Microscope

Hungarian researchers have found that artists tend to paint lightning with fewer branches than the bursts of electricity actually have. A study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society A found the pictures and paintings differed mainly in the number of root-like offshoots.

  • Published 18.06.18
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Count the lightning 

• Hungarian researchers have found that artists tend to paint lightning with fewer branches than the bursts of electricity actually have. A study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society A found the pictures and paintings differed mainly in the number of root-like offshoots. While painted lightning strikes had 11 arms at the most, photographs showed lightning splitting into as many as 51 fingers.

Unbreakable 

• Scientists have created the UK's first ever "unhackable" fibre network in anticipation of the dawn of quantum computers, a technology that could render current security systems useless. The network, constructed by researchers from British Telecom, the University of York and the University of Cambridge over the past two years, is secured by the laws of quantum physics. Using this, it is able to block anyone attempting to crack into the fibre link.

Ladybird guard

• Ladybirds are considered friends of the garden because they prey on a pest, the aphid. A study by University of Kentucky entomologists has found that aphids are now playing saviour to the seven-spotted ladybird, which is having its larvae eaten by the invasive Asian lady beetle. Some of the aphids are toxic to the Asian lady beetles, though the study could not find how or why.

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