Omne ignotum pro magnifico est

•May 30, 2020 • Leave a Comment

omne ignotum pro magnifico est<<Astronomers had been looking at the universe using all sorts of different forms of light — from radio waves through to x-rays and visible light. None revealed the missing matter.

That was until they started to measure fast radio bursts — brief flashes of intense energy found racing across the universe — and discovered the missing matter hiding in the cold dispersed gas between galaxies…>>

Astronomers find ‘missing matter’, solving decades-long mystery of outer space – ABC NEWS

Weird Works

•April 30, 2020 • Leave a Comment

weirdworks_universe

<<… in what was thought to be an arbitrarily random spread of galaxies, quasars, black holes, stars, gas clouds and planets—with life flourishing in at least one tiny niche of it—the universe suddenly appears to have the equivalent of a north and a south…>>

New findings suggest laws of nature ‘downright weird,’ not as constant as previously thought – Phys.org

Retro Revisited

•March 21, 2019 • Leave a Comment

TimeReversal

<<We all mark days with clocks and calendars, but perhaps no timepiece is more immediate than a mirror. The changes we notice over the years vividly illustrate science’s​ “arrow of time” — the likely progression from order to disorder. We cannot reverse this arrow any more than we can erase all our wrinkles or restore a shattered teacup to its original form.

Or can we?>>

Reversing the flow of time on a quantum computer – Science Daily

Logical Minimalism, for the win

•March 13, 2019 • Leave a Comment

<<A new quantum physics experiment just lent evidence to a mind-boggling idea that was previously limited to the realm of theory, according to the MIT Technology Review] — that under the right conditions, two people can observe the same event, see two different things happen, and both be correct.

According to research shared to the preprint server arXiv on Tuesday, physicists from Heriot-Watt University demonstrated for the first time how two people can experience different realities by recreating a classic quantum physics thought experiment.>>

Quantum Physics Experiment Suggests That Reality Isn’t Objective – Futurism

Breaking the arrow

•December 2, 2017 • Leave a Comment

5a216044b6ea1

“An international team of researchers has conducted an experiment that shows that the arrow of time is a relative concept, not an absolute one. In a paper uploaded to the arXiv server, the team describe their experiment and its outcome, and also explain why their findings do not violate the second law of thermodynamics.

The second law of thermodynamics says that entropy, or disorder, tends to increase over time, which is why everything in the world around us appears to unfold forward in time. But it also explains why hot tea grows cold rather than hot. In this new effort, the researchers found an exception to this rule that works in a way that doesn’t violate the rules of physics as they have been defined.”

Experiment shows that arrow of time is a relative concept, not an absolute one – Phys.org

Going Big

•October 13, 2017 • 2 Comments

entanglement

“Quantum theory predicts that a vast number of atoms can be entangled and intertwined by a very strong quantum relationship, even in a macroscopic structure. Until now, however, experimental evidence has been mostly lacking, although recent advances have shown the entanglement of 2,900 atoms. Scientists at the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, recently reengineered their data processing, demonstrating that 16 million atoms were entangled in a one-centimetre crystal. They have published their results in Nature Communications...”

A single photon reveals quantum entanglement of 16 million atoms – Phys.org

Pushing the limit

•September 5, 2017 • Leave a Comment

entanglement

“In a new study, physicists have mathematically proved that any theory that has a classical limit—meaning that it can describe our observations of the classical world by recovering classical theory under certain conditions—must contain entanglement. So despite the fact that entanglement goes against classical intuition, entanglement must be an inevitable feature of not only quantum theory but also any non-classical theory, even those that are yet to be developed.”

Entanglement is an inevitable feature of reality – Phys.org

Fermions – it’s complicated

•August 17, 2017 • Leave a Comment

newstateofmatter.png

“Using transport measurements near the field-tuned quantum critical point of CeRhIn5 at 50 Tesla, the researchers observed a fluctuating nematic-like state. A nematic state is most well known in liquid crystals, wherein the molecules of the liquid are parallel but not arranged in a periodic array. Nematic-like states have been observed in transition metal systems near magnetic and superconducting phase transitions. The occurrence of this property points to nematicity’s correlation with unconventional superconductivity. The difference, however, of the new nematic state found in CeRhIn5 relative to other systems is that it can be easily rotated by the magnetic field direction.”

