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Moon

How Astrophysicists Hope To Turn the Entire Moon Into a Cosmic Ray Detector 74

Posted by samzenpus
from the that's-no-moon dept.
KentuckyFC writes One of the great mysteries in astrophysics surrounds the origin of ultra-high energy cosmic rays, which can have energies of 10^20 electron volts and beyond. To put that in context, that's a single proton with the same energy as a baseball flying at 100 kilometers per hour. Nobody knows where ultra-high energy cosmic rays come from or how they get their enormous energies. That's largely because they are so rare--physicists detect them on Earth at a rate of less than one particle per square kilometer per century. So astronomers have come up with a plan to see vastly more ultra high energy cosmic rays by using the Moon as a giant cosmic ray detector. When these particles hit the lunar surface, they generate brief bursts of radio waves that a highly sensitive radio telescope can pick up. No radio telescope on Earth is currently capable of this but astronomers are about to start work on a new one that will be able to pick up these signals for the first time. That should help them finally tease apart the origins of these most energetic particles in the Universe .
Science

Simulations Back Up Theory That Universe Is a Hologram 433

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-the-star-trek-kind dept.
ananyo writes "A team of physicists has provided some of the clearest evidence yet that our Universe could be just one big projection. In 1997, theoretical physicist Juan Maldacena proposed that an audacious model of the Universe in which gravity arises from infinitesimally thin, vibrating strings could be reinterpreted in terms of well-established physics. The mathematically intricate world of strings, which exist in nine dimensions of space plus one of time, would be merely a hologram: the real action would play out in a simpler, flatter cosmos where there is no gravity. Maldacena's idea thrilled physicists because it offered a way to put the popular but still unproven theory of strings on solid footing — and because it solved apparent inconsistencies between quantum physics and Einstein's theory of gravity. It provided physicists with a mathematical Rosetta stone, a 'duality', that allowed them to translate back and forth between the two languages, and solve problems in one model that seemed intractable in the other and vice versa. But although the validity of Maldacena's ideas has pretty much been taken for granted ever since, a rigorous proof has been elusive. In two papers posted on the arXiv repository, Yoshifumi Hyakutake of Ibaraki University in Japan and his colleagues now provide, if not an actual proof, at least compelling evidence that Maldacena's conjecture is true."
NASA

Cassini Discovers First River On Another World 230

Posted by timothy
from the ok-now-find-some-rafts dept.
AbsoluteXyro writes "NASA's Cassini orbiter, which has been dutifully exploring the Saturn system since 2004, has captured images of the first river ever observed on another world — and it's a biggun. 200 miles of flowing hydrocarbons meandering down a valley in the north polar region of Saturn's moon Titan, emptying into the awesomely named Kraken Mare — itself a body of liquid roughly the size of the Mediterranean Sea back on Earth. But don't think of going for an extraterrestrial skinny dip quite yet, temperatures on Titan average a brutally cold 290 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit)."
Input Devices

Ask Slashdot: Gaming With Only One Hand? 221

Posted by timothy
from the obvious-witticisms-are-obvious dept.
Hork_Monkey writes "I recently sustained a severe injury to one of my arms, and am lucky not to be an amputee. I'm an avid gamer (primarily PC, but also XBox) and looking for advice one how to adapt to the challenge now presented of enjoying one of my favorite pastimes. My google-fu has led me to some devices and tips, but I wanted to tap the collective while experimenting. I know there have to be some readers in similar positions who could provide some guidance. I'm figuring a few things out, and also hope to share what I find for others in a similar situation."
Books

A Memory of Light To Be Released January 8, 2013 228

Posted by timothy
from the photonic-release dept.
First time accepted submitter Hotawa Hawk-eye writes "Tor Books has announced that the release date for the final volume in the Wheel of Time series of books, A Memory Of Light, will be January 8, 2013. [Barring a Mayan apocalypse, of course.] The fantasy series, started by Robert Jordan and continued by Brandon Sanderson after Jordan's death, will span 15 books and over 10,000 pages."
Shark

