Posts Tagged ‘Experiments’


Newly Discovered Particle Appears to Be Long-Awaited Higgs Boson

July 5, 2012

Prepare the fireworks: The discovery of the Higgs boson is finally here. Early in the morning on July 4, physicists with the Large Hadron Collider at CERN announced they have found a new particle that behaves similarly to what is expected from the Higgs.

“As a layman, I would now say, I think we have it,” said CERN director-general Rolf-Dieter Heuer. “It’s a historic milestone today. I think we can all be proud, all be happy.” Both CMS and ATLAS, the two main LHC Higgs-hunting experiments, are reporting a boson that has Higgs-like properties at a mass of 125 gigaelectronvolts (GeV) with a 5-sigma significance, meaning they are 99.999 percent confident of its existence.

Excerpt of an article written by Adam Mann at WIRED SCIENCE. Continue HERE

CERN Press Release: CERN experiments observe particle consistent with long-sought Higgs boson

Meeting the Boson Man: Professor Peter Higgs


With Willpower, and a Jolt of Electricity, Paralyzed Rats Learn to Walk Again

June 1, 2012

A new kind of rehabilitation restored voluntary movement to rats with severely damaged spinal cords. The rat stood on its hind limbs at one end of a narrow runway. It wore a tiny black vest attached to a robotic arm that hovered above its head. Without such mechanical support, the rat would have fallen over—its spinal cord had two deep cuts, rendering its back legs useless. Rubia van den Brand, then a doctoral candidate at the University of Zurich, stood at the other end of the runway, urging the animal to walk. Although the robotic arm kept the rat upright, it could not help the creature move; if the rodent were ever to walk again, it would have to will its feet forward. For the first time since van den Brand began her experiments, the rat moved one of its back legs on its own—a small, effortful step. She ran to her boss’s office with the news and a crowd immediately gathered in the lab to watch what many had deemed impossible.

Excerpt from an article written by Ferris Jabr, Scientific American. Continue HERE


The Century of intervention: On the Asilomar International Conference on Climate Modification

May 21, 2012

Climate science has a long view. The measuring of rainfall, temperature and pressure with instruments made from glass, mercury and copper wire. Scientists have been collecting data for centuries, first in hand-written notebooks, later in vast computer databases. Edmund Halley mapped the trade winds in 1686 and Benjamin Franklin traced the Gulf Stream in the eighteenth century, the first hints of truly global systems. Helmut Landsberg added statistical analysis in the twentieth century, which revealed fluctuation in what until then had felt eternally recurring to the individual. Eventually, models of Earthʼs climate emerged from the data, an attempt to grasp the forces that drive the reality of our immediate environment, our world.

But science itself is careful. Its method progresses cautiously through hypotheses and experiments, always inviting their falsification. Yet, there are moments when it gets propelled to the forefront of human affairs, such as it happened to theoretical physics when it enabled the construction of nuclear devices. Over the last fifty years, climate science has been making visible that human activity has had a significant and increasing influence on the Earthʼs atmosphere. Now it has been given the place in the spotlight, and it feels quite uncomfortable there.

Excerpt of a text written by Sascha Pohflepp. Read it HERE


A Swarm of Nano Quadrotors navigate spaces with obstacles

February 2, 2012

Experiments performed with a team of nano quadrotors at the GRASP Lab, University of Pennsylvania. Vehicles developed by KMel Robotics. Photo Copyright by KMel Robotics.