Scientist are about to drop antimatter to see how it behaves in gravity — Antimatter continues to behave just like regular matter, no matter what tests scientists throw at it. And in the face of yet another new challenge, antimatter has again refused to crack.
In a new study, physicists attempted to find differences between matter and antimatter – confusingly, also a kind of matter, but with the opposite charge and other differences. It’s like an evil twin. Also confusingly, the universe has way more matter than antimatter, for no clear reason.
~ Sounds ominous if you ask me.
Scientists deliver a longer-lasting Lithium-Oxygen battery — Packing more energy into batteries is the key to delivering electric cars with longer range, smartphones that can last days – and cheaper electronic products all around. Lithium-oxygen batteries represent one of the more promising paths toward that end.
In a paper published this week in Science journal, researchers at the University of Waterloo identified ways of addressing some of the major hurdles to converting that potential into commercial reality, for example switching from a carbon cathode to one made of nickel oxide and supported by a stainless steel mesh.
~ Smaller will be the biggest advance really – an iPhone can be up to 60% battery.
Submarines emailing planes — It is difficult for planes to pick up underwater sonar signals because they reflect back from the water’s surface and rarely break through. The researchers found an extremely high-frequency radar could detect tiny ripples in water, created by an ordinary underwater speaker. This could let lost flight recorders and submarines communicate with planes. Submarines communicate using sonar waves, which travel well underwater but struggle to break through the surface.
MIT uses an underwater speaker to aim sonar signals directly at the water’s surface, creating tiny ripples only a few micrometres in height. These ripples can be detected by high-frequency radar above the water and decoded back into messages.
~ Sounds wildly impractical if you ask me, considering the constantly-changing state of the surface of the ocean.
Giant speaker tower to sound again — This was once the loudest thing around. Built in the late 1960s as a military weapon, the 30-foot-tall concrete block is honeycombed with 48 large holes, each home to a separate speaker. When it’s turned up full blast, the sounds the station makes can be heard up to 24 kms (15 miles) away. Indeed, that was the point: Until it was taken off duty in the 1970s, the mega-megaphone was used to holler anticommunist messages across the Taiwan Strait, from Kinmen into China.
Now it will serve a different purpose. A group of artists has decided to reactivate Beishan Broadcast Station for a sound art performance. Led by the Taiwanese artist and curator Ada Kai-Ting Yang and the French artist Augustin Maurs, the performance, called Sonic Territories, will “investigate aspects of sonic propaganda” while “exploring imagined territories and soundscapes.”
~ I am sure we can all think of other uses.
New way of preserving shipwrecks — Scientists from the University of Glasgow, the University of Warwick, and the Mary Rose Trust have devised a method for removing agents of rot from the celebrated warship the Mary Rose’s body, offering shipwrecks everywhere a brighter future.
~ It’s all about removing the iron ions.
Ancient Mayan forest predicts our future — More than 3000 years ago, the ancient Maya people spread across the Yucatán Peninsula and neighbouring areas, clearing rainforest for agriculture and cities as they went. Though their civilisation mysteriously collapsed around the ninth century, it left an indelible mark on the region’s tropical rainforests, one that presents a warning to people clear-cutting the tropics today.
Research published in Nature Geoscience suggests that centuries of deforestation during the heyday of Mayan civilisation had a profound and lasting impact on rainforests’ ability to keep carbon locked in the ground. But while the Maya didn’t need to worry about a little extra carbon escaping to the atmosphere, modern society – which is doing far more extensive damage to Earth’s rainforests than the Maya did 3000 years ago – does.
~ Even back then, the carbon sink never recovered to where it was before human settlement.