August 30, 2008
August 29, 2008
August 28, 2008
The advance could mean that Star Trek fantasies of interstellar civilisations and voyages powered by warp drive are now no longer the exclusive domain of science fiction writers.
In the long running television series created by Gene Roddenberry, the warp drive was invented by Zefram Cochrane, who began his epic project in 2053 in Bozeman, Montana.
Now Dr Gerald Cleaver, associate professor of physics at Baylor, and Richard Obousy have come up with a new twist on an existing idea to produce a warp drive that they believe can travel faster than the speed of light, without breaking the laws of physics.
In their scheme, in the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, a starship could "warp" space so that it shrinks ahead of the vessel and expands behind it.
By pushing the departure point many light years backwards while simultaneously bringing distant stars and other destinations closer, the warp drive effectively transports the starship from place to place at faster-than-light speeds.
All this extraordinary feat requires, says the new study, is for scientists to harness a mysterious and poorly understood cosmic antigravity force, called dark energy.
Dark energy is thought responsible for speeding up the expansion rate of our universe as time moves on, just like it did after the Big Bang, when the universe expanded much faster than the speed of light for a very brief time.
This may come as a surprise since, according to relativity theory, matter cannot move through space faster than the speed of light, which is almost 300,000,000 metres per second. But that theory applies only to unwarped 'flat' space.
And there is no limit on the speed with which space itself can move: the spaceship can sit at rest in a small bubble of space that flows at "superluminal" - faster than light - velocities through normal space because the fabric of space and time itself (scientists refer to spacetime) is stretching.
In the scheme outlined by Dr Cleaver dark energy would be used to create the bubble: if dark energy can be made negative in front of the ship, then that patch of space would contract in response.
"Think of it like a surfer riding a wave," said Dr Cleaver. "The ship would be pushed by the spatial bubble and the bubble would be travelling faster than the speed of light."
The new warp drive work also draws on "string theory", which suggests the universe is made up of multiple dimensions. We are used to four dimensions - height, width, length and time but string theorists believe that there are a total of 10 dimensions and it is by changing the size of this 10th spatial dimension in front of the space ship that the Baylor researchers believe could alter the strength of the dark energy in such a manner to propel the ship faster than the speed of light.
They conclude by recommending that it would be "prudent to research this area further."
But hold the dilithium crystals: Dr Chris Van Den Broeck of Cardiff University commented: "The problem with this and previous schemes (including my own) is that part of the exotic matter would have to travel faster than the *local* speed of light (roughly speaking, it would need to go faster than the speed of light with respect to the portion of space it occupies), and that's not allowed by any established physical theory."
And even if this criticism can be met, Richard Obousy computed the amount of energy required to start up a "warp" process (but not the total energy required to travel a specific distance) around a 10x10x10 metre-cube ship based on the required change in dark energy in a space equal to the volume of the ship.
The energy to kick start the drive turned out to be equivalent to turning the entire mass of Jupiter into energy, by Einstein's famous E equals Mc squared equation, where c is the speed of light. Given the mass of Jupiter is around 2000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 kilograms, that is a big number.
"That is an enormous amount of energy," Dr Cleaver said. "We are still a very long ways off before we could create something to harness that type of energy."
August 27, 2008
Everyone has potential ringside seats to this celestial wonder. Mars is visible to anyone on Earth with clear skies. And the exact instant of the closest approach is relatively unimportant, other than marking a curious mathematical moment. A complete Mars Viewer's Guide is available from SPACE.com. The next time Mars may come this close is in 2287.
August 26, 2008
The book is being launched on Thursday, June 5, at UPPERCASE gallery, Calgary, AB. In conjunction with the Work/Life book, UPPERCASE gallery will be hosting an exhibition of artwork by the contributors.
Charlene’s website: www.charlenechua.comUppercase gallery: www.uppercasegallery.ca
[Via The Little Chimp Society]
August 25, 2008
Clips from a BBC documentary explaining the arguments from the 1920's until now as to whether electrons are particles, waves or both.
It outlines Einstein's distaste at Heisenberg's uncertainty principle and is a good starting point in realising that the universe is far, far stranger than can be imagined.
August 24, 2008
I LOVE PHOTOS LIKE THIS OF SATURN !
Soft hues, partially lit orbs, a thin trace of the ring, and slight shadows highlight this understated view of the majestic surroundings of the giant planet Saturn. Looking nearly back toward the Sun, the robot Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn captured crescent phases of Saturn and its moon Rhea in color a few years ago. As striking as the above image is, it is but a single frame from a recently released 60-frame silent movie where Rhea can be seen gliding in front of its parent world. Since Cassini was nearly in the plane of Saturn's rings, the normally impressive rings are visible here only as a thin line across the image center. Although Cassini has now concluded its primary mission, its past successes and opportunistic location have prompted NASA to start a two-year Equinox Mission, further exploring not only Saturn's enigmatic moons Titan and Enceladus, but Saturn herself as her grand rings tilt right at the Sun in August 2009.
What created this great cliff on Mars? Did giant waterfalls once plummet through its grooves? With a four-kilometer drop, this high cliff surrounding Echus Chasma, near an impressive impact crater, was carved by either water or lava. A leading hypothesis is that Echus Chasma, at 100-kilometers long and 10-kilometers wide, was once one of the largest water sources on Mars. If true, water once held in Echus Chasma likely ran over the Martian surface to carve the impressive Kasei Valles, which extends over 3,000 kilometers to the north. Even if initially carved by water, lava appears to have later flowed in the valley, leaving an extraordinarily smooth floor. Echus Chasma lies north of tremendous Valles Marineris, the largest canyon in the Solar System. The above image was taken by the robotic Mars Express spacecraft currently orbiting Mars.
