The White House is kicking off “We the Geeks,” a new series of Google+ Hangouts to highlight the future of science, technology, and innovation here in the United States. Topics such as commercial space exploration, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, turning science fiction to science fact, and others will be discussed with Administration officials and key private sector contributors. Go here to participate in the hangout, or join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #WeTheGeeks.
Posts Tagged ‘World of Science’
This June the core of the Muon g-2 storage ring, built at Brookhaven in the 1990s with help from Berkeley Lab, will move to Fermilab by land and water. Since disassembling the superconducting magnet array isn’t possible, the ring will travel by barge around Florida and up the Mississipi, then by truck to Batavia. Now retired Michael Green, then with Berkeley Lab’s Accelerator and Fusion Research Division, designed the magnets’ cryogenic system and other components during twice-monthly trips to Brookhaven. Muons are heavier cousins of the electron, and at Fermilab the experiment will benefit from much more intense muon beams. More>
After being granted observer status at the United Nations in December – observers can sponsor and sign resolutions, among other privileges, but not vote — CERN’s first official act was to send three women graduate students to a March meeting of the Economic and Social Council to offer recommendations on women in science. The 10 recommendations included three on how to attract young women to science, three on how to increase the number of women hired, and four on how to encourage women to stay in scientific careers. Details of the recommendations appear in symmetry magazine.
As part of its annual Flame Challenge, the Center for Communicating Science asks researchers to explain complicated scientific phenomena in language suitable for an 11 year old to understand. Entries will be screened for accuracy by scientists and then judged by 11-year-olds. Entries must be in English and be original work of the person submitting them. This year, the contest has two categories — written and visual —and entries, due March 1, will be judged within their category. More>
Chi-Chang Kao, an associate laboratory director at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, has been named as the lab’s fifth director. Kao succeeds Persis S. Drell, who announced her intention to step down from the position late last year. He formally assumed his position as director on Nov. 1, 2012. Kao came to SLAC in 2010 from Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York, where he served as chairperson of the National Synchrotron Light Source. Kao earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 1980 from National Taiwan University and a doctorate in chemical engineering from Cornell University in 1988. More>
[Discover] After a series of solo adventures, Marvel’s greatest superheroes have finally join forces on the big screen. As the Avengers suit up to save the day, we took a look at how today’s technology stacks up against the best weapons wielded by our favorite superhumans. For example, Captain America’s shield is made of an alloy with the alien metal vibranium, which absorbs kinetic energy — so the strain of battle only makes it stronger. In the real world, scientists have yet to find a material that gets tougher from taking a hit. But in 2011, Berkeley Lab materials scientists Maximilien Launey and Robert Ritchie unveiled the strongest, toughest substance ever…a microalloy of glass and the rare metal palladium. More>
[Huffington Post] There are plenty of ways to get out of a traffic ticket: charm, flattery, fakery, full on tears, “My uncle is a cop” all come to mind. Submitting a four-page paper with math equations and graphs proving that your traffic violation was the result of the officer suffering from an optical illusion isn’t the strategy most people would employ. It worked, though. In his paper “The Proof of Innocence” Dmitri Krioukov, a physicist at UC San Diego, outlined for a judge the mathematical reasons why he was not guilty of running a stop sign. More>
Just like the descriptions real estate agents use to make properties sound better (“quaint” means small and “character” means funky), scientists also have an arsenal of sayings to help give their research more gravitas, according to a tongue-in-cheek item posted on the American Physical Society website. Among APS’s examples: “A definite trend is evident” means the data is practically meaningless, and “of great theoretical and practical importance” means it’s only interesting to the researcher. Go here to see the full list of humorous aphorisms.
After a year in Asia and South America visiting research labs that lacked the basics, Lina Nilsson — a postdoc in the bioengineering lab of professor Daniel Fletcher (also a Berkeley Lab researcher in the Physical Biosciences Division) — and a team of engineering colleagues brainstormed about how to develop low-cost, accessible tools that could produce research-grade results. The team evolved into Tekla Labs, a cooperative of ten partners from Berkeley Engineering and UCSF. Their idea won first place for social entrepreneurship in the 2010-11 Big Ideas @ Berkeley contest. More>
The world of science was upended last year when an experiment appeared to show one of Einstein’s fundamental theories was wrong – but now the lab behind it says the result could have been caused by a loose cable. Physicists at the CERN research institute near Geneva appeared to contradict Albert Einstein’s 1905 Special Theory of Relativity last year when they reported that sub-atomic particles called neutrinos could travel fractions of a second faster than light. Last week, ScienceInsider, a website run by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, reported that the surprising result was down to a loose fiber optic cable linking a GPS satellite receiver to a computer. More>