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Category Archives: Science News

Fox News successfully creates climate confusion, but only among conservatives ~ ArsTechnica

fox-global-warming-4eb996d-intro-thumb-640xauto-27507As it turns out, the survey contained information that can help address this issue. Over 40 percent of the self-identified Democrats sometimes watch Fox, while 17 percent of Republicans tune in to CNN and MSNBC. When the numbers for those viewers were broken out, two different trends were apparent. Among Democrats, it didn’t matter how often they watched Fox; their acceptance of climate change remained roughly steady. Republicans who watched MSNBC and CNN, however, had a much higher acceptance than their peers who maintained a strict diet of Fox.

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Posted by on November 9, 2011 in Science, Science News

 

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Happy Birthday Carl Sagan!

Carl-Sagan-portrait

Happy Birthday Carl Sagan!
November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996

If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe. —Carl Sagan

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2011 in Science, Science News, Space, Special Interest

 

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CERN sets date for first attempt at 7 TeV collisions in the LHC

Geneva, 23 March 2010. With beams routinely circulating in the Large Hadron Collider at 3.5 TeV, the highest energy yet achieved in a particle accelerator, CERN has set the date for the start of the LHC research programme. The first attempt for collisions at 7 TeV (3.5 TeV per beam) is scheduled for 30 March.

0911182_43-A4-at-144-dpi “With two beams at 3.5 TeV, we’re on the verge of launching the LHC physics programme,” explained CERN’s Director for Accelerators and Technology, Steve Myers. “But we’ve still got a lot of work to do before collisions. Just lining the beams up is a challenge in itself: it’s a bit like firing needles across the Atlantic and getting them to collide half way.”

Between now and 30 March, the LHC team will be working with 3.5 TeV beams to commission the beam control systems and the systems that protect the particle detectors from stray particles. All these systems must be fully commissioned before collisions can begin.

“The LHC is not a turnkey machine,” said CERN Director General Rolf Heuer.“The machine is working well, but we’re still very much in a commissioning phase and we have to recognize that the first attempt to collide is precisely that. It may take hours or even days to get collisions.”

The last time CERN switched on a major new research machine, the Large Electron Positron collider, LEP, in 1989 it took three days from the first attempt to collide to the first recorded collisions.

The current LHC run began on 20 November 2009, with the first circulating beam at 0.45 TeV. Milestones were quick to follow, with twin circulating beams established by 23 November and a world record beam energy of 1.18 TeV being set on 30 November. By the time the LHC switched off for 2009 on 16 December, another record had been set with collisions recorded at 2.36 TeV and significant quantities of data recorded. Over the 2009 part of the run, each of the LHC’s four major experiments, ALICE, ATLAS, CMS and LHCb recorded over a million particle collisions, which were distributed smoothly for analysis around the world on the LHC computing grid. The first physics papers were soon to follow. After a short technical stop, beams were again circulating on 28 February 2010, and the first acceleration to 3.5 TeV was on 19 March.

Once 7 TeV collisions have been established, the plan is to run continuously for a period of 18-24 months, with a short technical stop at the end of 2010. This will bring enough data across all the potential discovery areas to firmly establish the LHC as the world’s foremost facility for high-energy particle physics.

A webcast will be available on the day of the first attempt to collide protons at 7TeV. More details will be available at: http://press.web.cern.ch/press/lhc-first-physics/

Contact

CERN Press Office, press.office@cern.ch
+41 22 767 34 32
+41 22 767 21 41

1.CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is the world’s leading laboratory for particle physics. It has its headquarters in Geneva. At present, its Member States are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. India, Israel, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, Turkey, the European Commission and UNESCO have Observer status.

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2010 in LHC, Physics, Science News

 

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Large Hadron Collider Triples Its Own Record – 3.5 TeV

CERN Operations Group leader Mike Lamont (foreground) and LHC engineer in charge Alick Macpherson in the CERN Control Centre early this morning.

