Best article in... AGES, though I did struggle not to laugh loudly (being in an office'n'all).
I (heart) geckos. Geckoes? Geckii? Gah! I'm going to start growing'em.
Cartoon-loving boffins from University of St Andrews believe they have found a way to reverse the "Casimir force" which causes really small things to stick to each other. This has been widely written up, usually with the word "levitation" in the headline. The University press release notes that: "Professor Ulf Leonhardt and …
This is where we get the first indication that the ROTM is actually our lizard overlords who, having seen the future, are determined to do what it takes to preserve their little gecko cousins - including wiping us out with speed-crazed Renaults if that's what's needed.
Thanks for the warning, Lewis. Now, where is my pickaxe ? I have to start digging that underground bunker in my back yard. Maybe I'll also raise a few geckos, just to prove that I didn't harm them.
"Lewis, your writing style is progressing magnificently. Thank you for a very funny article."
I considered it probing and deeply thoughtful too with a plethora of AVenues.
"..but in the meantime the potential for lizard abuse would be horrific." Or terrific for wizard lizard potential.
"Clearly, this [is not true] - "
Is truly Ambiguous which would cause a Doubt easily Dismissed as IT was Created to Shield the Truth.
"The energy of the quantum vacuum, the 'zero-point energy,' is infinite according to our present theories."...... and has AI Quonnection been Established Already, All Ready? A 21CNetwork Covert Steganographic Op?
Or is that Future Use Today?
I stuck live geckoes to my hands and feet years ago, in the hopes of becoming a gecko-powered spiderman (geckoman?). The problem is, I've been sitting in the same position ever since, permanently stuck to the ground. Maybe this is the answer I'm looking for? Please could somebody ask these boffins to install polarity-reversing switches (aka any given Star Trek episode) on the backs of my geckoes, then I'll be able to climb buildings AND hover.
http://arxiv.org/pdf/quant-ph/0502183 says that Van der Waals forces are the maths-lite version of the Casimir Effect - i.e. the one that doesn't require you to push your brain through a colander. (I'm paraphrasing.) Even Wikipedia is prepared to say that - well almost.
Which leads me to conclude that levitating lizards are perfectly scientifically justifiable. But if you have any doubts, talk it over with your local lizard army recruiting rep. ;)
"Did anyone reading the article notice that this effect depends on a material with a negative refractive index? A material with a negative refractive index is one where light moves *faster* than it does in a vacuum. Not much of that to be found laying about, I'm afraid."
Not much ... but there would seem to be some.
"Empty space is not empty, but is filled with the quantum vacuum"
I actually proved this at the age of 5 in the science museum. They had an electric bell (these were pretty much state of the art electrickery at the time) in a glass jar connected to a vacuum pump. One of the obligatory push buttons on the cabinet pumped the air out of of the jar; pressing the bell push demonstrated that nobody can hear you scream in the science museum.
At that point people started mumbling stuff about vacuuii (or doesn't vacuum decline?).
Q. what's a vacuum. A. it's nothing.
Q. what's in the jar? A. a vacuum.
Killer reply: so there's something in the jar.
I am the Supreme Galactic Gecko Overlord Gerri. I take great offense to your flagrant lack of respect for Gecko rights.
If you Human Earthies keep messing with the quantum vacuum zero-point energy, you may open up a Kerr loop temporal rift in the local space-time contiuum which would swallow the Earth.
On second thoughts we hope you do, it'll save us invading Earth, keep up the good work.
"Theoretical physicists at the University of St Andrews"
"according to calculations done by physicists in the UK. Ulf Leonhardt and Thomas Philbin of the University of St Andrews reckon that the repulsive force may even be strong enough to levitate a tiny mirror"
So they haven't actually done this, they have just worked out a way to make the equations say it can be done ... shame.