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Peter Higgs: I wouldn't be productive enough for today's academic system

Peter Higgs: I wouldn't be productive enough for today's academic system
Peter Higgs, the British physicist who gave his name to the Higgs boson, believes no university would employ him in today's academic system because he would not be considered "productive" enough. The emeritus professor at Edinburgh University, who says he has never sent an email, browsed the internet or even made a mobile phone call, published fewer than 10 papers after his groundbreaking work, which identified the mechanism by which subatomic material acquires mass, was published in 1964. He doubts a similar breakthrough could be achieved in today's academic culture, because of the expectations on academics to collaborate and keep churning out papers. He said: "It's difficult to imagine how I would ever have enough peace and quiet in the present sort of climate to do what I did in 1964." Speaking to the Guardian en route to Stockholm to receive the 2013 Nobel prize for science, Higgs, 84, said he would almost certainly have been sacked had he not been nominated for the Nobel in 1980. Related:  Natural SciencesQuantum Physics

Fluid Experiments Support Deterministic “Pilot-Wave” Quantum Theory For nearly a century, “reality” has been a murky concept. The laws of quantum physics seem to suggest that particles spend much of their time in a ghostly state, lacking even basic properties such as a definite location and instead existing everywhere and nowhere at once. Only when a particle is measured does it suddenly materialize, appearing to pick its position as if by a roll of the dice. This idea that nature is inherently probabilistic — that particles have no hard properties, only likelihoods, until they are observed — is directly implied by the standard equations of quantum mechanics. But now a set of surprising experiments with fluids has revived old skepticism about that worldview. The bizarre results are fueling interest in an almost forgotten version of quantum mechanics, one that never gave up the idea of a single, concrete reality. The experiments involve an oil droplet that bounces along the surface of a liquid. Magical Measurements Bottom: Akira Tonomura/Creative Commons

The lies behind this transatlantic trade deal | George Monbiot Panic spreads through the European commission like ferrets in a rabbit warren. Its plans to create a single market incorporating Europe and the United States, progressing so nicely when hardly anyone knew, have been blown wide open. All over Europe people are asking why this is happening; why we were not consulted; for whom it is being done. They have good reason to ask. This mechanism could threaten almost any means by which governments might seek to defend their citizens or protect the natural world. No longer able to keep this process quiet, the European commission has instead devised a strategy for lying to us. The message is that the trade deal is about "delivering growth and jobs" and will not "undermine regulation and existing levels of protection in areas like health, safety and the environment". From the outset, the transatlantic partnership has been driven by corporations and their lobby groups, who boast of being able to "co-write" it. Quite right too.

Why Nikola Tesla was the greatest geek who ever lived Additional notes from the author: If you want to learn more about Tesla, I highly recommend reading Tesla: Man Out of Time Also, this Badass of the week by Ben Thompson is what originally inspired me to write a comic about Tesla. Ben's also got a book out which is packed full of awesome. There's an old movie from the 80s on Netflix Instant Queue right now about Tesla: The Secret of Nikola Tesla. It's corny and full of bad acting, but it paints a fairly accurate depiction of his life. The drunk history of Tesla is quite awesome, too. has a great article about Edison and how his douchebaggery had a chokehold on American cinema.

Possibility of cloning quantum information from the past -- ScienceDaily Popular television shows such as "Doctor Who" have brought the idea of time travel into the vernacular of popular culture. But problem of time travel is even more complicated than one might think. LSU's Mark Wilde has shown that it would theoretically be possible for time travelers to copy quantum data from the past. It all started when David Deutsch, a pioneer of quantum computing and a physicist at Oxford, came up with a simplified model of time travel to deal with the paradoxes that would occur if one could travel back in time. "The question is, how would you have existed in the first place to go back in time and kill your grandfather?" Deutsch solved the Grandfather paradox originally using a slight change to quantum theory, proposing that you could change the past as long as you did so in a self-consistent manner. "Meaning that, if you kill your grandfather, you do it with only probability one-half," Wilde said. "We can always look at a paper, and then copy the words on it.

Should Pluto regain planet status? A Harvard science historian thinks so Poor pluto! The celestial body on the outskirts of our solar system has been jerked in and out of planet-dom. It is currently classified as a dwarf planet (thanks in part to Neil DeGrasse Tyson), and has ever sincne a vote in the International Astronomical Union (IAU) back in 2006. According to USA Today, Pluto, which was discovered in 1930, was deemed a dwarf planet “because there appeared to be a bunch of other big rocks just like Pluto out beyond the eighth planet (Neptune), all considered too puny to be called a planet.” Eight years after this demotion, Pluto is again at the center of attention, as some scientists want to return Pluto’s planetary-credentials. Owen Gingerich, a Harvard science historian, and chair of the IAU planet definition committee, stated at a forum last month that Pluto was a planet because, ”a planet is a culturally defined word that changes over time.” That hasn’t stopped media excitement; everyone loves an underdog.

