Space the Final Frontier
The Final Frontier
Renowned physicist and biggest baller alive Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of the Internet’s favorite heroic figures; he is so beloved by science geeks and techies alike that at an event hosted by Gizmodo last summer, attendees broke into spontaneous applause at the mere mention of his name.
Mr. Tyson is the director at New York’s popular Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space uptown. The Planetarium, as wondrous as it is, has a bit of a branding problem: namely, it boasts the same name as actress Hayden Panittiere, star of the new series Nashville, which we keep hearing is actually good but like, really? Is it?
15 Minutes Into the Future
Advanced 3D printing technology is getting close to resembling replicators from Star Trek and iPads look a whole lot like the gadgets Geordi was always carrying around. Now, physicists have taken another step towards making Starfleet technology a reality by inventing a working tractor beam, which is essentially a laser that can move things. Sure, currently it can only move itty bitty molecules, but the fact that it works at all opens up all sorts of exciting possibilities.
NYU professors David Ruffner and David Grier have developed a way to harness Bessel beams in order to pull particles towards a laser source. The result is the beginnings of a very tiny tractor beam capable of moving silica spheres suspended in water.
It’s a question as old as semiconductors: Once you’ve racked up a couple of billion dollars investing in the tech sector, what are you to do with all that cash? Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner–who’s made himself quite a nice little nest egg betting on companies like Facebook and Groupon–has a somewhat novel answer. The New York Times reports that he’s founded his very own Nobel Prize.
The Fundamental Physics Prize will dole out $3 million each to worthy, boundary-pushing thinkers. No experimental proof required, says Mr. Milner: