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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”.
 
 

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

 

 
 

SpaceX Dragon cargo ship arrives at space station

 
‎17 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:36:20 AMGo to full article
Miami (AFP) Apr 17, 2015
SpaceX's unmanned Dragon cargo ship arrived Friday at the International Space Station, carrying a load of food and supplies for the astronauts living in orbit. European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti grappled the capsule with the space station's robotic arm at 6:55 am (1055 GMT) as the space station flew over the northern Pacific to the east of Japan, NASA said. "Houst
 

Will Asteroid 2012 TC4 Hit Earth in October 2017

 
‎17 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:36:20 AMGo to full article
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Apr 17, 2015
On Oct. 12, 2017, the asteroid 2012 TC4 is slated to whizz by Earth dangerously close. The exact distance of its closest approach is uncertain, as well as its size. Based on observations in October 2012 when the space rock missed our planet, astronomers estimate that its size could vary from 12 to 40 meters. The meteor that exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in February 2013, injuring
 

Robotic Arm Gets Busy on Rock Outcrop

 
‎17 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:36:20 AMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Apr 17, 2015
Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater near the entrance of "Marathon Valley," a putative location for abundant clay minerals. The rover is positioned on a light-toned outcrop next to the feature called "The Spirit of St. Louis" crater. The rover is continuing a campaign to investigate surface targets in this outcrop. On Sol 3984 (April 9, 2015), Opportunity examined the
 

NASA Mars Rover's Weather Data Bolster Case for Brine

 
‎17 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:36:20 AMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Apr 17, 2015
Martian weather and soil conditions that NASA's Curiosity rover has measured, together with a type of salt found in Martian soil, could put liquid brine in the soil at night. Perchlorate identified in Martian soil by the Curiosity mission, and previously by NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander mission, has properties of absorbing water vapor from the atmosphere and lowering the freezing temperature
 

Video shows SpaceX rocket booster crash land on floating target

 
‎17 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:36:20 AMGo to full article
Cape Canaveral, Fla. (UPI) Apr 16, 2015
From NASA's perspective, Tuesday's resupply missions was a success. The rocket went off without a hitch, and the cargo-filled Dragon capsule is safely en route to the International Space Station. But for SpaceX, the second half of the mission - and the one everyone was most excited about - proved to be another failure (albeit one CEO Elon Musk predicted). Yet again, the aerospace comp
 

First Launch From Vostochny Space Center Slated for December 2015

 
‎17 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:36:20 AMGo to full article
Moscow (Sputnik) Apr 17, 2015
The first rocket launch from the Russian Vostochy space complex should be completed in December 2015, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin told President Vladimir Putin on Monday. "We propose that the first launch will be in December of this year," Rogozin told Putin. Earlier, media reports said that since construction had fallen behind on the complex that the first launch wo
 

NASA's Curiosity Rover Making Tracks and Observations

 
‎17 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:36:20 AMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Apr 17, 2015
NASA's Curiosity Mars rover is continuing science observations while on the move this month. On April 16, the mission passed 10 kilometers (6.214 miles) of total driving since its 2012 landing, including about a fifth of a mile (310 meters) so far this month. The rover is trekking through a series of shallow valleys between the "Pahrump Hills" outcrop, which it investigated for six months,
 

NASA-funded Study Explains Saturn's Epic Tantrums

 
‎17 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:36:20 AMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Apr 17, 2015
The long-standing mystery of why Saturn seethes with enormous storms every 30 years may have been solved by scientists working with data from NASA's Cassini mission. The tempests, which can grow into bright bands that encircle the entire planet, are on a natural timer that is reset by each subsequent storm, the researchers report. In 140 years of telescope observations, great storms have e
 

Russia vows to put Russian cosmonauts on Moon no later than 2030

 
‎17 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:36:20 AMGo to full article
Moscow (XNA) Apr 17, 2015
The Federal Space Agency Roscosmos of Russia said Tuesday it would keep implementing space exploration projects in spite of the current economic difficulties and would work to help Russian cosmonauts land on the Moon no later than 2030. Roscosmos head Igor Komarov told reporters that with limited government funds, they have updated programs envisaging construction of a super-heavy carrier
 

Space icon reflects on origins of space program

 
‎17 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:36:20 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Apr 17, 2015
Legendary Johnson Space Center icon Glynn Lunney, a flight director during the Gemini and Apollo Programs and best known for his work with Apollo 13, talked about the early days of the space program and his contributions to it to a packed house at the Gilruth Center recently. His "Highways into Space" lecture, based on his new autobiography, was hosted by the SAIC/Safety and Mission Assura
 

Mars might have liquid water

 
‎17 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:36:20 AMGo to full article
Copenhagen, Denmark (SPX) Apr 17, 2015
Researchers have long known that there is water in the form of ice on Mars. Now, new research from NASA's Mars rover Curiosity shows that it is possible that there is liquid water close to the surface of Mars. The explanation is that the substance perchlorate has been found in the soil, which lowers the freezing point so the water does not freeze into ice, but is liquid and present in very salty
 

Dawn's Ceres Color Map Reveals Surface Diversity

 
‎17 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:36:20 AMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Apr 17, 2015
A new color map of dwarf planet Ceres, which NASA's Dawn spacecraft has been orbiting since March, reveals the diversity of the surface of this planetary body. Differences in morphology and color across the surface suggest Ceres was once an active body, Dawn researchers said at the 2015 General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union in Vienna. "This dwarf planet was not just an inert r
 

Mexico, Russia Deepening Cooperation in Space

 
‎17 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:36:20 AMGo to full article
Moscow (Sputnik) Apr 17, 2015
Russia and Mexico are developing relations in joint space exploration, Mexican ambassador to Moscow Ruben Beltran said Tuesday. "Another [Mexican] satellite will be launched from Baikonur in 15 days, thanks to our cooperation with [Russia's space agency] Roscosmos. We are pleased by this, we are happy about this fact. So we are bringing our interests together in the space sphere too," Belt
 

Ramping Up For Johnson's Chamber A Test

 
‎17 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:36:20 AMGo to full article
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Apr 17, 2015
Looking out from inside the enormous mouth of NASA's giant thermal vacuum chamber, called Chamber A, located at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, the Pathfinder or test model of the James Webb Space Telescope's backplane is seen sliding in on the rails. Previously used for manned spaceflight missions, this historic chamber is now being readied for a cryogenic test. "After over
 

A Lot Can Happen in 5 Years: the President's 2010 Exploration Goals

 
‎17 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:36:20 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Apr 17, 2015
On April 15, 2010, President Barack Obama outlined his plan for America's space program. At NASA's Kennedy Space Center that day, the President said: "We will not only extend humanity's reach in space - we will strengthen America's leadership here on Earth ... For pennies on the dollar, the space program has improved our lives, advanced our society, strengthened our economy, and inspired
 

'Dwarf planet' Ceres spawns giant mystery

 
‎14 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:17:41 AMGo to full article
Vienna (AFP) April 13, 2015
First classified a planet, then an asteroid and then a "dwarf planet" with some traits of a moon - the more scientists learn about Ceres, the weirder it becomes. And new observations of the sphere of rock and ice circling our Sun between Mars and Jupiter have added to the mystery, researchers said Monday. Astrophysicists have been looking to a $473-million (446-million-euro) mission to
 

On another planet: the weird ways of water

 
‎14 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:17:41 AMGo to full article
Paris (AFP) April 13, 2015
Once every 20 or 30 years, a superstorm greater than Earth breaks out on Saturn and whips around the ringed planet in a violent spectacle that rages for months on end. The storm can stretch hundreds of thousands of kilometres (miles) before fizzling out - some continue all the way around the planet until they meet their own tail. Dubbed "Great White Spots" after the tinge of their light
 

Russia 'busts satellite spy ring': space commander

 
‎14 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:17:41 AMGo to full article
Moscow (AFP) April 12, 2015
Russia has uncovered a group of spy satellites, the head of its space command said in a film broadcast Sunday, which warned of "enemy" satellites that could masquerade as space junk. "Very recently, specialists of the department of space intelligence centre uncovered a newly created group of space satellites... made for radio-technical reconnaissance of equipment on Russian territory," said
 

Canada Grants Kiev Access to Sophisticated Satellite Imagery

 
‎14 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:17:41 AMGo to full article
Moscow (Sputnik) Apr 12, 2015
Ukraine has gained access to Canadian satellite images that Ottawa's own military forces could hardly afford; it still remains unclear how much the agreement with the Kiev regime will cost Canadian taxpayers. Canadian authorities have announced they would provide Ukraine with satellite imagery from its Radarsat-2 satellite; however, Ottawa's decision has sparked controversy among Canadian
 

What happens underground when a missile or meteor hits

 
‎14 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:17:41 AMGo to full article
Durham NC (SPX) Apr 14, 2015
When a missile or meteor strikes the earth, the havoc above ground is obvious, but the details of what happens below ground are harder to see. Duke University physicists have developed techniques that enable them to simulate high-speed impacts in artificial soil and sand in the lab, and then watch what happens underground close-up, in super slow motion. In a study scheduled to appear this
 

Risk of lightning postpones SpaceX launch

 
‎14 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:17:41 AMGo to full article
Miami (AFP) April 13, 2015
The risk of lightning postponed Monday's planned launch of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket, carrying a load of food and supplies for the International Space Station. The attempt to send the unmanned Dragon cargo carrier into space was postponed less than three minutes before launch, due to a storm system that was moving into the area, NASA said. The next launch bid is scheduled for Tuesday aft
 

BRICS May Engage in New Int'l Orbital Station Project

 
‎14 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:17:41 AMGo to full article
Moscow (Sputnik) Apr 14, 2015
BRICS countries may be invited to participate in setting up a new international orbital space station, Russia's space agency Roscosmos chief Igor Komarov said. Speaking in an interview with Russian newspaper "Rossiyskaya Gazeta" due to be released on Friday, Komarov said that a new orbital station is under discussion to replace the International Space Station (ISS). "The discussion f
 

Cosmic debris: Study looks inside the universe's most powerful explosions

 
‎14 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:17:41 AMGo to full article
Columbus OH (SPX) Apr 14, 2015
A new study provides an inside look at the most powerful explosions in the universe: gamma-ray bursts. These rare explosions happen when extremely massive stars go supernova. The stars' strong magnetic fields channel most of the explosion's energy into two powerful plasma jets, one at each magnetic pole. The jets spray energetic particles for light-years in both directions, at close to light spe
 

Fabrication Complete on SLS Core Stage Simulator Test Article

 
‎14 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:17:41 AMGo to full article
Huntsville AL (SPX) Apr 14, 2015
Engineers recently completed fabrication of the core stage simulator structural test article for NASA's new rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS). The SLS will be the most powerful rocket ever built for deep space missions, including to an asteroid and ultimately to Mars. The structural test article is a replica of the top of the core stage and is approximately 10 feet tall and 27 feet in
 

Examining Rock Outcrop at 'The Spirit of St. Louis' Crater

 
‎14 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:17:41 AMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Apr 14, 2015
Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater near the entrance of "Marathon Valley," a putative location for abundant clay minerals. The rover is positioned on a light-toned outcrop next to the feature called "The Spirit of St. Louis" crater. The rover is continuing a campaign to investigate surface targets in this light-toned outcrop. On Sol 3977 (April 1, 2015), the rover beg
 

Accelerating universe? Not so fast

 
‎14 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:17:41 AMGo to full article
Tucson AZ (SPX) Apr 14, 2015
Certain types of supernovae, or exploding stars, are more diverse than previously thought, a University of Arizona-led team of astronomers has discovered. The results, reported in two papers published in the Astrophysical Journal, have implications for big cosmological questions, such as how fast the universe has been expanding since the Big Bang. Most importantly, the findings hint at the
 

Correction Maneuver Puts MESSENGER Right on Course

 
‎14 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:17:41 AMGo to full article
Laurel MD (SPX) Apr 14, 2015
The MESSENGER team is pulling out all the stops to give the spacecraft life far beyond its original design. On April 8, mission operators at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md., successfully conducted a contingency orbit-correction maneuver (OCM-15a), to supplement the April 6 burn (OCM-15) that concluded early when the last drops of hydrazine fuel were e
 

Last stretch before being packed tight

 
‎14 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:17:41 AMGo to full article
Paris (ESA) Apr 14, 2015
Once in space, Sentinel-2A will open its solar wing to generate the power it needs to carry out the task of monitoring Earth's vegetation. Engineers have recently made sure this move is well rehearsed before the satellite is packed up and shipped to the launch site. This final deployment test marks the end of a six-month programme at IABG in Germany to make sure the satellite can withstand
 

Citizen Scientists Discover Yellow "Space Balls"

 
‎14 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:17:41 AMGo to full article
Huntsville AL (SPX) Apr 14, 2015
Citizen scientists scanning images from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, an orbiting infra-red observatory, recently stumbled upon a new class of curiosities that had gone largely unrecognized before: yellow balls. "The volunteers started chatting about the yellow balls they kept seeing in the images of our galaxy, and this brought the features to our attention," said Grace Wolf-Chase of th
 

RockSat-X Rescheduled for April 18

 
‎14 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎08:17:41 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Apr 14, 2015
The RockSat-X payload being carried into space on a NASA Terrier-Improved Malemute suborbital sounding rocket is scheduled for launch between 6:30 and 10 a.m., April 18. The backup days are April 19 - 21. The launch was previously scheduled in March but was postpone because of unacceptable weather for launch and/or payload recovery. The rocket is carrying experiments developed by undergrad
 

Saucers, totes, cans, passion and dedication shape local students at JSC

 
‎12 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎05:29:49 AMGo to full article
Houston TX (SPX) Apr 10, 2015
Flying saucers have landed at Johnson Space Center-and they are taking over the minds of our youth. OK, so they are not really flying saucers. Those landed a few years back. Actually, this year they are totes and cans. Last year they were exercise balls. But they definitely are shaping young minds, helping to create students who eventually become brilliant new engineers both at JSC and thr
 

Romania 'Agression Platform' Against Russia With US Missile Defense Systems

 
‎12 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎05:29:49 AMGo to full article
Moscow (Sputnik) Apr 12, 2015
Alexander Mosesov - The planned deployment of the shore-based Aegis command and control component of the US Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system in Romania is turning the country into a platform for aggression against Russia, leader of the National-European Communitarian Party (NCP) told Sputnik on Tuesday. According to the US Missile Defense Agency, the United States will install an Aeg
 

ALMA captures Juno traveling through space

 
‎12 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎05:29:49 AMGo to full article
Charlottesville NC (SPX) Apr 10, 2015
A series of images made with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) provides an unprecedented view of the surface of Juno, one of the largest members of our solar system's main asteroid belt. Linked together into a brief animation, these high-resolution images show the asteroid rotating through space as it shines in millimeter-wavelength light. "In contrast to optical tele
 

May I go to space once more asks Brian Duffy

 
‎12 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎05:29:49 AMGo to full article
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Apr 10, 2015
Space is always on the mind of a veteran NASA astronaut Brian Duffy. The key figure in an aerospace company Orbital ATK and a Space Shuttle commander is extremely keen on flying to space again. The enthusiasm emanating from him for the future journeys beyond Earth, which we all patiently wait for, is heartily thrilling. In an interview with astrowatch.net, Duffy talks his successful astronaut ca
 

New DARPA Programs Simultaneously Test Limits of Technology, Credulity

 
‎12 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎05:29:49 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Apr 12, 2015
Less than one week after releasing Breakthrough Technologies for National Security, DARPA's latest summary of the Agency's mission, accomplishments and funding priorities for extending its legacy of technological disruption, the Agency has announced four major new programs-evidence of DARPA's commitment to pursuing high-risk/high-reward research and making the impossible possible. The prog
 

France, India to Boost Space Cooperation, Other Joint Projects

 
‎12 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎05:29:49 AMGo to full article
New Delhi (Sputnik) Apr 10, 2015
In June 2014, an Indian rocket put into orbit five foreign satellites, including one built by France. "We will further our cooperation in the field of space. We will sign more joint cooperation programs. We will further our cooperation in joint launching of satellites," Richier told journalists. The diplomat spoke ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi's trip to France scheduled
 

Aliens Are Probably Huge 650-Pound Creatures

 
‎12 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎05:29:49 AMGo to full article
Barcelona, Spain (Sputnik) Apr 10, 2015
New research proposes that if intelligent life outside Earth's atmosphere exists, chances are it's enormous. The findings from University of Barcelona cosmologist Dr. Fergus Simpson are based on a mathematical algorithm that assumes all theoretical life in the universe follows the same laws of conservation of energy seen on Earth: the bigger the animal, the more resources it needs to survi
 

Our Sun came late to the Milky Way's star-birth party

 
‎12 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎05:29:49 AMGo to full article
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Apr 12, 2015
In one of the most comprehensive multi-observatory galaxy surveys yet, astronomers find that galaxies like our Milky Way underwent a stellar "baby boom," churning out stars at a prodigious rate, about 30 times faster than today. Our sun, however, is a late "boomer." The Milky Way's star-birthing frenzy peaked 10 billion years ago, but our sun was late for the party, not forming until rough
 

Comms system critical to delaying MESSENGER's Mercury impact

 
‎12 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎05:29:49 AMGo to full article
Laurel MD (SPX) Apr 12, 2015
MESSENGER's orbit-correction maneuver on April 6 was a nail biter. It was the 15th such maneuver since the spacecraft entered orbit about Mercury in 2011, and the third in a series of increasingly risky "burns" designed to delay MESSENGER's inevitable impact onto Mercury's surface. Each maneuver illustrates the critical role that the spacecraft's radio frequency (RF) telecommunications system pl
 

Mars has belts of glaciers consisting of frozen water

 
‎12 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎05:29:49 AMGo to full article
Copenhagen, Denmark (SPX) Apr 12, 2015
Mars has distinct polar ice caps, but Mars also has belts of glaciers at its central latitudes in both the southern and northern hemispheres. A thick layer of dust covers the glaciers, so they appear as surface of the ground, but radar measurements show that underneath the dust there are glaciers composed of frozen water. New studies have now calculated the size of the glaciers and thus th
 

Guardians of the Galaxy: Russia Creates International Space Patrol

 
‎12 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎05:29:48 AMGo to full article
Moscow (Sputnik) Apr 12, 2015
Russia's Ministry of Defense on April 1 established the Aerospace Monitoring Forces (AMF) tasked with providing security to spacecraft and the International Space Station (ISS) and enforcing international rules of space conduct. The military corps, dubbed the Space Patrol by the Russian media, will carry out joint missions in cooperation with similar forces under development in other count
 

NASA selects proposals for ultra-lightweight material development

 
‎12 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎05:29:48 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Apr 12, 2015
NASA has selected three proposals to develop and manufacture ultra-lightweight (ULW) materials for future aerospace vehicles and structures. The proposals will mature advanced technologies that will enable NASA to reduce the mass of spacecraft by 40 percent for deep space exploration. "Lightweight and multifunctional materials and structures are one of NASA's top focus areas capable of hav
 

DARPA Seeks to Create Software Systems That Could Last 100 Years

 
‎12 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎05:29:48 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Apr 12, 2015
As modern software systems continue inexorably to increase in complexity and capability, users have become accustomed to periodic cycles of updating and upgrading to avoid obsolescence-if at some cost in terms of frustration. In the case of the U.S. military, having access to well-functioning software systems and underlying content is critical to national security, but updates are no less proble
 

Seasonal, year-long cycles seen on the sun

 
‎12 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎05:29:48 AMGo to full article
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Apr 12, 2015
Our sun is constantly changing. It goes through cycles of activity - swinging between times of relative calm and times when frequent explosions on its surface can fling light, particles and energy out into space. This activity cycle peaks approximately every 11 years. New research shows evidence of a shorter time cycle as well, with activity waxing and waning over the course of about 330 days.
 

