Friday, July 28, 2006

Science Links!

You can thank Sirius for these science links. Like I said before: a one-person science link machine.

Here's an article titled "First direct observations of spinons and holons," and here's an excerpt:
The theory has been around for more than 40 years, but only now has it been confirmed through direct and unambiguous experimental results. Working at the Advanced Light Source (ALS) of the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a team of researchers has observed the theoretical prediction of electron "spin-charge separation" in a one-dimensional solid. These results hold implications for future developments in several key areas of advanced technology, including high-temperature superconductors, nanowires and spintronics.

Here's a link to an article about (and picture of) the discovery of Umoonasaurus, a "new" plesiosaur. Read it here.

There's a very interesting article over at titled "The Perils of Being Huge: Why Large Creatures Go Extinct." Longer gestation periods and smaller numbers of offspring, in short, but it's an excellent read and there's much more to it than that. The full article is here.

Here's an amazing article about a 14-year old boy named Ben Underwood. Ben is blind and uses echolocation to find his way. Incredible, and it's here.

Here's a link to the winners of the Visions of Science Photographic Awards and the photographs are stunning. You can find them here. And here's a link to the Biomedical Image Awards 2006, which are just as incredible (actually, maybe even more incredible). The pictures are here.

Finally, there's a new article today about black holes and an emerging question over what they really are. Here's an excerpt:
A controversial alternative to black hole theory has been bolstered by observations of an object in the distant universe, researchers say. If their interpretation is correct, it might mean black holes do not exist and are in fact bizarre and compact balls of plasma called MECOs.

Rudolph Schild of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, US, led a team that observed a quasar situated 9 billion light years from Earth. A quasar is a very bright, compact object, whose radiation is usually thought to be generated by a giant black hole devouring its surrounding matter.

...A well accepted property of black holes is that they cannot sustain a magnetic field of their own. But observations of quasar Q0957+561 indicate that the object powering it does have a magnetic field, Schild's team says. For this reason, they believe that rather than a black hole, this quasar contains something called a magnetospheric eternally collapsing object (MECO). If so, it would be best evidence yet for such an object.

Amazing if true, and the full article is here.

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