In the Star Wars universe, Han Solo is famous for being able to fly the Kessel Run, a dangerous smuggler’s route through space, in less than 12 parsecs. In an ongoing effort to let you out-geek your friends, Wired explains how this insane feat may mean that Han Solo may have traveled through time.
If the Nordtvedt effect is right, two objects of different masses don’t really fall at the same rate
Famously tested by Galileo and tested again and again and again thousands and thousands of times over the ages, it’s come to be that two objects of different masses falling towards the same body (Earth for example), will fall at the same rate. It’s even been tested on the Moon, and it works perfectly. But professor Kenneth Nordtvedt of the University of Montana thinks this solidly tested notion may be incorrect.
While current solar panels get the job done, they’re not nearly as efficient as they could be. What would make them incredibly efficient would be microscopic nano-scale wires, smaller than a wave of light, to trap photons in their tiny little tentacles to convert the sunlight energy into useable energy for something else.
Way back in the year 775, it looks likely that the Earth was slammed with a massive burst of gamma rays, briefly soaking the planet in quite a bit of radiation. This radiation spike was measured by studying tree rings in Japan and rocks in Antarctica, pinpointing it to 775, the year when Baghdad was the world’s biggest city.
As Stephen Hawking’s Lou Gehrig’s disease slowly continues to erode his physical body, he becomes less able to communicate by the day. He currently uses a device that measures the twitch of a single muscle in his cheek, the last muscle he has any control over. But even that is fading, with his ability to speak now under one word per minute. Fortunately, Intel has developed new technology to continue to let Hawking communicate.
Whether it’s Star Trek or Star Wars, whenever directors want to depict someone going at warp speed, you see them blazing through trails of stars, when in reality it turns out that going that fast wouldn’t look nearly that cool. See that formless blob of light above? That’s pretty much what you would see.
In open space, outside the barriers of atmospheres, there’s a shit ton of radiation beaming about all over the place. Spaceships shield themselves from the radiation to keep astronauts safe, but there’s a bigger danger than gamma rays— radioactive iron ions that are too heavy to be blocked by normal radiation shields, that could lead to brain damage in astronauts.