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When you look at this photograph, what colors are the dress?

Stories You Shouldn’t Miss — May 15-21

May 22, 2015 11:56 am | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | News | Comments

In case you haven’t caught them yet, here's a recap of this week's most popular stories. Looking at the universe as a hologram; diesel fuel from carbon dioxide and water; first observations of a rare subatomic process; a big data history of music charts; secrets of colossal, invisible waves; perceptions of dress colors; and more are among the top hits.

Quantum-mechanical Models Predict New Phase of Matter

May 22, 2015 10:27 am | by Academy of Finland | News | Comments

Computer simulations have predicted a new phase of matter, an atomically thin two-dimensional...

Liquid-crystal-based Compound Lenses work like Insect Eyes

May 19, 2015 5:01 pm | by University of Pennsylvania | News | Comments

Compound eyes found in insects and some sea creatures are marvels of evolution. There, thousands...

Two Large Hadron Collider Experiments First to Observe Rare Subatomic Process

May 18, 2015 11:22 am | by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory | News | Comments

Two experiments at the Large Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (...

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Autonomous Car Prototype Folds, Shrinks, Drives Sideways

Recap: The Week's Top Stories — May 8-14

May 15, 2015 2:34 pm | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | News | Comments

In case you missed it, here's another chance to catch this week's biggest hits. Writing like a genius; the largest individual structure ever identified by humanity; imaging fascinating, wild and unpredictable thunder; a car prototype that folds, shrinks and drives sideways; a high-efficiency laser system to remove space debris from orbit; and more are among the latest top stories.

Illustration of the Fermi Gamma ray Space Telescope (FGST) map of the sky with the central band removed to block out gamma rays originating in the Milky Way. Gamma rays of different energies are represented by dots of various colors — red dots represent a

Left-handed Cosmic Magnetic Field could Explain Missing Antimatter

May 14, 2015 12:20 pm | by The Royal Astronomical Society | News | Comments

The discovery of a 'left-handed' magnetic field that pervades the universe could help explain a long standing mystery — the absence of cosmic antimatter. Planets, stars, gas and dust are almost entirely made up of 'normal' matter of the kind we are familiar with on Earth. But theory predicts that there should be a similar amount of antimatter, like normal matter, but with the opposite charge.

Clockwise, photo of the prototype device; schematic of the eight-terminal magnonic holographic memory prototype; collection of experimental data obtained for two magnonic matrixes.

Magnonic Holographic Memory Device could Greatly Improve Speech and Image Recognition Hardware

May 12, 2015 2:25 pm | by Sean Nealon, University of California, Riverside | News | Comments

Researchers have successfully demonstrated pattern recognition using a magnonic holographic memory device, a development that could greatly improve speech and image recognition hardware. Pattern recognition focuses on finding patterns and regularities in data. The uniqueness of the demonstrated work is that the input patterns are encoded into the phases of the input spin waves.

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SwRI scientists compared long-exposure optical photographs of two different triggered lightning events (on top) with acoustically imaged profiles of the discharge channel (below), corrected for sound speed propagation and atmospheric absorption effects. T

Fascinating, Wild and Unpredictable: Scientists Image Thunder for the First Time

May 11, 2015 11:32 am | by Southwest Research Institute | News | Comments

For the first time, scientists have imaged thunder, visually capturing the sound waves. Although people see it as a flashing bolt, lightning begins as a complex process of electrostatic charges churning around in storm clouds. By studying the acoustic power radiated from different portions of the lightning channel, researchers can learn more about the origins of thunder as well as the energetic processes associated with lightning.

NASA Infrared Telescope Facility above the clouds on Mauna Kea in Hawaii

Scientists at Work: Most Days in the Life of an Astronomer aren’t spent at Telescopes

May 11, 2015 10:38 am | by Nicole Estefania Cabrera Salazar, Georgia State University | Articles | Comments

On a telescope at the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii, it’s not easy to put in a full night of work. At 14,000 feet, you’re operating at only 60 percent of the oxygen available at sea level, which makes concentrating difficult. Top that off with a shift that begins at 6:30 pm and ends at 6:30 am, and it becomes hard to imagine astronomers working like that year-round. Luckily, most of us don’t have to.

A sunset shot of the HASP payload prior to release from the launch vehicle

The High Altitude Student Platform: Fostering Excitement in Aerospace

May 8, 2015 8:23 am | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | Blogs | Comments

The major goals of HASP are to foster student excitement in an aerospace career path and to help address workforce development issues in this area. HASP provides a space test platform to encourage student research and stimulate the development of student satellite payloads and other space-engineering products. By getting the students involved with every aspect of the program, HASP hopes to enhance technical skills and research abilities.

Astrophysicist Phil Marshall (Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at Stanford)

Write Like a Genius: New Font Released on Centennial of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity

May 7, 2015 2:50 pm | by Harald Geisler | News | Comments

Is thinking related to movement, such as the movement of your hand as you write? An unusual collaboration plays tongue-and-cheek with this possibility by creating a font based on the handwriting of one of science’s ultimate thinkers, Albert Einstein.

