In case you missed it, here’s another chance to catch this week’s biggest hits. Writing like a genius; the largest individual structure ever identified by humanity; imaging fascinating, wild and unpredictable thunder; a car prototype that folds, shrinks and drives sideways; a high-efficiency laser system to remove space debris from orbit; and more are among the latest top stories.
Write Like a Genius: New Font Released on Centennial of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity
Is thinking related to movement, such as the movement of your hand as you write? An unusual collaboration plays tongue-and-cheek with this possibility by creating a font based on the handwriting of one of science’s ultimate thinkers, Albert Einstein.
Fascinating, Wild and Unpredictable: Scientists Image Thunder for the First Time
For the first time, scientists have imaged thunder, visually capturing the sound waves. Although people see it as a flashing bolt, lightning begins as a complex process of electrostatic charges churning around in storm clouds. By studying the acoustic power radiated from different portions of the lightning channel, researchers can learn more about the origins of thunder as well as the energetic processes associated with lightning.
AMD Announces “Zen” x86 Processor Core
AMD provided details the company’s multi-year strategy to drive profitable growth based on delivering next-generation technologies powering a broad set of high-performance, differentiated products. Technology-related announcements included development of a brand new x86 processor core codenamed “Zen,” that will feature simultaneous multi-threading (SMT) for higher throughput and a new cache subsystem.
Massively Parallel Genomics Students: Publication has 940 Undergraduate Authors
The list of authors for an article on comparative genomics of a fruit fly chromosome runs three single-spaced pages. Large author lists are the norm in high-energy physics, but a novelty in biology. What is going on? The 1,014 authors include 940 undergraduates from 63 institutions, all working in parallel to solve mysteries embedded in the DNA sequences of the unusual dot chromosome in fruit flies. A large collaboration is providing…
Researchers hack Teleoperated Surgical Robot to Reveal Security Flaws
To make cars as safe as possible, we crash them into walls to pinpoint weaknesses and better protect people who use them. That’s the idea behind a series of experiments conducted by an engineering team who hacked a next-gen teleoperated surgical robot — one used only for research purposes — to test how easily a malicious attack could hijack remotely-controlled operations in the future and to make those systems more secure.
Solar-powered Sail could Revolutionize Satellite Control and Movement
Last September, Cal Poly’s CubeSat team and The Planetary Society unfurled a solar-powered sail that some believe could revolutionize satellite propulsion. This was a deployment test and key milestone for the LightSail project. Among those present was Bill Nye, CEO of The Planetary Society. Lightsail is a Planetary Society initiative with the goal of demonstrating effective use of solar sails for satellite control and movement.
Autonomous Car Prototype Folds, Shrinks, Drives Sideways
A team of German software developers and designers, along with electronics and construction engineers, has developed an innovative design for a new type of electric smart “micro car.” Now in its second-phase, the prototype is able to convert from “traditional driving” to driving sideways in just seconds, with each wheel powered by its own motor. The two-seater also can shrink from eight feet to less than five feet in length.
Space-based System will clear the Skies of Space Junk
An international team of scientists have put forward a blueprint for a purely space-based system to solve the growing problem of space debris. The proposal combines a super-wide field-of-view telescope, developed by RIKEN’s EUSO team, which will be used to detect objects, and a recently developed high-efficiency laser system, the CAN laser, that will be used to track space debris and remove it from orbit.
Trajectory of Alan Shepard’s Historic Flight
Fifty-four years ago on May 5, 1961 only 23 days after Yuri Gagarin of the then-Soviet Union became the first person in space, NASA astronaut Alan Shepard launched at 9:34 a.m. EDT aboard his Freedom 7 capsule powered by a Redstone booster to become the first American in space. His historic flight lasted 15 minutes, 28 seconds.
Largest Structure in Universe a Supervoid 1.3 Billion Light Years Across
Astronomers may have found “the largest individual structure ever identified by humanity.” In 2004, astronomers examining a map of radiation left over from the Big Bang discovered the Cold Spot, a larger-than-expected unusually cold area of the sky. The physics surrounding the Big Bang theory predicts warmer and cooler spots of various sizes in the infant universe, but a spot this large and this cold was unexpected.