# discussScience & Technology news & discussion

#### CraigD

##### Top Contributor
Post and discuss interesting articles & videos about science and technology.

You don't need to be an expert - just interested in the wonders of modern science, technology, and the history of these fields.

Please keep it rational, and post articles from reputable sources.
Try not to editorialise headlines and keep the copy to just a paragraph with a link to the original source. When quoting excerpts from articles, I think the best method is to italicise the copy, and include a link to the source.

Have some fun with your comments and discussions... just keep the sources legitimate.

The Break Room has a number of other popular threads, so there is no need to post material here that is better suited to these other threads:

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The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.

#### CraigD

##### Top Contributor
Meet the zeptosecond, the shortest unit of time ever measured

Scientists have measured the shortest unit of time ever: the time it takes a light particle to cross a hydrogen molecule. T
hat time, for the record, is 247 zeptoseconds. A zeptosecond is a trillionth of a billionth of a second, or a decimal point followed by 20 zeroes and a 1.
(source)

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#### CraigD

##### Top Contributor
Meet the zeptosecond, the shortest unit of time ever measured

Scientists have measured the shortest unit of time ever: the time it takes a light particle to cross a hydrogen molecule.

That time, for the record, is 247 zeptoseconds. A zeptosecond is a trillionth of a billionth of a second, or a decimal point followed by 20 zeroes and a 1.

The actual shortest possible time interval that can technically be measured is planck-time (see planck-units):

The Planck time is the time it takes for a photon to travel a distance equal to the Planck length: = 1.62 × 10-35 m. and is the shortest possible time interval that can be measured. With its associated Planck length, the Planck time defines the scale at which current physical theories fail.
(Source)

Here is a great video that shows the order of magnitudes from the universe down to the planck-length, which I believe is a number of orders of magnitude smaller than the distance covered by a photon in a zeptosecond as described in the original article above.

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#### koolishman

##### Top Contributor
Trains (1804)were invented before Bicycles(1817).

Bicycles were invented as.

Drais built his machine in response to a very serious problem — a dearth of real horses. In 1815, Mount Tambora, in Indonesia, erupted and the ash cloud dispersed around the world a lowered global temperatures. Crops failed and animals, including horses, died of starvation, according to Smithsonian magazine.

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#### CraigD

##### Top Contributor
Trains (1804)were invented before Bicycles(1817).

Bicycles were invented as.

Drais built his machine in response to a very serious problem — a dearth of real horses. In 1815, Mount Tambora, in Indonesia, erupted and the ash cloud dispersed around the world a lowered global temperatures. Crops failed and animals, including horses, died of starvation, according to Smithsonian magazine.

The 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora was the most powerful volcanic eruption in human history... Around 100 cubic kilometres of rock was blasted into the air... China, Europe, and North America had well-documented below normal temperatures, which devastated their harvests. (source)

OK, this actually blew me away - you would assume that a bicycle would be a much simpler concept to conceive of than a steam-train!

The picture of the otto-bicycle in the article looks like an early version of the Segway. I found this link with more info on this two track format commonly called a 'Dicycle'.
https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/15339/lot/415/

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#### koolishman

##### Top Contributor
Pedestrian safety was a key concern for inventors back in 1920s and 30s.

This archive footage from 1939 shows two Sheffield based engineers demonstrating a new scooping invention for the front of your car that potentially staves off injury to pedestrians if you were to hit them.
..

But Germans were the first to try it, most likely.

Pedestrian Safety Device Demonstrated - Berlin 1927

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#### CraigD

##### Top Contributor
Martin-Baker, the leader in ejection seats with over 7,613 lives saved.

Martin-Baker ejection seat testing
This video is quite old, but the music is perfect!

Martin-Baker Live Ejections

Wikipedia link to history of MB

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#### koolishman

##### Top Contributor
The ability to move single atoms — the smallest particles of any element in the universe — is crucial to IBM's research in the field of atomic memory. But even nanophysicists need to have a little fun. In that spirit, IBM researchers used a scanning tunneling microscope to move thousands of carbon monoxide molecules (two atoms stacked on top of each other), all in pursuit of making a movie so small it can be seen only when you magnify it 100 million times. A movie made with atoms

A Boy And His Atom: The world's Smallest Movie.

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#### koolishman

##### Top Contributor
If you thought flash drives were small, wait until you see this: Researchers have encoded the data to make a short video into the DNA molecules of bacteria. They also were able to retrieve the information from the genetic code and play back the movie.

https://www.livescience.com/59791-dna-movie.html

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#### Hakan Yildiz

##### SpecTRnoOneEstablished Member
The Microbots Are on Their Way
Tiny sensors with tinier legs, stamped out of silicon wafers, could one day soon help fix your cellphone battery or study your brain....
He imagines a wealth of uses for these microbots, which are about the size of a cell. They could crawl into cellphone batteries and clean and rejuvenate them. They might be a boon to neural scientists, burrowing into the brain to measure nerve signals. Millions of them in a petri dish could be used to test ideas in networking and communications....

For details see New York Times article

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#### Mister Funsky

##### Top Contributor
The one thing(s) that has always fascinated me is what we know to be there but cant explain...dark matter and dark energy. It will likely be more mind boggling than many expect, once we understand.

A billion tiny pendulums could detect the universe's missing mass

"Dark matter makes up about 27% of the universe; ordinary matter, such as the stuff that builds stars and planets, accounts for just 5% of the cosmos. (A mysterious entity called dark energy accounts for the other 68%.)"

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/10/201014160510.htm

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#### Sutruk

##### Top Contributor
Could Planet 9 be a primordial black hole?

https://phys.org/news/2020-08-planet-primordial-black-hole.html

"For several years, astronomers and cosmologists have theorized about the existence of an additional planet with a mass 10 times greater than that of Earth, situated in the outermost regions of the solar system. This hypothetical planet, dubbed Planet 9, could be the source of gravitational effects that would explain the unusual patterns in the orbits of trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) highlighted by existing cosmological data. TNOs are celestial bodies that orbit the sun and are located beyond Neptune"

"Building on studies conducted over the past few years, Jakub Scholtz and James Unwin, two researchers at Durham University and the University of Illinois at Chicago, have recently carried out an investigation exploring the possibility that Planet 9 is a primordial black hole."

Is Planet Nine a black hole or a planet? Harvard scientists suggest a way to find out.

https://astronomy.com/news/2020/07/...-harvard-scientists-suggest-a-way-to-find-out

"Since 2016, some scientists have suspected that a massive, unseen world may be lurking in the outer solar system — a world called Planet Nine. The evidence comes from the strange orbits of some smaller objects past Neptune that all seem to be influenced by a bulky, hidden planet far beyond Pluto. But then, just last year, scientists thought of another explanation, and it’s straight out of sci-fi. The researchers proposed that the so-called Planet Nine isn’t a planet at all. Instead, they suggest that the solar system could be home to one of the universe’s earliest black holes: a primordial black hole."

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#### Cannuck

##### 420 friendlyTop Contributor
The actual shortest possible time interval that can technically be measured is planck-time (see planck-units):

The Planck time is the time it takes for a photon to travel a distance equal to the Planck length: = 1.62 × 10-35 m. and is the shortest possible time interval that can be measured. With its associated Planck length, the Planck time defines the scale at which current physical theories fail.
(Source)

Here is a great video that shows the order of magnitudes from the universe down to the planck-length, which I believe is a number of orders of magnitude smaller than the distance covered by a photon in a zeptosecond as described in the original article above.

That is an excellent video! The formula @ 6:25 is explained in simple terms. I was having some difficulty wrapping my head inside (not around) Planck length. This helped to explain gamma rays and visible light frequencies emanated from super-novas.

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#### Cannuck

##### 420 friendlyTop Contributor
The one thing(s) that has always fascinated me is what we know to be there but cant explain...dark matter and dark energy. It will likely be more mind boggling than many expect, once we understand.

A billion tiny pendulums could detect the universe's missing mass

"Dark matter makes up about 27% of the universe; ordinary matter, such as the stuff that builds stars and planets, accounts for just 5% of the cosmos. (A mysterious entity called dark energy accounts for the other 68%.)"

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/10/201014160510.htm

Further to that, from a recent post... new study could help solve many problems in modern physics:

A unifying theory of dark energy and dark matter: Negative masses and matter creation within a modified ΛCDM framework

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/bizarre-dark-fluid-with-negative-mass-could-dominate-the-universe-what-my-research-suggests/

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#### Cannuck

##### 420 friendlyTop Contributor
Could Planet 9 be a primordial black hole?

https://phys.org/news/2020-08-planet-primordial-black-hole.html

"For several years, astronomers and cosmologists have theorized about the existence of an additional planet with a mass 10 times greater than that of Earth, situated in the outermost regions of the solar system. This hypothetical planet, dubbed Planet 9, could be the source of gravitational effects that would explain the unusual patterns in the orbits of trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) highlighted by existing cosmological data. TNOs are celestial bodies that orbit the sun and are located beyond Neptune"

"Building on studies conducted over the past few years, Jakub Scholtz and James Unwin, two researchers at Durham University and the University of Illinois at Chicago, have recently carried out an investigation exploring the possibility that Planet 9 is a primordial black hole."

