Krishnam Wahi

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New York scientists unveil 'invisibility cloak' to rival Harry Potter's

ROCHESTER N.Y. (Reuters) - Watch out Harry Potter, you are not the only wizard with an invisibility cloak.<p>A cloaking device using four lenses developed by University of Rochester physics professor John Howell and graduate student Joseph Choi is demonstrated in Rochester, New York in this September …

Rosetta: Date fixed for historic comet landing attempt

Jonathan Amos @BBCAmos on Twitter<p><b>The date has been fixed for Europe's daring attempt to land on a comet: Wednesday 12 November.</b><p>It will see the Rosetta satellite, which is currently orbiting the huge "ice mountain" known as 67P, drop a small robot from a height of 20km.<p>If all goes well, the lander …

Success! India's First Mars Probe Is In Orbit And Working

India has managed to do what few other nations have accomplished: putting a satellite into orbit around another planet — and it did so a lot cheaper than the competition.<p>The $70 million Mangalyaan, or "Mars craft" in Hindi, began circling Mars after a 24-minute engine burn to slow it down enough to …

SpaceX launches 3-D printer, other station gear

Researchers Can Now Create Lenses For Less Than a Penny

It's Easy Bake Oven — science edition.<p>Researchers at the Australian National University (ANU) have developed a simple, inexpensive method for …

FYI: Can Anything Move Faster Than Light?

Yes, the universe itself will eventually outpace the speed of light. Just how this will happen is a bit complicated, so let's begin at the very beginning: the big bang. Around 14 billion years ago, all matter in the universe was thrown in every direction. That first explosion is still pushing …

APOD: How to Identify that Light in the Sky (2014 Jun 09) Image Credit & Copyright: HK (The League of Lost Causes) http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140609.html Explanation: What is that light in the sky? Perhaps one of humanity's more common questions, an answer may result from a few quick observations. For example -- is it moving or blinking? If so, and if you live near a city, the answer is typically an airplane, since planes are so numerous and so few stars and satellites are bright enough to be seen over the din of artificial city lights. If not, and if you live far from a city, that bright light is likely a planet such as Venus or Mars -- the former of which is constrained to appear near the horizon just before dawn or after dusk. Sometimes the low apparent motion of a distant airplane near the horizon makes it hard to tell from a bright planet, but even this can usually be discerned by the plane's motion over a few minutes. Still unsure? The above chart gives a sometimes-humorous but mostly-accurate assessment. Dedicated sky enthusiasts will likely note -- and are encouraged to provide -- polite corrections. http://www.leagueoflostcauses.com/ https://www.facebook.com/LeagueOfLostCauses Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140609 #APOD

Hubble Telescope Unveils Most Colorful View of the Universe Yet

Changing Planet<p>Composite visible and near infrared light collected from Hubble over a nine-year period.<br>Courtesy of NASA/ESA<p>NASA’s Hubble space telescope has unveiled its most colorful window into the universe yet, a glimpse of some 10,000 galaxies spread across space. Some of those universes date …

When One Fish Gets Drunk, Its Whole School Swims Faster

One fish, two fish, drunk fish, zoom fish<p>When a single fish gets tipsy, it swims faster than usual. This was already known. But what happens when it is thrown into a tank with sober fish? The fish swims even faster than when it is alone, and, furthermore, the whole school speeds up. The sober fish …

Largest dinosaur? Paleontologists unearth new heavyweight in Argentina

Paleontologists in Patagonia, southern Argentina on Friday announced they have unearthed a 90-million-year-old fossil of what they claim is the largest dinosaur found to date.<p>"It's the largest example ever found," said Ruben Cuneo, director of the Feruglio Museum of Trelew, a city founded by Welsh …

Electrons' Split 'Personalities' Help Solve Superconductor Mystery

Electrons — the negatively charged particles around atoms — have split "personalities," and act one way or the other depending on how many of them are around, new research suggests.<p>The finding could help to solve a long-standing mystery about electrical currents in superconductors, which carry such …

'Killer robots' to be debated at UN

<b>Killer robots will be debated during an informal meeting of experts at the United Nations in Geneva.</b><p>Two robotics experts, Prof Ronald Arkin and Prof Noel Sharkey, will debate the efficacy and necessity of killer robots.<p>The meeting will be held during the UN Convention on Certain Conventional …

