Inside Stephen Hawking's $100 Million Search For Alien Life

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Stephen Hawking is ready to find aliens. The cosmologist is throwing his support behind a $100 million initiative, funded by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, to begin an extensive search for proof of extraterrestrial life.

Why measure the polarisability of the pion?

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The strong interaction not only binds quarks into protons and neutrons, it also binds protons and neutrons into nuclei. Inside those nuclei, pions - made up of a quark and an antiquark - mediate the interaction. Strong interaction theory makes a precise prediction on the polarisability of pions – the degree to which their oppositely-charged constituents can be separated in an electromagnetic field.

The Number of Scholarly Documents on the Public Web

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The number of scholarly documents available on the web is estimated using capture/recapture methods by studying the coverage of two major academic search engines: Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic Search.

Madian Khabsa, C. Lee Giles

Sandblasting Winds Shifting Dunes on Mars: Study

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Daily winds on Mars carve out a landscape of shifting dunes, scientists have reported. Their study was published in the journal "Nature Communication".

Curiosity sends back stunning new panoramic image of Martian mountain TALLER than Mount Everest

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Curiosity has sent back an incredible panoramic image of the towering mountain which looms above the crater it has spent the last eight months exploring on the surface of Mars.

What Birds Know About Fractal Geometry

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The pattern of feathers on the chest of your potential mate might provide a good sense of his or her overall health and well-being.

Book-riffling robot scans one page at a time

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Like a bored child who can't be bothered to read, this robot flips from page to page. This odd contraption is actually a new way to scan and digitise the world's books - at a speed of 250 pages per minute. Although it's only a research machine, that reading rate easily beats manually-fed commercial scanners that only scan around 12 pages per minute.

New human species identified from Kenya fossils

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Researchers studying fossils from northern Kenya have identified a new species of human that lived two million years ago. The discoveries suggests that at least three distinct species of humans co-existed in Africa.

Dolphins may use complex nonlinear mathematics

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Dolphins may use complex nonlinear mathematics when hunting, according to a new study that suggests these brainy marine mammals could be far more skilled at math than was ever thought possible before.

Stochastic modeling of a serial killer

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M.V. Simkin and V.P. Roychowdhury: We analyze the time pattern of the activity of a serial killer, who during twelve years had murdered 53 people. The plot of the cumulative number of murders as a function of time is of  "Devil’s staircase" type. The distribution of the intervals between murders (step length) follows a power law with the exponent of 1.4.

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