“Kara” – MoCap Rendered in Real Time on Sony PS3

Are we crossing the Uncanny Valley?

The French Game Developer Quantic Dream revealed a 5 minute short demonstrating it’s new motion capture and rendering engine for the PS3. The following is rendered in real time on the common household gaming system:

Researchers capture first-ever images of atoms moving in a molecule

Pictures of atoms have been physically impossible to take because they are smaller than the wavelengths of visible light. But that hasn’t stopped researches in Ohio, who devised a unique way of coaxing atoms to reveal themselves.

This is a real shot of the atoms in a Nitrogen molecule (N2).

Press Release Below

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Using a new ultrafast camera, researchers have recorded the first real-time image of two atoms vibrating in a molecule.

Key to the experiment, which appears in this week’s issue of the journal Nature, is the researchers’ use of the energy of a molecule’s own electron as a kind of “flash bulb” to illuminate the molecular motion.

The team used ultrafast laser pulses to knock one electron out of its natural orbit in a molecule. The electron then fell back toward the molecule scattered off of it, analogous to the way a flash of light scatters around an object, or a water ripple scatters in a pond.

Principal investigator Louis DiMauro of Ohio State University said that the feat marks a first step toward not only observing chemical reactions, but also controlling them on an atomic scale.

“Through these experiments, we realized that we can control the quantum trajectory of the electron when it comes back to the molecule, by adjusting the laser that launches it,” said DiMauro, who is a professor of physics at Ohio State. “The next step will be to see if we can steer the electron in just the right way to actually control a chemical reaction.”

A standard technique for imaging a still object involves shooting the object with an electron beam – bombarding it with millions of electrons per second. The researchers’ new single-electron quantum approach allowed them to image rapid molecular motion, based on theoretical developments by the paper’s coauthors at Kansas State University.

A technique called laser induced electron diffraction (LIED) is commonly used in surface science to study solid materials. Here, the researchers used it to study the movement of atoms in a single molecule.

The molecules they chose to study were simple ones: nitrogen, or N2, and oxygen, or O2. N2 and O2 are common atmospheric gases, and scientists already know every detail of their structure, so these two very basic molecules made a good test case for the LIED method.

In each case, the researchers hit the molecule with laser light pulses of 50 femtoseconds, or quadrillionths of a second. They were able to knock a single electron out of the outer shell of the molecule and detect the scattered signal of the electron as it re-collided with the molecule.

DiMauro and Ohio State postdoctoral researcher Cosmin Blaga likened the scattered electron signal to the diffraction pattern that light forms when it passes through slits. Given only the diffraction pattern, scientists can reconstruct the size and shape of the slits. In this case, given the diffraction pattern of the electron, the physicists reconstructed the size and shape of the molecule – that is, the locations of the constituent atoms’ nuclei.

The key, explained Blaga, is that during the brief span of time between when the electron is knocked out of the molecule and when it re-collides, the atoms in the molecules have moved. The LIED method can capture this movement, “similar to making a movie of the quantum world,” he added.

Beyond its potential for controlling chemical reactions, the technique offers a new tool to study the structure and dynamics of matter, he said. “Ultimately, we want to really understand how chemical reactions take place. So, long-term, there would be applications in materials science and even chemical manufacturing.”

“You could use this to study individual atoms,” DiMauro added, “but the greater impact to science will come when we can study reactions between more complex molecules. Looking at two atoms – that’s a long way from studying a more interesting molecule like a protein.”

Coauthors on the paper included Anthony DiChiara, Emily Sistrunk, Kaikai Zhang, Pierre Agostini, and Terry A. Miller of Ohio State; and C.D. Lin of Kansas State. Coauthor Junliang Xu pursued the theoretical side of this research to earn his doctorate at Kansas State, and will soon join DiMauro’s lab as a postdoctoral researcher.

Funding came from the U.S. Department of Energy Basic Energy Sciences Program.

Viral Videos Vs. Evergreen Videos

Creating viral videos is something a lot of people try to do, but creating evergreen videos that have on-going views instead of a flash-in-the-pan spike is perhaps more beneficial in the long-term.

Tim Schmoyer of ReelSEO talks with Kevin Nalty, affectionately known on YouTube as Nalts, about some of the differences between viral videos and evergreen videos.

Introducing the Cinevate Trawly

By adding wheels to Cinevate’s universal Simplis base plate, they add an entirely new dimension in functionality. With Trawly, it’s easy to adjust the legs and wheels to pull off straight dolly shots, crab moves, arched turns and use it as a handheld rig.

The rig is available for purchase on Cinevate’s site.

5 Leadership Lessons from James T. Kirk

What can we learn from the swaggering captain of the Enterprise? Well a lot about how to lead and effective team…

1. Never Stop Learning

“You know the greatest danger facing us is ourselves, an irrational fear of the unknown. But there’s no such thing as the unknown– only things temporarily hidden, temporarily not understood.”

Captain Kirk may have a reputation as a suave ladies man, but don’t let that exterior cool fool you. Kirk’s reputation at the Academy was that of a “walking stack of books,” in the words of his former first officer, Gary Mitchell. And a passion for learning helped him through several missions. Perhaps the best demonstration of this is in the episode “Arena,” where Kirk is forced to fight a Gorn Captain in single combat by advanced beings. Using his own knowledge and materials at hand, Kirk is able to build a rudimentary shotgun, which he uses to defeat the Gorn.

If you think about it, there’s no need for a 23rd Century Starship Captain to know how to mix and prepare gunpowder if the occasion called for it. After all, Starfleet officers fight with phasers and photon torpedoes. To them, gunpowder is obsolete. But the same drive for knowledge that drove Kirk to the stars also caused him to learn that bit of information, and it paid off several years later.

In the same way, no matter what your organization does, it helps to never stop learning. The more knowledge you have, the more creative you can be. The more you’re able to do, the more solutions you have for problems at your disposal. Sure, you might never have to face down a reptilian alien on a desert planet, but you never know what the future holds. Knowledge is your best key to overcoming whatever obstacles are in your way. | Read the Full Article

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