Pairing lasers with microwaves makes mind-bogglingly accurate electronic clocks – a potential boon for GPS, cell phones and radar

Researchers have made some of the most accurate clocks imaginable in recent years, but the trick is harnessing those clocks to electronics. Using lasers to tune microwaves bridges the gap.

Franklyn Quinlan, Physicist, National Institute of Standards and Technology • conversation
May 22, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: physics astronomy dark-matter gravity laser gps cell-phones microwave black-holes metrology radar power-grid atomic-clocks frequency

Balloon releases have deadly consequences – we're helping citizen scientists map them

Releasing balloons at weddings and other celebrations is festive, until they break into pieces and become plastic pollution. A citizen science project is spotlighting the problem.

Shannon Brines, Applied Geographer, Lecturer and Manager, Environmental Spatial Analysis Laboratory, University of Michigan • conversation
March 18, 2020 ~8 min

Tags:  data  citizen-science  wildlife  gps  plastic  mapping  litter  microplastics  great-lakes  plastic-pollution

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