close

Science

Blood Moon: A rare Super Moon lunar eclipse will occur on 28 September

Blood Moon: A rare Super Moon lunar eclipse will occur on 28 September

Celestial Masterpiece : Blood Moon to be seen on 27-28th September all over the world

Rare celestial event ‘Blood Moon’ and ‘Super Moon lunar eclipse’ occurring on September 27-28 also marks the end of the current Lunar Tetrad and hence this full moon is also termed as ‘Harvest Moon’ which forecasts end of the world.

End of this month would bring a rare celestial event wherein sky-watchers can get an opportunity to witness a ‘Total Lunar eclipse’ that would give a copper color to the moon thus referring it to as “Blood Moon”. Besides, the moon will be closest to Earth hence being referred as ‘Super Moon’.

September 28th 2015 also marks the end of ‘Lunar Tetrad’ and the full moon is also referred to as ‘Harvest Moon’.

Lunar Tetrad means occurrence of four consecutive total lunar eclipses which are separated by six lunar months. The first total lunar eclipse occurred on April 15, 2014, followed by October 8, 2014, then April 4, 2015 and now on September 27-28, 2015.

However, this fourth and final total lunar eclipse could be apocalyptic according to some Christian ministers.

It was in 2013 when John Hagee, a Christian minister had claimed in his book “Four Blood Moons” that “Lunar Tetrad” fulfills a biblical prophecy that forecasts the end of the world.

Hagee said: “The coming four blood moons points to a world-shaking event that will happen between April 2014 and October 2015”.

According to Hagee there is a reference of this event mentioned in Bible, Joel 2:30-31 which reads- “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.”

Celestial Masterpiece : Blood Moon to be seen on 27-28th September all over the world

The Bible has also referred to Blood Moon in Revelation 6:12 (part of the passage about the Seven Seals) which reads- “I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood.”

Scientists and atheists instantly mocked the pronouncement made by Hagee.

An atheist, Bob Seidensticker at Patheos, noted that after going through some of Hagee’s theories which included those of blood moons coinciding with the Jewish holidays and other important events in the Jewish history, he found that the Christian minister is pretty unsure at certain points whereas total believer at other which is very much confusing and absurd.

What we need to notice here is that Jewish calendar is based on lunar cycle and it would coincide with the celestial events occurring in the cosmic world.

Thus in 2013, Seidensticker wrote: “I predict that John Hagee’s prediction will fail in 2015 and the end will not come.”

It is also a fact that of the four total lunar eclipses, three were not visible in Israel, thus Seidensticker also wrote: “What good is a blood moon if God’s chosen can’t see it?”

However, the “Blood Moon” expected on September 28 was giving jitters to a lot of folks and it was trending on Twitter.

It is also believed that a lot of folks also watched an online documentary which is based on Hagee’s book!

Some people were so superstitious that they even started co-relating the bumpy financial market with the “Blood Moon”, this has surely offended some Twitterati.

Scientific explanation: 

It was explained in EarthSky.org, and astronomical site, that there have been in all 62 tetrads till date right from the first century. The site also mentioned that all the tetrads have followed natural cycles and it can be predicted using simple calculations, therefore people who love cosmology believe that a tetrad cannot be associated with any sort of destruction or apocalypse.

Fred Espenak, NASA’s eclipse specialist explained that on September 28, 2015, there will a Total eclipse and the totality period would be for 1 hour and 11 minutes; however the greatest eclipse moment would be at 02:47 UTC.

He also mentioned greatest eclipse moment all the places across the globe:

  • In U.S. it is 22:47 EDT, 21:47 CDT, 19:47 PDT on September 27.
  • In Europe, Middle East, Asia including India and Australia it would be at  03:47 BST, 04:47 CET, 9.17 IST, 05:47 AST, 09:47 ICT, 12:47 AEST on September 28.

Sky-watchers may also note that on September 13, 2015 they can also witness partial Solar eclipse which would be visible from Eastern Pacific, North and South America, Europe, Africa and Western Asia.

Now, will this Total lunar eclipse occurring on September 28 be apocalyptic? This is still a major question which we all need to wait and watch.

Well, it will definitely bring an end to something ……….if the World does not get destroyed then surely the predictions which are being based on the tetrads and making rounds from the last two years would come to an end!

