The Plastic Brain

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‘Time Crystals’ – your physics WTF moment for the day

“Unlike clocks or any other known objects, time crystals derive their movement not from stored energy but from a break in the symmetry of time, enabling a special form of perpetual motion.”


‘Time Crystals’ Could Upend Physicists’ Theory of Time | Wired Science |

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Could we build a time phone?

If particles can travel in time, then information can.

So, at least in my mind, that means we could built a special sort of phone. A time phone.

And the minute it was turned on, it would start ringing with voices from the future.

Perhaps the contact we seek isn’t out there, but out then.

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The Amazing Spider-Math Equation

Just so you know, most directors consult some sort of actual scientists to get the details of their superhero movies right. The Amazing Spider-Man went a step further, to design an equation for a chalkboard scene that would describe how cell regeneration and mortality would work.

Because if you don’t get the scientific details right, Neil deGrasse Tyson will find you, ridicule you, and make you change your movie.

Via jtotheizzoe

( Boing Boing)

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Totally naive musing on gravity

I can never get over gravity, and how the force is transmitted. I know that gravitons are suspected, but how would a particle flying out of a mass exert a pull on another mass?

I have some rare earth magnets (BuckyBalls). They roll across the table like ball bearings, but just as a single ball approaches a cluster they snap together, moving the cluster ever so slightly closer to the source of the ball. Perhaps gravitons could work like that? They get sent out from one mass, and just as they are about to collide with some other mass they snap together with it.

This idea made me rethink gravity. At first, I thought of it as a very long range interaction between two large masses. Now I think of it as a very short range interaction between a graviton and some atom (or sub-atomic particle) with which it interacts…At least in my mind, that makes it much easier to comprehend.

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Visualizing video at the speed of light — one trillion frames per second

By now, most of you have probably seen mention of this video, where MIT scientists have created a camera that visualizes light at a trillion frames per second. In my moments of “wow face”, I realized I was remiss in not offering up an explainer of this bad-ass technology.

The MIT group does a pretty good job of detailing what’s going on in the video above, but if you need more:

The special camera in their setup is called a “streak camera”. Picture a camera that takes an image on one “slit” plane at a time, sort of like a stack of lines eventually becoming a rectangle. Then, there are 500 individual sensors in the camera timed to go off a trillionth of a second apart., each sort of corresponding to what we would think of as a “frame” of a video.

In that video, every “frame” of the Coke bottle with light moving through it was one-trillionth of a second. They had to repeat the scan hundreds of times to assemble a full “rectangular” image like we are used to, changing the position of the slit in the camera over time.

The result is a series of images over time that show how actual light particles move through and over a solid object. It’s slow, but the possibilities are many, from medical imaging to future YouTube video awesomeness.

(by MITNewsOffice)

Via jtotheizzoe

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Move aside electrically conducting play-doh – here comes conductive paint!


Bare Paint Conductive Paint

New product from ThinkGeek could potentially have more creative uses, certainly for artists – a material in paint form that is conductive:

Ok, no long stories or goofy anythings. Makers out there – you need to get some of this Bare Paint Conductive Paint right now. It’s that important. Why? Because it will revolutionize how you design circuits. Well, not how you design them, but what you put them on. Huh? We’ll explain. Read on.

Bare Paint Conductive Paint is just what the name implies: conductive paint. You can paint it onto walls, floors, any surface (except skin) and it will conduct electricity. From there, your imagination is the limit for what you can make. And get this: you can (once it’s dry) paint over Bare Paint Conductive Paint to help it blend in to the surface it’s on. AND, you can then add a new layer of Bare Paint Conductive Paint and the two layers won’t interact (giving you the power of overlapping circuits). Get some now and start creating. Just don’t forget to send us pictures, ‘cause we want to be proud of all you make with your Bare Paint Conductive Paint.

Bare Paint Conductive Paint

  • Electrically conductive paint for painting circuits onto things.
  • Yeah, you read that right: the paint becomes part of the circuit.
  • Water based, nontoxic, and dries at room temperature.
  • Perfect for painting onto any surface (except skin).
  • Repeat: Not for use on skin.
  • Washes off with water – for easy clean up and correction.
  • Includes an instruction/tip booklet on the top of the jar.
  • Net Wt.: 50ml

Product page on ThinkGeek can be found here

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These beautiful drawings provide a powerful visualisation, for me, of the concepts of fields and flux.

Some here.

More here

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Watch spiral galaxies form in your browser.

(Via @ProfessorFunk)

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