Is Planet Nine a black hole or a planet? Harvard scientists suggest a way to find out.

https://astronomy.com/news/2020/07/...-harvard-scientists-suggest-a-way-to-find-out

"Since 2016, some scientists have suspected that a massive, unseen world may be lurking in the outer solar system — a world called Planet Nine. The evidence comes from the strange orbits of some smaller objects past Neptune that all seem to be influenced by a bulky, hidden planet far beyond Pluto. But then, just last year, scientists thought of another explanation, and it’s straight out of sci-fi. The researchers proposed that the so-called Planet Nine isn’t a planet at all. Instead, they suggest that the solar system could be home to one of the universe’s earliest black holes: a primordial black hole."

It wouldn't surprise me if, in their study, they find a nearby worm-hole. Wouldn't that be great! We would have a space slipstream right in our very backyard!

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#### koolishman

##### Top Contributor
Creature with Interlocking Gears on Legs Discovered (2013)

A species of plant-hopping insect, Issus coleoptratus, is the first living creature known to possess functional gears, a new study finds. The two interlocking gears on the insect's hind legs help synchronize the legs when the animal jumps.

So, humans did not know functional gears existed in nature when they developed them.

Video

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#### Sutruk

##### Top Contributor
It wouldn't surprise me if, in their study, they find a nearby worm-hole. Wouldn't that be great! We would have a space slipstream right in our very backyard!
That would be like a real sci-fi movie!

There have been some movies about it, now I remember about "Donnie Darko", a quite interesting and amusing one! (Note: Won't be easy to understand!).

Another one, "Interstellar". Also a very interesting one talking about Wormholes and Gravitational Waves. Although the sequence when entering the black hole was just... well, let's say it was just quite unreal hehe.

Wormhole

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wormhole

"A wormhole (or Einstein–Rosen bridge or Einstein–Rosen wormhole) is a speculative structure linking disparate points in spacetime, and is based on a special solution of the Einstein field equations.

A wormhole can be visualized as a tunnel with two ends at separate points in spacetime (i.e., different locations, or different points in time, or both).

Wormholes are consistent with the general theory of relativity by Einstein, but whether wormholes actually exist remains to be seen. Many scientists postulate that wormholes are merely projections of a fourth spatial dimension, analogous to how a two-dimensional (2D) being could experience only part of a three-dimensional (3D) object.[1]

A wormhole could connect extremely long distances such as a billion light years or more, short distances such as a few meters, different universes, or different points in time.[2]"

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#### Cannuck

##### 420 friendlyTop Contributor
If you thought flash drives were small, wait until you see this: Researchers have encoded the data to make a short video into the DNA molecules of bacteria. They also were able to retrieve the information from the genetic code and play back the movie.

https://www.livescience.com/59791-dna-movie.html

Talk about the potential of future data storage, makes microfiche seem like a dinosaur, lol.

That reminded me of the children's book by Dr Seuss, "Horton Hears a Who", later made into a movie.

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#### Cannuck

##### 420 friendlyTop Contributor
The topics from this thread are fascinating and novel to many, myself included. As a sidenote, however; one interesting facet of aboriginal knowledge comes from the oral tradition - stories handed down over a millenia. One of the many tribes who have had such a tradition are the Anishinabe.

The Anishinabe have been given ways of communicating with the powerful heavenly forces. The oral teachings and stories which flow out of this communication between mortals and the spiritual world have been passed down from generation to generation since the beginning of time.

Having been privy to some of these sacred teachings in the oral tradition as related to me by the Shaman, I was always interested in Astronomy as a logical proof of the traditional Sky knowledge. Recent efforts are being made to record the stories and legends of the Anishinabe on video. I could relate some of the stories here, but respecting their sacred tradition and the thread rules (reserved for modern scientific studies - many of which are only recent), it may appear to be construed as being hearsay.

http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/edu/Vie...F6F92354FECE08?method=preview&lang=EN&id=5186

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#### Mister Funsky

##### Top Contributor
A glimpse of things to come...

Quantum optical micro-combs

"These devices will enable an unprecedented level of sophistication in generating entangled photons on a chip – a key breakthrough that, in my opinion, could very well accelerate the quest of achieving so-called 'quantum supremacy' – quantum devices that have the ability to perform functions beyond the capability of conventional electronic computers"

https://phys.org/news/2019-02-quant...mbs are,component of quantum computer systems.

