Researchers make hybrid particles combining light and matter

Every type of atom in the universe has a unique fingerprint: It only absorbs or emits light at the particular energies that match the allowed orbits of its electrons. That fingerprint enables scientists to identify an atom wherever it is found. A hydrogen atom in outer space absorbs light at the same energies as one on Earth.

❝ While physicists have learned how electric and magnetic fields can manipulate this fingerprint, the number of features that make it up usually remains constant. In work published July 3 in the journal Nature, University of Chicago researchers challenged this paradigm by shaking electrons with lasers to create “doppelganger” features at new energies—a breakthrough that lets scientists create hybrid particles which are part-atom and part-light, with a wide variety of new behaviors.

What startling stuff. RTFA. Wrap your mind around manipulating quantum matter by shaking it!

French to build two roll-on/roll-off cargo ships…Sail-Powered


Renault

❝ France-based Neoline has selected a shipyard to construct to construct its first two sail-powered roll-on/roll-off cargo ships to operate between France and United States as soon as 2021…

❝ Neoline was established in 2015 with the intention of the becoming the world’s first shipowner specializing in modern sailing cargo ships. The company has partnered with French automaker Renault to develop the ships, which will be 136-meter long and equipped with 4,200 square meters of sail area.

The ships will initially operate on a pilot route joining Saint-Nazaire, France with the U.S. East Coast and Saint-Pierre & Miquelon off the coast of Newfoundland.

Oh, would I ever love to ship out aboard something like this. A truly modern adventure.

Modified Drone captures rare view of Mount Everest


Click to enlarge

❝ Ever since a British officer in 1903 captured what is believed to be the first image of Mount Everest, photographers have been striving to take iconic pictures of the world’s highest mountain. Everest’s enormity makes it nearly impossible to make a single photograph that highlights both its scale and position within the Himalayan landscape.

❝ This year, Renan Ozturk, a 39-year-old professional mountaineer and filmmaker on assignment for National Geographic, set out to make just such a photograph. His plan was to use a specially modified drone to create a 360-degree panorama that would portray Everest in its full grandeur but also reveal its commanding position in one of the planet’s most colossal landscapes.

RTFA. Enjoy the beauty of this image.

The Weather Report gets an upgrade almost 40 years in crafting


January 2018 “Bomb Cyclone”

❝ Weather forecasters need a ton of knowledge and a fair bit of experience with local weather patterns to do their job well. They also need a good forecast model. These computer models take in measurements from weather stations on the ground, satellites in orbit, and balloons in between and then simulate the physics of weather forward in time a few days.

For the first time in about 40 years, the guts of the US model got swapped out for something new… The upgrade brings us a new “Finite-Volume Cubed-Sphere” (or FV3) dynamical core, which simulates the basic atmospheric physics at the heart of this endeavor, a change that has been in the works for a while.

❝ The new core had its origins in simulating atmospheric chemistry but ended up being adapted into other models. A few years ago, it was selected to replace the old core in the US Global Forecast System model. And for more than a year now, the new version of the model has been running in parallel so its results could be compared to the operational model.

RTFA for the details. I’ve mentioned before – and only my opinion – that every science geek is also a weather geek. One of those at-hand examples that fits into everything from work, errands, necessities and recreation. It’s complex; but, understandable, science that affects everyone.

Dual-polarization weather radar


Hail falling from supercellEric Kurth, NOAA/NWS

❝ For decades, radar has been used by the National Weather Service to gather a wealth of meteorological data to track thunderstorms, hurricanes, blizzards and everything in between…

But an advancement in radar has unveiled even more information than ever before. Enter: Dual-polarization weather radar…This new technology provides 14 new radar products that will support our mission to serve our partners and customers,” the NWS explained.

❝ All of these radar products can be found on sophisticated weather radar apps for smartphones and computers, such as RadarScope and GR2Analyst.

I am going to be trying these asap! Most science junkies are weather junkies. 🙂

Hopefully, Xi listens better to Huawei than Trump listens to Apple

NOTE: Bloomberg changed the 1st full showing of this interview to Friday, the 31ST, 9PM EDT.

Driverless trucks start test runs on Southwestern Interstate highways

❝ The U.S. Postal Service on Tuesday started a two-week test transporting mail across three Southwestern states using self-driving trucks, a step forward in the effort to commercialize autonomous vehicle technology for hauling freight.

San Diego-based startup TuSimple said its self-driving trucks will begin hauling mail between USPS facilities in Phoenix and Dallas to see how the nascent technology might improve delivery times and costs. A safety driver will sit behind the wheel to intervene if necessary and an engineer will ride in the passenger seat.

❝ If successful, it would mark an achievement for the autonomous driving industry and a possible solution to the driver shortage and regulatory constraints faced by freight haulers across the country.

The plan is to have these trucks on the road 22 hours at a time. Not exactly something human drivers are up for. Since long-haul runs are literally short thousands of drivers, timing couldn’t be better. If everything works OK? 🙂