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Gravity

Hubble Ultra Deep Field, showing thousands of galaxies back to a time only a few hundred m...

It is dangerous to bet against Einstein. Cosmological research shows that the rate at which the Universe expands is increasing, rather than decreasing as was previously thought. The concept of "dark energy" with a negative pressure was introduced to describe this acceleration. Now measurements of the proton to electron mass ratio (PEMR) over the past seven billion years strongly suggest that the models of dark energy are far more contrived in explaining accelerating expansion than is Einstein's self-proclaimed "biggest blunder" – the cosmological constant.  Read More

The GravityLight is designed to replace kerosene lamps in the developing world

With most of us in the developed world more concerned about the flow of electricity to power our computers, TVs and all manner of other wonders of the modern age, it’s easy to forget the massive impact resulting from one of the first widespread public uses of electricity – the humble incandescent light bulb. With a large proportion of the world’s population still lacking reliable access to electricity, the GravityLamp hopes to bring the benefits of environmentally friendly artificial light to the developing world.  Read More

Variations in the lunar gravity field as measured by NASA's GRAIL mission (Image:  NASA/JP...

Data from NASA’s twin Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) probes has been used to create the highest resolution gravity map yet of any body in the Solar System. The two washing machine-sized spacecraft acted as a 225-kilometer (140 mi) long gravity detector for studying the interior composition of the Moon.  Read More

Goddard physicist Babak Saif with the broadband laser system (Photo: NASA/Pat Izzo)

Gravity waves are the big ticket item of physics. Predicted by Albert Einstein in 1916 as part of his general theory of relativity, these waves could help scientists solve many mysteries about the origin of the universe – if they could detect them. In an attempt to do this, researchers at Stanford University and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center are developing a new atomic interferometry technique that may be sensitive enough to record gravity waves for the first time.  Read More

Drought bites deeply – this year's corn crop in Missouri Valley, Iowa (Photo: USDA and Dav...

Recently, drought seems to be a fact of life. As the lead photograph poignantly illustrates, most of the U.S. has been struggling with serious levels of drought for the past several years. Worldwide, drought affected areas include Europe, India and Pakistan, Russia, much of Africa, South America – the list goes on. But when the rains start again, everyone expresses great relief, not realizing that long-term depletion of groundwater reserves is part of the price for surviving drought. It was with this in mind that GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment), a joint U.S. and German space project, was designed a decade ago.  Read More

A recent study of gamma-ray bursts (that originate from the collapse of a massive star) fi...

A recent study of gamma-ray bursts by Professor Robert Nemiroff and his colleagues at Michigan Technological University provides the first strong evidence concerning the small-scale smoothness of spacetime. Oddly, this examination of the very small is accomplished by measuring a handful of gamma-rays after they traveled over ten billion light years.  Read More

CCTV's Beijing headquarters (Photo: OMA / Iwan Baan)

Office buildings have traditionally been so staid that whimsical departures from the norm still trigger a strong response, both good and bad. The latest member of the avant-garde architecture club, the estimated US$1.08 billion, 44-floor, 768 ft (234 m) CCTV headquarters building in Beijing (already so iconic it's part of a board game for architecture groupies) is now finally complete - after nearly eight years of construction.  Read More

The harp can play pre-programmed or live melodies by using control software written in Pyt...

This half-pendulum half-harp musical instrument is the creation of New York based interactive design company, Pattern Studio. Dubbed "The Gravity Harp," it was commissioned by Icelandic musician Bjork for her recent Biophilia tour. The innovative device features four robotic pendulums, each housing an eleven string harp. Hanging 20 feet above ground, the pendulums slowly swing back and forth whilst communicating with a control computer using an RS485 network. In order to maintain an even sequence of notes, each pendulum swings 90 degrees out of phase with its neighbor and is controlled by a motor attached at the top.  Read More

Using a precision formation-flying technique, the twin GRAIL spacecraft will map the moon'...

After its planned launch this morning was canceled due to upper wind levels, a Delta II rocket carrying NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) has been rescheduled to tomorrow morning. The GRAIL mission will incorporate two unmanned spacecraft - GRAIL-A and GRAIL-B - which will fly in formation over the Moon’s surface, measuring variations in its gravity. Using this data, scientists hope to learn more about the Moon’s thermal history, and how other rocky planets within the inner solar system developed.  Read More

Image from Greener Gadgets

Gravia uses a slowly sinking weight to charge 10 high-output LEDs, which fire into the acrylic lens and create a diffuse light output of 600-800 lumens, roughly equal to a 40-watt incandescent bulb. The LEDs are activated only a few seconds after the process begins, and the entire operation is silent.  Read More

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