Friday, September 30, 2011

"Faster than light" particles may be physics revolution

Leading scientists said on Friday the discovery of sub-atomic particles apparently traveling faster than light could force a major rethink of theories on the makeup of the cosmos if independently confirmed.

Jeff Forshaw, a professor of particle physics at Britain's Manchester University, told Reuters the results if confirmed would mean it would be possible in theory to "send information into the past". "In other words, time travel into the past would become possible...(though) that does not mean we'll be building time-machines anytime soon."

The CERN research institute near Geneva said measurements over three years had shown neutrinos pumped to a receiver in Gran Sasso, Italy, had arrived an average of 60 nanoseconds sooner than light would have done -- a tiny difference that could nonetheless undermine Albert Einstein's 1905 special theory of relativity.


The discovery would open up intriguing theoretical possibilities.

"Light speed is a cosmic speed limit and it exists in order to protect the law of cause and effect," said Professor Forshaw.

"If something travels faster than the cosmic speed limit, then it becomes possible to send information into the past - in other words, time travel into the past would become possible. That does not mean we'll be building time-machines anytime soon though - there is quite a gulf between a time-travelling neutrino to a time-travelling human."

Read it all.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

MIT Shows Off New 3D Printing Projects

As I have said before: What can you make a 3-D printer? Almost anything. And it keeps getting better.

From PC Magazine:
Printing in three dimensions may sound like science fiction, but it's quickly becoming science fact, with the emerging technology expected to dramatically change industries as varied as manufacturing, architecture, and medicine.

A new video released by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the birthplace of 3D printing, provides a glimpse of how researchers continue to push forward on the new technology. Graduate students and professors are making strides with projects as varied as printing full meals, housing, and fully assembled cuckoo clocks. There's even an ongoing project to 3D print a 3D printer.

We've seen 3D printers make everything from video game tchotchkes to inticate miniatures, and heard researchers predict the printing of artificial organs. ExtremeTech's Sebastian Anthony predicts it will lead to something like the replicator and teleporter technology seen in Star Trek.

Read more.