Extra-Large Hadron Collider
Scientists met in the middle of February to discuss plans to build the successor to the LHC, the world’s highest-energy particle collider which has so far detected two previously unseen particles, including the Higgs Boson. The group considered several proposals, including building the collider in a tunnel sixty miles long encircling Geneva in Switzerland, where the LHC is located; in this case it would have a circumference around four times as large as the LHC’s seventeen miles. However, Japan and China have also expressed interest in hosting it. As well as considering location and size, there has been debate over which type of particle to collide. Building for the new collider is likely to begin in 2018 and will take around fifteen years, with a cost of tens of billions of pounds.
Google Tangoing forward
Google recently unveiled a new initiative called Project Tango with an aim to “give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion”. As part of the project, they have released a prototype android phone which can create a 3D map of its surroundings and use it to track motion using advanced sensors and a vision processing platform. The smartphone, according to Google, will be able to learn the shape of rooms you walk around and eventually give directions using the 3D maps it has generated, as well as opening up new possibilities for immersive gaming. 200 such devices will be handed out to developers, who will build on the technology and use it to create apps, on March 14th.
Black green Death
Marijuana alone can cause death, according to the results of two post-mortem examinations earlier this month. A team from University Hospital Düsseldorf in Germany conducted fifteen post-mortems on cannabis-linked mortalities and, after performing several tests designed to rule out (or otherwise) other fatal factors including alcohol overdose, concluded that two men had died from heart arrhythmias brought on singlehandedly by smoking cannabis within hours of death. The mechanism for marijuana-induced cardiac arrhythmia is currently unknown.
Photograph: Maximilien Brice, Claudia Marcelloni © 2006 CERN