Susan George: poteri occulti, la Terra è sotto scacco Se avete a cuore il vostro cibo, la vostra salute e la stessa sicurezza finanziaria, la vostra e quella della vostra famiglia, così come le tasse che pagate, lo stato del pianeta e della stessa democrazia, ci sono pessime notizie: un gruppo di golpisti ha preso il potere e ormai domina il pianeta. Legalmente: perché le nuove leggi che imbrigliano i popoli, i governi e gli Stati se le sono fatte loro, per servire i loro smisurati interessi, piegando le democrazie con l’aiuto di “maggiordomi” travestiti da politici. La grande novità si chiama: “ascesa di autorità illegittima”. Parola di Susan George, notissima sociologa franco-statunitense, già impegnata nel movimento no-global e al vertice di associazioni mondiali come Greenpeace. I nuovi oligarchi, spiega la George nell’intervento pronunciato al Festival Internazionale di Ferrara, ottobre 2013, possono agire attraverso le lobby o oscuri “comitati di esperti”, attraverso organismi ad hoc che ottengono riconoscimenti ufficiali.

Nikola Tesla: The Genius Who Lit the World This is the documentary film about Nikola Tesla, the scientist and inventor, one of the greatest men in history. Nikola Tesla was born on July 10,1856 in Smiljan, Lika in what later became Yugoslavia. His father, Milutin Tesla was a Serbian orthodox priest and his mother Djuka Mandic was an inventor in her own right of household appliances. Before going to America, Tesla joined Continental Edison Company in Paris where he designed dynamos. Young Nikola Tesla came to the United States in 1884. Direct current flows continuously in one direction; alternating current changes direction 50 or 60 times per second, and can be stepped up to very high voltage levels, minimizing power loss across great distances. Tesla's A-C induction motor is widely used throughout the world in industry and household appliances. Watch the full documentary now

Quantum effects help cells capture light, but the details are obscure -- ScienceDaily Sophisticated recent experiments with ultrashort laser pulses support the idea that intuition-defying quantum interactions between molecules help plants, algae, and some bacteria efficiently gather light to fuel their growth. But key details of nature's vital light-harvesting mechanisms remain obscure, and the exact role that quantum physics may play in understanding them is more subtle than was once thought, according to an Overview Article in the January issue of BioScience. The article, by Jessica M. Anna and Gregory D. Quantum mechanics envisages particles as being smeared over regions of space, rather than being pointlike, and as interfering with each other like waves. Yet Anna and her colleagues point out that the molecular details of the light-gathering apparatus have evolved very differently in different species, so there is nothing simple about how organisms exploit quantum coherence.

Nature of Science The Nature of science (NOS) is an overarching theme in the biology, chemistry and physics courses. This section, titled “Nature of science”, is in the biology, chemistry and physics guides to support teachers in their understanding of what is meant by the nature of science. The “Nature of science” section of the guide provides a comprehensive account of the nature of science in the 21st century. It will not be possible to cover in this document all the themes in detail in the three science courses, either for teaching or assessment. It has a paragraph structure (1.1, 1.2, etc) to link the significant points made to the syllabus references on the NOS. Technology Although this section is about the nature of science, the interpretation of the word technology is important, and the role of technology emerging from and contributing to science needs to be clarified. 1. 1.1. 2. 2.1. 3. 3.1. 4. 4.1. 4.4. 5.

This book appears very interesting! "You are Not... - Daniele Mancinelli War of Currents In the War of Currents era (sometimes, War of the Currents or Battle of Currents) in the late 1880s, George Westinghouse and Thomas Edison became adversaries due to Edison's promotion of direct current (DC) for electric power distribution over alternating current (AC). Thomas Edison, American inventor and businessman, known as "The Wizard of Menlo Park", pushed for the development of a DC power network. George Westinghouse, American entrepreneur and engineer, financially backed the development of a practical AC power network. Edison's direct-current system generated and distributed electric power at the same voltage as used by the customer's lamps and motors. This meant that the current in transmission was relatively large, and so heavy conductors were required and transmission distances were limited, to about a mile (kilometre); otherwise transmission losses would make the system uneconomical. At the time, no method was practical for changing voltages of DC power. DC[edit] AC[edit]