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March 2007

The 1st Second after the Big Bang-A Video Tour of Europe's LHC

Shutterstock_1918228Check out this cool Seed Salon video tour of CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

The LHC, a particle accelerator housed in a circular tunnel 27 kilometers long outside of Geneva, will probe deeper into matter than ever before. Due to switch on this fall, it will ultimately collide beams of protons at an energy of 14 TeV . Beams of lead nuclei will be also accelerated, smashing together with a collision energy of 1150 TeV.

A TeV is a unit of energy used in particle physics. 1 TeV is about the energy of motion of a flying mosquito. What makes the LHC so extraordinary is that it squeezes energy into a space about a million million times smaller than a mosquito.

The LHC is the next step in a voyage of discovery which began a century ago, with the discovery of quantum physics. Britain's Guardian wrote of the LHC: "Particle physics is the unbelievable in pursuit of the unimaginable. To pinpoint the smallest fragments of the universe you have to build the biggest machine in the world. To recreate the first millionths of a second of creation you have to focus energy on an awesome scale."

Seed Video

Images of Earth

The images below are from new monthly NASA Terra and Aqua satellite dataset called Near Earth Observations (NEO). NASA satellites continually orbit the globe, collecting information about Earth’s ocean, atmosphere, and land surfaces, including clouds, snow cover, sea surface temperatures, and chlorphyll concentrations. NASA Link.


Blow Up -Images from the Nanoworld

Shutterstock_2596759A fascinating new exhibition "Blow-up: images from the nanoworld" of the emerging science of nanotechnology in Modena/Italy shows the work associated with the National Center on Nanostructures and Biosystems, headed by Elisa Molinari. The images images show a hidden world being revealed by nanotechologists.

Also see The Great Debate: Will Nanotecnology Reshape Humanity?

NanoWorld Gallery

A Google Rival Emerging? Daily Discovery

GooglepentecostlogoDid you know that Xerox PARC (the orignal inventors of what eventually became Windows, Ethernet, and the pc) is licensing a broad portfolio of patents and technology to a well-financed start-up with an ambitious and potentially lucrative goal: to build a search engine that could some day rival Google.

The start-up, Powerset, is licensing PARC's "natural language" technology, which it hopes will be the basis of a new search engine that allows users to type queries in plain English, rather than using keywords. (Also, checkout Google Leaping to AI Future).

New Search for Water & Life on -A Video

Marsnactruecolor_square_2_h_5For years, NASA's and the ESA's mantra for discovering life on is "follow the Water." Scientists who are hunting for life on - past or present - are expanding their search to include possible sources of food and energy, as well as water, that could nourish microorganisms on the Red Planet.

But the concept now is considered too narrow. The search for water goes on, but it's not the only target.

NASA's rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, along with U.S. and European orbiting spacecraft have detected evidence that was warm and wet billions of years ago, with rivers, lakes and perhaps a large ocean. That water has evaporated or sunk underground, occasionally bursting to the surface to carve fresh gullies in canyon walls.

Scientists say the search must extend below the planet's dry, frozen crust to look for buried supplies of water, food and energy where microbes might be living.

One potential Martian food is methane - natural gas - a simple compound of hydrogen and carbon. Traces of methane were detected last year in the planet's thin atmosphere, apparently leaking out of pockets of gas below the surface. Living creatures are a potential source of the methane detected in the atmosphere. If found, such organisms would be similar to colonies of microbes called methanogens, which feed on methane below the ocean floor on Earth.

Mars' interior retained heat, a form of energy, from the time of its formation 4.5 billion years ago. Radioactive rocks also emit a steady stream of energetic particles. also is loaded with iron, which combines with oxygen to give the planet its distinctive rust color.

Story Link  Express Video

Robots Simulate Darwin's Natural Selection -Daily Discovery

Shutterstock_2749364The New Scientist reports that robots that experiments designed by a Swiss research team have artificially evolved ways to communicate with one another. The experiments suggest that simulated evolution could be a useful tool for those designing of swarms of robots. The "genomes" of the bots that found food and avoided poison most efficiently were recombined, mimicking biological natural selection.

Cooperative communication evolved when selective success was judged at the group level – when many robots displayed efficient behaviour – or when the genomes of the robots were most similar – like biological relatives. Posted by Jason McManus.

Story Link

Melissa Etheridge -Road Less Traveled -Today's Hot Playlist Pick

B_ipod_blk_front_nr_8We decided that it's officially "Melissa Etheridge" Week at the Daily Galaxy after her Oscar triumph and her awesome redinition of "I Need to Wake Up". The Road Less Traveled is a collection of her greatest hits, including her diesel performance live of Janice Joplin's American classic, "A Little Piece of My Heart," at last year's Grammy Awards. Etheridge is an avid  Bruce Springsteen fan -she has covered his songs "Thunder Road" and "Born to Run" during live shows. You can hear his influence in these tracks. I linked to Rhapsody (if you don't have a Rhapsody player, it just takes a couple of seconds to download).Take it away! Posted by Casey Kazan.

Road Less Traveled

Academy Awards I Need to Wake Up