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Colliding Particles Can Make Black Holes After All 269

cremeglace writes with this excerpt from ScienceNOW: "You've heard the controversy. Particle physicists predict the world's new highest-energy atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva, Switzerland, might create tiny black holes, which they say would be a fantastic discovery. Some doomsayers fear those black holes might gobble up the Earth — physicists say that's impossible — and have petitioned the United Nations to stop the $5.5 billion LHC. Curiously, though, nobody had ever shown that the prevailing theory of gravity, Einstein's theory of general relativity, actually predicts that a black hole can be made this way. Now a computer model shows conclusively for the first time that a particle collision really can make a black hole." That said, they estimate the required energy for creating a black hole this way to be roughly "a quintillion times higher than the LHC's maximum"; though if one of the theories requiring compact extra dimensions is true, the energy could be lower.

Own Your Own Fighter Jet 222

gimmebeer writes "The Russian Sukhoi SU-27 has a top speed of Mach 1.8 (more than 1,300 mph) and has a thrust to weight ratio greater than 1 to 1. That means it can accelerate while climbing straight up. It was designed to fight against the best the US had to offer, and now it can be yours for the price of a mediocre used business jet."

NASA To Cryogenically Freeze Satellite Mirrors 47

coondoggie writes "NASA said it will soon move some of the larger (46 lb) mirror segments of its future James Webb Space Telescope into a cryogenic test facility that will freeze the mirrors to -414 degrees Fahrenheit (~25 K). Specifically, NASA will freeze six of the 18 Webb telescope mirror segments at the X-ray and Cryogenic Facility, or XRCF, at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, in a test to ensure the critical mirrors can withstand the extreme space environments. All 18 segments will eventually be tested at the site. The test chamber takes approximately five days to cool a mirror segment to cryogenic temperatures."

Comment How about this? (Score 2, Interesting) 128

Has anyone tried adding the well-known Microban additives to marine paints?

TFA states that barnacle infestation begins with filming of bacteria on the hull, followed by algea eating the bacteria, then barnacles feeding on the algea.

Some Microban additives puncture bacteria and hence kill them. They are used in kitchen and medical equipment and institutional wall paints. Why not attack the root of the food chain rather than the top rung?

Comment Marketing 3X R&D in Medical Technology Also (Score 1) 442

Imaging (x-ray, CAT & PET-scanners), Intensive Care & Surgical monitoring, Surgical robots & Remote Visualizing, drugs, and on and on.

Financing these new toys is a big driver of rising healthcare costs as expensive capital equipment is usually leased or purchased w/long-term financing. Like buying your house, the medical costs of using other people's money (mortgage) are usually equal to initial cost of the device.

Interestingly, compensation for supervising MDs & administrators tends to rise with device costs whereas operator salaries do not.

Comment Museum? Really? Why Not Meet Living Science? (Score 2, Informative) 435

Why settle for exhibits when you can visit live labs, see real data and meet interesting, famous and soon-to-be-famous scientists? Come to Tucson and visit your dollars at work.

If Hubby weaned happily at Franklin he's gonna flip out for the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory Mirror Laboratory where almost every major telescope on Earth (and beyond) gets it's mirror -- some are up to 20 feet across. Tours, interviews, whatever. While in Tucson make sure to sample our cooking, the food's insane great here! And, of course, you can marvel at the Grand Canyon either before or after.

Newest Scope is the Large Binocular Array Observatory, at Mount Graham, AZ (70 miles east of Tucson but close enough to I-10 for a day trip) Dual 20-foot mirrors, scanning the Universe with public tours, seminars, etc. Google it.

Star of the show is Kitt's Peak just 42 miles southwest of Tucson. It's the largest, most diverse gathering of astronomical instruments in the world and the only advanced astronomy site on this continent, with three major optical telescopes plus 19 other major instruments. Visitor center, tours, transportation all explained at the website.

What's up there? About two billion dollars of technology and fifteen or twenty of the best living astronomers, that's what. Including the Large Binocular Telescope with two, count 'em two, of the afor-mentioned 20-foot reflecting disks mounted in a dedicated six-story building.

KPNO Nicholas U. Mayall Telescope 4.0 m Ritchey-Chrétien reflector
WIYN Telescope 3.5 m Ritchey-Chrétien reflector
McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope Unobstructed solar reflector
KPNO 2.1 m Telescope Fourth largest on the mountain
Coudé Feed Tower Coudé spectrograph
SOLIS/Kitt Peak Vacuum Telescope Solar telescope
Razdow Telescope Weather monitoring for the solar telescopes
WHAM Telescope Milky Way temperature and density mapping
RCT Consortium Telescope Remotely controlled
WIYN 0.9 m Telescope Galactic studies
Calypso Observatory Only private telescope on the mountain
CWRU Burrell Schmidt Galactic studies
SARA Observatory Variable stars, undergraduate training
ETC/RMT No longer operating
Spacewatch 1.8 m Telescope 72 in mirror scavenged from the Mount Hopkins MMT
Spacewatch 0.9 m Telescope Spacewatch
Super-LOTIS Follow-on to the ETC/RMT
HAT-1 Recently relocated to nearby Mount Hopkins
Bok Telescope Versatile
MDM Observatory1.3 mMcGraw-Hill Telescope Originally at Ann Arbor
MDM Observatory2.4 m Hiltner Telescope Galactic surveys
HF radio-telescope, built atop a tank turret
ARO 12m Radio Telescope One of two telescopes operated by the Arizona Radio Observatory, part of Steward Observatory
VLBA One of ten radio-telescopes forming the VLBA

Comment Re:Nokia n810 (Score 1) 426

Right. Early 1960's Purdue & Rose-Hulman engineering underclassmen were required to obtain approved 12-inch slide rules at the campus bookstore and bring them to class daily. My MIT colleagues tell me they, too wore the Mother of All Jokes. However, as engineering salaries began to outstrip other majors the onus began to fade.

That's something I've never heard of, but according to Wikipedia people really walked around with slide rules on their belt.

Some engineering students and engineers carried ten-inch slide rules in belt holsters, and even into the mid 1970s this was a common sight on campuses. Students also might keep a ten-or twenty-inch rule for precision work at home or the office while carrying a five-inch pocket slide rule around with them.


Submission + - Vibrations on the Sun may 'shake' the Earth (

mencomenco writes: "What do dropped mobile phone calls, mysterious signals in undersea communications cables, and tiny tremors on the Earth have in common? They are all caused by vibrations on the Sun, according to one team of scientists, reported in New Scientist. But other researchers question the claim, arguing that the pulsations may never escape the Sun's surface in the first place."

Submission + - 100-foot deep lake disappears! (

AnimusF6 writes: The Associated Press is reporting that a large lake in the Andes has disappeared into the ground, though the question, "Why?" remains unanswered. From the article:

"One theory is the water disappeared through cracks in the lake bottom into underground fissures. But experts do not know why the cracks would have appeared because there have been no earthquakes reported in the area recently..."


Submission + - Newspaper publishes salary info for state workers (

Volksweasel writes: A newspaper in Lansing Michigan used the FOIA to get the names, job classifications, salaries and starting dates for nearly all 53000 State of Michigan employees. This newspaper then set up a searchable database where anyone can search on these fields and get this information. The only explanation for creating this database was given as "At a time when the state is facing severe budget problems, spending of taxpayer dollars is under increased scrutiny. The State Journal is providing readers with access to information that is public but not readily available."

At this point, their salary website (based on php and mySQL) appears to be down. Looks like there's more than one idea that they didn't think all the way through.

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