Did you feel that? Gravity just got a little weaker. The National Institute of Standards and Technology has just posted the latest internationally recommended adjustments to the values for the fundamental constants of nature. The results: Gravity is a bit weaker, the electromagnetic force a smidgeon stronger, and the whole of physics a little less uncertain.
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Weill Cornell Medical College have found a new means to hunt viruses the old fashioned way: by luring them in for the kill. Using artificial, protocellular “honey pots,” the researchers have devised a way to trap deadly human viruses and terminate them with extreme prejudice.
It’s the end of a long and fruitful era at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Beginning March 1, America’s source for instrument and unit calibration will no longer offer calibration services for mercury thermometers, a service it has provided since its creation as the standard for all standards back in 1901.
This week, the origin and continued preservation of five of our favorite standard units of measure
By Sam KeanPosted 11.02.2010 at 10:56 am 3 Comments
This week, Sam Kean takes a look at some ridiculously precise standards -- the meter, the second, and other international standard units -- and the role that elements have played in defining, redefining, and re-redefining them over the ages.
The definition of the second used to be 1/86,400th of one spin of the earth around its axis (less formally, the number of seconds in one day). But a few pesky facts made that standard inconvenient.
By Alessandra CalderinPosted 07.16.2010 at 10:07 am 8 Comments
This maze of electrodes, known as a surface-electrode ion trap, brings us closer to building quantum computers—that is, computers that could manipulate the quantum-mechanical states of atoms to process data millions of times as fast as today's most powerful supercomputers do.
In the recent Robocup 2009 games, in which robots compete for prizes and glory, entrants from many nations held their own. In categories including small, medium, humanoid, 2-D simulation, and 3-D simulation, teams from the U.S., China, Germany, Iran, and quite a few other robot-producing countries played and won.
However, on the smallest playing field of all, there was one clear winner.
A laser with amazing properties may help astronomers fine-tune planet hunting tools
By Gregory MonePosted 05.06.2008 at 10:16 am 1 Comment
Scientists have shown off a new laser that boasts an incomparable mix of speed, short pulses and power. That's newsworthy in and of itself, but this laser, developed by researchers at the University of Konstanz in Germany and, here in the U.S., at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, could also lead to a 100-fold increase in the sensitivity of observatories searching for extrasolar planets. The laser itself is the size of a dime, and pops out 10 billion pulses per second with an average power of 650 milliwatts.