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Friday, May 20, 2011

Eurocopter X3

Eurocopter X3: The world's fastest copter
( -- If you asked a child how they would make a helicopter go faster, they would probably tell you to add another engine. The answer would be Zen simple and dead right. The engineers at Eurocopter also seem to have that same mentality and it worked.

"The X3’s speed milestone was reached on May 12 during stable, level flight – with the hybrid demonstrator maintaining a true airspeed of 232 kts. (430 km./hr.) for several minutes. This occurred during only the third mission after a scheduled upgrade that integrated the X3’s definitive gearboxes, enabling it to operate at full power." (font:

harvests energy from blood flow

 Image credit: Alois Pfenniger, ARTORG
Cardiovascular Engineering, University of Bern, Switzerland.
Tiny turbine in human artery harvests energy from blood flow
( -- A small turbine located inside a millimeters-wide human artery could harvest enough energy from blood flow to power implanted medical devices, such as pacemakers and drug-delivery pumps. The concept has been presented by researchers at the University of Bern and the Bern University of Applied Sciences during the Microtechnologies in Medicine and Biology conference in Lucerne, Switzerland, earlier this month.

Orphan Planets

Massey scientist's software finds 'orphan' planets
Software developed by a Massey University computer scientist and astrophysicist has led to the discovery of free-floating ‘orphan’ planets – once the subject of science fiction.

Versão portuguesa.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Mini Black Holes

Simulated view of a black hole in front of the Large Magellanic Cloud. The ratio between the black hole Schwarzschild radius and the observer distance to it is 1:9. Of note is the gravitational lensing effect known as an Einstein ring, which produces a set of two fairly bright and large but highly distorted images of the Cloud as compared to its actual angular size.
Mini black holes that look like atoms could pass through Earth daily
( -- In a new study, scientists have proposed that mini black holes may interact with matter very differently than previously thought. If the proposal is correct, it would mean that the time it would take for a mini black hole to swallow the Earth would be many orders of magnitude longer than the age of the Universe.

Full Article:
More information: A. P. VanDevender and J. Pace VanDevender. “Structure and Mass Absorption of Hypothetical Terrestrial Black Holes.” arXiv:1105.0265v1 [gr-qc]

Monday, May 09, 2011

Testing the existence of new particles

( -- As the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) ramps up the rate and impact of its collisions, physicists hope to witness the emergence of the Higgs boson, an anticipated, but as-yet-unseen, fundamental particle that scientists believe gives mass to matter.

We mentioned before here, that Fermilab a mistery signal.

Image: An example of simulated data modeled for the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) particle detector on the Large Hadron Collider. Here, following a collision of two protons, a Higgs boson is produced which decays into two jets of hadrons and two electrons. DeGrand's theories represent an alternative to the standard model. Credit: TACC

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Antihydrogen trapped in 1000 seconds

(a) A schematic view of the ALPHA trap. Penning trap electrodes are held at ~9 K, and have an inner diameter of 44.5 mm. A three-layer silicon vertex detector surrounds the magnets and the cryostat. A 1 T base field is provided by an external solenoid (not shown). An antiproton beam is introduced from the right, while positrons from an accumulator are brought in from the left. (b) The magnetic field strength in the y-z plane (z is along the trap axis, with z=0 at the centre of the magnetic trap). Green dashed lines in this and other figures depict the location of the inner walls of the electrodes. (c) The axial field profile, with an effective trap length of ~270 mm. (d) The field strength in the x-y plane. (e) The field strength profile along the x-axis. Image credit: ArXiv paper
CERN scientists confine antihydrogen atoms for 1000 seconds
( -- Seventeen minutes may not seem like much, but to physicists working on the Antihydrogen Laser Physics Apparatus (ALPHA) project at the CERN physics complex near Geneva, 1000 seconds is nearly four orders of magnitude better than has ever been achieved before in capturing and holding onto antimatter atoms. In a paper published in arXiv, a team of researchers studying the properties of antimatter, describe a process whereby they were able to confine antihydrogen atoms for just that long, paving the way for new experiments that could demonstrate properties of antimatter that until now, have been largely speculation.
More info:

Gravity Probe B confirm two keys from Einstein's equations

Image credit:
NASA's Gravity Probe B (GP-B) mission has confirmed two key predictions derived from Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, which the spacecraft was designed to test. 
The experiment, launched in 2004, used four ultra-precise gyroscopes to measure the hypothesized geodetic effect, the warping of space and time around a gravitational body, and frame-dragging, the amount a spinning object pulls space and time with it as it rotates. 
GP-B determined both effects with unprecedented precision by pointing at a single star, IM Pegasi, while in a polar orbit around Earth. If gravity did not affect space and time, GP-B's gyroscopes would point in the same direction forever while in orbit. But in confirmation of Einstein's theories, the gyroscopes experienced measurable, minute changes in the direction of their spin, while Earth's gravity pulled at them. (NASA)

Source: NASA

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Interview with Gordon Walker

The last magazine of astroPT had an interesting interview with Gordon Walker, this scientist with Bruce Cambell and Stephenson Yang discovered in 1987 an extrasolar planet surrounding the star Gamma Cephei. 

The magazine was written in the Portuguese language, but the interview was presented in English language. You can READ the interview in page 34. SEE HERE THE MAGAZINE.

Cosmic Magnetic Fields

Cosmic magnetic fields
The mention of cosmic-scale magnetic fields is still likely to met with an uncomfortable silence in some astronomical circles – and after a bit of foot-shuffling and throat-clearing, the discussion will be moved on to safer topics. But look, they’re out there. They probably do play a role in galaxy evolution, if not galaxy formation – and are certainly a feature of the interstellar medium and the intergalactic medium. (

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