Einstein Archive

Nov

21

Written by

img November 21, 201410:06 amimg 2 Comments

No beard zone.

No beard zone.

This day in history: In 1905 on November 21. Albert Einstein published “Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?” leading to the formula E=mc^2.  Did you learn that in FroSci? (PBS)

China is delaying indefinitely the opening of the new Hunger Games movie and in Thailand several cinemas have cancelled showings of the movie (Washington Post).

In other news, Michael Phelps has a beard. Thoughts? No shave November or just a new look? (Washington Post)

In real news Obama has announced that nearly 5 million illegal immigrants will not be deported (BBC).

Five Guantanamo detainees were released and sent to Europe (Los Angeles Times).

 

Coquettish grin via Shutterstock

Sep

30

Written by

img September 30, 20113:49 pmimg 3 Comments

Liquid nitrogen: it's like getting iced, but... much worse.

The physics community’s collective world was recently rocked by the latest results from CERN, with some now claiming that they have measured neutrinos traveling faster than the speed of light. While the discrepancy is small (only 60 nanoseconds), it could force physicists to reconsider Einstein’s theory of relativity. Columbia’s go-to physics rock star, Brain Greene, remains skeptical: “I would bet just about everything I hold dear that this won’t hold up to scrutiny.” Ouch.

One million Americans suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but researchers have yet to understand its causes. Earlier studies suggested that the condition might stem from the XMRV virus or one of the related mouse leukemia viruses. However, recent data from patient blood work finds no correlation between XMRV and chronic fatigue syndrome. Mailman School of Public Health Professor W. Ian Lipkin is conducting his own study, though other faculty members such as Vincent Racaniello agree that “it’s clearly time to move on.”

The blood-brain barrier makes it impossible for doctors to intravenously deliver drugs to the brain. Or at least it was impossible until Columbia professor Elisa Konofagou developed a method using short ultra sound pulses to safely open the blood-brain barrier. Konfagou believes this method will lead to treatments for diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Cue an updated Frontiers curriculum.

Graphene has already established a reputation as an incredibly versatile material, but things might just get even better—a new paper published by a large collaboration of Columbia professors and graduate students hints at an unplumbed frontier in the nitrogen doping of graphene. The embedded nitrogen atoms profoundly change the electrical properties of the graphene, albeit only in a two-atom radius, making it highly tunable and useful for electronics. That’s all well and good, but could it possibly be worth all those Girl Scout cookies?

IcyHawt image via Wikimedia Commons.

© 2006-2015 Blue and White Publishing Inc.