New Invention Alerts Soldiers to the Origin of Gunfire
It's one of the scariest things you could experience in a war zone: a bullet strikes near you, you know not from where it came, and another one is probably on the way. Thanks to a new wireless system designed by Vanderbilt University researchers, the sound of the sniper's bullets might give away everything about them.
This fancy bit of battlefield innovation by Akos Ledeczi and his team picks up the high-frequency acoustic waves created by the blast of a high-powered sniper rifle. The system relies on four small, interconnected microphones mounted on a soldier's helmet, which pick up both the muzzle blast created by the gun's report and also the shock wave created by the bullet as it cuts through the air. They're so sensitive they can identify a sniper rifle's sound even when a AK-47 is firing at the same time.
Other systems have tracked rifle sounds before, but the Vanderbilt scientists' design, which DARPA commissioned them to make, took it to another level by going beyond just one mounted sensor. The helmet microphones talk to each other and triangulate the origin of incoming fire. They then communicate that information to a soldier's PDA, accurate to within a few meters over a 300-meter span.
Of course, field testing is one thing, and fighting it out on the streets of Baghdad is quite another. The researchers had to outfit the systems with radio chips to communicate with one another, because GPS can't necessarily track all the signals as they dart in and out of buildings.
Research in plant neurobiology shows that plants have senses, intelligence and emotions.
- The field of plant neurobiology studies the complex behavior of plants.
- Plants were found to have 15-20 senses, including many like humans.
- Some argue that plants may have awareness and intelligence, while detractors persist.
E-cigarettes may be safer than traditional cigarettes, but they come with their own risks.
- A new study used an MRI machine to examine how vaping e-cigarettes affects users' cardiovascular systems immediately after inhalation.
- The results showed that vaping causes impaired circulation, stiffer arteries and less oxygen in their blood.
- The new study adds to a growing body of research showing that e-cigarettes – while likely safer than traditional cigarettes – are far from harmless.
Since the idea of locality is dead, space itself may not be an aloof vacuum: Something welds things together, even at great distances.
- Realists believe that there is an exactly understandable way the world is — one that describes processes independent of our intervention. Anti-realists, however, believe realism is too ambitious — too hard. They believe we pragmatically describe our interactions with nature — not truths that are independent of us.
- In nature, properties of Particle B may be depend on what we choose to measure or manipulate with Particle A, even at great distances.
- In quantum mechanics, there is no explanation for this. "It just comes out that way," says Smolin. Realists struggle with this because it would imply certain things can travel faster than light, which still seems improbable.