Scientists Create World's First Atomic X-Ray Laser 145

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-could-go-wrong? dept.
New submitter newmission33 writes "Government researchers have created the fastest, purest X-ray laser pulses ever achieved, and have fulfilled a 1967 prediction that an atomic scale X-ray laser could be made in the same manner as visible-light lasers, according to a statement released Wednesday. Researchers at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory used the Linac Coherent Light Source to aim a powerful X-ray source beam, a billion times brighter than any previous source, at a capsule of neon gas and triggered an 'avalanche' of X-ray emissions to become the world's first 'atomic X-ray laser.'"
Space

Sunspot Tosses Plasma Cloud Toward Earth 94

Posted by Soulskill
from the how-inconsiderate dept.
parallel_prankster writes "The Washington Post reports that a huge sunspot unleashed a blob of charged plasma Thursday that space weather watchers predict will blast past the Earth on Sunday. Satellite operators and power companies are keeping a close eye on the incoming cloud, which could distort the Earth's magnetic field and disrupt radio communications, especially at higher latitudes. The huge blob of charged gas spotted by NASA satellites is speeding toward Earth at more than 2 million mph. The most damaging solar discharges, which are very rare, can move at speeds more than twice that fast. Here's a more detailed article with some animation."
Space

US Air Force Pays SETI To Check Kepler-22b For Alien Life 301

Posted by Soulskill
from the best-defense-is-a-strong-offense dept.
New submitter iComp writes with this quote from El Reg: "The Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) has announced that it is back in business checking out the new [potentially] habitable exoplanets recently discovered by NASA's Kepler space telescope to see if they might be home to alien civilizations. The cash needed to restart SETI's efforts has come in part from the U.S. Air Force Space Command, who are interested in using the organization's detection instruments for 'space situational awareness'."
AT&T

AT&T Issues Scathing Response To FCC Report 215

Posted by samzenpus
from the we-strongly-disagree dept.
An anonymous reader writes "AT&T has issued a scathing letter in response to the FCC's decision to release a staff report on its findings surrounding AT&T's planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA. 'We expected that the AT&T-T-Mobile transaction would receive careful, considered, and fair analysis,' Jim Cicconi, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President of External & Legislative Affairs, said. 'Unfortunately, the preliminary FCC Staff Analysis offers none of that.'"
AT&T

Justice Dept. Files Antitrust Complaint Against AT&T and T-Mobile Merger 301

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the but-ma-was-so-close-to-being-rebuilt dept.
Hitting the front page for the first time, AngryDeuce writes with a piece of exciting news hot off the news wire. From the article: "The Justice Department is blocking AT&T's $39 billion deal to buy T-Mobile USA, saying the acquisition of the No. 4 wireless carrier in the country by No. 2 AT&T would reduce competition and raise prices. The deal has faced tough opposition from consumer groups and No. 3 carrier Sprint since it was announced in March." The DOJ has released a full statement on their decision to file the antitrust suit, and AT&T has drafted a response. So much for AT&T's paltry promise of bringing 5000 unskilled call center jobs back to the U.S. if the merger were approved. Competition may yet live!
Crime

Law Enforcement Wants To Try 'Predictive Policing' 377

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-anger-the-precogs dept.
Harperdog with this excerpt from a story about using statistics to fight crime: "It’s great when cops catch criminals after they've done their dirty work. But what if police could stop a crime before it was even committed? Though that may sound like a fantasy straight from a Philip K. Dick novel, it's a goal police departments from Los Angeles to Memphis are actively pursuing with help from the Department of Justice and a handful of cutting-edge academics. It's called 'predictive policing.' The idea: Although no one can foresee individual crimes, it is possible to forecast patterns of where and when homes are likely to be burgled or cars stolen by analyzing truckloads of past crime reports and other data with sophisticated computer algorithms. 'We know where crime has occurred in the last month, but that doesn't mean it'll be there next month,' Los Angeles Police Department Lt. Sean Malinowski says. 'The only way for us to continue to have crime reduction is to start anticipating where crime is going to occur.'"
Education

BitTorrent and Khan Academy To Distribute Education 139

Posted by Soulskill
from the racing-to-zero-cost-education dept.
drDugan writes "BitTorrent, Inc. announced this morning that they have launched a partnership with the Khan Academy to distribute open education videos. They launched with more than 2,000 videos, covering high school and college level curriculum, across science, math, history, finance and test prep. All of the videos are free to download and open licensed with Creative Commons."

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