Unravelling relativistic effects in the heaviest actinide element

 
‎12 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎05:29:48 AMGo to full article
Mainz, Germany (SPX) Apr 12, 2015
An international collaboration led by the research group of superheavy elements at the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), Tokai, Japan has achieved the ionization potential measurement of lawrencium (element 103) with a novel-type technique at the JAEA tandem accelerator. Based on the empirically developed "actinide concept", and in agreement with theoretical calculations, in today's Perio
 

Mars' dust-covered glacial belts may contain tons of water

 
‎10 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎03:33:52 AMGo to full article
Copenhagen, Denmark (UPI) Apr 9, 2015
New research shows Mars' buried glaciers contain enough ice to cover the entire planet with a coat three feet thick. The evidence also proves the dust-covered glacial belts to contain frozen water, not carbon dioxide. Previous satellite images have suggested the presence of hefty glacial bands spanning the planet's northern and southern hemispheres just beneath the Martian surface. But
 

The Solar System and Beyond is Awash in Water

 
‎10 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎03:33:52 AMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Apr 10, 2015
As NASA missions explore our solar system and search for new worlds, they are finding water in surprising places. Water is but one piece of our search for habitable planets and life beyond Earth, yet it links many seemingly unrelated worlds in surprising ways. "NASA science activities have provided a wave of amazing findings related to water in recent years that inspire us to continue inve
 

Hubble finds phantom objects near dead quasars

 
‎10 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎03:33:52 AMGo to full article
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Apr 10, 2015
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has photographed a set of wispy, goblin-green objects that are the ephemeral ghosts of quasars that flickered to life and then faded. The glowing structures have looping, helical, and braided shapes. "They don't fit a single pattern," said Bill Keel of the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, who initiated the Hubble survey. Keel believes the features offer insi
 

NASA Joins Forces to Put Satellite Eyes on Threat to U.S. Freshwater

 
‎10 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎03:33:52 AMGo to full article
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Apr 10, 2015
NASA has joined forces with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and U.S. Geological Survey to transform satellite data designed to probe ocean biology into information that will help protect the American public from harmful freshwater algal blooms. Algal blooms are a worldwide environmental problem causing human and animal health risks
 

Home Away From Home: NASA Spider-Droids to Build in Space

 
‎10 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎03:33:52 AMGo to full article
Moscow (Sputnik) Apr 10, 2015
A company called Tethers Unlimited is developing a futuristic "Arachnid-like" droid system, funded by the North American Space Agency, that hopes to help humanity's journey into - and settlement in - outer-space. Dubbed the "SpiderFab," the droids will work similarly to a 3D printer to help construct spacecraft, radio antennas, and, in the long term, infrastructure to support the expansion
 

Special 3-D Delivery From Space to NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center

 
‎10 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎03:33:52 AMGo to full article
Huntsville AL (SPX) Apr 10, 2015
Engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, unboxed some special cargo from the International Space Station on April 6: the first items manufactured in space with a 3-D printer. The items were manufactured as part of the 3-D Printing in Zero-G Technology Demonstration on the space station to show that additive manufacturing can make a variety of parts and tools
 

NASA Extends Campaign for Public to Name Features on Pluto

 
‎10 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎03:33:52 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Apr 10, 2015
The public has until Friday, April 24 to help name new features on Pluto and its orbiting satellites as they are discovered by NASA's New Horizons mission. Announced in March, the agency wants to give the worldwide public more time to participate in the agency's mission to Pluto that will make the first-ever close flyby of the dwarf planet on July 14. The campaign extension, in partnership
 

Dawn in Excellent Shape One Month After Ceres Arrival

 
‎10 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎03:33:52 AMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Apr 10, 2015
Since its capture by the gravity of dwarf planet Ceres on March 6, NASA's Dawn spacecraft has performed flawlessly, continuing to thrust with its ion engine as planned. The thrust, combined with Ceres' gravity, is gradually guiding the spacecraft into a circular orbit around the dwarf planet. All of the spacecraft's systems and instruments are in excellent health. Dawn has been following i
 

ALMA Sees Einstein Ring in Stunning Image of Lensed Galaxy

 
‎10 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎03:33:52 AMGo to full article
Charlottesville NC (SPX) Apr 10, 2015
Astronomers have discovered that a distant galaxy - seen from Earth with the aid of a gravitational lens - appears like a cosmic ring, thanks to the highest resolution images ever taken with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). Forged by the chance alignment of two distant galaxies, this striking ring-like structure is a rare and peculiar manifestation of gravitational
 

NASA Extends Lockheed Martin Contract To Prepare Critical Cargo For ISS

 
‎10 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎03:33:52 AMGo to full article
Rockville, MD (SPX) Apr 10, 2015
Lockheed Martin (LMT) will plan, process and pack a steady supply of cargo for the International Space Station (ISS)-ranging from science hardware to food and the crew's personal items-under an extension of NASA's Cargo Mission Contract. Currently, Lockheed Martin maintains more than three million items destined for the station. The team exports and ships about 25,000 pounds of cargo
 

Scientists Take Aim at Four Corners Methane Mystery

 
‎10 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎03:33:52 AMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Apr 10, 2015
Researchers from several institutions are in the Four Corners region of the U.S. Southwest with a suite of airborne and ground-based instruments, aiming to uncover reasons for a mysterious methane "hot spot" detected from space. "With all the ground-based and airborne resources that the different groups are bringing to the region, we have the unique chance to unequivocally solve the Four C
 

Sun experiences seasonal changes, new research finds

 
‎10 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎03:33:52 AMGo to full article
Boulder CO (SPX) Apr 10, 2015
The Sun undergoes a type of seasonal variability with its activity waxing and waning over the course of nearly two years, according to a new study by a team of researchers led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). This behavior affects the peaks and valleys in the approximately 11-year solar cycle, sometimes amplifying and sometimes weakening the solar storms that can buffet Ea
 

US, Japan trust each other but both wary of China: poll

 
‎10 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎03:33:52 AMGo to full article
Tokyo (AFP) April 8, 2015
Over seven decades after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and dragged the United States into a global war, Americans and Japanese overwhelmingly trust each other and are wary of China, an opinion poll has shown. In contrast to the oft-heard calls from Beijing for more Japanese contrition over World War II, around two-thirds of Americans believe Tokyo has apologised enough or has no need to say so
 

Next-gen temperature sensor to measure ocean dynamics

 
‎10 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎03:33:52 AMGo to full article
Lincoln NB (SPX) Apr 09, 2015
UNL engineers and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory have designed a next-generation temperature sensor set to improve the measurement of oceanic dynamics that shape marine biology, climate patterns and military operations. The fiber-optic sensor can register significantly smaller temperature changes at roughly 30 times the speed of existing commercial counterparts, said co-designer Ming H
 

Tunneling across a tiny gap

 
‎10 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎03:33:52 AMGo to full article
Boston MA (SPX) Apr 09, 2015
Conduction and thermal radiation are two ways in which heat is transferred from one object to another: Conduction is the process by which heat flows between objects in physical contact, such as a pot of tea on a hot stove, while thermal radiation describes heat flow across large distances, such as heat emitted by the sun. These two fundamental heat-transfer processes explain how energy mov
 

New study hints at spontaneous appearance of primordial DNA

 
‎09 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:36:41 AMGo to full article
Boulder CO (SPX) Apr 08, 2015
The self-organization properties of DNA-like molecular fragments four billion years ago may have guided their own growth into repeating chemical chains long enough to act as a basis for primitive life, says a new study by the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of University of Milan. While studies of ancient mineral formations contain evidence for the evolution of bacteria f
 

Moon formed when young Earth and little sister collided

 
‎09 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:36:41 AMGo to full article
College Park, Md. (UPI) Apr 8, 2015
It's long been believed that Earth's moon was formed by a significant planetary collision with a Mars-like protoplanet called Theia. Now, a new study suggests the primordial protoplanet that crashed into a young Earth was quite similar in size and composition. "The Earth and the moon are not twins born from the same planet, but they are sisters in the sense that they grew up in the same
 

Plants Use Sixth Sense for Growth Aboard the Space Station

 
‎09 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:36:41 AMGo to full article
Houston TX (SPX) Apr 09, 2015
Although it is arguable as to whether plants have all five human senses - sight, scent, hearing, taste and touch - they do have a unique sense of gravity, which is being tested in space. Researchers with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will conduct a second run of the Plant Gravity Sensing study after new supplies are delivered by the sixth SpaceX commercial resupply mission to the Intern
 

Wanted: a mission name for astronaut Thomas

 
‎09 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:36:41 AMGo to full article
Paris (ESA) Apr 09, 2015
ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet will fly to the International Space Station next year on a six-month adventure of science in weightlessness. Now Thomas wants you to think of a name for his flight - and it will appear on the mission patch he will wear in space. Thomas writes: "European astronauts fly to space to benefit people on Earth through scientific research and exploration. I want to sha
 

Black holes don't erase information, scientists say

 
‎09 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:36:41 AMGo to full article
Buffalo NY (SPX) Apr 09, 2015
Shred a document, and you can piece it back together. Burn a book, and you could theoretically do the same. But send information into a black hole, and it's lost forever. That's what some physicists have argued for years: That black holes are the ultimate vaults, entities that suck in information and then evaporate without leaving behind any clues as to what they once contained. But new re
 

Cornell plays key role surfing for gravitational waves

 
‎09 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:36:41 AMGo to full article
Ithica NY (SPX) Apr 09, 2015
A full century after Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity proclaimed that gravitational waves cause ripples in spacetime, humanity may finally have the tools to detect these waves. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $14.5 million to the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) consortium over five years to create and operate a Physics Frontie
 

Team Returning Orbiter to Duty After Computer Swap

 
‎09 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:36:41 AMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Apr 09, 2015
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, at Mars since 2006, made an unplanned switch on Wednesday from one main computer to a redundant one onboard, triggering a hiatus in planned activities. Sensing the computer swap, the orbiter put itself into a precautionary safe standby mode. It remained healthy, in communication and fully powered. The mission's operations team expects the Mars Reconnaiss
 

Hunting Hidden Treasures: Antarctic Meteorites Arrive at JSC

 
‎09 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:36:41 AMGo to full article
Houston TX (SPX) Apr 09, 2015
Meteorite samples collected in Antarctica over the past two seasons arrived at Johnson Space Center on March 24. The samples will be examined, classified and curated in the Antarctic Meteorite Processing Lab here. Those of greatest scientific interest will be sent to scientists around the world to study. All of the samples were found in the blue ice fields along the Transantarctic Mountain
 

Rogozin vows spaceport to be completed without more scandals

 
‎09 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:36:41 AMGo to full article
Moscow (Sputnik) Apr 09, 2015
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin has vowed that the construction of Russia's Vostochny Cosmodrome will be completed without any further corruption scandals. Managing to reach a compromise with striking workers over wage arrears which may have been embezzled by one of the subcontractors charged with the construction of the site, Rogozin promised that the situation will not be al
 

NASA advances composite materials for aircraft of the future

 
‎09 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:36:41 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Apr 09, 2015
NASA has established a public-private partnership with five organizations to advance knowledge about composite materials that could improve the performance of future aircraft. Composites are innovative new materials for building aircraft that can enhance strength while remaining lightweight. The agency selected the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) in Hampton, Virginia, to manage admin
 

Supernova crime scene shows a single white dwarf to blame

 
‎09 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:36:41 AMGo to full article
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Apr 09, 2015
Using archival data from the Japan-led Suzaku X-ray satellite, astronomers have determined the pre-explosion mass of a white dwarf star that blew up thousands of years ago. The measurement strongly suggests the explosion involved only a single white dwarf, ruling out a well-established alternative scenario involving a pair of merging white dwarfs. "Mounting evidence indicates both of these
 

Battery energy storage project shows promise for electricity network

 
‎09 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:36:41 AMGo to full article
Brisbane, Australia (SPX) Apr 08, 2015
With rising electricity prices one of the biggest issues facing households, Griffith University (Australia) research into energy storage and supply holds the promise of cheaper, better quality power for the low voltage (LV) electricity distribution network. According to the research from Griffith's School of Engineering and published in the journal Applied Energy, a forecast-based, three-p
 

Nanoscale speed bump could regulate plasmons for high-speed data flow

 
‎09 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:36:41 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Apr 08, 2015
The name sounds like something Marvin the Martian might have built, but the "nanomechanical plasmonic phase modulator" is not a doomsday device. Developed by a team of government and university researchers, including physicists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the innovation harnesses tiny electron waves called plasmons. It's a step towards enabling computers to pr
 

Physicists create new molecule with record-setting dipole moment

 
‎09 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:36:41 AMGo to full article
Norman OK (SPX) Apr 08, 2015
A proposed pathway to construct quantum computers may be the outcome of research by a University of Oklahoma physics team that has created a new molecule based on the interaction between a highly-excited type of atom known as a Rydberg atom and a ground-state atom. A unique property of the molecule is the large permanent dipole moment, which reacts with an electric field much like a bar ma
 

Dusty substructure in a galaxy far far away

 
‎09 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:36:41 AMGo to full article
Munich, Germany (SPX) Apr 09, 2015
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (MPA) have combined high-resolution images from the ALMA telescopes with a new scheme for undoing the distorting effects of a powerful gravitational lens in order to provide the first detailed picture of a young and distant galaxy, over 11 billion light-years from Earth. The reconstructed images show that star formation is heating int

 

 
 

 

 
News About Time And Space
 
 

Successful Demonstration of Ultra-Cold Neutrino Experiment

 
‎16 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:05:00 AMGo to full article
Berkeley CA (SPX) Apr 12, 2015 - An international team of nuclear physicists announced the first scientific results from the Cryogenic Underground Observatory for Rare Events (CUORE) experiment. CUORE, located at the INFN Gran Sasso National Laboratories in Italy, is designed to confirm the existence of the Majorana neutrino, which scientists believe could hold the key to why there is an abundance of matter over antimatter. Or put another way: why we exist in this universe.

The results of the experiment, called CUORE-0, were announced at INFN Gran Sasso Laboratories (LNGS) in Italy, the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), and at other institutions in the U.S.

The findings are twofold. First, the CUORE-0 results place some of the most sensitive constraints on the mass of the elusive Majorana neutrino to date. With these new constraints, the CUORE team is essentially shrinking the size of the haystack that hides the Majorana needle, making it much more likely to be found.

Second, the experiment, successfully demonstrates the performance of CUORE's novel design - a detector made of towers of Rubik's-cube-size crystals of tellurium dioxide. These towers are placed in a high-tech refrigerator that has been painstakingly decontaminated, shielded from cosmic rays, and cooled to near absolute zero.

These results represent data collected over two years from just one tower of tellurium dioxide crystals. By the end of the year, all 19 towers, each containing 52 crystals, will be online, increasing CUORE's sensitivity by a factor of 20.

"CUORE-0 is so far the largest detector operating at a temperature very close to absolute zero," says Dr. Oliviero Cremonesi of INFN-Milano Bicocca, spokesperson for the CUORE collaboration. "CUORE is presently in its final stages of construction, and when completed, it will study the nuclear processes associated with the Majorana neutrino with unprecedented sensitivity."

"With the CUORE-0 results, we've proven that our experimental design, materials, and processes, which include extremely clean surfaces, pure materials, and precision assembly, are paying off," says Yury Kolomensky, senior faculty scientist in the Physics Division at Berkeley Lab, professor of physics at UC Berkeley, and U.S. spokesperson for the CUORE collaboration.

Annihilations in the Early Universe
To pin down the Majorana neutrino, the researchers are looking for a telltale indicator, a rare nuclear process called neutrinoless double-beta decay. This process is expected to occur infrequently, if at all: less than once every septillion (a trillion trillion, or, a 1 followed by 24 zeros) years per nucleus.

Unlike regular double-beta decay, which emits two anti-neutrinos, neutrinoless double-beta decay emits no neutrinos at all. It's as if one of the anti-neutrinos has transformed into a neutrino and cancelled - or annihilated - its sibling inside the nucleus.

"In 1937, Ettore Majorana predicted that neutrinos and anti-neutrinos could be two manifestations of the same particle - in modern language, they are called Majorana particles," says Reina Maruyama, assistant professor of physics at Yale University, and a member of the CUORE Physics Board, which guided the analysis of the data. "Detecting neutrinoless double-beta decay would lead us directly to the Majorana particle, and give us hints as to why the universe has so much more matter than antimatter."

Known laws of physics forbid such matter-antimatter transformations for normal electrically charged particles like electrons and protons. But neutrinos, which are electrically neutral, may be a special kind of matter with special capabilities.

The proposed matter-antimatter transitions, while extraordinarily rare now, if they happen at all, may have been common in the universe just after the big bang. The remainder of existence, then, after all the annihilations, would be the matter-full universe we see today.

Crystal Clarity
The CUORE crystals of tellurium dioxide are packed with more than 50 septillion nuclei of tellurium-130, a naturally occurring isotope that can produce double-beta decay and possibly neutrinoless double-beta decay. For the experiment, the crystal towers sit in an extremely cold refrigerator called a cryostat that's cooled to about 10 millikelvin, or -273.14 degrees Celsius. Last year, the CUORE cryostat set a record for being the coldest volume of its size.

In the very cold CUORE crystals, presence of both nuclear processes would produce small but precisely measured temperature rises, observable by highly sensitive temperature detectors within the cryostat. These temperature increases correspond to spectra - essentially the amount of energy given off - from the nuclear event. Two-neutrino double-beta decay produces a broad spectrum. In contrast, neutrinoless double-beta decay would create a characteristic peak at the energy of 2,528 kiloelectron-volts. This peak is what the researchers are looking for.

The CUORE experiment sits about a kilometer beneath the tallest mountain of the Apennine range in Italy, where rock shields it from cosmic rays. This location, as well as the experimental design, enables the sensitivity required to detect neutrinoless double-beta decay.

"The sensitivity demonstrated by the results today is outstanding," says Stefano Ragazzi, director of the INFN Gran Sasso National Laboratories. "The INFN Gran Sasso Laboratories offers a worldwide unique environment to search for ultra-rare interactions of Majorana neutrinos and dark matter particles and is proud to host the most sensitive experiments in these fields of research."

"While there's no direct evidence of the Majorana neutrino yet, our team is optimistic that CUORE is well positioned to find it," says Ettore Fiorini, professor emeritus of physics at the University of Milano-Bicocca and founding spokesperson emeritus of the experiment. "There is a competition of sorts, with other experiments using complementary techniques to CUORE turning on at about the same time. The next few years will be tremendously exciting."

 

 

Accelerating universe? Not so fast

 
‎16 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:05:00 AMGo to full article
Tucson AZ (SPX) Apr 14, 2015 - Certain types of supernovae, or exploding stars, are more diverse than previously thought, a University of Arizona-led team of astronomers has discovered. The results, reported in two papers published in the Astrophysical Journal, have implications for big cosmological questions, such as how fast the universe has been expanding since the Big Bang.

Most importantly, the findings hint at the possibility that the acceleration of the expansion of the universe might not be quite as fast as textbooks say.

The team, led by UA astronomer Peter A. Milne, discovered that type Ia supernovae, which have been considered so uniform that cosmologists have used them as cosmic "beacons" to plumb the depths of the universe, actually fall into different populations. The findings are analogous to sampling a selection of 100-watt light bulbs at the hardware store and discovering that they vary in brightness.

"We found that the differences are not random, but lead to separating Ia supernovae into two groups, where the group that is in the minority near us are in the majority at large distances -- and thus when the universe was younger," said Milne, an associate astronomer with the UA's Department of Astronomy and Steward Observatory. "There are different populations out there, and they have not been recognized. The big assumption has been that as you go from near to far, type Ia supernovae are the same. That doesn't appear to be the case."

