Your biweekly roundup of interesting news in the world of science and policy. Not much policy but heres two items about scientists rocking out, and two “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Science Fiction” reports.
- Rockstars of Science – We all know that scientists are awesome (well at least I know it). Designer Geoffrey Beene wants to make sure everyone else knows it as well, so he started a project called “Rockstars of Science”. He sponsored photoshoots of scientists with actual rockstars and the results are fantastic. Read more about it here at Discovery Blogs and head on over to rockstarsofscience.org to see it all! Check out these Nobel laureates rocking out with Heart:
- Particle Accelerator Music – In an oddly coincidental story, scientists working on the ALTAS project at the Large Hadron Collider have released their first album entitled Resonance. Go check it out here, it’s pretty good! There’s a wide variety of music genres covered, mostly not relating to science at all… well except for this lyric: “When black holes destroy the Earth… I’ll be in a meeting”
- Hide Yourself in Time – Here is a paper recently published by the Journal of Optics where researchers have in essence have developed a technique that will hide events in time rather than objects in space. Bizarre? Yes. Does it work? Apparently so – all you need is something that can slow down the speed of light drastically. Researchers have already been able to slow light down to about 37 mph in special materials so it is technically possible. IO9 runs down the details:
Let’s say you’re standing a mile away from an observer. You start slowly decreasing the speed of the light traveling towards the observer so that it’s only traveling at 60 miles per hour, or a mile per minute. Since you’re slowing the light down gradually, the observer won’t be able to perceive the change. Once the light has reached 60 miles per hour, the observer is now seeing you as you were one minute ago. You’ve now created a one minute spacetime corridor. You’ve now got a minute to do whatever you want without the observer having any idea what you’re up to.
Once your minute is up, you switch off the machine slowing down the light, it speeds back up, and the observer now sees you again as you are right now – or at least as you were a nanosecond ago. That minute is a temporally compressed blip that the observer cannot perceive.
- Researchers Trap Anti-Hydrogen – That’s not a name for a group that opposes research into Hydrogen, it’s actually a particle of Hydrogen made out of antimatter – meaning that instead of being made of normal electrons and protons, it is crafted from positrons (the anti-electron) and anti-protons. Antimatter has been a mainstay of science fiction for decades, such as powering the Enterprise‘s warp drive in Star Trek. Researchers have been able to make it in particle accelerators for a few years but this is the first time anyone has been able to store them for any length of time (it’s only a sixth of a second but in terms of particles that is an enormous amount of time). The reason they are so difficult to create and capture is that whenever antimatter and normal matter touch they instantly annihilate one another. Read more at MSNBC and ScienceNews, original article at Nature.
Have a good week!