[Video] What Travels Faster Than Light

By Anupum Pant

Like always, another one of those awesome Vsauce videos where Michael explains how darkness and scissor intersections can travel faster than light and still not go against any physics laws. So much to learn! Let me just say nothing today.

P.S there’s a mention of the Dunning Kruger effect and the story of Mr. Mc Arthur Wheeler I covered some time back on the blog.

A Man-Made Leaf

By Anupum Pant

Julian Melchiorri, a graduate student from Royal College of art, claims to have fabricated the first ever man-made biological leaf which absorbs water & carbon dioxide, just like a leaf does, and produces oxygen.

It looks like a promising first step towards enabling longer distance space travel – in a way that the artificial leaf made by him could be used to supply oxygen in micro-gravity, in which terrestrial plants have a hard time growing.

The artificial leaf he made for his project involves extracted chloroplasts from plant cells laid on a matrix of silk protein.

The “first man-made biological leaf” could enable humans to colonise space from Dezeen on Vimeo.

Lightning Trapped Forever in a Box

By Anupum Pant

On a cloudy and stormy night (or almost all the time, in this part of Venezuela), dark clouds separate charges and are able to put together the right conditions to send off one of the nature’s most powerful forces from the heavens – lightning.

The air break downs and a great amount of static charge gets transferred through the path of least resistance. And a bolt of bright light is seen for a fraction of a second. It lasts for a very little time.

lichtenberg-figureAs it happens too quickly, the exact shape of a lightning bolt is difficult to see. However, a long time back, a German physicist, Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, figured something that could help make the lightning bolt last longer. Or in fact, it could trap the lightning tree-pattern forever in an insulator (eg acrylic or wood etc.). The tree-like figure is called the Litchenberg figure after the person’s name (Georg Christoph Lichtenberg) who first noticed this.

Isn’t it a nice sculpture to have – a block acrylic with a lightning bolt permanently trapped in it! Or may be it could be a great gift for your physicist friend. But, sometimes the litchenberg figure isn’t a desirable thing to have…

People who unfortunately end up getting hit by lightning, sometimes survive to this permanent tree-shaped scar mark (or tattoo) - A permanent litchenberg figure gets printed on their skin. It looks like this.

litchenberg figure on skin