Researchers at Northwestern University are studying superconductors using a hybrid magnet weighing 34 tons and standing 22 ft tall at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, Florida. The huge magnet improves the imaging of high-temperature superconductors so much that William Halperin, a professor of physics and astronomy, saw the cores of vortices, which he describes as tiny electrical tornadoes swirling in the superconductor's copper oxide compound. His findings include evidence of an electronic Doppler effect. The professor is hoping to improve resolution of MRI machines used in hospitals. For more information, visit www.northwestern.edu.
The amount of plastic clogging the ocean continues to grow. Some startling, not-so-good news has come out recently about the roles plastic is playing in the ocean, as well as more heartening news about efforts to collect and reuse it.
Some of our culture's most enduring robots appeared in the 80s. The Aliens series produced another evil android, and we saw light robot fare in the form of Short Circuit. Two of the great robots of all time also showed up: The Terminator and RoboCop.
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