Archive for the ‘Physics’ Category

Where’s Yo-Yo?

January 27th, 2009
Inaguration 2009.  Photo by David Bergman.

Inauguration 2009. Can you find Yo-Yo Ma? Photo by David Bergman.

This is what appears to be a blurry picture of the 2009 presidential innaguration.  In fact, it’s 220 images stitched together, taken with a Canon G10 and the Gigapan Imager by photographer David Bergman.  The Gigapan Imager is a robotic mount that moves a regular digital camera along  panoramic tracks while taking pictures along the way.  The result is what you see above – a very very very scaled down version of the final 1.47 gigabyte image.

Yo-Yo Ma with iPhone

Yo-Yo Ma with iPhone

While you can view and pan around this Gigapan image here, I’ve collected a list of some things I challenge you to find:

  1. President Obama (easy)
  2. Teddy Kennedy
  3. Tipper Gore
  4. Yo-Yo Ma with iPhone
  5. Newt Gingrich not paying attention
  6. Snipers(?) on the Capital
  7. Snipers on another building
  8. Tents lined up in an unusual place

Actually, I’ll show you what Yo-Yo Ma looks like.  What’s he doing?!  Good luck hunting!

Biology, Physics

Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy: The Nobel Story

January 22nd, 2009
Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu

Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu. Source: Lawrence Berkeley Nat'l. Lab

If you were like me, you spent most of Tuesday working, only to return home and sit glued to your TV watching the inauguration  on your DVR.  Yes, Obama is president.  Which also means, yes, we again have people in government who put their faith in Science.

One of those people is Steven Chu, the just affirmed Secretary of Energy.  He’s got his work cut out for him.  Not only has Obama charged him with reducing our dependence on foreign oil, but he has to figure out how to curb greenhouse gasses while making our country more energy efficient.  And if he can turn every car into a plug-in, call it icing on the cake.

Of course, like everyone else on Obama’s cabinet, Chu has serious street cred.

Read more…

Business and Politics, Physics

Melting Microchips May Mean Meatier Machines

May 6th, 2008

Stephen Chou of Princeton recently introduced a simple, cheap method to drastically improve the straightness of line structures and roundness of dots on a microchip. While this may sound somewhat mundane it may allow for dramatic improvements in chip scalability, as current fabrication methods mandate a size-imposed limit which prevents the further improvements in density and energy usage.

But an excimer laser and a quartz guide plate may change everything.

Read more…


Construction, Serendipity, and the Synchrotron

April 16th, 2008

If you haven’t noticed, we at TinySci have been quietly and discretely making a series of modifications and improvements to the website to make reading and finding what you’re looking for a whole lot easier. And enjoyable!

One of the major changes is a subtle one for you, but was a major undertaking for us. It involved reconstructing the “interesting pics” page to conform to the content management system in place, rather than be an ordinary static page. You’ll never notice the difference, but it’ll make updating and rotating those pictures a breeze for us.

Also, we’ve added links to the most popular and recent posts. You can dig and find these on your own, but hey, now it’s easier, right?

Finally, to mark the start of a revised look, I dug around for a construction picture in Google. What came up first is what you see. As serendipity would have it, it’s a picture taken during construction of one of the world’s largest synchrotrons.

Don’t worry, I didn’t know what a synchrotron was either.

Read more…

Internet, Physics

Auroras Studied by Satellites with Name Only Mother Could Love

April 14th, 2008

Aurora at Acadia National Park, 2005 For many of us who do not live close to the poles (say, south of Canada for the Northern Hemisphere), a view like this is quite rare. They’re the Aurora Borealis, strange northern lights which are relatively common occurrences during the spring and fall equinoxes. But despite being described by humans for centuries, we’re only marginally closer to understanding why and how they happen at all.

NASA is trying to change that. With THEMIS.

Read more…

Physics, Space

TinySci does TinyRadio

November 11th, 2007

Tiny radioCrazy smart guys at Berkeley have created the world’s smallest radio. How small? Tiny. Hey, actually this website is appropriately named to give this story the coverage it deserves. The radio is invisible to the naked eye, being composed of carbon nanotubes only 10 nanometers in diameter and a few hundred long. Because of the unique qualities of these tubes, namely their strength, electrical conductivity, and ability to vibrate really fast, the folks at Berkeley were able to train one to act as an antenna, tuner, & amplifier. Plus, it demodulates AM and FM. Though switching channels isn’t as easy as turning the dial, it doesn’t sound like making it so is far away.

Read more…

Physics ,

New Chameleon-esq Gel – Not for Jello

October 30th, 2007

GelsThe wonderminds at MIT have created a gel that can change colors quickly based on minute fluctuations in various environmental variables, such as humidity or temperature. The possibilities are seemingly endless, that is, except as a Jello coloring agent.
Source: MIT


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