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Posts Tagged ‘UK Science’

Stephen Hawking: ‘I Held A Party For Time-Travellers… But None Came’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 3, 2012

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Hawking

Stephen Hawking recently gave a party – for time travellers.

But while he told plenty of people about the date, sent out invitations and waited patiently for them to arrive, no body came.

Of course that might have been because he waited until the party was over to send out the invites.

Professor Hawking explained his failed experiment in a recent interview with various journalists, written up by Ars Technica.

“I have experimental evidence that time travel is not possible,” he said.

“I gave a party for time-travellers, but I didn’t send out the invitations until after the party. I sat there a long time, but no one came.”

Hawking has previously spoken about the party, which was ‘held’ on 28th June 2009, and produced a video about the experiment – but due to the laws of causality, no one has retrospectively showed up.

Hawking also said that Einstein’s theories offer the possibility of travelling backwards in time – but “it is likely that warping would trigger a bolt of radiation that would destroy the spaceship and maybe the space-time itself”.

In the interview Hawking was also asked about alien life – and reassuringly said that it isn’t likely aliens are coming to visit.

“I’m discounting claims that UFOs contain aliens. Why would they appear only to cranks and weirdos?” he asked. Read the rest of this entry »

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Global Warming Is No Longer a Future Problem, It’s a Now Event

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 29, 2012

By Jason Mraz, Singer songwriter

This past February, 2012, on the day after the Superbowl, I achieved enlightenment on a flight from Ushuaia Argentina, the southernmost city in the world, headed back to The United States.

It wasn’t the first time I’d achieved such a glorious and all encompassing perspective; that moment where you think and figure less, and simply just are. a being. being; experiencing your interconnectedness to all things; realising what you are is only that you are. and in that; everything.

The first time I experienced it was in a bath tub in New York City. For no reason to my knowledge I suddenly saw how every tile surrounding the tub was made, manufactured, and grouted with love. I saw how the plumbing was only made possible by a plumber who either loved his job or his family, enabling him to do such a fine job connecting the pipes from below the city streets all the way up to the 23rd floor where I was pruning in the tub. Behind every detail I saw an act of creation by a creature who was a product of creation itself. The material world seemed less material and appeared to me as it really was; an extension of my experience, that which I sometimes call my Self. I didn’t float in the tub figuring it all out or making anything up, it was just a clear and present stream of consciousness that brought me to tears; eventually twisting its way down the drain and leaving me just as watered and weighed down by the gravity of being human trying to maintain or make sense of the memory, as I was uplifted only moments before. Read the rest of this entry »

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Antarctica’s Ice Shelves Melting Quicker Than Scientists Previously Thought, New Study Shows (PHOTOS)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 26, 2012

Antarctica

Global sea levels could rise at a significantly higher rate than had been previously predicted, a new study, published this week in the journal Nature, revealed.

The findings, which came from research led by glaciologist Hamish Pritchard of theBritish Antarctic Survey (BAS), show that the western side of Antarctica is shedding 23 feet of ice sheet each year, from a mixture of causes, most of which are man-made.

Using the NASA ICESat satellite, which recorded 4.5 million measurements over five years, the BAS discovered that 20 of Antarctica’s 54 ice shelves across Antarctica were actually being melted from below, by warm water, rather than warmer air caused by global warming. They believe that changes in wind currents pushed warmer water towards the ice shelves.

This means that a larger amount of ice is melting in the area than was previously thought.

The cause of the wind change itself, Pritchard said, was due to man-made greenhouse gases and the hole in the ozone layer, as well as natural weather variation.

Pritchard said: “In most places in Antarctica, we can’t explain the ice-shelf thinning through melting of snow at the surface, so it has to be driven by warm ocean currents melting them from below.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Mars: ‘Life On The Red Planet Is 99% Certain’ As 1976 Samples Taken By Nasa’s Twin Viking Landers Are Revisted

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 13, 2012

 

New analysis of soil samples taken on a Mars mission in 1976 have revealed evidence of life, a report claims.