Don’t worry readers, the next tetrad is not due until 2032! so till then make sure you watch the “Blood Moon” on September 28, 2015.

read more

NASA creating Terminator like polymer material that can “heal” itself after gunfire

NASA creating Terminator like polymer material that can "heal" itself after gunfire

Inspired by Terminator-1000, NASA scientists create a polymer material that can “heal” itself after gunfire

A polymer material that can sustain damages due to its self healing capabilities has now been created by NASA-supported scientists.

Lovers of movie Terminator: the Judgement Day, might very well recollect the impregnable T-1000 role played by Robert Patrick and the amazing effects which the magic poly-alloy produced on the silver screen. Well, it seems not only common people but even some scientists have actually loved the idea and got tremendous inspiration due to which some of the NASA-supported scientists have actually created a polymer material that can “heal” itself even after gun fire.

“Self healing” Polymer material created by NASA: 

The amazing polymer material comprises of two layers of solid polymer with a liquid material that is sandwiched in between these two layers.

It is this liquid which helps in the “self healing” and recovery process.

Whenever, there is any damage in the polymer, it will lead to breaching of the integrity of the solid layers and the liquid would come in direct contact with oxygen that is present in the surrounding atmosphere and solidify in less than a second.

This solidification aids in building the gap and thus helps in the self healing of the material.

The enclosed footage demonstrates the self recovery of the polymer after it was pierced with a bullet.

It can be seen clearly that when the polymer is pierced with a bullet some liquid oozes out from the small hole and amazingly in less than a second the hole is sealed.

Applications: 

This novel polymer can be used to protect the cars and smartphones to heal itself from potential damages.

Spacecraft always run the risk of getting hit by some space junk, hence the creators of this amazing invention hope to use this ‘self healing’ polymer material as a protecting shield against such unexpected damages.

Self healing polymer discovery by IBM Research in 2014:

Last year, IBM Research had presented a unique polymer that was light in weight, possessed self healing capability, was stronger than bone, 100% recyclable. The material could also be degraded by using chemicals. This polymer was entirely made up of liquid and it had the capability to restore its integrity even after being chopped to pieces.

Usually the materials used in transportation and aerospace industries are exposed to various environmental factors which results in irreparable fracture cracks. Another problem here is that once cured these materials cannot be recycled which virtually leads to environmental pollution. On the contrary these newly discovered experimental polymers discovered by IBM Research are recyclable, lighter, stronger it could be very well used in transportation and aerospace industries thus helping to save a lot of money as well as decrease the overall environmental wastage and pollution.

Below footage gives a brief explanation of the IBM Research Polymer discovery.

read more

AI Robot Tells Human Creators That It Will Keep Them In A “People Zoo”

AI Robot Tells Human Creators That It Will Keep Them In A "People Zoo"

AI Robot Created By Roboticist David Hanson Capable Of Holding An Intelligent Conversation

Androids that have a strange similarity with people are being developed these days. Roboticist David Hanson has crafted an android that is a top example of uncanny resemblance with the renowned and deceased science fiction writer Philip K. Dick. The thing about android Dick that catches attention is not his appearance but his talent to a carry an intellectual conversation.

The deceased author’s work was uploaded on the Android’s software by the creators of android Dick along with conversations that he had with other writers. If the android was asked a question that had been raised to the real Dick, the robot would answer the question as Dick would. A series of complicated questions too were replied by the robot. Also, it’s software would make an effort to answer the question using “latent semantic analysis”, in the event the robot was asked a question that it was not known with.

To test the speaking abilities of Android Dick, it was set up for an interview with a reporter from PBS NOVA. Android Dick’s brain is made up of a tapestry of wires that are linked to a laptop. Philip’s facial recognition software kept following the reporter’s face as the conversation moved forward. Further, in order to assemble a reply, the speech recognition software transliterated and transmitted the reporter’s words to a database.

The questions put forward to Dick were by no means less important. On being asked by the reported, if it could think, the android replied, “A lot of humans ask me if I can make choices or if everything I do is programmed. The best way I can respond to that is to say that everything, humans, animals and robots, do is programmed to a degree.” While some of the androids replies were programmed in advance for use, the others were gathered from the internet.

