Movie

World’s smallest stop-motion film made with individual atoms

Publication: NBC News   Date: May 1, 2013   View Article

Scientists at IBM have just unveiled the world’s smallest stop-motion film — certified by Guinness — one made by moving individual atoms. What you’re seeing is 100 million times bigger than the original elements.

For Star Trek fans, the team also unveiled several franchise-inspired images made with atoms, including the USS Enterprise, the famous logo and the “live long and prosper” sign.

Why? To prove that they can and in the process show off the fun side of science, according to Andreas Heinrich, a principal investigator at IBM Research in California who led the effort.

Flushing Nemo? Pet fish pose ocean threat

Publication: NBC News   Date: January 10, 2013   View Article

Exotic and colorful aquarium fish, such as those made famous by the Disney film “Finding Nemo,” are escaping to the open ocean in real life and disrupting marine ecosystems, according to a new report on the spread of invasive species.

More than 11 million non-native aquarium fish and plants — from tropical fish to seaweed and snails, representing 102 species — are imported annually through the California ports of Los Angeles and San Francisco, the report found.

Star-Trek-like open source tricorder sees magnetic fields and more

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: March 29, 2012   View Article

Know the near-magical handheld analysis gadgets known as “tricorders” that everyone carries in Star Trek? A cognitive science researcher has created a real-world version.

“The open source science tricorders that I’ve developed are very much a way to help people explore and feed their curiosity for the world,” Peter Jansen, who created and built the gadget, told me today in an email.

‘Gigabit’ ideas wanted for superfast Internet

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: March 1, 2012   View Article

What would you do if had if you had an Internet Service that could download a 2-hour movie in about 5 seconds?

You could, of course, watch a bunch of movies. City officials and investors in Chattanooga, Tenn., hope you have some other creative business ideas that take advantage of its 1-gigabit-per second Internet.

An invisibility cloak for earthquakes? It’s possible

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: February 16, 2012   View Article

For several years, scientists have worked on real-world invisibility cloaks akin to the one that shields boy wizard Harry Potter from light waves. While that’s neat-o and all, a research group in Potter’s homeland thinks a similar trick can protect buildings from earthquakes.

The group, led by mathematician William Parnell at the University of Manchester, has shown that cloaking components or structures in pressurized rubber would make them invisible to the powerful waves produced during a temblor.

The physics behind the movie magic

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: December 23, 2010   View Article

Remember the Na’vi – the blue-stripped humanoid species with pointy ears and a powerful bond with nature in last year’s biggest sci-fi epic, “Avatar”? They were created in a physics lab.

In fact, the entire movie “stands out for the amount of physics that was involved,” Robert Bridson, a computer scientist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, told me in an e-mail. “A lot of the environments, and of course the characters, were completely computer-generated.”

The physics behind the movie magic

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: December 23, 2010   View Article

Remember the Na’vi – the blue-stripped humanoid species with pointy ears and a powerful bond with nature in last year’s biggest sci-fi epic, “Avatar”? They were created in a physics lab.

In fact, the entire movie “stands out for the amount of physics that was involved,” Robert Brisdon, a computer scientist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, told me in an e-mail. “A lot of the environments, and of course the characters, were completely computer-generated.”

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach