Get ready to flip the dial on your compass by 180° soon. Well not real soon, but indications point to another reversal of the Earth's magnetic field reversal in as little as 1,500 years. To more accurately investigate the phenomenon, researchers at the U. of MD have constructed a 30-ton sphere that spins at more than 90 mph to generate magnetic fields. The 10-ft sphere is filled with 13.5 tons of liquid sodium to mimic the Earth’s liquid-iron center core. A 3.3-ft sphere counterrotates inside the larger one.
This robotic pack "animal" is so life-like that it is shocking. You would swear it is some kind of hoax - but it definitely is not! If you have not already watched the video of Boston Dynamics' Big Dog in action, you need to do so now.
If not for being so pathetic, it would be funny. Watch/listen as a politician reads into the Congressional Record the EPA's procedure for properly handling the cleanup and disposal of CFL light bulbs. Hopefully, by the time the light bulb police require us all to stop using incandescent bulbs, the LED models will be available.
You've heard of playing an air guitar. Well, this is sort of an air amp + speaker + light show all in one. All the action is provided by a Tesla Coil that is rigged to respond to an electric guitar. There is not a lot of background info on the contraption, or even the inventor. It definitely passes the geek test.
An IEEE reporter gives a brief tour of the $8B, Large Hadron Collider (LHC), operated by CERN. This is the machine that kooks have sued to try to keep from operating, fearing the creation of an Earth-swallowing black hole. The LHC made its debut 1-way test last week, 20 years after breaking ground. The 12 kiloton, 5-story main detectors contain enough wire to wrap 7x around earth.
Converting pond scum into biofuels is the crowning achievement of Valcent Products, which has developed a conversion system that uses engineered algae. Unlike current processes that waste consumable food crops to produce less than break-even energy yields just to make certain types feel good about themselves, no child (human, anyway) will go hungry because of Vertigro production. A hectare of processing area can yield more than 48,000 L of oil per year, while the same area of a corn field gets you only 40 L/yr. Founder Kertz predicts refinement of the process can eventually yield 150,000 L/hectare/year. Here is a video of the process.
If you have an HP 54600B o-scope sitting around the lab, here is a way to reduce a little stress. #1 Power on the scope. #2 Press the button "Print/Utility" once. #3 Hold function buttons 2 and 3 down at the same time, for half a second. Play Tetris! Maybe it works on other models as well.
Watch a Boeing 777 be fully assembled, painted and flown in 4 minutes and 10 seconds. Engineering projects of this magnitude always amaze me when I consider the logistics involved: materials sciences, human factors, electronics, aerodynamics, communications, computer simulations, and much more. Thanks to Cornell.
I wish I understood Japanese and knew what these guys are saying. Evidently, building and operating giant air vortex guns is great sport in Japan. Adding smoke to the mix for enhanced visualization gives it a cool, menacing, sci-fi look.
Here is why your mother told you to never stand under a tree during a lightning storm. What's the safest place to be while outside? In your car. Supposedly, nobody has ever been killed (at least in Canada) when lightning struck the car he/she was in. It is due to that Faraday Shield thing at work.
Lehigh University mechanical engineering students and profs introduced Broughal MS students to the process of computer-based design and manufacturing by helping them modify their Matchbox cars for a good old-fashioned downhill race (w/modern electronic timer). They aerodynamically shaped the car, then created wax and aluminum molds for producing plastic prototypes of their designs.
This video shows how an electron rides on a light wave after just having been pulled away from an atom. This is the first time an electron has ever been filmed in this way. "We demonstrate a quantum stroboscope based on a sequence of identical attosecond pulses that are used to release electrons into a strong infrared laser field exactly once per laser cycle."