Dick continued, “As technology improves, it is anticipated that I will be able to integrate new words that I hear online and in real time. I may not get everything right, say the wrong thing, and sometimes may not know what to say, but everyday I make progress. Pretty remarkable, huh?”

read more

NASA’s photos of Mars: Signs of life or imagination running amok?

NASA's photos of Mars: Signs of life or imagination running amok?

Bizarre Mars photos: Does alien life really exists?

The NASA photos taken by the Mars Orbiter and the Curiosity and Opportunity rovers sparked speculations of alien life existing on the neighboring planet. While there are continuous debates wherein alien hunters and UFO enthusiasts push the idea of proof of life on Mars (and elsewhere), while NASA continues to maintain that there has yet to be confirmed proof of alien life found on Mars (or anywhere).

Bizarre Mars photos: Does alien life really exists?

Conspiracy theorists for years have been keeping a close watch on the photos that have been transmitted back to Earth by NASA probes and “discovering” strange objects that they say proves the existence of extraterrestrial activity on Mars. For example, lizards, mermaids, petroglyphs, artifacts, jelly donuts, traffic lights, and various other somewhat recognizable objects all appears to exist together in the open dusty spaces of the red planet.

Bizarre Mars photos: Does alien life really exists?

The latest arrival, where the alien hunters cited that the evidence found is that of a crashed rock shaped miniature spaceship on Mars.

Bizarre Mars photos: Does alien life really exists?

“I found this anomaly in the latest Curiosity Rover photo. The black object looks like a crashed UFO,” writes Scott C. Waring on the UFO Sightings Daily website.

https://twitter.com/Uredda/status/629532799096238080

The craft is only about 2.5-3 meters across, so it probably only held a few passengers. Since many of the figures we found on Mars are about 5-8 cm tall, then we can conclude that his [sic] ship could carry about 20-40 passengers.”

Bizarre Mars photos: Does alien life really exists?

Perhaps too far sighted but not as far as the discovery of a giant Martian crab in early August or for that matter the “strange woman” appearing briefly at the Curiosity rover last month or like the levitating rock in June.

One NASA scientist says there’s a perfectly good explanation for these sightings. Speaking to CNN, Ashwin Vasavada, a scientist who works on the Mars rover project, said that much of “sightings” suggest a psychological process known as paradoleia, or the brain’s recognition as familiar objects or patterns things even though it’s not actually there. For instance, cloud-shapes, face of a man in the moon, seeing the image of the Virgin Mary in a grilled-cheese sandwich, or even a tiny woman wandering around Mars.

Bizarre Mars photos: Does alien life really exists?

“We have color HD cameras on this rover that far exceed anything ever sent to the planet before, and yet in order to find these things that kind of trick your brain into thinking it’s a mermaid or whatever, you do have to zoom in where it’s kind of a fuzzy shadow at that point,” he added.

Bizarre Mars photos: Does alien life really exists?

Remembering the photo of a tiny woman wandering around Mars, he said “That photo was up in a place we are studying, a place we call a ‘geologic contact’ where there is a lot of sandstone next to mud that formed at the bottom of an ancient lake.”

“Now, three billion years after that happened, little drifts of sand are following down the hill … when you zoom in and kind of look at the light and shadows, it does look like a little figure of a woman,” he admits. “But she would be a few inches tall and hasn’t moved in months, so we don’t think that’s what it is.”

Bizarre Mars photos: Does alien life really exists?

It is very interesting to see how people’s imagination work claiming the things they see in Curiosity’s photos, Vasavada says. However, his team does not take them seriously, he adds hoping that NASA will discover signs of intelligent life on Mars in the future.

In fact, many of the “alien” objects found in the photos taken by other NASA explorers and Curiosity have been quite small. Ironically, a recent study indicated for those searching for alien life, particularly intelligent alien life, when found would be quite a bit larger than the average human being.

“There is no group that would be (happier) to see such a thing than the 500 scientists around the world who work on this Curiosity rover,” he says. “So far we haven’t seen anything that is so obvious that it would be similar to what these claims are.”

“We have no evidence of Martian iguanas or rats at this time,” he says. “One of the best things we found is that Mars could support life, (but) if anything we think it’s microbial life that’s possible at this time. Things like rats and iguanas would be way further up the food chain that we think Mars may have ever gotten to.”

