Editor’s Selections: Quantum navigation, Surfing the Solar Wind, Social Scrobbling, and Explaining Fermi bubbles

Editor's Selections 4 Comments
By Sarah Kendrew

Sarah Kendrew Sarah Kendrew selects interesting and notable ResearchBlogging.org posts in the physical sciences, chemistry, engineering, computer science, geosciences and mathematics. She blogs about astronomy at One Small Step.

For those of you in the Northern half of the planet: it’s springtime! New buds, birds, and daylight! Speaking of birds – what awesome weirdos they are. Birds, it seems, can see magnetic fields, and we have no idea how that works. On the Berkeley Science Review blog, Chris Holdgraf talks about new research suggesting that this sensitivity may be a result of quantum entanglement of electrons in their eyes. A quantum entanglement-powered compass for navigation: bizarre and incredibly cool.

Aerospace engineers have long sought ways of making space travel more efficient. Surfing the solar wind – the energetic stream of charged particles continuously flowing out from the Sun – with an electric sail could get us to Jupiter more than 20% faster, engineers have recently suggested. FrauTech describes the background and the technology on Design. Build. Play. Looks promising, as long as we’re not going to trying to surf upstream to Mercury!

Scrobbling, socialising, or both? Computer scientists in Belgium have used Last.fm as a case study for interaction in social communities, and David Bradley discusses their findings. An interesting study for web 2.0 enthusiasts.

The discovery of giant gamma-ray lobes around our galaxy with the Fermi space telescope last year was a fascinating find. The Astronomist looks at some recent work trying to explain the existence of the odd Fermi bubbles, with some interesting comments on the way the science gets posted, published, peer reviewed and publicized.

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