Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Regrets to avoid before you retire

Don't do what everyone says you should do, and other wisdom from those who learned the hard way.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Caveat emptor

21% of Americans who have left reviews, reviewed products without buying or trying them - yelp!

Friday, 21 February 2014

Do black holes exist?

Notion of an 'event horizon', from which nothing can escape, is incompatible with quantum theory, physicist claims.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

NASA’s 3-D pizza printer

Last year, NASA announced that it would be funding 3D food printing, kicking things off with a 3D pizza printer. Now we can watch the project in progress as the 3D printer builds a possibly tasty pie.

Monday, 17 February 2014

The end of the stethoscope?

An editorial in this month’s edition of Global Heart (the journal of the World Heart Federation) asks ‘are we living in the final days of the stethoscope’—a question being asked due to the rapid advent of point-of-care ultrasound devices, that are becoming increasingly accurate, smaller to the point of being hand-held and less expensive as the years roll by.

Friday, 14 February 2014

NASA Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary of Mars Rover

A full decade after it landed on Mars, NASA's Opportunity rover is still turning up evidence that the red planet was once habitable.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

How To Handle A Bad Boss

7 Strategies For 'Managing Up'

In brief

South Korea will spend US$1.49 billion between now and 2020 on its 5G wireless network, which is expected to be 1,000 times faster than the 4G service allowing users to download an 800 megabyte film in one second. An experimental strontium atomic clock has set new world records for both precision and stability. The clock is so precise it would neither gain nor lose one second in about 5 billion years. 24th January 1984 saw the release of the first Macintosh computer. A 128K RAM version had a $2,500 price tag.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Conference news

Seminar on TEM Cathodoluminescence, London, UK, 20 February 2014. Advanced Materials for Demanding Applications, St Asaph, Wales, UK, 7 – 10 April 2014. 17th International Conference on Metalorganic Vapour Phase Epitaxy, Lausanne, Switzerland, 13 – 18 July 2014. 18th International Conference on Molecular Beam Epitaxy, Flagstaff, Arizona, USA, 7 – 12 September 2014.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Curvature measurement in France

k-Space Associates, Inc. have delivered 2 kSA MOS systems in France, to CEMES in Toulouse and IM2NP in Marseille. CEMES plan to measure plastic deformation of thin films on rigid substrates and eventually the fatigue of metallisation layers on microelectronics devices in the temperature range of 100-800K. IM2NP will use the system to measure stress during ALD or CVD growth of thin oxide films whilst simultaneously measuring crystal structure by GIXRD - at the SOLEIL synchrotron.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Talented citations?

Coined by sociologist Robert K Merton, to describe the possibility that the work of those with high status receives greater attention than equivalent work by those who are not as well known, the “Matthew Effect” is a contentious matter in the scientific world. Identifying this phenomenon in scientific paper citations is difficult, as it is hard to separate the status of the author from the quality of the paper. It is possible that better known researchers are producing higher-quality papers, which get more attention as a result. However some supportive evidence has come from a recent study that claims citations of papers increase by 12 percent, above the expected level, when their authors were recipients of a certain award. The effect takes its name from Matthew 25:29, the Parable of the Talents.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

XPS Simplified - Driving Productivity via Automation

Register today for the Thermo Scientific webinar presentation on February 20th to learn how using automation and intelligent software drives productivity. As samples stack up in your lab, or the queue of users waiting for their turn on your XPS instrument grows longer - with a modern XPS system, the ability to maximize productivity on the instrument becomes a primary concern.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Slower but not worse?

I am not sure about elephants, but recent work at Tübingen University in Germany claims that older people do not decline mentally with age, it just takes them longer to recall facts because they have more information in their brains. Akin to how a computer struggles as the hard drive gets full up, humans just take longer to access information. The researchers say this slowing down it is not the same as cognitive decline. Time to defrag the old brain?

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

University of Oxford

The Department of Materials has purchased a K-Alpha XPS system from Thermo Scientific to support their collaborative work on grid scale energy storage materials and technologies, funded through an EPSRC “Eight Great Technologies” capital award in 2013.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Big questions

Annually, the website Edge asks a big question and this year it asks what scientific idea is ready for retirement? According to Max Planck - "A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it". In other words, science advances by a series of funerals. So Edge asks why wait that long? Among the suggested candidates for retirement are Moore's Law; Entropy and the Uncertainty Principle.