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For nearly 60 years, humans have ventured where no other known organism in the cosmos has dared go: into space. Right now, we have an impressive array of machines strategically placed throughout the solar system exploring, taking in information on our behalf, and a small collection of humans in orbit testing the galactic waters. Granted, our reach right now is small compare to the scale of the universe. This is, however, only the most humble of beginnings. These machines and astronauts are illuminating a bold future path ahead of us. 
The solar system is ours to explore, to inhabit. Those humans or nations who engage in that exploration will be rewarded with untold riches, new innovative technologies and chance to secure the future of humanity. 
And for those individuals who encourage this activity, you understand better than most the long-term consequences of inaction. We must go. Our economies and our survival depend on it. 
Join the thousands who have voiced their desire to explore to the US Congress. Visit and tell your elected officials that it is time we left Earth in a real and permanent way. Spread the conversation via #penny4NASA. 


Theorem of a Supernova - The NuSTAR Mission

NuSTAR has provided the first observational evidence in support of a theory that says exploding stars slosh around before detonating. That theory, referred to as mild asymmetries, is shown here in a simulation by Christian Ott of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena.

In this simulation, a supernova explosion is already underway. The small circle in the center represents the material that will form the dense star at the center of a supernova remnant, called a neutron star. The bright ring surrounding it is the shock wave created in the explosion. The colors represent temperature fluctuations. When the movie starts, the explosion has “stalled out,” because the material falling back onto the neutron star has backed up, like too many cars on the freeway, blocking the shock wave from progressing.

As the explosion continues, material starts to slosh around, reenergized by particles called neutrinos. The neutrinos heat up the material more and more, causing the hot regions to rise into the cooler regions and form large bubbles in the material. Once the bubbles break through the surrounding material, it’s as if the top of a pressure cooker blows off. There’s nothing holding back the shock wave any more and the star explodes.

Credit: NASA/Christian Ott/Caltech


MRI for a quantum simulation

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which is the medical application of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, is a powerful diagnostic tool. MRI works by resonantly exciting hydrogen atoms and measuring the relaxation time—different materials return to equilibrium at different rates; this is how contrast develops (i.e. between soft and hard tissue). By comparing the measurements to a known spectrum of relaxation times, medical professionals can determine whether the imaged tissue is muscle, bone, or even a cancerous growth. At its heart, MRI operates by quantum principles, and the underlying spectroscopic techniques translate to other quantum systems.

Recently physicists at the Joint Quantum Institute* led by JQI Fellow Christopher Monroe have executed an MRI-like diagnostic on a crystal of interacting  spins. The technique reveals many features of their system, such as the -spin interaction strengths and the energies of various spin configurations. The protocol was published recently in the journal Science. Previously, such methods existed for an array of only three spins—here, the JQI team performed proof-of-principle experiments with up to 18 spins. They predict that their method is scalable and may be useful for validating experiments with much larger ensembles of interacting spins.

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Scale of the universe

Scroll to your hearts content from the Planck length to the diameter of the observable universe - click on any object and it will open an info box - I can’t imagine how much work must have gone into this. A few surprising things: Pluto has a smaller diameter than the width of the USA and Vatican city can fit in central park multiple times.

Find it here


Shoutout to all the students who don’t fit into their field’s academic box. Science students who enjoy humanities classes, engineers who don’t love math, artists who like science and math, social scientists who like their statistics classes, people with different learning styles than are common in their field, and everybody who likes the classes everyone else hates and vice versa.

(Source: adventuresinchemistry)


New Device Allows Brain to Bypass Spinal Cord and Move Paralyzed Limbs

Read the full article New Device Allows Brain to Bypass Spinal Cord and Move Paralyzed Limbs at

For the first time ever, a paralyzed man can move his fingers and hand with his own thoughts thanks to an innovative partnership between The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Battelle.

Image: Researchers hope the technology may one day help patients affected by various brain and spinal cord injuries such as strokes and traumatic brain injury. Credit Ohio State University.

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