Dubbed the "Big Bang machine," the Large Hadron Collider could be the biggest science experiment in history--the goal of the scientists working there is to re-create what the universe was like just nanoseconds after it began.
The particle physics at the core of the LHC may be daunting for those of us who last reckoned with protons and neutrons in high school, but the real-world aspects are much more straightforward--if staggering in their own way. The project, 20 years in the making, has a price tag of $8 billion and involved the work of 9,000 physicists. The … Read more
I finally got around to watching the recent episode of HDNet's Dan Rather Reports titled "Plastic Planes," about alleged safety problems with Boeing's new 787 "Dreamliner" passenger jet. I was interested in the story for two reasons. As I've said here before, I want to buy one of these planes someday-- and secondly, I've long been fascinated with composite materials.
Vince Weldon, a former Boeing engineer, alleges that the composites used in the 787-- principally forms of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP)-- are brittle, insufficiently tested, dangerous in a fire, and vulnerable … Read more
On Sunday night, 60 Minutes reran a segment on the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) project originally broadcast in May. I missed it the first time and never got around to watching it online (in Windows video format here, for example; there's a full transcript on olpctalks.com).
Hearing OLPC representative Walter Bender repeat the claim of "10 or 12 hours" of battery life "with heavy use" reminded me of… Read more