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tvinko

Futurium - European Commission - 1 views

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    surprised that I do not see ACT members on this list talking about FUTURE ;-)
Guido de Croon

Robot termites able to build various structures - 0 views

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    Nice application of swarm robotics for building various structures. See the video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFwk303p0zY Their compilation process of a desired structure into local behavior rules seems of most interest.
Tom Gheysens

Dangers of ... sitting? Regardless of exercise, too much sedentary time is linked to ma... - 2 views

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    looks like Johannes was right from the start.....
Marcus Maertens

Stephen Hawking: 'There are no black holes' : Nature News & Comment - 1 views

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    Event Horizon - a modern myth?
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    GR is valid on large scales and is, therefore, a simplification of the unknown GUT. As such, the mathematical solutions obtained in GR are strictly speaking valid only within GR. Certainly, the solution called black hole is an extremely heavy object and at the same time extremely small - a point without geometrical extension. The latter is heavily in conflict with the validity range of the underlying theory and, hence, makes lots of people (including experts unlike me) question the concept of black holes despite the fact that something has been "observed" which fits into this concept.

    Regarding the movie: Event Horizon might be a myth but it emphasizes what Sante said in on of his presentations: Don't use a black hole for travelling, take the worm hole instead. The constructor of Event Horizon created a black hole not considering that the damn thing has no exit...where did he think the Event Horizon would end?
Thijs Versloot

Is the Universe a simulation? - 0 views

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    'Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom has argued that we are more likely to be in such a simulation than not,' writes Frenkel. 'If such simulations are possible in theory, he reasons, then eventually humans will create them - presumably many of them. If this is so, in time there will be many more simulated worlds than nonsimulated ones. Statistically speaking, therefore, we are more likely to be living in a simulated world than the real one.'... right...
Tom Gheysens

Blinded by speed, tiger beetles use antennae to 'see' while running -- ScienceDaily - 0 views

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    Speed is blinding. Just ask the tiger beetle: This predatory insect has excellent sight, but when it chases prey, it runs so fast it can no longer see where it's going.
Robert Musters

Optimize work efficiency using music - 2 views

focus@will is a new neuroscience based music service that helps you focus, reduce distractions and retain information when working, studying, writing and reading. The technology is based on hard sc...

science sound focus attention

started by Robert Musters on 10 Feb 14 no follow-up yet
Tom Gheysens

Computing with silicon neurons: Scientists use artificial nerve cells to classify diffe... - 1 views

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    Scientists in Germany are using artificial nerve cells to classify different types of data. These silicon 'neurons' could recognize handwritten numbers, or distinguish plant species based on their flowers.
Thijs Versloot

Underground oceans - 1 views

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    Interesting report on water transport in deep see fault lines. Subduction can suck huge quantities of water of water underground where friction and pressure heat it up causing the mantle to partly melt which leads to volcanic activities around the fault zones. Not all the water would make it back up, leading to the possibility that there might be large quantities of water stored within the earths crust.
johannessimon81

A Different Form of Color Vision in Mantis Shrimp - 4 views

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    Mantis shrimp seem to have 12 types of photo-receptive sensors - but this does not really improve their ability to discriminate between colors. Speculation is that they serve as a form of pre-processing for visual information: the brain does not need to decode full color information from just a few channels which would would allow for a smaller brain.
    I guess technologically the two extremes of light detection would be RGB cameras which are like our eyes and offer good spatial resolution, and spectrometers which have a large amount of color channels but at the cost of spatial resolution. It seems the mantis shrimp uses something that is somewhere between RGB cameras and spectrometers. Could there be a use for this in space?
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    > RGB cameras which are like our eyes

    ...apart from the fact that the spectral response of the eyes is completely different from "RGB" cameras (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cones_SMJ2_E.svg)

    ... and that the eyes have 4 types of light-sensitive cells, not three (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cone-response.svg)

    ... and that, unlike cameras, human eye is precise only in a very narrow centre region (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fovea)

    ...hmm, apart from relying on tri-stimulus colour perception it seems human eyes are in fact completely different from "RGB cameras" :-)

    OK sorry for picking on this - that's just the colour science geek in me :-)

    Now seriously, on one hand the article abstract sounds very interesting, but on the other the statement "Why use 12 color channels when three or four are sufficient for fine color discrimination?" reveals so much ignorance to the very basics of colour science that I'm completely puzzled - in the end, it's a Science article so it should be reasonably scientifically sound, right?

    Pity I can't access full text... the interesting thing is that more channels mean more information and therefore should require *more* power to process - which is exactly opposite to their theory (as far as I can tell it from the abstract...). So the key is to understand *what* information about light these mantises are collecting and why
    - definitely it's not "colour" in the sense of human perceptual experience.

    But in any case - yes, spectrometry has its uses in space :-)
Ma Ru

Information Preservation and Weather Forecasting for Black Holes - 2 views

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    S. Hawking argues black holes might not exist: "The absence of event horizons mean that there are no black holes - in the sense of regimes from which light can't escape to infinity."
    Physicists will likely appreciate...
Tom Gheysens

Fur and feathers keep animals warm by scattering light - 1 views

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    In work that has major implications for improving the performance of building insulation, scientists at the University of Namur in Belgium and the University of Hassan I in Morocco have calculated that hairs that reflect infrared light may contribute significant insulating power to the exceptionally warm winter coats of polar bears and other animals.
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    That's quite interesting. Maybe the future of buildings and spacecraft is furry?
Tom Gheysens

New genes spring, spread from non-coding DNA - 0 views

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    looks like evolution is getting better and better understood
Tom Gheysens

Analysis of salamander jump reveals an unexpected twist - 1 views

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    here is the video - did not really get the mechanism
Beniamino Abis

Antimatter experiment produces first beam of antihydrogen - 1 views

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    The ASACUSA experiment at CERN has succeeded for the first time in producing a beam of antihydrogen atoms. The ASACUSA collaboration reports the unambiguous detection of 80 antihydrogen atoms 2.7 metres downstream of their production, where the perturbing influence of the magnetic fields used initially to produce the antiatoms is small.
    http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/140121/ncomms4089/full/ncomms4089.html
dejanpetkow

Metamaterials + Wireless Power Transfer - 2 views

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    Put together two ACT topics and see what happens.
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    I remember discussing this briefly and then discarding the idea - but don't remember why any more; duncan?
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    Well, I think that although the antenna is small, you counteract this with a much large metameterial lens. Probably if you design an antenna of a similar size to the 'lens' you can couple power equally well over the same distance. Then again, further optimization might help improve the size. Maybe in the end you want to combine both together, optimization of the antenna, including a metamaterials lens.
Tom Gheysens

Cheap battery stores energy for a rainy day : Nature News & Comment - 0 views

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    Thijs interested?

    quinones are my field
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    I think the major benefit of this system is the low cost of the products involved compared to standard flow batteries. However, two issues still remain, corrosion and size. I think these things need to be big right due to the volumetric storage using quinones? Nevertheless, it is interesting to see where this development will lead to.

    "The system is far from perfect, however: bromine and hydrobromic acid are corrosive, and could cause serious pollution if they leaked. "The bromine is, right now, the Achilles heel of this particular battery," Aziz says. The answer could be to go completely organic, he adds: "We are working on replacing the bromine with a different quinone."

    Are there quinones which would not be corrosive but retain good volumetric performance?
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