“An impressively geeky debut…the technical details keep the story relentlessly precise and the suspense ramped up. And really, how can anyone not root for a regular dude to prove the U-S-A still has the Right Stuff?”

The Martian: From Self-Published Blog to Major Motion Picture

May 6, 2015 9:38 am | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | Blogs | Comments

The Martian is Weir’s first novel. He started the book in 2009, researching it to be as realistic as possible based on existing technology, and posting it to his blog chapter by chapter. The story unfolded over the course of several years, but Weir has stated that he knows the exact date of each day in The Martian.

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Michael Morris is General Manager at Appirio.

How Crowdsourcing can Solve Even Interstellar Problems

May 5, 2015 2:16 pm | by Michael Morris, Appirio | Blogs | Comments

Protecting the world from destruction by asteroids sounds like superhuman power, but NASA scientists work tirelessly to ensure that humans today are protected from this potential harm. Asteroids need to be hunted in order to identify which ones may endanger Earth, and analyzing the big data puzzle of asteroid detection has been an arduous process. That is, until the power of crowdsourcing was discovered.

IBM researcher Jerry Chow in the quantum computing lab at IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center. Courtesy of Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service for IBM

Scientists Achieve Critical Steps to Building First Practical Quantum Computer

April 29, 2015 9:21 am | by IBM | News | Comments

IBM scientists unveiled two critical advances towards the realization of a practical quantum computer. For the first time, they showed the ability to detect and measure both kinds of quantum errors simultaneously, as well as demonstrated a new, square quantum bit circuit design that is the only physical architecture that could successfully scale to larger dimensions.

The search for life beyond our solar system requires unprecedented cooperation across scientific disciplines. NASA's NExSS collaboration includes those who study Earth as a life-bearing planet (lower right), those researching the diversity of solar system

NASA’s NExSS Coalition to Lead Search for Life on Distant Worlds

April 28, 2015 3:58 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

NASA is bringing together experts spanning a variety of scientific fields for an unprecedented initiative dedicated to the search for life on planets outside our solar system. The Nexus for Exoplanet System Science, or “NExSS,” hopes to better understand the various components of an exoplanet, as well as how the planet stars and neighbor planets interact to support life.

Professor Stephen Hawking as he appeared via hologram technology at the Sydney Opera House. Courtesy of Prudence Upton

Stephen Hawking appears at Sydney Opera House via Hologram, makes Great Star Trek Exit

April 28, 2015 9:13 am | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | News | Comments

World-famous physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking made a dramatic appearance at the Sydney Opera House via hologram at a sold-out public lecture on April 26, 2015. The world-first “Evening with Stephen Hawking” event, a night celebrating the phenomenal story of Professor Hawking, was the result of a partnership between UNSW, Cisco and the Sydney Opera House. Hawking beamed in via the latest in collaboration technology.

Describing the universe requires fewer dimensions than we might think. New calculations show that this may not just be a mathematical trick, but a fundamental feature of space itself.

Is the Universe a Hologram? New Calculations Suggest Holographic Principle Holds in Flat Spacetime

April 27, 2015 11:03 am | by TU Wien | News | Comments

At first glance, there is not the slightest doubt: to us, the universe looks three-dimensional. But one of the most fruitful theories of theoretical physics in the last two decades is challenging this assumption. The "holographic principle” asserts that a mathematical description of the universe actually requires one fewer dimension than it seems. What we perceive as 3-D may just be the image of 2-D processes on a huge cosmic horizon.

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Between March and April 2003, researchers used NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to capture detailed images of Saturn's Southern Hemisphere and the southern face of its rings. Saturn is seen here in ultraviolet light. Particles in Saturn's atmosphere reflect

A Celestial Silver Celebration: Commemorating the Hubble Space Telescope’s 25th Anniversary

April 22, 2015 4:40 pm | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | Blogs | Comments

On April 25, 1990, astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery deployed the Hubble Space Telescope into Earth orbit and launched a new era of astronomical discovery. In its quarter-century in orbit, the world’s first space telescope has transformed our understanding of our solar system and beyond. Now, 25 years later, organizations around the world are joining in a celebration of this remarkable observatory.

A particle shower initiated by a cosmic ray reaches LOFAR through a thundercloud. Courtesy of Radboud University.

Cosmic Rays used to Model Thunderclouds on Earth

April 22, 2015 2:17 pm | by Radboud University | News | Comments

How is lightning initiated in thunderclouds? This is difficult to answer — how do you measure electric fields inside large, dangerously charged clouds? It was discovered, more or less by coincidence, that cosmic rays provide suitable probes to measure electric fields within thunderclouds. The measurements, including the strength of the electric field at a certain height in the cloud, were performed with the LOFAR radio telescope.

