Trove of Author Ray Bradbury’s Papers Set for Preservation

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Trove of author Ray Bradbury’s papers set for preservation

Ray Bradbury won over generations of readers to science fiction with “Fahrenheit 451” and other works during a writing career that spanned much of the 20th Century and produced a mountain of manuscripts, correspondence and memorabilia.

The Center for Ray Bradbury Studies , which is devoted to the study of the science fiction-fantasy author’s works, won a $50,000 grant this month from the National Endowment for the Humanities to begin planning the giant archive’s conservation.

“This is a national treasure and we have the great, good fortune to be able to preserve his legacy here for years to come,” said Jonathan Eller, who befriended Bradbury in the 1980s and directs the center, which he co-founded in 2007.

Although Bradbury wrote his most famous titles in the mid-20th century, including “Fahrenheit 451,” a novel about a dystopian future in which “firemen” hunt down and burn books to keep society in a state of ignorance, Eller said many of his works remain relevant because of their warnings about the misuse of technology and the importance of safeguarding the human imagination.

“He stands as much as any author for freedom of the imagination. With ‘Fahrenheit 451,’ which was written when there was a climate of fear in America and McCarthyism, and other works, he’s still synonymous with freedom of the imagination,” he said.

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Artificial intelligence accelerates discovery of metallic glass

If you combine two or three metals together, you will get an alloy that usually looks and acts like a metal, with its atoms arranged in rigid geometric patterns.

But once in a while, under just the right conditions, you get something entirely new: a futuristic alloy called metallic glass. The amorphous material’s atoms are arranged every which way, much like the atoms of the glass in a window. Its glassy nature makes it stronger and lighter than today’s best steel, and it stands up better to corrosion and wear.

Although metallic glass shows a lot of promise as a protective coating and alternative to steel, only a few thousand of the millions of possible combinations of ingredients have been evaluated over the past 50 years, and only a handful developed to the point that they may become useful.

Now a group led by scientists at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Northwestern University has reported a shortcut for discovering and improving metallic glass — and, by extension, other elusive materials — at a fraction of the time and cost.

The research group took advantage of a system at SLAC’s Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) that combines machine learning — a form of artificial intelligence where computer algorithms glean knowledge from enormous amounts of data — with experiments that quickly make and screen hundreds of sample materials at a time. This allowed the team to discover three new blends of ingredients that form metallic glass, and to do it 200 times faster than it could be done before.

  • Publisher: ScienceDaily
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Trove of author Ray Bradbury’s papers set for preservation
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