In the early hours of this morning, the beam energy was ramped up to 3.5 TeV, a new world record and the highest energy for this year’s run. Now operators will prepare the machine to make high-energy collisions later this month.

At 5:23 this morning, Friday 19 March, the energy of both beams in the LHC was ramped up to 3.5 TeV, a new world record. During the night, operators had tested the performance of the whole machine with two so-called ‘dry runs’, that is, without beams. Given the good overall response, beams were injected at around 3:00 a.m. and stabilized soon after. The ramp started at around 4:10 and lasted about one hour.

In my message this week, I’d like to congratulate the LHC team on accelerating two beams to 3.5 TeV in the early hours of this morning. The timing could not have been better. Coming during a week of CERN Council meetings, it allowed us to show delegates the great progress we’re making.

The occasion also gave us the opportunity to set out again the prudent step-by-step approach that we’re taking to get the LHC up and running, and it was refreshing to hear one member of the Scientific Policy Committee declare on Monday that we should never forget that the LHC is not a turnkey machine.With the progress the LHC is making, that simple fact would be easy to overlook. The figures coming back from this first run are already quite remarkable. In Week 10, the LHC’s availability for the operators was over 65%: it usually takes a new accelerator years to reach that level. And over the last few weeks, operation of the LHC at 450 GeV has become routinely reproducible, which is again a feat that usually takes a new machine much longer to achieve.

Over the last couple of weeks, operation of the LHC at 450 GeV has become routinely reproducible. The operators were able to test and optimize the beam orbit, the beam collimation, the injection and extraction phases as well as the associated protection system. On 12 March, both beams were ramped up to 1.18 TeV. The overall response from the machine was very positive.

The first part of this week saw a technical stop, during which the magnet and magnet protection experts continued their campaign to commission the machine to 6 kAmps – the current needed to operate at 3.5 TeV per beam. Tests are still ongoing to fully understand the electrical behaviour of the dipole circuits with currents higher than 2 kAmps, which has an impact on the quench protection system (see box) and on the procedure for ramping the beam energy to 3.5 TeV (6kAmps).

While the experts are working to fully understand the circuit performance (for details, watch the embedded video interview with Andrzej Siemko, Group Leader of the LHC machine protection), the operators will continue ramping the beam energy and prepare for high-energy collisions later this month.

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2010 in LHC, Physics, Science News

 

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Federation of American Scientists: GAO: White House Erred on Intelligence Oversight

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Via ~ Secrecy News: Secrecy News from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy

The Obama Administration presented “several misstatements of law and fact” in its March 15 letter opposing legislation to enhance the role of the Government Accountability Office in intelligence oversight, the head of the GAO said in a letter to congressional intelligence committees yesterday.

The GAO letter (pdf) said that neither the Senate nor the House version of the FY2010 intelligence authorization act would fundamentally alter the status quo with respect to the GAO, as the White House letter (pdf) had indicated, but would simply bolster the oversight authority that the GAO already has, enabling it to overcome the obstacles placed in its way by the executive branch.

“The proposed legislative provisions in essence reaffirm GAO’s existing authority in order to address the lack of cooperation GAO has received from certain elements of the IC [intelligence community] in carrying out work at the specific request of the intelligence committees, and other committees of jurisdiction as defined by the rules of the Senate and House,” wrote Acting Comptroller General Gene L. Dodaro in a March 18 letter obtained by Secrecy News.

“GAO acknowledges and does not seek to displace the special relationship between the congressional intelligence committees and the IC,” he wrote.

“However, GAO does not agree with the Administration’s view, originating in a 1988 opinion of the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel, that the creation of the congressional intelligence oversight structure implicitly exempted reviews of intelligence activities from the scope of GAO’s existing audit authority.”

The executive branch’s interpretation of the law “has resulted in GAO frequently being unable to obtain the access or cooperation necessary to provide useful information to Congress on matters involving the IC,” Mr. Dodaro wrote.

