“Bringing the world into focus
through the lens of Scripture”

frosty@khouseafrica.com

 

 

 

K-House Africa

 

Banking Details

 

Radio 66/40

 

 

 

 Africa news

 

THE STRUGGLE FOR JERUSALEM

 

 

The Rise Of Islam

 

 

THE DECLINE OF THE USA

 

 

GLOBAL RELIGION

 

 

GLOBAL PESTILENCE

 

 

Global Government

 

 

THE RISE OF THE FAR EAST

 

 

THE RISE OF THE EUROPEAN SUPER STATE

 

 

WEAPONS PROLIFERATION

 

 

THE MAGOG INVASION

 

 

Space & Science

 

 

 

 

INTERNATIONAL NEWS FEEDS


 In The News provided by Koinonia House


Best viewed with Internet Explorer.


 

 

This page is dedicated to My Grandson Brandon.

(Branstein)

***IN STOCK***
 HOLOGRAPHIC

UNIVERSE

by Chuck Missler

DVD

PRICE R 159.00

 

 

 

 

This DVD includes notes in PDF format and M4A files.


This briefing pack contains 2 hours of teachings

Available in the following formats

Session 1

• Epistemology 101: How do we “know”?

– Scientific Myths of the Past

– Scientific Myths of the Present

• The Macrocosm: The Plasma Universe: Gravitational Presumption?

• The Microcosm: The Planck Wall

• The Metacosm: Fracture of Hyperspace?

Session 2


• The Holographic Model: David Bohm

• GEO 600 “Noise”

• The Black Hole Paradox

– String Theorists examine the elephant

• A Holographic Universe:

– Distances are synthetic (virtual) images

– A Geocentric Cosmology?

– Some Scriptural Perspective(s)

 

 

“One can’t believe impossible things,”

Alice laughed.

“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,”

said the Queen.

“When I was your age, I always did it for

half-an-hour a day.

Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many

as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Through the Looking Glass

Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)
 

DVD:

1 Disc
2 M4A Files
Color, Fullscreen 16:9, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo, Region  This DVD will be viewable in other countries WITH the proper DVD player and television set.)
 

M4A File Video

Can be burned to disc and played on MP4 compatible DVD players.
Playable on iPod, iPhone, iPod Touch
Playable on any MP4 player
1 PDF Notes File
2 MP3 Files

 


 

 

 

 

 

   

Featured Briefing

A Holographic Universe?

by Dr. Chuck Missler

Are we actually living in a holographic universe? Are the distant galaxies only a virtual illusion? In a hologram, distances are synthetic! How does this impact our concepts of time and space?

There seems to be growing evidence to suggest that our world and everything in it may be only ghostly images, projections from a level of reality so beyond our own that the real reality is literally beyond both space and time.1

The Cosmos As a Super-Hologram?

An initiating architect of this astonishing idea was one of the world’s most eminent thinkers: University of London physicist David Bohm, a protégé of Einstein’s and one of the world’s most respected quantum physicists. Bohm’s work in plasma physics in the 1950s is considered a landmark. Earlier, at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, he noticed that in plasmas (ionized gases) the particles stopped behaving as individuals and started behaving as if they were part of a larger and interconnected whole. Moving to Princeton University in 1947, there, too, he continued his work in the behavior of oceans of ionized particles, noting their highly organized overall effects and their behavior, as if they knew what each of the untold trillions of individual particles was doing.

One of the implications of Bohm’s view has to do with the nature of location. Bohm’s interpretation of quantum physics indicated that at the subquantum level location ceased to exist. All points in space become equal to all other points in space, and it was meaningless to speak of anything as being separate from anything else. Physicists call this property “nonlocality”. The web of subatomic particles that compose our physical universe—the very fabric of “reality” itself—possesses what appears to be an undeniable “holographic” property. Paul Davis of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, England, observed that since all particles are continually interacting and separating, “the nonlocal aspects of quantum systems is therefore a general property of nature.”2

The Nature of Reality

One of Bohm’s most startling suggestions was that the tangible reality of our everyday lives is really a kind of illusion, like a holographic image. Underlying it is a deeper order of existence, a vast and more primary level of reality that gives birth to all the objects and appearances of our physical world in much the same way that a piece of holographic film gives birth to a hologram. Bohm calls this deeper level of reality the implicate (“enfolded”) order and he refers to our level of existence the explicate (unfolded) order.3 This view is not inconsistent with the Biblical presentation of the physical (“explicate”) world as being subordinate to the spiritual (“implicate”) world as the superior reality.4

The Search for Gravity Waves

Gravitational waves are extremely small ripples in the structure of spacetime caused by astrophysical events like supernovae or coalescing massive binaries (neutron stars, black holes). They had been predicted by Albert Einstein in 1916, but not yet directly observed.

GEO 600 is a gravitational wave detector located near Sarstedt, Germany, which seeks to detect gravitational waves by means of a laser interferometer of 600 meter arms’ length. This instrument, and its sister interferometric detectors, are some of the most sensitive gravitational wave detectors ever designed. They are designed to detect relative changes in distance of the order of 10-21, about the size of a single atom compared to the distance from the Earth to the Sun! Construction on the project began in 1995.

Mystery Noise

On January 15, 2009, it was reported in New Scientist that some yet unidentified noise that was present in the GEO 600 detector measurements might be because the instrument is sensitive to extremely small quantum fluctuations of space-time affecting the positions of parts of the detector. This claim was made by Craig Hogan, a scientist from Fermilab, on the basis of his theory of how such fluctuations should occur motivated by the holographic principle.5 Apparently, the gravitational wave detector in Hannover may have detected evidence for a holographic Universe!

Gravitational Wave Observatories Join Forces

A number of major projects will now pool their data to analyze it, jointly boosting their chances of spotting a faint signal that might otherwise be hidden by detector noise. Using lasers, they measure the length between mirrored test masses hung inside tunnels at right angles to each other. Gravitational waves decrease the distance between the masses in one tunnel and increase it in the other by a tiny, but detectable amount. Combining the data will also make it possible to triangulate to find the source of any gravitational waves detected. These include: Laser Interferometer Gravitational Observatory based in Hanford, Washington and Livingston, Louisiana; Virgo Observatory, Pisa Italy; and, of course, the GEO 600 Observatory near Hanover, Germany.

The most ambitious of them is the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA), a joint mission between NASA and the European Space Agency to develop and operate a space-based gravitational wave detector sensitive at frequencies between 0.03 mHz and 0.1 Hz. LISA seeks to detect gravitational-wave induced strains in space-time by measuring changes of the separation between fiducial masses in three spacecraft 5 million kilometers apart.

Cosmic Implications

Are we actually living in a holographic universe? Are the distant galaxies only a virtual illusion? In a hologram, distances are synthetic! How does this impact our concepts of time and space?

It gets even worse: Could our universe be geocentric? The implications are too staggering to embrace. The holographic paradigm is still a developing concept and riddled with controversies. For decades, science has chosen to ignore evidences that do not fit their standard theories. However, the volume of evidence has now reached the point that denial is no longer a viable option.

Clearly, 20th-century science has discovered that our “macrocosm”—studies of largeness—is finite, not infinite. Our universe is finite and had a beginning, and that’s what has led to the “big bang” speculations. We also realize that gravity is dramatically eclipsed by electromagnetic considerations when dealing with galaxies, etc. The plasma physicists have been trying to tell astronomers that for decades but no one was listening.

What is even more shocking has been the discoveries in the “microcosm”—studies of smallness—that run up against the “Planck Wall” of the non-location of subatomic particles, and the many strange paradoxes of quantum physics. We now discover that we are in a virtual reality that is a digital, simulated environment. The bizarre realization that the “constants” of physics are changing indicates that our “reality” is “but a shadow of a larger reality,”6 and that’s what the Bible has maintained all along!7

The Bible is, of course, unique in that it has always presented a universe of more than three dimensions,8 and revealed a Creator that is transcendent over His creation. It is the only “holy book” that demonstrates these contemporary insights. It’s time for us to spend more time with the handbook that the Creator has handed to us. It is the ultimate adventure, indeed!

For background information on the Holographic Universe, see our briefing series, The Beyond Collection, available on DVD and other formats, in the Christmas catalog insert in this issue.


Notes

  1. We explore the limitations of the Macrocosm, the Microcosm, and the super-embracing “Metacosm” in our Beyond Series.
  2. Paul Davis, Superforce, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1948, p.48.
  3. This is reminiscent of the Red King’s dream in Through the Looking Glass, in which Alice finds herself in deep metaphysical waters when the Tweedle brothers defend the view that all material objects, including ourselves, are only “sorts of things” in the mind of God.
  4. 2 Corinthians 4:18.
  5. Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a US Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics. (Craig Hogan was then put in charge…)
  6. Scientific American, June 2005, “The Inconstancy of Constants”.
  7. Hebrews 11:3; John 1:1-3; et al.
  8. Ephesians 3:18. Nachmonides, writing in the 13th century, concluded, from his studies of the Genesis texts, that our universe has ten dimensions, of which only four are directly “knowable”.
 
 

The Physics of Immortality

DVD


by Dr. Chuck Missler

Price R 249.00

 

 

The Physics of Immortality

 This is an intensive review of what the Apostle Paul calls the most important chapter in the Bible: 1 Corinthians 15. Without it, “we are of all men most miserable.”
Did Jesus really rise from the dead? How do we know? Do we really believe it?
What kind of body did He have? Why did they have trouble recognizing Him?
How do we now know that we live within a digital virtual environment which is but “a shadow of a larger reality”? What are the implications of that “larger reality”? What is the relationship between “the twinkling of an eye” and Planck’s Constant for time (1043 seconds)?
Do you have your passport for the transit that’s coming? Are you really ready?
Join Dr. Chuck Missler in the Executive Briefing Room of the River Lodge, New Zealand, as he examines the physics of immortality.
This briefing pack contains 2 hours of teachings
Available in the following formats:
 DVD:
•1 Disc
•2 MP3 Files
•1 PDF Notes File
 

Published on Jan 28, 2015

Chuck Missler had the opportunity to sit discuss Zero Point Energy (ZPE) with Barry Setterfield 
 

Space News from SpaceDaily.com

 

 

Space News From SpaceDaily.Com

 

Cassini Beams Back First Images from New Orbit

 
‎Today, ‎December ‎7, ‎2016, ‏‎7 hours agoGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Dec 07, 2016
NASA's Cassini spacecraft has sent to Earth its first views of Saturn's atmosphere since beginning the latest phase of its mission. The new images show scenes from high above Saturn's northern hemisphere, including the planet's intriguing hexagon-shaped jet stream. Cassini began its new mission phase, called its Ring-Grazing Orbits, on Nov. 30. Each of these weeklong orbits - 20 in all - c
 

DigitalGlobe releases first high-resolution image from WorldView-4 satellite

 
‎Today, ‎December ‎7, ‎2016, ‏‎7 hours agoGo to full article
Westminster CO (SPX) Dec 06, 2016
DigitalGlobe has released the first public image from the recently launched WorldView-4 satellite, showcasing a level of clarity and information content that is unique to DigitalGlobe commercial imagery. WorldView-4 features industry-leading resolution and location accuracy, which together unlock valuable information that enables critical decisions to be made with confidence. As part of th
 

New telescope chip offers clear view of alien planets

 
‎Today, ‎December ‎7, ‎2016, ‏‎7 hours agoGo to full article
Canberra, Australia (SPX) Dec 07, 2016
Scientists have developed a new optical chip for a telescope that enables astronomers to have a clear view of alien planets that may support life. Seeing a planet outside the solar system which is close to its host sun, similar to Earth, is very difficult with today's standard astronomical instruments due to the brightness of the sun. Associate Professor Steve Madden from The Austral
 

Space Has Potholes Too!

 
‎Today, ‎December ‎7, ‎2016, ‏‎7 hours agoGo to full article
Bethesda MD (SPX) Dec 06, 2016
Recently, when President-elect Donald Trump was asked about his plans for NASA he reportedly said "space is terrific, but we've got to fix our potholes too." Well, this may be a revelation, but space and the space program have potholes. These are not simple terrestrial potholes. They are potentially big showstoppers, the kind that can really mess up our economy and national security. Space potho
 

Nordic entrepreneurial spirit boosted by space

 
‎Today, ‎December ‎7, ‎2016, ‏‎7 hours agoGo to full article
Paris (ESA) Dec 06, 2016
More than 17 000 people converged on Helsinki in Finland this week to create businesses - and ESA was there to add its space expertise. The 'Slush' event helps the next generation of companies by promoting a worldwide start-up community. "Having already fostered more than 430 new companies at our 16 business incubators in 13 countries to recycle space technology and satellite data to every
 

NASA X-57 simulator prepares pilots, engineers for flight of electric X-plane

 
‎Today, ‎December ‎7, ‎2016, ‏‎7 hours agoGo to full article
Edwards AFB CA (SPX) Dec 06, 2016
When it comes to NASA X-planes, no amount of preparation, training or precaution is too great. These experimental aircraft, which have historically pushed the boundaries of aeronautics, feature exploratory designs and systems with which even the most experienced pilots have little actual practice. For pilots to be as safe as possible in piloted X-plane flight demonstrations, that experience must
 

Nitrogen in ancient rocks a sign of early life

 
‎Today, ‎December ‎7, ‎2016, ‏‎7 hours agoGo to full article
Moffett Field CA (SPX) Dec 06, 2016
Nitrogen is one of the essential nutrients of life on Earth, with some organisms, such as the kinds of microbes found within the roots of legume plants, capable of converting nitrogen gas into molecules that other species can use. Nitrogen fixation, as the process is called, involves breaking the powerful chemical bonds that hold nitrogen atoms in pairs in the atmosphere and using the resulting
 

Cassini Makes First Ring-Grazing Plunge

 
‎Today, ‎December ‎7, ‎2016, ‏‎7 hours agoGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Dec 06, 2016
NASA's Saturn-orbiting Cassini spacecraft has made its first close dive past the outer edges of Saturn's rings since beginning its penultimate mission phase on Nov. 30. Cassini crossed through the plane of Saturn's rings on Dec. 4 at 5:09 a.m. PST (8:09 a.m. EST) at a distance of approximately 57,000 miles (91,000 kilometers) above Saturn's cloud tops. This is the approximate location of a faint
 

NASA awards contract for refueling mission spacecraft

 
‎Today, ‎December ‎7, ‎2016, ‏‎7 hours agoGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Dec 06, 2016
NASA has awarded the Restore-L Spacecraft Bus and Support Services contract to Space Systems/Loral of Palo Alto, California. Restore-L is a robotic spacecraft equipped with the tools, technologies and techniques needed to service satellites currently in orbit. The contract has a firm-fixed-price and includes a three-year core period and a two-year indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity po
 

OGC requests public comment on its Coverage Implementation Schema

 
‎Today, ‎December ‎7, ‎2016, ‏‎7 hours agoGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Dec 07, 2016
A referenceable grid is associated with information that allows the location of all points in the grid to be determined in a coordinate reference system (CRS), but the location of the points is not directly available from the grid coordinates. An example is an EO/IR sensor consisting of a rectangular array of light sensing pixels. This OGC Extension provides a set of native referenceable g
 

Snow data from satellites improves temperature predictions

 
‎Today, ‎December ‎7, ‎2016, ‏‎7 hours agoGo to full article
Austin TX (SPX) Dec 06, 2016
Researchers with The University of Texas at Austin have found that incorporating snow data collected from space into computer climate models can significantly improve seasonal temperature predictions. The findings, published in November in Geophysical Research Letters, a publication of the American Geophysical Union, could help farmers, water providers, power companies and others that use season
 

New study describes 200 million years of geological evolution

 
‎Today, ‎December ‎7, ‎2016, ‏‎7 hours agoGo to full article
Oslo, Norway (SPX) Dec 06, 2016
Tectonic plates, big sections of Earth's crust and blocks underneath them, are constantly moving. The areas where these sections meet and interact are called faults. They appear as scars on the outermost layer of the Earth. A lot is going on along the largest of faults: mountains can grow, volcanoes can erupt, continents can separate and earthquakes happen. Also more discrete events are co
 

Scientists shed light on the climate-changing desert dust fertilizing our oceans

 
‎Today, ‎December ‎7, ‎2016, ‏‎7 hours agoGo to full article
Leeds, UK (SPX) Dec 06, 2016
The way in which man-made acids in the atmosphere interact with the dust that nourishes our oceans has been quantified by scientists for the first time. In the international study led by the University of Leeds, researchers have pinpointed how much phosphate "fertiliser" is released from dust depending on atmospheric acid levels. Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for all life, and when it fall
 

ULA receives $269m contract modification for launch vehicle production

 
‎Today, ‎December ‎7, ‎2016, ‏‎7 hours agoGo to full article
Washington (UPI) Dec 5, 2016
United Launch Alliance has received a $269 million contract modification to execute production services for the Delta IV Heavy launch vehicle. Under the contract, the joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin will support launch vehicle configuration for the U.S. Air Force. Work will be performed in various locations including Colorado, Alabama, and Florida. The U.S. Department o
 

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified

 
‎Today, ‎December ‎7, ‎2016, ‏‎7 hours agoGo to full article
Sussex, UK (SPX) Dec 06, 2016
Scientists at the University of Sussex have invented a ground-breaking new method that puts the construction of large-scale quantum computers within reach of current technology. Quantum computers could solve certain problems - that would take the fastest supercomputer millions of years to calculate - in just a few milliseconds. They have the potential to create new materials and medicines,
 

Russia seeks answers on ISS cargo ship crash

 
‎Sunday, ‎December ‎4, ‎2016, ‏‎9:59:37 PMGo to full article
Moscow (AFP) Dec 2, 2016
Russian investigators on Friday were probing the crash shortly after launch of an unmanned spaceship taking cargo to the International Space Station, focusing on the Soyuz carrier rocket. Russia's space agency said the Progress ship - carrying tons of food and equipment as well as gifts for the ISS crew of six - was lost minutes after launch Thursday evening in "an abnormal situation."
 

Europe okays 1.4 bn euros for Mars rover, ISS

 
‎Sunday, ‎December ‎4, ‎2016, ‏‎9:59:37 PMGo to full article
Paris (AFP) Dec 2, 2016
European ministers approved a 1.4-billion-euro ($1.5-billion) lifeline Friday for plans to place a life-seeking rover on Mars and maintain a presence on the International Space Station. Funding for the prestige projects represented a big chunk of investments totalling 10.3 billion euros approved at a two-day meeting of the European Space Agency (ESA) ministerial council, its boss announced.
 

Swiss firm acquires Mars One private project

 
‎Sunday, ‎December ‎4, ‎2016, ‏‎9:59:37 PMGo to full article
The Hague (AFP) Dec 2, 2016
A British-Dutch project aiming to send an unmanned mission to Mars by 2018 announced Friday that the shareholders of a Swiss financial services company have agreed a takeover bid. "The acquisition is now only pending approval by the board of Mars One Ventures," the company said in a joint statement with InFin Innovative Finance AG, adding approval from the Mars board would come "as soon as p
 

United Launch Alliance Launches Innovative "RocketBuilder" Website

 
‎Sunday, ‎December ‎4, ‎2016, ‏‎9:59:37 PMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Dec 02, 2016
United Launch Alliance (ULA) has announced its new website that enhances the way customers shop for launch services and sets a new standard for pricing transparency. It also provides insight into reliability, schedule assurance and performance, allowing users to make a true value comparison. "The value of a launch is a lot more than its price tag," said Tory Bruno, ULA president and chief
 

China-made satellites in high demand

 
‎Sunday, ‎December ‎4, ‎2016, ‏‎9:59:37 PMGo to full article
Beijing (XNA) Dec 02, 2016
China will construct and launch two remote sensing satellites for foreign countries in the coming two years, an industry insider said. China Great Wall Industry Corp, the nation's only authorized firm for international space collaboration, will launch Venezuela's second remote sensing satellite next year and Pakistan's first remote sensing satellite in 2018, said Fu Zhiheng, vice-president of Gr
 

Lockheed Martin Advances Modernization of Current GPS Ground Control System for USAF

 
‎Sunday, ‎December ‎4, ‎2016, ‏‎9:59:37 PMGo to full article
Colorado Springs CO (SPX) Dec 02, 2016
Lockheed Martin has completed a major upgrade to modernize the current ground control system of the U.S. Air Force's Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite constellation. The Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) Upgrade #2 (CUP2) project is the latest step in the Air Force's multi-year plan to refresh technology and transform the legacy Operational Control Segment - known as the Architecture
 

LeoSat and Globalsat Group Sign Strategic Worldwide Agreement

 
‎Sunday, ‎December ‎4, ‎2016, ‏‎9:59:37 PMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Dec 01, 2016
LeoSat Enterprises, which is launching a constellation of up to 108 low-earth-orbit communications satellites, has entered into a strategic agreement with the Globalsat Group, the leading Pan-American satellite services provider, to market the fastest, most secure and widest coverage HTS data network in the world. The Globalsat Group is an award-winning industry leader delivering mission-c
 

India's Space Program Makes Steady Gains

 
‎Sunday, ‎December ‎4, ‎2016, ‏‎9:59:37 PMGo to full article
New Delhi (Sputnik) Dec 02, 2016
The Indian space program falters in the area of manned missions, but ISRO has made steady gains in unmanned missions and commercial launches of satellites, fueling keen interest by competitors like China. China's expanding space program may threaten to match or even surpass the US' National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). But India, a latecomer, is nipping at their heels despi
 

Indian Space Agency to Launch 83 Satellites in One Go

 
‎Sunday, ‎December ‎4, ‎2016, ‏‎9:59:37 PMGo to full article
New Delhi (Sputnik) Dec 02, 2016
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is gearing up to gain a bigger slice of the micro-satellite launch market. Its commercial arm Antrix Corporation plans to launch 83 satellites on-board its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle 'PSLV-C37' in January next year from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. The mission includes three satellites including Indian Cartosat-2 series satell
 

Life before oxygen

 
‎Sunday, ‎December ‎4, ‎2016, ‏‎9:59:37 PMGo to full article
Cincinnati OH (SPX) Nov 30, 2016
Somewhere between Earth's creation and where we are today, scientists have demonstrated that some early life forms existed just fine without any oxygen. While researchers proclaim the first half of our 4.5 billion-year-old planet's life as an important time for the development and evolution of early bacteria, evidence for these life forms remains sparse including how they survived at a time when
 

Going against the grain - nitrogen turns out to be hypersociable!