A map of the cosmic microwave background made using the Planck satellite. The Cold Spot, the ellipse at the bottom right, area resides in the constellation Eridanus in the southern galactic hemisphere. The insets show the environment of this anomalous pat

Largest Structure in Universe a Supervoid 1.3 Billion Light Years Across

April 21, 2015 12:09 pm | by Royal Astronomical Society | News | Comments

Astronomers may have found "the largest individual structure ever identified by humanity." In 2004, astronomers examining a map of radiation left over from the Big Bang discovered the Cold Spot, a larger-than-expected unusually cold area of the sky. The physics surrounding the Big Bang theory predicts warmer and cooler spots of various sizes in the infant universe, but a spot this large and this cold was unexpected.

COMSOL 5.1 Multiphysics Modeling Software

COMSOL 5.1 Multiphysics Modeling Software

April 17, 2015 12:52 pm | Comsol, Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

COMSOL 5.1 is a major upgrade that delivers new and enhanced functionality across all products, including COMSOL Multiphysics and the Application Builder and COMSOL Server, as well as the add-on modules. Among the significant updates are enhancements to numerous core modeling and simulation capabilities and an improved user experience for application design.

If you’re designing a new computer, you want it to solve problems as fast as possible. Just how fast is possible is an open question when it comes to quantum computers, but physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have narrowed the

NIST Tightens Bounds on Quantum Information 'Speed Limit'

April 14, 2015 3:49 pm | by NIST | News | Comments

If you’re designing a new computer, you want it to solve problems as fast as possible. Just how fast is possible is an open question when it comes to quantum computers, but physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have narrowed the theoretical limits for where that “speed limit” is.

Part of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field – the world's second largest contiguous extrapolar ice field – and two lakes are pictured in this image of Argentina’s Los Glaciares National Park. The park was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1981, is situa

Two Lakes and an Ice Field

April 14, 2015 2:39 pm | News | Comments

Part of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field – the world's second largest contiguous extrapolar ice field – and two lakes are pictured in this image of Argentina’s Los Glaciares National Park. The park was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1981, is situated in the area around Lake Viedma and the country’s largest freshwater Lake Argentino. 

Physicists have developed techniques that enable them to simulate high-speed impacts in artificial soil and sand in the lab, and then watch what happens underground close-up, in super slow motion. They report that materials like soil and sand actually get

What Happens Underground When a Missile or Meteor Hits

April 13, 2015 4:00 pm | by Robin A. Smith, Duke University | News | Comments

Physicists have developed techniques that enable them to simulate high-speed impacts in artificial soil and sand in the lab, and then watch what happens underground close-up, in super slow motion. They report that materials like soil and sand actually get stronger when they are struck harder.

A new technology in development has the potential to revolutionize the sourcing of renewable energy from rivers.

Big Data Finds Ideal River Locations for Hydro-Power

April 13, 2015 3:41 pm | by University of Leicester | News | Comments

A new technology in development has the potential to revolutionize the sourcing of renewable energy from rivers.

As the liquid crystals align in electric fields, it helps to align the nanotubes — changing the electrical structure of the materials. You can see the thermal output from the material during this “training” process. Bright colors represent localized heati

Evolution-in-materio: Carbon Nanotube Computing?

April 9, 2015 4:29 pm | by American Institute of Physics (AIP) | News | Comments

As we approach the miniaturization limits of conventional electronics, alternatives to silicon-based transistors — the building blocks of the multitude of electronic devices we’ve come to rely on — are being hotly pursued. Inspired by the way living organisms have evolved in nature to perform complex tasks with remarkable ease, a group of researchers is exploring similar “evolutionary” methods to create information processing devices.

A supercomputer that can do 551 trillion calculations per second is housed at Clemson’s Information Technology Center.

Data-enabled Science: Top500 Supercomputers Provide Universities with Competitive Edge

April 7, 2015 5:02 pm | by Paul Alongi, Clemson University | News | Comments

Researchers have long believed that supercomputers give universities a competitive edge in scientific research, but now they have some hard data showing it’s true. A Clemson University team found that universities with locally available supercomputers were more efficient in producing research in critical fields than universities that lacked supercomputers.

Scanning electron microscope image of the one-micrometer thick nanocoatings on a silicon substrate

Phase-change Heat Transfer: Viruses Help Water Blow off Steam 3X Faster

April 7, 2015 12:14 pm | by Drexel University | News | Comments

Legions of viruses that infect the leaves of tobacco plants could be the key to making power plants safer, heating and cooling buildings more efficient and “really kick-ass computers,” or to the liquid cooling of high-powered electronic devices, like radar systems. These tiny protein bundles, which were once a threat to a staple cash crop, are now helping researchers better understand the processes of boiling and condensation. 

The core circuits of quantum teleportation, which generate and detect quantum entanglement, have been successfully integrated into a photonic chip by an international team of scientists from the universities of Bristol, Tokyo, Southampton and NTT Device T

Quantum Teleportation on Chip Significant Step toward Ultra-High Speed Quantum Computers

April 6, 2015 4:07 pm | by University of Bristol | News | Comments

The core circuits of quantum teleportation, which generate and detect quantum entanglement, have been successfully integrated into a photonic chip by an international team of scientists from the universities of Bristol, Tokyo, Southampton and NTT Device Technology Laboratories. These results pave the way to developing ultra-high-speed quantum computers and strengthening the security of communication.

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