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only_human 2010-07-09 00:48

[quote=cheesehead;220840]Did you catch the name of the person to whom his message was addressed?[/quote]I missed that too. I was lightly skimming that night looking for clues to his "earthshaking" announcement and now see that my blinders were a bit too..., ahem, blinding.


The possibly 4% smaller proton size that Batalov refers to is interesting. Are adjustments needed to keep observed spectral readings etc. consistent with Q.E.D. ?

only_human 2010-07-14 13:33

[quote]Batalov: [URL=""]The size of the proton[/URL].
"...[This] result implies that either the Rydberg constant has to be shifted by −110[FONT=Arial Unicode MS] [/FONT]kHz/[I]c[/I] (4.9 standard deviations), or the calculations of the QED effects in atomic hydrogen or muonic hydrogen atoms are insufficient." [quote=only_human;220874]The possibly 4% smaller proton size that Batalov refers to is interesting. Are adjustments needed to keep observed spectral readings etc. consistent with Q.E.D. ?[/quote][/quote]Here is the first article I've found that suggests a direction forward. It floats the proposition that the polarization of space may be increased in muonic atoms[quote]So is QED faulty? Not likely, says Rudolf Faustov, a theorist at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. He notes that the proton is actually a roiling mass of particles called quarks and gluons, all held together by the so-called strong force. That inner complexity, Faustov says, makes it difficult for physicists to handle precisely the electromagnetic force between the proton and muon in their calculations. "It's not quite clear how to separate these interactions," he says. In particular, he says, physicists may have to reconsider how the muon affects the proton.
The result may even point to new physics, says Krzysztof Pachucki, a theorist at the University of Warsaw. Thanks to quantum fluctuations, the proton is chock full of quark-antiquark pairs flitting into and out of existence. If the proton also contained lots of electron-positron pairs, they would increase the polarization of space with the muonic atom and resolve the discrepancy in the Lamb shift with no need to revise the textbook value of the proton's radius, Pachucki says. "That would be the first thing I would check."

Jeff Gilchrist 2010-07-14 18:43

[QUOTE=apocalypse;220246]Donald Knuth promises [URL=""]"An Earthshaking Announcement"[/URL] tomorrow.[/QUOTE]

Video of the announcement* available here:

* - no powerpoint here, old-school acetate slides


Jeff Gilchrist 2010-07-14 18:44

Not exactly "news" but an interesting new animation that explains the properties of Oxygen:


cheesehead 2010-07-15 18:32

Pretty pictures
Two photos of the recent total solar eclipse:


Pluto, temporarily easier to find (photo shows why):


Cassini (the spacecraft) just keeps chugging along:


A couple of Milky Way images:


The night sky, from Down Under:


Spherical Cow 2010-08-13 15:04

Here is a link to an article and fascinating video that compresses the time period of 1945 to 1998 into about 14 minutes (1 second = 1 month), and shows nuclear explosions on a map, in sequence. 2053 explosions. Starts out slow of course, but be patient. By the time you get to the Cold War, the little "beep" and "bomp" sounds they have for each explosion are coming fast enough to sound like music.

In that 53 year period, 2053 nuclear explosions works out to one every 9.5 days. I never would have guessed anything near that number.



ewmayer 2010-08-13 15:39

Scientists find new superbug spreading from India
[url=]Scientists find new superbug spreading from India[/url]. [i]A new superbug from India could spread around the world -- in part because of medical tourism -- and scientists say there are almost no drugs to treat it.[/i]

ewmayer 2010-10-21 20:27

Earliest Galaxy found in Hubble Ultra Deep Field
[url=,0,1727071.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+latimes%2Fnews%2Fnationworld%2Fnation+(L.A.+Times+-+National+News)]Far-off galaxy is found[/url]: [i]Born just 500 million years after the Big Bang, the galaxy could help explain the 'reionization' of the universe.[/i]
[quote]Scientists have found the most distant space object yet observed, a galaxy born just 500 million years after the Big Bang.

The record-breaking discovery, reported Wednesday in the journal Nature, may aid exploration of a crucial period in the early history of the cosmos — a time when light from the earliest stars broke up the fog of hydrogen gas that shrouded the universe shortly after the Big Bang. That process created the "reionized" universe that exists today, scientists think.

"This is one of the most fundamental problems in astronomy — how the universe ionized," said the study's lead author, astronomer Matthew Lehnert of the Observatoire de Paris in France.

