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当前位置: Science » Science封面 » Science:古巴重新与世界建立连接


摘要 : 本期封面是上个月在古巴哈瓦那的一个年轻女正在检查她的智能手机。古巴和美国的关系缓和预计能更好地让古巴科学家融入全球社会,同时促进联合研究古巴惊人的珊瑚礁和蚊子传播基孔肯雅病等研究。

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In from the cold


Ernesto Altshuler has a principle for doing science in one of the world's more challenging settings, Cuba. Faced with scant resources and a persistent brain drain, the University of Havana physicist says he became a “guerrilla scientist.”

That didn't mean toting a Kalashnikov. “My strategy to survive as an experimental physicist was to violate the boundaries of safe science,” Altshuler says, “invading zones wher I was not a specialist, looking around for new phenomena with wider eyes, seeing scientific instruments in daily life objects, attacking and retreating from serendipitous findings like a guerrilla.” He has used ants to model how panicked people behave, for example, and has studied how bits of tea leaves seem to defy gravity by climbing a stream of tea into a pot's spout. In his studies of granular materials, Altshuler spent about $100 “to obtain the same quality of data” as other researchers who spend millions of dollars on microgravity experiments, says Thorsten Pöschel, a physicist at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg in Germany. “This should have embarrassed some of our colleagues.”

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