 
‎Sunday, ‎December ‎4, ‎2016, ‏‎9:59:37 PMGo to full article
Warsaw, Poland (SPX) Dec 02, 2016
Going against the grain - nitrogen turns out to be hypersociable! Nitrogen is everywhere: even in the air there is four times as much of it as oxygen. However, it is reluctant to form chemical bonds, especially with more than four atoms. Chemists from Warsaw predict, however, that contrary to the rules of typical chemistry, in appropriately selected conditions there may be a nitrogen that nobody
 

Where the rains come from

 
‎Sunday, ‎December ‎4, ‎2016, ‏‎9:59:37 PMGo to full article
Richland WA (SPX) Dec 02, 2016
Intense storms have become more frequent and longer-lasting in the Great Plains and Midwest in the last 35 years. What has fueled these storms? The temperature difference between the Southern Great Plains and the Atlantic Ocean produces winds that carry moisture from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Plains, according to a recent study in Nature Communications. "These storms are impressive,"
 

Making graphene using laser-induced phase separation

 
‎Sunday, ‎December ‎4, ‎2016, ‏‎9:59:37 PMGo to full article
Seoul, South Korea (SPX) Dec 02, 2016
All our smart phones have shiny flat AMOLED displays. Behind each single pixel of these displays hide at least two silicon transistors which were mass-manufactured using laser annealing technologies. While the traditional methods to make them uses temperatures above 1,000C, the laser technique reaches the same results at low temperatures even on plastic substrates (melting temperature below 300C
 

New process produces hydrogen at much lower temperature

 
‎Sunday, ‎December ‎4, ‎2016, ‏‎9:59:37 PMGo to full article
Tokyo, Japan (SPX) Dec 02, 2016
Waseda University researchers have developed a new method for producing hydrogen, which is fast, irreversible, and takes place at much lower temperature using less energy. This innovation is expected to contribute to the spread of fuel cell systems for automobiles and homes. Hydrogen has normally been extracted from methane and steam using a nickel catalyst at temperatures of over 700C. Ho
 

First views of Mars show potential for ESA's new orbiter

 
‎Wednesday, ‎November ‎30, ‎2016, ‏‎5:17:27 AMGo to full article
Paris (ESA) Nov 30, 2016
ESA's new ExoMars orbiter has tested its suite of instruments in orbit for the first time, hinting at a great potential for future observations. The Trace Gas Orbiter, or TGO, a joint endeavour between ESA and Roscosmos, arrived at Mars on 19 October. Its elliptical orbit takes it from 230-310 km above the surface to around 98 000 km every 4.2 days. It spent the last two orbits during 20-
 

Metallic Glass Gears Make for Graceful Robots

 
‎Wednesday, ‎November ‎30, ‎2016, ‏‎5:17:27 AMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Nov 30, 2016
Throw a baseball, and you might say it's all in the wrist. For robots, it's all in the gears. Gears are essential for precision robotics. They allow limbs to turn smoothly and stop on command; low-quality gears cause limbs to jerk or shake. If you're designing a robot to scoop samples or grip a ledge, the kind of gears you'll need won't come from a hardware store. At NASA's Jet Propulsion
 

Laser-based Navigation Sensor Could Be Standard for Planetary Landing Missions

 
‎Wednesday, ‎November ‎30, ‎2016, ‏‎5:17:27 AMGo to full article
Hampton VA (SPX) Nov 30, 2016
A laser-guided navigation sensor that could help future rovers make safe, precise landings on Mars or destinations beyond will soon undergo testing in California's Mojave Desert. The Navigation Doppler Lidar, or NDL, which was developed at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, will be flight tested aboard a rocket-powered Vertical Take-off, Vertical Landing (VTVL) platform,
 

The single photon converter is a key component of the quantum internet

 
‎Wednesday, ‎November ‎30, ‎2016, ‏‎5:17:27 AMGo to full article
Warsaw, Poland (SPX) Nov 25, 2016
A Polish-British team of physicists has constructed and tested a compact, efficient converter capable of modifying the quantum properties of individual photons. The new device should facilitate the construction of complex quantum computers, and in the future may become an important element in global quantum networks, the successors of today's Internet. Quantum internet and hybrid quantum compute
 

Micro-bubbles make big impact

 
‎Wednesday, ‎November ‎30, ‎2016, ‏‎5:17:27 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Nov 25, 2016
The quest to develop a wireless micro-robot for biomedical applications requires a small-scale "motor" that can be wirelessly powered through biological media. While magnetic fields can be used to power small robots wirelessly, they do not provide selectivity since all actuators (the components controlling motion) under the same magnetic field just follow the same motion. To address this intrins
 

British Scientists Develop a 3D Metal Printer That Works in Space

 
‎Wednesday, ‎November ‎30, ‎2016, ‏‎5:17:27 AMGo to full article
Birmingham, UK (SPX) Nov 25, 2016
British scientists at the Birmingham University, have developed a 3D metal printer that can function in zero gravity and will enable astronauts to easily produce vital spare parts while they are on space missions.The process of 3D metal printing of advanced engineering components, is also known as 'addictive manufacturing' or 'selective laser melting.' It is a process by which complex items - su
 

ExoMars space programme needs an extra 400 million euros

 
‎Wednesday, ‎November ‎30, ‎2016, ‏‎5:17:27 AMGo to full article
Paris (AFP) Nov 25, 2016
Barely a month after its expensive test lander crashed into Mars, the European Space Agency asked member nations Friday to cough up an extra 400 million euros ($425 million) to complete the ExoMars exploration of the Red Planet. The two-part mission saw a spacecraft successfully placed into orbit in mid-October, but a companion lander designed to pave the way for a mobile-lab rover in 2020 s
 

IAU Formally Approves 227 Star Names

 
‎Wednesday, ‎November ‎30, ‎2016, ‏‎5:17:27 AMGo to full article
Munich, Germany (SPX) Nov 25, 2016
The creation of a specialised IAU Working Group, the Working Group on Star Names (WGSN), was approved by the IAU Executive Committee in May 2016 to formalise star names that have been used colloquially for centuries. WGSN has now established a new catalogue of IAU star names, with the first set of 227 approved names published on the IAU website. Composed of an international group of astron
 

Radar of the Future: Russian Army to Get Advanced Stealth Drone Hunter

 
‎Wednesday, ‎November ‎30, ‎2016, ‏‎5:17:27 AMGo to full article
Moscow (Sputnik) Nov 25, 2016
The Zavod Electromash plant in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod has created a unique stealth robotic system capable of detecting unmanned aerial vehicles, Zavod Electromash spokesman Valery Pyatkin told Sputnik. In an interview with Sputnik, Valery Pyatkin, spokesman for the Nizhny Novgorod-based Zavod Electromash plant, said that they had developed an advanced stealth robotic system capable
 

Stellar Simulators

 
‎Wednesday, ‎November ‎30, ‎2016, ‏‎5:17:27 AMGo to full article
Santa Barbara, CA (SPX) Nov 25, 2016
It's an intricate process through which massive stars lose their gas as they evolve. And a more complete understanding could be just calculations away, if only those calculations didn't take several millennia to run on normal computers. But astrophysicists Matteo Cantiello and Yan-Fei Jiang of UC Santa Barbara's Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP) may find a way around that prob
 
 

 

 
 

News About Time And Space

 

 
 

Controlled electron pulses

 
‎Yesterday, ‎December ‎6, ‎2016, ‏‎4:48:01 AMGo to full article
Nuremberg, Germany (SPX) Dec 02, 2016 - The discovery of photoemission, the emission of electrons from a material caused by light striking it, was an important element in the history of physics for the development of quantum mechanics. Scientists from the Chair of Laser Physics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universitat Erlangen-Nurnberg (FAU) have successfully measured photoemission from sharp metal needles on a scale never before achieved. The researchers' results have been published in the journal Physical Review Letters.

The discovery of photoemission, the emission of electrons from a material caused by light striking it, was an important element in the history of physics for the development of quantum mechanics. Scientists from the Chair of Laser Physics at FAU have successfully measured photoemission from sharp metal needles on a scale never before achieved. The researchers' results have been published in the current issue of the journal Physical Review Letters.

For this two-colour experiment, as they refer to it, the researchers - Dr. Michael Forster, Timo Paschen, Dr. Michael Kruger and Prof. Dr. Peter Hommelhoff - pumped laser pulses with a duration of approximately a nanosecond through a crystal. The crystal combined two photons from the laser pulse.

In addition to the strong laser pulse being shone on the crystal, another weak pulse of light with a higher frequency was created. Particularly remarkable was the discovery that the new photons exhibited twice the energy of the original photons. In an interferometer, the FAU scientists separated both colours and determined the direction of vibration, intensity and delay of both pulses.

When the laser pulses meet on the tungsten needle, their energy is concentrated at the vertex of its tip. This limits electron emission to the end of the tip. The researchers observed that, under optimal parameters, they could almost perfectly turn on and off electron emission by controlling the delays between laser pulses.

This initially came as a surprise, as light energy (photons) can always be found on the tip; therefore this meant that the relative arrival times of the differently-coloured laser pulses determined whether electrons were or were not emitted.

The researchers came to the idea for this control mechanism by comparing experimental results with calculations by physicists working under Prof. Dr. Joachim Burgdorfer at Technische Universitat Wien. They surmised that the electrons could interact with photons from both pulses for emission. This led to two dominant emission paths, but the delay between pulses determined whether these paths would complement or work against each other; emission was either intensified or suppressed in what is known as quantum path interference.

Sharp metal tips have long been used as nearly-punctual electron sources for highest-resolution electron microscopes. Based on the results of this experiment, the researchers hope to create complex electron pulses in the future which could be significant for time-resolved electron microscopy.

The experimental results are also of interest for basic research into surface coherence, as the surface of nanostructures can be particularly well controlled and the nanotips produce exceptionally clear measurement signals thanks to their small dimensions.

The renowned journal Physical Review Letters has published the results in its current issue as the Editors' Suggestion. This section highlights particularly interesting scientific results for the readers of the weekly journal, providing insight into fields outside the scope of their own research.

Research paper

 

 

First Signs of Weird Quantum Property of Empty Space? EMBARGOED until 30 November 2016 11:00 UTC / 6:00 am EST / 3:00 am PST

 
‎Yesterday, ‎December ‎6, ‎2016, ‏‎4:48:01 AMGo to full article
Garching, Germany (SPX) Nov 30, 2016 - By studying the light emitted from an extraordinarily dense and strongly magnetised neutron star using ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers may have found the first observational indications of a strange quantum effect, first predicted in the 1930s. The polarisation of the observed light suggests that the empty space around the neutron star is subject to a quantum effect known as vacuum birefringence.

A team led by Roberto Mignani from INAF Milan (Italy) and from the University of Zielona Gora (Poland), used ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the Paranal Observatory in Chile to observe the neutron star RX J1856.5-3754, about 400 light-years from Earth [1].

Despite being amongst the closest neutron stars, its extreme dimness meant the astronomers could only observe the star with visible light using the FORS2 instrument on the VLT, at the limits of current telescope technology.

Neutron stars are the very dense remnant cores of massive stars - at least 10 times more massive than our Sun - that have exploded as supernovae at the ends of their lives. They also have extreme magnetic fields, billions of times stronger than that of the Sun, that permeate their outer surface and surroundings.

These fields are so strong that they even affect the properties of the empty space around the star. Normally a vacuum is thought of as completely empty, and light can travel through it without being changed. But in quantum electrodynamics (QED), the quantum theory describing the interaction between photons and charged particles such as electrons, space is full of virtual particles that appear and vanish all the time. Very strong magnetic fields can modify this space so that it affects the polarisation of light passing through it.

Mignani explains: "According to QED, a highly magnetised vacuum behaves as a prism for the propagation of light, an effect known as vacuum birefringence."

Among the many predictions of QED, however, vacuum birefringence so far lacked a direct experimental demonstration. Attempts to detect it in the laboratory have not yet succeeded in the 80 years since it was predicted in a paper by Werner Heisenberg (of uncertainty principle fame) and Hans Heinrich Euler.

"This effect can be detected only in the presence of enormously strong magnetic fields, such as those around neutron stars. This shows, once more, that neutron stars are invaluable laboratories in which to study the fundamental laws of nature." says Roberto Turolla (University of Padua, Italy).

After careful analysis of the VLT data, Mignani and his team detected linear polarisation - at a significant degree of around 16% - that they say is likely due to the boosting effect of vacuum birefringence occurring in the area of empty space surrounding RX J1856.5-3754 [2].

Vincenzo Testa (INAF, Rome, Italy) comments: "This is the faintest object for which polarisation has ever been measured. It required one of the largest and most efficient telescopes in the world, the VLT, and accurate data analysis techniques to enhance the signal from such a faint star."

"The high linear polarisation that we measured with the VLT can't be easily explained by our models unless the vacuum birefringence effects predicted by QED are included," adds Mignani.

"This VLT study is the very first observational support for predictions of these kinds of QED effects arising in extremely strong magnetic fields," remarks Silvia Zane (UCL/MSSL, UK).

Mignani is excited about further improvements to this area of study that could come about with more advanced telescopes: "Polarisation measurements with the next generation of telescopes, such as ESO's European Extremely Large Telescope, could play a crucial role in testing QED predictions of vacuum birefringence effects around many more neutron stars."

"This measurement, made for the first time now in visible light, also paves the way to similar measurements to be carried out at X-ray wavelengths," adds Kinwah Wu (UCL/MSSL, UK).

This research was presented in the paper entitled "Evidence for vacuum birefringence from the first optical polarimetry measurement of the isolated neutron star RX J1856.5-3754", by R. Mignani et al., to appear in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

 

 

'Spooky' sightings in crystal point to extremely rare quantum spin liquid

 
‎Yesterday, ‎December ‎6, ‎2016, ‏‎4:48:01 AMGo to full article
Atlanta GA (SPX) Dec 06, 2016 - Inside a new exotic crystal, physicist Martin Mourigal has observed strong indications of "spooky" action, and lots of it. The results of his experiments, if corroborated over time, would mean that the type of crystal is a rare new material that can house a quantum spin liquid.

Currently, only a small handful of materials are believed to possibly have these properties. This new crystal was synthesized for the first time only a year ago. Corroboration by other physicists of Mourigal's newly produced experimental data could take a decade or longer. A "liquid" found inside a solid object may sound confusing to many people.

Welcome to quantum materials, part of the twilight zone called quantum physics, which scientists have been struggling for a century to grasp a nanometer at a time. Though much about it is yet undiscovered, quantum physics describes the underlying reality of matter.

The workings of computers, cell phones, superconductors and MRI machines are based on it. But its laws about the atomic realm defy human perception of what is real, and some sound so preposterous that they have become popular science brain teasers.

Take quantum entanglement, the core of Mourigal's research on the crystal: If two particles, electrons for example, become entangled, they can be physically separated by many miles, and still be intimately linked to one another. Actions applied to one particle then instantaneously effect the other.

At first, this theory was too weird even for the father of relativity, Albert Einstein, who lampooned it as "spooky action at a distance."

Entanglement has since been proven in experiments, but now scientists like Mourigal, an experimental physicist at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and his team, have taken it much farther. The synthetic crystal he has examined, an ytterbium compound with the formula YbMgGaO4, is likely brimming with observable 'spooky' connections.

Mourigal, former postdoctoral fellow Joseph Paddison and graduate student Marcus Daum published their observations in the journal Nature Physics on Monday, December 5, 2016. They collaborated with colleagues at the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Work was funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy.

This massive 'spooky' entanglement makes a system of electrons a quantum spin "liquid." The term is not meant in the everyday sense, as in water. Here, it describes the collective nature of electrons' spins in the crystal.

"In a spin 'liquid,' the directions of the spins are not tidily aligned, but frenzied, although the spins are interconnected, whereas in a spin 'solid' the spin directions have a neat organization," Mourigal said.

If the discovery stands, it could open a door to hundreds of yet unknown quantum spin liquid materials that physicists say must exist according to theory and mathematical equations. In the distant future, new quantum materials could become, by today's standards, virtual sorcerer's stones in quantum computing engineers' hands.

The ytterbium crystal was first synthesized a year ago by scientists in China, where the government in Beijing has invested heavily in hopes of creating synthetic quantum materials with novel properties. It appears they may have now succeeded, said Mourigal, an assistant professor at Georgia Tech's School of Physics.

"Imagine a state of matter where this entanglement doesn't involve two electrons but involves, three, five, 10 or 10 billion particles all in the same system," Mourigal said. "You can create a very, very exotic state of matter based on the fact that all these particles are entangled with each other. There are no individual particles anymore, but one huge electron ensemble acting collectively."

One of the only previously observed apparent quantum spin liquids occurs in a natural crystal called herbertsmithite, an emerald green stone found in 1972 in a mine in Chile. It was named after mineralogist Herbert Smith, who died nearly 20 years prior to the discovery.

Researchers observed its apparent spin liquid nature in 2012 after Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientists succeeded at reproducing a purified piece of the crystal in their lab.

That initial discovery was just the beginning of an Odyssey. Because of its chemical makeup, herbertsmithite produces just one single entanglement scheme. Physics math says there must be myriads more.

"Finding herbertsmithite was like saying, 'animals exist.' But there are so many different species of animals, or mammals, or fish, reptiles and birds," Mourigal said. "Now that we have found one, we are looking for different kinds of spin liquids."

The more spin liquids experimental physicists confirm, the more theoretical physicists will be able to use them to bend their minds around quantum physics. "It's important to create the encyclopedia of them," Mourigal said. "This new crystal may be only our second or third entry."

University of Tennessee succeeded in replicating the original ytterbium crystal, and Mourigal examined it at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), where it was cooled down to a temperature of -273.09 degrees Celsius (0.06 degrees Kelvin).

The cooling slowed the natural motion of the atoms to a near stop, which allowed the researchers to observe the electron spins' dance around the Ytterbium (Yb) atoms in the YbMgGaO4 crystal. They used a powerful superconducting magnet to line the spins up in an orderly fashion to create a starting point for their observations.

"Then we removed the magnetic field, and let them go back to their special kind of wiggling," Mourigal said. His team carried out the observations at the ORNL Spallation Neutron Source, a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility. SNS has about the power and size of a particle supercollider, and allowed the scientists to watch the concert of electrons' spins by bombarding them with neutrons.

Normally, when one electron flips its spin, researchers would expect it to create a neat chain reaction, resulting in a wave going through the crystal. The wave of electron spins flipping in sequence might look something like fans at a football game standing and sitting back down to make a wave go around the stadium.

But something odd happened. "This jumbly kind of spin wave broke down into many other waves, because everything is collective, everything is entangled," Mourigal said. "It was a continuum of excitations, but breaking down across many electrons at once."

It was qualitatively similar to what was observed using the same technique on herbertsmithite.

To authenticate the observations made by Mourigal's team, theoretical physicists will have to crunch the data with methods that, in part, rely on topology, a focus of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics. Mourigal thinks chances are they will pass muster. "At first glance, this material is screaming, 'I'm a quantum spin liquid,'" he said.

But it must undergo a years-long battery of stringent mathematical tests. The theoretical physicists will wrap the data around a mathematical "donut" to confirm whether or not it is a quantum spin liquid.

"That's meant seriously," Mourigal said. "As a mathematical mental exercise, they virtually spread the spin liquid around a donut shape, and the way it responds to being on a donut tells you something about the nature of that spin liquid."

Though entangled particles appear to defy space and time, the shape of space they occupy affects the nature of the entanglement pattern.

The possibility of a quantum spin liquid was first demonstrated in the 1930s, but only using atoms placed in a straight line. Physicists have been searching in the decades since for materials containing them.

 

 

Confirmation of Wendelstein 7-X magnetic field

 
‎Yesterday, ‎December ‎6, ‎2016, ‏‎4:48:01 AMGo to full article
Princeton NJ (SPX) Dec 06, 2016 - Physicist Sam Lazerson of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) has teamed with German scientists to confirm that the Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) fusion energy device called a stellarator in Greifswald, Germany, produces high-quality magnetic fields that are consistent with their complex design.

The findings, published in the November 30 issue of Nature Communications, revealed an error field - or deviation from the designed configuration - of less than one part in 100,000. Such results could become a key step toward verifying the feasibility of stellarators as models for future fusion reactors.

W7-X, for which PPPL is the leading U.S. collaborator, is the largest and most sophisticated stellarator in the world. Built by the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Greifswald, it was completed in 2015 as the vanguard of the stellarator design. Other collaborators on the U.S. team include DOE's Oak Ridge and Los Alamos National Laboratories, along with Auburn University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Xanthos Technologies.

Stellarators confine the hot, charged gas, otherwise known as plasma, that fuels fusion reactions in twisty - or 3D - magnetic fields, compared with the symmetrical - or 2D --fields that the more widely used tokamaks create. The twisty configuration enables stellarators to control the plasma with no need for the current that tokamaks must induce in the gas to complete the magnetic field. Stellarator plasmas thus run little risk of disrupting, as can happen in tokamaks, causing the internal current to abruptly halt and fusion reactions to shut down.

PPPL has played key roles in the W7-X project. The Laboratory designed and delivered five barn door-sized trim coils that fine-tune the stellarator's magnetic fields and made their measurement possible. "We've confirmed that the magnetic cage that we've built works as designed," said Lazerson, who led roughly half the experiments that validated the configuration of the field. "This reflects U.S. contributions to W7-X," he added, "and highlights PPPL's ability to conduct international collaborations." Support for this work comes from Euratom and the DOE Office of Science.

To measure the magnetic field, the scientists launched an electron beam along the field lines. They next obtained a cross-section of the entire magnetic surface by using a fluorescent rod to intersect and sweep through the lines, thereby inducing fluorescent light in the shape of the surface.

Results showed a remarkable fidelity to the design of the highly complex magnetic field. "To our knowledge," the authors write of the discrepancy of less than one part in 100,000, "this is an unprecedented accuracy, both in terms of the as-built engineering of a fusion device, as well as in the measurement of magnetic topology."

The W7-X is the most recent version of the stellarator concept, which Lyman Spitzer, a Princeton University astrophysicist and founder of PPPL, originated during the 1950s. Stellarators mostly gave way to tokamaks a decade later, since the doughnut-shaped facilities are simpler to design and build and generally confine plasma better. But recent advances in plasma theory and computational power have led to renewed interest in stellarators.

Such advances caused the authors to wonder if devices like the W7-X can provide an answer to the question of whether stellarators are the right concept for fusion energy. Years of plasma physics research will be needed to find out, they conclude, and "that task has just started."

 

 

For the first time, scientists catch water molecules passing the proton baton

 
‎Yesterday, ‎December ‎6, ‎2016, ‏‎4:48:01 AMGo to full article
Seattle WA (SPX) Dec 02, 2016 - Water conducts electricity, but the process by which this familiar fluid passes along positive charges has puzzled scientists for decades. But in a paper published in the journal Science, an international team of researchers has finally caught water in the act - showing how water molecules pass along excess charges and, in the process, conduct electricity.

"This fundamental process in chemistry and biology has eluded a firm explanation," said co-author Anne McCoy, a professor of chemistry at the University of Washington. "And now we have the missing piece that gives us the bigger picture: how protons essentially 'move' through water."

The team was led by Mark Johnson, senior author and a professor at Yale University. For over a decade, Johnson, McCoy and two co-authors - professor Kenneth Jordan at the University of Pittsburgh and Knut Asmis, a professor at Leipzig University - have collaborated to understand how molecules in complex arrangements pass along charged particles.

For water, this is an old question. Chemists call the process by which water conducts electricity the Grotthuss mechanism. When excess protons - the positively charged subatomic particles within atoms - are introduced into water, they pass quickly through the fluid, riding a transient, ever-shifting network of loose bonds between water molecules. By the Grotthuss mechanism, a water molecule can pick up an excess charge and pass it along to a neighbor almost instantaneously.

The exchange is fundamental to understanding the behavior of water in biological and industrial settings. But it is also so fast and the vibrations between water molecules so great that the hand-off cannot be captured using traditional spectroscopy - a technique that scatters light against a molecule to learn about its structure.

"With spectroscopy, you hit objects with a beam of photons, see how those photons are scattered and use that scattering information to determine information about the object's structure and arrangement of atoms," said McCoy. "And this is where Mark Johnson's lab at Yale has really been a leader - in adapting spectroscopy to better capture this transfer of protons among water molecules."

Johnson's lab, along with collaborators in Asmis's lab in Germany, figured out how to freeze the proton relay to slow the process, giving the researchers time to visualize the Grotthuss mechanism using spectroscopy. When these "spectroscopic snapshots" proved still too blurry due to vibrations in chemical bonds, they switched to studying this mechanism in "heavy water."

In heavy water, regular hydrogen atoms are replaced by a heavier isotope called deuterium. By the quirky rules of quantum mechanics that underlie the behavior of subatomic particles, bonds in heavy water shake less than traditional H2O.

But this snapshot required massive amounts of theoretical and computational decoding to reveal just how water molecules momentarily altered their structure to both receive and pass along an extra proton. McCoy's and Jordan's groups helped develop computational approaches to analyze the spectroscopy data.

"In spectroscopy, your goal is to determine the structure of molecules based on how they scatter light," said McCoy. "In our approach, we also asked how the behavior of bonds will affect spectroscopy. That really completed our circle of inquiry and allowed us to visualize this transfer of protons."

In their paper, they describe the Grotthuss mechanism attaching various tag molecules to complexes made up of four molecules of heavy water. According to McCoy, they would like to see how the proton relay changes among larger groups of water molecules and to expand these spectroscopy techniques to include other small molecules with complex structures.

Research paper

 

 

10 million ions cooled for the first time to 7K

 
‎Yesterday, ‎December ‎6, ‎2016, ‏‎4:48:01 AMGo to full article
Berlin, Germany (SPX) Nov 30, 2016 - Previously it was only possible to cool down about one thousand ions to 7.5 K using buffer gas. However, a thousand ions are not nearly enough for spectroscopic analyses. The ion trap with this new method provides a new opportunity to use cryogenic X-ray spectroscopy to study the magnetism and ground states of molecular ions. This is the foundation needed to develop new materials for energy-efficient information technologies. The work has been published in the Journal of Chemical Physics.

"Until now, everyone assumed it would not be possible to reach lower temperatures at such a high density of ions with a quadrupole ion trap. But it can be done", says HZB researcher Tobias Lau. This is because the RF electromagnetic field doesn't just trap the stored ions, but "jiggles" them as well so they are constantly gaining energy and rising in temperature.

In order to draw off this additional energy, the team introduced helium as a buffer gas, and at relatively high pressure. "You have to imagine this as kind of a cold syrup that damps the macro motion of the particles, slowing their rotation and translation", explains Vicente Zamudio-Bayer from the University of Freiburg.

The experiments were carried out using the UE52-PGM station at BESSY II where polarisation of the soft X-ray radiation can be varied. The experimental set-up at this beamline is unique in facilitating X-ray spectroscopy of cryogenic ions under externally applied magnetic fields.

The sample can be analysed in an externally applied magnetic field using circularly polarised X-rays (X-ray magnetic circular dichroism/XMCD). This yields information about the magnetic moments of the electrons subdivided into both spin and orbital contributions.

"We were able for the first time to experimentally determine the magnetic moments of nickel dimercations thanks to the especially low temperatures", Lau continued. The work on the ion trap is part of a larger project of HZB and the Univ. of Freiburg being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Grant No. BMBF-05K13Vf2).

"We are now working on reaching even lower temperatures. We hope we will soon get to 5 K", offers Zamudio-Bayer. The lower the temperature, the more clearly the magnetic effects show up.

Benefit for users
But all users of the ion trap at the BESSY II UE52-PGM station can benefit already from the record achieved. "Not only magnetism, but also many other properties of a wide range of different molecules can be studied spectroscopically here, such as transition-metal ion complexes. That will therefore be attractive to many users, especially those in physical chemistry", Lau thinks.

Electronic ground state of Ni2+, V. Zamudio-Bayer, R. Lindblad, C. Bulow, G. Leistner, A. Terasaki, B. v. Issendorff, and J. T. Lau, J. Chem. Phys. 145, 194302 (2016). DOI: 10.1063/1.4967821

 

 

Ultrafast imaging reveals existence of 'polarons'

 
‎Yesterday, ‎December ‎6, ‎2016, ‏‎4:48:01 AMGo to full article
Upton NY (SPX) Nov 30, 2016 - Many people picture electrical conductivity as the flow of charged particles (mainly electrons) without really thinking about the atomic structure of the material through which those charges are moving. But scientists who study "strongly correlated electron" materials such as high-temperature superconductors and those with strong responses to magnetism know that picture is far too simplistic. They know that the atoms play a crucial role in determining a material's properties.

