Breaking science news and multimedia, heavy on astronomy and physics (and heavy on citing) New vids, pics, articles, and the occasional research post for http://researchblogging.org/ Join me on http://www.facebook.com/Astronasty for all the juicy in-between-posts picture sharing :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Vic Tandy on Ghosts and Infrasound

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  Neil DeGrasse Tyson Eugene Mirman - StarTalk - Infrasound by SciBinge

Listening to this excerpt of StarTalk, Neil DeGrasse Tyson points out a fascinating study.

Vic Tandy of the School of International Studies and Law at Coventry University put together a paper back in 1998 called The Ghost in the Machine.  In it, he describes the science behind a phenomenon concerning the human eye, which stands to be the root cause of a portion of "ghost sightings."  Apparently 18hz-19hz sound waves can cause a resonant vibration in the eye, inducing artifacts misinterpreted as supernatural.  These frequencies are referred to as infrasound because they are below the hearing range of humans.  20hz is classically the lowest frequency a human can detect via hearing (vibration through touch is a separate issue), and the overall range of hearing narrows with age.  20hz-20,000hz is classically known to be the range of hearing in a baby, with pristine undamaged ears.

Everyone's eyeballs are different, so the exact frequency must vary.
 Tandy states on the resonant frequency:
"Eyeballs (1-100Hz mostly above 8 Hz and strongly 20-70Hz effect difficulty in seeing)"

As a side note, infrasound can be heard by elephants; which leads me to conclude that there must be significantly less ghost elephant sightings amongst their communities.


Here's the abstract of Ghost in the Machine:
"In this paper we outline an as yet undocumented natural cause for some cases of ostensible haunting. Using the first author’s own experience as an example, we show how a 19hz standing air wave may under certain conditions create sensory phenomena suggestive of a ghost. The mechanics and physiology of this ‘ghost in the machine’ effect is outlined. Spontaneous case researchers are encouraged to rule out this potential natural explanation for paranormal experience in future cases of the haunting or poltergeistic type."

Download the paper here: Ghost in the Machine


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Vic Tandy, Tony R. Lawrence (1998). The Ghost in the Machine Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 62



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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Freezing Singularities In Water Drops

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Keeping it going with my fluid dynamics kick.  Recently uploaded to ArXiv:
Freezing singularities in water drops 
[paper here]



Video Credits: Oscar R. Enriquez, Alvaro G. Marin, Koen G. Winkels, Jacco H. Snoeijer


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Brilliant Short Film - Astronomical Art - "Black Rain"

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Black Rain from Semiconductor on Vimeo.


Info on Black Rain, with added links and media:
"Working with STEREO scientists, Semiconductor collected all the HI (Heliospheric Imager) [heliosphere] image data to date, revealing the journey of the satellites from their initial orientation, to their current tracing of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun.



In Black Rain,
Solar wind, CME's, [Coronal Mass Ejections]passing planets and comets orbiting the sun can be seen as background stars and the milky way pass by.


As in Semiconductors previous work 'Brilliant Noise' [don't have your volume too high] which looked into the sun, they work with raw scientific satellite data which has not yet been cleaned and processed for public consumption. By embracing the artefacts, calibration and phenomena of the capturing process we are reminded of the presence of the human observer who endeavors to extend our perceptions and knowledge through technological innovation."


About Semiconductor: (from their website)
"Semiconductor is artist duo Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt. Through moving image works they explore the material nature of our world and how we experience it, questioning our place in the physical universe. Their unique approach has won them many awards and prestigious fellowships such as the Gulbenkian Galapagos, Smithsonian Artists Research and the NASA Space Sciences. Their work is part of several international public collections and has been exhibited globally including Venice Bienniale, The Royal Academy, Hirshhorn Museum, BBC, ICA and the Exploratorium."


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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Using An Array of Cameras to Accurately Model a Flickering Flame

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The video takes a little bit to get to the point, but flames in the beginning are mesmerizing.  It should carry you into the real heart of this project.
The cameras employed are used in tandem to allow for 3d modeling of an actual flickering flame.   Seeing the model rotate in three dimensions is mind blowing.  Their explanation of the camera work uses an example of 9 cameras working together.  The visuals used during this portion of the video are well done and explain the process nicely.  In the actual experiment, the data captured for the modeling done was gathered by an array of 8 cameras.  The same basic principals apply.

