A new microscopy method that ditches lenses altogether could create the highest-resolution images ever seen. The system reconstructs an image from the electron waves scattered by a sample, and has no fundamental experimental limits imposed by constraints like blurry glass or wavelengths of visible light. It can even be used to image live cells without harming them.
By Tetsuhiko EndoPosted 12.07.2011 at 11:05 am 4 Comments
High in a misty valley in the Basque Pyrenees, miles from the ocean and surrounded by verdant sheep pastures, lies a prime surf spot. Its swells break with no wind or reef, and you can turn them on and off whenever you want. While a surf spot might form over hundreds of thousands of years, a team of Spanish engineers took the Wavegarden from concept to reality in just ten.
By Mark AndersPosted 09.03.2011 at 11:57 pm 2 Comments
Riding man-made surf typically means catching choppy, underwhelming swells in short five-to-10-second spurts. A project known as the Kelly Slater Surf Park, designed in partnership with its 10-time world-champion namesake, generates currents that provide surfers with rides of a full minute or longer. Waves form at the outer edge of the five-million gallon circular tank and break as they run up the pool floor, which mimics the seabed as it approaches shore. The pools may appear in such locations as resorts and theme parks, and can be scaled up or down to cater to available space.
Of all the things in the physical world we think we know a lot about, water is definitely among them. Nonetheless, by precisely shaking a shallow container of water, researchers have now observed two new types of waves that have never been observed before in water--and one that has never been observed in any other media either.
Geoscience experts have developed a system of smart buoys that can predict the formation of self-reinforcing underwater waves, or solitons, 10 hours before they threaten the safety of oil rigs and divers. In 2008, Martin Goff and his colleagues at FUGROS, a geoscience consulting agency, successfully tested the system for three months in the Andaman Sea. Now, Global Ocean Associates have acknowledged the device as "the first deployed system with real-time warning capability."
Monstrous tsunami waves, like the one that killed over 200,000 people in the Indian Ocean in 2004, create an electric field as they form. This field could possibly be sensed by a network of underwater sensors. Such a network would be extremely valuable but also prohibitively expensive to build. Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) propose, however, that the existing large network of undersea communication cables could be used instead. That finding could lead to early warnings that may complement existing tsunami warning systems.
Probably the most sought-after surfing experience is the tube ride (a.k.a. "getting barreled"). A tube ride occurs when the top of the wave pitches over the surfer so that he or she is completely enclosed in an oval space behind the curtain of falling water. Inside the "green room," you are hurtling through a tunnel of water and the only way out (without wiping out) is straight through the opening in front of you. Hollow waves are foot-for-foot the most powerful variety of breaking wave, and good tube riding is really difficult. It requires timing, experience, and skill. The video shows us some world-class surfers making it look easy!