The discovery casts new light on the currently accepted view of the universe expanding at a faster and faster rate, pulled apart by a poorly understood force called dark energy. This view is based on observations that resulted in the 2011 Nobel Prize for Physics awarded to three scientists, including UA alumnus Brian P. Schmidt.

The Nobel laureates discovered independently that many supernovae appeared fainter than predicted because they had moved farther away from Earth than they should have done if the universe expanded at the same rate. This indicated that the rate at which stars and galaxies move away from each other is increasing; in other words, something has been pushing the universe apart faster and faster.

"The idea behind this reasoning," Milne explained, "is that type Ia supernovae happen to be the same brightness -- they all end up pretty similar when they explode. Once people knew why, they started using them as mileposts for the far side of the universe.

"The faraway supernovae should be like the ones nearby because they look like them, but because they're fainter than expected, it led people to conclude they're farther away than expected, and this in turn has led to the conclusion that the universe is expanding faster than it did in the past."

Milne and his co-authors -- Ryan J. Foley of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Peter J. Brown at Texas A and M University and Gautham Narayan of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, or NOAO, in Tucson -- observed a large sample of type Ia supernovae in ultraviolet and visible light. For their study, they combined observations made by the Hubble Space Telescope with those made by NASA's Swift satellite.

The data collected with Swift were crucial because the differences between the populations -- slight shifts toward the red or the blue spectrum -- are subtle in visible light, which had been used to detect type Ia supernovae previously, but became obvious only through Swift's dedicated follow-up observations in the ultraviolet.

"These are great results," said Neil Gehrels, principal investigator of the Swift satellite, who co-authored the first paper. "I am delighted that Swift has provided such important observations, which have been made toward a science goal that is completely independent of the primary mission. It demonstrates the flexibility of our satellite to respond to new phenomena swiftly."

"The realization that there were two groups of type Ia supernovae started with Swift data," Milne said. "Then we went through other datasets to see if we see the same. And we found the trend to be present in all the other datasets.

"As you're going back in time, we see a change in the supernovae population," he added. "The explosion has something different about it, something that doesn't jump out at you when you look at it in optical light, but we see it in the ultraviolet.

"Since nobody realized that before, all these supernovae were thrown in the same barrel. But if you were to look at 10 of them nearby, those 10 are going to be redder on average than a sample of 10 faraway supernovae."

The authors conclude that some of the reported acceleration of the universe can be explained by color differences between the two groups of supernovae, leaving less acceleration than initially reported. This would, in turn, require less dark energy than currently assumed.

"We're proposing that our data suggest there might be less dark energy than textbook knowledge, but we can't put a number on it," Milne said. "Until our paper, the two populations of supernovae were treated as the same population. To get that final answer, you need to do all that work again, separately for the red and for the blue population."

The authors pointed out that more data have to be collected before scientists can understand the impact on current measures of dark energy. Scientists and instruments in Arizona will play important roles in these studies, according to Milne.

These include projects led by NOAO; the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, or LSST, whose primary mirror was produced at the UA; and a camera built by the UA's Imaging Technology Lab for the Super-LOTIS telescope on Kitt Peak southwest of Tucson. Super-LOTIS is a robotic telescope that will use the new camera to follow up on gamma-ray bursts -- the "muzzle flash" of a supernova -- detected by Swift.

The research paper is published online here

 

 

Flip-flopping black holes spin to the end of the dance

 
‎16 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:05:00 AMGo to full article
Rochester NY (SPX) Apr 12, 2015 - When black holes tango, one massive partner spins head over heels (or in this case heels over head) until the merger is complete, said researchers at Rochester Institute of Technology in a paper published in Physical Review Letters.

This spin dynamic may affect the growth of black holes surrounded by accretion disks and alter galactic and supermassive binary black holes, leading to observational effects, according to RIT scientists Carlos Lousto and James Healy.

The authors of the study will present their findings at the American Physical Society meeting in Baltimore on April 14 and celebration of the Centennial of General Relativity.

Lousto and Healy, postdoctoral researcher at RIT, use sophisticated numerical techniques to solve Einstein's equations of gravity and simulate black hole interactions on supercomputers. The specialized field known as numerical relativity grew from the general theory of relativity, first published in November 1915.

"We study binary spinning black holes to display the long-term individual spin dynamics," said Lousto, professor in RIT's School of Mathematical Sciences and a member of the Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation.

In their paper, "Flip-flopping binary black holes," Lousto and Healy numerically simulated equal-mass black holes and studied the individual alignment and direction of spin as the black holes approached merger. The binary black holes flirted for nearly 48 orbits, three precession cycles, and half of a flip-flop cycle.

"Lousto and Healy's simulation is one of the longest ever attempted for spinning black hole binaries," said Pedro Marronetti, National Science Foundation physics division program director. "Their results and potential observational effects will impact research in a wide range of areas, from gravitational physics to galactic evolution and cosmology."

Key to their findings is that one black hole in the simulation totally changes the orientation of its spin. Its initial alignment with the orbital angular momentum changes to a complete anti-alignment after half of a flip-flop cycle, Lousto said.

The researchers compared this evolution with post-Newtonian equations of motion and spin evolution and deciphered maximum flip-flop angles and frequencies.

"We show that this process continuously flip-flops the spin during the lifetime of the binary until merger," Lousto said.

Lousto and Healy visualized the black holes' flip-flopping tango in a short animation. The mini-movie, produced at the Black Hole Lab in RIT's Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation, is set to Invierno Porteno by Argentine tango composer Astor Piazzolla.

 

 

Universe may be expanding at slower rate than previously thought

 
‎16 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:05:00 AMGo to full article
Tucson (UPI) Apr 12, 2015 - A new theory claims the universe might not be expanding as quickly as was previously thought.

Scientists at the University of Arizona recently found that the supernovae used to measure distances in the universe, Type Ia supernovae, have irregularities from one to the next.

"We found that the differences are not random, but lead to separating Ia supernovae into two groups, where the group that is in the minority near us are in the majority at large distances -- and thus when the universe was younger," Peter A. Milne, an associate astronomer, said in a statement. "There are different populations out there, and they have not been recognized. The big assumption has been that as you go from near to far, type Ia supernovae are the same. That doesn't appear to be the case."

Since Ia supernovae vary in brightness, because of different levels of dark energy, the idea that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate may not be true. That theory has been based on the fact supernovae look fainter the farther away they are, which could just have to do with how they naturally differ.

The study is published in The Astophysical Journal.

 

 

Unravelling relativistic effects in the heaviest actinide element

 
‎16 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:05:00 AMGo to full article
Mainz, Germany (SPX) Apr 12, 2015 - An international collaboration led by the research group of superheavy elements at the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), Tokai, Japan has achieved the ionization potential measurement of lawrencium (element 103) with a novel-type technique at the JAEA tandem accelerator.

Based on the empirically developed "actinide concept", and in agreement with theoretical calculations, in today's Periodic Table the series of actinide elements terminates with element 103, lawrencium (Lr). Now researchers have measured the first ionization potential of Lr, which reflects the binding energy of the most weakly-bound valence electron in lawrencium's atomic shell.

Effects of relativity strongly affect this energy, and the experimental result is in excellent agreement with a new theoretical calculation, which includes these effects. It was shown that removing the outermost electron requires least energy in Lr among all actinides, as was expected. This validates the position of Lr as the last actinide element and confirms the architecture of the Periodic Table.

Since the introduction of the "actinide concept" as the most dramatic modern revision of the Periodic Table of the Elements by Glenn T. Seaborg in the 1940s, the element with atomic number 103, lawrencium (Lr), played a crucial role as the last element in the actinide series.

This special position turned out to set this element into the focus of questions on the influence of relativistic effects and the determination of properties confirming its position as the last actinide element. Consequently, the quest for data on chemical and physical properties of Lr was driving experimental and theoretical studies.

Two aspects most frequently addressed concerned its ground state electronic configuration and the value of its first ionization potential. As the last element in the actinide series, and similar to lutetium (Lu) as the last element in the lanthanide series, it was expected that Lr has a very low first ionization potential that is strongly influenced by relativistic effects.

However, Lr is only accessible atom-at-a-time in syntheses at heavy-ion accelerators, and only short-lived isotopes are known. Therefore, experimental investigations on Lr are very rare and have so far been limited to a few studies of some basic chemical properties.

In their new work, for which the international research collaboration exploited a novel combination and advancement of methods and techniques, the researchers report on the first and accurate measurement of the first ionization potential of Lr. For the experiment, the Institute of Nuclear Chemistry at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz purified and prepared the exotic target material californium (element 98).

The material was converted into a target in Japan and then exposed to a beam of boron ions (element 5). The experiment was supplemented by theoretical calculations undertaken by scientists at the Helmholtz Institute Mainz (HIM) and at Tel Aviv University of Israel using the most up-to-date quantum chemical methods to quantify the ionization energy. The very good agreement between calculated and experimental result validates the quantum chemical calculations. The experimental technique opens up new perspectives for similar studies of yet more exotic, superheavy elements.

The international team consists of research groups from JAEA, the Institute of Nuclear Chemistry at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), Germany, the Helmholtz Institute Mainz (HIM), Germany, the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research, Darmstadt, Germany, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Geneva, Switzerland, Ibaraki University, Japan, Niigata University, Japan, Hiroshima University, Japan, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand, and Tel Aviv University, Israel.

The new findings have been presented in the NATURE magazine. Tetsuya K. Sato et al. Measurement of the first ionization potential of lawrencium, element 103; NATURE 520, 209-211, 9. April 2015; DOI: 10.1038/nature14342

 

 

Black holes don't erase information, scientists say

 
‎16 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:05:00 AMGo to full article
Buffalo NY (SPX) Apr 09, 2015 - Shred a document, and you can piece it back together. Burn a book, and you could theoretically do the same. But send information into a black hole, and it's lost forever. That's what some physicists have argued for years: That black holes are the ultimate vaults, entities that suck in information and then evaporate without leaving behind any clues as to what they once contained.

But new research shows that this perspective may not be correct. "According to our work, information isn't lost once it enters a black hole," says Dejan Stojkovic, PhD, associate professor of physics at the University at Buffalo. "It doesn't just disappear."

Stojkovic's new study, "Radiation from a Collapsing Object is Manifestly Unitary," appeared on March 17 in Physical Review Letters, with UB PhD student Anshul Saini as co-author.

The paper outlines how interactions between particles emitted by a black hole can reveal information about what lies within, such as characteristics of the object that formed the black hole to begin with, and characteristics of the matter and energy drawn inside.

This is an important discovery, Stojkovic says, because even physicists who believed information was not lost in black holes have struggled to show, mathematically, how this happens. His new paper presents explicit calculations demonstrating how information is preserved, he says.

The research marks a significant step toward solving the "information loss paradox," a problem that has plagued physics for almost 40 years, since Stephen Hawking first proposed that black holes could radiate energy and evaporate over time. This posed a huge problem for the field of physics because it meant that information inside a black hole could be permanently lost when the black hole disappeared - a violation of quantum mechanics, which states that information must be conserved.

Information hidden in particle interactions
In the 1970s, Hawking proposed that black holes were capable of radiating particles, and that the energy lost through this process would cause the black holes to shrink and eventually disappear. Hawking further concluded that the particles emitted by a black hole would provide no clues about what lay inside, meaning that any information held within a black hole would be completely lost once the entity evaporated.

Though Hawking later said he was wrong and that information could escape from black holes, the subject of whether and how it's possible to recover information from a black hole has remained a topic of debate.

Stojkovic and Saini's new paper helps to clarify the story.
Instead of looking only at the particles a black hole emits, the study also takes into account the subtle interactions between the particles. By doing so, the research finds that it is possible for an observer standing outside of a black hole to recover information about what lies within.

Interactions between particles can range from gravitational attraction to the exchange of mediators like photons between particles. Such "correlations" have long been known to exist, but many scientists discounted them as unimportant in the past.

"These correlations were often ignored in related calculations since they were thought to be small and not capable of making a significant difference," Stojkovic says. "Our explicit calculations show that though the correlations start off very small, they grow in time and become large enough to change the outcome."

 

 

Tunneling across a tiny gap

 
‎16 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:05:00 AMGo to full article
Boston MA (SPX) Apr 09, 2015 - Conduction and thermal radiation are two ways in which heat is transferred from one object to another: Conduction is the process by which heat flows between objects in physical contact, such as a pot of tea on a hot stove, while thermal radiation describes heat flow across large distances, such as heat emitted by the sun.

These two fundamental heat-transfer processes explain how energy moves across microscopic and macroscopic distances. But it's been difficult for researchers to ascertain how heat flows across intermediate gaps.

Now researchers at MIT, the University of Oklahoma, and Rutgers University have developed a model that explains how heat flows between objects separated by gaps of less than a nanometer. The team has developed a unified framework that calculates heat transport at finite gaps, and has shown that heat flow at sub-nanometer distances occurs not via radiation or conduction, but through "phonon tunneling."

Phonons represent units of energy produced by vibrating atoms in a crystal lattice. For example, a single crystal of table salt contains atoms of sodium and chloride, arranged in a lattice pattern. Together, the atoms vibrate, creating mechanical waves that can transport heat across the lattice.

Normally these waves, or phonons, are only able to carry heat within, and not between, materials. However, the new research shows that phonons can reach across a gap as small as a nanometer, "tunneling" from one material to another to enhance heat transport.

The researchers believe that phonon tunneling explains the physical mechanics of energy transport at this scale, which cannot be clearly attributed to either conduction or radiation.

"This is right in the regime where the language of conduction and radiation is blurred," says Vazrik Chiloyan, an MIT graduate student in mechanical engineering. "We're trying to come up with a clear picture of what the physics are in this regime. Now we've brought information together to demonstrate tunneling is, in fact, what's going on for the heat-transfer picture."

Chiloyan and Gang Chen, the Carl Richard Soderberg Professor of Power Engineering and head of MIT's Department of Mechanical Engineering, publish their results this week in Nature Communications.

Clearing the thermal picture
In the past few decades, researchers have attempted to define heat transport across ever-smaller distances. Several groups, including Chen's, have experimentally measured heat flow by thermal radiation across gaps as small as tens of nanometers. However, as experiments move to even smaller spacing, researchers have questioned the validity of current theories: Existing models have largely been based on theories for thermal radiation that Chiloyan says "smeared out the atomic detail," oversimplifying the flow of heat from atom to atom.

In contrast, there exists a theory for heat conduction - known as Green's functions - that describes heat flow at the atomic level for materials in contact. The theory allows researchers to calculate the frequency of vibrations that can travel across the interface between two materials.

"But with Green's functions, atom-to-atom interactions tend to drop off after a few neighbors. ... You'd artificially predict zero heat transfer after a few atom separations," Chiloyan says. "To actually predict heat transfer across the gap, you have to include long-range, electromagnetic forces."

Typically, electromagnetic forces can be described by Maxwell's equations - a set of four fundamental equations that outline the behavior of electricity and magnetism. To explain heat transfer at the microscopic scale, however, Chiloyan and Chen had to dig up the lesser-known form known as microscopic Maxwell's equations.

"Most people probably don't know there exists a microscopic Maxwell's equation, and we had to go to that level to bridge the atomic picture," Chen says.

Bridging the gap
The team developed a model of heat transport, based on both Green's functions and microscopic Maxwell's equations. The researchers used the model to predict heat flow between two lattices of sodium chloride, or table salt, separated by a nanometer-wide gap.

With the model, Chiloyan and Chen were able to calculate and sum up the electromagnetic fields emitted by individual atoms, based on their positions and forces within each lattice. While atomic vibrations, or phonons, typically cannot transport heat across distances larger than a few atoms, the team found that the atoms' summed electromagnetic force can create a "bridge" for phonons to cross.

When they modeled heat flow between two sodium chloride lattices, the researchers found that heat flowed from one lattice to the other via phonon tunneling, at gaps of one nanometer and smaller.

At sub-nanometer gaps "is a regime where we lack proper language," Chen says. "Now we've developed a framework to explain this fundamental transition, bridging that gap."

 

 

Particle smasher starts up again, says CERN

 
‎16 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:05:00 AMGo to full article
Geneva (AFP) April 5, 2015 - The world's biggest particle collider was back in operation Sunday after a two-year upgrade, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) said.

As part of the recommissioning process, engineers at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) successfully introduced two proton beams, the source material for sub-atomic smashups.

All systems would be checked over coming days before the energy of the beams was increased, CERN said in a statement.

"After two years of intense maintenance and several months of preparation for restart, the Large Hadron Collider, the most powerful particle accelerator in the world, is back in operation," CERN said.

"Today (Sunday) at 10:42 am (0842 GMT) a proton beam was back in the 27-kilometre (17-mile) ring, followed at 12:27 pm by a second beam rotating in the opposite direction," it added.

CERN director for accelerators and technology described the LHC as "in great shape".

"But the most important step is still to come when we increase the energy of the beams to new record levels," he said.

A short-circuit in one of the LHC's magnet circuits eight days ago had delayed the eagerly-awaited restart.

The LHC comprises a ring-shaped tunnel straddling the Franco-Swiss border, in which two beams of protons are sent in opposite directions.

Powerful magnets bend the beams so that they collide at points around the track where four laboratories have batteries of sensors to monitor the smashups.

The sub-atomic rubble is then scrutinised for novel particles and the forces that hold them together.

In 2012, the LHC discovered the Higgs Boson, the particle that confers mass, earning the Nobel prize for two of the scientists who, back in 1964, had theorised its existence.

The upgrade was intended to beef up its maximum collision capacity from eight teraelectronvolts (TeV) to 14 TeV -- seven TeV for each of the two counter-rotating beams.

CERN said earlier that if all went well with the start-up particle collisions "at an energy of 13 TeV" could start as early as June.

During the next phase of the LHC programme, researchers will probe a conceptual frontier called new physics, with enigmatic "dark matter" the big area of interest.

Ordinary, visible matter comprises only about four percent of the known Universe.

 

 

Quantum teleportation on a chip

 
‎16 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:05:00 AMGo to full article
Bristol, UK (SPX) Apr 02, 2015 - The core circuits of quantum teleportation, which generate and detect quantum entanglement, have been successfully integrated into a photonic chip by an international team of scientists from the universities of Bristol, Tokyo, Southampton and NTT Device Technology Laboratories. These results pave the way to developing ultra-high-speed quantum computers and strengthening the security of communication.

Qubits (quantum bits) are sensitive quantum versions of today's computer 0's and 1's (bits) and are the foundation of quantum computers. Photons are particles of light and they are a promising way to implement excellent qubits. One of the most important tasks is to successfully enable quantum teleportation, which transfers qubits from one photon to another.

However, the conventional experimental implementation of quantum teleportation fills a laboratory and requires hundreds of optical instruments painstakingly aligned, a far cry from the scale and robustness of device required in a modern day computer or handheld device.

In 2013, Professor Furusawa and his colleagues succeeded in realising perfect quantum teleportation, however, this required a set-up covering several square metres; took many months to build, and reached the limit in terms of scalability.

New research at the University of Bristol led by Professor Jeremy O'Brien has taken those optical circuits and implemented them on to a silicon microchip measuring just a few millimetres (0.0001 square metres) using state-of-the-art nano-fabrication methods.

This is the first time quantum teleportation has been demonstrated on a silicon chip and the result has radically solved the problem of scalability. The team of researchers have taken a significant step closer towards their ultimate goal of integrating a quantum computer into a photonic chip.

While there has been significant progress in current computing technology, its performance is now reaching the fundamental limit of classical physics. On the other hand, it has been predicted that principles of quantum mechanics will enable the development of ultra-secure quantum communication and ultra-powerful quantum computers, overcoming the limit of current technologies.

