Thought for the month

“The most exhausting thing in life is being insincere.”

Anne Morrow Lindbergh, author (1906 – 2001).

Monday, 23 May 2016

Find your own Boson?

Would you like to do a bit of freelance particle physics?  CERN has more than 300 terabytes of Large Hadron Collider (LHC) data online for free. The data covers roughly half the experiments run by the LHC's CMS detector during 2011. This includes over 100 terabytes or 2.5 inverse femtobarns of data from proton collisions at 7 TeV. To help with data handling CERN has also made software based on its in-house data modelling tool, CernVM, free to download but even so, probably not a task for the mobile connection

Friday, 20 May 2016

Saved by nukes?

Russia plans to save Earth from asteroids

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Transparent wood

Wooden windows? New material could replace glass in solar cells and buildings

Monday, 16 May 2016

Always works for me

NASA has been having some system problems with its Kepler spacecraft designed to survey regions of the Milky Way for Earth-size planets in or near the habitable zone. Whilst probably slightly under playing the work of the scientists and engineers, my interpretation of the explanation that power-cycling the onboard computers and subsystems appears to have cleared the problem is that turning stuff off and on sorted things.

Friday, 13 May 2016

4/4/16 was just one of nine so-called Square Root Days every century

For those of you who missed last month’s rampant celebrations associated with Square Root Day here are some fun square root facts.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

No slacking here!

Construction has begun to upgrade the X-ray laser at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The project will add a second beam that is 10,000 times brighter, firing up to a million pulses per second.

Monday, 9 May 2016

The Belgians go large

IMEC having recently announced the opening of its new 300 mm cleanroom.

Friday, 6 May 2016

300 mm wafer fabs

According to an IC Insights report the number of operating 300 mm wafer fabrication facilities continues to grow and is expected to reach 100 this year.  

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Bletchley Park

A visit Bletchley Park reveals the immense human and engineering resources required to decipher messages that were not meant to be read by a third party. However, what if we actually want others to understand our words? Scientific reports are too often mired in jargon and presumed knowledge. The reader should not be forgotten in achieving the end goal of a publication. It is both interesting and heartening to note the launch of a project to develop a series of guides on scientific topics to assist those involved in handling scientific evidence in a courtroom. The aim is to present, in plain English, an easily understood and accurate position on the scientific topic in question including the limitations of the science. The first document to be developed will cover DNA analysis.

To quote 
Winston Churchill, the man who knew all about Bletchley Park but nothing about DNA analysis: Broadly speaking, the short words are the best, and the old words best of all.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Scotch research?

Evaporated whisky inspires new type of coating technique

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Clean with nanoparticles

Nanoparticle-coated textiles clean themselves with sunlight

Monday, 25 April 2016

Better batting

Cricket players more successful when batting the 'wrong' way

Friday, 22 April 2016

MEMS galore

Status of the MEMS Industry 2015

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Sun dried electricity

New study identifies tomato waste as source of electricity

Monday, 18 April 2016

Breaking wafers

In situ high-speed crack propagation within silicon wafers under thermal stress has been imaged simultaneously in direct transmission and diffraction X-ray imaging.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Top speed in Moscow

Moscow scientists have proposed a new, faster, version of superconducting memory architecture.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

LEDS are go!

LED lighting is predicted as being the biggest driver of growth for the next few years in the industrial semiconductor market.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Patently leaders?

Which organisation do you think tops the Reuters list of Top 25 Global Innovators, Government - a list that ranks the publicly funded institutions doing the most to advance science and technology? Based on a methodology that looks at patents, papers and article citations and impact, the accolade goes to France’s Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission. On a country basis, the United States leads the list with six organizations ranked, France and Japan each have four, and Germany has three.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Enhance XPS surface analysis capabilities with UV photoelectron spectroscopy

Next Thermo Scientific Advanced Materials Science Research Webinar: Enhance XPS surface analysis capabilities with UV photoelectron spectroscopy.

Gone

Are we amazed or concerned by AlphaGo’s 4-1 win over Go grandmaster Lee Se-Dol? Two neural networks operating in tandem give AlphaGo the edge.The first network reduces the effective depth of the search by estimating how likely a given board position will lead to a win without chasing down every node of the search tree. The second reduces the breadth of the game, limiting the number of moves for a particular board position by learning to chose the best moves for that position.  So the first network generates possible moves that the second judges their likelihood to beat the opponent.
 
Personally, I will only be impressed when it beats Barry Cryer at Mornington Crescent.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Correlated XPS and Raman

Thermo Scientific launch XPS-Raman (see the seminar "Elemental Analysis of Advanced Materials" from Pittcon)

Monday, 4 April 2016

John's ramblings

Last month I visited the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. The collections of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings are truly impressive. Sadly and bizarrely, many fellow visitors spend almost no time admiring and appreciating these masterpieces on canvas. Technology and human behaviour seem to have, for many, reduced museum and gallery visits to a series of tablet and mobile phone picture taking and ‘selfie’ opportunities. We can all learn from the greats, but it can take the investment of some time.

The German philosopher Schopenhauer said: Treat a work of art like a Prince. Let it speak to you first. Obviously, he did not have an iPhone.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Monday, 28 March 2016