More News From The AAS Meetings: Fossil Fish Brain, Feathers, and Archimedes Does Infinity

From here which apparently covers a session on imaging techniques.


First up, a possible 350-400 million year old fossil fish brain:

Paul Tafforeau of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in France told the session that studies of fish from the Devonian period, 350 million to 400 million years ago, have disclosed the presence of an ancient fossilized brain.
A first of its kind, Tafforeau said, the fossil brain is expected to be formally reported and described in the scientific literature within a few weeks.

I can’t wait to see the write up on this.
Next, feathers trapped in amber:

Tafforeau also said radiation images have allowed researchers to study the contents of opaque pieces of amber, disclosing hundreds of animal parts from as long as 100 million years ago, including an unusual feather that could turn out to belong to a feathered dinosaur or an intermediate stage between dinosaurs and birds.

Finally, apparently Archimedes used a form of calculus and played around with adding infinite numbers of sums:

Using modern X-ray and spectral imaging, researchers are uncovering two ancient manuscripts by Archimedes, who lived in Sicily in the third century B.C., Uwe Bergmann of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory told a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science on Sunday.
In the 1300s the texts were scraped off the parchment and written over to create a prayer book, Bergmann said. But now scholars have been able to discern the original writing of Archimedes’ “The Method” and “The Stomachion,” volumes that exist nowhere else.
It emerges that Archimedes was far ahead of his time, using a form of calculus and devising ways to add an infinite number of sums, Bergmann said.
What is known of Archimedes’ concept of infinity is likely to have to change from this, he said at a symposium on using modern methods to uncover the secrets of the past.

Which makes me wonder if there was anything Archimedes didn’t know…

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3 Responses

  1. Obviously Archimedes didn’t know how to write a classic that would last. They hated it so much, they literally scraped the words off the pages.

  2. So Archimedes work was the proximate cause for the invention of recycling? Pangloss rules!

  3. much on the Archimedes stuff is covered in the book, Archimedes Codex. The book has more detail. though hopefully there are new stuff discovered since then.

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