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29
Mar
2016

Reaching for the stars: How lasers could propel spacecraft to relativistic speeds

In a bold but scientifically sound proposal, NASA-funded research has laid out a roadmap toward spacecraft ...

How do you send man-made probes to a nearby star? According to NASA-funded research at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), the answer is simple: assemble a laser array the size of Manhattan in low Earth orbit, and use it to push tiny probes to 26 percent the speed of light. Though the endeavour may raise a few eyebrows, it relies on well-established science – and recent technological breakthroughs have put it within our reach.

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Category: Space

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29
Mar
2016

Brain-like supercomputing platform to explore new frontiers

The 16-chip IBM TrueNorth platform Lawrence Livermore will receive later this week

In the old days, it was common to hear a computer chip referred to as an "electronic brain." Modern chip designs are now making such labels even more apt. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is set to take receipt of a brain-inspired supercomputing platform developed by IBM Research. The first-of-a-kind system is based on a neurosynaptic computer chip known as IBM TrueNorth, and can process the equivalent of 16 million neurons and 4 billion synapses while consuming just 2.5 watts of power.

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Category: Computers

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29
Mar
2016

Great Barrier Reef suffers through worst coral bleaching event on record

Australia's Great Barrier Reef is experiencing its most severe coral bleaching event on record

Scientists have warned that global warming is hurting Australia's Great Barrier Reef, but a new study has brought to light just how far along the damage might already be. An aerial survey of more than 500 coral reefs making up the system has revealed that almost all have suffered severe bleaching, with the researchers labeling it the worst mass bleaching event in the World Heritage Site's history.

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Category: Environment

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29
Mar
2016

Flying electric scooter aces 46-minute maiden test flight

Thomas Senkel flies Skyrider One on its maiden test flight at La Palma in the Canary ...

The German physicist behind the Evolo manned multicopter and the Volocopter 2-seater has just taken his first flight aboard another remarkable aircraft: a flying electric scooter. Thomas Senkel flew his Skyrider One prototype for some 46 minutes in the idyllic surroundings of the Canary Islands, marking what he believes is the first electric, road-registerable two-wheeler to take to the sky.

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Category: Aircraft

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