From the Wall Street Journal:
Lamentations about “like” are commonplace, and for good reason. Many young people—and a lot of middle-age people too—find it impossible to get through a sentence without using “like” repeatedly and for no reason at all. It has become an all-purpose seasoning: “He’s not, like, very happy about it, and, like, I’m not either, because, like, the whole thing is, like, irrational.” For some, “like” plus a facial expression or gesticulation can do most of the work of language. “I was like [expression of alarm], and he was like [expression of disdain], and now I’m like [wave of the hand].”
Read the whole article…
A new type of atomic clock was recently made at the University of Colorado at Boulder that is much more accurate than any atomic clock we currently have. This clock is so precise that it will keep perfect time for 5 billion years before being off by a second. Sounds great, right? Unfortunately, it’s so accurate that it can measure the difference in the rate time flows between being on the wall and being on the floor.
Right now, on the top of Mount Everest, time is passing just a little bit faster than it is in Death Valley. That’s because speed at which time passes depends on the strength of gravity. Einstein himself discovered this dependence as part of his theory of relativity, and it is a very real effect.
The relative nature of time isn’t just something seen in the extreme. If you take a clock off the floor, and hang it on the wall, Ye says, “the time will speed up by about one part in 1016.”
That is a sliver of a second. But this isn’t some effect of gravity on the clock’s machinery. Time itself is flowing more quickly on the wall than on the floor. These differences didn’t really matter until now. But this new clock is so sensitive, little changes in height throw it way off. Lift it just a couple of centimeters, Ye says, “and you will start to see that difference.”
Read the rest of the article.
The world’s most precise atomic clock is a mess to look at. But it can tick for billions of years without losing a second.
As if taking the SAT to get into college wasn’t stressful enough, now employers are asking prospective employees for their SAT scores, even if it’s been decades since you took the test. Good luck!
From the Wall Street Journal:
A low score doesn’t necessarily kill a person’s chances, hiring managers say; instead, they say they believe SATs and other college entrance exams like the ACT help when comparing candidates with differing backgrounds or figuring out whether someone has the raw brainpower required for the job.
But some companies do set targets, particularly on the math section. Mark Rich, managing director of consulting-industry recruiting firm Whitehouse Pimms, says clients often tell him to screen for candidates whose SAT scores placed them in or above the 95th percentile. Investment firm D.E. Shaw Group asks candidates to break out their math and verbal results.
Here’s a good explanation of the Doppler Effect, Big Bang Theory style.
Inside a fusion reactor.
Nuclear fusion is the process that powers the sun. It can release a tremendous amount of energy from a small amount of fuel. Many people see it as the energy source of the future. However, no one has had a reactor good enough that they get more energy out of the fusion reaction than they put into the reaction. It’s not a very good energy source if you have to put more energy into it than you can get out of it. That’s like having a battery in your phone that has to stay connected to the charger, but the level of charge keeps going down. Not very useful.
For the first time, researchers at Lawrence Livermore Labs have created a fusion reaction that gives them more energy than they put into it. This is a huge milestone in fusion research! We’re on our way to having a Mr. Fusion on every time machine!
Read the full article.
An uncontrolled fusion reaction. “Tsar Bomba” was the largest hydrogen bomb ever exploded.
Boston Dynamics is at it again! They have produced an untethered version of their Cheetah robot. This one runs at about 16 mph. They are funded by DARPA, and a robot like this may someday be carrying supplies to troops on the battlefield.
Scientists have discovered a tarantula the size of a human face in Sri Lanka. They describe it as “colorful, fast, and venomous.” Lovely.
Alex Suchman, SHS class of 2011, answered the question “What’s the difference between 99% and 99.9%” with an entertaining analysis of the zombie apocalypse. It has subsequently been re-posted on several geek news websites by people who liked it.
Read It Here
An in-depth discussion of the Doppler Effect from The Big Bang Theory.