Today in Nerd Blurbs we discuss some small things with big color: scientists discover new spiders, artists visualize light as both a wave and a particle, and a comet acts like a drunken fratboy. All this after the jump.
- “Sparklemuffin” and “Skeletorus” Latest Additions to Peacock Spiders
In the land of all things deadly and poisonous, Australia, two new breeds of peacock spider have been discovered. So called for their bright coloration and mating dances, the peacock spiders have two new species to add to their ranks, the above-pictured “Sparklemuffin” (Maratus jactatus) and the “Skeletorus” (Maratus sceletus), named for markings that make it look like a skeleton. Discovered and hence named by UC-Berkley graduate student, Madeline Girard, we now know what happens when you mix arachnology, a boatload of the sticky icky, and a love of 1980’s cartoons. Silly, silly names. That’s what you get.
- First Photograph of Light as Wave and Particle
Swiss and American Researchers, using one of two advanced electron microscopes in the world, have captured an image of light behaving the way it does: being both a wave and a particle. They achieved this by firing lasers down a microscopic metallic nanowire. Traveling as waves down the wire, when two beams meet, they develop a “standing wave,” which generates the particles pictured at the bottom of the photograph. Lead researcher, Fabrizio Carbone, said, “This experiment demonstrates that, for the first time ever, we can film quantum mechanics — and its paradoxical nature — directly.” Carbone himself is something of a quantum conundrum himself, by having one of the sexiest names ever while still being a huge nerd.
- Comet Lovejoy Photobombs Dark Energy Camera Photo
Named after the amateur Australian astronomer who discovered the comet in 2014, Comet Lovejoy C/2014 made news again after passing through the image field of the Dark Energy Camera, the world’s most powerful digital camera world (at 570 megapixels), which is on the hunt for new data about Dark Energy. Dark Energy is the little-known-about phenomena, which is speeding up the universe’s expansion (even though it should be slowing down). The DEC is on a five year mission called: The Dark Energy Survey (which is not the rumored title of the next Star Trek movie, but should be, considering five year missions and all). Dark Energy, according its’ Facebook, was reportedly very upset by its’ photo-opportunity being ruined by the Aussie-named comet, and went on to say that “Lovejoy probably hates joy, which is why it’s such a dick, with a silly accent.”
Well, that’s all the pretty color we can add to you Monday at the moment. Come back soon for all your quantum content (which may or may not be here when you return)! Happy nerding!