The combination of technology and fire is always a crowd pleaser.

In my opinion, this is a gem of a find on ArXiv.
You can read the paper here:
Flame Reconstruction Using Synthetic Aperture Imaging


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Preston Murray, Jonathon Pendlebury, Dale Tree, & Tadd Truscott (2011). Flame Reconstruction Using Synthetic Aperture Imaging arXiv arXiv: 1110.3700v1

ResearchBlogging.org

Art: Unidcolor's Forest Home - Time Lapse Video

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Unidcolor is a brilliant digital artist.  He screen captured a two and a half hour session down to a 15 minute time lapse video showing the creation of this impressive piece of art: Forest Home.


Noticing the length of this video, I thought I would be watching only a tidbit.  However, the further it progresses, the more impressive it gets.  His talent in action is a sight to see.  If art isn't your thing and your attention span is short, give it a try anyway.  You might be surprised!



Video Credit: Unidcolor

Found via Boing Boing


Posted specifically for my mom, who is a professional artist.  :)

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Friday, October 28, 2011

NASA's Tour of the Moon




NASA just released a comprehensive tour of our moon.  It's stunning.  The Apollo 17 landing site and rover are seen, as well as the beautiful topography of our beloved satellite.  The grand scope of perspective, zooming in and out, shows you just how massive this heavenly body really is.  It's hard to see such detail and not experience heartfelt awe.



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Beautiful Liquid Vortex In The Laboratory

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I've really been on a fluid dynamics kick lately.  You can find some brilliant and beautiful experiments recently released on ArXiv on this subject.  Below is a stunning slow motion video of vertical vortexes in liquid.



Credits go to:
Kevin Jin Kim, Kyle Corfman, Kevin Li & Ken Kiger
Department of Mechanical Engineering
You can read their ArXiv paper here:
Air entrainment by a plunging jet under intermittent vortex conditions


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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fluid Dynamics In Slo-Mo: Liquid Rings



Scientists are uploading their pre-print papers and attached videos to the well known site ArXiv.  A paper and video that I found today will be presented at the 64th Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics in Baltimore, Maryland, November 20-22, 2011.  A couple of weeks from now.
Seungho Kim and Ho-Young Kim have put together some fabulous work on fluid dynamics.
The icing on the cake?
Their video presentation is absolutely stunning.

Water droplets are being used with an "annulus" (which is just latin for "ring").  This is not the "Liquid Ring" the scientists are referring to though.  The materials they're using are either "Superhydrophobic" (extremely difficult to wet) or the opposite, "Superhydrophilic,"
Explained much better than I ever could, these 2 terms are easily made clear with this portion of another paper's abstract:

"The term superhydrophobicity was introduced in 1996 to describe water-repellent fractal surfaces, made of a hydrophobic material, on which water drops remain as almost perfect spheres and roll off such surfaces leaving no residue.......  The terms superhydrophilicity and superwetting were introduced a few years after the term superhydrophobicity to describe the complete spreading of water or liquid on substrates." (paper cited at bottom)

So what is a Liquid Ring?
In this case, the breaking apart of the cohesive liquid volume leaves a trail behind it on the annulus: a liquid ring.
At one point, volume decreases via evaporation, breaking apart the unity of the droplet.  This critical point at which it breaks is food for thought in of itself.  I imagine there being boatload of math behind that alone.

Fluid dynamics is one of the more beautiful fields in science, ESPECIALLY now that we have ultra-slo-mo cameras.  

There was no audio, so I took the liberty of putting one of my old original ambient songs in there.  Hope you like it!  Oh, and don't ask me about them mentioning popcorn, I have no clue.



Read their paper here on ArXiv.  You can even download a hi-res version of the movie yourself while you're there.  It won't have my music in it though.


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Seungho Kim, & Ho-Young Kim (2011). Liquid ring arXiv arXiv: 1110.3703v1


Drelich J, & Chibowski E (2010). Superhydrophilic and superwetting surfaces: definition and mechanisms of control. Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids, 26 (24), 18621-3 PMID: 21090661



ResearchBlogging.org

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

If You Find Beauty In Nature, This Is For You

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I came across this again today.  I first saw it early this year; and if you haven't, you should..  Photographer Terje Sorgjerd from Norway put together this gorgeous time-lapse, focusing primarily on stunning views of the aurora borealis.


The Aurora from TSO Photography on Vimeo.


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Fluid Dynamics In Slow Motion: How Flowers Catch Raindrops

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Fluid dynamics have been around oh, since fluids.  Which is to say essentially forever.  Many flowers tend to have a generic cone shape, evolved over the ages for one reason, to take advantage that rain happens to obey the laws of fluid dynamics.  Ideally, the raindrop can land in a spot just right for the seed, landing off-center, following downward along the bottom, and whipping back out. Its exit at the other end carries an encapsulated seed, hurling it a distance of a meter or more.

Using cameras able to film in the ultra-slow-motion we've all come to love, this study has produced something truly beautiful.



Credits:
Music is by me.
Credit for this study goes to:
Guillermo J. Amador1 , Yasukuni Yamada1 , David L. Hu1,2
Schools of Mechanical Engineering1 and Biology2
Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA


Another very very strange thing I noticed is that their paper, which can be downloaded here on ArXiv contains nothing more than the abstract.  I'm sure more analysis is coming.

Here's the abstract:

"Several species of plants have raindrop-sized flowers that catch raindrops opportunistically in order to spread their 0.3-mm seeds distances of over 1 m. In the following fluid dynamics video, we show examples of these plants and some of the high speed videography used to visualize the splash dynamics responsible for raindrop-driven seed dispersal. Experiments were conducted on shape mimics of the plants' fruit bodies, fabricated using a 3D printer. Particular attention was paid to optimizing flower geometries and drop impact parameters to propel seeds the farthest distance. We find off-center impacts are the most effective for dispersing seeds. Such impacts amplify the raindrop's speed, encapsulate seeds within drops, and direct the seed trajectory at angles optimal for long-distance dispersal. "


Another interesting facet to this experiment is their usage of 3d printed flowers.  Personally, it's the first I've seen this new technology in a legitimate scientific study.




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Guillermo Amador, Yasukuni Yamada, & David Hu (2011). How flowers catch raindrops ArXiv arXiv: 1110.3993v1

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Psychedelic! Brine Shrimp Doing The Butterfly Stroke

"We investigate the fluid dynamics of brine shrimp larvae swimming in this gallery of fluid motion video."
Read the paper on ArXiv: "The Brine Shrimp's Butterfly Stroke"

This video I've edited for those with short attention spans.  It's all action!



This is the full video.  There's a lot of downtime, but there's a lot more psychedelic looking stuff going on too.



Credit: Brennan Johnson, Deborah Garrity, Lakshmi Prasad Dasi

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Interview with Brian Cox: Quantum Physics in School Would Teach Analytic Scientific Thinking


Professor Brian Cox: Quantum physics 'is not difficult' by SciBinge

A great interview, frustrating at times.

While disguised as being witty, a happily ignorant BBC host interviews Brian Cox (of CERN) and Jeff Forshaw, the latter two who together recently wrote a new book "Quantum Universe."

[Edit: You can find a link to their book, "Quantum Universe" right there if you click that button on the right column.]

Together they try to explain why it is important for everyone to understand the basics of quantum physics.  They have a wonderful tendency to get rather poetic about science.

About the interview from BBC's site: "The news is full of the Large Hadron Collider's search for the "God particle" and debate over the speed of light, but how many people understand the physics that lies behind it?"

First off, stop calling it the "god particle," this has been addressed a thousand times.

Secondly, asking how many people understand A-the higgs particle and B-superluminal neutrinos is a ridiculous question.  The higgs hasn't been found and OPERA's neutrino experiment is still working to be verified.

Now the quantum physics that HAS been verified, that's what is being TAUGHT. I wish I could have interviewed these guys.  *sigh*



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Friday, October 21, 2011

Satellites Capture Worldwide Fires: A Decade Time Lapsed

"At any given time [thousands of wildfires] are burning around the world—some wild and deadly, some intentional and controlled for land clearing."
- ScienceNow

NASA's description for the videos below: "This visualization leads viewers on a narrated global tour of fire detections beginning in July 2002 and ending July 2011. The visualization also includes vegetation and snow cover data to show how fires respond to seasonal changes."
-NASA

New, here's the first video, narrated and marking globally where fires occurred, wild or otherwise. 
NASA's satellites Terra (read about HERE ) and Aqua (read about HERE ) gathered this data. It's mesmerizing to see.