Just the other day, Vasavada says someone on the Internet “found a place where a meteor had struck Mars while we were there roaming, so that is pretty fantastic.”

For Vasavada, the bizarre thing about the thousands of photos taken by Curiosity is how they are not really strange at all.

“The thing that keeps coming back to me every single day is how un-weird it is, how much it looks like Earth,” he says. “It’s just fascinating that (on) Mars, even today, you can see the landscapes formed in similar ways that deserts and other places on Earth formed. It’s kind of mind-blowing.”

It is not as a overwhelmingly impressive find as a Martian; however, Vasavada recommends patience.

“We are working our way to answering what is a very difficult scientific question,” he says. “It’s unfortunately not going to be as easy as seeing a mermaid in a picture.”

read more

Human Brain 30 Times Faster than Best Supercomputers

Human Brain 30 Times Faster than Best Supercomputers

A rough estimate shows that human brain is 30 times faster than best of supercomputers

Scientists have developed a new method to compare supercomputers to human brains wherein the computer’s performance was compared to a rough estimate of how frequently the neurons of the brain is able to fire off electrical signals.

In July this year,  Silicon Valley pioneer, Elon Musk, founder of Tesla Motors, SpaceX and his Open Philanthropy Project announced a funding of $7 million among the 37 research teams which would be working on the ‘Killer AI issue’. These 37 research teams will work on the AI issue from different angles which would include teaching AI to make out what humans want from them, also aligning robot’s interest with that of humans and keeping a complete human control over the AI.

Basically, Musk aims to guide the development of smarter AI with least potential threat to humanity.

One of the 37 research projects, funded by Musk is known as “AI Impacts project” and it aims at finding a newer technique which can compare supercomputers to the human brain.

Instead of focusing on how fast the hardware or brain can do certain calculations, the research team here developed a method through which they determined which among the two, brain and computer, is able to communicate the messages instantly within its own network. Based on this experiment the researchers plan to set a benchmark which will provide some useful way to compare the AI’s progress with the human intelligence.

 AI Impacts Project: 

AI Impacts project emerged from the brains of two PhD students, one from the University of California, Berkeley and another from Carnegie Mellon University. Basically, these scientists developed a new technique which can be used to compare human brains to supercomputers.

The preliminary methodology termed as Traversed Edges Per Second (TEPS) measures the speed at which a computer can transmit information within its own system. A computer needs to simulate a graph and then search through it, based on this the typical TEPS benchmark has been set. However, a brain cannot simulate a graph like computer. Hence, researchers had to compare the performance of computer with the rough estimation of how frequently the neurons of the brain is able to fire off electrical signals.

“A big pragmatic benefit of measuring the brain in terms of communication is that it hadn’t been done before,” says Katja Grace, a researcher at the Machine Intelligence Research Institute in Berkeley who is working on a doctorate in Logic, Computation, and Methodology at Carnegie Mellon University. Grace added that this method “provides a relatively independent estimate of the price of computing hardware roughly comparable to the brain.”

Boston-based Future of Life Institute has granted a funding of $49,310 to these two researchers for their AI Impacts project and thus have been listed under the group of Elon Musk’s AI research project.

Jeremy Hsu at IEEE Spectrum says:

“IBM’s Sequoia supercomputer currently holds the TEPS benchmark record with 2.3 x 1013 TEPS. Grace and her collaborator, Paul Christiano, a PhD student in theoretical computer science at Cal Berkeley, calculated that the human brain should be at least at least as powerful as Sequoia at the lower end of their TEPS estimates. At the upper end, their max estimate of the human brain’s capabilities suggest that it’s 30 times as powerful as IBM’s number cruncher at 6.4 times 1014 TEPS. They’ve pegged the cost of the human brain’s performance at somewhere between $4,700 and $170,000 per hour in terms of current computer prices for TEPS. Grace and Christiano say they previously came up with a “fairly wild guess” that TEPS prices could improve by a factor of 10 every four years. That means computer hardware costing $100 per hour to operate could become competitive with the human brain during a time period between seven to 14 years.”

