the resonator can now be tuned in order to enhance the creation of single photons.
For household robots to be practical, they need to be able to recognize the objects they’re supposed to manipulate. While object recognition is one of the most widely studied topics in AI, even the best detectors still fail much of the time. Researchers believe the robots should take advantage of their mobility, imaging objects from multiple perspectives. Matching up objects in the different images, however, poses computational challenges.
This 45x photo shows a jewel beetle (Chrysochroa buqueti) carapace near the eye. It won 15th Placein the 2014 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope, and was taken using diffused and reflected illumination.
Plans for the construction of the world's largest digital camera at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have reached a major milestone. The 3,200-megapixel centerpiece of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, which will provide unprecedented details of the universe and help address some of its biggest mysteries, has received key "Critical Decision 2" approval from the DOE.
If you’re sitting in a coffee shop, tapping away on your laptop, feeling safe from hackers because you didn’t connect to the shop’s Wi-Fi, think again. The bad guys may be able to see what you’re doing just by analyzing the low-power electronic signals your laptop emits, even when it’s not connected to the Internet. Side-channel signals could provide hackers with another way to see what the devices are doing.
This 100x photo shows the circuitry in a DVD reader. It won 7th Place in the 2014 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope, and was taken using cross-polarized microscopy.
Have you ever dreamed about vacationing on another planet? Or wondered what it would be like to explore “strange new worlds”? If so, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has created a fictional Exoplanet Travel Bureau that is sure to add fuel to your daydreams. A new exoplanet travel series features travel posters of several planets that the folks at NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program think you just might want to check out...
This 20x photo shows jumping spider eyes. It won 3rd Placein the 2014 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope, and was taken by Noah Fram-Schwartz of Greenwich, CT, using reflected light.
Topology, a branch of mathematics classifying geometric objects, has been exploited by physicists to predict and describe unusual quantum phases: the topological states of matter. These intriguing phases, generally accessible at very low temperature, exhibit unique conductivity properties, which are particularly robust against external perturbations, suggesting promising technological applications.
IBM has announced that it received a record 7,534 patents in 2014 — marking the 22nd consecutive year that the company topped the annual list of U.S. patent recipients. IBM inventors earned an average of more than 20 patents per day in 2014, propelling the company to become the first to surpass more than 7,000 patents in a single year.
Researchers have found that, based on enough Facebook Likes, computers can judge your personality traits better than your friends, family and even your partner. Using a new algorithm, researchers have calculated the average number of Likes artificial intelligence (AI) needs to draw personality inferences about you as accurately as your partner or parents.
Researchers have succeeded in switching tiny, magnetic structures using laser light and tracking the change over time. In the process, a nanometer-sized area bizarrely reminiscent of the Batman logo appeared. The research results could render data storage on hard drives faster, more compact and more efficient.
By analyzing the light of hundreds of thousands of celestial objects, astronomers have created a unique map of enigmatic molecules in our galaxy that are responsible for puzzling features in the light from stars, called diffuse interstellar bands. DIBs have been a mystery ever since they were discovered in 1922 — exactly which of the many thousands of possible molecules are responsible for these features?
This 50x photo shows an unpolished Montana Dryhead agate, found in southern Montana between the Big Horn and Pryor Mountain ranges and just to the west of the Big Horn River. It won 12th Placein the 2014 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope, and was taken using axial lighting provided by Leeds fiberoptic illuminators.
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