The Extreme Light Infrastructure will be built in Eastern Europe
By Jennie Walters
Posted 04.26.2011 at 2:07 pm 22 Comments
Who knew it would take so long to approve a project to build the world’s most powerful lasers? Lasers are awesome. But after reconciling some paltry funding issues, the European Commission finally approved the Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) project, which plans to build three superlasers by 2015.
The Large Hadron Collider is now officially the world's most powerful particle accelerator
By Jennie Walters
Posted 04.22.2011 at 1:59 pm 8 Comments
The LHC smashed a record-breaking number of particles at midnight Geneva time last night, setting a new standard for beam intensity. CERN replaced Fermilab’s former record of 4.024 × 1032cm-2s-1 with a smug 4.67 × 1032cm-2s-1. That’s a lot of zeros, ranging somewhere in the billions of billions. Of billions.
India's Ministry of Environment and Forests just approved the building of the Indian Neutrino Observatory (INO) in the Bodi West Hills, located in Tamil Nadu. The INO is a ridiculously ambitious project that dwarfs CERN, requiring 50,000 tons of magnetized iron to study neutrinos.
By Mark Wolverton
Posted 08.24.2010 at 10:08 am 13 Comments
Smuggling a nuclear weapon into the U.S. is distressingly simple—all someone needs is a truck full of watermelons. Regulations prohibit using high-power x-rays on perishables, and Geiger counters don’t beep alerts because the juicy fruit absorbs radiation. But a new drive-through detector takes advantage of cosmic rays to locate any nuclear material, no matter how cleverly hidden.
JAXA, the Japanese space agency, has released the first photographs of the interior of the Hayabusa probe. Last week, we were starting to fear that the seven-year mission had returned to Earth without the crumbs of asteroid Itokawa that it had been sent for. But that photo looks promising.
An international team working below an Italian mountain has detected subatomic particles hanging out beneath the Earth's surface, where they may very well be affecting things like earthquakes and volcanoes.
Deep-space probes and scientific devices in Antarctica could soon get a new form of insulation based on synthetic crystals that stop and reflect heat. Such material could eventually lead to the best insulation ever created, even at room temperatures.
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.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.