However, there is no need to worry yet, because there is no much information as to how quickly the computer hardware will be able to evolve in its TEPS performance. Researchers also point out that it could be a case that instead of faster evolution the computers might slow down in their TEPS performance. Thus researchers ensure the masses that it is not possible for AI to replace humans any time soon since all these assumptions have a lot of uncertainties  packed in their calculations.

Researchers further also add that in case say the ‘TEPS price goal’ proves to be 100% accurate even then one need not worry, because along with a competent computer hardware one would also need appropriate software which will enable the AI to emerge as a more powerful AI and actually compete with human intelligence. Grace pointed out “A laptop’s worth of computing power doesn’t automatically spawn Microsoft Word.”

“We have very little idea how efficiently the brain uses its computational resources, and how that will compare to the efficiency of systems that humans design,” Grace said. “So even if we knew how much hardware was needed to do what the brain is doing in the way the brain is doing it, this might be very different from the amount of hardware human engineers need to achieve the same functions once they have any way to achieve those functions.”

Researchers believe it is easier to measure the communication within the brain’s neurons rather than measuring the computations. Anyways, no one even knows how to measure the computations in the brain because it has not been discovered yet and nobody knows how a computations is represented in the brain …may be after some years humans might even find this secret. However, for now TEPS benchmark seems to be a promising method with which researchers can compare AI with human level intelligence in the near future.

Aim of AI Impacts project: 

As mentioned above the major aim of AI Impacts project is to set a new methodology which can help comparing AI’s progress with the human brain.

The other aim of pioneers of this project, Grace and Christiano, is to find out if AI research makes “abrupt and surprising progress at any point” or would it just progress gradually by making small and incremental steps.

Researchers hope the latter proves true because this will give them the required time to predict the AI progress.

Grace thus says: “In aid of this, we are looking at other technologies that have seen abrupt progress, which is interesting in itself. The biggest jump in any technological trend that we have found was from nuclear weapons.”

“AI Impacts Research Bounties”

Researchers at the AI Impacts research want people to give several inputs which would help them in their research work. They are also offering rewards which do not have any specific deadlines. This project has been introduced under “research bounties” and the rewards range from $50 to $500 under the category for someone who provides the example of “discontinuous technological progress”, another category offers $20-$100 for some apt example wherein people acted to prevent a risk that was some 15 years away.

As of now, Grace and Christiano are also studying the Bitcoin hardware to make out the stepping stone which can help in speeding the rate at which hardware improves. Both of them also assume that a comprehensive use of AI can also prove to be tremendously useful in research progress.

In all the researchers aim to build “a quantitative model of how fast artificial intelligence research should be expected to grow in an economy with increasing quantities of artificial intelligence available to do research.”

read more

“Immortus”, world’s first solar powered sportscar being built in Australia

"Immortus", world's first solar powered sportscar being built in Australia

Meet the Immortus, the world’s first solar-powered exotic sports car

Besides being operated as a normal eco-friendly electric vehicle it would also be provided with solar panels on the roof which will use the Sun’s rays and provide additional power to the car while it is being driven.

Meet “Immortus”, the world’s first solar powered, impressive, eco-friendly car that is being built by an Australian start-up.

Australian electric vehicle start-up EVX, along with the researchers at Swinburne University of technology, Melbourne are working together to build the innovative Immortus which has a design that was inspired by the post-Apocalyptic movies such as Mad Max.

Swinburne institution has considerable expertise not only in solar energy research but also in electric vehicle technology and hence the young start-up firm is working in collaboration with this institution.

Basically, Immortus car is a normal electric vehicle that requires to be plugged in into your wall socket and charged, thus making it eco-friendly.

Then, what makes it different? Well, the car would be provided with voluminous ‘solar panels’ on its roof which will use the Sun’s rays and provide additional power to the car while it is being driven. It is this additional power which will help the car to stay on the road for a considerably longer time and the company boasts that the solar panels would give a ‘never ending staying power’ to the car.

EVX’s statement on its official website says: “The ability to run on the power of the sun and store the energy for later use make it a car of practically infinite endurance. As long as the sun shines the Immortus lives…”

For now, this seems to be just marketing gimmicks by EVX.

During a press release, Barry Nguyen, co-founder as well as CEO of EVX said: “Without government funding so far, we have made significant progress in our R&D and getting closer to turn our ambitious vision into a reality. With the strong leadership of Dr Clint Steele, we have succeeded in keeping our approach lean through working with final year engineering students and new graduate engineers.”

