Nasim Rahaman

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World's Thinnest Glass Created Accidentally By Researchers In U.S., Germany

Researchers accidentally discovered the world's thinnest sheet of glass, just two atoms thick.<p>Their chance finding — now immortalized in the 2014 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records, out this week — gives scientists a glimpse into the puzzling properties of glass, which behaves like both …

The pill that can text from inside the body

Scientists are set to trial a new ‘digital pill’ which can send a text to relatives and doctors from inside the body.<p>It is hoped the pills could be used to cut the number of drugs that are wasted each year as well as alert family members if medication isn’t being taken properly by elderly relatives.<p>…

Oxford University

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 …

Why does your voice sound different on a recording?

No one likes listening to themselves, but why? It’s because when you speak you hear yourself in two different ways.<p>What makes a recording of our voice sound so different... and awful? It’s because when you speak you hear your own voice in two different ways. Greg Foot explains all.<p>The first is …

Music Production

CRIPPLED KEPLER TO BE GIVEN A NEW MISSION Earlier this year, NASA announced that the Kepler Space Telescope had lost the functionality of 2 out of 4 reaction wheels that control its positioning in space. When it was launched in 2009 its primary mission was to find extra-solar planets (exoplanets). Kepler was monitoring any dips in star brightness that would possibly indicate a planet transiting in between us and its host star. From March 2009 until July 2012 Kepler discovered 134 exoplanets and over 3,000 possible planets that need further investigating. July 2012 is when the first reaction wheel started to malfunction and then in May 2013 another one followed suit. After repeated attempts at repairing the reaction wheels by NASA, they announced that the Kepler mission was at an end. Recently, though, a team at NASA suggested using Kepler with a different method of star gazing called gravitational microlensing. An astronomer from University of St. Andrews in the UK, Keith Horne, says that this isn't what Kepler was designed to do but he is hopeful that this new mission will utilize an otherwise functional telescope. Horne, co-author of a paper suggesting the gravitational microlensing mission, believes that Kepler will be able to find cooler, massive planets as opposed to the super hot gas giants it was finding before the malfunctions. Microlensing occurs when light from a star is influenced by the gravity of an object. As light passes by the object, its gravitational field can warp or pull on the light, causing a lensing effect and change in the light's direction. This method doesn't just work for star light passing an object in space, but it can be seen when star light passes by another star as well. If there are two stars in direct line of sight with Kepler, the light from the one further away will be bent around the star in between, causing a lensing effect where the light from the background star is magnified. Astronomers believe that if a star is host to a planet, the light will be bent around that planet's gravitational field as well. This image shows light being bent around a large galaxy which lies in a group of galaxies called Luminous Red Galaxies. “The gravitational field of the intervening star acts like a lens,” Horne explained. “It will magnify the light of the background star for a few weeks, leading to increases and decreases in brightness.” UCLA astronomer Brad Hansen has given another suggestion. In an episode of a long standing science fiction television series, Dr. Who, the Doctor lands on a planet which was orbiting a black hole, episode title: “The Impossible Planet.” Hansen believes that however unlikely this concept may be, it can still be achievable to find a planet orbiting a black hole and has suggested a few ways for this to be possible. He theorizes that a rogue planet could get caught in a black hole's gravitational pull and if it's far enough away it could be pulled into an orbit or a wandering black hole could “capture” a planet as it travels past a star. The most interesting theory, though, is the idea that if two neutron stars collide and merge to form a black hole, this death dance could possibly leave enough debris to fuel planet formation which some astronomers are calling “second-chance planets.” These among many other new possibilities for Kepler are being given consideration by NASA in hopes that this so far very useful telescope can be used again. -TAZ IMAGE CREDIT: ESA/NASA SOURCE: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/09/130909-nasa-kepler-black-hole-planets-exoplanets-science/