Friday, May 31, 2013

Calls of the Forest: It’s hard enough to find a slow loris in the forests of Vietnam–so addressing the complex threats to the species is all the harder.

At 5:30 a.m., after being out from about 1 a.m. surveying for slow lorises in the dark, I was woken up by an eerie, enchanting duet. I realized through bleary eyes and ears that this sound was not my alarm, but rather a pair of serenading gibbons..
Link to complete article NYTs

Mars trip would deliver big radiation dose

Astronauts making the journey to and from Mars would face many new and uncertain dangers. Fortunately, the Mars rover Curiosity has reduced uncertainty about one of them: radiation exposure.

Measurements of radiation reaching the shielded interior of the spacecraft that carried Curiosity to Mars indicate that an astronaut on a yearlong round-trip would be exposed to around two-thirds of the career radiation limit that some space agencies set. Any time spent on the planet and outside the spacecraft would add more exposure.

View full article

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Solving a Riddle of Primes

Three and five are prime numbers — that is, they are divisible only by 1 and by themselves. So are 5 and 7. And 11 and 13. And for each of these pairs of prime numbers, the difference is 2. Mathematicians have long believed that there are an infinite number of such pairs, called twin primes, meaning that there will always be a larger pair than the largest one found. This supposition, the so-called Twin Prime Conjecture, is not necessarily obvious. As numbers get larger, prime numbers become sparser among vast expanses of divisible numbers. Yet still — occasionally, rarely — two consecutive odd numbers will both be prime, the conjecture asserts. The proof has been elusive.
But last month, a paper from a little-known mathematician arrived “out of the blue” at the journal Annals of Mathematics, said Peter Sarnak, a professor of mathematics at Princeton University and the Institute for Advanced Study and a former editor at the journal, which plans to publish it. The paper, by Yitang Zhang of the University of New Hampshire, does not prove that there are an infinite number of twin primes, but it does show an infinite number of prime pairs whose separation is less than a finite upper limit — 70 million, for now.
See full articles

A Change in Temperature

Since 1896, scientists have been trying to answer a deceptively simple question: What will happen to the temperature of the earth if the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere doubles?

Some recent scientific papers have made a splash by claiming that the answer might not be as bad as previously feared. This work — if it holds up — offers the tantalizing possibility that climate change might be slow and limited enough that human society could adapt to it without major trauma.

Several scientists say they see reasons to doubt that these lowball estimates will in fact stand up to critical scrutiny, and a wave of papers offering counterarguments is already in the works. “The story is not over,” said Chris E. Forest, a climate expert at Pennsylvania State University.
See full article

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Research Beyond Google: 119 Authoritative, Invisible, and Comprehensive Resources

Got a research paper or thesis to write for school? Want to research using the Internet? Good luck. There's a lot of junk out there — outdated pages, broken links, and inaccurate information. Using Google or Wikipedia may lead you to some results, but you can't always be sure of accuracy. And what's more, you'll only be searching a fraction of all of the resources available to you.

Google, the largest search database on the planet, currently has around 50 billion web pages indexed. That's a lot of information. But it's nothing compared to what else is out there. Google can only index the visible web, or searchable web. But the invisible web, or deep web, is estimated to be 500 times bigger than the searchable web. The invisible web comprises databases and results of specialty search engines that the popular search engines simply are not able to index.

Go to link resources

Blog Archive