In California, at the ultra-powerful fusion laboratory of the National Ignition Facility, 192 laser beams have fired simultaneously, blasting their target -- a circle 2 millimeters in diameter -- with 500 trillion watts. That's 1,000 times more than the entire rest of the United States was using at the time. It is the highest-energy laser shot ever fired in real life, although some fictional lasers have exceeded the record.
Happy Fourth! We've resurrected a highly festive video from our archive to get you in the holiday spirit.
The Phantom line of ultra-high-speed video cameras have held PopSci's rapt attention even before the v12 model won our Best of What's New Award in 2008. So what better way to celebrate our nation's independence than aiming a Phantom v641 from New Jersey's Vision Research at all manner of explosives, resulting in high-definition footage of fireworks going off at a glorious 2,000 frames per second?
Saveur assistant editor Anna Stockwell is a woman of many talents -- she cooked a whole goose last year -- but when we brought the Phantom v642 super-slow-motion super-camera over to the Saveur office, she was on her lunch break. So we just captured this footage of her and her apple.
Even ordinary phenomena are fascinating to watch when they're filmed at 1,000 frames per second!
"Turn it just like this," the uniformed instructor tells the alert crew of trainee astronauts gathered around the workspace. "And then this next piece twists in the other direction." The first trainee approaches the table.
The instructor, Rupert Spies, is reassuring. "Or, if you don't want épi de blé, you could just leave the dough as a regular baguette."
We are at Cornell University, in a culinary classroom, where nine elite trainees are preparing for a simulated space mission. They are spending a week here learning how to cook on Mars. Today's lesson is on baking bread and pizza from scratch.
One of the most fascinating threads running through The Kitchen As Laboratory, a collection of essays edited by a trio of food scientists and published earlier this year, is the application of rigorous testing and measurement to a realm that has classically been very subjective. In the test pictured above, after egg yolks are poached at a constant temperature for a varying number of minutes, a rheometer is used to precisely measure the resulting texture, in pascal-seconds.
Last year, we saw chef Andoni Luis Aduriz of restaurant Mugaritz demonstrate a couple of his high-tech, artful, playful dishes: his fool-the-eye walnuts, his artificial eggs. This month he presents the world with the Mugaritz cookbook, a striking glossy tome that sets forth the holistic, highly experimental philosophy of the restaurant in the Basque countryside.
It's not unlikely that your grandparent used canning jars for their original purpose: canning. But here in the twenty-first-century kitchen, the hard-to-destroy, easy-to-seal jar has become valuable for many more purposes. We love it -- and not just because one of the most popular models is manufactured by aerospace pioneer Ball.
Here at Popular Science, we love food; and our neighboring magazine Saveur is fond, in its way, of technology. So what could be more natural than a joint celebration of food tech? All this week on PopSci and Saveur, we'll be bringing you delicious, cutting-edge stories and videos about the culinary side of the future.
After Bart Jansen's cat Orville was killed by a car, the artist had the animal taxidermied and then, "after a period of mourning," converted the stuffed kitty into a radio-controlled quadcopter. The video is below.
LiquiGlide, developed by a team at MIT's Varanasi Research Group, is a surface coating that liberates the notoriously non-Newtonian fluid ketchup from its glass- or plastic-walled prison. The research came in second in MIT's $100K Entrepreneurship Challenge, and is almost certainly destined for a bottle near you. Watch its graceful performance below in a video from Fast Co.Exist.