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5 Cool Ways to Become a Citizen Scientist

The rise of modern hacker culture is putting science back in the hands of curious laypeople.<p><b>It's easier than ever for creative types to perform serious science as a hobby.</b> You don't need a doctorate or the backing of a federal agency to ask a novel, worthwhile scientific question. You just need …

Scientists Demonstrate Leaner System For Quantum Encryption

Scientists have demonstrated the ability to scale-up an 'uncrackable' computer encryption system that utilizes quantum physics to ensure security.<p>The technique is based on information that is carried by photons, the basic particles of light. While it's been demonstrated on a small scale, the team …

The new equation for estimating alien life across the universe

Many of us have glanced upwards at the stars and wondered whether there is other life out there somewhere. Few, however, have then tried to write down an equation to express the probability in numbers.<p>Sara Seager of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has done just that. Her equation collects …

Why Bluetooth use is on the rise

From Star Trek-like medical devices to crop monitors, the cheap, wireless signal is quietly playing an ever more central role in our lives.<p>Bluetooth has been with us for around 15 years. Named after Denmark’s King Harald "Bluetooth" Blatand, who reigned in the 10th Century AD, it is a technology …

Computer Science

Inside The Largest Simulation Of The Universe Ever Created

A giant supercomputer is making massively detailed models of the cosmos.<p>Imagine being asked to solve a complex algebra problem that is roughly 95 percent variables and only five percent known values. This is a rough analogy perhaps, but it paints a fairly accurate picture of the task faced by …

Understanding the Universe’s invisible elements

Our solar system extends a lot further than we first thought. Astrophysicist Charles Alcock says exploring its outer reaches may shed light on the Earth’s beginnings.<p>Most of the Universe is invisible. Understanding these unseeable elements can be an important step in working out how the entire …

Universe

My Brief History: a memoir by Stephen Hawking – review

The book that made Stephen Hawking a publishing phenomenon was called "From the Big Bang to Black Holes: A Short History of Time" until his editor at Bantam, Peter Guzzardi, turned it around and changed "Short" to "Brief". It was a moment of inspiration that surely helped Hawking amass record …

A Beer To Honor A Giant Electromagnet

Fermilab's Muon g-2 experiment required a 50-foot wide electromagnet. Which in turn required a celebratory brew.<p>When Chicago's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory celebrated the arrival of a delicate particle storage ring shipped across the country with the utmost care from the Brookhaven …