A picture paints more than a petabyte of data
In the age of the petabyte, we all need help digesting and understanding massive amounts of information. In this month’s Physics World, a series of features celebrates the ascendance of visual methods that are being used to make meaning of the mountains of scientific data.
Scientific visualizations can play a key role in fundamental physics, particularly when it comes to depicting the outcome of particle collisions at CERN’s massive new Large Hadron Collider, but they can also shed light on much more everyday research.
A feature written by Cesar A Hidalgo, a physicist at the Centre for International Development, Harvard University, US, explains why ‘network science’ could be a useful tool in both national economic planning and in medical research.
In medical research, a database of medical records from a large population of elderly US citizens has been used to build a ‘disease network’ to show how various disease associations are distributed and, among other things, alert doctors to health risks closely associated to any particular ailment.
A similar project, called the Product Space produced in collaboration with a team of economists, maps out the kind of tradeable products that tend to emerge together in national economies and highlights areas where economies may have great difficulty diversifying.
On providing easily understandable information that deals with very complex subjects, Barry Sanders, iCORE chair of quantum information science and director of the Institute for Quantum Information Science at the University of Calgary, Canada, writes about the work he has undertaken with a team of researchers and animators to produce a “movie” that explains how quantum computers work, Solid state quantum computer in silicon.
Acknowledging the need to delicately balance scientific accuracy and aesthetic appeal, Sanders writes, “Visualization of scientific knowledge is not easy or cheap, but it is rewarding and useful. Animated films are valuable tools for explaining difficult, abstract concepts such as quantum computing in the classroom.”
Also in this issue:
•Feast of visualization – a gallery of stunning images from New Journal of Physics
•A picture of the cosmos – Mark SubbaRao and Miguel Aragon-Calvo explain how astronomers are using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to create accurate maps of the universe
•New Journal of Physics celebrates 10 years of open-access publishing
Joe Winters | alfa
Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy
24.03.2017 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core
24.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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