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Submission + - Imprisoned Physicist Honored for Refusing to Work on Iran's Nuclear Program (

I3MOUNTAINS writes: Omid Kokabee, a University of Texas graduate student who has been imprisoned in Iran for more than two years, received APS's Andrei Sakharov human rights prize for refusing to collaborate on the country's nuclear program. In May, an Iranian court sentenced him to ten years in prison for "communicating with a hostile government" and receiving "illegal earnings." The so-called "illegal earnings" were the student loans he received while in Texas.

Submission + - Atomic Age Artifacts (

BuzzSkyline writes: "For years in the 1950s and 1960s, the U.S. federal government spent millions stocking fallout shelters for the Soviet atomic attack that never came. But what exactly was the government putting in there? Physics Buzz blogger Quantum takes a look at some of the retro Geiger counters, dosimeters and radiation detectors the U.S. Office of Civil Defense sent to thousands of fallout shelters across the country."

Submission + - Higgs, Schmiggs - the LHC may have Found Physics Beyond the Standard Model ( 3

BuzzSkyline writes: "Fermilab physicists claim to have discovered evidence of new physics in the same LHC data that revealed the existence of a Higgs-like boson. While the Higgs potentially fills in the final piece of the Standard Model puzzle that describes the known fundamental particles, PhysicsBuzz is reporting that papers soon to be posted to the arXiv preprint server argue that the LHC data also show that the Top Quark has a partner predicted by the powerful, but previously unproven, theory of Supersymmetry. If true, the theory may solve the mystery of dark matter, explain why gravity is so weak, and presage the discovery of a whole host of supersymmetric particles."

Submission + - SPAM: Plane completes 17-hour flight without fuel

champ1991 writes: "The Solar Impulse HB-SIA prototype aircraft, which has 12,000 solar cells in its 64.3-meter (193 feet) built wing attempts to register its first intercontinental flight from Payerne to Rabat in Morocco.After a flight about 17 hours, takes the prototype HB- SIA has finally landed in Madrid-Barajas airport. The pilot, André Borschberg, made his way out of the cockpit, smiley and certainly happy to stretch his legs."
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Microgravity Coffee Cup (

BuzzSkyline writes: "Despite the fact that astronauts have been eating and drinking out of tubes for decades, it's actually possible to drink from an open-top cup in space. Astronaut Don Pettit recently downlinked a video that shows him slurping coffee from a cup he kludged out of plastic sheet. It appears to work pretty much like a cup on Earth, even in freefall aboard the International Space Station, thanks to capillary action."

Submission + - Climate Change-Induced Drought Caused the Mayan Collapse (

pigrabbitbear writes: "The collapse of the Mayan empire has already caused plenty of consternation for scientists and average Joes alike, and we haven’t even made it a quarter of the way through 2012 yet. But here’s something to add a little more fuel to the fire: A new study suggests that climate change killed off the Mayans."

Submission + - Nigerian Scam Artists Taken for $33,000 (

smitty777 writes: An Australian woman who was being used by a group of Nigerian scam artists stole over $33,000 from the group who employed her. Her bank account was being used to funnel the cash from a dodgy internet car sales website. Irony aside, it makes one wonder how these folks ever got the nerve to go to the police with this matter. Those of you wondering, this article offers some answers to the question of why so many of these scams originate from this area.

Submission + - Water droplets in orbit on the International Space Station (

BuzzSkyline writes: "Astronaut Don Pettit, who is aboard the International Space Station (ISS) right now, put charged water droplets into wild orbits around a knitting needle in the microgravity environment of the ISS. A video he made of the droplets is the first in a serious of freefall physics experiments that he will be posting in coming months."

Submission + - Fine structure constant may not be so constant (

BuzzSkyline writes: "Physics Buzz is reporting, "Just weeks after speeding neutrinos seem to have broken the speed of light, another universal law, the fine structure constant might be about to crumble." Astronomical observations seem to indicate that the constant, which controls the strength of electromagnetic interactions, is different in distant parts of the universe. Among other things, the paper may explain why the laws of physics in our corner of the universe seem to be finely tuned to support life. The research is so controversial that it took over a year to go from submission to publication in Physical Review Letters, rather than the weeks typical of most other papers appearing in the peer-reviewed journal."

Submission + - Light barrier repels mosquitoes (

kodiaktau writes: Dr. Szabolcs Marka has received one of five $1M grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to continue his experiments with using light beams to create mosquito barriers. This is the second grant he has received from the foundation and proves to be a deviation from the previous and more dangerous use of lasers to control mosquitoes. A video can be seen here

"I've seen the forgeries I've sent out." -- John F. Haugh II (jfh@rpp386.Dallas.TX.US), about forging net news articles