Physicists at CERN may have caught the first whiffs of the elusive Higgs boson, researchers announced this morning, but more numbers must be crunched before anyone will claim its discovery. Bumps in signals at the Large Hadron Collider are not surefire proof of the so-called god particle, at least not yet — but at the very least they're enough to keep faith in our modern theories of physics.
De-miners on the hunt for unexploded land mines could get some help from a simple smartphone app that works with their metal detectors.
Students at Harvard University, working with researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and MIT, designed a system called “pattern enhancement tool for assisting land mine sensing” (PETALS). It visualizes the outline of a buried land mine according to the metal detector’s feedback.
By Morgen PeckPosted 11.08.2010 at 12:21 pm 0 Comments
Toads. Clouds. Radon gas. Scientists have studied the movement of each of these in desperate attempts to improve earthquake detection methods by even just a few minutes. Now there’s a technology to test the radon theory for good and possibly give warning days before a quake.
As uranium in the earth decays, it emits radon gas, some of which collects in pockets underground. Some seismologists hypothesize that earth shifts imperceptibly in the days before a quake, causing fractures that puncture the pockets and release more radon. But it would take a lot of data to test the theory.
Here's one genius computer program you might consider pushing virally for science's sake. The "Quake Catchers" program aims to make earthquake detection a lot easier and cheaper by taking advantage of accelerometers built into MacBooks and other newer laptops, the Los Angeles Times reports.
For the past six years, the CDMS, the world's most sensitive dark matter detector, sat deep beneath the Minnesotan countryside, watching super-cooled Germanium crystals for evidence of material abundant in the Universe, but almost non-existent on Earth. Today, rumors are flying on the Web that the team has finally found the weakly interacting particles (WIMPs) that physicists have long searched for, which could be the key to understanding the fundamental makeup of the universe.
Cell phones have increasingly become mobile labs and tech tools for researchers, and now NASA has gotten in on the act. A postage-stamp-sized chemical sensor allows iPhones to sniff out low airborne concentrations of chemicals such as ammonia, chlorine gas and methane.
A puff from a "sample jet" helps sense any airborne chemicals. That information gets processed by a silicon chip consisting of 16 nanosensors, and then passes on to another phone or computer through any Wi-Fi or telecom network.