Superconductivity research reveals potential new state of matter – phys.org

Spontaneous Order

•July 31, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Deer_Quanta-TA

“The paper strips away the nitty-gritty details of cells and biology and describes a simpler, simulated system of chemicals in which it is nonetheless possible for exceptional structure to spontaneously arise—the phenomenon that England sees as the driving force behind the origin of life. ‘That doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to acquire that structure,’ England explained. The dynamics of the system are too complicated and nonlinear to predict what will happen.

The simulation involved a soup of 25 chemicals that react with one another in myriad ways. Energy sources in the soup’s environment facilitate or ‘force’ some of these chemical reactions, just as sunlight triggers the production of ozone in the atmosphere and the chemical fuel ATP drives processes in the cell. Starting with random initial chemical concentrations, reaction rates and ‘forcing landscapes’—rules that dictate which reactions get a boost from outside forces and by how much—the simulated chemical reaction network evolves until it reaches its final, steady state, or ‘fixed point.'”

Controversial New Theory Suggests Life Wasn’t a Fluke of Biology: It Was Physics – Wired.com

“Testing 1-2-3… Is this thing on?”

•July 18, 2017 • Leave a Comment

someverypecu

“The mystery has gripped the internet as speculation mounts about the potential for a discovery of alien life on the red dwarf star known as Ross 128—despite the best attempts of astronomers to put such rumors to rest.

‘In case you are wondering, the recurrent aliens hypothesis is at the bottom of many other better explanations,’ said a blog post by Abel Mendez, director of the Planetary Habitability Laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo.

Something unusual first came to light in April and May, when the team was studying a series of small and relatively cool red dwarf, some of which are known to have planets circling them.

Ross 128 is not known to have planets, but ‘we realized that there were some very peculiar signals in the 10-minute dynamic spectrum that we obtained from Ross 128.’

The signals were observed May 13 at 0053 GMT, and ‘consisted of broadband quasi-periodic non-polarized pulses with very strong dispersion-like features,’ he wrote.

‘We believe that the signals are not local radio frequency interferences (RFI) since they are unique to Ross 128 and observations of other stars immediately before and after did not show anything similar.'”

Peculiar’ radio signals emerge from nearby star – Phys.org

Retrocausality Revisited

•July 5, 2017 • Leave a Comment

retrocausali

“If retrocausality is a feature of the quantum world, then it would have vast implications for physicists’ understanding of the foundations of quantum theory. Perhaps the biggest significance is the implication for the Bell tests, showing that distant particles really cannot influence each other, but rather—as Einstein and others believed—that quantum theory is incomplete. If the new results are true, then retrocausality may be one of the missing pieces that makes quantum theory complete.

‘I think that different interpretations [of quantum theory] have different implications for how we might go about generalizing standard quantum theory,’ Leifer said. ‘This might be needed to construct the correct theory of quantum gravity, or even to resolve some issues in high-energy physics given that the unification of the other three forces is still up in the air in the light of LHC results. So I think that future theories built on the ideas of existing interpretations are where we might see a difference, but admittedly we are quite far from figuring out how this might work at present.

‘Speculatively, if there is retrocausality in the universe, then it might be the case that there are certain eras, perhaps near the big bang, in which there is not a definite arrow of causality. You might imagine that a signature of such an era might show up in cosmological data, such as the cosmic microwave background. However, this is very speculative, and I have no idea what signatures we might expect yet.'”

