Hacking the climate could lead to whiter, brighter skies

Publication:   Date: May 31, 2012   View Article

Pumping a steady stream of sunlight-blocking particles into the stratosphere to fight global climate change would leave us with inescapable hazy and white skies such as those found over big cities, according to new research.

“The skies would be whiter/hazier everywhere, including on weekend getaways to the mountains,” study lead author Ben Kravitz of the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford University told me in an email today.

Camera captures light particles moving through space

Publication:   Date: December 14, 2011   View Article

A new imaging system that captures visual data at a rate of one-trillion-frames per second is fast enough to create virtual super-slow-motion videos of light particles traveling and scattering through space.

For reference, light particles —photons — travel about a million times faster than a speeding bullet.

A step closer to explaining our existence

Publication:   Date: July 1, 2011   View Article

Why are we here? It remains one of the largest unexplained mysteries of the universe, but particle physicists are gaining more confidence in a result from an atom smashing experiment that could be a step toward providing an answer.

We exist because the universe is full of matter and not the opposite, so-called antimatter. When the Big Bang occurred, equal parts of both should have been created and immediately annihilated each other, leaving nothing leftover to build the stars, planets and us.

Thankfully, it didn’t happen that way.

Universe’s Existence May Be Explained by New Material

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 3, 2010   View Article

About 13.7 billion years ago, the big bang created a big mess of matter that eventually gave rise to life, the universe, and everything. Now a new material may help scientists understand why.

The material was designed to detect a theorized but unproven property of electrons, subatomic particles with a negative charge that orbit the centers of atoms.

If this “new” property of electrons exists, scientists say, it would help explain the current imbalance between matter and antimatter in the universe.

“Rejected” Protons Offer a New View of the Moon

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 16, 2009   View Article

Solar particles “rejected” by the lunar surface are helping astronomers better understand how the sun affects the moon, a new study says.

The moon has virtually no atmosphere, so its surface is constantly being bombarded by solar wind, the charged particles flowing outward in all directions from the sun.

Watchmen technology in the real world

Publication:   Date: March 4, 2009   View Article

“Watchmen,” a graphic novel set in 1985, adds a few twists to the typical superhero story – including technological advances that were not that far ahead of their time, such as genetic engineering and electric cars. Now the upscale comic-book series has been adapted for the big screen. How do the concepts featured in “Watchmen” compare with real life in the 21st century?

Large Hadron Collider to Have “Practical” Spin-Offs?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 12, 2008   View Article

A multibillion-dollar atom smasher on the Franco-Swiss border may help scientists treat diseases, improve the Internet, and open the door to travel through extra dimensions, according to physicists.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach