Monthly Archives: August 2009

Molecular portrait

Using techniques pioneered by IBM Research Zurich, this is the first ever AFM image of a single molecule. The most detailed single image of a pentacene molecule you’ll ever see, in fact. Seriously, I’m amazed. I had no idea atomic … Continue reading

Posted in chemistry, Imported from Livejournal | Tagged , | 8 Comments

“Who ordered that?”

While you were reading this sentence, several hundred muons passed straight through your body. In fact, around ten thousand pass each square metre of Earth’s surface every minute. Slightly disconcerting, isn’t it? A muon is essentially a bigger, fatter version … Continue reading

Posted in Imported from Livejournal, physics | Tagged , | 12 Comments

Is it wrong that I can be so amused for so long by icanhascheezburger.com?

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Hot Rocks

I’ve seen occasional news reports about meteor trafficking for quite some time now, and if I’m perfectly honest, I’m not quite sure what to think about it all. On one hand, the prospect of important scientific discoveries being lost is … Continue reading

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Great Oaks, from Tiny Acorns Grow

Sometimes space news really manages to strike a chord with people. Yesterday, it seems, was one of those moments, with the announcement that amino acids had been discovered in comets for the very first time. Within hours, half the news … Continue reading

Posted in astrobiology, Imported from Livejournal | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Moondust chemistry

Well that’s interesting… A while back, I wrote a post, How to quench your thirst on the Moon, about how to find water for a lunar base, in which I mentioned that no one had really considered obtaining the water … Continue reading

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Relativistically harmless

Every now and again when I’m studying I discover something which I think is just cool. And relativistic quantum chemistry — is just cool! Quantum mechanics and general relativity aren’t the best of friends. This much is pretty well known, … Continue reading

Posted in chemistry, Imported from Livejournal, physics | Tagged , | 14 Comments

Occam’s Razor. Because no one likes a hairy theory.

Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate. (Plurality is not to be posited without necessity.) There are a number of principles in modern science which are quite pivotal for how science itself works. Principles which can often be used to distinguish … Continue reading

Posted in academia, Imported from Livejournal, physics | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

An iris of stars

Around 50 million light years away, lies a rather lovely spiral galaxy known as NGC 1097. Seen in infrared light by Spitzer in this image, it reminds me a little of an egyptian Eye of Horus. That pupil however, is … Continue reading

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Dark Matter Ramjets

I stumbled across a paper the other morning on arXiv which, at first glance, looked so bizarre I nearly forgot about my coffee. I’ll freely admit, I do rather like audacious concepts, and this one is about as audacious as … Continue reading

Posted in Imported from Livejournal, physics, Sci Fi | Tagged | 4 Comments