Archaeology is a delicate trade, requiring discipline, dedication and, most of all, patience. Groundbreaking discoveries can take years to come to fruition.
Unless, of course, you manage to streamline the discovery process by teaching a computer to do your work for you.
At Harvard University, anthropologist Jason Ur and his colleague Bjoern Menze have programmed a computer to recognize traces of long-term human activity from satellite images, especially in ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum that are invisible to the human eye. Their new study is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Albert Einstein wrote famously that imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge, he said, was limited. "Imagination encircles the world."
It was the force of his own imagination that made Einstein the towering scientific figure of the 20th century. On Monday, at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, the custodians of his writings announced the launch of a new digital archive they hope will help spread the intellectual curiosity that made the German-born physicist the world’s most famous scientist.
“Knowledge is not about hiding, it is about openness,” Hebrew University President Menahem Ben-Sasson said at the launch of a new public website that archivists hope will soon provide easy access to all of Einstein’s personal and professional writings.