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Comment Re:chi b star (Score 4, Interesting) 144

Your summary seems good. Although for your Hadrons, its better to understand that, a Baryon contains 3 quarks and an Antibaryon contains 3 anti-quarks. The meson, however, contains a quark and an antiquark. Two quarks or two anti-quarks are never stable. This is due to Color Confinement.

A quark can contain a Red, Blue, or Green color. An antiquark can contain an Anti-red, Anti-blue, or Anti-green color. Any stable particle must be colorless, or white. You can make White with Red+Green+Blue (Baryons), Anti-Red+Anti-Green+Anti-Blue (Anti-Baryons), or Red+Anti-Red, Green+Anti-Green, or Blue+Anti-Blue (Mesons)

Comment Re:Well that was certainly worth €10 billion (Score 2) 144

The "hundreds of scientists" bit wasn't an argument for the LHC producing jobs, but just that there are hundreds of scientists each working on several papers that are all producing interesting results. So the fact that we see "New particle at LHC" articles everywhere after several months of running is misleading, as several LHC-related papers are put on the arxiv each week.

Comment Re:Baryon Discoveries (Score 1) 144

Most of the energy is the "binding energy" or in this case, the energy of the gluons mediating the strong force that holds the quarks together. The actual sum of the 3 quarks is only a small part of the total mass. But with E=mc^2, Mass and Energy are equivalent, and the large amount of energy binding the 3 quarks together becomes the mass.

Comment Baryon Discoveries (Score 5, Insightful) 144

I just want to provide a little context to this announcement. As shown in the article, this is a Baryon, made up of 3 quarks. With 6 possible types of quarks, and 3 spots, this makes for many possible combinations of Baryons, a lot that have been found. Here is a current list of baryons:

PDG Baryon List

The proton and neutron are the p and n in the top left. The new Cascade (Xi_b) will be in the bottom right, in the "Bottom quark" section.

So this is neat and all, but hyped up a bit because its the LHC. A couple of these new Baryon (and also Mesons) are confirmed every year.

Comment Re:Well that was certainly worth €10 billion (Score 3, Interesting) 144

I know this is slightly in jest, but this paper is not the sum-total of all of the work at the LHC.

There are 6 projects, each with hundreds of scientists, all of whom are juggling many papers at once. This Xi stuff is completely independent from Higgs searches, and it is one of many particles already discovered or confirmed at the LHC. So this isn't a Higgs-worthy discovery, although I think it is pumped-up a bit because CERN has really good press, and it looks good that the LHC is finding new physics.

Otherwise, this would just be a normal story. New Baryons or Mesons (like this one) are found a few times a year.

Comment A Bose-Einstein Condensate? (Score 4, Interesting) 265

From what the article looks like, all they've done is created a BEC (They don't mention that in the article, am I off?) of the largest object yet, which just means they cooled the material to milli-kelvin using some kind of trap, and the material becomes a new state of matter, a Bose Einstein Condensate.

For some reason, I expected some kind of two-slit or uncertainty principle thing with a very large object. This doesn't really seem that impressive to me, but then my quantum is a bit dated.

Comment Re:WoW (Score 5, Interesting) 125

I, too, messed with the private servers for awhile, with the same results. My friends and I messed around for a few hours, and then it got boring and we went back to our real characters.

An interesting turn to this is training for raid bosses. So much time is spent clearing, ressing, gathering items, just for a wipe. You could reset to the beginning of a fight in less than a minute with teleport and item summon scripts. Get a whole raid of 25 with duplicated characters, getting 10-15 attempts on a hard boss in an hour, where it would take all day on a real server.

Then with competitive Arena battles rising with real sponsors and cash prizes like the CAL league did for Counterstrike, it could become a big issue once people realize this advantage and get organized. Not just for WoW but the MMOs of the future, which I'm guessing will have substantial (and lucrative) competition-spectator components.

A legit strategy, cheating, or just simply "unethical" by gaming standards?


The Struggle For Private Game Servers 125

A story at the BBC takes a look at the use of private game servers for games that tend not to allow them. While most gamers are happy to let companies like Blizzard and NCSoft administer the servers that host their MMORPGs, others want different rules, a cheaper way to play, or the technical challenge of setting up their own. A South African player called Hendrick put up his own WoW server because the game "wasn't available in the country at the time." A 21-year-old Swede created a server called Epilogue, which "had strict codes of conduct and rules, as well as a high degree of customized content (such as new currency, methods of earning experience, the ability to construct buildings and hire non-player characters, plus 'permanent' player death) unavailable in the retail version of the game." The game companies make an effort to quash these servers when they can, though it's frequently more trouble that it's worth. An NCSoft representative referenced the "growing menace" of IP theft, and a Blizzard spokesperson said,"We also have a responsibility to our players to ensure the integrity and reliability of their World of Warcraft gaming experience and that responsibility compels us to protect our rights."

Comment Why the hate? This is a good idea. (Score 4, Interesting) 103

To everyone dogging on this article, consider a few things.

The whole setup (cardphone, goggles, phone) looks cheap, true, but it IS cheap. It'd be magnitudes cheaper if you made a similar device without the phone, just able to load locations. Spend the savings on a much more comfortable headset and attachment. Hundred bucks, maybe $200, and you know who would love this? Kids. Maybe 2nd to 6th grade. Young enough NOT to complain about the look as I'm seeing here.

I know my elementary school history education consisted of reading about a culture, and then looking at pictures in a book, usually drawings, sometimes photos. Replace those pictures with these things, and kids would be 10x more interested. And you could definitely put learning into there. Have a scene of a Native American village, a Roman forum, a Civil War battle, or real modern scenes, all in 360 degrees, controlled by the student. It would be simple to tie this into learning and assignments. Have them list pieces of technology they see in the panorama, and explain their functions or how we have a different tool today, or put in an unnamed scene and have them guess the culture along with their reasoning.

I think cheap solutions using everyday technology like this has LOADS of practical applications, and should be commended and developed upon.

Comment Why is this news? (Score 5, Informative) 174

This isn't something new, my undergrad university (DePauw University in Indiana) has been sending balloons 100,000 feet (I think our record is about 110,000) with digital cameras for about 5 years: Each student had a pod with their own designed experiment, a requirement for a physics course. We bought our system from Taylor University, who have been doing it twice as long.

Comment Re:Fortran is still useful for calculations (Score 1) 794

I'd have to agree with the above poster. I am a physics grad student who picked up Fortran 77 earlier this week to finish some work for my professor. In fact I'm on lunch right now, with my fortran book in front of me and my inherited programs minimized on the screen. I learned C, C++, Java in HS through classes, and then to a much greater degree on my own, although thinking back, Fortran would have done just as well. 95% of the programming I use for physics are script-like data processing. There is a few pages of mathematical work, which I convert into simple programs to process large amounts of data, or run simulations based on a random initial parameter space (Monte Carlo calcs). The runtime is short, the math is generally rather simple, and most importantly, the turnover of a grad student is 3-4 years, and the turnover of undergrad interns is a fraction of that. A lot of the new students know the math and the physics, and may have taken some sort of programming class, or may not have. But its a lot easier passing down a Fortran program to a new student than C++ or something higher (I cant speak for Python or anything else, never had a reason to learn it)

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