Thursday, 18 June 2015

Quantum bouncer keeps light off the dance floor

My favorite experiments are not necessarily the groundbreaking ones. I love those too, don't get me wrong; but I like the ones that make me take a good hard look at the way in which I picture the physics.

One critical skill in physics is knowing what to leave out. For instance, if I can predict and describe a physical system with classical physics, why add quantum mechanics? But a recent paper highlights that it is always important to bear in mind that every classical picture has a quantum background. You may be able to neglect that background, but should never forget that it is there.

Cavities and quantum states

The experiment involves thinking about optical cavities, which are sort of on the border between quantum and classical worlds. Normally, we think about optical cavities in terms of the color, or wavelength of light that an optical cavity will accept. The distance between the mirrors must be commensurate with the wavelength. This can be described by both classical and quantum physics. The amount of light in the cavity, however, is almost always thought of in terms of classical physics.

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Parsons Fashion Show 2015

parsons fashion show

You never leave Parsons. That's the tagline the school has promoted and the fact that I was here to support the fashion design class of 2015, well over a decade after my own Parsons fashion graduate show tells you it's true.  The format has changed, the venue has changed, but the spirit is the same.

Technically, this was the 'rehearsal' show in the afternoon. Alumni and press were able to enjoy the actual work of the fashion design graduates in sunlight without the paparazzi, clinking glasses and industry execs talking over themselves.

Unfortunately, I was not given a run of show or designer names during the runway, so if you are a designer, claim your work in the comments so we can recognize you!

parsons fashion 2015

The afternoon started with dean Simon Collins bringing out last year's designer of the year Simon Li to catch up on his accomplishments with only one year out of school (considerable). Of course the gala's honoree later that evening was prize alumni Marc Jacobs presented by Anna Wintour. Paper magazine's man about town Mickey Boardman made some off-color jokes to cut the nervous tension of the students in attendance, but unfortunately if flew over their heads, so he got right down to presenting portfolio awards.

As far as the trends I saw coming out of Parsons fashion design, it looked like a focus on texture was key. There was a lot of draped layering on this runway. I saw a lot of mixed fabric weights and textures. Instead of soft draping, there was a lot of sculpted, structured draped silhouettes. There was a lot of play in color or non-colors (creating shapes in white or contrasting black and white).

Congratulations newbies! I have a feeling all of the Parsons Fashion Design Show graduates are going to be okay.
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Eyes Sealed Shut: Seamless Closure of Surgical Incisions

TAU researcher brings groundbreaking fiber-optic laser system to the world of corneal transplants Some 30,000 years ago, prehistoric

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Helium-Shrouded Planets May Be Common in Our Galaxy

They wouldn’t float like balloons or give you the chance to talk in high, squeaky voices, but planets

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The Stunning Diversity and Detail of Vibrantly Colored New England Caterpillars

“Gravity” Hyalophora cecropia on buttonbush

Samuel Jaffe is getting close and personal with subject matter found right in our backyards— the furry, florescent, grubby little creatures we often find inching along our trees and sidewalks. Jaffe is fascinated by local environments, and aims to share the information he has collected about these backyard ecosystems so we can become more in tune with what’s right below our feet or hiding in the grass.

Jaffe has cataloged dozens of caterpillars in different settings, each with a blackened background to highlight their unique textures, colors, and patterns. Caterpillars dangle off branches, clutch onto leaves, and even play on grapevines within his photographs. Catching his subjects at specific moments, Jaffe gives each a little pop of personality, showcasing their playfulness when left alone in nature.

Jaffe grew up in Eastern Massachusetts, inserting himself within his surroundings, wading through ponds, and exploring the wildlife around him. Over the last five years he began to raise and photograph many of the more interesting native caterpillars. The project has grown to include exhibits, shows, talks, and finally in 2013 the Caterpillar Lab, a passionate program showcasing the diversity of northeastern caterpillars through educational programs, the arts, and sciences. Jaffe’s work is currently on display at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio in the exhibit “Life on the Leaf Edge.” Prints are available in his online shop. (via The Life Neurotic with Steve’s Issues)

“Red Boots” Apatelodes torrifacta on cherry / “Three Swallowtails” Papilio glaucus, polyxenes, and troilus

“Turbulent Abstract” – Phosphila turbulenta on smilax

“Anatomy of a Caterpillar” – Nadata gibbosa on oak

“Orange Red Green” Eumorpha achemon on grapevine / “Wild Lettuce” Autographa precationis on wild lettuce

“Life on the Leaf Edge” – Nerice bidentata on elm leaf

“Life on the Leaf Edge” Cerura scitiscripta on willow leaf

“The Fawn” Sphinx kalmiae on ash

“Early Kingdom” Lytrosis unitaria

“Emerald Deception” Chlorochlamys chloroleucaria on goldenrod / “Cut Flowers” Eupithecia Pug on blue vervain

“Father of Monsters” Eumorpha typhon on arizona grape

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Injectable electronics could be used to monitor brain activity

Flexible electronics have wide applicability, ranging from development of bendable screens to personal health monitors. Scientists are particularly interested in using these materials for medical applications; they've developed three-dimensional, flexible electronics that are compatible with the human body, and these show promise for integration into various tissues.

However, there are still significant limitations that must be addressed before these bioelectronics can be effectively used in a clinical setting. For example, it is very difficult to deliver soft bioelectronics to diseased regions in a patient-friendly manner. Recently, an international team of scientists demonstrated that flexible mesh electronics can be compacted and delivered using syringe injection.

After being manufactured, the mesh electronics are loaded into a needle that is inserted into an internal cavity, and the mesh is injected while the needle is withdrawn, placing the electronics in the targeted region. The mesh consists of longitudinal polymer/metal/polymer elements that interconnect electronics embedded in the polymer. The scientists found that the transverse and longitudinal stiffness of the material could be optimized to enable the mesh to “roll up” when passing through the needle.

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Cracked Log Lamps by Duncan Meerding


Tasmania-based furniture and lighting designer Duncan Meerding highlights the naturally occuring cracks in sustainably sourced logs by inserting warm yellow LEDs that illuminate each piece of wood from within. Meerding, who is legally blind, is fascinated by unusual light applications which he refers to as his “alternative sensory world.” Each cracked log lamp can be used as a stool, table, or simply a light accessory, and the pieces are available through a number of shops throughout Australia. Photos by Jan Dallas. (via My Modern Met, Inhabitat)







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Hypervelocity impact test damage

An aluminium plate, ripped inwards by a single sand grain-sized fleck of aluminium oxide shot at it during

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U.S. joins the world in a new era of research at the Large Hadron Collider

Yesterday scientists at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the European research facility, started recording data from the highest-energy

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