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wildcat2030:

New Super-Black, Light-Absorbing Material Looks Like a Hole in Reality
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UK nanotechnology company, Surrey NanoSystems, has created what they say is the darkest material known to man. Vantablack consists of a dense forest of carbon nanotubes—single atom carbon tubes 10,000 times thinner than a human hair—that drinks in 99.96% of all incoming radiation.First announced last year, the material is a deep, featureless black even when folded and scrunched. “You expect to see the hills and all you can see…it’s like black, like a hole, like there’s nothing there. It just looks so strange,” Ben Jensen, the firm’s chief technical officer, told the Independent. A number of other groups have been working to make super-black materials from carbon nanotubes in recent years. A prime application for the material is in sensitive optical equipment, like telescopes. A NASA Goddard team, led by John Hagopian, has been developing nanotube materials since 2007. To make the super-black material, they lay down a catalyst layer of iron oxide and then, in an 1,832 degree-Fahrenheit (750 C) oven, bathe the surface in carbon-enriched gas. The resulting multi-walled carbon nanotubes—nanotubes layered inside one another like Russian nesting dolls—can be grown on titanium, copper, and stainless steel. (via New Super-Black, Light-Absorbing Material Looks Like a Hole in Reality | Singularity Hub)

Since her death in 1979, the woman who discovered what the universe is made of has not so much as received a memorial plaque. Her newspaper obituaries do not mention her greatest discovery. […] Every high school student knows that Isaac Newton discovered gravity, that Charles Darwin discovered evolution, and that Albert Einstein discovered the relativity of time. But when it comes to the composition of our universe, the textbooks simply say that the most abundant atom in the universe is hydrogen. And no one ever wonders how we know.

Jeremy Knowles, discussing the complete lack of recognition Cecilia Payne gets, even today, for her revolutionary discovery. (via alliterate)

OH WAIT LEMME TELL YOU ABOUT CECILIA PAYNE.

Cecilia Payne’s mother refused to spend money on her college education, so she won a scholarship to Cambridge.

Cecilia Payne completed her studies, but Cambridge wouldn’t give her a degree because she was a woman, so she said fuck that and moved to the United States to work at Harvard.

Cecilia Payne was the first person ever to earn a Ph.D. in astronomy from Radcliffe College, with what Otto Strauve called “the most brilliant Ph.D. thesis ever written in astronomy.”

Not only did Cecilia Payne discover what the universe is made of, she also discovered what the sun is made of (Henry Norris Russell, a fellow astronomer, is usually given credit for discovering that the sun’s composition is different from the Earth’s, but he came to his conclusions four years later than Payne—after telling her not to publish).

Cecilia Payne is the reason we know basically anything about variable stars (stars whose brightness as seen from earth fluctuates). Literally every other study on variable stars is based on her work.

Cecilia Payne was the first woman to be promoted to full professor from within Harvard, and is often credited with breaking the glass ceiling for women in the Harvard science department and in astronomy, as well as inspiring entire generations of women to take up science.

Cecilia Payne is awesome and everyone should know her.

(via bansheewhale)

wholocked-in-221-b:

huffingtonpost:

People have offered many potential explanations for this discrepancy, but this ad highlights the importance of the social cues that push girls away from math and science in their earliest childhood years.

Watch the powerful Verizon advertisement to really understand what a little girl hears when you tell her she’s pretty.

YES. SPREAD THIS.

(Source: youtube.com)

NSA considers anyone who researches Tor or Tails to be a target for ongoing suspicion

mostlysignssomeportents:

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America’s National Security Agency gathers unfathomable mountains of Internet communications from fiber optic taps and other means, but it says it only retains and searches the communications of “targeted” individuals who’ve done something suspicious. Guess what? If you read Boing Boing, you’ve been targeted. Cory Doctorow digs into Xkeyscore and the NSA’s deep packet inspection rules.

Read more…

This is one of the biggest NSA stories yet. Please reblog!

*immediately researches tails*

wildcat2030:

The Germans Have Figured Out How to 3-D Print Cars
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The assembly line isn’t going away, but 3-D printing is going to reshape how we make cars. The EDAG Genesis points the way, with an beautifully crafted frame made from a range of materials and inspired by a turtle’s skeleton. The German engineering firm showed off the Genesis design concept at the Geneva Motor Show as proof that additive manufacturing–EDAG’s fancy term for 3-D printing–can be used to make full-size car components. It’s on an entirely different scale than the tiny, 3-D printed creations coming out of a desktop Makerbot, but it’s also just a frame–a stylized chassis that’s more art than reality. Before settling on 3-D printing, EDAG tried a few different acronym-heavy options, including selective laser sintering (SLS), selective laser melting (SLM), and stereolithography (SLA). But after extensive tinkering, the final process they used was a modified version of fused-deposition modeling, or FDM. EDAG’s robot built the Genesis concept by creating a thermoplastic model of the complex interior, although the company says they could use carbon fiber to make the structure both stronger and lighter. EDAG envisions the Genesis as being surrounded by an exterior frame–likely steel or aluminum–to provide a tough exterior to protect the lattice-like monocoque. (via The Germans Have Figured Out How to 3-D Print Cars | Autopia | Wired.com)

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