Jump to content
The Big Bang Theory Forums
Sign in to follow this  
koops

Science Topics You Would Like To See On The Show: Season 7 Edition

Recommended Posts

"A Novel Look at How Stories May Change the Brain"

see http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140103204428.htm

 

 

The results showed heightened connectivity in the left temporal cortex, an area of the brain associated with receptivity for language, on the mornings following the reading assignments. "Even though the participants were not actually reading the novel while they were in the scanner, they retained this heightened connectivity," Berns says. "We call that a 'shadow activity,' almost like a muscle memory."

Heightened connectivity was also seen in the central sulcus of the brain, the primary sensory motor region of the brain. Neurons of this region have been associated with making representations of sensation for the body, a phenomenon known as grounded cognition. Just thinking about running, for instance, can activate the neurons associated with the physical act of running.

"The neural changes that we found associated with physical sensation and movement systems suggest that reading a novel can transport you into the body of the protagonist," Berns says. "We already knew that good stories can put you in someone else's shoes in a figurative sense. Now we're seeing that something may also be happening biologically."

The neural changes were not just immediate reactions, Berns says, since they persisted the morning after the readings, and for the five days after the participants completed the novel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since Leonard is a laser jockey, there was a story I read, a while back, where scientists were working to combine laser beams, in phase, to produce a more powerful beam. If successful, they were even thinking of calling it a phaser, I don't know if it was successful or not, but Leonard doing something like that would be cool.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is something both Sheldon and Leonard could sink their teeth into....

from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140116150856.htm

 

A collaboration of researchers at the U.S Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has discovered that sodium bismuthate can exist as a form of quantum matter called a three-dimensional topological Dirac semi-metal (3DTDS). This is the first experimental confirmation of 3D Dirac fermions in the interior or bulk of a material, a novel state that was only recently proposed by theorists.

[snip]

"Because of its 3D Dirac fermions in the bulk, a 3DTDS also features intriguing non-saturating linear magnetoresistance that can be orders of magnitude higher than the materials now used in hard drives, and it opens the door to more efficient optical sensors."

[snip]

Two of the most exciting new materials in the world of high technology today are graphene and topological insulators, crystalline materials that are electrically insulating in the bulk but conducting on the surface. Both feature 2D Dirac fermions (fermions that aren't their own antiparticle), which give rise to extraordinary and highly coveted physical properties. Topological insulators also possess a unique electronic structure, in which bulk electrons behave like those in an insulator while surface electrons behave like those in graphene.

"The swift development of graphene and topological insulators has raised questions as to whether there are 3D counterparts and other materials with unusual topology in their electronic structure," says Chen. "Our discovery answers both questions. In the sodium bismuthate we studied, the bulk conduction and valence bands touch only at discrete points and disperse linearly along all three momentum directions to form bulk 3D Dirac fermions. Furthermore, the topology of a 3DTSD electronic structure is also as unique as those of topological insulators."

Edited by djsurrey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aren't magnetic monopoles what the guys were looking for at the North Pole?

 

Physicists create synthetic magnetic monopole predicted more than 80 years ago

 

(Phys.org) —Nearly 85 years after pioneering theoretical physicist Paul Dirac predicted the possibility of their existence, an international collaboration led by Amherst College Physics Professor David S. Hall '91 and Aalto University (Finland) Academy Research Fellow Mikko Möttönen has created, identified and photographed synthetic magnetic monopoles in Hall's laboratory on the Amherst campus. The groundbreaking accomplishment paves the way for the detection of the particles in nature, which would be a revolutionary development comparable to the discovery of the electron.

 

 
 

http://phys.org/news/2014-01-physicists-synthetic-magnetic-monopole-years.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And for something completely different a new theory that does away with the big bang and replaces it with a big thaw. In this theory the perceived redshift is a result of particles increasing in mass over time (ie the Higgs field getting stronger.) and not because of an expanding universe.

 

see

How did the universe begin? Hot Big Bang or slow thaw?

and

http://www.nature.com/news/cosmologist-claims-universe-may-not-be-expanding-1.13379 ,

Edited by djsurrey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When next someone gets jewellery I want Leonard to prattle on about the creation of the heavier elements and the nucleosynthesis of gold in neutron star collisions. I know nothing about the math but it is a cool thing. Or Raj - it would be a sexier topic than infidelity amongst penguins.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 There seems to be fodder for one liners when the topic is WIMPs, or Weakly Interacting Massive Particles.

 

See 

Fermi data tantalize with new clues to dark matter: Gamma rays from center of Milky Way galaxy

   I think this would be a great story for TBBT.

 

 

A new study of gamma-ray light from the center of our galaxy makes the strongest case to date that some of this emission may arise from dark matter, an unknown substance making up most of the material universe.

[snip]

The galactic center teems with gamma-ray sources, from interacting binary systems and isolated pulsars to supernova remnants and particles colliding with interstellar gas. It's also where astronomers expect to find the galaxy's highest density of dark matter, which only affects normal matter and radiation through its gravity. Large amounts of dark matter attract normal matter, forming a foundation upon which visible structures, like galaxies, are built.

No one knows the true nature of dark matter, but WIMPs, or Weakly Interacting Massive Particles, represent a leading class of candidates. Theorists have envisioned a wide range of WIMP types, some of which may either mutually annihilate or produce an intermediate, quickly decaying particle when they collide. Both of these pathways end with the production of gamma rays -- the most energetic form of light -- at energies within the detection range of Fermi's Large Area Telescope (LAT).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.