EVX claims that the sports car would be able to reach 100 km/h in just 7 seconds and it has been provided with a combined battery and solar range of over 550 km at an average rate of 85 km/h.

EVX also adds that depending on the solar conditions and overall environmental conditions the vehicle is able to run indefinitely solely on solar power. It further also claims that Immortus can run at an unlimited range even at speeds over 60 km/h and the company even boasts that the car delivers “the complete independence that comes from never [needing] to refuel”. In other words, EVX aims to give their customers total independence so that they need not stop the cars at any charging stations.

However, this is all theoretical because Immortus is yet in its conceptual stage and it does not exist in reality.

The creators of this exotic car are giving their best make this technology a reality and they have plans to display its prototype at SEMA 2015 which is an auto show dedicated to specialty equipment that will be held at at the Las Vegas Convention Centre in November.

While speaking to Ben Schiller at Fast Company, Nguyen told: “We’re not trying to be a Tesla because that would require a lot of money just to get the car onto the road. Because the car will be very expensive to make, we make the car into a technology platform, using technologies that make up a solar car.”

Well, whoever says Solar powered can’t bring in the style! Just one look at the design of this proposed Immortus sports is enough to make someone fall in love with this aesthetically pleasing, sleek designed, impressive, two person sportscar.

Immortus would be a limited-edition car and EVX is planning to bring just 100 units with an anticipated selling price of $370,000!

read more

Boeing demonstrates drone-killing laser weapon

Boeing demonstrates drone-killing laser weapon

Boeing’s portable drone-killing laser can aim silent, invisible laser, burns hole in target from hundreds of metres away

Aerospace giant Boeing has successfully tested a laser weapon that can track down an unmanned drone from hundreds of metres away and shoots them down in under a minute. This week Boeing held a media demonstration of its Compact Laser Weapons System in Albuquerque, N.M.

It is a surprisingly small portable system equipped with a two kilowatt laser, which can be transported in a few medium-sized boxes, and two techs can set it up in minutes. When set up, it looks to be about the size of a large microwave oven perched sideways on a heavy-duty tripod. The device directs at a silent, invisible laser target and tracks it as it moves and sets a drone aflame, which takes about 15 seconds to burn a in a UAV or a quadcopter. This is possible because all the energy in the laser beam is focussed in a very tiny spot.

Also, the tracking mechanism is precise enough to target specific parts of a drone. The laser is controlled with custom targeting software that runs on a laptop, with help from an Xbox 360 controller. It has an unlimited magazine like any laser weapon system, as long as there’s energy to power it either via battery pack or generator. In addition, the cost-per-shot is also extremely low.

However, this system is a lesser powerful version of Boeing’s High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD), a truck-mounted laser that can destroy mortars in mid-flight. Even though HEL MD may one day be utilized on the battlefield, this new laser weapon system is meant only to keep drones away from sensitive areas, according to a report from Wired.

In a video of the demonstration posted online this Thursday, Isaac Neal, a Boeing engineer, said “Think of it like a welding torch being put on target but from many hundreds of metres away.”

“If you were on the receiving end of laser energy, you’d have no idea where it was coming from or what was even happening.”

“It’s something you’ve likely seen many times in science fiction movies, but it’s only now becoming a reality.”

The media demonstration was followed by a successful test in Point Mugu, Calif., that Boeing terms as a milestone. This is the first time the system has managed to disable a moving drone that was not held back by a tether.

Several systems designed to target unmanned aerial vehicles or drones are currently under development by Boeing. People keep flying their drones into unauthorized areas giving rise to a number of security concerns that can be used in spying, create danger for aircraft carrying human pilots and passengers or disturb wildlife. Also, the governments and militaries around the world are worried by the prospect of drones carrying explosives or chemical weapons.

In addition to drones, Boeing is also developing some larger laser systems to counter small boats or projectile weapons such as rockets and mortars.

Boeing expects the laser system to be ready for sale in the next year or two, where they would add an extra element to traditional missile defense systems.

read more

This is how a self healing material handles bullet shot (video)

Watch how self-healing material handles a bullet (video)

Watch how self-healing material handles a bullet (video)

Researchers backed by NASA have created a material which can self heal in seconds. The material is made up of two layers of solid polymer sandwich a gel that with an ingredient that solidifies on contact with air (i.e. when one or both of the outer layers is damaged).