This second new video is also from NASA.  This is a bit more dynamic visually, as it is sped up slightly, but it has no audio.  This is what you can see at ScienceNow, which was linked above.  They aren't providing embed coding, (neither does NASA) so I had to get this and the previous video from NASA's site and upload it to my YouTube account.  Because of that, these videos probably aren't spread very far across the web yet. Ya saw it here first!



A search on YouTube brought me to this video, a similar mapping of wildfires, this different in that it spans from 2000-2010, whereas the above NASA videos span less than a decade.  This is also notably different because the animation is from a top down perspective of the (classic North American) flat map of the globe.





All Video Credits: NASA


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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Particle Jet Analysis from C-4 Explosions

ArXiv Blog points out a new pre-print which includes an awesome video.  First, here's the paper:
Particle Jet Formation During Explosive Dispersal
As ArXiv papers are released to the public for the express purpose of peer feedback and publicity, I took the liberty of uploading the video on my YouTube account.  ArXiv releases normally take a few days to be picked up by online news outlets, so I'm probably one of the first around to share this.  Take a look:



Video Credits:
David Frost
Yann Gregoire
Samuel Goroshin
Fan Zhang


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Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Pharaoh's Snake

Browsing Fail Blog's WIN section today, I came across a fascinating display of chemistry called 
The Pharaoh's Snake
Also called the Pharaoh's Serpent, Mercury Thiocyanate, a white or gray powder, when ignited, coils outward into a solid of much higher volume.  Mercury Thiocyanate used to be used for pyrotechnics in Germany, and available to the public.  It has since been banned due to the high toxicity of both the resulting solid after burning as well as the gasses emanated during burning.  Unfortunately several children died in Germany before this was taken off the market.
The Pharaoh's Snake is still mind-boggling, and precautions are more than feasible to allow for a demonstration in a lab environment.

"Chemical demonstration during Scientific Picnic 2008 in Warsaw"
Not quite safe probably.




This demonstration is slower, with more detail, in a lab environment.




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Monday, October 10, 2011

Second Installment of the Feynman Series

Brand new, this video is a lesson on humility and equality.
The Feynman Series (part 2) - Honours
https://www.facebook.com/thesaganseries



Video Credit:
MUSIC : Clint Mansell - Welcome to Lunar Industries
NARRATION: Richard Feynman - The Pleasure of Finding Things Out
The Royal Wedding Vows - TheRoyalChannel
The Quest For Tannu Tuva
Favourite Oscar Moment - Oscars
Lady Gaga accepting the GRAMMY - TheGRAMMYs
British acting legend Patrick Stewart knighted - itnnews


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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Placebos

Today on Boing Boing I found an awesome video:
Animated video about the placebo effect



Video Credit: Daniel Keogh and Luke Harris

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Saturday, October 8, 2011

More Than Enough Walruses to Choke a Horse

It's no secret to those who know me that I love walruses.  
Here's a video I recently found, by the USGS, of walruses chilling in Alaska.
If at some point, you're wondering, "What comes next!?"  The answer is more walruses.
"USGS Science: Walrus Haul-Out 2011"

To quote the USGS Site:
"Female Pacific walruses and their calves traditionally spend summers far from shore, diving for benthic invertebrates over the shallow continental shelf waters of the Chukchi Sea. These female walruses and their calves prefer to rest between forage bouts on sea ice drifting above their feeding grounds. However, in recent years loss of summer sea ice over the continental shelf has forced many walruses to travel to the northwest coast of Alaska where they haul-out on shore to rest. This large herd of walruses hauled out near Pt. Lay Alaska in August of 2011."


Video Credit: U.S. Geological Survey - Department of the Interior/USGS - Video Producer/Videographer Daniel H. Monson, Ph.D


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Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Feynman Series - Beauty

This is the only YouTube video to ever make me cry.  It really touched my heart.
The Feynman Series - Beauty



Video Credit: YouTube user damewse
Connect with the makers at https://www.facebook.com/thesaganseries


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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Do you enjoy things that are ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL?

From Astronomy Photographer of the Year: 2010, Tom Lowe
The trailer for TimeScapes, a movie coming soon to DVD, Blu-Ray, and HD Download.
GORGEOUS!



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