Monday, March 3, 2008

The Week in Science and Engineering

March 3rd, 2008 -- A weekly look at science, engineering, and fringe science happenings from the week before!
Levitation: Fact or Fiction? ran an interesting article on levitation. It presented a chronological history of accounts of levitation. The initial accounts were more mystically slanted including various swamis, nuns, and saints. As time progressed, the coverage moved towards anecdotal and scientific accounts. These included accounts of levitation by Daniel Douglas Hewm that were verified by people such as Mark Twain and William M. Thackeray. Finally, the article discussed modern 'scientific' example of levitation such as the Meissner effect.

Another physical phenomenon that can result in levitation and was not covered in the article is diamagnetism. It was used most spectacularly to levitate a frog in the Netherlands. This experiment was carried out at the Nijmegen High Field Magnet Laboratory.

The moon-bound art museum: reported on an art museum left on the moon by Apollo astronauts. The miniature museum attached to the leg of on of the lunar landers included works by Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg among others.

The spy satellite: The Pentagon confirmed that it had indeed succeeded in shooting down an errant spy satellite. The linked post also contains an interesting chronology of other articles about the spy satellite.

The Ray Gun: And, finally, 60 Minutes reported on a ray gun used by the military to disperse crowds which creates an uncomfortable burning sensation.

The Locations:

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Digg the sources:

read more | digg story Levitation
read more | digg story Moon Museum
read more | digg story Satellite Shooting
read more | digg story Ray Gun

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