While other researchers are trying out self healing material using mostly liquid compound, this process differs from them. Watch this video to get an idea of how the material self heals after getting shot at.

We had earlier reported about a similar research being carried out by a team at the University of Bristol. Lead by Prof.Duncan Wass, the team is working on their own self-healing material. Prof Wass has confirmed that the self-healing products will reach consumers in the “very near future”. His team specialises in modifying carbon fibre composite materials, the strong but lightweight substances used increasingly widely in the manufacture of everything from commercial aircraft wings to sports racquets and high-performance bicycles. They have been working with aerospace engineers at the university to know if there was a way of preventing the tiny, almost undetectable cracks that form in an aircraft’s wings and fuselage.

read more

Black holes are passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking

Black holes are passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking’s new theory suggests Black holes are a passage to another Universe

Stephen Hawking says he has solved the mystery of the Black hole but physicists are awaiting proper proof to believe this!

Renowned physicist, Stephen Hawking, director of research at Cambridge University’s department of applied mathematics and theoretical physics, says he has solved the “paradox of Black holes” and according to a new theory proposed by him, humans can escape from black holes though they might not be able to return back to their own Universe.

In fact, he feels that “Black holes” are a “one way” passage to another alternative Universe and thus if someone does get stuck in a Black hole they would be directed into some other alternative universe.

Earlier, Prof Hawking had discovered that Black holes does not allow anything, not even light, to escape their gravitational grasp and hence they seem to drastically confuse matters. The major concern here was that if information entering a black hole cannot get out and black holes do not even last longer (a discovery made by Prof Hawking) then what actually happens to the information; because law of universe says energy needs to be conserved. After lots of debate it was finally concluded that information needs to escape the black hole. But it is still a mystery which physicists are trying to solve.

During an eight minute public lecture held in Stockholm, Sweden, Prof Hawking said: “If you feel you are in a black hole, don’t give up. There’s a way out.” He further added that he had discovered a mechanism “by which information is returned out of the black hole”.

For a long time physicists have been trying to understand the mystery of black hole and what exactly happens to the information once it gets sucked up and lost into the deadly ‘black hole’ which is an unknown place where the laws of physics does not seem to work.

Prof Hawking gave his lecture at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology wherein the Nordita (Nordic Institute for a Theoretical Physics) hosted the Hawking Radiation Conference.

During the conference, Prof Hawking’s proposed theory was just an attempt to answer the mystery of the “information paradox” which has been tormenting the physicists for years together regarding what actually happens to the things when they go beyond the event horizon and where substance just gets swallowed and where even light does not get reflected thus giving it its name…….Black hole.

In general, when any substance falls into the black hole all its related information seems to be totally lost. However, as per the law of universe, it is impossible for something to just get disappeared and thus one can conclude that whatever falls into the black hole would ultimately land up somewhere.

Thus, Prof Hawking proposes, there could only be two possibilities. Either the information falling into Black hole breaks out into an alternative universe. Or the other possibility is that it gets translated into some kind of “hologram” on the outer side of the black hole.

During his lecture, Prof Hawking added: “The existence of alternative histories with black holes suggests this might be possible. The hole would need to be large and if it was rotating it might have a passage to another universe. But you couldn’t come back to our universe. So although I’m keen on space flight, I’m not going to try that.”

In a way, the major goal of his lecture was to make physicists and cosmologists understand that “Black holes” are not as “black” or “bad” as they have been painted for years. He also feels that they are not some sort of eternal prisons which are they are believed to be. Prof Hawking also believes things can get out of a black hole and also might reach into some different universe altogether.

Prof Hawking’s announcement did make a sensation in the world of physics and cosmology. However, scientists and physicists studying theoretical physics are awaiting Prof Hawking to publish his study, which is expected somewhere in September, to see the actual proof based on which he has made his announcement.

Caltech physicist, John Preskill, says: “It’s hard to tell what the substance is there, scientifically, to be honest. We should control our expectations until we know more.”

