A robot petting zoo, complete with a flying robo-bird, plus the world's lightest material and an algorithmic dance-off
By Becky FerreiraPosted 06.05.2012 at 5:51 pm 5 Comments
MetroTech Plaza in Brooklyn was packed with science and technology enthusiasts on Saturday, eager to see the sights of the World Science Festival's Innovation Square. The day-long collection of exhibits, performances, lectures and games was designed to be a "technophile's adventureland," and didn't disappoint. We stopped by to check out the robot petting zoo, see some robots play soccer, and enjoy computer-based dance choreography.
An unearthly demonstration of the eternal feud between superconductivity and magnetism
By Becky FerreiraPosted 06.04.2012 at 5:31 pm 6 Comments
Enthusiastic crowds jostled to get a better view of the quantum levitation display at Innovation Square on Saturday, a day-long celebration of science held at MetroTech Plaza in Brooklyn as part of the World Science Festival. Run by Boaz Almog, an inventor and physicist at Tel Aviv University, it was the first public demonstration of its kind in the U.S. and by far one of the most popular events at the Square. Almog carefully dunked puck-sized discs into jars of liquid nitrogen and allowed onlookers to nudge them into hovering orbits. To the touch, the disc felt like a rough piece of ice.
Tonight at the World Science Festival, starting at 8PM EST, Lawrence M. Krauss, John C. Mather, Amber Miller, Lyman Page, and David Spergel will be discussing the birth of the universe. Popular Science's own senior editor and beer supertaster Martha Harbison will be Twitter-moderating from the @PopSci account, and since the WSF is webcasting the talk for free, you can follow along with both her and the discussion at the same time. Might we also recommend this PopSci Buzzword Bingo game? Get five climate-change buzzwords in a row, and you win (but we all lose.). Watch it here.
Neuroscientists are already able to read some basic thoughts, like whether an individual test subject is looking at a picture of a cat or an image with a specific left or right orientation. They can even read pictures that you're simply imagining in your mind's eye. Even leaders in the field are shocked by how far we've come in our ability to peer into people's minds. Will brain scans of the future be able to tell if a person is lying or telling the truth?
Will future brain imaging allow scientists to read your mind? What does "nothing" really mean, and what is time? Does free will exist? Has intelligence evolved in parallel amongst many species, or is it unique to humans? These are just a few of the topics that will be tackled over the next four days at the second annual World Science Festival. The festival brings together an impressive list of participants: E.O. Wilson, Oliver Sacks, Alan Alda, Glenn Close, Yo-Yo Ma, and Dean Kamen, to name a few. The crème de la crème of the scientific community (including a number of Nobel Laureates), performing and visual artists, innovators in business, and policy-makers will engage in a public discussion about science and encourage scientific discovery and education.