Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Cool Science Stuff

Truth really is stranger than fiction. Teleportation, the "God Particle," and quantum computers are the stuff of scifi, but if you read the news they are more real than you think.

Now, I am not very bright when it comes to science. In fact, I failed Chemistry (the only class I couldn't crack) and didn't even attempt physics. Still, I love science in principal, even if I can't understand it, and I like to celebrate cool stuff that scientists do.

Number one today has to be the discovery of the "God Particle" or boson, aka a new subatomic particle. How cool is this? It's the glue, the stuff that makes atoms clump together into stars and planets. Without it, the universe would be a soup of particles whizzing around at the speed of light. 

Here's a cool science fact: The tidal forces of the Moon don't just affect the ocean. They also affect dry land, which can rise and fall as much as 21 inches.

They're getting closer to that quantum computer, too - a group of Harvard scientists were able to create quantum bits and store information on them for two seconds. Now, two seconds doesn't sound like a lot to a clueless geek like me. But that is six orders of magnitude greater than the previous time stored, which makes this a huge breakthrough. 

Which means that my Crown Phoenix typewriter could be a reality soon.

We can't beam anyone up yet, but it is possible to teleport information using quantum entanglement. I don't know what that means, but it's pretty darn cool. The real world applications are huge - transporting medical info through skin, for example. And this year scientists at A*STAR worked on an actual tractor beam, using something called a Bessel beam that actually pushes particles towards a light source.

So, I may not be able to understand it, but I am a big scifi fan. And all of this stuff is pretty darn cool.

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