Wednesday, July 4, 2012

PhD Comics Explains the Higgs Boson

PhD Comics Explains the Higgs Boson

Best. Weather report. EVER.

Higgs explained by Bad Astronomy Phil Plait!

OK, the quick version. The Higgs particle is extremely important, because the Standard Model of particle physics – the basic idea of how all particles behave – predicts it exists and is what (indirectly) gives many other particles mass. In other words, the reason electrons, protons, and neutrons have mass is because of this Higgs beastie. Last year, the Guardian put up a nice article explaining this. A more technical discussion is on Discover Magazine’s Cosmic Variance blog from 2007. Sean Carroll has been live-blogging the announcement, and has lots of good info as well.

This particle is very hard to detect, because it doesn’t live long. Once it forms it decays in a burst of energy and other particles (think of them as shrapnel) extremely rapidly. The only way to make them is to smash other particles together at incredibly high energies, and look at the resulting collisions. If the Higgs exists, then it will decay and give off a characteristic bit of energy. The problem is, lots of things give off that much energy, so you have to see the Higgs signal on top of all that noise.

Click here to discover the rest of the Higgs story!

ACLU-NJ Launches Smartphone App That Lets Users Secretly Record Police Stops « CBS New York

 The ACLU has released an app called “Police Tape” that lets users secretly record police stops.
The ACLU’s Alexander Shalom said the app is easy to use.

“There’s really only three buttons that the user needs to deal with,” Shalom said. “There’s a know your rights button that educates the citizen about their rights when encountering police on the street, in a car, in their home or when they’re going to be placed under arrest, and there’s a button to record audio and a button to record video.”

Read more at: ACLU-NJ Launches Smartphone App That Lets Users Secretly Record Police Stops « CBS New York

Monday, June 25, 2012

Scientists attempt 'hack' into brain of Stephen Hawking

Hawking, 70, has been working with scientists at Standford University who are developing a the iBrain - a tool which picks up brain waves and communicates them via a computer. The scientist, who has motor neurone disease and lost the power of speech nearly 30 years ago, currently uses a computer to communicate but is losing the ability as the condition worsens. But he has been working with Philip Low, a professor at Stanford and inventor of the iBrain, a brain scanner that measures electrical activity. "We'd like to find a way to bypass his body, pretty much hack his brain," said Prof Low.

Dexter Season 7 Teaser: Truth Brings Light (HD)