Archive for February 13, 2012

Russian superlaser to be as good as H-bomb

February 13, 2012 Comments off

The design of the Luch laser device is to be used for the future Russian superlaser (image from

The design of the Luch laser device is to be used for the future Russian superlaser (image from

Russia has launched a $1.5 billion project to create a high-energy superlaser site which designers pledge will be the best in the world. Capable of igniting nuclear fusion, the facility will be used both for thermonuclear weapon and civil purposes.

The new laser device will be used for inertial confinement fusion (ICF) studies. The field aims to recreate in the lab the processes which happen inside a star or in a hydrogen bomb explosion. ICF is similar to what scientists are trying to do with the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project, but takes an alternative approach to how nuclear fusion is started.

The laser facility will be developed by the Research Institute of Experimental Physics (RFNC-VNIIEF), a leading Russian nuclear laboratory. In its six decades of history, it was involved in the development of both the military and civilian nuclear programs in Russia.

The site will have the size of a 360 Full article here

Categories: Russia, Technology Tags: , , ,

CU-Boulder study shows global glaciers, ice caps, shedding billions of tons of mass annually

February 13, 2012 Comments off

Study also shows Greenland, Antarctica and global glaciers and ice caps lost roughly 8 times the volume of Lake Erie from 2003-2010

IMAGE: A new CU-Boulder study using the NASA/Germany GRACE satellite shows Earth is losing roughly 150 billion tons of ice annually. Credit-NASA

Earth’s glaciers and ice caps outside of the regions of Greenland and Antarctica are shedding roughly 150 billion tons of ice annually, according to a new study led by the University of Colorado Boulder.

The research effort is the first comprehensive satellite study of the contribution of the world’s melting glaciers and ice caps to global sea level rise and indicates they are adding roughly 0.4 millimeters annually, said CU-Boulder physics Professor John Wahr, who helped lead the study. The measurements are important because the melting of the world’s glaciers and ice caps, along with Greenland and Antarctica, pose the greatest threat to sea level increases in the future, Wahr said.

The researchers used satellite measurements taken with the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, or GRACE, a joint effort of NASA and Germany, to calculate that the world’s glaciers and ice caps had lost about 148 billion tons, or about 39 cubic miles of ice annually from 2003 to 2010. The total does not count the mass from individual glacier and ice caps on the fringes of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets — roughly an additional 80 billion tons.

“This is the first time anyone has looked at all of the mass loss from all of Earth’s glaciers and Read more…

Major storms set to increase

February 13, 2012 Comments off

by Kate Taylor

So-called ‘storms of the century’ like last August’s Hurricane Irene could become almost commonplace, thanks to climate change.

A team from MIT and Princeton University says that such storms could make landfall far more frequently, causing powerful, devastating storm surges every three to 20 years.

The group simulated tens of thousands of storms under different climate conditions, and concluded that the sort of severe floods which now hit every five hundred years or so could, with climate change, start happening once every 25 to 240 years.

MIT postdoc Ning Lin says that planners should take the findings into account when designing seawalls and other protective structures.

“When you design your buildings or dams or structures on the coast, you have to know how high your seawall has to be,” Lin says. “You have to decide whether to build a seawall to prevent being flooded every 20 years.”

To simulate present and future storm activity, using New York City as a case study, the researchers combined four Read more…

Cyborg technology with implanted human brain predicted this year

February 13, 2012 1 comment

By Dave Masko

Cyborg technology with implanted human brain predicted this year

It seems the future is almost here now, with Project Cyborg set to unveil an advanced specimen cyborg robot operated by an implanted human brain grown from neurons.

Famed British scientist Kevin Warwick thinks “being linked to another person’s nervous system opens up a whole world of possibilities.” For instance, he points to “thought communication instead of cell phones.” In turn, Warwick stated in in the January edition of “W” (a monthly fashion magazine at that he’s about to unveil this “cyborg” technology soon with his “most advanced specimen to date: a cyborg robot that will be operated by an implanted human brain grown from neurons.” A “cyborg” is the nickname for a “cybernetic organism” – that’s both biological and artificial, with electronic and mechanical robotic parts. Warwick, who began “Project Cyborg” in 2002 with a goal, he told W, of making discoveries that can combat Parkinson’s disease, blindness, arthritis, and schizophrenia.” Also, Professor Warwick explains how using “electronic — as opposed to chemical — medicine may well become the norm.” For instance, “W” explains how “taking Advil for a headache numbs the whole body, whereas electronic remedies could treat only the specific area.”

Professor to become a cyborg in 2012

At the same time, Professor Warwick told Read more…