Ultra-dense optical data transmission over standard fibre with a single chip source

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-16265-x

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#### CraigD

##### Top Contributor
The topics from this thread are fascinating and novel to many, myself included. As a sidenote, however; one interesting facet of aboriginal knowledge comes from the oral tradition - stories handed down over a millenia. One of the many tribes who have had such a tradition are the Anishinabe.

The Anishinabe have been given ways of communicating with the powerful heavenly forces. The oral teachings and stories which flow out of this communication between mortals and the spiritual world have been passed down from generation to generation since the beginning of time.

Having been privy to some of these sacred teachings in the oral tradition as related to me by the Shaman, I was always interested in Astronomy as a logical proof of the traditional Sky knowledge. Recent efforts are being made to record the stories and legends of the Anishinabe on video. I could relate some of the stories here, but respecting their sacred tradition and the thread rules (reserved for modern scientific studies - many of which are only recent), it may appear to be construed as being hearsay.

http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/edu/Vie...F6F92354FECE08?method=preview&lang=EN&id=5186

@Cannuck I think you have raised a very valid point. The seeds of critical thinking and science were sown by our ancestors, and our desire to interpret those belief systems in a modern context.
Personally, as a young person I grappled with the contradictions posed by christian theology and modern science, and it sparked in me the passion for learning fundamental truths that I discovered in the proofs of science.

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#### CraigD

##### Top Contributor
That would be like a real sci-fi movie!

There have been some movies about it, now I remember about "Donnie Darko", a quite interesting and amusing one! (Note: Won't be easy to understand!).

Another one, "Interstellar". Also a very interesting one talking about Wormholes and Gravitational Waves. Although the sequence when entering the black hole was just... well, let's say it was just quite unreal hehe.

Wormhole

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wormhole

"A wormhole (or Einstein–Rosen bridge or Einstein–Rosen wormhole) is a speculative structure linking disparate points in spacetime, and is based on a special solution of the Einstein field equations.

A wormhole can be visualized as a tunnel with two ends at separate points in spacetime (i.e., different locations, or different points in time, or both).

Wormholes are consistent with the general theory of relativity by Einstein, but whether wormholes actually exist remains to be seen. Many scientists postulate that wormholes are merely projections of a fourth spatial dimension, analogous to how a two-dimensional (2D) being could experience only part of a three-dimensional (3D) object.[1]

A wormhole could connect extremely long distances such as a billion light years or more, short distances such as a few meters, different universes, or different points in time.[2]"

I'm an old sci-fi fan who loved reading Verne, Wells, Asimov, Herbert, Clarke as a kid. I never believed that the concepts of time-travel and worm-holes were real science - they were fantasies posed by Jules Verne and Star-Trek.

It concerns me that the pseudoscience posited by sci-fi stories written 50-100 years ago is now driving theorists to formulate the mathematics - is it simply a case of sci-fi reaching critical-mass?

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#### koolishman

##### Top Contributor
A NYTimes editorial in 1920 and a correction in 1969.

They wrote rocket will not function in vacuum of space as there is nothing to push against.

That Professor Goddard, with his ‘chair’ in Clark College and the countenancing of the Smithsonian Institution, does not know the relation of action to reaction, and of the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react – to say that would be absurd. Of course he only seems to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools

They issued a correction.

Further investigation and experimentation have confirmed the findings of Isaac Newton in the 17th century and it is now definitely established that a rocket can function in a vacuum as well as in an atmosphere. The Times regrets the error."

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#### CraigD

##### Top Contributor
A NYTimes editorial in 1920 and a correction in 1969.

They wrote rocket will not function in vacuum of space as there is nothing to push against.

That Professor Goddard, with his ‘chair’ in Clark College and the countenancing of the Smithsonian Institution, does not know the relation of action to reaction, and of the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react – to say that would be absurd. Of course he only seems to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools

They issued a correction.

Further investigation and experimentation have confirmed the findings of Isaac Newton in the 17th century and it is now definitely established that a rocket can function in a vacuum as well as in an atmosphere. The Times regrets the error."

The NYTimes retraction was published on 17th July 1969.

Apollo 11 launched from Kennedy on 16th July 1969, and landed on the moon on the 20th.

I wonder if Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins were worried that their rocket would not work in space?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_11

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