Monday, August 20, 2012

Bug + Light = Energy, Curiosity Charges Lasers, and LHC News

Bugs Turn Sunlight to Food, Curiosity Sets Phasers to cook, and the LHC heats up 560 Trillion Protons!

Science is so cool!

Bug Photosynthesis 

As reported on some bugs may be able feed off sunlight.  Entomologist Alain Robichon and his colleagues have suggested that pigments called carotenoids that aphids are able to synthesize naturally may be used by the aphids to absorb solar energy.  Full details in this nature article and also this one.

chargin_mah_laser_curiosityLighting Up Mars
Curiosity is chilling out on Mars, well that was until yesterday.  Curiosity charged up her lasers and blasted a fist sized rock with 30 pulses over a 10 second period.  Each pulse consisted of over 1 million watts of power over 5 billionths of a second each.  All of this energy excites atoms in the rock causing it to emit an ionized glowing plasma that can be analyzed with the ChemCam.  With ChemCam we hope to be able to determine how the surface of Mars may have been altered by water, and contain chemicals necessary for life.  Here is a short fun video about how ChemCam works.

LHC Records 5.6 Inverse Femtobarns
Cern - This equates to 560 Trillion proton-proton collisions.  But that was last year.  This summer as of August Third there were 100 Trillion collisions recorded for the LHCb experiment alone with 10 times that recorded for ATLAS and CMS.  The LHC is making good progress on it's goal of 1500 Trillion proton-proton collisions in 2012
The LHCb collaboration seen inside the LHCb cavern


Post a Comment