Monday, 24 February 2014

Science Correspondent Sam Rolfe

Tonight on West Herts Drivetime Sam Rolfe our science correspondent was the guest.

Want to secure an office against wireless hackers? Try smearing the windows with carbon.
Researchers in England have developed a transparent film that blocked 90 percent of radio waves. The material, described February 19 in Scientific Reports, is made from a stack of quartz layered with graphene — a one-atom-thick latticework of carbon atoms — that’s only several atoms thick.
The film could provide wireless security by absorbing unwanted radio transmissions. The next challenge for researchers is tuning the film to a wider range of frequencies and developing a method for making larger sheets.

Pop music hit maker Clive Davis knows a catchy song when he hears one. Now an app aims to define that elusive quality more concretely.
Designed by computer and cognitive scientists at the University of Amsterdam and Utrecht University in the Netherlands, Hooked! asks citizen scientists to help uncover the mystery ingredients of a hook — the most memorable part of a song. The results might illuminate how music taps into memories and emotions in the brain. First the app drops the needle somewhere in the middle of one of the 2,000 most popular songs of all time. Listeners quickly report whether they know the tune or not. To test whether the listener really does know the song, the app then turns off the music.

Scientist of the month - Professor Alice Roberts

Night Sky This Month
Jupiter is still in a great position in the sky to be viewed for most of the night. 

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