One of the most important steps in achieving this is to establish technologies for quantum teleportation (transferring signals of quantum bits in photons from a sender to a receiver at a distance). The implementation of teleportation on to a micro-chip is an important building block unlocking the potential for practical quantum technologies.

Professor Akira Furusawa from the University of Tokyo said: "This latest achievement enables us to perform the perfect quantum teleportation with a photonic chip. The next step is to integrate whole the system of quantum teleportation."

Professor Jeremy O'Brien, Director of the Centre for Quantum Photonics at the University of Bristol, who led the Bristol elements of the research, said: "Being able to replicate an optical circuit which would normally require a room sized optical table on a photonic chip is a hugely significant achievement. In effect, we have reduced a very complex quantum optical system by ten thousand in size."

The research is published this week in Nature Photonics. Paper: 'Continuous-variable entanglement on a chip' by G. Masada, K. Miyata, A. Politi, T. Hashimoto, J. L. O'Brien and A. Furusawa in Nature Photonics.

 

 

Super sensitive measurement of magnetic fields

 
‎16 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎09:05:00 AMGo to full article
Copenhagen, Denmark (SPX) Mar 31, 2015 - There are electrical signals in the nervous system, the brain and throughout the human body and there are tiny magnetic fields associated with these signals that could be important for medical science. Researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute have just developed a method that could be used to obtain extremely precise measurements of ultra-small magnetic fields. The results are published in the scientific journal Nature Physics.

The tiny magnetic fields are all the way down on the atomic level. The atoms do not stand still, they revolve around themselves and the axis is like a tiny magnetic rod. But the axis has a slight tilt and as a result the magnetic rod swings in circles. To measure a swinging object you need to have both its position and the speed of the oscillation.

But in the world of atoms, the laws of classical physics from the world as we know it do not apply - here the laws of quantum physics rule. Heisenberg and Bohr's laws of quantum uncertainty relations state that when one measures a system, you cannot simultaneously measure the position of a particle and its speed and get a precise number. You can measure one of these variables, for example, the position and get a number with almost unlimited precision.

In the same measurement, the speed of the particle would then be uncertain. If you measure the precise speed of the particle, you would then get an uncertain position in the same measurement. Likewise, the laws of quantum physics state then when you measure a rotating motion, you cannot simultaneously measure the rotational speed and direction of the rotational axis.

Precise squeezed measurements
"To get accurate measurements of ultra-small magnetic fields, we have devised a way to almost escape the limitations of quantum physics and we have conducted experiments in the laboratory where we improve the measurements of the oscillating atoms. The newly developed sensor that can measure the ultra-small magnetic field is comprised of a collection of atoms in gaseous form," explains professor Eugene Polzik, head of the research group Quantop at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen.

In the quantum optics laboratory, the researchers have a small glass tube that contains a cloud of billions of caesium gas atoms. The glass tube is 10 millimeters long and has a diameter of only 300 micrometers (a micrometer is one millionth of a meter).

The atoms revolve around themselves on a tilted axis, but the gas atoms are flying around helter skelter and the tilted axes of the atoms are oriented in all possible directions. Using laser light, the tilts of all the atoms are turned in the same direction. This direction could be knocked off course when the atoms crash into the glass wall, but the glass tube has an inner coating that ensures they hold course.

Now the researchers send a new beam of laser light with a different frequency into the gas atoms and then a strange quantum phenomenon takes place, the light and the gas atoms become entangled. The fact that they are entangled means that they have established a quantum link - they are synchronised and are now totally aligned.

The laser light is sent with a certain pulse and you can now measure the direction of the atomic axis, but only one direction. This means that when the atoms revolve around themselves, its tilted axis forms a circle and you cannot measure the precise position of the entire circular swing of the axis. But you can divide a circle into a north/south direction and an east/west direction.

"What we then do is measure one of the directions, for example, the east/west direction. This is called a squeezed state and this can be measured with very little inaccuracy. This is very useful, because for many measurements of external magnetic fields it is only necessary to measure the east/west direction and thus we can calculate the ultra-small magnetic fields with high precision," says Eugene Polzik.

Super sensitive measurements of tiny electromagnetic fields and forces are important in relation to research in biology and medicine and the research group therefore has a collaboration with the doctors at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen.

 

 

Black hole winds pull the plug on star formation

 
‎12 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎05:42:03 AMGo to full article
Paris (ESA) Mar 30, 2015 - Astronomers using ESA's Herschel space observatory have found that the winds blowing from a huge black hole are sweeping away its host galaxy's reservoir of raw star-building material. Found at the hearts of most galaxies, supermassive black holes are extremely dense and compact objects with masses between millions and billions of times that of our Sun.

Many are relatively passive, like the one sitting at the centre of our Milky Way. However, some of them are devouring their surroundings with a great appetite.

These active black holes not only feed on nearby gas but also expel some of it as powerful winds and jets. Astronomers have long suspected these outflows to be responsible for draining galaxies of their interstellar gas, in particular the gas molecules from which stars are born. This could eventually affect a galaxy's star-forming activity, slowing it down or possibly quenching it entirely.

Until now, it had not been possible to capture a complete view of this process. While astronomers were able to detect winds very close to black holes using X-ray telescopes, and to trace much larger galactic outflows of gas molecules through infrared observations, they had not succeeded at finding both in the same galaxy.

A new study has changed the scene, detecting winds driven by one particular black hole from the smallest to largest scales.

"This is the first time that we have seen a supermassive black hole in action, blowing away the galaxy's reservoir of star-making gas," explains Francesco Tombesi from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and the University of Maryland, USA, who led the research published this week in Nature.

Combining infrared observations from ESA's Herschel space observatory with new data from the Japanese/US Suzaku X-ray satellite, the astronomers detected the winds close to the central black hole as well as their global effect in pushing galactic gas away in a galaxy known as IRAS F11119+3257.

The winds start small and fast, gusting at about 25% the speed of light near the black hole and blowing away about the equivalent of one solar mass of gas every year. As they progress outwards, the winds slow but sweep up an additional few hundred solar masses of gas molecules per year and push it out of the galaxy.

This is the first solid proof that black-hole winds are stripping their host galaxies of gas by driving large-scale outflows. The new finding supports the view that black holes might ultimately stop stars forming in their host galaxies.

"Herschel has already revolutionised our understanding of how stars are born. This new result is now helping us understand why and how star formation in some galaxies can be globally affected and even switched off entirely," says Goran Pilbratt, Herschel Project Scientist at ESA. "The culprit of this cosmic 'whodunnit' has been found. As many suspected, a central black hole can power large-scale gas outflows, quenching the formation of stars."

"Wind from the black-hole accretion disk driving a molecular outflow in an active galaxy," by F. Tombesi, et al., is published in the 26 March 2015 issue of the journal Nature.

 

 

Science: Theory of the strong interaction verified

 
‎12 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎05:42:03 AMGo to full article
Julich, Germany (SPX) Mar 30, 2015 - The fact that the neutron is slightly more massive than the proton is the reason why atomic nuclei have exactly those properties that make our world and ultimately our existence possible. Eighty years after the discovery of the neutron, a team of physicists from France, Germany, and Hungary headed by Zoltan Fodor, a researcher from Wuppertal, has finally calculated the tiny neutron-proton mass difference.

The findings, which have been published in the current edition of Science, are considered a milestone by many physicists and confirm the theory of the strong interaction. As one of the most powerful computers in the world, JUQUEEN at Forschungszentrum Julich was decisive for the simulation.

The existence and stability of atoms relies heavily on the fact that neutrons are slightly more mas-sive than protons. The experimentally determined masses differ by only around 0.14 percent.

A slightly smaller or larger value of the mass difference would have led to a dramatically different universe, with too many neutrons, not enough hydrogen, or too few heavier elements. The tiny mass difference is the reason why free neutrons decay on average after around ten minutes, while protons - the unchanging building blocks of matter - remain stable for a practically unlimited period.

In 1972, about 40 years after the discovery of the neutron by Chadwick in 1932, Harald Fritzsch (Germany), Murray Gell-Mann (USA), and Heinrich Leutwyler (Switzerland) presented a consistent theory of particles and forces that form the neutron and the proton known as quantum chromodynamics.

Today, we know that protons and neutrons are composed of "up quarks" and "down quarks". The proton is made of one down and two up quarks, while the neutron is composed of one up and two down quarks.

Simulations on supercomputers over the last few years confirmed that most of the mass of the proton and neutron results from the energy carried by their quark constituents in accordance with Einstein's formula E=mc2. However, a small contribution from the electromagnetic field surrounding the electrically charged proton should make it about 0.1 percent more massive than the neutral neutron. The fact that the neutron mass is measured to be larger is evidently due to the different masses of the quarks, as Fodor and his team have now shown in extremely complex simulations.

For the calculations, the team developed a new class of simulation techniques combining the laws of quantum chromodynamics with those of quantum electrodynamics in order to precisely deter-mine the effects of electromagnetic interactions. By controlling all error sources, the scientists suc-cessfully demonstrated how finely tuned the forces of nature are.

Professor Kurt Binder is Chairman of the Scientific Council of the John von Neumann Institute for Computing (NIC) and member of the German Gauss Centre for Supercomputing. Both organizations allocate computation time on JUQUEEN to users in a competitive process.

"Only using world-class computers, such as those available to the science community at Forschungszentrum Julich, was it possible to achieve this milestone in computer simulation," says Binder. JUQUEEN was supported in the process by its "colleagues" operated by the French science organizations CNRS and GENCI as well as by the computing centres in Garching (LRZ) and Stuttgart (HLRS).

The results of this work by Fodor's team of physicists from Bergische Universitat Wuppertal, Centre de Physique Theorique de Marseille, Eotvos University Budapest, and Forschungszentrum Julich open the door to a new generation of simulations that will be used to determine the properties of quarks, gluons, and nuclear particles.

