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Researchers Discover How To Make the Perfect Phone Call 85

Having made amazing discoveries such as how to make the perfect cheese sandwich, linking heavy caffeine use to sleeplessness, and figuring out where all the teaspoons have gone, science has made the greatest breakthrough yet. They have uncovered the secrets of making the perfect phone call. The perfect phone call clocks in at a mere 9 minutes and 36 seconds, easily 11 minutes shorter than any conversation I've ever had with my mom. Unlike a call to mom, the perfect phone call is almost devoid of any gossip about her divorced neighbor and her heavily tattooed daughter. Instead three minutes should be spent catching up with news about family and friends, one minute on personal problems, a minute on work/school, 42 seconds on current affairs, 24 seconds on the weather, and 24 seconds talking about the opposite sex. What's left of your 9 mins 36 secs is a free for all.

Patient "Roused From Coma" By a Magnetic Therapy 123

missb writes "Could the gentle currents from a fluctuating magnetic field be used to reverse the effects of traumatic brain injury? New Scientist reports on a patient in the US who was in a coma-like state, but can now speak very simple words after being given transcranial magnetic stimulation. This is the first time TMS has been used as a therapy to try and rouse a patient out of a coma."

Comment Re:We're all wondering... (Score 5, Informative) 174

This is not accurate. Watts are indeed rates of energy consumption, that is, the amount of energy consumed per unit time (Watt stands for Joule per second). Now, if we squeeze 100 Joules in into 10^-13 of a second, then the *instantaneous* power during those 100 femtoseconds (and yes, the story has got it wrong, it's a tenth of a picosecond, not femtosecond, which makes a hundred femtoseconds) is one petawatt. The average power, assuming we operate at 0.1Hz (which I think will be the laser's repetition rate) is only 10 Watts.

This also answers the "heating" problem. These lasers carry a relatively small amount of energy, and produce very little heat. However, the electric field that is produced when the beam is focused is huge, and many interesting phenomena can be studied with such a laser.

Btw, for the same reason, this type of laser is completely useless as a weapon. In order to cause any real damage one has to deposit energy into the substance that is to be damaged, and again, these laser pulses carry a relatively small amount of energy.

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