A persistent mystery for art historians and especially students of 20th century art might seem small at first: what kind of paint did Picasso use? But in fact it's a very big shift--Picasso was thought to have been one of the first painters to switch from traditional oil paints to common house paint, which is quick-drying and smooth and allows for a very different style (it doesn't show brush-marks, for example). Now, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Argonne National Laboratory teamed up and used hard x-ray nanoprobes to analyze Picasso's paint at the molecular level.
In two separate studies, the world’s most powerful X-ray laser has been used to build the first atomic X-ray laser pulse, as well as to superheat and control a clump of 2-million-degree matter. The atomic laser could be used to watch biological molecules at work, while the creation of hot dense matter could be used to understand the processes of nuclear fusion.
Darren Samuelson had just taken his last photo of Manhattan when the police arrived. He and his father had been working from an empty dock across the Hudson River, and the authorities wanted to know why they were pointing a five-foot-tall, six foot-long, 70-pound folding contraption at the city. Samuelson pleaded that it was a camera, and that he was just a tourist.
Doctors whose bodies are regularly exposed to x-rays may be adapting at the cellular level to protect themselves against radiation, according to a new study. The research hints that humans could adapt to withstand radiation exposure.
A new type of X-ray microscope — or more appropriately, nanoscope — is another big breakthrough in the world of imaging the small. It computes images rather than glimpsing them directly, allowing scientists to see details at the nanoscale.
By Jennie Walters
Posted 07.26.2011 at 10:12 am 8 Comments
In March, astronomers at Rutgers University studying the supernova remnant Tycho revealed a surprise. Using the Chandra orbiting x-ray telescope, they found unexpectedly structured patterns within Tycho. Normally supernova remnants are chaotic, says Kristoffer Eriksen, who worked on the project. The scientists had anticipated a complicated network of holes and walls inside the royal-blue shock wave, but instead they saw regularly spaced light-blue stripes.
General Electric has pretty much had its hand in every major technological advance in the 130 years since its founding (in part by Thomas Edison!). The company recently started a Tumblr of some of its most striking innovations, filtered through Instagram, a photo sharing service that crops and alters photos to look all fuzzy and vintagey, something like a Polaroid or Instamatic. But this equipment looks at least as amazing without any photo filters, so we asked GE to send us the unaltered photos of these pulse-detonation activators and electrochemical fuel cells and all the other cool stuff they've been posting.
Biologists have just discovered two new species of freshwater stingray in the Amazon rainforest, informally christening them "pancake stingrays" for their distinct IHOPian appearance (see below). Naturally, one of their first orders of business was to x-ray one of the specimens, the unearthly result you see above.
Talk about upping your shutter speed. A new X-ray laser method is able to image a single mimivirus (that’s a large virus, sure, but it’s still really small) completely just before the energy of the X-ray beam cause the virus to explode in a burst of plasma.
A government scientist who helped develop the controversial new naked-body airport scanners says the images could easily be distorted into “grotesque” shapes, much like you would see in a funhouse mirror, to preserve passengers’ privacy.
By Sam Biddle - Gizmodo
Posted 08.26.2010 at 2:30 pm 1 Comment
"Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits," Thomas Edison once said. But is hustling all it takes? Is progress always deliberate? Sometimes genius arrives not by choice—but by chance. Below are our ten favorite serendipitous innovations.
NASA scientists have figured out what temporarily knocked out the X-ray detector on the agency's Swift space observatory earlier this summer: the strongest blast of X-rays ever recorded from beyond the Milky Way slammed into Swift unexpectedly, overwhelming the detector and puzzling mission handlers for a moment. But good luck sending a bill to the culprit for time lost; the X-rays were spawned 5 billion years ago during the violent explosion of a massive star as it turned into a black hole.
Like many pieces of modern medical equipment, X-ray machines are as bulky and energy dependent as they are vital. Even "portable" X-ray machines remain too heavy to carry across rough terrain, and too energy hungry to run off batteries. That's why Radius Health's portable, low energy X-ray machine may revolutionize medicine in disaster zones, on the front lines, and at patients homes.
Powerful X-ray lasers may allow scientists to image tiny drug molecules or even precisely target cancer cells, but the lasers require extremely high-quality mirrors to function well. Now researchers have created a nearly-flawless diamond that can do the job, according to Discovery News.
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.