Robots

Melting Of Antarctic Ice Sheet Might Be Unstoppable

Scientists have long worried about climate change-induced melting of the huge West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Now they say that not only is the disintegration of the ice already underway, but that it's likely unstoppable.<p>That means that in the coming centuries, global sea levels will rise by anywhere …

Dean Kamen's DARPA-Funded Prosthetic Arm Gets FDA Approval

From a company founded by the Segway inventor, the arm is the first of its kind to receive approval for sale.<p>For eight years now, the DEKA prosthetic arm -- a DARPA-funded project aimed at improving the lives of amputees -- has been moving slowly toward FDA approval. Now, right on schedule, the …

NASA sending Google's Project Tango smartphone to space to improve flying robots

An experimental NASA robot could get a big upgrade thanks to Google. The two parties have been working together to integrate Google's Project Tango smartphone prototype — which can detect and map the world around it using a series of sensors — onto NASA's SPHERES — brightly colored, …

This Is Big: Scientists Just Found Earth's First Cousin

Meet Kepler-186f, the closest thing to our planet ever discovered—and maybe our best shot at locating life elsewhere in the universe.<p>Right now, 500 light years away from Earth, there's a planet that looks a lot like our own. It is bathed in dim orangeish light, which at high noon is only as bright …

Scientists Discover How to Generate Solar Power in the Dark

Meet 'photoswitches,' a breakthrough set of materials that act as their own batteries, absorbing energy and releasing it on demand.<p>The next big thing in solar energy could be microscopic.<p>Scientists at MIT and Harvard University have devised a way to store solar energy in molecules that can then be …

U.S. Navy Has Found A Way To Turn Seawater Into Fuel

Scientists with the United States Navy say they have successfully developed a way to convert seawater into jet fuel, calling it a potentially revolutionary advancement.<p>Researchers at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) developed technology to extract carbon dioxide from seawater while …

As if the ozone hole weren’t enough, now there’s a hole in the troposphere

Everyone knows men shouldn’t wear white dress shirts without undershirts, because then you can see their furry chests and tantalizing man-nipples and …

Growing up poor makes kids' DNA look old

Children who grow up in underprivileged households show signs of premature chromosomal aging, reports <i>New Scientist.</i> Moreover, this form of genetic aging might explain why adults who grow up in poor or otherwise stressful environments are more likely to develop serious health problems, such as …

Why do zebras have stripes? To keep bugs off, says study

Researchers say they’ve solved the riddle of why zebras have stripes: The stripes act like insect repellant, keeping away blood-sucking flies, say …

Zoology

Scientists Create Biodegradable Battery That 'Melts' Inside The Body After Use

A biodegradable, implantable battery could help in the development of biomedical devices that monitor tissue or deliver treatments before being reabsorbed by the body after use.<p>“This is a really major advance,” says Jeffrey Borenstein, a biomedical engineer at Draper Laboratory, a non-profit …

First Asteroid-Like Object Discovered With Rings

The most hip-hop of the small orbiters<p>Meet (10199) Chariklo. It's an asteroid-like object that's a little more than 90 miles in diameter. It orbits the sun between Jupiter and Neptune. And like its giant gas neighbors, it has rings. Asteroids have rings, too! (Go and brush your shoulders off.)<p>This …

Kepler confirms a whopping 715 new planets

Some of the new worlds are similar in size to Earth and orbit in the habitable zone of their parent stars.<p>Years ago, before the launch of NASA’s …

Telescopes

The man who proved Stephen Hawking wrong

He grew up in grinding poverty and was forever in trouble at school. So how did Leonard Susskind become one of the world’s greatest physicists?<p>The day that Leonard Susskind decided he was not going to follow his father into the family plumbing business, his parents were appalled. “My father was a …

Over The Past 60 Years, A Reef Island Has Grown Out Of The Sea

It is now stable and vegetated. Great job, island!<p>How old are you? Are you of retirement age yet? If so, in your lifetime, an island has been reborn, sand grain by sand grain.<p>Between 1945 and 2010, a sediment deposit in the Pacific Ocean grew to become a "fully vegetated and stable island," two …

Sea Level