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Oct 16, 2018

Physics: Not everything is where it seems to be

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics, space

Scientists at TU Wien, the University of Innsbruck and the ÖAW have for the first time demonstrated a wave effect that can lead to measurement errors in the optical position estimation of objects. The work now published in Nature Physics could have consequences for optical microscopy and optical astronomy, but could also play a role in position measurements using sound, radar, or gravitational waves.

With modern optical imaging techniques, the position of objects can be measured with a precision that reaches a few nanometers. These techniques are used in the laboratory, for example, to determine the position of atoms in quantum experiments.

“We want to know the position of our quantum bits very precisely so that we can manipulate and measure them with laser beams,” explains Gabriel Araneda from the Department of Experimental Physics at the University of Innsbruck.

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Oct 16, 2018

SoundBender levitates objects

Posted by in category: futurism

Levitation is often thought of as the realm of magicians or The Jetsons, but it is technically possible. That said, the tech seems to be moving pretty slowly. Now, researchers at the University of Sussex have developed SoundBender, a technology that bends sound waves around obstacles to acoustically levitate objects above them.

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Oct 16, 2018

Jeff Bezos Wants Us All to Leave Earth—for Good

Posted by in categories: futurism, space travel

At Blue Origin, Amazon’s space-obsessed founder is building rockets, and he hopes to someday blast humanity into an extraterrestrial future.

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Oct 16, 2018

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dead at 65

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Some of Allen’s philanthropy has taken a scientific bent: Allen founded the Allen Institute for Brain Science in 2003, pouring $500 million into the non-profit that aims to give scientists the tools and data they need to probe how brain works. One recent project, the Allen Brain Observatory, provides an open-access “catalogue of activity in the mouse’s brain,” Saskia de Vries, senior scientist on the project, said in a video. That kind of data is key to piecing together how the brain processes information.


Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen died today from complications with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was 65. Allen said earlier this month that he was being treated for the disease.

Allen was a childhood friend of Bill Gates, and together, the two started Microsoft in 1975. He left the company in 1983 while being treated for Hodgkin’s lymphoma and remained a board member with the company through 2000. He was first treated for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2009, before seeing it go into remission.

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Oct 15, 2018

Have We Already Detected a Dark Matter Particle?

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics

Dark matter supposedly makes up 85% of the matter in the universe, but so far, efforts to catch hypothesized dark matter particles have all ended in failure. Weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) are no-shows at grand experiments housed in Italy, Canada, and the United States. Even tinier axions have not been detected either. Neutralinos, born out of supersymmetry, may look nice on paper but so far have no bearing on reality.

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Oct 15, 2018

Stephen Hawking´s words from beyond the grave bring…

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Speaking from beyond the grave, Professor Stephen Hawking has told a new generation growing up in an increasingly insular world: ‘Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet.’

The eminent cosmologist, who had motor neurone disease and died in March, had his final public thoughts broadcast at a special event to launch his last book, Brief Answers To The Big Questions.

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Oct 15, 2018

World’s fastest camera can shoot light in slow motion

Posted by in categories: habitats, mobile phones

The “slow motion” modes on modern smartphones crank up the speed of video recording so that when it’s played back at regular speed, the motion you see on the screen is slowed down. It’s a neat feature to mess around with, but slow motion capture has some very serious scientific applications as well. Capturing the microscopic world at high speeds can help researchers shed light on all kinds of interesting behaviors and phenomena that shape our reality.

Now, imaging specialists have built what is being called the fastest camera on the planet, allowing for the capture of movement at up to 10 trillion frames per second. Forget slowing down a video of a home run at your kid’s softball game, this incredible contraption can slow down light itself.

A new paper published in Light: Science & Applications explains how the camera works, and boy is it complicated. To put it in its most basic terms, the camera uses laser pulses so ultra-fast that they are measured in quadrillionths of a second and combines those frames with images captured from a second camera moving at the same speed, allowing for high-quality images generated 10 trillion times every second.

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Oct 15, 2018

How Inclusive Capitalism, Technology And Social Prescribing Could Reverse Flagging Life Expectancy

Posted by in categories: economics, life extension

Hard as it is to believe, for the first time the life expectancy for Americans (not counting the effect of wars) has https://www.ajc.com/lifestyles/health/cdc-life-expectancy-de…279HCufnO/” target=”_blank” rel=” nofollow noopener noreferrer” data-ga-track=” ExternalLink: https://www.ajc.com/lifestyles/health/cdc-life-expectancy-de…279HCufnO/”>dropped for two consecutive years. Perhaps less hard to believe is that this is https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2016/04/for-life-expe…y-matters/” target=”_blank” rel=” nofollow noopener noreferrer” data-ga-track=” ExternalLink: https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2016/04/for-life-expe…y-matters/”>not true across economic levels. The richest Americans are gaining in longevity, indeed to unprecedented levels. The poor don’t have it so well, and in the U.S., this includes the shrinking middle class, who are also dying earlier. With the widening income gap, there’s a growing discrepancy between life expectancies for the rich and poor. Depending on geography, those on the lower end of the income bracket spread can expect to live 20 years less than their better-off counterparts, a shocking finding from an http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullart.…2017.0918” target=”_blank” rel=” nofollow noopener noreferrer” data-ga-track=” ExternalLink: http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullart.…2017.0918”>in-depth study coming out of the University of Washington.

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Oct 15, 2018

History of dark matter

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics

The standard model of modern cosmology is unthinkable without dark matter, although direct detections are still missing. A broad perspective of how dark matter was postulated and became accepted is presented, from prehistory, over observations of galaxy clusters, galaxy rotation curves, the search for baryonic dark matter, possible alternative explanations via modified gravity, up to the hunt for dark matter particles. The interplay is described between observational discoveries and theoretical arguments which led finally to the adoption of this paradigm.

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Oct 15, 2018

This is how Earth feeds volcanic ‘supereruptions’

Posted by in category: futurism

Scientists studying the Taupo Volcanic Zone in New Zealand have uncovered clues to what causes giant eruptions.

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