For example, electrical resistance is a manifestation of electrons scattering off the atoms. Less evident is the concept that electrons and atoms can move cooperatively to stop the flow of charge-or, in the other extreme, make electrons flow freely without resistance.

Now, a team led by physicist Yimei Zhu at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory has produced definitive evidence that the movement of electrons has a direct effect on atomic arrangements, driving deformations in a material's 3D crystalline lattice in ways that can drastically alter the flow of current.

Finding evidence for these strong electron-lattice interactions, known as polarons, emphasizes the need to quantify their impact on complex phenomena such as superconductivity (the ability of some materials to carry current with no energy loss) and other promising properties.

As described in a paper just published in the Nature partner journal npj Quantum Materials, the team developed an "ultrafast electron diffraction" system-a new laser-driven imaging technique and the first of its kind in the world-to capture the subtle atomic-scale lattice distortions. The method has widespread potential application for studying other dynamic processes.

"The technique is similar to using stroboscopic photography to reveal the trajectory of a ball," said Zhu. "Using different time delays between throwing the ball and snapping the photo, you can capture the dynamic action," he said.

But to image dynamics at the atomic scale, you need a much faster flash and a way to set subatomic scale objects in motion.

The machine developed by the Brookhaven team uses a laser pulse to give electrons in a sample material a "kick" of energy. At the same time, a second laser split from the first generates very quick bursts of high-energy (2.8 mega-electron-volt) electrons to probe the sample.

The electrons that make up these 130-femtosecond "flashes"-each lasting just 0. 00000000000013 seconds-scatter off the sample and create diffraction patterns that reveal the positions of the atoms. By varying the time delay between the pulse and the probe, the scientists can capture the subtle shifts in atomic arrangements as the lattice responds to the "kicked-up" electrons.

"This is similar to x-ray diffraction, but by using electrons we get a much larger signal, and the high energy of the probe electrons gives us better access to measuring the precise motion of atoms," Zhu said. Plus, his microscope can be built for a fraction of what it would cost to build an ultrafast x-ray light source. "This is a 'home-built' machine."

Key findings
The scientists used this technique to study the electron-lattice interactions in a manganese oxide, a material of long-standing interest because of how dramatically its conductivity can be affected by the presence of a magnetic field.

They detected a telltale signature of electrons interacting with and altering the shape of the atomic lattice-namely, a two-step "relaxation" exhibited by the kicked-up electrons and their surrounding atoms.

In a normal one-step relaxation, electrons kicked up by a burst of energy from one atomic location to another quickly adapt their "shape" to the new environment.

"But in strongly correlated materials, the electrons are slowed down by interactions with other electrons and interactions with the lattice," said Weiguo Yin, another Brookhaven physicist working on the study. "It's like a traffic jam with lots of cars moving more slowly."

In effect the negatively charged electrons and positively charged atomic nuclei respond to one another in a way that causes each to try to accommodate the "shape" of the other. So an elongated electron cloud, when entering a symmetrical atomic space, begins to assume a more spherical shape, while at the same time, the atoms that make up the lattice, shift positions to try to accommodate the elongated electron cloud.

In the second step, this in-between, push-me, pull-you arrangement gradually relaxes to what would be expected in a one-step relaxation.

"This two-step behavior, which we can see with our ultrafast electron diffraction, is the proof that the lattice vibrations are interacting with the electrons in a timely fashion. They are the proof that polarons exist," Yin said.

The finding yields insight into how the lattice response helps generate the huge decrease in electrical resistance the manganites experience in a magnetic field-an effect known as colossal magnetoresistance.

"The electron cloud shapes are linked to the magnetic attributes of the electrons," Yin explained. "When the magnetic moments of the electrons are aligned in a magnetic field, the electron cloud shape and the atomic arrangement become more symmetric and homogenous. Without the need to play the push-me, pull-you game, electric charges can flow more easily."

This work shows that an ultrafast laser can quickly modify electronic, magnetic, and lattice dynamics in strongly correlated electron materials-an approach that could result in promising new technical applications, such as ultrafast memory or other high-speed electronic devices.

"Our method can be used to better understand these dynamic interactions, and suggests that it will also be useful for studying other dynamic processes to discover hidden states and other exotic material behavior," said Zhu.

Research paper: "Dichotomy in ultrafast atomic dynamics as direct evidence of polaron formation in manganites"

 

 

NIST debuts dual atomic clock - and a new stability record

 
‎Yesterday, ‎December ‎6, ‎2016, ‏‎4:48:01 AMGo to full article
Boulder CO (SPX) Nov 29, 2016 - What could be better than a world-leading atomic clock? Two clocks in one. Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have combined two experimental atomic clocks based on ytterbium atoms to set yet another world record for clock stability. Stability can be thought of as how precisely the duration of each clock tick matches every other tick that comes before and after.

This extraordinary stability makes the ytterbium lattice clock a more powerful tool for precision tests such as whether the "fundamental constants" of nature are really constant, and searches for the elusive dark matter purported to make up much of the universe. The experiment demonstrating the double-clock design is reported in Nature Photonics.

"We eliminated a critical type of noise in the clock's operation, effectively making the clock signal stronger," NIST physicist Andrew Ludlow said. "This means we can reach a clock instability of 1.5 parts in a quintillion (1 followed by 18 zeros) in just a few thousand seconds. While this only slightly beats the record level of clock stability we demonstrated a few years ago, we get there 10 times faster."

NIST atomic clocks routinely perform at very high levels, but scientists continually tweak them to reduce slight imperfections. The new double-clock design eliminates a small but significant distortion in the laser frequency that probes and synchronizes with the atoms. The more stable the clock, the better its measurement power.

The new ytterbium lattice 'double clock' is the most stable clock in the world, although another NIST atomic clock, based on strontium and located at JILA, holds the world record for precision. Precision refers to how closely the clock tunes itself to the natural frequency at which the atoms oscillate between two electronic energy levels.

Both the ytterbium and strontium clocks tick at optical frequencies, much higher than the microwave frequencies of cesium atomic clocks used as time standards. An optical atomic clock operates by tuning the frequency of a laser to resonate with the frequency of the atoms' transition between two energy states. This atomic ticking is transferred to the laser for use as a timekeeping tool. Any noise or uncertainty affecting this process disturbs the laser frequency and, thus, the timekeeping precision.

Optical atomic clocks typically alternate laser probing of the atoms with periods of "dead time" during which the atoms are prepared and measured. During dead times, certain laser frequency fluctuations are not properly observed or compensated for in the laser tuning process. The resulting noise effects (first observed in the 1990s by G.J. Dick, then of the California Institute of Technology) has, until now, limited clock stability and precision.

NIST's new double-clock design has zero dead time - and is, therefore, nicknamed the ZDT clock - and virtually no dead-time noise, because it probes atoms continuously by switching back and forth from one atomic ensemble to the other. The two ensembles of 5,000 and 10,000 ytterbium atoms, respectively, are each trapped in a grid of laser light called an optical lattice and probed by a shared laser.

Measurements of the responses of the two atom ensembles are combined to produce a single, combined correction to the laser frequency. These measurements and corrections are made twice as fast as in a single clock. Because there is no dead-time noise, the new clock attains record stability levels 10 times faster than before. Crucially, the performance is now limited by the atomic system of the clock rather than the laser, a long-sought goal in physics that Ludlow calls a "dream" for future applications.

This approach can ultimately reduce atomic clock size and complexity, so the apparatus could be made portable enough to use outside the laboratory. The physical package is currently larger than a single clock, but eventually both atomic systems could share a single vacuum apparatus and simpler laser systems, thus reducing the overall size, Ludlow said.

Portable optical atomic clocks could be distributed around the world for relativistic geodesy (gravity-based measurements of the shape of the Earth) or carried on spacecraft for tests of general relativity.

 

 

An Archimedes' screw for groups of quantum particles

 
‎Yesterday, ‎December ‎6, ‎2016, ‏‎4:48:01 AMGo to full article
Singapore (SPX) Nov 21, 2016 - Anyone who has tried to lead a group of tourists through a busy city knows the problem. How do you keep the group together when they are constantly jostled, held up and distracted by the hubbub around them?

It's a problem the designers of quantum computers have to tackle. In some future quantum computers, information will be encoded in the delicate quantum states of groups of particles. These face jostling by noise and disorder within the materials of the processor. Now, an international team has proposed a scheme that could help protect groups of particles and enable them to move together without any getting lost or held up.

The proposal, published 17 November in Physical Review Letters, comes from researchers at the National University of Singapore (NUS), Technical University of Crete, University of Oxford and Google.

Their paper puts forward a scheme that can reliably transport quantum states of a few photons along a line of miniature quantum circuits. Simulations show that it should efficiently move a three-photon state from one circuit site to the next over dozens of sites: the particles jump together throughout and finally appear at the other end undisturbed, with no spreading out.

The scheme is based on the ideas of physicist David J. Thouless, who won half the 2016 Nobel Prize in physics for his work on topological effects in materials. Topological effects are to do with geometry, and their use in quantum computing can help protect fragile quantum states during processing.

One of Thouless' major contributions was the invention of 'topological pumping'. This works something like Archimedes' screw pump for water. The Ancient Greek's screw spins around, but the water within it travels in a straight line up a hill.

"Even though the motion of the machine is cyclical, the motion of the particles is not, they move in a line," explains Jirawat Tangpanitanon, first author on the paper and a PhD student in the group of Dimitris Angelakis at the Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT) at NUS.

In the quantum scheme, the screw thread is not a physical structure but an oscillating external field imposed on the particles by electronic control over the device that contains them.

Angelakis started his group looking into topological pumping after others in 2015 demonstrated the effect for individual, non-interacting, particles. Angelakis, Tangpanitanon and Research Fellow Victor Bastidas wanted to find out if it would be possible to move groups of particles coherently too.

The answer is yes. What's more, unlike Archimedes' pump, which can only move water one way, the quantum particles can even be sent into reverse by changing the initial conditions. "It's like a moonwalk," jokes Tangpanitanon. It looks like everything should be moving forward, but instead the particles go backwards due to quantum effects.

Co-author Pedram Roushan - part of the Google group in Santa Barbara, California building superconducting circuits for quantum computing - and the team hopes to see the idea implemented in similar hardware. "This paper is almost a blueprint. We developed the proposal to match existing devices," says Angelakis, who is a Principal Investigator at CQT and a faculty member at the Technical University of Crete.

Research paper: 'Topological Pumping of Photons in Nonlinear Resonator Arrays'

 

 

Optical clock technology tested in space for first time

 
‎Yesterday, ‎December ‎6, ‎2016, ‏‎4:48:01 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Nov 21, 2016 - For the first time, an optical clock has traveled to space, surviving harsh rocket launch conditions and successfully operating under the microgravity that would be experienced on a satellite. This demonstration brings optical clock technology much closer to implementation in space, where it could eventually allow GPS-based navigation with centimeter-level location precision.

In The Optical Society's journal for high impact research, Optica, researchers report on a new compact, robust and automated frequency comb laser system that was key to the operation of the space-borne optical clock. Frequency combs are the "gears" necessary to run clocks ticking at optical frequencies.

"Our device represents a cornerstone in the development of future space-based precision clocks and metrology," said Matthias Lezius of Menlo Systems GmbH, first author of the paper. "The optical clock performed the same in space as it had on the ground, showing that our system engineering worked very well."

Phones and other GPS-enabled devices pinpoint your location on Earth by contacting at least four satellites bearing atomic clocks. Each of these satellites provides a time stamp, and the system calculates your location based on the relative differences among those times. The atomic clocks used on today's satellites are based on natural oscillation of the cesium atom - a frequency in the microwave region of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Optical clocks use atoms or ions that oscillate about 100,000 times higher than microwave frequencies, in the optical, or visible, part of the electromagnetic spectrum. The higher frequencies mean that optical clocks "tick" faster than microwave atomic clocks and could thus provide time-stamps that are 100 to 1,000 times more accurate, greatly improving the precision of GPS.

Frequency combs are an important component of optical clocks because they act like gears, dividing the faster oscillations of optical clocks into lower frequencies to be counted and linked to a microwave-based reference atomic clock. In other words, frequency combs allow the optical oscillations to be precisely measured and used to tell time.

Until recently, frequency combs have been very large, complex set-ups only found in laboratories. Lezius and his team at Menlo Systems, a spin-off company of Nobel Laureate T.W. Hansch's group at the Max Plank Institute for Quantum Optics, developed a fully automated optical frequency comb that measures only 22 by 14.2 centimeters and weighs 22 kilograms.

The new frequency comb is based on optical fibers, making it rugged enough to travel through the extreme acceleration forces and temperature changes experienced when leaving Earth. Its power consumption is below 70 watts, well within the requirements for satellite-based devices.

Traveling to space
The researchers combined their new frequency comb with an atomic cesium clock for reference and a rubidium optical clock developed by research groups at Ferdinand Braun Institute Berlin and Humbold University Berlin as well as a group from Hamburg University that recently moved to Mainz University. Airbus Defense and Space GmbH was involved in the construction, interfacing, and integration of the payload module that went into space and also provided support and equipment during the flight.

In April 2015, the entire system was flown on a research rocket for a 6-minute parabolic flight into space as part of the TEXUS program that launches from the Esrange Space Center in Sweden. Once microgravity was achieved, the system started measurements automatically and was controlled from the ground station via a low-bandwidth radio link.

"The experiment demonstrated the comb's functionality as a comparative frequency divider between the optical rubidium transition at 384 THz and the cesium clock providing a 10 MHz reference," said Lezius.

Although the optical clock used in the demonstration had about one tenth the accuracy of atomic clocks used on GPS satellites today, the researchers are already working on a new version that will improve accuracy by several orders of magnitude.

Global sensing from space
The highly accurate measurements made possible with frequency combs could be useful for many applications. For example, space-based frequency combs could improve the accuracy of global remote sensing of greenhouse gases from satellites and could be used for space-based gravitational wave detectors.

"Applications based on frequency combs are quite important for future space-based optical clocks, precision metrology and earth observation techniques," said Lezius. "The space technology readiness of frequency combs is developing at a fast pace."

The researchers plan to fly an improved version of the optical clock into space at the end of 2017. In that experiment, the frequency comb module will not fly under a pressurized dome in order to test how well it works in the vacuum conditions that would be experienced on a satellite. The researchers also seek to further improve the system's resistance to harsh cosmic radiation to ensure that it can operate for several years in orbit.

Within a few years, Lezius and his team aim to have a space-qualified frequency comb module that the space community can use in future missions and applications. They are aiming for a device with a volume of about 3 liters that weighs a few kilograms and has a power consumption of approximately 10 watts.

M. Lezius, T. Wilken, C. Deutsch, M. Giunta, O. Mandel, A. Thaller, V. Schkolnik, M. Schiemangk, A. Dinkelaker, A. Kohfeldt, A. Wicht, M. Krutzik, A. Peters, O. Hellmig, H. Duncker, "Space-borne Frequency Comb Metrology," Optica, 3, 12, 1380 (2016). DOI: 10.1364/optica.3.001380.

 

 

Controlling electrons in time and space

 
‎Monday, ‎November ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎4:38:03 AMGo to full article
Vienna, Austria (SPX) Nov 17, 2016 - In an electron microscope, electrons are emitted by pointy metal tips, that way the can be steered and controlled with high precision. Recently, such metal tips have also been used as high precision electron sources for generating x-rays.

A team of researchers at TU Wien (Vienna), together with colleagues from the FAU Erlangen-Nurnberg (Germany), have developed a method of controlling electron emission with higher precision than ever before. With the help of two different laser pulses it is now possible to switch the flow of electrons on and off on extremely short time scales.

It's Just the Tip of the Needle
"The basic idea resembles a lightning rod", says Christoph Lemell (TU Wien). "The electrical field around a needle is always strongest right at the tip. That's why the lightning always strikes the tip of a rod, and for the same reason, electrons leave a needle right at the tip."

Extremely pointy needles can be fabricated with the methods of modern nanotechnology. Their tip is just a few nanometres wide, so the point at which the electrons are emitted is known with very high accuracy. In addition to that, it is also important to control at which point in time the electrons are emitted.

This kind of temporal control has now become possible, using a new approach: "Two different laser pulses are fired at the metal tip", explains Florian Libisch (TU Wien). The colours of these two lasers are chosen such that the photons of one laser have exactly twice the energy of the other laser's photons. Also, it is important to ensure that both light waves oscillate in perfect synchronicity.

With the help of computer simulations, the team from TU Wien was able to predict that a small time delay between the two laser pulses can serve as a "switch" for electron emission. This prediction has now been confirmed by experiments performed by Professor Peter Hommelhoff's research group at FAU Erlangen-Nurnberg. Based on these experiments, it is now possible to understand the process in detail.

Absorbing Photons
When a laser pulse is fired at the metal tip, its electrical field can rip electrons out of the metal - that is a well-known phenomenon. The new idea is that a combination of two different lasers can be used to control the emission of the electrons on a femtosecond time scale.

There are different ways an electron can gain enough energy to leave the metal tip: It can absorb one photon from the high-energy laser and two photons from the low-energy laser or four electrons from the low-energy laser.

Both mechanisms lead to the same result. "Much like a particle in a double slit experiment, which travels on two different paths at the same time, the electron can take part in two different processes at the same time", says Professor Joachim Burgdorfer (TU Wien). "Nature does not have to pick one the two possibilities - both are equally real and interfere which each other."

By carefully tuning the two lasers, it is possible to control whether the two quantum physical processes amplify each other, which leads to an increased emission of electrons, or whether they cancel each other, which means that hardly any electrons are emitted at all. This is a simple and effective way of controlling electron emission.

It is not just a new method of performing experiments with high energy electrons, the new technology should open the door to controlled x-ray generation. "Innovative x-ray sources are already being built, using arrays of narrow metal tips as electron sources", says Lemell. "With our new method, these nano tips could be triggered in exactly the right way so that coherent x-ray radiation is produced."

Research paper

 

 

Researchers found mathematical structure that was thought not to exist

 
‎Monday, ‎November ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎4:38:03 AMGo to full article
Espoo, Finland (SPX) Nov 16, 2016 - In the 1970s, a group of mathematicians started developing a theory according to which codes could be presented at a level one step higher than the sequences formed by zeros and ones: mathematical subspaces named q-analogs.

For a long time, no applications were found - or were not even searched for - for the theory until ten years ago, when it was understood that they would be useful in the efficient data transmission required by modern data networks.

The challenge was that, despite numerous attempts, the best possible codes described in the theory had not been found and it was therefore believed they did not even exist. However, an international research group disagreed. 'We thought it could very well be possible,' says Professor Patric Ostergard from Aalto University and smiles.

'The search was challenging because of the enormous size of the structures. Searching for them is a gigantic operation even if there is very high-level computational capacity available. Therefore, in addition to algebraic techniques and computers, we also had to use our experience and guess where to start looking, and that way limit the scope of the search.'

The perseverance was rewarded when the group consisting of five researchers found the largest possible structure described by the theory. The results were recently presented in the scientific publication Forum of Mathematics, Pi, which publishes only a dozen carefully selected articles per year.

Aalto University (Finland), Technion (Israel), University of Bayreuth (Germany), Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences (Germany), University of California San Diego (USA) and Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) participated in the study.

Although mathematical breakthroughs rarely become financial success stories immediately, many modern things we take for granted would not exist without them. For example, Boolean algebra, which has played a key role in the creation of computers, has been developed since the 19th century.

'As a matter of fact, information theory was green before anyone had even mentioned green alternatives,' says Ostergard and laughs.

'Its basic idea is, actually, to try to take advantage of the power of the transmitter as effectively as possible, which in practice means attempting to transmit data using as little energy as possible. Our discovery will not become a product straight away, but it may gradually become part of the internet.''

Research paper: "Existence of q-analogs of Steiner Systems".

 

 

Starvation Diet for Black Hole Dims Brilliant Galaxy

 
‎Monday, ‎November ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎4:38:03 AMGo to full article
Boston MA (SPX) Nov 11, 2016 - Astronomers may have solved the mystery of the peculiar volatile behavior of a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy. Combined data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and other observatories suggest that the black hole is no longer being fed enough fuel to make its surroundings shine brightly.

Many galaxies have an extremely bright core, or nucleus, powered by material falling toward a supermassive black hole. These so-called "active galactic nuclei" or AGN, are some of the brightest objects in the Universe.

Astronomers classify AGN into two main types based on the properties of the light they emit. One type of AGN tends to be brighter than the other. The brightness is generally thought to depend on either or both of two factors: the AGN could be obscured by surrounding gas and dust, or it could be intrinsically dim because the rate of feeding of the supermassive black hole is low.

Some AGN have been observed to change once between these two types over the course of only 10 years, a blink of an eye in astronomical terms. However, the AGN associated with the galaxy Markarian 1018 stands out by changing type twice, from a faint to a bright AGN in the 1980s and then changing back to a faint AGN within the last five years.

A handful of AGN have been observed to make this full-cycle change, but never before has one been studied in such detail. During the second change in type the Markarian 1018 AGN became eight times fainter in X-rays between 2010 and 2016.

After discovering the AGN's fickle nature during a survey project using ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT), astronomers requested and received time to observe it with both NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and Hubble Space Telescope. The accompanying graphic shows the AGN in optical light from the VLT (left) with a Chandra image of the galaxy's central region in X-rays showing the point source for the AGN (right).

Data from ground-based telescopes including the VLT allowed the researchers to rule out a scenario in which the increase in the brightness of the AGN was caused by the black hole disrupting and consuming a single star. The VLT data also cast doubt on the possibility that changes in obscuration by intervening gas cause changes in the brightness of the AGN.

However, the true mechanism responsible for the AGN's surprising variation remained a mystery until Chandra and Hubble data was analyzed. Chandra observations in 2010 and 2016 conclusively showed that obscuration by intervening gas was not responsible for the decline in brightness.

Instead, models of the optical and ultraviolet light detected by Hubble, NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey in the bright and faint states showed that the AGN had faded because the black hole was being starved of infalling material. This starvation also explains the fading of the AGN in X-rays.

One possible explanation for this starvation is that the inflow of fuel is being disrupted. This disruption could be caused by interactions with a second supermassive black hole in the system. A black hole binary is possible as the galaxy is the product of a collision and merger between two large galaxies, each of which likely contained a supermassive black hole in its center.

The list observatories used in this finding also include NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) mission and Swift spacecraft.

Two papers, one with the first author of Bernd Husemann (previously at ESO and currently at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy) and the other with Rebecca McElroy (University of Sydney), describing these results appeared in the September 2016 issue of Astronomy and Astrophysics journal

 

 

Simulations show swirling rings, whirlpool-like structure in subatomic 'soup'

 
‎Monday, ‎November ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎4:38:03 AMGo to full article
Berkeley CA (SPX) Nov 14, 2016 - At its start, the universe was a superhot melting pot that very briefly served up a particle soup resembling a "perfect," frictionless fluid. Scientists have recreated this "soup," known as quark-gluon plasma, in high-energy nuclear collisions to better understand our universe's origins and the nature of matter itself. The physics can also be relevant to neutron stars, which are the extraordinarily dense cores of collapsed stars.

Now, powerful supercomputer simulations of colliding atomic nuclei, conducted by an international team of researchers including a Berkeley Lab physicist, provide new insights about the twisting, whirlpool-like structure of this soup and what's at work inside of it, and also lights a path to how experiments could confirm these characteristics. The work is published in the Nov. 1 edition of Physical Review Letters.

This soup contains the deconstructed ingredients of matter, namely fundamental particles known as quarks and other particles called gluons that typically bind quarks to form other particles, such as the protons and neutrons found at the cores of atoms. In this exotic plasma state - which can reach trillions of degrees Fahrenheit, hundreds of thousands of times hotter than the sun's core - protons and neutrons melt, freeing quarks and gluons from their usual confines at the center of atoms.

These record-high temperatures have been achieved by colliding gold nuclei at Brookhaven National Laboratory's RHIC (Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider), for example, and lead nuclei at CERN's LHC (Large Hadron Collider). Experiments at RHIC discovered in 2005 that quark-gluon plasma behaves like a fluid. In addition to gold nuclei, RHIC has also been used to collide protons, copper and uranium. The LHC began conducting heavy-ion experiments in 2014, and has confirmed that the quark-gluon plasma behaves like a fluid.

There remain many mysteries about the inner workings of this short-lived plasma state, which may only have existed for millionths of a second in the newborn universe, and nuclear physicists are using a blend of theory, simulations and experiments to glean new details about this subatomic soup.

Surprising complexity in plasma structure
"In our sophisticated simulations, we found that there is much more structure to this plasma than we realized," said Xin-Nian Wang, a theorist in the Nuclear Science Division at Berkeley Lab who has worked for years on the physics of high-energy nuclear collisions.

When plotted out in two dimensions, the simulations found that slightly off-center collisions of heavy nuclei produce a wobbling and expanding fluid, Wang said, with local rotation that is twisted in a corkscrew-like fashion.

This corkscrew character relates to the properties of the colliding nuclei that created the plasma, which the simulation showed expanding along - and perpendicular to - the beam direction. Like spinning a coin by flicking it with your finger, the simulations showed that the angular momentum properties of the colliding nuclei can transfer spin properties to the quark gluon plasma in the form of swirling, ring-like structures known as vortices.

The simulations showed two of these doughnut-shaped vortices - each with a right-handed orientation around each direction of the separate beams of the colliding nuclei - and also many pairs of oppositely oriented vortices along the longest dimension of the plasma. These doughnut-shaped features are analogous to swirling smoke rings and are a common feature in classical studies of fluids, a field known as hydrodynamics.

The simulations also revealed a patterned outward flow from hot spots in the plasma that resemble the spokes of a wheel. The time scale covered in the simulation was infinitesimally small, Wang said, roughly the amount of time it takes light to travel the distance of 10-20 protons. During this time the wobbling fluid explodes like a fireball, spurting the particle soup outward from its middle more rapidly than from its top.

Any new understanding of quark-gluon plasma properties should be helpful in interpreting data from nuclei-colliding experiments, Wang said, noting that the emergence of several localized doughnut-like structures in the simulations was "completely unexpected."

Unraveling a mystery
"We can think about this as opening a completely new window of looking at quark-gluon plasmas, and how to study them," he said. "Hopefully this will provide another gateway into understanding why this quark-gluon fluid is such a perfect fluid - the nature of why this is so is still a puzzle. This work will benefit not only theory, but also experiments."

The simulations provide more evidence that the quark-gluon plasma behaves like a fluid, and not a gas as had once been theorized. "The only way you can describe this is to have a very small viscosity," or barely any friction, a characteristic of a so-called 'perfect fluid' or 'fundamental fluid,'" Wang said. But unlike a familiar fluid like water, the simulation focuses on a fluid state hundreds of times smaller than a water molecule.

Michael Lisa, a physics professor at Ohio State University who is part of the collaboration supporting the Solenoidal Tracker at RHIC (STAR), said the so-called vorticity or "swirl structure" of this plasma has never been measured experimentally, though this latest theoretical work may help to home in on it. STAR is designed to study the formation and characteristics of the quark-gluon plasma.

"Wang and his collaborators have developed a sophisticated, state-of-the-art hydrodynamic model of the quark-gluon plasma and have identified swirling structures that vary within the fluid itself," he said. "Even more useful is the fact that they propose a method to measure these structures in the laboratory."

Lisa also said there is ongoing analysis work to confirm the simulation's findings in data from experiments at RHIC and the LHC. "It is precisely innovations like this, where theory and experiment collaborate to explore new phenomena, that hold the greatest hope for greater insight into the quark-gluon plasma," he said.

"Many tools have been used to probe the inner working mechanics and symmetry properties of this unique matter," said Zhangbu Xu, a spokesperson for the STAR collaboration and a staff scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory. He also said that preliminary results from STAR also suggest some spinning motion in the fluid, and the simulation work "adds a new dimension" to this possibility.

Research paper

 

 

Watching the buildup of quantum superpositions

 
‎Monday, ‎November ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎4:38:03 AMGo to full article
Vienna, Austria (SPX) Nov 14, 2016 - It is definitely the most famous experiment in quantum physics: in the double slit experiment, a particle is fired onto a plate with two parallel slits, so there are two different paths on which the particle can reach the detector on the other side. Due to its quantum properties, the particle does not have to choose between these two possibilities, it can pass through both slits at the same time. Something quite similar can be observed when a helium atom is ionized with a laser beam.

Just like the two paths through the plate, the ionization of helium can happen via two different processes at the same time, and this leads to characteristic interference effects. In the case of the helium atom, they are called "Fano resonances". A team of scientists from TU Wien (Vienna, Austria), the Max-Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg (Germany) and Kansas State University (USA) has now managed to observe the buildup up of these Fano resonances - even though this effect takes place on a time scale of femtoseconds.

The experiment was performed in Heidelberg, the original proposal for such an experiment and computer simulations were developed by the team from Vienna, additional theoretical calculations came from Kansas State University.

Direct and Indirect Path
When a laser pulse transfers enough energy to one of the electrons in the helium atom, the electron is ripped out of the atom right away.

There is, however, another way to ionize the helium atom, which is a little bit more complex, as Professor Joachim Burgdorfer (TU Wien) explains: "If at first the laser lifts both electrons to a state of higher energy, one of the electrons may return into the state of lower energy. Part of this electron's energy is transferred to the second electron, which can then leave the helium atom."

The outcome of these two processes is exactly the same - both turn the neutral helium atom into an ion with one remaining electron. From this perspective, they are fundamentally indistinguishable.

Fano Resonances
"According to the laws of quantum physics, each atom can undergo both processes at the same time", says Renate Pazourek (TU Wien). "And this combination of paths leaves us characteristic traces that can be detected." Analyzing the light absorbed by the helium atoms, so-called Fano resonances are found - an unmistakable sign that the final state was reached via two different paths.

This can also be prevented. During the ionization process, the indirect path can be effectively switched off with a second laser beam so that only the other path remains open and the Fano-resonance disappears.

This opens up a new possibility of studying the time evolution of this process. At first, the atom is allowed to follow both paths simultaneously. After some time, the indirect path is blocked. Depending on how long the system was allowed to access both paths, the Fano-resonance becomes more or less distinct.

"Fano resonances have been observed in a wide variety of physical systems, they play an important role in atomic physics", says Stefan Donsa (TU Wien). "For the first time, it is now possible to control these resonances and to show precisely, how they build up within femtoseconds."

"These quantum effects are so fast that on our usual time scales they appear to happen instantaneously, from one moment to the next", says Stefan Nagele. "Only by employing new sophisticated methods of attosecond physics it has become possible to study the time evolution of these processes."

This does not only help quantum scientists to understand the fundamental theory of important quantum effects, it also opens up new possibilities of controlling such processes - for example facilitating or inhibiting chemical reactions.

Research paper: "Observing the ultrafast build-up of a Fano resonance in the time domain"

 

 

Entering the field of zeptosecond measurement

 
‎Monday, ‎November ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎4:38:03 AMGo to full article
Munich, Germany (SPX) Nov 09, 2016 - Laser physicists in Munich have measured a photoionization - in which an electron exits a helium atom after excitation by light - for the first time with zeptosecond precision. A zeptosecond is a trillionth of a billionth of a second (10^-21 seconds). This is the greatest accuracy of time determination ever achieved, as well as the first absolute determination of the timescale of photoionization.

If light hits the two electrons of a helium atom, one must be incredibly fast to observe what occurs. Besides the ultra-short periods in which changes take place, quantum mechanics also comes into play. Laser physicists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ), the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Ludwig Maximilians University (LMU) Munich have now measured such an event for the first time with zeptosecond precision.

Either the entire energy of a light particle (photon) can be absorbed by one of the electrons or a division can take place, if a photon hits the two electrons of a helium atom. Regardless of the energy transfer, one electron leaves the atom. This process is called photoemission, or photoelectric effect, and was explained by Albert Einstein at the beginning of last century.

It takes between five and fifteen attoseconds (1 as is 10^-18 second) from the time a photon interacts with the electrons to the time one of the electrons leaves the atom, as physicists already discovered in recent years.

First glance into the world of Zeptoseconds
With their improved measurement method, laser physicists can accurately measure events at a rate of up to 850 zeptoseconds. The researchers shone an attosecond-long, extremely ultraviolet (XUV) light pulse onto a helium atom to excite the electrons.

At the same time, they fired a second infrared laser pulse, lasting about four femtoseconds (1 fs is 10^-15 seconds). The electron was detected by the infrared laser pulse as soon as it left the atom following excitation by XUV light.

Depending on the exact electromagnetic field of this pulse at the time of detection, the electron was accelerated or decelerated. Through this change in speed, the physicists were able to measure photoemission with zeptosecond precision.

In line with theoretical predictions
The researchers were also able to determine for the first time how the energy of the incident photon is quantum-mechanically divided between the two electrons of the helium atom in a few attoseconds before the emission of one of the particles.

"With the measurement of the electronic correlation, our experiments solved a promise of attosecond physics, namely the temporal resolution of a process which is inaccessible with other methods," says Reinhard Kienberger, professor of the Chair of Laser- and X-Ray Physics at TU Munich.

The physicists were also able to correlate the zeptosecond precision of their experiments with the theoretical predictions of their peers from the Institute of Theoretical Physics at the Technical University of Vienna.

With its two electrons, helium is the only multi electron system that can be calculated completely quantum mechanically. This makes it possible to reconcile theory and experiment. "We can now derive the complete wave mechanic description of the interconnected systems of electron and ionized helium mother atoms from our measurements," says Martin Schultze, project leader at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching (Germany).

With their metrology experiments in zeptosecond time dimensions, the laser physicists have maneuvered another important puzzle piece in the quantum mechanics of the helium atom into position, and thus advanced measuring accuracy in the microcosm to a whole new dimension.

Research paper M. Ossiander, F. Siegrist, V. Shirvanyan, R. Pazourek, A. Sommer, T. Latka, A. Guggenmos, S. Nagele, J. Feist, J. Burgdorfer, R. Kienberger and M. SchultzeAttosecond correlation dynamics Nature physics, 7. November 2016, doi: 10.1038/nphys3941

 

 

France doubles its experimental capability in nuclear physics

 
‎Monday, ‎November ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎4:38:03 AMGo to full article
Paris, France (SPX) Nov 08, 2016 - The new SPIRAL2 particle accelerator at the French large heavy-ion accelerator GANIL (CNRS/CEA), inaugurated on November 3 in the presence of the French President Francois Hollande, will be able to produce immensely powerful particle beams, enabling scientists to push back the frontiers of knowledge.

This will double France's experimental capability in nuclear physics, especially with regard to research into atomic nuclei and the mechanisms of nuclear reactions, such as those that take place within stars. Initial experiments are expected to get underway in mid 2017.

Studying atomic nuclei is of fundamental importance since they contain nearly the entire mass of the atoms of which all matter is made. The SPIRAL2 facility will be used to probe the very heart of matter.

It is designed to produce huge quantities of 'exotic' particles (so called because they do not exist in the natural state on Earth), making it possible to carry out novel experiments in nuclear physics and astrophysics. Multidisciplinary applied research will also be carried out at SPIRAL2 in the fields of health care (radiotherapy, diagnosis and biomedical research), materials for microfiltration (membranes for the agri-food and health sectors), electronics, the aerospace industry, and nuclear fission and fusion.

SPIRAL2 is one of the world's six most important research projects in nuclear physics. When it begins operation in 2017 it will enable France to continue to take center stage in international research in this field.

GANIL1, a very large-scale research infrastructure jointly run by the CNRS and the French Atomic and Alternative Energies Commission CEA, attracts over 700 researchers from 30 different countries each year to its facility in Caen.

With a cost in excess of euro 138 million2, the project, run by the CNRS and CEA, is supported by the French government, the city of Caen, the Caen-la-mer urban community, the departement of Calvados, the Normandy region and the European Union. Construction of SPIRAL2 began in 2011, and the accelerator will be inaugurated on Thursday 3 November 2016 in the presence of the French President, Francois Hollande.

Its design and construction involved a large number of public research laboratories (in particular from the CEA and CNRS) as well as high-tech companies both in France and Europe.

Photo report

 

 

Watching quantum jumps

 
‎Monday, ‎November ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎4:38:03 AMGo to full article
Vienna, Austria (SPX) Nov 09, 2016 - Quantum particles can change their state very quickly - this is called a "quantum jump". An atom, for example, can absorb a photon, thereby changing into a state of higher energy. Usually, these processes are thought to happen instantaneously, from one moment to the next.

However, with new methods, developed at TU Wien (Vienna), it is now possible to study the time structure of such extremely fast state changes. Much like an electron microscope allows us to take a look at tiny structures which are too small to be seen with the naked eye, ultrashort laser pulses allow us to analyse temporal structures which used to be inaccessible.

The theoretical part of the project was done by Prof. Joachim Burgdorfer's team at TU Wien (Vienna), which also developed the initial idea for the experiment. The experiment was performed at the Max-Planck-Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching (Germany). The results have now been published in the journal Nature Physics.

The Most Accurate Time Measurement of Quantum Jumps

A neutral helium atom has two electrons. When it is hit by a high energy laser pulse, it can be ionized: one of the electrons is ripped out of the atom and departs from it. This process occurs on a time scale of attoseconds - one attosecond is a billionth of a billionth of a second.

"One could imagine that the other electron, which stays in the atom, does not really play an important part in this process - but that's not true", says Renate Pazourek (TU Wien). The two electrons are correlated, they are closely connected by the laws of quantum physics, they cannot be seen as independent particles.

"When one electron is removed from the atom, some of the laser energy can be transferred to the second electron. It remains in the atom, but it is lifted up to a state of higher energy", says Stefan Nagele (TU Wien).

Therefore, it is possible to distinguish between two different ionization processes: one, in which the remaining electron gains additional energy and one, in which it remains in a state of minimal energy. Using a sophisticated experimental setup, it was possible to show that the duration of these two processes is not exactly the same.

"When the remaining electron jumps to an excited state, the photo ionization process is slightly faster - by about five attoseconds", says Stefan Nagele.

It is remarkable how well the experimental results agree with theoretical calculations and large-scale computer simulations carried out at the Vienna Scientific Cluster, Austria's largest supercomputer: "The precision of the experiment is better than one attosecond. This is the most accurate time measurement of a quantum jump to date", says Renate Pazourek.

Controlling Attoseconds
The experiment provides new insights into the physics of ultrashort time scales. Effects, which a few decades ago were still considered "instantaneous" can now be seen as temporal developments which can be calculated, measured and even controlled.

This does not only help to understand the basic laws of nature, it also brings new possibilities of manipulating matter on a quantum scale.

Research paper

 

 

Scientists set traps for atoms with single-particle precision

 
‎Friday, ‎November ‎18, ‎2016, ‏‎5:39:07 AMGo to full article
Boston MA (SPX) Nov 08, 2016 - Atoms, photons, and other quantum particles are often capricious and finicky by nature; very rarely at a standstill, they often collide with others of their kind. But if such particles can be individually corralled and controlled in large numbers, they may be harnessed as quantum bits, or qubits - tiny units of information whose state or orientation can be used to carry out calculations at rates significantly faster than today's semiconductor-based computer chips.

In recent years, scientists have come up with ways to isolate and manipulate individual quantum particles. But such techniques have been difficult to scale up, and the lack of a reliable way to manipulate large numbers of atoms remains a significant roadblock toward quantum computing.

Now, scientists from Harvard and MIT have found a way around this challenge. In a paper published in the journal Science, the researchers report on a new method that enables them to use lasers as optical "tweezers" to pick individual atoms out from a cloud and hold them in place. As the atoms are "trapped," the scientists use a camera to create images of the atoms and their locations. Based on these images, they then manipulate the angle of the laser beams, to move individual atoms into any number of different configurations.

The team has so far created arrays of 50 atoms and manipulated them into various defect-free patterns, with single-atom control. Vladan Vuletic, one of the paper's authors and the Lester Wolfe Professor of Physics at MIT, likens the process to "building a small crystal of atoms, from the bottom, up."

"We have demonstrated a reconfigurable array of traps for single atoms, where we can prepare up to 50 individual atoms in separate traps deterministically, for future use in quantum information processing, quantum simulations, or precision measurements," says Vuletic, who is also a member of MIT's Research Laboratory of Electronics. "It's like Legos of atoms that you build up, and you can decide where you want each block to be."

The paper's other senior authors are lead author Manuel Endres and Markus Greiner and Mikhail Lukin of Harvard University.

Staying neutral
The team designed its technique to manipulate neutral atoms, which carry no electrical charge. Most other quantum experiments have involved charged atoms, or ions, as their charge makes them more easily trappable. Scientists have also shown that ions, under certain conditions, can be made to perform quantum gates - logical operations between two quantum bits, similar to logic gates in classical circuits. However, because of their charged nature, ions repel each other and are difficult to assemble in dense arrays.

Neutral atoms, on the other hand, have no problem being in close proximity. The main obstacle to using neutral atoms as qubits has been that, unlike ions, they experience very weak forces and are not easily held in place.

"The trick is to trap them, and in particular, to trap many of them," Vuletic says. "People have been able to trap many neutral atoms, but not in a way that you could form a regular structure with them. And for quantum computing, you need to be able to move specific atoms to specific locations, with individual control."

Setting the trap
To trap individual neutral atoms, the researchers first used a laser to cool a cloud of rubidium atoms to ultracold, near-absolute-zero temperatures, slowing the atoms down from their usual, high-speed trajectories. They then directed a second laser beam through an instrument that splits the laser beam into many smaller beams, the number and angle of which depend on the radio frequency applied to the deflector.

The researchers focused the smaller laser beams through the cloud of ultracold atoms and found that each beam's focus - the point at which the beam's intensity was highest - attracted a single atom, essentially picking it out from the cloud and holding it in place.

"It's similar to charging up a comb by rubbing it against something woolen, and using it to pick up small pieces of paper," Vuletic says. "It's a similar process with atoms, which are attracted to regions of high intensity of the light field."

While the atoms are trapped, they emit light, which the scientists captured using a charge-coupled-device camera. By looking at their images, the researchers were able to discern which laser beams, or tweezers, were holding atoms and which were not. They could then change the radio frequency of each beam to "switch off" the tweezers without atoms, and rearrange those with atoms, to create arrays that were free of defects. The team ultimately created arrays of 50 atoms that were held in place for up to several seconds.

"The question is always, how many quantum operations can you perform in this time?" Vuletic says. "The typical timescale for neutral atoms is about 10 microseconds, so you could do about 100,000 operations in a second. We think for now this lifetime is fine."

Now, the team is investigating whether they can encourage neutral atoms to perform quantum gates - the most basic processing of information between two qubits. While others have demonstrated this between two neutral atoms, they have not been able to retain quantum gates in systems involving large numbers of atoms. If Vuletic and his colleagues can successfully induce quantum gates in their systems of 50 atoms or more, they will have taken a significant step toward realizing quantum computing.

"People would also like to do other experiments aside from quantum computing, such as simulating condensed matter physics, with a predetermined number of atoms, and now with this technique it should be possible," Vuletic says. "It's very exciting."

This research was supported in part by the National Science Foundation and the National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship.

 

 

Hot on the heels of quasiparticles

 
‎Monday, ‎November ‎14, ‎2016, ‏‎2:52:46 AMGo to full article
Zurich, Switzerland (SPX) Nov 07, 2016 - If one tries to understand weather phenomena, it's not much use looking at the behaviour of single water droplets or air molecules. Instead, meteorologists (and also laymen) speak of clouds, winds and precipitation - objects that result from the complex interplay between small particles.

Physicists dealing with the optical properties or the conductivity of solids use much the same approach. Again, tiny particles - electrons and atoms - are responsible for a multitude of phenomena, but an illuminating picture only emerges when many of them are grouped into "quasiparticles".

However, finding out precisely what quasiparticles arise inside a material and how they influence one another is not a simple task, but more akin to a large puzzle whose pieces fit together, little by little, through arduous research. In a combination of experimental and theoretical studies, Atac Imamoglu and his collaborators at the Institute for Quantum Electronics at the ETH in Zurich have now succeeded in finding a new piece of the puzzle, which also helps to put a previously misplaced piece in its correct position.

Excitons and polarons
In solids quasiparticles can be created, for instance, when a photon is absorbed. The motional energy of electrons teeming about in a solid can only take values within well-defined ranges known as bands. A photon can promote an electron from a low-lying to a high-lying energy band, thus leaving behind a "hole" in the lower band.

The excited electron and the resulting hole attract each other through the electrostatic Coulomb force, and if that attraction is strong enough, the electron-hole pair can be viewed as a quasiparticle - an "exciton" is born. Two electrons and a hole can bind together to form a trion. When excitons and a large number of free electrons are simultaneously present however, the description of the qualitatively new - or "emergent" - properties of the material requires the introduction of new type of quasiparticles called Fermi polarons.

Quasiparticles in a semiconductor
Imamoglu and his colleagues wanted to find out the nature of quasiparticles that appear in a certain type of semiconductors in which electrons can only move in two dimensions. To do so, they took a single layer of molybdenum diselenide that is thousand times thinner than a micrometer and sandwiched it between two disks of boron nitride. They then added a layer of graphene in order to apply an electric voltage with which the density of electrons in the material could be controlled. Finally, everything was placed between two mirrors that formed an optical cavity.

With this complex experimental setup the physicists in Zurich could now study in detail how strongly the material absorbs light under different conditions. They found that when the semiconductor structure is optically excited, Fermi-polarons are formed - and not, as previously thought, excitons or trions. "So far, researchers - myself included - have misinterpreted the data available at the time in that respect", admits Imamoglu. "With our new experiments we are now able to rectify that picture."

Team effort with a guest scientist
"This was a team effort with essential contributions by Harvard professor Eugene Demler, who collaborated with us over several months when he was an ITS fellow", says Meinrad Sidler who is a doctoral student in Imamoglus group.

Since 2013 the Institute for Theoretical Studies (ITS) of the ETH has endeavoured to foster interdisciplinary research at the intersection between mathematics, theoretical physics and computer science. In particular, it wants to facilitate curiosity-driven research with the aim of finding the best ideas in unexpected places.

The study by Imamoglu and his colleagues, now published in "Nature Physics", is a good example for how this principle can be successful. In his own research, Eugene Demler deals with ultracold atoms, studying how mixtures of bosonic and fermionic atoms behave. "His insight into polarons in atomic gases and solids have given our research important and interesting impulses, which we may not have come up with on our own", says Imamoglu.

Light induced superconductivity
The insights they have gathered will most likely keep Imamoglu and his collaborators busy for some time to come, as the interactions between bosonic (such as excitons) and fermionic (electrons) particles are the topic of a large research project for which Imamoglu won an Advanced Grant of the European Research Council (ERC) last year, and is also supported by the National Centre of Competence in Research Quantum Science and Technology (NCCR QSIT).

A better understanding of such mixtures would have important implications for basic research, but exciting applications also beckon. For instance, a key goal of the ERC project is the demonstration of control of superconductivity using lasers.

Sidler M, Back P, Cotlet O, Srivastava A, Fink T, Kroner M, Demler E, Imamoglu A: Fermi polaron-polaritons in charge-tunable atomically thin semiconductors. Nature Physics, 31 October 2016, doi: 10.1038/nphys3949

 

 

Close galactic encounter leaves 'nearly naked' supermassive black hole

 
‎Monday, ‎November ‎14, ‎2016, ‏‎2:52:46 AMGo to full article
Charlottesville VA (SPX) Nov 04, 2016 - Astronomers using the super-sharp radio vision of the National Science Foundation's Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) have found the shredded remains of a galaxy that passed through a larger galaxy, leaving only the smaller galaxy's nearly-naked supermassive black hole to emerge and speed away at more than 2,000 miles per second.

The galaxies are part of a cluster of galaxies more than 2 billion light-years from Earth. The close encounter, millions of years ago, stripped the smaller galaxy of nearly all its stars and gas. What remains is its black hole and a small galactic remnant only about 3,000 light-years across. For comparison, our Milky Way Galaxy is approximately 100,000 light-years across.

The discovery was made as part of a program to detect supermassive black holes, millions or billions of times more massive than the Sun, that are not at the centers of galaxies. Supermassive black holes reside at the centers of most galaxies. Large galaxies are thought to grow by devouring smaller companions. In such cases, the black holes of both are expected to orbit each other, eventually merging.

"We were looking for orbiting pairs of supermassive black holes, with one offset from the center of a galaxy, as telltale evidence of a previous galaxy merger," said James Condon, of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. "Instead, we found this black hole fleeing from the larger galaxy and leaving a trail of debris behind it," he added.

"We've not seen anything like this before," Condon said.

The astronomers began their quest by using the VLBA to make very high resolution images of more than 1,200 galaxies, previously identified by large-scale sky surveys done with infrared and radio telescopes. Their VLBA observations showed that the supermassive black holes of nearly all these galaxies were at the centers of the galaxies.

However, one object, in a cluster of galaxies called ZwCl 8193, did not fit that pattern. Further studies showed that this object, called B3 1715+425, is a supermassive black hole surrounded by a galaxy much smaller and fainter than would be expected. In addition, this object is speeding away from the core of a much larger galaxy, leaving a wake of ionized gas behind it.

The scientists concluded that B3 1715+425 is what has remained of a galaxy that passed through the larger galaxy and had most of its stars and gas stripped away by the encounter - a "nearly naked" supermassive black hole.

The speeding remnant, the scientists said, probably will lose more mass and cease forming new stars.

"In a billion years or so, it probably will be invisible," Condon said. That means, he pointed out, that there could be many more such objects left over from earlier galactic encounters that astronomers can't detect.

The scientists will keep looking, however. They're observing more objects, in a long-term project with the VLBA. Since their project is not time-critical, Condon explained, they use "filler time" when the telescope is not in use for other observations.

"The data we get from the VLBA is very high quality. We get the positions of the supermassive black holes to extremely good precision. Our limiting factor is the precision of the galaxy positions seen at other wavelengths that we use for comparison," Condon said. With new optical telescopes that will come on line in future years, such as the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), he said, they will then have improved images that can be compared with the VLBA images. They hope that this will allow them to discover more objects like B3 1714+425.

"And also maybe some of the binary supermassive black holes we originally sought," he said.

Condon worked with Jeremy Darling of the University of Colorado, Yuri Kovalev of the Astro Space Center of the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow, and Leonid Petrov of the Astrogeo Center in Falls Church, Virginia. The scientists are reporting their findings in the Astrophysical Journal.

 

 

Physicists make it possible to 3-D print your own baby universe

 
‎Monday, ‎November ‎14, ‎2016, ‏‎2:52:46 AMGo to full article
London, UK (SPX) Nov 02, 2016 - Researchers have created a 3D printed cosmic microwave background - a map of the oldest light in the universe - and provided the files for download. The cosmic microwave background (CMB) is a glow that the universe has in the microwave range that maps the oldest light in the universe. It was imprinted when the universe first became transparent, instead of an opaque fog of plasma and radiation.

The CMB formed when the universe was only 380,000 years old - very early on in its now 13.8 billion-year history. The Planck satellite is making ever-more detailed maps of the CMB, which tells astronomers more about the early universe and the formation of structures within it, such as galaxies. However, more detailed maps are increasingly difficult to view and explore.

