Scientists in the United States say they have taken an important step on a decades-old quest to harness nuclear fusion to generate nearly inexhaustible energy. For the first time, two nuclear fusion experiments succeeded in producing more energy than was used to trigger the reaction, the journal Nature reports :: Read the full article »»»»
Swiss astrophysicists have witnessed the most rare of event, a black hole awakening from its slumber to devour a planet-sized object in a galaxy 47 million light years away. Observers from the University of Geneva using the European Space Agency’s INTEGRAL satellite project, revealed a black hole that had been slumbering for years chomping on a giant, low-mass object that had ventured too close.
Scientists at the Swiss university analyse the data collected by INTEGRAL, launched in 2002 to study gamma rays and shed light on events far from Earth’s galaxy. They spotted a light flare coming from a black hole in the centre of the NGC 4845 galaxy, which has a mass more than 300,000 times greater than the Sun and had been dormant for more than 30 years, the university said in a statement.
Matter-sucking black holes normally lurk dormant and undetected at the centre of galaxies, but can occasionally be tracked by the scraps left over from their stellar feasts. This black hole had woken up and absorbed an object with a mass 15 times that of Jupiter after taking three months to drag the snack from its trajectory. It managed to swallow 10 per cent of the object’s total mass, while the remainder stayed in orbit :: Read the full article »»»»
The pinnacle of computer technology is the supercomputer. Never mind gaming rigs like the Alienware Area 51, if one of these babies were ever used for gaming, they’d blow all competition out of their water cooled existence. These systems are powerful enough that they have their own unit of measurement for their processing speed – the petaFLOPS – FLoating point OPerations per Second – odd name, but you can’t deny the power it represents – trillions to quadrillions of operations every nanosecond.
[Just so we don’t get in trouble with the noids that know, a FLOPS is not an actual measured unit. an expression like is actually interpreted as ]
These 3 supercomputers stand out above all others as the best of the best, fastest of the uberfast. Curiously, all of these systems run Linux, wink, wink :: Read the full article »»»»
What’s the worst possible thing that could happen in 2012? It just depends who’s boat your sitting on. For Doomsayers, 2012 is The Apocolypse, The End of Days – much like Harold Camping’s Rapture, May 21, 2011 and October 21, 2011 – For those of us still sat here asking wtf are you dribbling on about?
That überpopular Princeton wiz Michio Kaku – you’ll know who he is when you see the video – dispells a bundle of crackpot prophetic theories via his Big Think session.
The 2012 doomsday prophecies are many and varied, principally comprising of a range of eschatological beliefs according to which cataclysmic events will occur on December 21, 2012. This date is regarded as the end-date of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, and the crackpots swear by it!
Various astronomical alignments and numerological formulae have been proposed as pertaining to this date, though none have been accepted by mainstream scholars, most likely due to the fact that since man began to look up and count at the same time he’s been predicting some form of galactic doom :: Read the full article »»»»
Scientists at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research – CERN – say they have found signs of – although not yet conclusively discovered – the Higgs boson, an elementary particle which is the missing link in the Standard Model of physics.
The famed particle is the missing link in current theories of physics, used to explain how everything gains its mass. Rumors have been crashing about the scientific community for weeks on these findings.
Fabiola Gianotti, the scientist in charge of the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider, said the signal was centred at around 126 – GeV – Giga Electron Volts.
“I think it would be extremely kind of the Higgs boson to be here,” Gianotti told a seminar to discuss the findings :: Read the full article »»»»