Lehnert said that though astronomers know reionization occurred, they don't understand how, because they haven't been able to observe the process underway. "That's why [seeing this object] matters," he said.[/quote]

ewmayer 2010-11-13 01:29

Scientists Solve Mystey of "How Do Cats Drink?"
[url=]For Cats, a Big Gulp With a Touch of the Tongue[/url]: [i]It has taken four highly qualified engineers and a bunch of integral equations to figure it out, but we now know how cats drink. The answer is: very elegantly, and not at all the way you might suppose[/i]
[quote]Cats lap water so fast that the human eye cannot follow what is happening, which is why the trick had apparently escaped attention until now. With the use of high-speed photography, the neatness of the feline solution has been captured.

The act of drinking may seem like no big deal for anyone who can fully close his mouth to create suction, as people can. But the various species that cannot do so — and that includes most adult carnivores — must resort to some other mechanism.

Dog owners are familiar with the unseemly lapping noises that ensue when their thirsty pet meets a bowl of water. The dog is thrusting its tongue into the water, forming a crude cup with it and hauling the liquid back into the muzzle.

Cats, both big and little, are so much classier, according to new research by Pedro M. Reis and Roman Stocker of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, joined by Sunghwan Jung of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and Jeffrey M. Aristoff of Princeton.

Writing in the Thursday issue of Science, the four engineers report that the cat’s lapping method depends on its instinctive ability to calculate the point at which gravitational force would overcome inertia and cause the water to fall.

What happens is that the cat darts its tongue, curving the upper side downward so that the tip lightly touches the surface of the water.

The tongue is then pulled upward at high speed, drawing a column of water behind it.

Just at the moment that gravity finally overcomes the rush of the water and starts to pull the column down — snap! The cat’s jaws have closed over the jet of water and swallowed it.
The cat laps four times a second — too fast for the human eye to see anything but a blur — and its tongue moves at a speed of one meter per second.
Being engineers, the cat-lapping team next tested its findings with a machine that mimicked a cat’s tongue, using a glass disk at the end of a piston to serve as the tip. After calculating things like the Froude number and the aspect ratio, they were able to figure out how fast a cat should lap to get the greatest amount of water into its mouth. The cats, it turns out, were way ahead of them — they lap at just that speed.

To the scientific mind, the next obvious question is whether bigger cats should lap at different speeds.

The engineers worked out a formula: the lapping frequency should be the weight of the cat species, raised to the power of minus one-sixth and multiplied by 4.6. They then made friends with a curator at Zoo New England, the nonprofit group that operates the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston and the Stone Zoo in Stoneham, Mass., who let them videotape his big cats. Lions, leopards, jaguars and ocelots turned out to lap at the speeds predicted by the engineers.

The animal who inspired this exercise of the engineer’s art is a black cat named Cutta Cutta, who belongs to Dr. Stocker and his family. Cutta Cutta’s name comes from the word for “many stars” in Jawoyn, a language of the Australian aborigines.

Dr. Stocker’s day job at M.I.T. is applying physics to biological problems, like how plankton move in the ocean. “Three and a half years ago, I was watching Cutta Cutta lap over breakfast,” Dr. Stocker said. Naturally, he wondered what hydrodynamic problems the cat might be solving. He consulted Dr. Reis, an expert in fluid mechanics, and the study was under way.
At first, Dr. Stocker and his colleagues assumed that the raspy hairs on a cat’s tongue, so useful for grooming, must also be involved in drawing water into its mouth. But the tip of the tongue, which is smooth, turned out to be all that was needed.
The project required no financing. The robot that mimicked the cat’s tongue was built for an experiment on the International Space Station, and the engineers simply borrowed it from a neighboring lab.[/quote]

cheesehead 2010-11-13 12:27

[QUOTE=ewmayer;236891][URL=""]For Cats, a Big Gulp With a Touch of the Tongue[/URL]: [I]It has taken four highly qualified engineers and a bunch of integral equations to figure it out, but we now know how cats drink. The answer is: very elegantly, and not at all the way you might suppose[/I][/QUOTE]Amazing ... just amazing.

I, too, had supposed that the raspiness of the tongue was involved.

Just touching the surface with the tongue tip might be useful in desert, or other arid, situations where water might often be too shallow to allow the curled-tongue-cup to work well. I wonder if any other desert inhabitants use the same method as cats.

science_man_88 2010-11-13 13:07

yeah I found this one a few minutes ago.


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