Another Caltech physicist, Sean Carroll said: “I don’t think anyone has a very promising mechanism for how the information can get out. So it would be exciting if Hawking is on the right track with this.”

On the other hand, UC Santa Barbara physicist Joseph Polchinski, says he wants to wait and see the calculations made by Prof Hawking to understand if the new theory and solution made any sense.

Polchinski said: “I don’t think what Hawking and his collaborators are proposing is radical enough to solve the problem. But I haven’t seen the publication, so I’m just speculating.”

Prof Hawking’s article would be co written by physicists Malcolm Perry of the University of Cambridge and Andrew Strominger of Harvard.

Prof Hawking has even given the credit to Strominger who gave him the idea for this solution.

However, when Los Angeles Times reached Strominger, via telephone and when inquired about Prof Hawking’s new proposal, Strominger said: “Whatever the team publishes, it’s unlikely to be the final word.”

He also added:

“There’s still much more work to be done to show that when something falls into a black hole that it leaves a record of exactly what it was. That is the part we still need to work out. Stephen is very optimistic that it’s all going to work perfectly. But physics is a hard mistress. You have to get all the calculations to work perfectly and everything has to line up.”

“Stephen is a smart guy,” Strominger continued. “Maybe he’s seeing all the way to the end. I’m certainly not.”

read more

World’s Oldest Known Message In A Bottle Found After 108 Years

World's Oldest Known Message In A Bottle Found After 108 Years

German couple discovers world’s oldest message that was locked in a bottle for around 108 years!

As a part of the marine research program, the bottle was thrown into North Sea a century ago and surprisingly it has reached its destination after about a century.

Last week, CBC News reported that, in April this year, a German couple had discovered some postcard locked in a bottle which had washed up on the beach of Amrum Island.

Retired postal worker, Marianne Winkler, found the bottle on the shores and though most of the times the letters locked in such bottles are known to have some romantic messages, this one however did not have any romance in it. Instead, it was a part of some ancient marine experiment.

Marianne and her husband, were on a vacation at the North Sea Island and had no idea that this message would turn out to be nearly 108 years old!

Inside the bottle, there was a postcard which clearly said “Break the Bottle” and hence she finally decided to break it open to get the message out.

The postcard instructed the receiver that it needs to be sent across to the Marine Biological Association (MBA), Plymouth, U.K.; the couple followed the instructions and did sent this postcard to its destination.

The MBA, too, has confirmed that the bottle was tossed into the North Sea during early 20th Century, between 1904 and 1906 and it was part of some marine expedition carried out by the then researcher George Parker Bidder, who later became president of the MBA.

On Friday, Guy Baker, spokesman for MBA told CBC News: “We were very excited. We certainly weren’t expecting to receive any more of the postcards.”

Baker also gave a statement that Bidder had released some 1000 bottles into the North Sea, a century ago, with an aim of testing the North Sea’s Ocean currents as a part of his marine research program. He also said this particular message definitely belongs to that group of expedition.

Baker further explained that Bidder had created the bottles in such a manner that they were to stay afloat against the deep sea currents. Inside the bottle was locked a post card which promised the finder “one shilling reward” provided it was returned to Plymouth along with the necessary information regarding “where” and “when” they found the bottle.

The postcard’s message was written in English, German and Dutch.

German couple discovers world's oldest message that was locked in a bottle for around 108 years!

Baker also said that during that period most of the bottles were reported to have been found within months of its release.

It seems few of the bottles were pulled by the fishermen some decades ago and have been returned back to the association. Baker said, in a way these messages have also proved to be useful to the local fishermen.

According to Guinness Books of Records, the current record holder message was tossed in 1914, for some scientific purpose and discovered in west of the Shetland Islands in July 2013, after 99 years. Hence, MBA, is now checking if Bidder’s “message in the bottle” can get the recognition of the oldest ever found message in the Guinness records.

Baker also added that he is not sure if the bottle was actually tossing around the ocean for all these 108 years or if it has been buried under the sand and now washed offshore.

Anyways, the couple would receive their “reward” of “one shilling” for returning the bottle to the association and definitely cherish the memorable vacation with a great historic story.

We can thus say that finally a century old message securely locked in a bottle has finally reached its destination, possibly even making way for itself into the Guinness Books of Records.

read more