Physicists provide support for retrocausal quantum theory, in which the future influences the past – Phys.org

Wanted: Large Litterbox

•May 10, 2017 • Leave a Comment

cats.JPG

“‘The idea of the experiment was proposed in 2003 by the group of Professor Timothy Ralph of the University of Queensland, Australia. In essence, we cause interference of two ‘cats’ on a beam splitter. This leads to an entangled state in the two output channels of that beam splitter. In one of these channels, a special detector is placed. In the event this detector shows a certain result, a ‘cat’ is born in the second output whose energy is more than twice that of the initial one.’

The Lvovsky group tested this method in the lab. In the experiment, they successfully converted a pair of negative squeezed ‘Schrodinger cats’ of amplitude 1.15 to a single positive ‘cat’ of amplitude 1.85. They generated several thousand such enlarged ‘cats’ in their experiment.”

Physicists breeding Schroedinger cat states – Phys.org

Challenging Time Translation Invariance

•May 5, 2017 • Leave a Comment

time

“In this work, we show that quantum mechanical and gravitational properties of the clocks put fundamental limits to the joint measurability of time as given by clocks along nearby world lines. As a general feature, a quantum clock is a system in a superposition of energy eigenstates. Its precision, understood as the minimal time in which the state evolves into an orthogonal one, is inversely proportional to the energy difference between the eigenstates. Due to the mass–energy equivalence, gravitational effects arise from the energies corresponding to the state of the clock. These effects become nonnegligible in the limit of high precision of time measurement. In fact, each energy eigenstate of the clock corresponds to a different gravitational field. Because the clock runs in a superposition of energy eigenstates, the gravitational field in its vicinity, and therefore the space–time metric, is in a superposition. We prove that, as a consequence of this fact, the time dilation of clocks evolving along nearby world lines is ill-defined.We show that this effect is already present in the weak gravity and slow velocities limit, in which the number of particles is conserved. Moreover, the effect leads to entanglement between nearby clocks, implying that there are fundamental limitations to the measurability of time as recorded by the clocks.”

Entanglement of quantum clocks through gravity – PNAS

“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” – Einstein

•April 24, 2017 • 2 Comments

hallucination

“‘Philosophy and Predictive Processing’ focuses entirely on the influential theory in its title, which argues that our brains are constantly making predictions about what’s out there (a flower, a tiger, a person) and these predictions are what we perceive.

To make more accurate predictions, our brains modify their internal models of the world or force our bodies to move, so that the external environment comes in line with predictions. This idea unifies perception, action and cognition into a single framework.

Some of the titles of the papers are playful, and maybe a tad over-the-top: ‘How to entrain your evil demon’, ‘How to knit your own Markov blanket’ or ‘Of Bayes and Bullets’. But despite the titles, the content is serious and heavy-going: it’s written by some well-known proponents of predictive processing, including Andy Clark, based at the University of Edinburgh, UK, and Jakob Hohwy, at Monash University, Australia.”

A guide to why your world is a hallucination – New Scientist

Coming Soon: Marty McQuantum

•April 17, 2017 • Leave a Comment

apple

“The researchers calculated that firing a short laser pulse at graphene could instantaneously trigger a ‘population reversal,’ switching electrons to holes and vice versa. This inversion of behavior is ‘effectively a propagation back in time,’ Richter said. Such a quantum time mirror could be made with current state-of-the-art technology, the researchers added.

Although the work is not intended to test the limits of time reversal, such fundamental restrictions may appear ‘once the experimental drawbacks are surmounted one by one,’ said quantum physicist Horacio Pastawski at the National University of Córdoba in Argentina, who did not participate in this study. He noted his own research explores how time reversal may become impossible once a system becomes complex and chaotic enough.

Richter stressed this quantum time mirror only works for relatively tiny systems protected from environmental disturbances. ‘It’s completely impossible to reverse time this way with, say, a person,’ he said. ‘Still, an interesting future direction one may ask is how large a system could be made that can experience reversal with a quantum time mirror.'”

Zaps from a Laser Could ‘Reverse Time’ on the Quantum Scale – Inside Science

Alice and Bob: The Cliffhanger Question

•April 10, 2017 • Leave a Comment

ER-EPR

“The equation is deceptively simple: ER = EPR.

