Tech Tuesday – Spooky Action Edition
Sorry for missing the last few Tuesdays, I just finished the latest development cycle at work, and had a lot of balls in the air. Couple that with get moved back to WA, and unpacking, and getting ready to start the remodel… It’s been busy.
TT01 – We now have photographic evidence of Spooky Action at a Distance. Don’t worry, the Ghost Hunters (or whatever they call themselves) are still full of shat.
TT02 – Remember a few months back, Japan landed a probe on an asteroid. Turns out, they wanted to get a better look at the innards of the rock, so the probe took back off from the surface of the asteroid, fired some explosives in the rock, and just set back down to rummage through the pieces for loose change and organic molecules.
TT03 – There are times I really wish I could parse the kinds of mathematics talked about in this article, because it sounds just so damn cool. I mean, I’m not completely ignorant of what is being discussed. I obviously work with real and complex numbers (x+yi, x-yi) every day, though Quaternions are a step outside my experience, even though I knew what they were. But to be honest, this is the first I’ve heard of Octonions, and when I first read the title, I wasn’t entirely certain they weren’t talking about a layered root vegetable. It remind me of articles I read back in college about Supersymmetry, but that seems to be going nowhere. So here’s hoping ordered sets of 8 complex numbers can crack open some more mysteries.
TT04 – Speaking of upending physics, could be our theory of gravity is incomplete (yeah, I know, DUH!). Don’t worry, you will still be stuck accelerating towards the center of the Earth at 9.81 m/s^2, this is all about how galaxies form and our understanding of dark matter and energy.
TT05 – Two birds, one stone – store CO2 underground and release natural gas for harvesting at the same time.
TT06 – Oh bacteria, what can’t you do for us? Realistically, until we perfect nano-machines enough that a nano-forge is not a staple of science fiction, bacteria are our next best method of producing micro and nano scale materials.
TT07 – At first, I thought this was going to be something along the lines of the solvent system I linked to a month or so ago, but alas, it’s just a new twist on the old evap method of getting fresh water. It’s not nothing, but I was hoping for more.
TT08 – Oh, man, I remember having this discussion with creationists. I seem to recall having it in the comments on this site. This is why I love science, every day just a bit more of that uncertainty that feeds superstition is stripped away.
TT09 – Old Man Planck has got to be watching this from the great beyond with some degree of excitement, as researchers mess around with his Black Body limits.
TT10 – When I envision the autonomous car future, I see technology like this at the core of it. The ‘skateboard’ is what the car services buy, along with a variety of drop in shells. If the service has a sudden need for a truck, instead of making a customer wait, it just pulls a sedan out of service and swaps in a truck body onto the skateboard, then sends it out.
TT11 – Here’s one for our resident soil scientist. Engineering a plants root biome to let it make better use of marginal lands.
TT12 – Given how much effort we put into keeping things dry, one would think that water was dangerous to us.
TT13 – I’m surprised it took this long to come up with a rebar replacement for concrete construction. The impact of rust on concrete has been known for a very long time, and I am pretty sure we’ve had the materials science knowledge for decades to come up with a non-rusting replacement that performs as well, so I can only imagine that the cost of the replacement rebar just wasn’t there yet (that, or the steel industry was doing a hell of a job keeping such replacements off the market).
TT14 – Adding in a last minute link from Mr. Cain: 3D printing using resin and carbon fibers. This is pretty neat, since it allows for a wider range of designs and requires less material. I do wonder if the laser based system removes the need to put the final part in an autoclave, since that is a pretty significant hurdle for a lot of places that want to work with CF (autoclaves are expensive, and most are not very big, so your part size can be very limited).