Tag Archives | Physics

Wait A Femtosecond, I Can See Atoms!

Photo: MSU

Photo: MSU

First, lenses wowed us with a teeming world just too small for our unaided eyes to perceive.

The electron microscope gave us images at the atomic level. We could see the structure of micro organisms, cells, crystals, metals, and more. That was pretty awesome, but those images were static; form without function.

Now, scientists at Michigan State University have created a device that “captures movements of atoms and molecules” according to the university’s online publication MSU Today.

Developed by MSU Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy Chong-Yu Ruan, the microscope lets scientists observe the nano world, where material change happens.

Those changes are measured on a femtosecond timescale. Its the unit of time, Ruan explains, that atoms take to perform specific tasks, such as mediating the traffic of electrical charges or participating in chemical reactions.

A femtosecond is one-millionth of a billionth of a second, which is incomprehensible without analogies.… Read the rest

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Is Death An Illusion? Evidence Suggests Death Isn’t the End

Robert Lanza, MD sheds some light on  death with quantum physics.  Or does he?

via Robert Lanza: Biocentrism

After the death of his old friend, Albert Einstein said “Now Besso has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us … know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”

New evidence continues to suggest that Einstein was right – death is an illusion.

Our classical way of thinking is based on the belief that the world has an objective observer-independent existence. But a long list of experiments shows just the opposite. We think life is just the activity of carbon and an admixture of molecules – we live awhile and then rot into the ground.

We believe in death because we’ve been taught we die. Also, of course, because we associate ourselves with our body and we know bodies die.

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Sasquatch and the Seatco Indians: Conversation with Henry Franzoni

henry-franzoniFor a while now I have had an intuition that if Sasquatch are real, they must be more intelligent than human beings. If they were simply rare, we would have gained much better evidence of their existence by now. For example wolverines are exceedingly rare, especially in the lower 48, yet they can be captured with camera traps, just like endangered tigers can be in Asia.

Of course Sasquatch might not be real, and the sightings could be some form of mass hallucination. But I do find the foot print evidence, especially ones analyzed by Researcher Jeffery Meldrum to be very compelling. The best casts seem to display traits of a peculiar anatomy consistent with what a giant humanoid might have to accommodate massive weight: Mid-tarsal breaks, different loading structure, and ankle bones further forward from the heel.

The sightings and the footprints pointed to a real creature, yet the extreme elusiveness pointed to something much more advanced than an upright walking gorilla.… Read the rest

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Scientists Create New Form Of Matter Composed Of Pure Light


Light sabers are now a reality, ScienceDaily reports:

A group at the Harvard-MIT Center for Ultracold Atoms have managed to coax light photons into binding together to form molecules — a state of matter that, until recently, had been purely theoretical.

The discovery runs contrary to accepted wisdom about the nature of light. Photons have long been described as massless particles which don’t interact with each other. “Photonic molecules,” however, behave more like something in science fiction — the light saber.

“What we have done is create a special type of medium in which photons interact with each other so strongly that they begin to act as though they have mass, and they bind together to form molecules,” Lukin said.

The system could be useful in classical computing, considering the power-dissipation challenges chip-makers now face. It might one day even be used to create complex three-dimensional structures wholly out of light.

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Physicist Discovers Computer Code Embedded Within the Equations of String Theory

In an interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson, physicist James Gates describes a digitally-encoded error checking algorithm embedded within the fundamental equations of String Theory:

Gates’s ideas are laid out in more depth in a 2010 article for Physics World. He believes that these theoretical findings, if validated, may be evidence that we live in a simulation. However, if there are algorithms encoded in the fabric of reality, is it not also possible that they might have emerged as a result of some natural selective process–a kind of cosmic DNA, if you will?

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Nothing to See: The Man Who Made a Majorana Particle

via New Scientist closed-mind2

Physicist Leo Kouwenhoven ended a 75-year hunt for the tricky Majorana fermion – a particle that is its own antiparticle – by creating one on a chip

What is a Majorana fermion? It is named for the physicist Ettore Majorana, who found that a particle could be its own antiparticle. If a particle has properties with values unequal to zero, then its antiparticle has the opposite values. What that means is that all the properties of a Majorana fermion, the charge, energy, what have you, it’s all zero. It is a particle, but it doesn’t have properties that we can measure. That makes it very mysterious. It also makes it difficult to find.

Why hunt for these tricky particles? My background is quantum computing. Measurement is problematic for a quantum computer, because observation changes the quantum state. But if you don’t have an apparatus that can measure a Majorana fermion, you cannot change it.

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Physicists To Attempt To Build Temporality-Bending “Time Crystal”

time crystal

Wired relays top scientists’ plan to build a microscopic “time crystal,” a structure within which time would not be continuous:

In February 2012, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Frank Wilczek decided to go public with a strange idea: Impossible as it seemed, Wilczek had developed an apparent proof of “time crystals” — physical structures that move in a repeating pattern without expending energy or ever winding down.

Unlike clocks or any other known objects, time crystals derive their movement not from stored energy but from a break in the symmetry of time, enabling a special form of perpetual motion.

The idea came to Wilczek in 2010: “I was thinking about the classification of crystals, and then it just occurred to me that it’s natural to think about space and time together,” he said. “So if you think about crystals in space, it’s very natural also to think about the classification of crystalline behavior in time.”

When matter crystallizes, its atoms spontaneously organize themselves into the rows, columns and stacks of a three-dimensional lattice.

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Power Of CERN Collider To Be Doubled, May Reveal Extra Dimensions

earthspaceAre we ready for a hint of the eleven-dimensional world? Via Reuters:

“When this refit is completed,” CERN scientist Marc Goulette says, gesturing across the gigantic Large Hadron Collider (LHC), “we shall be ready to explore an entirely new realm of physics.”

The collider is only five years old but, after swiftly finding a crucial missing link to support mankind’s main concept of the universe, is now entering a two-year revamp to double its power in the hope of breathtaking new discoveries.

Some scientists predict it might find a zoo of new particles or even catch hints that space has more than three dimensions. Oliver Buchmueller, an experimental physicist, also hopes to see proof the extra dimensions foreseen in string theory.

Could that take science beyond, into the extension of string theory that predicts the existence of parallel universes or a perpetually growing galaxy of universes, unpenetrable one from the other, that cosmologists call the Multiverse?

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Art and Physics

Via orwellwasright:

It’s well known that many of the great breakthroughs in science seem to occur both independently and near-simultaneously: Isaac Newton, Gottfried Leibniz and the development of calculus; Nikola Tesla, Guglielmo Marconi and the invention of the radio; Alfred Russel Wallace, Charles Darwin and the theory of evolution are just three famous examples of radical new theories and inventions appearing in apparent isolation from one another. But what if scientific developments are prefigured by artists, who elucidate new concepts and manners of expressing space, light and time which capture the essence of radical new approaches to theoretical physics years before they actually occur? This is the subject for Leonard Shlain’s fascinating book, Art and Physics.

Shlain takes the reader on a journey through history, from the classical art of the Greco-Roman world through the spiritual mosaics of the medieval era and the Age of Reason up to the present day; from Euclidean geometry to Galileo, Newton and the discoveries of Einstein.… Read the rest

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A History Of Speculation

Can the future truly be changed, or are we on a predetermined path? Chris Woebken and Sascha Pohflepp on grasping at the fabric of reality:
Hermann Minkowski's light cones gave us a visual idea of how the possible may be situated within relations of causality. Then, in the mid-20th century, those ideas were carried into the realm of geopolitics by the threat of nuclear war. With a flight time of 30 minutes between the Soviet Union and the United States, rocket technology shrank the future to a point where speculation became a key asset in the arsenals of the superpowers. Big think tanks like the Californian RAND Corporation, scientists, and engineers were systematically mapping out possibility spaces.
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