Levitation is not only the domain of swamis and wizards. Science, too, can make objects float, like the electrical fields that levitate frogs or the magnets responsible for the epic phenomoenon known as quantum locking.
Sound, too, can be used to suspend objects in space, via acoustic levitation. We’ve seen this before, in this video, but now it’s been taken to the next level.
Acoustic levitation works because high frequency sound waves will interfere and form standing waves. Small objects can then be suspended at the “nodes” of those waves. Dimos Poulikakos has developed a way to guide those nodes toward each other, letting them initiate floating chemistry without a single human touch.
Here we see the violent reaction between sodium metal and water, captured in levitating glory.The reaction is 2 Na (s) + 2 H2O (l) -> 2 NaOH (l) + H2 (g) With hydrogen (H2) being the gas. For those who are interested.
Astrophile: The Supernova That Blew Up a Galaxy
Object: Moody little galaxy
Fate: The most energetic explosion in the universe
Darkness was all the young galaxy had ever known. For a time it ran with a hot-headed crowd, skulking around the early universe gathering up gas and dark matter. Then things started to change. The other galaxies cooled off and settled down, giving birth to glittering stars that blew away the fog and the gloom.
But try as it might, the moody galaxy couldn’t shake the darkness in its core. It seethed in the glow of its former friends, growing hotter and hotter – until one day, it exploded.
Monoclonal antibody effective against norovirus (EurekAlert)
Researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) provide the first proof of concept data showing that a monoclonal antibody can neutralize human norovirus. This research, which could one day lead to effective therapies against the virus, was published online ahead of print in the Journal of Virology.
"We initiated this work because there is presently no virus-specific treatment or vaccine to control the norovirus illness," says Kim Y. Green, a researcher on the study. “Our working hypothesis was that a highly specific norovirus antibody that binds to the outer surface of the virus particle might prevent the ability of the virus to infect susceptible host cells."A representation of monoclonal antibodies binding to antigens on a cell surface. Wellcome Library. London.
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English Curriculum changes ‘to catch up with world’s best’
Five year olds will start tackling fractions and computer algorithms, as a more stretching national curriculum is announced for state schools in England. The government says the curriculum changes are designed to catch up with the world’s best education systems.
Prime Minister David Cameron says this “revolution in education” is vital for the country’s economic prosperity. Labour said the curriculum should be written by experts and not depend on ministers’ “personal prejudices”.
Teachers’ unions have warned that the timetable for implementing the changes in autumn 2014 is “completely unrealistic”. Head teachers have also asked whether politicians should be so directly involved in deciding what is taught in the classroom.
The re-written national curriculum sets out the framework for what children in England’s state schools should be taught between the ages of five and 14. However, academies - which are now a majority of secondary schools - will not be required to follow the curriculum.
Education Secretary Michael Gove said the changes to the curriculum were necessary to keep pace with the achievement of pupils in other countries. He cited Hong Kong, Massachusetts, Singapore and Finland as “the world’s most successful school systems”.
The new-look curriculum puts a stronger emphasis on skills such as “essay writing, problem-solving, mathematical modelling and computer programming”.
- The history curriculum takes primary pupils through British history from the stone age to the Normans. They can also study a later era, such as the Victorians. “Significant individuals” studied include Elizabeth 1st, Neil Armstrong, Rosa Parks and suffragette Emily Davison. Secondary schools will teach British history from 1066 to 1901, followed by Britain, Europe and world events from 1901, including the Holocaust and Winston Churchill. This is a less detailed curriculum than an earlier draft, no longer including Clive of India, Wolfe or a reference to economic changes up to the election of Margaret Thatcher.
- Maths will expect more at an earlier age. There will be a requirement for pupils to learn their 12 times table by the age of nine. Basic fractions, such as half or a quarter, will be taught to five year olds.
- English will strengthen the importance of Shakespeare, with pupils between the ages of 11 and 14 expected to have studied two of his plays. Word lists for 8 and 9 year olds include “medicine” and “knowledge”, by 10 and 11 they should be spelling “accommodate” and “rhythm”.
- Science will shift towards a stronger sense of hard facts and “scientific knowledge”. In primary school, there will be new content on the solar system, speed and evolution. In secondary school, there will be a clearer sense of separate subjects of physics, biology and chemistry. Climate change will also be included.
- Design and technology is linked to innovation and digital industries. Pupils will learn about 3D printing and robotics.
- Computing will teach pupils how to write code. Pupils aged five to seven will be expected to “understand what algorithms are” and to “create and debug simple programs”. By the age of 11, pupils will have to “design, use and evaluate computational abstractions that model the state and behaviour of real-world problems and physical systems”.
Anthony Seldon, head master of Wellington College, welcomed the idea of a more demanding curriculum, saying that “young people shouldn’t be patronised by work that is too easy”.
Why Are So Many Deep Sea Creatures Red?
Red light does not reach ocean depths, so deep-sea animals that are red actually appear black and thus are less visible to predators and prey.
As you travel from surface waters to deeper waters, the quantity of light changes; it decreases with depth. The quality of light also varies with depth. Sunlight contains all of the colors of our visible spectrum (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet). These colors combined together appear white.
Red light has the longest wavelength and, therefore, the least amount of energy in the visible spectrum. Wavelength decreases and energy increases as you move from red to violet light across the spectrum in the following order: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet…
(read more: NOAA Ocean Explorer)
Image: The deep-sea scyphozoan jellyfish, Atolla wyvillei, as seen under white light. Image courtesy of Edith A. Widder, Operation Deep Scope 2005 Exploration, NOAA-OE.
An individual’s IQ score — long-held as the standard measure of human intelligence — is not a valid way of assessing brainpower, say Canadian researchers.
A team from Western University is debunking the concept of general intelligence, saying that there is no single component that can account for how a person performs various mental and cognitive tasks.
Instead, human intelligence is made up of multiple and distinct components, each of which must be looked at independently.
The study, published today in the journal Neuron, included the largest online intelligence survey on record, which recruited more than 100,000 participants.
"The uptake was astonishing," said Adrian M. Owen, the project’s senior investigator. “We expected a few hundred responses, but thousands and thousands of people took part, including people of all ages, culture and creeds from every corner of the world."
The survey, which was open to anyone in the world with an internet connection, asked respondents to complete 12 cognitive tests that tapped into memory, reasoning, attention and planning abilities.
The results showed that how people performed at the tests could only be explained with at least three distinct components: short-term memory, reasoning and verbal ability.
No single measure, such as an intelligence quotient, or IQ score, could account for how well, or how poorly, people did.
The researchers also used a brain-scanning technique known as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to look at the brains of a select group of participants as they performed different tasks.
They found that each cognitive component related to distinct circuits in the brain, supporting the idea of multiple specialized brain systems, each one with its own capacity.
Moral of the story: Don’t hold on to ‘IQ’ anything with high regards to your intelligence. It doesn’t accurately or even closely represent your actual mental capabilities and will likely misinform more than inform you about yourself.