December 7, 2007
Neuromancer is a 1984 novel by William Gibson, notable for being the most famous early cyberpunk novel and winner of the so-called science-fiction “triple crown” (the Nebula Award, the Philip K. Dick Award, and the Hugo Award). It was Gibson’s first novel and the first of the Sprawl trilogy. The title seems to be a play on words based on its close resemblance to Necromancer, a person who receives divinations from disembodied spirits.
Neuromancer tells the story of Case, an out-of-work computer hacker hired by a mysterious patron to participate in a seemingly impossible crime. The novel examines the concepts of artificial intelligence, virtual reality, genetic engineering, multinational corporations overpowering the traditional nation-state and cyberspace long before these ideas became fashionable in popular culture including the internet itself.
December 3, 2007
The universe’s first stars may have been bloated behemoths powered by dark matter, suggests an intriguing, if speculative, new study. These ‘dark stars’ might have delayed the creation of heavy elements, which make up everything from planets to people, as well as cosmic reionisation, which made the universe transparent to light billions of years ago. Theorists believe the first stars formed in cradles of dark matter, condensing from clouds of gas until their cores became so dense that nuclear fusion ignited, preventing the cores from collapsing further. This could heat up the cloud so much that it would stop contracting, so that it was supported by the annihilation of dark matter rather than by nuclear fusion, like normal stars. Such a ‘dark star’ would be about as massive as the Sun and would glow at infrared wavelengths. But it would be much larger – depending on the mass of the neutralino used, the star could span anywhere from the distance between the Sun and Uranus in our solar system to nearly 60 times that size.
Site – http://space.newscientist.com
December 2, 2007
Scientists rely on computer models to understand the toughest concepts in science: the origin of the universe, the human brain, artificial life, the behavior of atoms, and the future climate of the planet. These are some of the most important experiments that are currently active in the world.
Site – http://discovermagazine.com