The samples, collected by Nasa’s twin Viking Mars landers, were initially thought to show proof of geological activity, but not biological evidence.

But new analysis by researchers at the University of Siena and California’s Keck Institute believe the original experiments may have been flawed and that there was proof of microbial life.

“On the basis of what we’ve done so far, I’d say I’m 99 per cent sure there’s life there,” said Joseph D Miller, associated professor of cell and neurobiology at the University of Southern California’s Keck School. Read the rest of this entry »

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Stephen Hawking To Make Cameo In ‘The Big Bang Theory’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 12, 2012

Physicist Stephen Hawking is to make a cameo appearance in American sitcom The Big Bang Theory.

The eminent scientist, who recently turned 70, will turn up in the show after filing his spot on a recent trip to California.

Hawking will guest star on the CBS-produced show on 5 April.

For those familiar to the programme, we’re informed Hawking will meet Sheldon, the most neurotic and nerdy genius among the four nerdy geniuses at the show’s core.

Sheldon was pranked in previous episode with a fake voicemail supposedly from the brilliant scientist. Read the rest of this entry »

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GJ1214b, New ‘Water World’ Planet Confirmed By Hubble Telescope

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 22, 2012

Astronomers have identified a new category of planet which is dominated by water.

GJ1214b, which was discovered in 2009, is a “water world” enshrouded by a thick, steamy atmosphere, researchers using Nasa’s Hubble Space Telescopehave confirmed.

The watery planet exists in a solar system known to already contain rocky, terrestrial worlds (like Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars), gas giants (including Jupiter and Saturn) and ice giants like Uranus and Neptune.

Planets orbiting distant stars come in an even wider variety, including lava worlds and “hot Jupiters”.

Zachory Berta, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics (CfA), said: “GJ1214b is like no planet we know of. A huge fraction of its mass is made up of water.”

GJ1214b was discovered in 2009 by the ground-based MEarth (pronounced “mirth”) Project, which is led by CfA’s David Charbonneau. This super-Earth is about 2.7 times Earth’s diameter and weighs almost 7 times as much. It orbits a red-dwarf star every 38 hours at a distance of 1.3 million miles, giving it an estimated temperature of 450° Fahrenheit. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mars Rocks Fall In Morocco, Scientists Confirm

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 18, 2012

Rocks from a meteorite shower which fell on Morocco are from Mars, scientists have confirmed.

 

The 15 pounds of rock fell to Earth last July, but were only discovered at the end of December.

 

It marks the fifth time in history that scientists have chemically confirmed Martian meteorites that people have witnessed falling to Earth.

 

The discovery is significant because so far no Nasaor Russian spacecraft has returned bits of Mars, so the only samples examined have been brought to Earth through meteor showers, AP reported.

 

The rocks are rarer than gold, and as a result are worth ten times as much.

 

Former Nasa sciences chief Alan Stern said: “It’s Christmas in January. It’s nice to have Mars sending samples to Earth, particularly when our pockets are too empty to go get them ourselves.”

 

Known Martian meteorite falls happen only once every 50 years or so, the Daily Mail reported.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Internet Addiction ‘Disrupts Teenage Brains’ As Much As Alcohol And Cocaine, Chinese Study Claims

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 12, 2012

Internet addiction disrupts nerve wiring in the brains of teenagers, a “groundbreaking” study has found.

Similar effects have been seen in the brains of people exposed to alcohol, cocaine and cannabis.

The discovery shows that being hooked on a behaviour can be just as physically damaging as addiction to drugs, scientists believe.

Internet addiction disorder (IAD) is a recently recognised condition characterised by out-of-control internet use.

Sufferers spend unhealthy amounts of time “online” to the extent that it impairs their quality of life.

Denied access to their computers, they may experience distress and withdrawal symptoms including tremors, obsessive thoughts, and involuntary typing movements of the fingers.

Until now research on IAD has focused on psychological assessments.

The new study, from China, used a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technique to look at its effects on brain structure.

Scans were carried out on 17 internet-addicted adolescents and 16 non-addicted individuals, and the results were compared.

