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« stir of echoes | Main | just don't quote me »


Most interesting about the pistol shrimp. I had heard of it previously while watching (with) my son's favorite show, Animal Planet's "Most Extreme" - I forgot what number of extremness (10 animals, rated form #10 to #1) they gave the shrimp, though.

"Larry Crum of the University of Washington, pointed out that the late Princess Diana (back in the news yet again, thanks to a new tell-all biography from publishing doyenne Tina Brown) died from uncontrolled bleeding from all those tiny vessels in the vital organs; had handheld therapeutic ultrasound devices been available at the time of her fatal car crash, the princess might have survived."

You don't have to get that high-tech. A seat-belt would have done the trick.

Taleyarkhan's not out of the hot water yet. If you click on the my link, it'll take you to the abstract for news in Physics Today June 2006. Now, congress has gotten involved:

"Purdue's fact-finding committee's report had specific allegations of fraud, the congressional report says, but Purdue officials responded by setting up another inquiry committee to undertake another fact-finding investigation."

What it comes down to is that there is an enormous amount of money going into big, exciting, Build A Special Building For It Fusion. Any low-cost competitior is going to find a lot of resistance from the Fusion-Research Complex.

"A seat-belt would have done the trick."

You don't even have to go into technology at all, a sober driver might have averted the accident.

Nice article, Jennifer, fascinating as always.


Sonoluminscence and 'cold' fusion were abiding concerns of Julian Schwinger in his later days, interests that were generally taken to be signatures of the great man's descent into the desuetude of dotage. Even the hagiographer Kimball Milton feels the need to make excuses for his involvement with these areas of research. So it's nice to see that they are 'hot', or 'cool', once more. Putterman was a close friend of Schwinger's, and one of the last people to hold a scientific discussion with him before his death.

Picky, picky I know, but Reeves didn't play a PhD physicist in Chain Reaction, he played an undergraduate technician working for the physicists.

I was born in Oak Ridge, so I found this article particularly interesting.


Hi, I'm a high-school senior currently working on a sound-based project. Somewhere inside your post you mention sound to electricity transducers (piezoelectric, I'm assuming) have an efficiency of 80-90%.
I have a few queries related to that- it'd be great if you could help me out!

1) Is there any published study which shows that the efficiency is more than 80%? If yes, could you quote me the source?
2) Does the dB level have ANY effect at all on the efficiency?
3) Generally, what sort of transducers offer the highest efficiency and what are the prices like?
4) At present, do any commercial machines exist that can convert ambient sound energy (surroundings) to electrical energy?

I would really appreciate if you could answer any of the above. Thanks a ton in advance! (:
PS: Please could you reply to
Thanks again!

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    Physics Cocktails

    • Heavy G
      The perfect pick-me-up when gravity gets you down.
      2 oz Tequila
      2 oz Triple sec
      2 oz Rose's sweetened lime juice
      7-Up or Sprite
      Mix tequila, triple sec and lime juice in a shaker and pour into a margarita glass. (Salted rim and ice are optional.) Top off with 7-Up/Sprite and let the weight of the world lift off your shoulders.
    • Listening to the Drums of Feynman
      The perfect nightcap after a long day struggling with QED equations.
      1 oz dark rum
      1/2 oz light rum
      1 oz Tia Maria
      2 oz light cream
      Crushed ice
      1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
      In a shaker half-filled with ice, combine the dark and light rum, Tia Maria, and cream. Shake well. Strain into an old fashioned glass almost filled with crushed ice. Dust with the nutmeg, and serve. Bongos optional.
    • Combustible Edison
      Electrify your friends with amazing pyrotechnics!
      2 oz brandy
      1 oz Campari
      1 oz fresh lemon juice
      Combine Campari and lemon juice in shaker filled with cracked ice. Shake and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Heat brandy in chafing dish, then ignite and pour into glass. Cocktail Go BOOM! Plus, Fire = Pretty!
    • Hiroshima Bomber
      Dr. Strangelove's drink of choice.
      3/4 Triple sec
      1/4 oz Bailey's Irish Cream
      2-3 drops Grenadine
      Fill shot glass 3/4 with Triple Sec. Layer Bailey's on top. Drop Grenadine in center of shot; it should billow up like a mushroom cloud. Remember to "duck and cover."
    • Mad Scientist
      Any mad scientist will tell you that flames make drinking more fun. What good is science if no one gets hurt?
      1 oz Midori melon liqueur
      1-1/2 oz sour mix
      1 splash soda water
      151 proof rum
      Mix melon liqueur, sour mix and soda water with ice in shaker. Shake and strain into martini glass. Top with rum and ignite. Try to take over the world.
    • Laser Beam
      Warning: may result in amplified stimulated emission.
      1 oz Southern Comfort
      1/2 oz Amaretto
      1/2 oz sloe gin
      1/2 oz vodka
      1/2 oz Triple sec
      7 oz orange juice
      Combine all liquor in a full glass of ice. Shake well. Garnish with orange and cherry. Serve to attractive target of choice.
    • Quantum Theory
      Guaranteed to collapse your wave function:
      3/4 oz Rum
      1/2 oz Strega
      1/4 oz Grand Marnier
      2 oz Pineapple juice
      Fill with Sweet and sour
      Pour rum, strega and Grand Marnier into a collins glass. Add pineapple and fill with sweet and sour. Sip until all the day's super-positioned states disappear.
    • The Black Hole
      So called because after one of these, you have already passed the event horizon of inebriation.
      1 oz. Kahlua
      1 oz. vodka
      .5 oz. Cointreau or Triple Sec
      .5 oz. dark rum
      .5 oz. Amaretto
      Pour into an old-fashioned glass over (scant) ice. Stir gently. Watch time slow.