Better Nuclear Power Through Ping Pong The lab is deep-space quiet. A long, narrow hallway hung with fluorescent lights extends to my left. Four or five doors interrupt the flow of drywall. Not Even Wrong Graham Farmelo has posted a very interesting interview he did with Witten last year, as part of his promotion of his forthcoming book The Universe Speaks in Numbers. One surprising thing I learned from the interview is that Witten learned Calculus when he was 11 (this would have been 1962). He quite liked that, but then lost interest in math for many years, since no one gave him more advanced material to study. After years of studying non math/physics subjects and doing things like working on the 1972 McGovern campaign, he finally realized physics and math were where his talents lay. He ended up doing a Ph.D. at Princeton with David Gross, starting work with him just months after the huge breakthrough of asymptotic freedom, which put in place the final main piece of the Standard Model.
Physics: Problem of the Week For those of you looking for some problems and puzzles to brood over, I'll post a new problem here each week, the solution to which I'll post the following week. Some are new, and some are classics. I won't limit them to physics, so many will be of the mathematical sort. (The pattern I seem to have settled into is physics problems on the odd weeks, and math problems on the even weeks.) In most cases, they're quite difficult.
NOVA Can Wind Turbines Make You Sick? Residents living in the shadows of wind turbines say the sound is making them sick. But so far the science isn't there. From NOVA Next | Jun 27, 2018 'We Don't Planet' Episode 3: What's Up with Gravitational Lensing? The fundamental description of gravity under general relativity — that the presence of matter and energy deforms the fabric of space-time, and this deformation influences the motion of other objects — leads to a rather unexpected result: a massive object can act like a lens, magnifying and warping the images of background objects. This prediction was the first major test of general relativity, with Sir Arthur Eddington leading an expedition to measure the small (but detectable) deflection of starlight around our sun, and today this facet of our universe is used as a powerful cosmological probe. The challenge that gravitational lensing answers is the determination of mass at very large scales. Since most of the mass of the universe is composed of dark matter, we can only rely on indirect probes to measure the true mass of galaxies and clusters of galaxies.
Bibliography of Quantum Cryptography by Gilles Brassard Département IRO, Université de Montréal. C.P. 6128, Succursale "Centre-Ville" Montréal (Québec) Canada H3C 3J7 The original PostScript file from Gilles Brassard - provided by Edith Stoeveken - was converted to ASCII and reformatted in HTML; Sept 2 1994, Stephan Kaufmann. Could cold spot in the sky be a bruise from a collision with a parallel universe? Scientists have long tried to explain the origin of a mysterious, large and anomalously cold region of the sky. In 2015, they came close to figuring it out as a study showed it to be a “supervoid” in which the density of galaxies is much lower than it is in the rest of the universe. However, other studies haven’t managed to replicate the result. Now new research led by Durham University, submitted for publication in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, suggests the supervoid theory doesn’t hold up. Intriguingly, that leaves open a pretty wild possibility – the cold spot might be the evidence of a collision with a parallel universe.
Schrödinger’s Cat: Explained Erwin Schrödinger was born in Vienna on August 12, 1887 and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1933. He is best known for his work regarding quantum theory, particularly about his thought experiment involving a cat in order to explain the flawed interpretation of quantum superposition. The Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum mechanics essentially states that an object in a physical system can simultaneously exist in all possible configurations, but observing the system forces the system to collapse and forces the object into just one of those possible states. Schrödinger disagreed with this interpretation. So what does this have to do with cats? Chinese Scientists Successfully Teleported a Particle to Space When it comes to weird quantum effects, none is weirder than quantum teleportation. Scientists can—and have—used the unique and complicated physics of quantum mechanics to instantaneously teleport small particles across great distances. Now, a Chinese team has broken the distance record by teleporting particles to a satellite in space. When we talk about teleportation, we should be clear about exactly what that means. Nobody's beaming people to space like in Star Trek.
Google's Nuclear Fusion Project Is Paying Off - Google and Tri Alpha Energy Improve Plasma Generator Tri Alpha Energy / Erik Lucero Nuclear fusion, the process the sun has used for billions of years to fuse atoms of hydrogen into atoms of helium, could be the pot of gold at the end of the clean energy rainbow. If we could engineer a reaction to snowball but remain contained, nuclear fusion reactors could supply virtually unlimited clean energy here on Earth. Yet, the technology seems perpetually just around the corner.