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Zany Scientists Make World's Most Expensive Pair Of X-Ray Glasses
Nothing says funny like X-Ray glasses.
And scientists are nothing if not funny. Take those fun-loving guys at Stanford University's Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) in Menlo Park, California. They know that Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois will be shut down by 2010 and that scientists are determined to have the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) operating in Geneva by 2007. That means the pressure is on if the USA is going to be allowed the privilege of over-paying around $9 billion for the International Linear Collider (ILC), which should begin engineering in 2010.
Scholars believe a scribe copied the Archimedes Palimpsest onto this goatskin parchment, perhaps even from the original Greek scrolls. If so, these might be the only copies of his treatises on flotation, gravity and mathematics. A few centuries later, a monk scrubbed off the Archimedes text and used the parchment to write prayers. That made medieval animal rights activists happy, since it probably took a whole herd of sheep to get 174 pages of parchment, but hasn't pleased historians quite as much.
They have spent years using ultraviolet and infrared filters to reveal much of the erased text but some pages were still unreadable. So the SLAC guys, needing a public relations coup, used the particle accelerator to detect the iron in the mostly-erased-yet-still-present ink. As the electrons whiz around the accelerator they emit x-rays that, quite literally, cause the ink to glow. That mean guy in Lord Of The Rings had a much easier solution to making text glow but I suppose 174 pages was too much to fit on the inside of a Hobbit's ring
From a practical point of view, this cost a real bucket of money. It doesn't seem to matter that, even if it was done 1000 years ago, that's still 1300 years after Archimedes lived. So I'm thinking he didn't add a lot of creative mathematics in those 1300 years he was dead.
But the SLAC guys wanted to be certain they weren't missing anything important in the works of Archimedes. I will help them with all they need to know: a floating body displaces its weight and a submerged body displaces its volume. Me, I think they should have turned the ol' glasses on Adriana. I bet she would get a "Eureka!" out of most scientists.
posted by Buckaroo at 6:27 AM