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As has happened many times in the history of humanity, many advancements, being culinary or scientific, have been happy byproducts of other endeavors. Here is one of the most recent examples. At Princeton University researchers originally intended to explore how to use double quantum dots (artificial atoms) so they communicate with each other but in the process they succeeded to build a rice grain-sized laser powered by single electrons tunneling through quantum dots. This tiny microwave laser, "maser", demonstrates the fundamental interactions between light and moving electrons.
This device uses about one-billionth the electric current needed to power a hair dryer and is a major step forward for efforts to build quantum-computing systems out of semiconductor materials.
To read the complete press release, please visit:
Anyone who has come across Einstein's thought experiment,"Twin Paradox", as a child would remember the wonder and awe with which it inspired them. According to Einstein's theory of relativity, the traveling twin going to the stars at high speed should return younger than his brother who would stay home.
Not getting close to the speed of light, NASA can not test the flow of time, but they have a chance to study the genetics, biochemistry, vision, cognition and much more in case of twin astronauts, Scott and Mark Kelly, while Scott resides at ISS for a year and Mark stays on Earth.
On March 27, Scott and his Russian colleague, cosmonaut Mikhail Komienko will embark on the first-ever yearlong mission to ISS. NASA has selected 10 investigations to conduct their research to compare how spaceflight affects individuals with the same genetics.
To see a list of the intended studies and more information and updates on this project, please visit;
f you are like us, and love to feel close to space and space-related news, big or small. Here are two interesting sites by NASA:
Lately, it seems that the comets ans asteroids are a bigger part of the news than they used to be. If it's Rosetta that has fascinated you, or the asteroids whooshing by Earth have captured your imagination, this is the site for you:
Next one is for space enthusiasts who happened to be phonophiles! NASA has launched a SoundCloud page where you can hear a variety of sound clips captured in the last 56 years by NASA. So do you want to hear Neil Armstrong's famous first words, or the applause in the space center? Or maybe listen to the sounds of a countdown and a blast off from a launch? Even better, have you ever wondered what radio transmissions from Cassini would sound? There is a wealth of sound clips waiting to be discovered, and you can download and make your own ringtone from them.
To hear them, please visit: