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Entropy law linked to intelligence, say researchers

Entropy law linked to intelligence, say researchers
23 April 2013Last updated at 06:08 ET By Jason Palmer Science and technology reporter, BBC News The tyranny of entropy abounds in everyday examples of disorder - and a tendency toward mess A modification to one of the most fundamental laws of physics may provide a link to the rise of intelligence, cooperation - even upright walking. The idea of entropy describes the way in which the Universe heads inexorably toward a higher state of disorder. A mathematical model in Physical Review Letters proposes that systems maximise entropy in the present and the future. Simple simulations based on the idea reproduce a variety of real-world cases that reflect intelligent behaviour. The idea of entropy is fundamentally an intuitive one - that the Universe tends in general to a more disordered state. The classic example is a dropped cup: it will smash into pieces, but those pieces will never spontaneously recombine back into a cup. Continue reading the main story The laws of thermodynamics 'Beyond luck'

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Predicting the unpredictable: Critical analysis and practical implications of predictive anticipatory activity 1Department of Psychology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA2Dipartimento di Psicologia Generale, Universita di Padova, Padova, Italy3Department of Statistics, University of California at Irvine, Irvine, CA, USA4Samueli Institute, Alexandria, VA, USA5Consciousness Research Laboratory, Institute of Noetic Sciences, Petaluma, CA, USA A recent meta-analysis of experiments from seven independent laboratories (n = 26) indicates that the human body can apparently detect randomly delivered stimuli occurring 1–10 s in the future (Mossbridge et al., 2012). The key observation in these studies is that human physiology appears to be able to distinguish between unpredictable dichotomous future stimuli, such as emotional vs. neutral images or sound vs. silence.

The Sacred, Spherical Cows of Physics - Issue 13: Symmetry Early in their training, many physics students come across the idea of spherical cows. Cows in the real world—even at their most plump and well-fed—are hardly spherical, and this makes it tricky to calculate things like, say, how their volume or surface area scales with their height. But students learn that these numbers are easy to calculate if they assume the cow is a perfect sphere, or in other words, that it has spherical symmetry. The lesson: Hard problems become easier when certain underlying (though approximate) symmetries are enforced.

Wormhole Photon Time Travel - Casimir Energy, Messages The basic principle behind the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) is that we’re better off hearing from extraterrestrial intelligence than we are not hearing from extraterrestrial intelligence, but—even assuming we don’t catastrophically screw up first contact (and we may)—we have no guarantee that the alien civilization we reach will share any of our history, values, or priorities. But there’s one alien civilization we can count on to share at least some traits in common with us: the Earth of the future. And having learned of Cambridge physicist Luke Butcher’s discovery this week that Casimir energy may be able to keep a wormhole open long enough to send photons back in time, I have one question: why the heck would we want to do that? Putting aside the issue that we’re nowhere close to having the technology that would be required to do this on any scale, we don’t know what the mortal ramifications of sending messages to our past selves would be.

Scientists introduce new cosmic connectivity: Quantum pigeonhole paradox In the 20th century, two revolutions in physics shook the world. One of them was relativity, discovered by Einstein. It revealed that spacetime is not what we experience in everyday life. For example, if you travel close to the speed of light, then you will age more slowly than somebody who stays on Earth. The second revolution was quantum theory, the microscopic theory of particles, such as electrons, atoms, or photons. Quantum theory showed that nature is not deterministic -- as Einstein put it, "God plays with dice." Complex systems Complex systems present problems both in mathematical modelling and philosophical foundations. The study of complex systems represents a new approach to science that investigates how relationships between parts give rise to the collective behaviors of a system and how the system interacts and forms relationships with its environment.[1] Such systems are used to model processes in computer science, biology,[2] economics, physics, chemistry,[3] and many other fields. It is also called complex systems theory, complexity science, study of complex systems, sciences of complexity, non-equilibrium physics, and historical physics.

Fermilab experiment will attempt to answer whether we actually live in "the Matrix" In what may be one of the most mind-bogglingly surreal experiments ever floated, scientists at the US Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) will attempt to discover if the universe is "real" or merely a holographic 3-D illusion that we just think is real. Using high-powered lasers, the scientists intend to determine if space-time is a quantum system made up of countless tiny bits of information. View all Chaos Theory: A Brief Introduction What exactly is chaos? The name "chaos theory" comes from the fact that the systems that the theory describes are apparently disordered, but chaos theory is really about finding the underlying order in apparently random data. When was chaos first discovered? The first true experimenter in chaos was a meteorologist, named Edward Lorenz. In 1960, he was working on the problem of weather prediction. He had a computer set up, with a set of twelve equations to model the weather.

New Time Travel Simulation May Resolve 'Grandfather Paradox' On June 28, 2009, the world-famous physicist Stephen Hawking threw a party at the University of Cambridge, complete with balloons, hors d'oeuvres and iced champagne. Everyone was invited but no one showed up. Hawking had expected as much, because he only sent out invitations after his party had concluded. It was, he said, "a welcome reception for future time travelers," a tongue-in-cheek experiment to reinforce his 1992 conjecture that travel into the past is effectively impossible. Researchers achieve long-distance light to matter quantum teleportation A successful test in passing information from light into matter – using the teleportation of the quantum state of a photon via optical fiber cable to a receiving crystal located over 25 km (15 mi) away – has been claimed by physicists at the University of Geneva. This test shattered the same team’s previous record and may herald the development of greater, long-distance teleportation techniques and qubit communications and computing capabilities. The experiment involved generating a quantum entanglement of two photons via a laser, then sending one of those entangled photons down an optical fiber whilst simultaneously sending the other to a crystal (composed of yttrium orthosilicate), where it was stored.