Discovered: New accelerators lessen environmental impact of physics research; Cato Institute tries to quash climate findings; Lorca earthquake linked to well digging; rice crops speed warming.
Greening high-energy colliders. Giant particle accelerators are helping scientists do important work on better understing the world of particle physics. CERN's Large Hadron Collider (pictured above), for instance, was instrumental in proving the existence of the Higgs boson earlier this year. But due to their size, and the energy needed to run them, these accelerators aren't the most eco-friendly machines. Newer, more diminutive laser plasma accelerators (LPAs) being pioneered by engineers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory might help green high-energy colliders, though. They're so small that scientists casually refer to them as "table-top accelerators." Conventional accelerators bring particles to huge speeds by oscillating electromagnetic fields, but the new accelerators work by beaming lasers at a plasma of free electrons and ions, pressurizing them until some shoot off at near light-speed. [Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory]
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Cato publishes deceptive government climate report "addendum." Publishing climate change denialism is gross enough. But trying to pass it off as a legitimate government report? That's some low-down shady tactic, Cato Institute. The right wing D.C. think tank cobbled together some fake research about how global warming isn't happening, and then mimiced the format of a 2009 U.S. Global Change Research Program report called Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, down to the typeface, headings, and cover design. They even called it ADDENDUM: Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, as if the commission had decided to revise its findings. "It's not an addendum. It's a counterfeit," says University of Saint Thomas professor John Abraham. "It's a continued effort to kick the can down the road: A steady drip, drip, drip of fake reports by false scientists to create a false sense of debate." See the real and fake reports, side by side, below: [Scientific American]