Ah, now we know why the Doctor visits our planet so often. Via NASA’s website:
Einstein was right again. There is a space-time vortex around Earth, and its shape precisely matches the predictions of Einstein’s theory of gravity.
Researchers confirmed these points at a press conference today at NASA headquarters where they announced the long-awaited results of Gravity Probe B (GP-B).
“The space-time around Earth appears to be distorted just as general relativity predicts,” says Stanford University physicist Francis Everitt, principal investigator of the Gravity Probe B mission.
“This is an epic result,” adds Clifford Will of Washington University in St. Louis. An expert in Einstein’s theories, Will chairs an independent panel of the National Research Council set up by NASA in 1998 to monitor and review the results of Gravity Probe B. “One day,” he predicts, “this will be written up in textbooks as one of the classic experiments in the history of physics.”
Time and space, according to Einstein’s theories of relativity, are woven together, forming a four-dimensional fabric called “space-time.” The mass of Earth dimples this fabric, much like a heavy person sitting in the middle of a trampoline. Gravity, says Einstein, is simply the motion of objects following the curvaceous lines of the dimple.
Read More: NASA’s website
SETI, the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Life, has shut down one of its satellite arrays after 90% of its funding was cut by NASA. Now we’ll never know they’re coming…
Why Old Books Smell Good
“Lignin, the stuff that prevents all trees from adopting the weeping habit, is a polymer made up of units that are closely related to vanillin. When made into paper and stored for years, it breaks down and smells good. Which is how divine providence has arranged for secondhand bookstores to smell like good quality vanilla absolute, subliminally stoking a hunger for knowledge in all of us.”
Jonathan Keats, a philosopher and artist, is offering to entangle partners on a quantum level in NYC from May 12th to June 18th. It’s absolutely free, so go take your beloved and entangle your photons! The process involves prisms and splitting light and all kinds of fun stuff. It’s totally harmless, go check it out! It’s mostly bullshit, but it’s amusing, romantic bullshit. (Wait…does romance come in any other form?)
Yesterday, the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland broke the world record for most luminous particle beam, formerly held by Fermi lab’s Tevatron in Illinois (that one that’s going to be shut down due to budget cuts in September but recently had that blip in data I blogged about here). A beam’s luminosity is defined by the number of particles it contains, and the LHC has been slowly ramping up its power bit by bit since it began operations in 2009, to finally become powerful enough to accelerate the highest number of particles ever attempted.
More particles = more chances for particles to collide head-on = higher chances for scientists at CERN to detect rare and/or new particles and measure their properties, particularly the fabled Higgs Boson, theorized to give other particles their mass. Hooray for discovering more particles!
I sadly don’t know what it is, but I like it.
Ohwait, it’s obviously what happens when that crack in the universe opens too wide…
Click through for larger, here for source. Look closely for all the little hidden (and not-so-hidden) amusing bits. Enjoy! All credit to XKCD, once again.
I can feel it…the turn of the earth. The ground beneath our feet is spinning at a thousand miles an hour. The entire planet is hurtling around the sun at sixty seven thousand miles an hour. And I can feel it. We’re falling through space, you and me, clinging to the skin of this tiny little world. And, if we let go…
He’s like fire and ice and rage. He’s like the night and the storm in the heart of the sun. He’s ancient and forever. He burns at the centre of time and can see the turn of the universe.
Those night scenes…I’ll bet this is what it’s like to see through the eyes of the Doctor.