Nuclear test in North Korea

My friend Dave wrote me tonight: “That North Korean nuclear test claim? I checked the USGS website. Within an hour of the claim, they had posted data consistent with a nuclear test – 4.2 magnitude (too big to fake easily), depth 0 km, location pinned to a hillside in NE North Korea that has surprisingly good aerial coverage on the crosslinked Google Earth map – given that it’s a site long noted as a possible test facility. There is a road leading straight up to the base of the mountain, then disappearing.”

That’s pretty convincing!

Navel gazing: The first three months, and folks we admire.

Yes, it’s time for the state of the blog address. We took the EMSL blog online on June 21, 2006, three months ago. (It was about time that we started organizing our projects.)

So, happy quarter-birthday to us. Thus far we’ve put up some thirty projects. We’re actively working on about forty others right now.

If you haven’t bookmarked us, now is a fine time to do so. =)

Minor announcement I: We’ve just created a new group on flickr as a repository for our project photos.

Minor announcement II: We’ve also updated our CafePress shirt design:


Front: “Resistor”                      Rear: “Join the resistance.”

(Get one.)

Minor announcement III: Today we’re adding a new section of links to our web page, “Honorary Mad Scientists,” a short, specific, non-exhaustive list of creative people, sites, and/or blogs that we admire. We thought about calling the list “people like us,” but (1) it’s cocky of us to think that we can be as cool as these people and (2) maybe these folks don’t want us to suggest that they are anything like us. So, we’ll just call them Honorary Mad Scientists; read on for a partial list.
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Downtime tonight…

Flickr has announced that they will be down at 10pm Pacific Time this evening (9/1/06) for approximately 2 hours. Since most of the photos at evilmadscientist.com are actually hosted on Flickr, we’ll be pretty close to down as well.

The mercury ion optical clock

From 2002-2005 I worked in the NIST Time and Frequency division on a next-generation atomic clock.

The clock is based on a single trapped mercury atom. The most significant result of my work on the clock was a dramatic improvement in its precision, and the report on this progress was finally published this week.

The NIST Press Release compares the accuracy of the mercury clock to the NIST-F1 cesium fountain standard: “The current version of NIST-F1—if it were operated continuously—would neither gain nor lose a second in about 70 million years. The latest version of the mercury clock would neither gain nor lose a second in about 400 million years.”

Read an article from Science News about the paper, or one from Seed Magazine.
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