Category Archives: Science

“If you want to be successful, you have to be fast. But you also have to be first.”

Quanta Magazine: Three Major Physics Discoveries and Counting. “Sau Lan Wu spent decades working to establish the Standard Model of particle physics. Now she’s searching for what lies beyond it.”

“In 1963, Maria Goeppert Mayer won the Nobel Prize in physics for describing the layered, shell-like structures of atomic nuclei. No woman has won since.

One of the many women who, in a different world, might have won the physics prize in the intervening 55 years is Sau Lan Wu. Wu is the Enrico Fermi Distinguished Professor of Physics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and an experimentalist at CERN, the laboratory near Geneva that houses the Large Hadron Collider. Wu’s name appears on more than 1,000 papers in high-energy physics, and she has contributed to a half-dozen of the most important experiments in her field over the past 50 years. She has even realized the improbable goal she set for herself as a young researcher: to make at least three major discoveries.

Wu was an integral member of one of the two groups that observed the J/psi particle, which heralded the existence of a fourth kind of quark, now called the charm. […] Later in the 1970s, Wu did much of the math and analysis to discern the three “jets” of energy flying away from particle collisions that signaled the existence of gluons — particles that mediate the strong force holding protons and neutrons together. […] Wu later became one of the group leaders for the ATLAS experiment, one of the two collaborations at the Large Hadron Collider that discovered the Higgs boson in 2012, filling in the final piece of the Standard Model.”

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Live from the International Space Station ISS

ESA: Good evening, Kraftwerk / Guten Abend Kraftwerk, guten Abend Stuttgart! (YouTube, 11:48min)

“On 20 July 2018 around 21:50 local time, ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst welcomed the legendary electronic band Kraftwerk and 7500 visitors to the Jazz Open Festival on Stuttgart’s Schlossplatz – live from the International Space Station, where he will live and work until mid-December 2018. During the call with space, Kraftwerk founding member Ralf Hütter and Alexander played a special duet version of the track Spacelab, for which Alexander had a tablet computer configured with virtual synthesizers on board.”

Alexander Gerst’s Horizon Blog: Good evening, Kraftwerk!

““Here in the European Columbus laboratory, the successor to the Spacelab, the European Space Agency ESA is researching things that will improve daily life on Earth. More than 100 different nations work together peacefully here and achieve things that a single nation could never achieve. We are developing technologies on board the ISS to grow beyond our current horizons and prepare to take further steps into space, to the Moon and Mars,” Alexander said.

However, as Kraftwerk founding member Ralf Hütter emphasised, Alexander’s appearance was not only about greeting Kraftwerk and the audience in Stuttgart but also about “music as the universal language of the world”. After addressing the crowd, he and Alexander played a special duet version of the track Spacelab, for which Alexander had a tablet computer configured with virtual synthesizers on board.”

Alexander Gersts Horizon Blog: Guten Abend Kraftwerk!

“Nachdem Alexander Gerst sich mit einem „Good Night Earth“ vom Publikum verabschiedet hatte, fuhren Kraftwerk mit ihrem fulminanten Set fort, während die Zuschauerinnen und Zuschauer sich wohl noch ein paar Mal verblüfft fragten, ob das, was sie da gerade gesehen und gehört hatten, auch wirklich live und real war. Wir können sagen: Das war es.”

“The massive response shows how hungry the public is for information on the ticks that bite them”

NPR shots: Researchers Study Thousands Of Ticks Collected By The People They Bit.

“Nieto’s project wasn’t just a goodwill gesture: It was an unprecedented attempt to include the public in tick research. Nieto, a microbiologist at Northern Arizona University, and his team published the results of their brief tick-collecting experiment Thursday in PLOS One. They say it shows the potential of citizen science to fill in gaps in research—and that data gathered this way could ultimately help form a more proactive public health response when it comes to identifying and preventing tick-borne disease. “

“When we saw this, we knew straight away, this had never been seen or recorded before”

Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales: Cropmarks 2018.

“The unprecedented spell of hot, dry weather across Wales has provided perfect conditions for archaeological aerial photography. As the drought has persisted across Wales, scores of long-buried archaeological sites have been revealed once again as ‘cropmarks’, or patterns of growth in ripening crops and parched grasslands. The Royal Commission’s aerial investigator Dr Toby Driver has been busy in the skies across mid and south Wales over the last week documenting known sites in the dry conditions, but also discovering hitherto lost monuments. With the drought expected to last at least another two weeks Toby will be surveying right across north and south Wales in a light aircraft to permanently record these discoveries for the National Monuments Record of Wales, before thunderstorms and rain wash away the markings until the next dry summer.”

NPR: In Ireland, Drought And A Drone Revealed The Outline Of An Ancient Henge.

“A drone flight and a lingering dry spell have exposed a previously unknown monument in Ireland’s Boyne Valley, forgotten for thousands of years and long covered by crops — which, struggling to cope with a lengthy drought, finally revealed the ancient footprint.

Photographer and author Anthony Murphy discovered the site. He was flying a drone near Newgrange, a famous prehistoric stone monument in County Meath, on Tuesday, taking pictures of the known archaeological attractions. Then he saw something strange — a perfect circle, etched in the color of the crops, in an otherwise unremarkable field.”

Links via MetaFilter: It’s like a carpet and chair, only with vegetation and buildings, In Ireland, Drought and a drone revealed the outline of an ancient henge.