science

physics lightsaber star wars science funny g rated School of FAIL - 7829763072
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From MNN

To the dismay of "Star Wars" fans everywhere, physicists have long cried foul about the science of building real-life lightsabers. According to conventional physics, photons don't behave like regular particles of matter. They are massless particles, and can't interact with one another. It's therefore impossible to build anything out of light with a solid structure, such as a lightsaber.

But a breakthrough new discovery from researchers at the Harvard-MIT Center for Ultracold Atoms could change everything, according to phys.org (link provided below). They have discovered how to make individual photons interact and bind together into molecular structures. Not only does this represent a whole new state of matter, but these light molecules can potentially be shaped to form solid structures — in other words, lightsabers!

-Phys.org

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Via Polygon
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Yeah, that Kerbal Space Program. The little space flight simulator with the tiny green men. According to a profile in Polygon,

Beneath its childish surface lies a complex physics system churning through mathematical calculations so expertly, real rocket scientists would blush to see it. KSP has even earned the respect of NASA — many of its employees play it regularly.

These past few months the team at KSP and the team at NASA have developed a professional, although distant, relationship. And this year they will begin to work together.

Soon the Kerbals will embark on the next phase of space exploration, more than a decade before their real-life human analogues. NASA hopes to land humans on an asteroid by 2025. It's their most daring mission in a half century, and they've asked the small team of eight developers headquartered in Mexico City to help promote that mission through their game.
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Spider-Man science spider sense - 7094248960
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Victor Mateevitsi, a computer science student at the University of Illinois—Chicago, has developed a suit that gives you a "spider-sense." The core of the suit is a robot arm connected to a microphone module. Each module projects and receives ultrasonics, making it more like a bat-sense than anything else. If the module detects someone approaching, the robot arm places pressure on you to let you know what direction the "threat" is coming from.
scifi men in black science - 8344861696
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I get the sense that technology is improving whenever it gets similar to the one used in a Will Smith movie.

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scientists find spider in india that looks like harry potter sorting hat
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A weird little spider that looks like a floppy hat has been named after an infamous floppy hat: The Sorting Hat from Harry Potter. Meet your new favorite spider, Eriovixia gryffindori — which is somehow a spider and not a spell.

via MTV

Introduced in a paper published in the Indian Journal of Arachnology, this “new species of cryptic, dry-foliage mimicking araneid” looks a lot like the Sorting Hat from the side and was found in “unique ‘Kans’ forestlands of central Western Ghats, Karnataka, India,” writes Nerdist. At least they didn’t name it Hufflepuffi or else we’d dismiss this spider as totally useless. Like, why does that house even exist?

The paper explains in detail why it was named after the beloved hat:

This uniquely shaped spider derives its name from the fabulous, sentient magical artifact, the sorting hat, owned by the (fictitious) medieval wizard Godric Gryffindor, one of the four founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and stemming from the powerful imagination of Ms. J. K. Rowling, wordsmith extraordinaire, as presented in her beloved series of books, featuring everyone’s favorite boy-wizard, Harry Potter. An ode from the authors, for magic lost, and found, in an effort to draw attention to the fascinating, but oft overlooked world of invertebrates, and their secret lives.

Everyone’s favorite scene in Harry Potter is where Harry is chosen to join house Gryffindor, and we also wonder why Hogwarts doesn't revamp the Slytherin program, since it keeps producing bad guys. Seriously, there’s something up with how those kids are taught. Well, now you can ask the Sorting Hat yourself, if you are ever look in the forestlands of central Western Ghats and speak spider.