To address this issue, Dr Dave Clements from the Department of Physics at Imperial, and two final-year undergraduate students in Physics, have created the plans for 3D printing the CMB. A paper describing the process is published in the European Journal of Physics.

Dr Clements said: "Presenting the CMB in a truly 3D form, that can be held in the hand and felt rather than viewed, has many potential benefits for teaching and outreach work, and is especially relevant for those with a visual disability.

"Differences in the temperature of the CMB relate to different densities, and it is these that spawned the formation of structure in the universe - including galaxies, galaxy clusters and superclusters.

"Representing these differences as bumps and dips on a spherical surface allows anyone to appreciate the structure of the early universe. For example, the famous 'CMB cold spot', an unusually low temperature region in the CMB, can be felt as a small but isolated depression."

The CMB can be printed from a range of 3D printers, and two files types have been created by the team: one for simple single-colour structures and one that includes the temperature differences represented as colours as well as bumps and dips. The files for both types are free to download.

Researchers have created a 3D printed cosmic microwave background - a map of the oldest light in the universe - and provided the files for download.

The cosmic microwave background (CMB) is a glow that the universe has in the microwave range that maps the oldest light in the universe. It was imprinted when the universe first became transparent, instead of an opaque fog of plasma and radiation.

The CMB formed when the universe was only 380,000 years old - very early on in its now 13.8 billion-year history.

The Planck satellite is making ever-more detailed maps of the CMB, which tells astronomers more about the early universe and the formation of structures within it, such as galaxies. However, more detailed maps are increasingly difficult to view and explore.

To address this issue, Dr Dave Clements from the Department of Physics at Imperial, and two final-year undergraduate students in Physics, have created the plans for 3D printing the CMB. A paper describing the process is published in the European Journal of Physics.

Dr Clements said: "Presenting the CMB in a truly 3D form, that can be held in the hand and felt rather than viewed, has many potential benefits for teaching and outreach work, and is especially relevant for those with a visual disability.

"Differences in the temperature of the CMB relate to different densities, and it is these that spawned the formation of structure in the universe - including galaxies, galaxy clusters and superclusters.

"Representing these differences as bumps and dips on a spherical surface allows anyone to appreciate the structure of the early universe. For example, the famous 'CMB cold spot', an unusually low temperature region in the CMB, can be felt as a small but isolated depression."

The CMB can be printed from a range of 3D printers, and two files types have been created by the team: one for simple single-colour structures and one that includes the temperature differences represented as colours as well as bumps and dips. The files for both types are free to download.

Research paper

 

 

Cosmic connection found in both human cells and neutron stars

 
‎Thursday, ‎November ‎10, ‎2016, ‏‎3:30:50 AMGo to full article
Santa Barbara CA (SPX) Nov 02, 2016 - We humans may be more aligned with the universe than we realize. According to research published in the journal Physical Review C, neutron stars and cell cytoplasm have something in common: structures that resemble multistory parking garages.

In 2014, UC Santa Barbara soft condensed-matter physicist Greg Huber and colleagues explored the biophysics of such shapes - helices that connect stacks of evenly spaced sheets - in a cellular organelle called the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Huber and his colleagues dubbed them Terasaki ramps after their discoverer, Mark Terasaki, a cell biologist at the University of Connecticut.

Huber thought these "parking garages" were unique to soft matter (like the interior of cells) until he happened upon the work of nuclear physicist Charles Horowitz at Indiana University. Using computer simulations, Horowitz and his team had found the same shapes deep in the crust of neutron stars.

"I called Chuck and asked if he was aware that we had seen these structures in cells and had come up with a model for them," said Huber, the deputy director of UCSB's Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP). "It was news to him, so I realized then that there could be some fruitful interaction."

The resulting collaboration, highlighted in Physical Review C, explored the relationship between two very different models of matter.

Nuclear physicists have an apt terminology for the entire class of shapes they see in their high-performance computer simulations of neutron stars: nuclear pasta. These include tubes (spaghetti) and parallel sheets (lasagna) connected by helical shapes that resemble Terasaki ramps.

"They see a variety of shapes that we see in the cell," Huber explained. "We see a tubular network; we see parallel sheets. We see sheets connected to each other through topological defects we call Terasaki ramps. So the parallels are pretty deep."

However, differences can be found in the underlying physics. Typically matter is characterized by its phase, which depends on thermodynamic variables: density (or volume), temperature and pressure - factors that differ greatly at the nuclear level and in an intracellular context.

"For neutron stars, the strong nuclear force and the electromagnetic force create what is fundamentally a quantum-mechanical problem," Huber explained. "In the interior of cells, the forces that hold together membranes are fundamentally entropic and have to do with the minimization of the overall free energy of the system. At first glance, these couldn't be more different."

Another difference is scale. In the nuclear case, the structures are based on nucleons such as protons and neutrons and those building blocks are measured using femtometers (10-15). For intracellular membranes like the ER, the length scale is nanometers (10-9). The ratio between the two is a factor of a million (10-6), yet these two vastly different regimes make the same shapes.

"This means that there is some deep thing we don't understand about how to model the nuclear system," Huber said. "When you have a dense collection of protons and neutrons like you do on the surface of a neutron star, the strong nuclear force and the electromagnetic forces conspire to give you phases of matter you wouldn't be able to predict if you had just looked at those forces operating on small collections of neutrons and protons."

The similarity of the structures is riveting for theoretical and nuclear physicists alike. Nuclear physicist Martin Savage was at the KITP when he came across graphics from the new paper on arXiv, a preprint library that posts thousands of physics, mathematics and computer science articles. Immediately his interest was piqued.

"That similar phases of matter emerge in biological systems was very surprising to me," said Savage, a professor at the University of Washington. "There is clearly something interesting here."

Co-author Horowitz agreed. "Seeing very similar shapes in such strikingly different systems suggests that the energy of a system may depend on its shape in a simple and universal way," he said.

Huber noted that these similarities are still rather mysterious. "Our paper is not the end of something," he said. "It's really the beginning of looking at these two models."

 

 

Weak atomic bond, theorized 14 years ago, observed for first time

 
‎Thursday, ‎November ‎10, ‎2016, ‏‎3:30:50 AMGo to full article
West Lafayette IN (SPX) Nov 02, 2016 - A Purdue University physicist has observed a butterfly Rydberg molecule, a weak pairing of two highly excitable atoms that he predicted would exist more than a decade ago. Rydberg molecules are formed when an electron is kicked far from an atom's nucleus. Chris Greene, Purdue's Albert Overhauser Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy, along with his co-authors H. Sadeghpour and E. Hamilton, theorized in 2002 that such a molecule could attract and bind to another atom.

"For all normal atoms, the electrons are always just one or two angstroms away from the nucleus, but in these Rydberg atoms you can get them 100 or 1,000 times farther away," Greene said.

"Following preliminary work in the late 1980s and early 1990s, we saw in 2002 the possibility that this distant Rydberg electron could bind the atom to another atom at a very large distance. This electron is like a sheepdog. Every time it whizzes past another atom, this Rydberg atom adds a little attraction and nudges it toward one spot until it captures and binds the two atoms together."

A collaboration involving Greene and his postdoctoral associate Jesus Perez-Rios at Purdue and researchers at the University of Kaiserslautern in Germany has now proven the existence of the butterfly Rydberg molecule, so named for the shape of its electron cloud. Their findings were published in the journal Nature Communications.

"This new binding mechanism, in which an electron can grab and trap an atom, is really new from the point of view of chemistry. It's a whole new way an atom can be bound by another atom," Greene said.

The researchers cooled Rubidium gas to a temperature of 100 nano-Kelvin, about one ten-millionth of a degree above absolute zero. Using a laser, they were able to push an electron from its nucleus, creating a Rydberg atom, and then watch it.

"Whenever another atom happens to be at about the right distance, you can adjust the laser frequency to capture that group of atoms that are at a very clear internuclear separation that is predicted by our theoretical treatment," Greene said.

They were able to detect the energy of binding between the two atoms based on changes in the frequency of light that the Rydberg molecule absorbed.

Greene said it's satisfying to know that the predictions made so long ago have been proven.

"It's a really clear demonstration that this class of molecules exist," Greene said. "It also validates the whole theoretical approach that we and a few other groups have taken that led to the prediction and study of this new class of molecules.

"These molecules have huge electric dipole moments which allow them to be manipulated by weak electric fields 100 times smaller than those needed to move common diatomic molecules; this could one day be applied to the development of molecular scale electronics or machines."

Greene will continue to study Rydberg atoms, including tests to see if multiple atoms could be bound to a Rydberg molecule.

Research paper

 

 

VLT detects unexpected giant halos around distant Quasars

 
‎Thursday, ‎November ‎10, ‎2016, ‏‎3:30:50 AMGo to full article
Munich, Germany (SPX) Nov 02, 2016

- An international team of astronomers has discovered glowing gas clouds surrounding distant quasars. This new survey by the MUSE instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope indicates that halos around quasars are far more common than expected. The properties of the halos in this surprising find are also in striking disagreement with currently accepted theories of galaxy formation in the early Universe.

An international collaboration of astronomers, led by a group at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland, has used the unrivalled observing power of MUSE on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) at ESO's Paranal Observatory to study gas around distant active galaxies, less than two billion years after the Big Bang.

These active galaxies, called quasars, contain supermassive black holes in their centres, which consume stars, gas, and other material at an extremely high rate. This, in turn, causes the galaxy centre to emit huge amounts of radiation, making quasars the most luminous and active objects in the Universe.

The study involved 19 quasars, selected from among the brightest that are observable with MUSE. Previous studies have shown that around 10% of all quasars examined were surrounded by halos, made from gas known as the intergalactic medium. These halos extend up to 300 000 light-years away from the centres of the quasars.

This new study, however, has thrown up a surprise, with the detection of large halos around all 19 quasars observed - far more than the two halos that were expected statistically. The team suspects this is due to the vast increase in the observing power of MUSE over previous similar instruments, but further observations are needed to determine whether this is the case.

"It is still too early to say if this is due to our new observational technique or if there is something peculiar about the quasars in our sample. So there is still a lot to learn; we are just at the beginning of a new era of discoveries", says lead author Elena Borisova, from the ETH Zurich.

The original goal of the study was to analyse the gaseous components of the Universe on the largest scales; a structure sometimes referred to as the cosmic web, in which quasars form bright nodes [1]. The gaseous components of this web are normally extremely difficult to detect, so the illuminated halos of gas surrounding the quasars deliver an almost unique opportunity to study the gas within this large-scale cosmic structure.

The 19 newly-detected halos also revealed another surprise: they consist of relatively cold intergalactic gas - approximately 10 000 degrees Celsius. This revelation is in strong disagreement with currently accepted models of the structure and formation of galaxies, which suggest that gas in such close proximity to galaxies should have temperatures upwards of a million degrees.

The discovery shows the potential of MUSE for observing this type of object [2]. Co-author Sebastiano Cantalupo is very excited about the new instrument and the opportunities it provides: "We have exploited the unique capabilities of MUSE in this study, which will pave the way for future surveys. Combined with a new generation of theoretical and numerical models, this approach will continue to provide a new window on cosmic structure formation and galaxy evolution."

Notes
[1] The cosmic web is the structure of the Universe at the largest scale. It is comprised of spindly filaments of primordial material (mostly hydrogen and helium gas) and dark matter which connect galaxies and span the chasms between them. The material in this web can feed along the filaments into galaxies and drive their growth and evolution. [2] MUSE is an integral field spectrograph and combines spectrographic and imaging capabilities. It can observe large astronomical objects in their entirety in one go, and for each pixel measure the intensity of the light as a function of its colour, or wavelength.

 

 

The 1950s: The decade in which gravity physics became experimental

 
‎Thursday, ‎October ‎27, ‎2016, ‏‎5:55:31 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Oct 20, 2016 - In the 1950s and earlier, the gravity theory of Einstein's general relativity was largely a theoretical science. In a new paper published in EPJ H, Jim Peebles, a physicist and theoretical cosmologist who is currently the Albert Einstein Professor Emeritus of Science at Princeton University, New Jersey, USA, shares a historical account of how the experimental study of gravity evolved.

This review examines the broad range of new approaches initiated in the late 1950s, following through to the transition of experimental gravity physics to become a normal and accepted part of physical science in the late 1960s.

Highlighting the importance of advances in technology in changing the lines of investigation in the field, it also emphasises the need for physical theories to be empirically tested, because experience shows that this can yield surprising results.

In this context, the review examines the role of scientists such as the US physicist Robert Dicke in changing the former perspective. At that time, Dicke made the mid-career decision to lead a research group dedicated to the experimental study of gravity, following new research directions inspired by old arguments associated with Ernst Mach and Paul Dirac.

In the mid-1950s, the experimental exploration of gravity physics was generally considered uninteresting, because it seemed that little could be done to better test general relativity theory.

Now, the empirical basis for inflation, or other ideas about the role of gravity in the very early universe, are considered to be necessarily schematic, because better experiments don't appear to be feasible.

The community was surprised by the abundance of evidence that has grown out of the emergence of experimental gravity physics. Indeed, experimental findings show that the theory Einstein completed a century ago matches an abundance of experimental and observational evidence on scales ranging from the laboratory to the Solar System, and even to the observable universe.

This experience suggests that there may be further surprising empirical developments to come, perhaps related to deeper tests of the nature of gravity, and perhaps ones that can tell us more about how the world began.

Research paper: Robert Dicke and the naissance of experimental gravity physics, 1957-1967. P. J. E. Peebles (2016), European Physical Journal H, DOI 10.1140/epjh/e2016-70034-0

 

 

Finding the lightest superdeformed triaxial atomic nucleus

 
‎Thursday, ‎October ‎27, ‎2016, ‏‎5:55:31 AMGo to full article
Warsaw, Poland (SPX) Oct 21, 2016 - The nuclei of atoms of heavy elements do not necessarily take a spherical shape: they may be variously extended or flattened along one, two or even three axes. An international team of physicists, led by scientists from the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Krakow (IFJ PAN) and the Heavy Ion Laboratory at the University of Warsaw (HIL), has recently presented the results of experiments showing that complex superdeformed nuclei occur in much lighter elements as well.

The majority of heavy atomic nuclei do not look at all like a perfect sphere, but are subtly flattened or extended. The prestigious journal Physical Review Letters has published results of experiments evidencing that highly explicit and complicated deformations, thus far observed solely in heavy nuclei, do appear in lighter elements such as calcium. The research was conducted by scientists of the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IFJ PAN) in Krakow and the Heavy Ion Laboratory, University of Warsaw (HIL) along with broad international cooperation.

"Regarding that, we've known for several years that the nuclei can be slightly deformed even in light elements. Our experiments, however, have shown that in the case of calcium 42Ca they come to a particularly clear and complex deformation, called a triaxial superdeformation. Similar effects have been observed, but only in heavy elements, built from approximately 130-170 protons and neutrons," explains Prof. Adam Maj (IFJ PAN), who along with Prof. Faical Azaiez from the French Institut de Physique Nucleaire d'Orsay was one of the originators of the search.

Atomic nuclei contain from one proton to more than 200 protons and neutrons. Glued together by strong forces, which overcome powerful electrostatic repulsion between positively charged protons, the nuclei are structures shaped by very complex quantum phenomena. The dynamics of the processes occurring here is so fast that observing the atomic nucleus over a sufficiently long period of time (in the microworld, still only fractions of a second), we see the nucleus only as a statistically averaged shape. In some cases, it is simply that of a sphere.

Since the 1950s, however, researchers have observed nuclei which are elongated, sometimes significantly, such as an ellipsoid with one axis twice the length of the 2 others - such a case is known as nuclear superdeformation (relatively common nuclei are also found stretched at an axis ratio of 3:2). At this distortion it is possible to become more refined, as large deviations from the spherical shape occur not only along one, but even along three axes. The distorted nuclei, known as super-deformed triaxial, have so far been observed only in heavy elements.

Atomic nuclei have a size of several femtometers, or one quadrillionth of a meter. Direct observation of such small objects is, of course, impossible. Information about their structure relies more on indirect methods, by analyzing the gamma radiation emitted by the nucleus passing from states of higher energies to states of lower energies.

Depending on the structure of the nuclei and the method of their excitation, the nature of the resulting excited state may differ: the nucleus can vibrate in various ways as a whole, but can also, for instance, be activated to spin. The Polish physicists are especially interested the latter, spinning, states.

Currently, Coulomb excitation is the most reliable method to observe deformed nuclei, a process in which nuclei are excited as a result of collisions occurring exclusively through electromagnetic interactions. As a result, the theoretical description of the phenomenon can avoid accounting for the extremely complex strong interactions, and in practice the use of well-known tools of classical electrodynamics is sufficient.

Experiments on superdeformed light nuclei were based on very careful observation and detailed analysis of the gamma radiation emitted by the nucleus of calcium 42Ca, caused to spin as a result of a collision with a target constructed of lead 208Pb or gold 197Au (each 42Ca nucleus was striking the target nucleus with the kinetic energy of 170 MeV, or million electron volts).

The measurements were carried out at the Italian INFN Laboratori Nazionali di Legnaro (LNL), and they were used in the AGATA gamma radiation detector. This detector, the most advanced of the gamma-ray Germanium detectors currently in use, is the product of international cooperation and is characterized by an extremely high power of resolution. The experiment concerning superdeformation of the nuclei of calcium was the first one using this sophisticated device.

"While processing the data provided by AGATA, we used many methods and tools, such as the well-known GOSIA program for analysis of Columb excitation, which has been under development for several years at the Heavy Ion Laboratory in Warsaw. It turns out that the excited 42Ca nuclei are superdeformed and at the same time triaxial, which is confirmed by calculations using advanced theories of the structure of the atomic nucleus," says Dr. Katarzyna Hadynska-Klek (HIL), who led the analysis of the data.

Exciting 42Ca nuclei to the superdeformed triaxial state requires relatively low levels of energy (approx. 2 MeV), and because the superdeformed energy state is very near the basic spherical state, we can talk about a certain state of coexistence between the two states.

"A full analysis of the data collected in Legnaro took us three years. Along the way we had to conduct another, complementary experiment at the Warsaw cyclotron. Its results exclude one of the alternative variants of interpretation of the AGATA detector," says Dr. Pawel Napiorkowski, the project leader at HIL.

The discovery of triaxial superdeformation in 42Ca will help physicists to better understand the phenomena in atomic nuclei. Modern theoretical tools do not allow for accurate modeling of nuclei with an atomic number far exceeding 40, which has limited the development of research into superdeformation.

Meanwhile, in the case of calcium many theoretical obstacles disappear. It is also likely that the measurements and analysis will be used in the future to search for other superdeformed states at low excitation energy, including a longer life-span than the typical quadrillionths of a second.

Finding such states would allow scientists to turn our attention to the formation of what is known as inversion, a scenario in which the majority of nuclei are attained not in the ground state, but in the excited state. This would be a significant step towards building a nuclear laser capable of emitting coherent nuclear gamma radiation.

"Superdeformed and Triaxial States in 42Ca"; K. Hadynska-Klek, P. J. Napiorkowski, M. Zielinska, J. Srebrny, A. Maj, F. Azaiez et al.; Physical Review Letters 117, 062501 (2016); DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.062501

 

 

The universe is expanding at an accelerating rate or is it

 
‎Thursday, ‎October ‎27, ‎2016, ‏‎5:55:31 AMGo to full article
Oxford, UK (SPX) Oct 25, 2016 - Five years ago, the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to three astronomers for their discovery, in the late 1990s, that the universe is expanding at an accelerating pace. Their conclusions were based on analysis of Type Ia supernovae - the spectacular thermonuclear explosion of dying stars - picked up by the Hubble space telescope and large ground-based telescopes.

It led to the widespread acceptance of the idea that the universe is dominated by a mysterious substance named 'dark energy' that drives this accelerating expansion.

Now, a team of scientists led by Professor Subir Sarkar of Oxford University's Department of Physics has cast doubt on this standard cosmological concept. Making use of a vastly increased data set - a catalogue of 740 Type Ia supernovae, more than ten times the original sample size - the researchers have found that the evidence for acceleration may be flimsier than previously thought, with the data being consistent with a constant rate of expansion.

The study is published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports.

Professor Sarkar, who also holds a position at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, said: 'The discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe won the Nobel Prize, the Gruber Cosmology Prize, and the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. It led to the widespread acceptance of the idea that the universe is dominated by "dark energy" that behaves like a cosmological constant - this is now the "standard model" of cosmology.

'However, there now exists a much bigger database of supernovae on which to perform rigorous and detailed statistical analyses. We analysed the latest catalogue of 740 Type Ia supernovae - over ten times bigger than the original samples on which the discovery claim was based - and found that the evidence for accelerated expansion is, at most, what physicists call "3 sigma". This is far short of the "5 sigma" standard required to claim a discovery of fundamental significance.

'An analogous example in this context would be the recent suggestion for a new particle weighing 750 GeV based on data from the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. It initially had even higher significance - 3.9 and 3.4 sigma in December last year - and stimulated over 500 theoretical papers.

However, it was announced in August that new data shows that the significance has dropped to less than 1 sigma. It was just a statistical fluctuation, and there is no such particle.'

There is other data available that appears to support the idea of an accelerating universe, such as information on the cosmic microwave background - the faint afterglow of the Big Bang - from the Planck satellite.

However, Professor Sarkar said: 'All of these tests are indirect, carried out in the framework of an assumed model, and the cosmic microwave background is not directly affected by dark energy. Actually, there is indeed a subtle effect, the late-integrated Sachs-Wolfe effect, but this has not been convincingly detected.

'So it is quite possible that we are being misled and that the apparent manifestation of dark energy is a consequence of analysing the data in an oversimplified theoretical model - one that was in fact constructed in the 1930s, long before there was any real data.

A more sophisticated theoretical framework accounting for the observation that the universe is not exactly homogeneous and that its matter content may not behave as an ideal gas - two key assumptions of standard cosmology - may well be able to account for all observations without requiring dark energy. Indeed, vacuum energy is something of which we have absolutely no understanding in fundamental theory.'

Professor Sarkar added: 'Naturally, a lot of work will be necessary to convince the physics community of this, but our work serves to demonstrate that a key pillar of the standard cosmological model is rather shaky.

Hopefully this will motivate better analyses of cosmological data, as well as inspiring theorists to investigate more nuanced cosmological models. Significant progress will be made when the European Extremely Large Telescope makes observations with an ultrasensitive "laser comb" to directly measure over a ten to 15-year period whether the expansion rate is indeed accelerating.'

Research paper

 

 

How often do quantum systems violate the second law of thermodynamics?

 
‎Thursday, ‎October ‎27, ‎2016, ‏‎5:55:31 AMGo to full article
London, UK (SPX) Oct 27, 2016 - The likelihood of seeing quantum systems violating the second law of thermodynamics has been calculated by UCL scientists. In two papers, published in this week's issue of Physical Review X and funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the team determined a more precise version of a basic law of physics - which says that disorder tends to increase with time unless acted on by an outside force - and applied it to the smallest quantum systems.

"The vast majority of the time, the second law of thermodynamics is obeyed. It says that a cup of hot coffee in a cold room will cool down rather than heat up, and a collection of coins all initially heads up will likely produce a mixture of heads and tails when given a shake. In fact, it is thanks to the second law of thermodynamics that we instantly recognise when we are watching a movie backwards," explained PhD student Alvaro M. Alhambra (UCL Physics and Astronomy).

The team say that situations which break the second law of thermodynamics are not ruled out in principle, but are rare.

"We wanted to find out by how much disorder increases, and if disorder sometimes decrease with some probability. These questions become important for small quantum systems where violations of the second law can happen with a significant probability," added co-author Professor Jonathan Oppenheim (UCL Physics and Astronomy).

The team, which also included Dr Christopher Perry (previously at UCL and now a researcher at the University of Copenhagen), revealed how the second law of thermodynamics functions when applied to the smallest scales of the microscopic world and the calculated the maximum probability of observing a violation.

Dr Lluis Masanes (UCL Physics and Astronomy), said: "The probability of the law being violated is virtually zero for large objects like cups of tea, but for small quantum objects, it can play a significant role. We wanted to determine the probability of violations occurring, and wanted to prove a more precise version of the second law of thermodynamics."

The second law is usually expressed as an inequality e.g., the amount of energy flowing from the cup to the air has to be larger than zero. However, it can also be expressed as an equality instead, saying precisely how much energy flows from the air to the cup and with what probabilities. This equality version of the second law can be proven for the most general process allowed by the laws of quantum mechanics.

In addition, this new formulation of the second law contains a very large amount of information, dramatically constraining the probability and size of fluctuations of work and heat and, tells us that the particular fluctuations that break the second law only occur with exponentially low probability.

These findings are critical to nanoscale devices, and the rapidly developing field of quantum technologies.

 

 

Cosmological Mystery Solved by Map of Voids and Superclusters

 
‎Thursday, ‎October ‎27, ‎2016, ‏‎5:55:31 AMGo to full article
Portsmouth, UK (SPX) Oct 24, 2016 - A team of astrophysicists at the University of Portsmouth have created the largest ever map of voids and superclusters in the universe, which helps solve a long-standing cosmological mystery. The map of the positions of cosmic voids - large empty spaces which contain relatively few galaxies - and superclusters - huge regions with many more galaxies than normal - can be used to measure the effect of dark energy 'stretching' the universe.

The results confirm the predictions of Einstein's theory of gravity.

Lead author Dr. Seshadri Nadathur from the University's Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation said: "We used a new technique to make a very precise measurement of the effect that these structures have on photons from the cosmic microwave background (CMB) - light left over from shortly after the Big Bang - passing through them.

"Light from the CMB travels through such voids and superclusters on its way to us. According to Einstein's general theory of relativity, the stretching effect of dark energy causes a tiny change in the temperature of CMB light depending on where it came from. Photons of light travelling through voids should appear slightly colder than normal and those arriving from superclusters should appear slightly hotter.

"This is known as the integrated Sachs-Wolfe (ISW) effect. When this effect was studied by astronomers at the University of Hawaii in 2008 using an older catalogue of voids and superclusters, the effect seemed to be five times bigger than predicted. This has been puzzling scientists for a long time, so we looked at it again with new data."

To create the map of voids and superclusters, the Portsmouth team used more than three-quarters of a million galaxies identified by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. This gave them a catalogue of structures more than 300 times bigger than the one previously used.

The scientists then used large computer simulations of the universe to predict the size of the ISW effect. Because the effect is so small, the team had to develop a powerful new statistical technique to be able to measure the CMB data.

They applied this technique to CMB data from the Planck satellite, and were able to make a very precise measurement of the ISW effect of the voids and superclusters. Unlike in the previous work, they found that the new result agreed extremely well with predictions using Einstein's gravity.

Dr. Nadathur said: "Our results resolve one long-standing cosmological puzzle, but doing so has deepened the mystery of a very unusual 'cold spot' in the CMB.

"It has been suggested that the Cold Spot could be due to the ISW effect of a gigantic 'supervoid' which has been seen in that region of the sky. But if Einstein's gravity is correct, the supervoid isn't big enough to explain the Cold Spot.

"It was thought that there was some exotic gravitational effect contradicting Einstein which would simultaneously explain both the Cold Spot and the unusual ISW results from Hawaii. But this possibility has been set aside by our new measurement - and so the Cold Spot mystery remains unexplained."

"A Detection of the Integrated Sachs-Wolfe Imprint of Cosmic Superstructures Using a Matched-filter Approach," Seshadri Nadathur and Robert Crittenden, 2016 Oct. 10, Astrophysical

 

 

Waterloo-led experiment achieves the strongest coupling between light and matter

 
‎Thursday, ‎October ‎27, ‎2016, ‏‎5:55:31 AMGo to full article
Waterloo, Canada (SPX) Oct 21, 2016 - Researchers at the University of Waterloo's Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) recorded an interaction between light and matter 10 times larger than previously seen. The strength of the interaction between photons and a qubit was so large that it opens the door to a realm of physics and applications unattainable until now.

The results appear in the paper, "Ultrastrong coupling of a single artificial atom to an electromagnetic continuum in the nonperturbative regime," published in Nature Physics.

"We are enabling the investigation of light-matter interactions in a new domain in quantum optics," said Pol Forn-Diaz, a postdoctoral fellow at IQC and lead author of the paper. "The possibilities are exciting because our circuit could potentially act as a quantum simulator to study other interesting quantum systems in nature."

The ultrastrong coupling between photons and qubits may lead to the exploration of new physics related to biological processes, exotic materials such as high-temperature superconductors, and even relativistic physics.

To conduct their experiment, the researchers fabricated aluminum circuits in the University of Waterloo's Quantum NanoFab, and then cooled them in dilution refrigerators to a temperature as low as one per cent of a degree above absolute zero. The circuits become superconducting at these cold temperatures, meaning that they can carry a current without resistance or losing energy. These aluminum circuits, known as superconducting qubits, obey the laws of quantum mechanics and can behave as artificial atoms.

To control the quantum state of a superconducting circuit, the researchers sent photons using microwave pulses into the superconducting circuit and applied a small magnetic field through a coil inside the dilution refrigerator. By measuring the photon transmission, the researchers could define the resonance of the qubit, indicated by the reflection of the photons off the qubit. Usually, the qubit resonance is centered around a very narrow range of frequencies.

"We measured a range of frequencies broader than the qubit frequency itself," said Forn-Diaz. "This means there is a very strong interaction between the qubit and the photons. It is so strong that the qubit is seeing most of the photons that propagate in the circuit, which is a distinctive signature of ultrastrong coupling in an open system."

 

 

Did LIGO detect black holes or gravastars

 
‎Thursday, ‎October ‎27, ‎2016, ‏‎5:55:31 AMGo to full article
Frankfurt, Germany (SPX) Oct 21, 2016 - After the first direct detection of gravitational waves that was announced last February by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and made news all over the world, Luciano Rezzolla (Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany) and Cecilia Chirenti (Federal University of ABC in Santo Andre, Brazil) set out to test whether the observed signal could have been a gravastar or not. The results were recently resented in a paper published on Physical Review D.

The idea of black holes has been around for a long time. From the original "dark stars" suggested by John Michell and Pierre Laplace 200 years ago, to ubiquitous sci-fi movies and TV series like Star Trek, the black hole (whose name was coined by John Wheeler in the 1960's) has become a familiar concept, albeit not so well understood.

And that also goes for physicists and astrophysicists working with them. Some of the strange mathematical properties of black holes, coming from Karl Schwarzschild's first solution of the Einstein field equations of general relativity in 1915, still puzzle the scientists. The existence of an event horizon and a central singularity, leading to conundrums like the information paradox, have inspired some researchers to propose alternative theories.

One of the alternative models is the gravastar (a gravitational vacuum condensate star) proposed by Pawel Mazur and Emil Mottola in 2001. A gravastar would be made of a core of exotic matter similar to dark energy, that prevents the collapse of a matter shell surrounding it, made of the normal matter that once made up a star.

When the star started to collapse at the end of its life, a phase transition would happen that could create this exotic matter before the event horizon could be formed. This speculative object would be almost as compact as a black hole, but the tiny difference between them would be enough to prevent the formation of the event horizon and the conceptual questioning that comes with it.

How, then, could we tell a gravastar from a black hole? It would be almost impossible to "see" a gravastar, because of the same effect that makes a black hole "black": any light would be so deflected by the gravitational field that it would never reach us. However, where photons would fail, gravitational waves can succeed! It has long since been known that when black holes are perturbed, they "vibrate" emitting gravitational waves. Indeed, they behave as "bells", that is with a signal that progressively fades away, or "ringsdown".

The tone and fading of these waves depends on the only two properties of the black hole: its mass and spin. Gravastars also emit gravitational waves when they are perturbed, but, interestingly, the tones and fading of these waves are different from those of black holes. This is a fact that was alreadyknown soon after gravastars were proposed.

After the first direct detection of gravitational waves that was announced last February by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and made news all over the world, Luciano Rezzolla (Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany) and Cecilia Chirenti (Federal University of ABC in Santo Andre, Brazil) set out to test whether the observed signal could have been a gravastar or not.

When considering the strongest of the signals detected so far, i.e. GW150914, the LIGO team has shown convincingly that the signal was consistent with the a collision of two black holes that formed a bigger black hole.

The last part of the signal, which is indeed the ringdown, is the fingerprint that could identify the result of the collision. "The frequencies in the ringdown are the signature of the source of gravitational waves, like different bells ring with different sound", explains Professor Chirenti.

After modelling the expected sound from a gravastar that would have the same characteristics of the final black hole, the two researchers have concluded that it would be very hard to explain the frequencies observed in the ringdown of GW150914 with a gravastar.

To use the same language introduced before, although the gravitational-wave signals from gravastars are very similar to those of black holes, the tones and fadings are different. Just like two keys in a piano emit different notes, the "notes" measured with GW150914 simply do not match those that can be produced by gravastars.

Hence, the signal measured cannot have been produced by two gravastars merging into another and larger gravastars. This result was recently resented in a paper published on Physical Review D.

"As a theoretical physicist I'm always open to new ideas no matter how exotic; at the same time, progress in physics takes place when theories are confronted with experiments. In this case, the idea of gravastars simply does not seem to match the observations", says Professor Rezzolla.

 

 

JILA's superradiant laser may one day boost atomic clocks

 
‎Thursday, ‎October ‎27, ‎2016, ‏‎5:55:31 AMGo to full article
Boulder CO (SPX) Oct 19, 2016 - JILA physicists have demonstrated a novel laser design based on synchronized emissions of light from the same type of atoms used in advanced atomic clocks. The laser could be stable enough to improve atomic clock performance a hundredfold and even serve as a clock itself, while also advancing other scientific quests such as making accurate "rulers" for measuring astronomical distances.

Described in the October 14 issue of Science Advances, the "superradiant" laser's output of red light is expected to be about 10,000 times less sensitive than conventional lasers to pervasive mechanical vibrations, or noise. As a result, the new laser can lock onto an exact frequency, or color, more tightly, making it 100 times sharper as a precision tool.

The work was done at JILA, a partnership of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Colorado Boulder. NIST has long been a world leader in developing ultra-stable lasers, and the new work provides a qualitatively new approach for advancing the field further.

The same JILA group demonstrated the basic principle for a superradiant laser in 2012. Now the scientists have built the laser using the same type of atoms used in JILA's world-leading strontium lattice clock. In fact, the new laser might be used as an atomic clock all by itself.

Strontium atoms were chosen because they have an excellent "memory" of their exact color or frequency. They can potentially store this information for 2.5 minutes, compared to the mere 100 billionths of a second of typical atoms. This allows the superradiant laser to store and protect most of the laser's color information inside the atoms.

In contrast, ordinary lasers store this information in light bouncing between two mirrors, and any mirror vibrations scramble it. The ability to maintain a precise frequency is crucial for applications like atomic clocks, which rely on lasers to make atoms "tick" from one energy state to another.

"But here is the rub: The very long memory of the atoms is awesome, but it also makes it extremely difficult to get the atoms to emit any light, which provides the information for us to use," said JILA/NIST scientist James Thompson. "But in this superradiant laser, for the first time, we have coaxed these atoms to emit their light 10,000 times faster than they would normally like to emit it."

JILA's superradiant laser uses 200,000 strontium atoms stacked in layers of 5,000 and trapped in a hollow enclosure - a cavity - between two mirrors (these mirrors do vibrate, but the frequency information is stored in the atoms). The atoms are chilled to temperatures near absolute zero and levitated in a vacuum by an optical lattice, a "crystal of light" created by intersecting external laser beams.

The experiment begins by briefly shining light on the atoms to prepare them in their long-lived excited, or high-energy, state. An environmental signal - quantum noise of empty space - prompts the strontium atoms to spontaneously start ticking as their outer electrons begin to bounce back and forth from one side of the atom to the other.

The oscillation is like a miniature antenna that radiates a very small amount of light into the cavity. This very weak light, consisting of only a few light particles, or photons, bouncing back and forth inside the cavity, allows the atoms to communicate and synchronize with each other. This synchronization phenomenon is also evident in pendulum clocks placed near each other, and even in the flashing of fireflies.

As the synchronization spreads and strengthens, more and more light is emitted, until eventually all theatoms have moved from an excited (high-energy) to a calm (low-energy) state. Light bounces back and forth between the mirrors nearly 30,000 times before leaking out through the mirrors. All of the energy initially stored inside of the atoms has been converted into a pulse of laser light lasting 50 hundredths of a second.

When synchronized, the collection of small antennas act like a single "super antenna" that broadcasts power into the cavity at a much higher than normal rate - a process called superradiance because the collective emission is 1,000 times more intense than independently radiating atoms. The emission rate increases proportionally to the number of atoms squared, making the laser much brighter than is possible without synchronization.

Future studies will investigate use of the pulsed superradiant laser light as an absolute frequency reference for such applications as atomic clocks. In addition, researchers hope to create a continuous superradiant laser beam by constantly returning atoms to the excited state.

"The superradiant laser light is still billions of times weaker than typical lasers, but the key point is that the color or frequency of the light should be very stable," Thompson said.

Such a laser might be just as stable as the atoms used in the most advanced clocks. Today's best atomic clocks are limited in part by laser noise. Because a superradiant laser essentially uses an atomic clock as its energy source, the laser light both reads out the ticking of the atoms and is immune to cavity mirror vibrations. Better lasers may also have applications in space science, perhaps as rulers of light that could reach across distances as vast as from the Earth to the Sun, potentially enabling the detection of gravity waves in space, for example.

The research was funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Army Research Office, National Science Foundation and NIST. Paper: M.A. Norcia, M.N. Winchester, J.R.K. Cline and J.K. Thompson. Superradiance on the milliHertz linewidth strontium clock transition. Science Advances. October 14, 2016.

 

 

Dense molecular gas disks drive the growth of supermassive black holes

 
‎Thursday, ‎October ‎27, ‎2016, ‏‎5:55:31 AMGo to full article
Tokyo, Japan (SPX) Oct 18, 2016 - Supermassive black holes more than a million times the mass of our sun exist at the centers of many galaxies, but how they came to be is unclear. Meanwhile, a correlation between the rate at which stars form in the central regions of galaxies and the amount of gas that falls into supermassive black holes (mass accretion rate) was known to exist, leading some scientists to suggest that the activity involved in star formation fuels the growth of black holes.

The joint research team led by graduate student and JSPS fellow Takuma Izumi at the Graduate School of Science at the University of Tokyo revealed for the first time--with observational data collected by ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array), in Chile, and other telescopes--that dense molecular gas disks occupying regions as large as a few light years at the centers of galaxies are supplying gas directly to the supermassive black holes.

The team also succeeded in explaining, with a theoretical model, that the actual changes (balance of inflow and outflow) in gas levels they observed were the result of the increasing amount of gas falling into the supermassive black holes within the gas disks enhanced by strong turbulence generated by supernova explosions (an activity associated with star formation) when a star inside the dense gas disks dies.

"The central regions of faraway galaxies, comprising a few light years in scale, are hard to observe in detail because of their compactness, and there haven't been many studies showing how black holes grow due to the lack of extensive research. So, this outcome is a big step forward as we successfully revealed one aspect of that process," says Izumi.

He continues, "We hope to expand our research to farther expanses of the universe by utilizing the superb capability of ALMA to help us understand comprehensively the growth of supermassive black holes over cosmic time."

 

 

Two-dimensional spin-orbit coupling for Bose-Einstein condensates realized

 
‎Thursday, ‎October ‎27, ‎2016, ‏‎5:55:31 AMGo to full article
Beijing, China (SPX) Oct 17, 2016 - Spin-orbit coupling is one of the fundamental effects in quantum physics. It plays a vital role in many basic physic phenomena and exotic quantum states. These phenomena led to the foundation of several important research fields in condensed-matter physics like spintronics, topological insulator and topological superconductor.

However, due to common problem of uncontrollable complex environment, many researches of solid materials of exotic physics become extremely difficult. This remains a major challenge for many relevant researches.

Recently, a joint team of the University of Science and Technology of China and the Peking University made breakthrough in quantum simulation of ultracold atoms. The joint team pioneered the proposal and realization of two-dimensional spin-orbit coupling for ultracold quantum gases.

This will inspire of the researches of exotic topological quantum states and therefore implement significant influence to the way how we understand of our world. This joint result was published as a Research Article on the latest issue of Science. Considering the 'great potential for investigating exotic phenomena that go beyond traditional condensed-matter physics' of the result, a review article was specially published on the corresponding perspectives column.

The spin-orbit coupling describes the interactions between the particle spin and the orbital motion. To synthesize the spin-orbit coupling within ultracold atoms is one of the most exciting directions in the field of quantum simulation. Efforts were put in this extremely challenging research field by several teams from several countries in the past decade.

1-D spin-orbit coupling was first realized by Spielman's team from NIST, and then by several other laboratories. While, to simulate the exotic topological quantum matter, as topological insulator or superconductor, at least 2-D spin-orbit coupling is required. Yet the research to spin-orbit coupling on higher dimensions was a more challenging work.

LIU Xiongjun's theoretical team from Peking University first inspired and proposed the Raman optical lattice system, which leads to 2D spin-orbit coupling. Based on this theoretical scheme, the experimental team led by PAN Jianwei, CHEN Shuai and DENG Youjin from the USTC dedicated years to ultra precision laser and magnetic field controlling technology.

At last they successfully constructed the Raman optical lattice quantum system and synthetized the 2-D spin-orbit coupling for Bose-Einstein condensates.

This setup is, according to the review on Science, particularly appealing because it involves only a single laser source and does not require phase-locking between several optical beams. Instead, a single laser beam is split into two parts to produce a spin-independent optical lattice and a frequency-shifted Raman beam.

Further research indicates that the spin-orbit coupling and the band topology are highly adjustable. This work will greatly influence the research to ultracold atoms and condensed-matter physics.

This breakthrough may also inspire researches in the field of quantum computing. Hopefully in 10-15 years, scientists may realize the coherent manipulation of 80-100 quantum bit, solving speed of specific problems will exceed the current supercomputers.

 

 

Lights, action, electrons!

 
‎Wednesday, ‎October ‎19, ‎2016, ‏‎1:52:47 AMGo to full article
Onna, Japan (SPX) Oct 14, 2016 - Ever since J.J. Thompson's 1897 discovery of the electron, scientists have attempted to describe the subatomic particle's motion using a variety of different means. Electrons are far too small and fast to be seen, even with the help of a light microscope. This has made measuring an electron's movement very difficult for the past century. However, new research from the Femtosecond Spectroscopy Unit at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST), published in Nature Nanotechnology, has made this process much easier.

"I wanted to see the electrons in the material. I wanted to see the electrons move, not just to explain their motion by measuring a change of light transmission and reflection in the material," said Prof. Keshav Dani, leader of Unit.

The limiting factor to studying electron movement using previous techniques was that the instrumentation could either provide excellent time resolution or spatial resolution, but not both. Dr. Michael Man, a postdoctoral fellow in Prof. Dani's Unit, combined the techniques of UV light pulses and electron microscopy in order to see electrons moving inside a solar cell.

If you shine light on a material, the light energy can be absorbed by the electrons and move them from a low-energy state to a higher one. If the light pulse that you shine at the material is very, very short, a few millionths of a billionth of a second - that is a few femto seconds - it creates a very rapid change in the material.

However, this change does not last long, as the material goes back to its original state on a very fast time scale. For a device to work, like in a solar cell, we have to extract energy from the material while it is still at the high energy state. Scientists want to study how materials change state and lose energy.

"In reality, you cannot watch these electrons changing state on such a fast time scale. So, what you do is measure the change of reflectivity of the material," Dr. Man explained. To understand how the material changes when exposed to light, researchers expose the material to a very short, but intense, pulse of light which causes the change, and then continuing to measure the change introduced by the first pulse by probing the material with subsequent much weaker light pulses at different delay times after the first pulse.

As the first discrete bundle of massless energy, or photon, changes the material, by rapidly heating it for example, the reflection of the subsequent photon changes. As the material cools down, the reflection goes back to the original one. These differences tell the scientists the dynamic of the observed phenomenon.

"The problem is that you do not actually directly observe the electron dynamics that causes the changes: you measure the reflection and then you try to find an explanation based on the interpretation of your data," Prof. Dani said. "You create a model that explains the results of your experiment. But you do not actually see what is happening."

Prof. Dani's team found a way to visualize this phenomenon in a semiconductor device.

"When the pulse hits the material, it takes some electrons out, and we use an electron microscope that forms an image of where the displaced electrons came from," Dr. Man said.

"If you do this many times, for many photons, you can slowly build up an image of the distribution of the electrons in the material. So you photo-excite the sample, you wait for a certain time, and then you probe your sample and you repeat this process again and again, keeping the delay between the first pulse of photons and the probing photons always the same." As a final result, you get an image of the location of most of the electrons in the material at a specific time delay.

Then, the researchers change the time delay between the two pulses - the photo-exciting one and the probing one - and they create another image of the location of the electrons. Once an image is created, the probing pulse is further delayed, creating a series of images that describes the positions of the electrons in subsequent times after the photo-excitation. "When you stitch all these images together, you finally have a video," Prof. Dani said.

"A video of how the electrons are moving in the material after photo excitation: you see the electrons getting excited, and then going back to their original state."

"We have made a video of a very fundamental process: for the first time we are not imagining what is happening inside a solar cell, we are actually seeing it. We can now describe what we see in this time-lapse video, we no longer have to interpret data and imagine what might have happened inside a material. This is a new door to understanding the motion of electrons in semiconductors materials." Prof. Dani effused.

This research provides a new insight into the movement of electrons that could potentially change the way solar cells and semiconductor devices are built. This new insight brings the technology field one step closer to building better and more efficient electronic devices.

Research paper

 

 

Teleporting toward a quantum Internet

 
‎Wednesday, ‎October ‎19, ‎2016, ‏‎1:52:47 AMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Oct 14, 2016 - Quantum physics is a field that appears to give scientists superpowers. Those who understand the world of extremely small or cold particles can perform amazing feats with them - including teleportation - that appear to bend reality.

The science behind these feats is complicated, and until recently, didn't exist outside of lab settings. But that's changing: researchers have begun to implement quantum teleportation in real-world contexts. Being able to do so just might revolutionize modern phone and Internet communications, leading to highly secure, encrypted messaging.

A paper published in Nature Photonics and co-authored by engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, details the first experiments with quantum teleportation in a metropolitan fiber cable network. For the first time, the phenomenon has been witnessed over long distances in actual city infrastructure. In Canada, University of Calgary researchers teleported the quantum state of a photon more than 3.7 miles (6 kilometers) in "dark" (unused) cables under the city of Calgary. That's a new record for the longest distance of quantum teleportation in an actual metropolitan network.

While longer distances had been recorded in the past, those were conducted in lab settings, where photons were fired through spools of cable to simulate the loss of signal caused by long distances. This latest series of experiments in Calgary tested quantum teleportation in actual infrastructure, representing a major step forward for the technology.

"Demonstrating quantum effects such as teleportation outside of a lab environment involves a whole new set of challenges. This experiment shows how these challenges can all be overcome and hence it marks an important milestone towards the future quantum Internet," said Francesco Marsili, one of the JPL co-authors. "Quantum communication unlocks some of the unique properties of quantum mechanics to, for example, exchange information with ultimate security or link together quantum computers."

Photon sensors for the experiment were developed by Marsili and Matt Shaw of JPL's Microdevices Laboratory, along with colleagues at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Boulder, Colorado. Their expertise was critical to the experiments: quantum networking is done with photons, and requires some of the most sensitive sensors in the world in order to know exactly what's happening to the particle.

"The superconducting detector platform, which has been pioneered by JPL and NIST researchers, makes it possible to detect single photons at telecommunications wavelengths with nearly perfect efficiency and almost no noise. This was simply not possible with earlier detector types, and so experiments such as ours, using existing fiber-infrastructure, would have been close to impossible without JPL's detectors," said Daniel Oblak of the University of Calgary's Institute for Quantum Science and Technology.

Safer emails using quantum physics
Shrink down to the level of a photon, and physics starts to play by bizarre rules. Scientists who understand those rules can "entangle" two particles so that their properties are linked. Entanglement is a mind-boggling concept in which particles with different characteristics, or states, can be bound together across space. That means whatever affects one particle's state will affect the other, even if they're located miles apart from one another.

This is where teleportation comes in. Imagine you have two entangled particles - let's call them Photon 1 and Photon 2 - and Photon 2 is sent to a distant location. There, it meets with Photon 3, and the two interact with each other. Photon 3's state can be transferred to Photon 2, and automatically "teleported" to the entangled twin, Photon 1. This disembodied transfer happens despite the fact that Photons 1 and 3 never interact.

This property can be used to securely exchange secret messages. If two people share an entangled pair of photons, quantum information can be transmitted in a disembodied fashion, leaving an eavesdropper with nothing to intercept and so unable to read the secret message.

Teleportation Means Going the Distance
This system of highly secure communications is being tested in a number of fields, Marsili said, including financial industries and agencies like NASA that want to protect their space data signals. The superconducting single photon detectors developed by Marsili, Shaw and their NIST colleagues are a key tool in doing this, because sending photons over long distances will inevitably lead to "loss" of the signal. Even when using a laser in space, light diffuses over distance, weakening the power of the signal being transmitted.

The next step is building repeaters that can further teleport the state of a photon from one location to the next. Just as repeaters are used to carry other telecommunication signals across long distances, they could be used to teleport entangled photons. Super-sensitive photon detectors would allow repeaters to send entangled photons across the country. For space-related communications, repeaters wouldn't even be necessary; photons could eventually be fired into space using lasers, and photon states could be teleported from Earth.

No repeaters were used in the Calgary experiments, which were mainly meant to establish how quantum teleportation can be performed outside the lab. Researchers used the city's dark fiber - a single optical cable with no electronics or network equipment flowing through them.

"By using advanced superconducting detectors, we can use individual photons to efficiently communicate both classical and quantum information from space to the ground," Shaw said. "We are planning to use more advanced versions of these detectors for demonstrations of optical communication from deep space and of quantum teleportation from the International Space Station."

The study was funded by Alberta Innovates Technology Futures; the National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada; and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Part of the detector research was carried out at JPL under a contract with NASA. Caltech in Pasadena manages JPL for NASA.

 

 

'Weighing' atoms with electrons

 
‎Wednesday, ‎October ‎19, ‎2016, ‏‎1:52:47 AMGo to full article
Vienna, Austria (SPX) Oct 14, 2016 - The different elements found in nature each have their distinct isotopes. For carbon, there are 99 atoms of the lighter stable carbon isotope 12C for each 13C atom, which has one more neutron in its nucleus. Apart from this natural variation, materials can be grown from isotope-enriched chemicals.

This allows scientists to study how the atoms arrange into solids, for example to improve their synthesis. Yet, most traditional techniques to measure the isotope ratio require the decomposition of the material or are limited to a resolution of hundreds of nanometers, obscuring important details.

In the new study, led by Jani Kotakoski, the University of Vienna researchers used the advanced scanning transmission electron microscope Nion UltraSTEM100 to measure isotopes in nanometer-sized areas of a graphene sample.

The same energetic electrons that form an image of the graphene structure can also eject one atom at a time due to scattering at a carbon nucleus. Because of the greater mass of the 13C isotope, an electron can give a 12C atom a slightly harder kick, knocking it out more easily. How many electrons are on average required gives an estimate of the local isotope concentration.

"The key to making this work was combining accurate experiments with an improved theoretical model of the process", says Toma Susi, the lead author of the study.

Publishing in Nature Communications allowed the team to fully embrace open science. In addition to releasing the peer review reports alongside the article, a comprehensive description of the methods and analyses is included.

However, the researchers went one step further and uploaded their microscopy data onto the open repository figshare. Anyone with an Internet connection can thus freely access, use and cite the gigabytes of high-quality images. Toma Susi continues: "To our knowledge, this is the first time electron microscopy data have been openly shared at this scale."

The results show that atomic-resolution electron microscopes can distinguish between different isotopes of carbon. Although the method was now demonstrated only for graphene, it can in principle be extended for other two-dimensional materials, and the researchers have a patent pending on this invention.

"Modern microscopes already allow us to resolve all atomic distances in solids and to see which chemical elements compose them. Now we can add isotopes to the list", Jani Kotakoski concludes.

Publication in Nature Communications: Isotope analysis in the transmission electron microscope: Toma Susi, Christoph Hofer, Giacomo Argentero, Gregor T. Leuthner, Timothy J. Pennycook, Clemens Mangler, Jannik C. Meyer and Jani Kotakoski. Nature Communications | 7:13040 | DOI: 10.1038/ncomms13040.

 

 

UC physicists join collaborative efforts in search for new ghost neutrinos

 
‎Wednesday, ‎October ‎19, ‎2016, ‏‎1:52:47 AMGo to full article
Cincinnati OH (SPX) Oct 13, 2016 - University of Cincinnati physicists have joined forces in a major international collaboration to shed new light on one of the most pressing questions in particle physics - "do sterile neutrinos exist?"

After looking at how the three known neutrino types behave and interact - classified as electron, muon and tau 'flavors' - a new research collaboration between the U.S.-based MINOS accelerator neutrino experiment and China's Daya Bay reactor neutrino experiment has looked for an elusive new light sterile neutrino that may resolve some outstanding puzzles in astrophysics and cosmology.

"Neutrinos are almost nothing at all, as they have almost no mass and no electric charge, but these itty-bitty ghost particles that can travel at near light speeds are all around us, from those created at the Big Bang to those originating in nuclear fusion at the center of the sun - the same process that produces sunlight," says Alexandre B. Sousa, University of Cincinnati assistant professor of physics and part of the MINOS experiment. "And they play an essential role in our fundamental understanding of how the universe works."

Back in the 1990s, scientists working on the Liquid Scintillator Neutrino Detector (LSND) experiment at Los Alamos announced evidence of muon neutrinos oscillating into electron neutrinos. However, the oscillation was occurring much faster than the neutrino oscillations discovered by the Super-Kamiokande experiment that led to the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics.

According to the researchers, if the LSND results are correct and due to neutrino oscillations, the most likely explanation is the existence of a new, fourth type of neutrino. But this new neutrino would have to be much stranger than anything seen before, being sterile, meaning that it does not interact with matter except through gravity.

Over the last twenty years, a number of experiments have tried to confirm or refute the LSND findings, but Sousa says the results have been inconclusive. The new results released by the MINOS and Daya Bay experiments strongly suggest that the ghost-like sterile neutrinos do not explain the LSND result after all. The findings of these studies, which include physicists from the University of Cincinnati, are now published in the journal Physical Review Letters, titled, "Limits on Active to Sterile Neutrino Oscillations from Disappearance Searches in the MINOS, Daya Bay and Bugey-3 Experiments."

Since the LSND experiment saw muon-type antineutrinos turning into electron-type antineutrinos, scientists must look at both types of neutrinos simultaneously to address the LSND observations - this is where Sousa says the collaboration between Daya Bay and MINOS comes in.

The MINOS experiment uses an intense beam of muon neutrinos that travels 735 km from the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Chicago to the Soudan Underground Laboratory in northern Minnesota. MINOS has made world-leading measurements of neutrino oscillation parameters by studying how these neutrinos disappear as they travel between the two detectors. The existence of a sterile neutrino could cause some of these muon neutrinos to disappear at a faster rate than one would expect if sterile neutrinos do not exist.

So far scientists working on the MINOS experiment have shown that this does not happen.

The Daya Bay experiment looks at electron antineutrinos coming from a nuclear power plant in the Guangdong province of China. Daya Bay observed that some of these antineutrinos disappear and measured for the first time one of the parameters governing neutrino oscillations, for which they earned the 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics.

A sterile neutrino would affect the rate at which these electron antineutrinos disappear, but the Daya Bay scientists have also seen no evidence for this. These two separate results from MINOS and Daya Bay, on their own, are not enough to address the puzzle that LSND set out almost twenty years ago.

"Neither the MINOS nor Daya Bay disappearance results alone can be compared to the LSND appearance measurements," says En-Chuan Huang of Los Alamos Laboratory and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, one of the scientists working on the Daya Bay experiment. "Looking at multiple types of neutrinos together, however, gives us a much stronger handle on sterile neutrinos."

In spite of the results, the researchers say they have significantly shrunk the hiding space for this light sterile neutrino.

"It's not common for two major neutrino experiments to work together this closely," says Adam Aurisano, postdoctoral fellow with the University of Cincinnati Department of Physics and the lead MINOS scientist who worked on the result. "But to really make a statement about the LSND evidence for sterile neutrinos, we must take Daya Bay's electron-antineutrino data and the MINOS muon-neutrino data and put them both together into a single analysis."

It is the combination of these two results, the MINOS experiment probing the conversion of muon neutrinos to sterile neutrinos and the Daya Bay experiment testing the conversion from electron antineutrinos into sterile neutrinos that researchers say has significantly shrunk the hiding space for this light sterile neutrino. This will also help other search efforts for knowing where to look for these elusive particles.

Moreover, the researchers - including Jacob Todd, UC physics doctoral student who is the lead analyst in searches for sterile neutrinos with MINOS+ - anticipate an even more sensitive search for sterile neutrinos. New data from the MINOS+ experiment (which uses a higher energy beam than MINOS) will be combined with four times more data from Daya Bay in a forthcoming joint analysis to be carried out over the next year.

"The neutrino is one of the most enigmatic particles we have encountered," says Aurisano. "And as history suggests, surprises may await us."

Research paper: Limits on Active to Sterile Neutrino Oscillation from Disappearance Searches in the MINOS, Daya Bay and Bugey-3 Experiments

 

 

Observing the birth of quasiparticles in real time

 
‎Wednesday, ‎October ‎19, ‎2016, ‏‎1:52:47 AMGo to full article
Innsbruck, Austria (SPX) Oct 10, 2016 - The concept of quasiparticles is a powerful tool to describe processes in many-body quantum systems, such as solid-state materials. For example, when an electron moves through a solid, it generates polarization in its environment because of its electrical charge. This "polarization cloud" moves together with the electron and the resulting "dressed electron" can be theoretically described as quasiparticle or a polaron.

"You could picture it as a skier on a powder day," says Grimm. "The skier is surrounded by a cloud of snow crystals. Together they form a system that has different properties than the skier without the cloud."

The challenge in an experiment is to measure the quasiparticles. "These processes last only attoseconds, which makes a time-resolved observation of their formation extremely difficult," explains Grimm. His research group uses ultracold quantum gases for simulations to study the many-body physics of complex quantum systems.

Observing the birth of quasiparticles
Ultracold quantum gases are an ideal experimental platform to study physical phenomena in solid-state materials and also exotic states of matter, for example neutron stars. Because of the well-controlled environment, the scientists are able to create many-body states and manipulate interactions between particles in these gases.

Rudolf Grimm's research group, working at the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information, Austrian Academy of Sciences, and the Institute for Experimental Physics, University of Innsbruck, is a leader in this research field.

In collaboration with theoretical physicists from Harvard University, the TU Munich and Monash University in Australia, the researchers have now studied quasiparticle dynamics in real time.

In a vacuum chamber, using laser trapping techniques, the researchers created an ultracold quantum gas made up of lithium atoms and a small sample of potassium atoms in the center. For both types of atoms they used isotopes of fermionic nature, which belong to the same fundamental class as electrons. Magnetic fields were used to tune interactions, which produced Fermi polarons, i.e. potassium atoms embedded in a lithium cloud.

"In condensed matter, the natural time scale of these quasiparticles is on the order of 100 attoseconds," explains Grimm. "We simulated the same physical processes at much lower densities. Here, the formation time for polarons is a few microseconds." However, measurement still remains a challenge.

"We developed a new method for observing the 'birth' of a polaron virtually in real time," says quantum physicists Grimm. Looking into the future, he says: "This may turn out to be a very interesting approach to better understand the quantum physical properties of ultrafast electronic devices."

The scientists are supported, among others, by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) within the framework of the Special Research Area program (SFB) FoQuS and the Doctoral Program Atoms, Light and Molecules (ALM).

Research paper: Ultrafast many-body interferometry of impurities coupled to a Fermi sea. Marko Cetina, Michael Jag, Rianne S. Lous, Isabella Fritsche, Jook T. M. Walraven, Rudolf Grimm, Jesper Levinsen, Meera M. Parish, Richard Schmidt, Michael Knap, Eugene Demler. Science. To be published on 10 07 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beyond Perception - DVD

by Chuck Missler  

 

 

DVD

PRICE R 159.00

 

Media Type: DVD
Published 20-Sep-2010
Published by Koinonia House
KHID#: DVD84
Why do scientists now believe we live in a 10-dimensional universe?

Has physics finally reached the very boundaries of reality?

There seems to be evidence to suggest that our world and everything in it are only ghostly images; projections from a level of reality so beyond our own that the real reality is literally beyond both space and time. The main architect of this astonishing idea is one of the world's most eminent thinkers- physicist David Bohm, a protege of Einstein's. Earlier, he noticed that, in plasmas, particles stopped behaving like individuals and started behaving as if they were part of a larger and inter connected whole. He continued his work in the behavior of oceans of these particles, noting their behaving as if they know what each on the untold trillions of individual particles were doing.

This briefing pack DVD comes with:
-two mp3 audio files
-one notes file in pdf format

This DVD includes notes in PDF format and MP3 files.

Encoding: This DVD will be viewable in other countries WITH the proper DVD player and television set.
Format: Color, Fullscreen
Aspect Ratio: 4:3
Audio Encoding: Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Run Time: 2 hour(s)
Number of discs: 1


 
The Beyond Collection 

 

 

      

 

 

 

Price R399.00

 The Collection Includes the 4 DVD'S below

 

 

 

DVD - R159.00

 

 

DVD - R159.00

 

 

DVD - R159.00

 

 

DVD - R159.00

 

If you purchase the 4 discs individually the price will be R636.00

 

 YOU SAVE R 237.00!

Genetics Research Confirms Biblical Timeline

Exciting research from the summer of 2012 described DNA variation in the protein coding regions of the human genome linked to population growth. One of the investigation's conclusions was that the human genome began to rapidly diversify not more than 5,000 years ago.1,2 This observation closely agrees with a biblical timeline of post-flood human diversification. Yet another study, this one published in the journal Nature, accessed even more extensive data and unintentionally confirmed the recent human history described in Genesis.3

Differences in human DNA can be characterized across populations and ethnic groups using a variety of techniques. One of the most informative genetic technologies in this regard is the analysis of rare DNA variation in the protein coding regions of the genome. Variability in these regions is less frequent than the more numerous genetic differences that occur in the non-coding regulatory regions. Researchers can statistically combine this information with demographic data derived from population growth across the world to generate time scales related to human genetic diversification.4

What makes this type of research unique is that evolutionary scientists typically incorporate hypothetical deep time scales taken from the authority of paleontologists or other similar deep-time scenarios to calibrate models of genetic change over time. Demographics-based studies using observed world population dynamics do not rely on this bias and are therefore more accurate and realistic.

In a 2012 Science report, geneticists analyzed DNA sequences of 15,585 protein-coding gene regions in the human genome for 1,351 European Americans and 1,088 African Americans for rare DNA variation.1,2 This new study accessed rare coding variation in 15,336 genes from over 6,500 humans—almost three times the amount of data compared to the first study.3 A separate group of researchers performed the new study.

The Nature results convey a second spectacular confirmation of the amazingly biblical conclusions from the first study. These scientists confirmed that the human genome began to rapidly diversify not more than 5,000 years ago. In addition, they found significant levels of  variation to be associated with degradation of the human genome, not forward evolutionary progress. This fits closely with research performed by Cornell University geneticist John Sanford who demonstrated through biologically realistic population genetic modeling that genomes actually devolve over time in a process called genetic entropy.5

According to the Bible, the pre-flood world population was reduced to Noah's three sons and their wives, creating a genetic bottleneck from which all humans descended. Immediately following the global flood event, we would expect to see a rapid diversification continuing up to the present. According to Scripture, this began not more than 5,000 years ago. We would also expect the human genome to devolve or degrade as it accumulates irreversible genetic errors over time. Now, two secular research papers confirm these biblical predictions.

References

  1. Tomkins, J. 2012. Human DNA Variation Linked to Biblical Event Timeline. Creation Science Update. Posted on icr.org July 23, 2012, accessed December 31, 2012.
  2. Tennessen, J. et al. 2012. Evolution and Functional Impact of Rare Coding Variation from Deep Sequencing of Human Exomes. Science. 337 (6090): 64-69.
  3. Fu, W, et al. Analysis of 6,515 exomes reveals the recent origin of most human protein-coding variants. Nature. Published online before print, July 13, 2012.
  4. Keinan, A and A. Clark. 2012. Recent Explosive Human Population Growth Has Resulted in an Excess of Rare Genetic Variants. Science. 336 (6082): 740-743.
  5. Sanford, J. C. 2008. Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome, 3rd ed. Waterloo, NY: FMS Publications.

* Dr. Tomkins is a Research Associate and received his Ph.D. in Genetics from Clemson University.

 

 

Can Drug Abuse Models Help Cure Society?

 
‎Monday, ‎December ‎5, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Donald Burke, a Dean at the University of Pittsburgh, recently wrote, "Since 2000, almost half a million Americans have died from drug overdoses." He suggested that scientists craft a digital model of our current drug society to project possible outcomes. Is a computer model really the answer?

 More...

 

 

'Mud Dragon' Is Really 'Flood Dragon'

 
‎Monday, ‎November ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Evolutionary scientists recently announced another spectacular dinosaur discovery. They nicknamed this one the Mud Dragon because it seems it died buried in mud. Junchang Lü and co-authors describe the new oviraptorid dinosaur in Scientific Reports. How did it really die?

 More...

 

Thanksgiving

 
‎Yesterday, ‎November ‎24, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

All of God’s children must overcome the temptation to allow God’s sovereign provision of our needs to be overshadowed by the pleasure of our bounty and blessings—especially during this very American celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday. Here are some of the original thoughts.

 More...

 

Genesis Quiz

 
‎Monday, ‎November ‎21, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Think you know Genesis and ancient history?

 


Answer five quick questions and find out!

 More...

 

 

The Pangolin: A Mammal with Lizard Scales

 
‎Thursday, ‎November ‎17, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Due to the complete lack of transitional fossils leading to the remarkable pangolin, secular scientists must resort to "just-so stories" to fill in evolution's significant blanks, including how this amazing creature got its scales. Ricki Lewis, a Ph.D. geneticist, did exactly that with her recent article, "How the Pangolin Got Its Scales—A Genetic Just-So Story."

 More...

 

 

Pseudo-Pseudogenes Shake Up Evolutionary Paradigm

 
‎Monday, ‎November ‎14, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Pseudogenes were once thought to be genomic fossils—the broken remnants of genes that mutated long ago. However, research is progressively showing that many pseudogenes are highly functional and critical to life. Now, a newly characterized pseudogene has been shown to produce a functional protein, but only in cells where it is required—leading researchers to coin a new term pseudo-pseudogene.

 More...

 

 

Creation Physics [Podcast]

 
‎Yesterday, ‎November ‎10, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Did God use the Big Bang to create the universe? Can we know the age of the earth? ICR physicist Dr. Jake Hebert explores the origin of the universe, recent Ice Age studies, and the relevance of earth age research. Also, learn more about Dr. Hebert as he shares his personal creation journey.

 More...

 

Cattle-Bison Hybrid Stomps On Evolutionary Expectations

 
‎Monday, ‎November ‎7, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Buried bones, ancient carvings, and cave paintings reveal early European cow-types. Some had the large shoulder humps of bison, some showed the big horns of the extinct aurochs—extinct ancestors of modern cattle—and others seemed like hybrids between these forms. Classic Darwinian evolution asserts one ancestor for various descendants. These supposedly separate into isolated species which can't breed, like tree branches extending far from their trunk. A recent study exposed how this concept clashes with the actual trends in cow-kind variation.

 More...

 

Prions Pass Traits by Their Shape, Not DNA

 
‎Thursday, ‎November ‎3, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Medical students learn classic pathology cases to help them identify diseases. One such case involved human cannibals who ended up with tremors, seizures, balance disorders, and hallucinations after eating nervous tissue. The fatal diseases, Kuru disease and Creutzfeld-Jakob disease (CJD), which are akin to mad cow disease, are caused by mysterious transmissible proteins known as prions. These proteins can be found in neurons. When a prion becomes pathologically misshapen, an infectious change reaction occurs where prions in the host become shaped the same way as the infecting prion. Could prions play a role in evolution?

 More...

 
 

Dinosaurs and the Bible [Podcast]

 
‎Thursday, ‎October ‎27, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

How did dinosaurs go extinct? Did they live alongside humans? ICR science writer Brian Thomas reveals the biblical and scientific evidence in this podcast series. Listen to fascinating insights from the fossil record, biblical history, and recent soft-tissue discoveries.

 More...

 

If Earth Is Old, It Should Have Frozen

 
‎Monday, ‎October ‎24, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Secular speculations insist Earth coalesced into its current state over four billion years ago, leaving one huge problem: the young sun would have been so dim that Earth would have frozen. Secular astronomers have long invoked methane gas to defray this dilemma, called the "faint young sun paradox." A recent study revealed two new reasons to totally reject methane as a rescuing device, leaving this paradox stronger than ever.

 More...

 

Musical Bird Maestros Befuddle Evolution

 
‎Thursday, ‎October ‎20, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

A recent paper shows that the skill of some songbirds to extemporaneously innovate musical repertoire equals that of human musicians. Since none of the apes have this complex human-like capability, the discovery poses a big problem for the evolutionary model of human origins.

 More...

 

Magic Words Can't Explain Strange Fossil

 
‎Monday, ‎October ‎17, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Once upon a time, only a single Italian fossil—a crushed specimen that paleontologists had to reconstruct—represented the extinct reptile Drepanosaurus. Now, a team of American scientists described a new Drepanosaurus specimen from New Mexico. Instead of fingers, it had a massive claw on each hand, and its curling tail was claw-tipped. These features have evolutionists scratching their heads over where it came from and why it looks more like a particular living mammal than a reptile.

 More...

 

Codon Degeneracy Discredited Again

 
‎Thursday, ‎October ‎13, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

One of the main themes of evolution is the belief that certain types of DNA sequences freely mutate and develop new functions that evolve creatures. This mostly mythical concept was applied to the protein-coding regions of genes, but in recent years this idea was discredited by the discovery of multiple codes imbedded in the same sequence—because the disruption of these codes is typically harmful, mutations are not tolerated. And now another critical imbedded code was discovered, further discrediting the idea of pervasive mutable DNA in genes.

 More...

 

 

Creation Geology [Podcast]

 
‎Monday, ‎October ‎10, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Can we believe both the Bible and geology? ICR geologist and Research Associate Dr. Tim Clarey uncovers how both fit together in this 5-part podcast series on creation geology. Dr. Clarey shares a unique geological perspective on the worldwide Flood, the origin and demise of dinosaurs, and the ice age.

 More...

 

 

Out-of-Place Dome-Headed Reptile

 
‎Thursday, ‎October ‎6, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

An American research team recently reanalyzed a strange fossil the Works Progress Administration excavated in 1940 from the Triassic Otis Chalk in west Texas. This partial skull showed that the animal had a huge, thick dome on its head, much like pachycephalosaurs found in Cretaceous deposits. According to conventional consensus, 100 million years and a vicious extinction event separate the two fossil types. What role did an evolutionary perspective play in this team's conclusions about this supposedly out-of-place dome-headed fossil?

 More...

 

Scales, Colors, Proteins in Dinosaur Skin

 
‎Monday, ‎October ‎3, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Scientists mapped the color shading of a particularly well-preserved Chinese fossil—a Psittacosaurus [sit uh kuh SAWR us]—onto several three-dimensional, lifelike models of the dinosaur. They discovered that the extent of lighter areas on its belly matched that of today's animals that live in shaded areas, like beneath trees, as opposed to open plains. In the process, the researchers confirmed pigment and protein remnants in the fossil skin that should have decayed long ago if they were really millions of years old.

 More...

 

Cellular Evolution Debunked by Evolutionists

 
‎Thursday, ‎September ‎29, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Perhaps the greatest problem for evolution is where and how the first biomolecules and cells originated by means of random processes. And if that problem wasn't substantial enough—essentially statistically and biologically impossible—a new discovery makes the odds even worse. Colonies of complex fossil microbes have recently been found that allegedly push the origin of life to at least 3.7 billion years into the past—a period of time thought to be unfavorable for life to begin.

 More...

 

 

Gorillas, Endangerment, and Evolutionary Morality

 
‎Monday, ‎September ‎26, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) revealed their latest Red List of Threatened Species at their World Conservation Congress in Hawaii on September 4, 2016. There, thousands of scientists and celebrities discussed recently extinct plants and others nearing extinction, but the primate declines grabbed the headlines. Two of the three great-ape kinds are rapidly shrinking. Why should these losses sadden those concerned?

 More...

 

Creationist Worldview [Podcast]

 
‎Thursday, ‎September ‎22, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

The Bible and science go together beautifully. ICR zoologist and researcher Frank Sherwin explains how in this 5-part podcast series on the creationist worldview. Mr. Sherwin shares the scientific and biblical evidence for a young earth, global Flood, and the origin of his favorite creatures—both living and extinct.

 More...

 

Archaeology Confirms Genesis, Job Climate

 
‎Tuesday, ‎September ‎20, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

An international team of archaeologists examined animal and human remains from an ancient site in present-day Jordan that enjoyed wetter times in the distant past. Today's Azraq Oasis receives a mere trickle of water compared to its past flows. Several long-preserved clues from recent Azraq digs fit better into biblical history than with evolutionary ideas.

 More...

 

ICR Discovery Center for Science and Earth History

 
‎Friday, ‎September ‎16, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

ICR hopes to soon begin building the Discovery Center for Science and Earth History. It will combine cutting-edge science and technology for an immersive experience that showcases God’s handiwork throughout the universe. Can you imagine how many lives will be changed?

 More...

 

New Calculations Melt Old Ice Age Theory

 
‎Wednesday, ‎September ‎14, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Recent ICR research has yielded convincing evidence that the results of an iconic climate/paleoclimate paper have been largely invalid—even by secular scientists' own reckoning—for the last 25 years. Moreover, most climate and paleoclimate scientists seem to be completely unaware of this fact.

 More...

 

 

Wild Carp Rapidly Regrow Scales

 
‎Monday, ‎September ‎12, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Back in the 1800s, Europeans bred carp until the breeders crafted a small population that lost all its scales. In 1912 some of these scale-free carp were transported to Madagascar, which had no native carp populations. Within a few decades some of the carp escaped and colonized natural Madagascar waters. Then, remarkably, some fish re-grew the scales their captive ancestors had completely lost. How did this happen?

 More...

 

Denton Bible Church Unlocks the Mysteries of Genesis

 
‎Friday, ‎September ‎9, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Eager churchgoers entering Denton Bible Church on a late summer Sunday were greeted by the toothy grins of extinct dragons. Why would a church display giant dinosaur fossils and offer an education series on these “mythical” monsters?

 More...

 

 

Life from an 'RNA World'?

 
‎Tuesday, ‎September ‎6, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

A new study reports evidence that life may have begun with the help of an RNA enzyme called a ribozyme. However, instead of supporting the naturalistic origin of life, this recent research only serves to reemphasize how even the modification of pre-existing information toward a specific purpose requires immense levels of ingenuity, engineering, and expertise.

 More...

 

Population Growth

 
‎Monday, ‎August ‎29, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

In 2011, the world’s human population reached seven billion. How long did it take for this many humans to be born?

 More...

 

The Case of the Missing Fulgurites

 
‎Thursday, ‎August ‎25, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Fulgurites are fossilized lightning strikes. Physicist Don DeYoung wrote that after 4.6 billion years, at the current lightning-strike rate, every square meter of land should contain far more fossilized lightning strikes than it can even hold. New fulgurite research updates the numbers to bring this fulgurite problem into sharper focus.

 More...

 

Creation Apologetics [Podcast]

 
‎Monday, ‎August ‎22, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Does Genesis really matter? How can we know the true timescale of creation or the age of the universe? And what should Christians do when they spot logical fallacies in conversations with skeptics? ICR astrophysicist Dr. Jason Lisle delves into these questions and more, offering several biblical and scientific arguments to logically defend the Christian faith.

 More...

Fossil DNA in Deep Seafloor Mud

 
‎Thursday, ‎August ‎18, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Scientists found DNA in sediment drill cores from the Bering Sea, hundreds of meters beneath the seafloor surface. Secular scientists insist that sediments at that depth required at least hundreds of thousands of years to deposit. Given that DNA degrades relatively quickly, the team faced the challenge of explaining how DNA could persist long enough to get buried beneath that much sediment.

 More...

 

New Dual-Function Brain Cell Found

 
‎Monday, ‎August ‎15, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Until 2015, anatomy textbooks taught that the human immune system doesn't penetrate brain tissue. But that same year, University of Virginia neuroscientist Jonathan Kipnis and his team discovered immune system cells working in the brain. The team's 2016 research revealed an unexpected additional role for molecules previously known only to target invading cells. They then speculated on ways this strange situation may have evolved.

 More...

 

Six Days of Creation, Part 1 [Podcast]

 
‎Thursday, ‎July ‎14, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

The book of Genesis lays the groundwork for the Christian belief system. It is the foundation of everything that God has undertaken on behalf of humanity. Therefore, we need a correct understanding of Genesis in order to correctly understand our identity, our responsibility, and our future. Should we treat the Genesis account as historical fact? Should we believe in a literal creation? What does Genesis say about what and how God created?

 More...

 

Stunning Amber Bird Wings

 
‎Monday, ‎July ‎11, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Newly described bird wings—not just a single feather or a strange-looking fiber or two—rose to the top of a long list of spectacular amber-trapped fossils. Two tiny hatchlings may have seen dinosaurs just before their wings got trapped in fast-flowing tree resin. At least four waves of the magic evolutionary wand would be needed to shove these unique fossils into deep time.

 More...

 

Convergent Evolution or Design-Based Adaptation?

 
‎Thursday, ‎July ‎7, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Convergent evolution is the idea that the same trait, or set of traits, in completely different organisms were somehow produced through independent evolutionary processes. Now a new study shows how two different types of snakes have adapted to a diversity of environments by expressing the same traits (skin color and skull shape), but the study describes no mechanism for it. The authors simply attribute the highly repeatable process to the black box of convergent evolution.

 More...

 

The Seeing Eye

 
‎Tuesday, ‎July ‎5, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Great photographers pair a select lens to a sophisticated camera and then adjust shutter speed and aperture size to capture the perfect photo. Our eyes perform similar tasks but are precisely engineered better than any camera—and their components are vastly more sophisticated. Could the seeing eye have been made by time and chance?

 More...

 

Videoconference with ISS Commander

 
‎Wednesday, ‎June ‎29, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

The Institute for Creation Research had the special privilege of videoconferencing with ISS Commander Col. Jeff Williams. He has occasional video-time with family and friends, and he graciously offered a question and answer session to the Dallas ICR staff while his wife, Anna-Marie, listened in from Houston. His responses give us a unique look into his heart.

 More...

 

Urban Trees Point to Creation

 
‎Monday, ‎June ‎27, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

A recent U.S. Forest Service study estimated that the trees planted along California streets provide a billion dollars’ worth of human benefit each year. And that benefit comes cheap. This analysis reveals five tree-related benefits that identify where trees fit in the origins controversy.

 More...

 

Scientific Evidence for Creation [Podcast]

 
‎Thursday, ‎June ‎23, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Science and the Bible agree. ICR zoologist and Research Associate Frank Sherwin tells us how in this 5-part podcast series on the scientific evidence for creation. From submicroscopic machines to the mighty oceans, Frank explores the marvels of design, buried clues from the past, and the myth of human evolution.

 More...

 

Neuron-Packed Bird Brains Point to Creation

 
‎Monday, ‎June ‎20, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

The amazing ability of birds to achieve ape-level cognitive traits—and in some cases exceed them like when they emulate human speech—has long confounded the evolutionary paradigm that claims humans evolved from apes. Now the bird intelligence evolutionary quandary has worsened as described in a new research report that shows bird brains contain over twice as many neurons per unit area as ape brains.

 More...

 

Special Cells Help Brain and Gut Communicate

 
‎Thursday, ‎June ‎16, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

After investing so much time and effort to understand how all parts of the human body interact, scientists keep turning up new and unforeseen connections—often when they ask the right questions. New and strange developments inspired a team to ask wacky questions about a unique white blood cell called Ly6Chi. And they found some profound answers.

 More...

 

Five Reasons to Believe in Recent Creation [Podcast]

 
‎Monday, ‎June ‎13, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Should we read the Genesis creation account as literal and inspired history, or is it simply a symbolic framework that should be adapted to the most popular scientific theories? Sadly, a growing number of Christian leaders accept evolution as fact and try to harmonize the Bible with the concept of naturalistic development over countless eons. Dr. Henry Morris III offers five fundamental reasons why belief in a recent creation is not only feasible, but vital to a true understanding of God’s Word.

 More...

 

Is Chimp Grief Evidence of Evolution?

 
‎Thursday, ‎June ‎9, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

As genetic research moves forward, the similarity between humans and chimpanzees becomes more and more distant—well beyond the bounds of evolutionary probability. But the secular world appears determined to show how chimps can behave similar to humans to bolster the failing evolutionary story. The most recent media buzz centers on several articles in which chimps are shown grieving over their dearly departed comrades.

 More...

 

Seagrass Re-evolution

 
‎Monday, ‎June ‎6, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Biologists recently sequenced the seagrass genome. They claim, "Uniquely, Z. marina has re-evolved new combinations of structural traits related to the cell wall." Re-evolved? There is no scientific reason—no empirical evidence—to say the structural traits somehow "re-evolved." How can these scientists make such a statement?

 More...

 

ICR Discovery Center: Expanding Creation Ministry

 
‎Thursday, ‎June ‎2, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Physicist Dr. Jake Hebert explains how the discovery center will enhance and expand ICR’s impact beyond its current media outlets and publications.

 More...

 

Junk DNA…Trashed Again

 
‎Thursday, ‎May ‎26, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Repetitious "words" in DNA represent more than half of the human genome's three billion nucleotides. Because human reasoning essentially views the repetition of words in spoken languages as errors, these DNA sequences were first written off as meaningless junk. Now it appears nothing could be further from the truth since these repetitive words are linked with pervasive biochemical function.

 More...

 

ICR Discovery Center: Impacting Hearts and Minds

 
‎Monday, ‎May ‎23, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Science Writer Brian Thomas tells how creation evidence changed his beliefs about God and Scripture—and ultimately the course of his life! ICR’s discovery center has the potential to reach so many more with this same life-changing message.

 More...

 

Titanic Remake More like Noah's Ark

 
‎Thursday, ‎May ‎19, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

The Titanic's sinking on April 14, 1912 was the most famous seafaring disaster in modern times. But the survival of Noah's Ark in the Flood was the most famous seafaring success in ancient times. Did design specifications help make the difference? If so, that might help explain why the dimensions for Titanic II—a planned full-size replica luxury liner—will differ from the first Titanic.

 More...

 

New DNA Study Confirms Noah

 
‎Monday, ‎May ‎16, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Evolutionary teachings hold that all mankind arose from a population of ape-like ancestors. But Genesis, the rest of the Bible, and Jesus teach that mankind arose from Noah's three sons and their wives. A new analysis of human mitochondrial DNA exposes two new evidences that validate the biblical beginnings of mankind.

 More...

 

ICR Discovery Center: Encouraging Believers

 
‎Thursday, ‎May ‎12, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

With engaging exhibits and a 3-D planetarium, ICR’s discovery center will show how scientific evidence confirms the Bible.  We want this project to encourage Christian believers that God’s Word can be trusted and  to equip them to defend their Christian faith.

 More...

 

Organic Residue Is 247 Million Years Old?

 
‎Monday, ‎May ‎9, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Those who have difficulty accepting reports of collagen (a type of protein) preserved in supposedly 80-million-year-old dinosaur bones will scratch their heads with new vigor over a recent report. Supposedly 247-million-year-old fossils from Poland show signs of excellent preservation and even hold blood vessels.

 More...

 

Wall-Climbing Cave Fish: Evolutionary Intermediate?

 
‎Thursday, ‎May ‎5, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Scientists recently discovered another bizarre fish. This one has a pelvic girdle. Is it the missing link evolutionists have been searching for?

 More...

 

ICR Discovery Center: Confirming Genesis

 
‎Monday, ‎May ‎2, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Genesis lays the foundation for every other book of the Bible, and it’s continually under attack. ICR’s discovery center will feature evidence demonstrating that all of the Bible—from beginning to end—can be trusted as God’s inspired Word.

 More...

 

Big Bang Continues to Self-Destruct

 
‎Monday, ‎April ‎25, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

In modern cosmology, one of the most important numbers is the current value of the so-called "Hubble parameter." This number indicates the apparent expansion rate of the universe. A new study indicates that two different methods of estimating this number yield contradictory results.

 More...

 

Iron-mining Fungus Displays Surprising Design

 
‎Thursday, ‎April ‎21, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

What happens when a soil fungus runs into a hard mineral containing precious trace amounts of nutritious iron? A poorly designed fungus might go hungry and languish like a forlorn noodle, but researchers recently found ways that a soil fungus conducts a miniature mining operation.

 More...

 

Monkey Business in the New Gorilla Genome

 
‎Monday, ‎April ‎18, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Old evolutionary assumptions seem hard to break. The recent assembling of ape DNA sequences based on the human genome provides a good example. This new gorilla genome study, despite capitalizing on advanced DNA sequencing technology, suffers from the same old malady.

 More...

 

ICR Discovery Center: Trusting God's Word

 
‎Thursday, ‎April ‎14, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Why is ICR building the new discovery center? Because the next generation needs to know that God’s Word can be trusted on all matters—including science.

 More...

 

Amber-Encased Lizards Showcase Recent Creation

 
‎Monday, ‎April ‎11, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Publishing online in Science Advances, a team of zoologists recognized familiar lizard forms in a dozen amber-encased lizard specimens. What did these lizards look like when they crawled around dinosaur feet? These Burmese ambers clearly show the answer.

 More...

 

ICR Discovery Center: Explaining the Scientific Method

 
‎Thursday, ‎April ‎7, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Drs. Jason Lisle and Jake Hebert talk about the scientific method in light of Scripture, evolutionary claims, and ICR’s biggest project yet.

 More...

 

Viral Genome Junk Hits the Trash

 
‎Monday, ‎April ‎4, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Evolutionists have long claimed that human chromosomes were infected with many different viruses over millions of years, which then multiplied in the genome. Then, as some of these sections of virus-like DNA were shown to be functional, evolutionists claimed they had become "tamed" like the domestication of wild animals. When virus-like DNA were first discovered, it was thought the majority of them would prove to be junk—until now.
 


 

 More...
 

Tyrannosaur Ancestral Tree Remains Limbless

 
‎Monday, ‎March ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Since Darwin's time, the lack of fossil evidence for vertical evolution has always been a problem for secular scientists. Now a recent paper published online in Scientific Reports attempts to map the ancestry of tyrannosaurs. Does it point us in the right direction?

 More...

 

ICR Discovery Center: Telling the Truth

 
‎Thursday, ‎March ‎24, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Why does ICR need to build this discovery center? Astrophysicist Dr. Jason Lisle describes what this ground-breaking project will accomplish and why it matters.

 More...

 

Evolutionary Tyranny Still Casts Cloud Over Science

 
‎Monday, ‎March ‎21, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

A recent scientific paper published in the high-profile journal PLOS ONE made three separate references to the amazing design of the human hand…and rightly attributed them to the Creator. Evolutionists cried foul and raised such an uproar that the journal retracted the paper. Why?

 More...

 

ICR Discovery Center: Revealing Creation Evidence

 
‎Thursday, ‎March ‎17, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

What kind of creation evidence can ICR reveal in the new museum? Science Writer Brian Thomas shares a few fascinating facts that refute evolution and confirm the authenticity of the Genesis account.

 More...

 

Tooth Study Takes Bite Out of Evolution

 
‎Monday, ‎March ‎14, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Secular scientists have told incredible stories for over a century about how fossil teeth supposedly support the idea that humans evolved from primates. A lack of knowledge about tooth development has provided fertile ground for wild speculations about evolving tooth sizes, skull shapes, foot shapes, and even life habits. A new report changes all that conjecture.

 More...

 

ICR Discovery Center: Equipping Believers

 
‎Thursday, ‎March ‎10, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

“Always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). Physicist Dr. Jake Hebert tells how ICR’s museum can equip you to defend your Christian faith.

 More...

 

China Spends Millions Searching for Aliens

 
‎Monday, ‎March ‎7, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

China is spending almost 200 million dollars on an enormous radio antenna to listen for signs of alien intelligence. In the western hemisphere, millions of dollars were invested in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute (SETI) project but have turned up no evidence. The ever-growing number of barren and gaseous exoplanets discovered continues to elevate Earth's uniqueness. Apparently, China would love to be the first nation to make "first contact."

 More...

 

ICR Discovery Center: Impacting Lives for the Gospel

 
‎Thursday, ‎March ‎3, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Two-thirds of the children raised in conservative Christian families leave the church in disbelief by the time they get to college. Find out how ICR’s museum project can influence our culture, point people to God’s Word, and encourage them to respond with faith in Him.

 More...

 

ICR Discovery Center: It's Okay to Ask Dinosaur Questions

 
‎Friday, ‎February ‎26, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Brian Thomas shares how the ICR Discovery Center for Science and Earth History can impact the faith of countless people by giving solid answers to their creation questions.

 More...

 

Were Sauropods Wading in China?

 
‎Thursday, ‎February ‎25, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

It's tough to beat a genuine dinosaur trackway for a fascinating glimpse of ancient life. Among the frozen tracks of giant, four-footed sauropod dinosaurs like Apatosaurus now frozen in stone, most preserve both hind feet and "hands"—or in tech speak, the "pes" and "manus." But newly exposed tracks from Gansu Province in northern China have experts scrabbling to explain why they only preserve sauropod hind feet.

 More...

 

Octopus Genome as Large as Human Genome

 
‎Monday, ‎February ‎22, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

The amazing octopus continues to astonish scientists. "Octopuses are highly intelligent creatures," says Claire Little, a marine biologist at the Weymouth Sealife Center in southwest England. "They are classed as intelligent as the general home pet dog." Scientists recently sequenced the octopus' genome and found it's nearly the size of the human genome.

 More...

 

Delicate Silk Fossils Point to Creation

 
‎Friday, ‎February ‎19, ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Numerous amazing fossils supposedly millions of years old contain original, non-mineralized biomolecules like collagen, elastin, ovalbumin, DNA, laminin, melanin, hemoglobin, and chitin. A new study presents evidence suggesting this list should now include silk.

 More...

 

 
 

Scientific American Content: Global

 

 

 

Browse and Search NASA Image Galleries

 

 


DVD

PRICE R 159.00

 

 

 

 

 

Transhumanism is an international intellectual and cultural movement supporting the use of science and technology to improve human mental and physical characteristics and capacities.

by Dr. Martin Erdmann


The human species can, if it wishes, transcend itself. We need a name for this new belief. Perhaps transhumanism will serve: man remaining man, but transcending himself, by realizing new possibilities of and for his human nature.
Julian Huxley
1st director of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (wrote nearly fifty years ago)
Transhumanism is a word that is beginning to bubble to the top of our prophetic studies and horizon. Simply described, transhumanism is an international intellectual and cultural movement supporting the use of science and technology to improve human mental and physical characteristics and capacities - in essence, to create a "posthuman" society.
This is not a passing fad. Transhumanist programs are sponsored in institutions such as Oxford, Standford, and Caltech. Sponsorships come from organizations such as Ford, Apple, Intel, Xerox, Sun Microsystems, and others. DARPA, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, a technical department within the U.S. Department of Defense is also involved in transhumanist projects.
This briefing pack contains 2 hours of teachings
Available in the following formats
DVD:
1 Disc
2 M4A Files

More Info

 

 

Price R 159.00
 
 
 

 

 

 

DVD - R 159.00


 

 

 

Book   R169.00

 

 

 

Available in the following formats:
DVD
Price R 159.00
 
 
 

All prices are in South African Rand's.
 
 

 

 Preview

The Origins of Information: Exploring and Explaining Biological Information


 

In the 21st century, the information age has finally come to biology. We now know that biology at its root is comprised of information rich systems, such as the complex digital code encoded in DNA. Groundbreaking discoveries of the past decade are revealing the information bearing properties of biological systems.

Dr. Stephen C. Meyer, a Cambridge trained philosopher of science is examining and explaining the amazing depth of digital technology found in each and every living cell such as nested coding, digital processing, distributive retrieval and storage systems, and genomic operating systems.

Meyer is developing a more fundamental argument for intelligent design that is based not on a single feature like the bacterial flagellum, but rather on a pervasive feature of all living systems. Alongside matter and energy, Dr. Meyer shows that there is a third fundamental entity in the universe needed for life: information.

 

http://www.stephencmeyer.org/

Got Science? Genesis 1 and Evidence

 

 

 
DVD - R159.00
 

 

Many scientists say complex life just randomly happened.
Primordial soup + lightning strike = Bingo! Is there any shred of scientific evidence that life was CREATED as Genesis 1 claims? Dr. Stephen Meyer, author of SIGNATURE IN THE CELL, says not a shred. Rather, a ton. Learn good reasoning techniques here.
 
08 June 2012, 08:09:11 PM
 

Intelligent Design is not Creationism

 
08 June 2012, 08:09:11 PM | Robert CrowtherGo to full article

This article was originally published in the Daily Telegraph (UK) on January 29. Original Article In 2004, the distinguished philosopher Antony Flew of the University of Reading made worldwide news when he repudiated a lifelong commitment to atheism and affirmed the reality of some kind of a creator. Flew cited evidence of intelligent design in DNA and the arguments of "American [intelligent] design theorists" as important reasons for this shift. Since then, British readers have learnt about the theory of intelligent design (ID) mainly from media reports about United States court battles over the legality of teaching students about it. According to most reports, ID is a "faith-based" alternative to evolution based solely on religion. But is this accurate? As one of the architects of the theory, I know it isn't. Contrary to media reports, ID is not a religious-based idea, but an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins. According to Darwinian biologists such as Oxford University's Richard Dawkins, living systems "give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose". But, for modern Darwinists, that appearance of design is illusory, because the purely undirected process of natural selection acting on random mutations is entirely sufficient to produce the intricate designed-like structures found in living organisms. By contrast, ID holds that there are tell-tale features of living systems and the universe that are best explained by a designing intelligence. The theory does not challenge the idea of evolution defined as change over time, or even common ancestry, but it disputes Darwin's idea that the cause of biological change is wholly blind and undirected. What signs of intelligence do design advocates see? In recent years, biologists have discovered an exquisite world of nanotechnology within living cells - complex circuits, sliding clamps, energy-generating turbines and miniature machines. For example, bacterial cells are propelled by rotary engines called flagellar motors that rotate at 100,000rpm. These engines look like they were designed by engineers, with many distinct mechanical parts (made of proteins), including rotors, stators, O-rings, bushings, U-joints and drive shafts. The biochemist Michael Behe points out that the flagellar motor depends on the co-ordinated function of 30 protein parts. Remove one of these proteins and the rotary motor doesn't work. The motor is, in Behe's words, "irreducibly complex". This creates a problem for the Darwinian mechanism. Natural selection preserves or "selects" functional advantages as they arise by random mutation. Yet the flagellar motor does not function unless all its 30 parts are present. Thus, natural selection can "select" the motor once it has arisen as a functioning whole, but it cannot produce the motor in a step-by-step Darwinian fashion. Natural selection purportedly builds complex systems from simpler structures by preserving a series of intermediates, each of which must perform some function. With the flagellar motor, most of the critical intermediate structures perform no function for selection to preserve. This leaves the origin of the flagellar motor unexplained by the mechanism - natural selection - that Darwin specifically proposed to replace the design hypothesis. Is there a better explanation? Based on our uniform experience, we know of only one type of cause that produces irreducibly complex systems: intelligence. Whenever we encounter complex systems - whether integrated circuits or internal combustion engines - and we know how they arose, invariably a designing intelligence played a role. Consider an even more fundamental argument for design. In 1953, when Watson and Crick elucidated the structure of the DNA molecule, they made a startling discovery. Strings of precisely sequenced chemicals called nucleotides in DNA store and transmit the assembly instructions - the information - in a four-character digital code for building the protein molecules the cell needs to survive. Crick then developed his "sequence hypothesis", in which the chemical bases in DNA function like letters in a written language or symbols in a computer code. As Dawkins has noted, "the machine code of the genes is uncannily computer-like". The informational features of the cell at least appear designed. Yet, to date, no theory of undirected chemical evolution has explained the origin of the digital information needed to build the first living cell. Why? There is simply too much information in the cell to be explained by chance alone. The information in DNA (and RNA) has also been shown to defy explanation by forces of chemical necessity. Saying otherwise would be like saying a headline arose as the result of chemical attraction between ink and paper. Clearly, something else is at work. DNA functions like a software program. We know from experience that software comes from programmers. We know that information - whether, say, in hieroglyphics or radio signals - always arises from an intelligent source. As the pioneering information theorist Henry Quastler observed: "Information habitually arises from conscious activity." So the discovery of digital information in DNA provides strong grounds for inferring that intelligence played a causal role in its origin. Thus, ID is not based on religion, but on scientific discoveries and our experience of cause and effect, the basis of all scientific reasoning about the past. Unlike creationism, ID is an inference from biological data. Even so, ID may provide support for theistic belief. But that is not grounds for dismissing it. Those who do confuse the evidence for the theory with its possible implications. Many astrophysicists initially rejected the Big Bang theory because it seemed to point to the need for a transcendent cause of matter, space and time. But science eventually accepted it because the evidence strongly supported it. Today, a similar prejudice confronts ID. Nevertheless, this new theory must also be evaluated on the basis of the evidence, not philosophical preferences. As Professor Flew advises: "We must follow the evidence, wherever it leads." Stephen C Meyer edited 'Darwinism, Design and Public Education' (Michigan State University Press). He has a PhD in philosophy of science from Cambridge University and is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute in Seattle.

 

09 December 2011, 11:13:24 PM

New Research Supports Meyer's Discussion of Pre-Biotic Chemistry in Signature in the Cell

 
09 December 2011, 11:13:24 PM | Andrew McDiarmidGo to full article
A recent Nature publication reports a new technique for measuring the oxygen levels in Earth's atmosphere some 4.4 billion years ago. The authors found that by studying cerium oxidation states in zircon, a compound formed from volcanic magma, they could ascertain the oxidation levels in the early earth. Their findings suggest that the early Earth's oxygen levels were very close to current levels. This research supports Dr. Meyer's discussion in Signature in the Cell. On pgs. 224-226 of Ch. 10: Beyond the Reach of Chance, Meyer states that when Stanley Miller conducted his famous 1953 experiment simulating early Earth's atmosphere, he "assumed that the earth's atmosphere contained virtually no free oxygen." Meyer reveals that new geochemical evidence showed that the assumptions Miller had made about the early atmosphere were incorrect. This new research is additional confirmation that oxygen was present in significant quantities. Because oxygen quenches organic reactions necessary to produce essential building blocks of life, the ability of inorganic materials to produce organic life, as chemical evolutionary theory assumes, is not possible. Read the complete article at ENV.

 

Dr. Meyer Debates Signature in the Cell Arguments with Keith Fox on Premier Radio UK

24 November 2011, 12:37:19 AM | Andrew McDiarmidGo to full article
During a recent visit to London, Dr. Stephen Meyer debated Keith Fox on Premier Radio UK's "Unbelievable" program. Fox is a professor of biochemistry at Southampton University and Chair of the UK's Christians in Science network. Two years after its publication, Meyer's Signature in the Cell continues to make an impact with its powerful argument for design in DNA. In this lively conversation, Meyer and Fox discuss origins of life and the design inference in science.

 

« Overflowtoday.com asks Stephen Meyer if he's got science | Main

Dr. Meyer Debates Signature in the Cell Arguments with Keith Fox on Premier Radio UK


During a recent visit to London, Dr. Stephen Meyer debated Keith Fox on Premier Radio UK's "Unbelievable" program. Fox is a professor of biochemistry at Southampton University and Chair of the UK's Christians in Science network. Two years after its publication, Meyer's Signature in the Cell continues to make an impact with its powerful argument for design in DNA. In this lively conversation, Meyer and Fox discuss origins of life and the design inference in science.


 

 

Searching For The Truth On Origins
By Roger Oakland

4 DVD set

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRICE  R399.00

 

 ($49.00) equivalent

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

NASA Television
 

http://www.nasa.gov/audience/formedia/index.html


 

+27 11 969 0086


frosty@khouseafrica.com

 

 


Bible

DVD

+

MP3 on CD-ROM
Featured Commentaries

Learn the Bible

 in 24 hours



Old Testament


Genesis

Exodus

Leviticus

Numbers

Deuteronomy

Joshua and The Twelve Tribes

Judges

Ruth and Esther

I and II Samuel

I and II Kings

I and II Chronicles

Ezra & Nehemiah

Job

Psalms

Proverbs

Ecclesiastes

Song of Songs

Isaiah

Jeremiah

/Lamentations

Ezekiel

Daniel

Hosea

Joel and Amos

Jonah, Nahum & Obadiah

Micah

Zechariah

The Minor

Prophets

 



New Testament


Matthew

Mark

Luke

John

Acts

Romans

I & II Corinthians

Galatians

Ephesians

Philippians

Colossians and Philemon

I and II

Thessalonians

Timothy/

Titus/Philemon

Hebrews

James

I and II Peter

I, II, and III John

Jude

Revelation