Links for 2010-01-12

  • "The IceCube neutrino observatory is a kilometre-scale array of photon detectors buried under the ice at the South Pole. When neutrinos pass through the ice, they occasionally bump into atoms creating particles called muons. These muons then generate light as they pass through the ice which is then picked up by the detector allowing scientists to determine the direction of the incoming neutrino.

    The trouble is that most of the muons that IceCube sees are not generated by neutrinos at all but by collisions between cosmic rays and atoms in the upper atmosphere. In fact for every muon fathered by a neutrino, IceCube sees a million muons fathered by cosmic rays.

    Of course, scientists have all kinds of ways to filter out these atmospheric muons which have always been thought of as unwanted noise. Today, however, Serap Tilav and buddies from the IceCube Collaboration say that this background noise might be more useful than had been thought. "

  • "Motivational gurus encouraging us in the use of positive self-talk have become so commonplace that their entreaties can begin to sound ridiculous: from curing our own diseases to making ourselves millionaires before we're 40 to climbing Mount Everest, they insist that if we only set our minds to it, we can make our every dream come true.

    While the attainment of grandiose objectives may appear to many of us to be beyond the power of self-inflicted brain-washing, there is a nugget of truth in all the hype. A positive attitude can most certainly contribute to the achievement of smaller goals -- such as writing a funding application."

  • "Can measurement of one quantum system instantaneously affect the measurement outcome of another, even if the systems are spatially separated? This question has never been clearly answered for solid-state materials. Now, a new experiment by L. G. Herrmann in France, working with colleagues in France, Spain, and Germany, published in Physical Review Letters [1] demonstrates that electrons entangled in a superconducting Cooper pair can be spatially separated into different arms of a carbon nanotube, a material thought favorable for the efficient injection and transport of split, entangled pairs. This work may help pave the way for tests of nonlocal effects in solid-state systems, as well as applications such as quantum teleportation and ultrasecure communication."
  • "The new galaxies, along with other recent discoveries like the violent supernova explosion of a star only 620 million years after the Big Bang, take astronomers deep into a period of cosmic history known as the dark ages, which has been little explored. It was then that stars and galaxies were starting to light up vigorously in larger and larger numbers and that a fog of hydrogen that had enveloped space after the Big Bang fires had cooled mysteriously dissipated. "
  • ""This is one of the most fascinating tasks I've worked on," said air crewman Geoff Abrahams, who aided the response of the RACQ CQ Rescue helicopter on Sunday.

    "Realistically, what are the chances of being stung by a jellyfish when you are safely on board a bulk carrier 25 metres above the water. It's really incredible.""

  • As many publishing houses -- not least university presses -- scramble to adapt to the demand for digital, online, and free content, one college's decision to start a publishing enterprise that focuses on printed books by no-name authors might seem counterintuitive.

    But that's what Vermont's Champlain College is doing with its Champlain College Publishing Initiative, a project that publishes student work and, in addition to selling it, collects it in anthologies to use as classroom texts for the college's professional writing program.


More like this

Views: In Loco Parentis, Post-Juicy Campus - Inside Higher Ed "With the digital age in full swing, colleges must reconceptualize what it means to act in loco parentis, and how, to the extent they can do anything, they can best serve their students. The answer is not to read into OCR investigations…
Moving Toward Quantum Computing - Science in 2011 - "In 1981 the physicist Richard Feynman speculated about the possibility of "tiny computers obeying quantum mechanical laws." He suggested that such a quantum computer might be the best way to simulate real-world quantum systems, a…
[0711.0745] Imaging the Internal Structure of the Earth with Atmospheric Neutrinos "The absorption of neutrinos with energies in excess of 10 TeV when traversing the Earth is capable of revealing its density distribution." (tags: physics theory articles science) mmcirvin: Retract your ad…
DLMF: NIST Digital Library of Mathematical Functions An Abromowitz and Stegun for the Internet age. (tags: math science software physics books internet) Blog U.: Is TED Making Us Stupid? - Technology and Learning - Inside Higher Ed "Pre-TED, I used to be able to sit through a boring lecture or…

MINOS has also measured atmospheric temperatures with cosmic muons ("Sudden stratospheric warmings seen in MINOS deep underground muon data" Geophys.Res.Lett.36:L05809,2009) aren't even safe if you stay out of the water!

I feel sorry for the guy that was stung by the Irukandji. While it is not lethal, the day it stings you will probably be the worst day of your life because its venom causes unbearable pain.