How can a round star make a square nebula? This conundrum comes to light when studying planetary nebulae like IC 4406. Evidence indicates that IC 4406 is likely a hollow cylinder, with its square appearance the result of our vantage point in viewing the cylinder from the side. Were IC 4406 viewed from the top, it would likely look similar to the Ring Nebula. This representative-color picture is a composite made by combining images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2001 and 2002. Hot gas flows out the ends of the cylinder, while filaments of dark dust and molecular gas lace the bounding walls. The star primarily responsible for this interstellar sculpture can be found in the planetary nebula's center. In a few million years, the only thing left visible in IC 4406 will be a fading white dwarf star.
August 23, 2008
August 22, 2008
August 20, 2008
Written by Michael Wandelmaier - View Profile [Via the little chimp society]
The Brothers McLeod have started a new online series of animations using illustrated coffee stirrers! It’s called Sticks. It’s a non-format concept where we can do or tell any story we fancy. It’s like a quick hit for us in terms of turnaround and hopefully fun for our fans.Sticks first installment “Endless Not” has already picked up a YouTube UK feature.
novel WATCHMEN, which is being turned into a feature film by Warner
Bros., according to VARIETY. A judge has denied a motion filed by Warner
Bros. to dismiss the lawsuit filed by Fox in February over their right
to make the film.
Fox could end up as a profit participant in the film, costing WB
millions in box office cash. Fox's legal team says it is looking to
prevent the film from being released altogether.
WATCHMEN the film has been in development for 20 years, and finally
began filming under director Zack Snyder last September. WB was set to
release the film, starring Patrick Wilson and Jackie Earle Haley, on
March 6, 2009, the same weekend as 300 opened last year.
The basis of Fox's suit is the contention that it never gave up the
rights to WATCHMEN. According to federal Judge Gary Allen Feess, Fox
retained distribution rights to the graphic novel through a 1991 claim.
Also, Feess seems to have agreed with a 1994 turnaround deal with
producer Larry Gordon that Gordon acquired an option to acquire Fox's
remaining interest and never followed through, thereby leaving Fox with
its rights under the 1994 agreement.
"It is our company's policy not to comment on pending litigation and
thus will not comment on the specifics of this case," WB said in
statement. "That said, the court's ruling simply means that the parties
will engage in discovery and proceed with the litigation. The judge did
not opine at all on the merits other than to conclude that Fox satisfied
the pleading requirements. We respectfully disagree with Fox's position
and do not believe they have any rights in and to this project."
The judge wants the discovery process, normally allowed up to two years,
to be hastened as WATCHMEN is set to be released this spring.
"Warner Bros.' production and anticipated release of THE WATCHMEN motion
picture violates 20th Century Fox's long-standing motion picture rights
in THE WATCHMEN property," Fox said in a statement. The film's official
title is actually WATCHMEN, as well as the source material, a graphic
novel written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons.
"We will be asking the court to enforce Fox's copyright interests in THE
WATCHMEN and enjoin the release of the Warner Bros. film and any related
WATCHMEN media that violate our copyright interests in that property,"
the statement concludes.
Fox would rather see the project killed altogether rather than collect a
percentage at the box office. "When you have copyright infringement,
there are some damages you never recover," a source close to the
litigation told VARIETY.
Fox has spent upwards of $1 million developing WATCHMEN, but had not
previously taken legal action against the project, which has been in
development at Paramount for several years.
10. Alien vs. Predator
When the movie Predator came out back in the 80’s everyone wanted to know who would win a fight between Aliens and Predators. Well, 20 years later the Trailer of Alien vs. Predator shed light on that very question. Those who saw the trailer just knew how great this movie was going to be. In the end movie goers were let down with a below average movie.
09. The Mummy Returns
After The Mummy was a big hit, talk went around that a sequel would be in the works. The Trailer came out and eagerly awaited movie goers flocked to the theaters on opening night, only to be out of the movies in bitter discontent.
08. Day After Tomorrow
When The Day After Tomorrow trailer premiered, I was surprised on how great the trailer was. The flooding of New York (I notice movies love destroying NY) and the statue of liberty under the snow. The movie had to be nothing but great right? Wrong, it was average at best.
07. The Transporter
Now this was in fact a good movie, but the trailer which I think showed all the best screens was just amazing.
06. War of the Worlds
What a huge let down, but I could watch the trailers over and over again.
05. Superman Returns
The movie just lost me; there was no need to roll dice with superman. Superman Returns trailers go in my collection of the best trailers.
When I first saw this trailer on I Am Legend it really sold me. Then I saw the full trailer and I was hooked, I just knew I had to see this movie. What a 360 this movie pulled on me, I couldn’t believe how bad this movie was.
I was inside the movie theatre seeing this trailer for the first time. This was my first time seeing the auditorium clip for a drama type movie. I expected it for a super hero movie or even a very funny comedy but a drama, no way but the trailer was good. I was instantly hooked but what a let down, it was such a boring movie, wasn’t expecting that at all.
02. The Phantom Menace
When I saw the trailers to The Phantom Menace, I was like whoa! Jedi’s at their prime, Darth Maul and the clean look of everything, the trailer was next to perfect. I found myself seeing it 4 times a day before the movie came out, Jar-Jar Binks well you know the rest.
01. Spider-Man 3
I still find myself watching the trailers of Spider-Man 3; this was a spectacular trailer, pretty much prefect. What more could you have asked for, well a better movie. The movie did not live up to the trailers at all.