“Even where the matters under evaluation are well outside the scope of traditional intelligence activities… GAO has encountered resistance.”

“While intelligence oversight poses unique challenges, GAO can play an important role in such oversight, and that role is well within our authority and capability,” he wrote.

GAO has no independent stake in intelligence oversight and has plenty of other work to do anyway. The question is whether Congress wants to take advantage of the investigative and analytical resources that GAO has to offer in order to improve intelligence oversight. If it does, then the pending legislation would help to clear away the barriers imposed by the executive branch.

“Should either the Senate or House version of the GAO provision at issue become law,” Mr. Dodaro wrote, “I believe that the reaffirmation of GAO’s authorities would help better position GAO to do the type of work that has been requested of us in the past and to respond to the interests of Congress in this realm in the future.”

 
 

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Experience Hubble’s Universe in 3-D

434459main_hs-2010-12-a-full_full This image depicts a vast canyon of dust and gas in the Orion Nebula from a 3-D computer model based on observations by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and created by science visualization specialists at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Md. A 3-D visualization of this model takes viewers on an amazing four-minute voyage through the 15-light-year-wide canyon.

The model takes viewers through an exhilarating ride through the Orion Nebula, a vast star-making factory 1,500 light-years away. This virtual space journey isn’t the latest video game but one of several groundbreaking astronomy visualizations created by specialists at STScI, the science operations center for NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. The cinematic space odysseys are part of the new Imax film Hubble 3D, which opens today at select IMAX theaters worldwide.

The 43-minute movie chronicles the 20-year life of Hubble and includes highlights from the May 2009 servicing mission to the Earth-orbiting observatory, with footage taken by the astronauts. The giant-screen film showcases some of Hubble’s breathtaking iconic pictures, such as the Eagle Nebula’s "Pillars of Creation," as well as stunning views taken by the newly installed Wide Field Camera 3.

While Hubble pictures of celestial objects are awe-inspiring, they are flat 2-D photographs. For this film, those 2-D images have been converted into 3-D environments, giving the audience the impression they are space travelers taking a tour of Hubble’s most popular targets.
Based on a Hubble image of Orion released in 2006, the visualization was a collaborative effort between science visualization specialists at STScI, including Greg Bacon, who sculpted the Orion Nebula digital model, with input from STScI astronomer Massimo Roberto; the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and the Spitzer Science Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

For some of the sequences, STScI imaging specialists developed new techniques for transforming the 2-D Hubble images into 3-D. STScI image processing specialists Lisa Frattare and Zolt Levay, for example, created methods of splitting a giant gaseous pillar in the Carina Nebula into multiple layers to produce a 3-D effect, giving the structure depth.
Image Credit: NASA, G. Bacon, L. Frattare, Z. Levay, and F. Summers (STScI/AURA)

Hubble 3D – Movie Trailer 2010

Review: Hubble 3D Takes You on Beautiful, Brief Space Journey

The premise of Imax: Hubble 3D is simple: Make home movies in space. And what beautiful movies they are. The stunning space vistas and intimate moments with astronauts make for a fascinating flash of interstellar eye candy. The images were captured in 2009 when the space shuttle Atlantis crew left Earth to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. […]

03.20.10 From Underwire

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2010 in Science, Science News, Space

 

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Browse the Complete Popular Science Archive Now

Some of Popular Science’ favorite covers.

Popular Science has partnered with Google to offer its entire 137-year archive for free browsing. Each issue appears just as it did at its original time of publication, complete with period advertisements.

As you will soon see, it’s an amazing resource. Aside from bringing back memories for longtime readers, as a whole the archive beautifully encapsulates over a century of PopSci’s fascination with the future, and science and technology’s incredible potential to improve our lives. Tracing our dreams and visions of the future back through time, you’ll see that not a lot has changed. Some things we projected with startling accuracy, and others remain today what they were then–dreams. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

In the future, they will be adding more advanced features for searching and browsing, so stay tuned.

Search the archives here.

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2010 in Fun, Science News

 

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