So far, the only thing moving faster than light is speculation. But in the wake of last week's baffling neutrino news out of CERN, physicists are crunching numbers to test whether these ghostly particles really can move faster than photons. Physicists at Fermilab are re-examining some old data to help answer the question.
A "violent encounter with Jupiter" may have hurled a fifth gas giant out of our solar system billions of years ago. A simulation done by the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado suggests that our solar system may have included another gaseous giant, placed between Saturn and Uranus. The computer models may prove how the planets of our solar system settled in their current position, a long-standing source of mystery to astronomers.
We love when live animals follow a robot's lead, from Robofish leading schools of real fish away from harm, to babies fooled into thinking a friendly robot is human. But studies have not yet shown how these robotic surrogates can affect animal development. Now a new study suggests they can have a positive effect - at least for a while.
The proud roboticists at Boston Dynamics compiled a nice new video featuring the greatest highlights from the life and times of BigDog, the big, playful, and very slightly creepy robotic dog. From robot pup playtime to a beach vacation in Thailand, BigDog has had plenty of adventures.
The newest documentary from design doco director Gary Hustwit has just dropped. Titled Urbanized, it's the third movie in Hustwit's "design trilogy," which also includes Helveticaand Objectified. This third filmfocuses this time on the design of modern cities, and the more interesting question of who actually designs them.
With hackers, DIYers and the military using them for years, domestic police forces the world over are apparently itching to get some surveillance drones of their own. Now, it seems the ACT Government has been discussing using drones alongside a new license plate recognition system, autonomously tracking vehicles of interest.
European researchers working at the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) in Grenoble, France, have trapped the largest number of neutrons ever held in place at one time. But while they've smashed the previous record (also held by the ILL), it's still not quite enough, the lead researcher tells BBC. Still, the new approach that got researchers this far may be able to trap far greater numbers of neutrons with a little finessing.
Scientists at CERN have run an experiment. A very simple time of flight experiment, measuring the time it takes a neutrino to get from A to B. The trick with this particular one is that this particle clocked in at a whole 60 nanoseconds faster than light. That small number is a big deal - if correct, it could overturn Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity, the cornerstone of theoretical physics for the last century.
A year and a half ago, we published a great feature on the current state of the quest to read the human mind. It included some then in-progress work from Jack Gallant, a neuroscientist at U.C. Berkeley, in which Gallant was attempting to reconstruct a video by reading the brain scans of someone who watched that video - essentially pulling experiences directly from someone's brain. Now, Gallant and his team have published a paper on the subject in the journal Current Biology.
Pain must be the bane of many a doctor's existence. It's a major symptom and indicator of many illnesses, but doctors have to rely on humans to describe and rate it, and humans are a distinctly unreliable source of information. What's a "7" on the pain scale for someone might be a "4" for another. What's a "pulsing" pain for someone might be a "pounding" for someone else. At Stanford, some doctors are figuring out the first steps to objectively measure pain, finally putting that all to rest.
Today in pretty space pics, Cassini proves once again that it's the spacecraft that just keeps on giving. Its mission was supposed to end in 2008 but has twice been extended, most recently out to 2017. That's fine with us, since it keeps sending back pics like these from its wide orbit around what is arguably the solar system's second-coolest planet. Represented here: Saturn's signature rings and five of its more than 60 natural satellites - Janus, Pandora, Enceladus, Mimas and Rhea (from left to right).
A new satellite defence technology is about to get its first real-world test in orbit, and while we naturally don't get to know much about it just yet, the US Air Force has confirmed that a classified satellite launching sometime in the near future will carry the awkwardly named Self-Awareness Space Situational Awareness system, or SASSA. Like radar for satellites, the system will alert operators of potential space-borne threat to the satellite and perhaps even take kinetic action should a satellite become threatened.
Scientists at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks have successfully caused a group of arctic ground squirrels, naturally hibernating animals, to wake from and then go back into hibernation. It's the first time anyone has ever managed to induce hibernation, and it could have some pretty amazing medical benefits for humans as well.