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
Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators
14.12.2018 | DOE/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet
14.12.2018 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.
Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
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