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Apr. 30, 2013

Time Crystals, Canine Conservationists, Copycat Monkeys, and More

by Leslie Taylor

Click to enlarge images
Each week we’ll round up links to science stories or studies that blow our mind, tickle our funny bone, or generally strike our fancy.
 
Wibbly-wobbly, Timey-wimey Crystal Experiment
While a “time crystal” sounds like something out of Doctor Who, physicists at UC Berkeley will attempt to make this theoretical object a reality. Using a device called an ion trap, they plan to corral calcium ions to create a physical structure that engages in a special form of perpetual motion that expends no energy.
 
Conservation's Best Friend?
A Montana-based organization, Working Dogs for Conservation, harnesses dogs’ scent-discrimination capabilities to protect wildlife. The trained canines can be used to track endangered animals and detect invasive plants or illegal snares.
 
When In Rome
When traveling or living abroad, most people trade their traditional cuisine for local fare. A new study shows that vervet monkeys also like to adopt the diet of those around them.
 
Touchy Robots
Roboticists have created a robot arm that uses a sense of touch, along with its computer vision, to detect specific objects in a cluttered area. Being able to bend, compress, and slide objects will be an asset for robots engaged in rescue missions during emergencies or performing tasks in a hospital setting.
 
Might as Well Be Walking on the Sun
A new study suggests the earth's core is 6,000 degrees Kelvin -- approximately the same temperature as the surface of the sun! The sun's surface is oddly cool, however, compared with its atmosphere, which is a blistering 1 to 2 million degrees Kelvin.
About Leslie Taylor

Leslie is the online editor at Workboat.com and NationalFisherman.com. She has a background in oceanography and is passionate about getting non-scientists and young people to realize how cool science can be. She is also Science Friday's former web editor.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.

Science Friday® is produced by the Science Friday Initiative, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Science Friday® and SciFri® are registered service marks of Science Friday, Inc. Site design by Pentagram; engineering by Mediapolis.

 

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