In the IAD-diagnosed teenagers, the scientists found evidence of disruption to “white matter” nerve fibres connecting vital parts of the brain involved in emotions, decision making, and self-control.

A measurement of water diffusion called “fractional anisotropy” (FA) was used which provides a picture of the state of nerve fibres. Low FA was an indicator of poor nerve fibre structure. Read the rest of this entry »

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Stephen Hawking: We Should Colonise Mars But Encountering Aliens ‘Will Not End Well’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 8, 2012

Professor Stephen Hawking told listeners of BBC Today programme that he thought humans would almost definitely colonise Mars, but he warned against encouraging alien encounters.

As Stephen Hawking’s 70th birthday approaches, the scientist who was told he wouldn’t live past 40 answered some of the public’s questions focusing on humanity’s destiny to inhabit outer space.

A bit of a futurist, Hawking’s latest book, George’s Secret Key To The Universe is an explanation of the world aimed at children, a lesson for the next generation.

It’s not the first time Hawking has advised people to“reach out to the stars.” The physicist has long been outspoken on the subject of humanity’s intergalactic future.

He was the first quadriplegic to experience zero gravity, after a sub orbital space flight in 2009. At the time, he justified the £100,000 needed (and donated by Richard Branson) by saying:

“Many people have asked me why I am taking this flight. I am doing it for many reasons.

“First of all, I believe that life on Earth is at an ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster such as sudden nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus, or other dangers.

“I think the human race has no future if it doesn’t go into space. I therefore want to encourage public interest in space.”

This anxiety was picked up again in Hawking’s answer on the Today programme. He was asked “Do you think the human race will survive all potential disasters and eventually colonise the stars?”

His response reflects worries of biological and particularly nuclear warfare:

“It is possible that the human race could become extinct, but it is not inevitable.

“I think it is almost certain that a disaster such as nuclear war or global warming will befall the Earth within a thousand years.”

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Stephen Hawking: Women Are ‘A Complete Mystery’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 5, 2012

Professor Stephen Hawking, one of the world’s most eminent physicists, has admitted that women number among black holes and supersymmetry as one of the greatest mysteries in the universe.

In an interview with New Scientist magazine ahead of his 70th birthday on Sunday, Hawking was asked what he thinks about most during the day.

“Women,” he replied. “They are a complete mystery”.

Hawking was diagnosed with motor neurone disease at the age of 21, and was expected to live for just a few years.

Since his diagnosis Hawking has gone on to become one of the world’s most famous scientists, both for his academic work on black holes and his books including A Brief History Of Time, which has sold more than 10m copies since 1988.

In the interview with New Scientist, Hawking also refers to the “blunders” that have blighted his academic and also his personal life.

“I used to think that information was destroyed in black holes,” he said. “That was my biggest blunder, or at least my biggest blunder in science.”

Asked to list the most exciting developments in science in his career, Hawking discusses recent evidence discovered that appear to confirm the theory of inflation – the idea that the universe underwent a period of sudden expansion after the big bang.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Darpa Research: Pentagon Scientists Create ‘Time Holes’ To Hide Events As They Happen

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 5, 2012

We’re used to the idea of soldiers working in the dark or even via remote control.

But how about working in an cloud of invisibility that not only masks objects – but actual events?

Well, catch up. American scientists working for the Pentagon have published research which demonstrates how to hide history as it happens.

A team at Cornell University working with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) has published a report in the journal Nature demonstrating how to hide an event for 40 trillionths of a second.

The effect, described as “spatio-temporal cloaking”, depends on the ability to slow the flow of light from events as they occur – making them impossible to observe.

Researchers passed a beam of green light through a lens while travelling inside a fiber-optic cable. The lens split the light into one slow beam and one fast beam, and then fired a red laser into the same space. The red laser was not visible, because it was fired during the gap between the different green lasers.

Confused? We don’t blame you. Even the researchers admit there is a big difference between hiding laser beams for 40 picoseconds and hiding military operations lasting minutes – or even several seconds.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Are Aliens On The Moon? Scientists Want YOU To Join The Search

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 26, 2011

American scientists want to enlist online volunteers to identify signs of alien life in moon images collected by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).

Physicists Paul Davies and Robert Wagner ofArizona State University believe there may be signs of extra terrestrial life in the form of messages, scientific instruments, waste or evidence of mining that could be spotted by human telescopes and orbiting spacecraft.

In their paper published online in the journal Acta Astronautica, the pair wrote: “Although there is only a tiny probability that alien technology would have left traces on the moon in the form of an artefact or surface modification of lunar features, this location has the virtue of being close, and of preserving traces for an immense duration.

“If it costs little to scan data for signs of intelligent manipulation, little is lost in doing so, even though the probability of detecting alien technology at work may be exceedingly low.”

The paper adds: “Alien civilizations may have sent probes to our region of the galaxy. Any mission to the solar system would probably have occurred a very long time ago.

“The lunar environment could preserve artefacts for millions of years.”

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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The Gods must be crazy: Metal ‘Teletubby head’ falls near Namibian village

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 23, 2011

Namibia, Desert Region : A handout photo provided by the National Forensic Science Institute shows a giant metallic ball of 1,1 metre in diameter weighing some 6 kilograms that fell out of the sky on a remote grassland in Namibia, prompting baffled authorities to contact NASA and the European space agency (ESA) on December 21, 2011. AFP Photo / National Forensic Science Institute)

Mystery surrounds a 13-pound unidentified flying object which fell from the skies in northern Namibia. Despite efforts by researchers to identify its composition and origins, nobody has been able to establish where the metal sphere came from.

Mystery surrounds a 13-pound unidentified flying object which fell from the skies in northern Namibia. Despite efforts by researchers to identify its composition and origins, nobody has been able to establish where the metal sphere came from.

The ball, weighing 13 pounds (5.9 kilograms) and measuring 14 inches (35 centimeters) in diameter hit the ground next to the Namibian village of Omanatunga in the Omunsati region in the north of the country.

Locals reported hearing a series of loud explosions before the sphere was found by a farmer sometime between November 15 and November 20. The metal ball was found some 60 feet (1.5 meters) away from a small crater it is assumed to have created when it fell.

Ever since, local officials and researchers have been kept busy investigating the origins and make-up of the mysterious ball. Local police chief Vilho Hifindaka was quick to calm everyone down by saying the object did not pose any danger, as it was hollow inside.

The director of the Namibian National Forensic Science Institute, Paul Vidik, said the two sides of the ball appear to be welded together and that the sphere contains a metal alloy used in spaceships. He rejected the idea that it could be an extraterrestrial object and said such findings are commonplace throughout the southern hemisphere – in South America, Africa and Australia.   Read the rest of this entry »

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God Particle: Why The Truth About The Higgs Boson Is Still Probably Stranger Than Fiction

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 13, 2011

Physicists at Cern, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, have announced new evidence hinting towards – although not quite confirming – the existence of the so-called God Particle, aka the Higgs Boson.

Current best guesses put the date of the Higgs’ final discovery at some time towards the end of 2012.

The elusive particle is almost impossible to see with human instruments, but theoretically makes up much of the mass of the universe and helps explain missing elements in the General Model of How Stuff Works.

If that sounds simplistic, well, it is. When it comes to the Higgs Boson, it’s hard to be anything but.

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) itself is difficult enough to describe. It stretches for 27km around the French-Swiss border at a depth of 100m, and accelerates particles to near the speed of light in order to smash them together and inspect the debris. Costing more than £6bn it’s one of the largest, most expensive and most complicated experiments in the world.

But what does that really mean? Without the bits in between – the science – the LHC just sounds like a big, weird tunnel.

The problem is that reporting about anything to do with Cern is hideously difficult for non-scientists, and doing so on deadline in under 500 words is even harder. Read the rest of this entry »

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Faster Than The Speed Of Light: New Particles Challenge Einstein Theory

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 24, 2011


Time to time lots of questions raised this kind of issue but Einstein is Einstein.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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