It’s not made up of numerical values, but instead represents the names of some key players in theoretical physics.

On the left side of the equation, the ER stands for Einstein and Nathan Rosen,and refers to a 1935 paper they wrote together describing wormholes, known technically as Einstein-Rosen bridges.

On the right side of the equation, EPR stands for Einstein, Rosen and Boris Podolsky, who co-wrote another paper that year describing quantum entanglement.”

This New Equation Could Unite The Two Biggest Theories in Physics – Futurism

Side Effects May Vary

•April 5, 2017 • Leave a Comment

space

“’We know from very precise supernova observations that the universe is accelerating, but at the same time we rely on coarse approximations to Einstein’s equations which may introduce serious side-effects, such as the need for dark energy, in the models designed to fit the observational data.’

To test this the researchers constructed a computer simulation to compare a standard cosmological model (with normal matter, dark energy, and the equally mysterious dark matter) with one that only had dark matter and normal matter. The requirement was that the latter one, known as the Avera (Average Expansion Rate Approximation) model, has the same critical density as the standard model.

The simulations show a good agreement between each other and between the observations both in the early and recent universe. The Avera model does actually better match the apparent discrepancy between the local and past expansion rates of the universe.”

Dark Energy May Not Actually Exist – IFLScience!

… and stay out!

•March 23, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Galaxy with an ejected supermassive black hole

“Researchers estimate that it took the equivalent energy of 100 million supernovas exploding simultaneously to jettison the black hole. The most plausible explanation for this propulsive energy is that the monster object was given a kick by gravitational waves unleashed by the merger of two hefty black holes at the center of the host galaxy.

… Hubble’s observations of the wayward black hole surprised the research team. ‘When I first saw this, I thought we were seeing something very peculiar,’ said team leader Marco Chiaberge of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) and Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, Maryland. ‘When we combined observations from Hubble, the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, it all pointed towards the same scenario. The amount of data we collected, from X-rays to ultraviolet to near-infrared light, is definitely larger than for any of the other candidate rogue black holes.'”

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core – Phys.org

Solipsism Shrugged

•February 21, 2017 • 5 Comments

3e5bdd241f59d9b56fd956864367ad5e.jpg

“While physicists have debated about the nature of the quantum state since the early days of quantum theory (with, most famously, Bohr being in favor of the ontic interpretation and Einstein arguing for the epistemic one), most modern evidence has supported the view that the quantum state does indeed represent reality.

Philosophically, this interpretation can be hard to swallow, as it means that the many counterintuitive features of quantum theory are properties of reality, and not due to limitations of theory. One of the most notable of these features is superposition. Before a quantum object is measured, quantum theory says that the object simultaneously exists in more than one state, each with a particular probability. If these states are ontic, it means that a particle really does occupy two states at once, not merely that it appears that way due to our limited ability to prepare particles, as in the epistemic view…”

Proposed test would offer strongest evidence yet that the quantum state is real – Phys.org

Entropy: Side Effects May Include Consciousness

•February 16, 2017 • Leave a Comment

gw341h239

“Scientists recently found parts of the brain which may form a circuit that provides consciousness. But how did it come about? A group of scientists from France and Canada believe that consciousness may have arisen in response to entropy. Our brains, just like any other system, are hurdling towards the end. Consciousness, these scientists argue, is a byproduct of that process…

‘We find a surprisingly simple result,’ they wrote. ‘Normal wakeful states are characterized by the greatest number of possible configurations of interactions between brain networks, representing highest entropy values.’ Consciousness in this view isn’t due to connectivity in and of itself, but how many different ways the brain can connect certain bundles of neurons to others. Due to the presence of high entropy, these scientists believe that to maximize the exchange of information between neurons, consciousness arose as an ’emergent property,’ helping to improve survival, but leading to a higher rate of entropy as a result.’

New Theory Suggests That Consciousness Is a Byproduct of Entropy – Big Think