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Nature Blows, Rattles and Rolls! The Typhoon and Earth Quake Connection

Posted: January 7th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Applied Science, Cankler, Geology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Nature Blows, Rattles and Rolls! The Typhoon and Earth Quake Connection

Nature is a harsh mistress. The more we study the natural world the more we come to understand how the various natural system are inter-connected. Recently scientists from Florida International University have established a connection between large Typhoons and earthquakes. While earthquakes are a complex event with many causes this is one more piece of the puzzle that will help us understand the world we live in.

The most destructive earthquakes are the result of the Earth’s crust being made of a number of separate plates – tectonic plates – that just won’t stand still. As the plates are made of rock and earth they are rough causing friction as they grind together. This friction causes the plates to lock at the edges while the rest of the plate behind continue to move forward, building up pressure where the plates meet – convergent plate boundaries  -. When this pressure is released earthquakes are the result. The amount of energy that is released during an earthquake is astronomical. The total energy released by Japans recent earthquake – total energy or seismic moment – equates to 600 million times the energy released by the Hiroshima atomic bomb. All of that energy had built in the crust and was released in just a few minutes of shaking.

“Very wet rain events are the trigger,” said Wdowinski, associate research professor of marine geology and geophysics at the UM Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. “The heavy rain induces thousands of landslides and severe erosion, which removes ground material from the Earth’s surface, releasing the stress load and encouraging movement along faults.” Read the full article »»»»


Quantum Levitation

Posted: November 2nd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Applied Science, Cankler, Quantum Mechanics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Quantum Levitation
Levitation, the ability to appear to defy gravities bonds, has long fascinated humanity. From flying carpets to flying nuns it has long been part of our culture. There is a modern take on this ancient story as well, Superconducting Levitation.
Seemingly able to cancel out gravity and allow objects to levitate, it seems to be the answer to giving us mere mortals at least one of superman’s powers, the ability to fly. Unfortunately superconductors don’t cancel out gravity and we will never fly under our own power, undies on the outside maybe. Instead the levitating effect called Quantum Levitation uses  a number of the unusual properties of superconductors to create the effect.
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All current superconductors need the cold to enter their superconducting phase. In this phase electrons are able to move about without any resistance, power loss or heat generated, which is typical for most wires or electronics that use ordinary conductors :: Read the full article »»»»

DARPA’s Phoenix Program

Posted: October 31st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Cankler, Science, Science News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on DARPA’s Phoenix Program

Satellites envelop our world like a web, another kind of world wide web. Proving to be indispensable for communications, scientific exploration and avoiding getting lost when shopping, they have become our eyes and ears in the sky, an essential part of everyday life.

DARPA, America’s greatest research and development organizations has turned it’s  attention to space junk and satellites. With such previous contributions to society such as the Internet and GPS satellites DARPA isn’t the sort of company you ignore. Sure they may have their odd flight of fancy, the flying Humvee idea turned a lot of heads, turned heads with curious looks wanting to ask flying what now? Project Phoenix aims to create a new class of satellite, the Borg Satellite.

The Borg or Tender – DARPA’s designation – space robot will be able to disassemble and maintain other satellites. Eventually DARPA hopes the Tender’s will be able build working satellites from various spare parts floating around in GEO – geostationary – orbit. Could the DARPA Borg satellites begin eating other satellites and produce kill-bots to take over the world, possibly but there are a lot of technological hurdles to overcome yet :: Read the full article »»»»


Iron Age Nanoparticles

Posted: October 30th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Cankler, Engineered Life, Nanotechnology, Science | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Iron Age Nanoparticles

Since the emergence of nanotechnology, researchers, regulators and the public have been concerned at the potential toxicity of nano-sized products, the U.S. government has an admirably large funding program for the technology, especially in it’s medical application. And though their haven’t been any large scale commercial breakthroughs, nanomedicine battles on to  refine the application of molecular nanotechnology.

Much hope is placed in the forward looking researchers who are as we write, furthering their research into the delivery of drugs via nanoscale particles, macromolecules, biopharmaceuticals, flesh welding surgery utilizing gold coated nanoshells, or the visionary field of neuro-electronic interfaces. The uses of nanoparticles in medicine is seemingly endless, except of course for that handicap all foreign objects face when entering the human body; our immune system and it’s antibodies, Nanomedicine it would seem is the way of the future. At any moment a breakthrough is likely to hit the journals, ‘Nanoparticle Targeting Kills Cancer’ until that day though nonomedicine is largely restricted to diagnostic practice. Read the full article »»»»


Sorry Albert!!

Posted: September 30th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Cankler Science News | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Sorry Albert!!

It is it seems the week of Albert, Einstein that is! After have his theory of Relativity questioned by OPERA – Albert Einstein can once again rest in peace. Scientists at the Niels Bohr Institute have proven his General Theory of Relativity. In fairness the researchers have not only proven the theory, they’ve done it on a cosmic scale. Through their research of large galaxy clusters – which are the largest known gravity bound objects anywhere – have such a strong pull that they should cause light to red-shift –  proportionally increase in wavelength – shifting towards the red end of the visible spectrum. To test it, researchers measured beams from 8,000 clusters, revealing that they do indeed cause a change in light’s wave-length, supporting Albert’s theory. Check the clever boffins at Niels Bohr > www.nbi.ku.dk