Archive for May, 2013

Time Crystals: Not Just For Star Trek Plots Anymore…

Here is something yanked straight from the jaws of science fiction – and yet this is real science…


‘Time Crystals’ Could Upend Physicists’ Theory of Time






“In February 2012, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Frank Wilczek decided to go public with a strange and, he worried, somewhat embarrassing idea. Impossible as it seemed, Wilczek had developed an apparent proof of “time crystals” — physical structures that move in a repeating pattern, like minute hands rounding clocks, without expending energy or ever winding down. Unlike clocks or any other known objects, time crystals derive their movement not from stored energy but from a break in the symmetry of time, enabling a special form of perpetual motion…”


For the complete article, click here.




The Immortal Light Bulb From 1901

A lightbulb that has been burning for 110 years? This is, indeed, a mystery!






Livermore’s mysterious lightbulb burns 110 years

by Carolyn Jones, Chronicle Staff Writer


“Some mysteries never dim with time. One of them is hanging from an electrical wire in Livermore.


At Livermore Fire Station No. 6 is a lightbulb that has not burned out in 110 years. Nobody, even in this golden age of technology, knows why. And no one wants to unscrew the bulb to find out.


“It still gives that warm, comfy glow,” said retired Livermore fire Division Chief Lynn Owens. “In this transient modern world, this lightbulb is really something you can trust. And nobody knows the mystery of it.”


The lightbulb is about 3 inches long and slightly rounder than a modern lightbulb. Inside the hand-blown glass is a jumble of carbon filament that radiates about 4 watts of soft orange light – about the strength of a nightlight.


Its workings may be a mystery, but it’s probably the most well-documented lightbulb in history…”


Read more here.


The Neanderthal Mind: Will We Ever Understand It?




Now human were the neanderthals? Were they stocky brutes with human minds, or just brutes? Does new evidence of possible neanderthal “culture” provide an answer to this question?


The Neanderthal mind


Troglodytes who couldn’t compete, or humans with complex culture? The mystery of our nearest relatives deepens


by Marek Kohn (


“Among the oldest human objects that unequivocally defy practical explanations are shells punctured with holes. Try as you might, it’s hard to see them as anything other than beads or pendants. Traces of ochre at sites occupied by ancient humans offer earlier hints of adornment, perhaps even of symbolism, but sceptics argue that the pigment might have been used for some practical purpose: tanning hides, for instance. In perforated seashells, however, we find the first truly compelling tokens of expressive humanity.


Early humans must have reached beyond their immediate concerns in many ways that have left no traces. But they did reach for shells very early. Some 75,000 years ago in southern Africa, they gathered and pierced them, perhaps to make bracelets or necklaces. Twenty-five thousand years later and nearly 10,000km away, in what is now southern Spain, others collected naturally perforated shells. Independently and far removed from each other, humans took similar paths into expressive culture. What does that tell us about the human mind?…”


Click here for the rest.



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