According to Professor Kalman Szabo from Forschungszentrum Julich, "In future, we will be able to test the standard model of elementary particle physics with a tenfold increase in precision, which could possibly enable us to identify effects that would help us to uncover new physics beyond the standard model."

"Forschungszentrum Julich is supporting the work of excellent researchers in many areas of science with its supercomputers. Basic research such as elementary particle physics is an area where methods are forged, and the resulting tools are also welcomed by several other users," says Prof. Dr. Sebastian M. Schmidt, member of the Board of Directors at Julich who has supported and encouraged these scientific activities for years.

 

 

Physicists solve low-temperature magnetic mystery

 
‎12 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎05:42:03 AMGo to full article
Mansfield CT (SPX) Mar 27, 2015 - Researchers have made an experimental breakthrough in explaining a rare property of an exotic magnetic material, potentially opening a path to a host of new technologies. From information storage to magnetic refrigeration, many of tomorrow's most promising innovations rely on sophisticated magnetic materials, and this discovery opens the door to harnessing the physics that governs those materials.

The work, led by Brookhaven National Laboratory physicist Ignace Jarrige, and University of Connecticut professor Jason Hancock, together with collaborators at the Argonne National Laboratory and in Japan, marks a major advance in the search for practical materials that will enable several types of next-generation technology. A paper describing the team's results was published this week in the journal Physical Review Letters.

The work is related to the Kondo Effect, a physical phenomenon that explains how magnetic impurities affect the electrical resistance of materials. The researchers were looking at a material called ytterbium-indium-copper-four (usually written using its chemical formula: YbInCu4).

YbInCu4 has long been known to undergo a unique transition as a result of changing temperature. Below a certain temperature, the material's magnetism disappears, while above that temperature, it is strongly magnetic.

This transition, which has puzzled physicists for decades, has recently revealed its secret. "We detected a gap in the electronic spectrum, similar to that found in semiconductors like silicon, whose energy shift at the transition causes the Kondo Effect to strengthen sharply," said Jarrige.

Electronic energy gaps define how electrons move (or don't move) within the material, and are the critical component in understanding the electrical and magnetic properties of materials. "Our discovery goes to show that tailored semiconductor gaps can be used as a convenient knob to finely control the Kondo Effect and hence magnetism in technological materials," said Jarrige.

To uncover the energy gap, the team used a process called Resonant Inelastic X-Ray Scattering (RIXS), a new experimental technique that is made possible by an intense X-ray beam produced at a synchrotron operated by the Department of Energy and located at Argonne National Laboratory outside of Chicago. By placing materials in the focused X-ray beam and sensitively measuring and analyzing how the X-rays are scattered, the team was able to uncover elusive properties such as the energy gap and connect them to the enigmatic magnetic behavior.

The new physics identified through this work suggest a roadmap to the development of materials with strong "magnetocaloric" properties, the tendency of a material to change temperature in the presence of a magnetic field.

"The Kondo Effect in YbInCu4 turns on at a very low temperature of 42 Kelvin (-384F)," said Hancock, "but we now understand why it happens, which suggests that it could happen in other materials near room temperature." If that material is discovered, according to Hancock, it would revolutionize cooling technology.

Household use of air conditioners in the US accounts for over $11 billion in energy costs and releases 100 million tons of carbon dioxide annually. Use of the magnetocaloric effect for magnetic refrigeration as an alternative to the mechanical fans and pumps in widespread use today could significantly reduce those numbers.

In addition to its potential applications to technology, the work has advanced the state of the art in research. "The RIXS technique we have developed can be applied in other areas of basic energy science," said Hancock, noting that the development is very timely, and that it may be useful in the search for "topological Kondo insulators," materials which have been predicted in theory, but have yet to be discovered.

 

 

Quantum experiment verifies Einstein's 'spooky action at a distance'

 
‎12 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎05:42:03 AMGo to full article
Brisbane, Australia (SPX) Mar 27, 2015 - An experiment devised in Griffith University's Centre for Quantum Dynamics has for the first time demonstrated Albert Einstein's original conception of "spooky action at a distance" using a single particle.

In a paper published in the journal Nature Communications, CQD Director Professor Howard Wiseman and his experimental collaborators at the University of Tokyo report their use of homodyne measurements to show what Einstein did not believe to be real, namely the non-local collapse of a particle's wave function.

According to quantum mechanics, a single particle can be described by a wave function that spreads over arbitrarily large distances, but is never detected in two or more places.

This phenomenon is explained in quantum theory by what Einstein disparaged in 1927 as "spooky action at a distance", or the instantaneous non-local collapse of the wave function to wherever the particle is detected.

Almost 90 years later, by splitting a single photon between two laboratories, scientists have used homodyne detectors -- which measure wave-like properties -- to show the collapse of the wave function is a real effect.

This phenomenon is the strongest yet proof of the entanglement of a single particle, an unusual form of quantum entanglement that is being increasingly explored for quantum communication and computation.

"Einstein never accepted orthodox quantum mechanics and the original basis of his contention was this single-particle argument. This is why it is important to demonstrate non-local wave function collapse with a single particle," says Professor Wiseman.

"Einstein's view was that the detection of the particle only ever at one point could be much better explained by the hypothesis that the particle is only ever at one point, without invoking the instantaneous collapse of the wave function to nothing at all other points.

"However, rather than simply detecting the presence or absence of the particle, we used homodyne measurements enabling one party to make different measurements and the other, using quantum tomography, to test the effect of those choices."

"Through these different measurements, you see the wave function collapse in different ways, thus proving its existence and showing that Einstein was wrong."

 

 

Supermassive black hole clears star-making gas from galaxy's core

 
‎08 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎05:03:23 AMGo to full article
College Park MD (SPX) Mar 26, 2015 - Many nearby galaxies blast huge, wide-angled outpourings of material from their center, ejecting enough gas and dust to build more than a thousand stars the size of our sun every year. Astronomers have sought the driving force behind these massive molecular outflows, and now a team led by University of Maryland scientists has found an answer.

A new study in the journal Nature provides the first observational evidence that a supermassive black hole at the center of a large galaxy can power these huge molecular outflows from deep inside the galaxy's core. These outflows remove massive quantities of star-making gas, thus influencing the size, shape and overall fate of the host galaxy.

The galaxy highlighted in the study, known as IRAS F11119+3257, has an actively growing supermassive black hole at its center. This means that, unlike the large black hole at the center of our own Milky Way galaxy, this black hole is actively consuming large amounts of gas. As material enters the black hole, it creates friction, which in turn gives off electromagnetic radiation--including X-rays and visible light.

Black holes that fit this description are called active galactic nuclei (AGN), and their intense radiation output also generates powerful winds that force material away from the galactic center. The study found that these AGN winds are powerful enough to drive the large molecular outflows that reach to the edges of the galaxy's borders.

Although theorists have suspected a connection between AGN winds and molecular outflows, the current study is the first to confirm the connection with observational evidence.

"This is the first galaxy in which we can see both the wind from the active galactic nucleus and the large-scale outflow of molecular gas at the same time," said lead author Francesco Tombesi, an assistant research scientist in UMD's astronomy department who has a joint appointment at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center via the Center for Research and Exploration in Space Science and Technology.

The team analyzed data collected in 2013 by Suzaku, an X-ray satellite operated by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and NASA, as well as data from the European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory. While many previous studies independently described AGN winds and molecular outflows in separate galaxies, Tombesi and his colleagues needed to find a galaxy in which they could see both at the same time. IRAS F11119+3257 turned out to be a perfect candidate.

An alternate theory says that active star formation near the galactic center could drive molecular outflows. However, the brightness of IRAS F11119+3257's active nucleus--which is responsible for about 80 percent of the galaxy's overall radiation--suggested otherwise. Star formation alone cannot explain this intense concentration of energy, leading the researchers to conclude that the AGN winds must be the primary driver.

"The temptation is to ignore the supermassive black hole when studying galactic dynamics and evolution, but our study shows that you can't because it influences galaxies on the larger scale," said Marcio Melendez, a research associate in UMD's astronomy department and a co-author of the study.

Limited satellite time means that, at least for now, the team has only this one galaxy as a baseline for study. But now that they have a better idea what they are looking for, they will be able to find more candidate galaxies in the future. Within the next year, JAXA and NASA will launch ASTRO-H, a successor satellite to Suzaku. The instruments aboard ASTRO-H will make it possible to study more galaxies like IRAS F11119+3257 in greater detail.

"These are not like normal spiral or elliptical galaxies. They're like train wrecks," said Sylvain Veilleux, a professor of astronomy at UMD and a fellow at the Joint Space-Science Institute (JSI) who is also a co-author of the study. "Two galaxies collided with each other, and it's now a single object. This train wreck provided all the material to feed the supermassive black hole that is now driving the huge galactic-scale outflow."

 

 

Behind the dogmas of good old hydrodynamics

 
‎08 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎05:03:23 AMGo to full article
Moscow (SPX) Mar 27, 2015 - A new theory, which gives new insights into the transport of liquid flowing along the surface under applied electric field, was developed by the group of Russian scientists lead by Olga Vinogradova who is a professor at the M.V.Lomonosov Moscow State University and also a head of laboratory at the A.N. Frumkin Institute of Physical chemistry and Electrochemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

It may be used in the future in research in physics, chemistry and biology and in many applications including medicine and pharmaceutics. The article describing the theory and simulations is published in Physical Review Letter which is one of the one of the most prestigious journals in physics. It's impact factor is 7.8.

The motion of liquid through the capillaries, porous membranes, or thin channel under applied electric field is called an electroosmotic flow. This effect was discovered by the professor of the Moscow University Ferdinand Friedrich Reuss in 1807 during a pretty simple experiment.

It involves the curved glass tube filled with water and its bend filled with insoluble powdered substance such as grated stone or sand which creates a porous barrier separating both ends of the tube from each other. When the voltage is applied to the water, it begins to seep through the barrier as shown in Figure 2. The motion of dispersed particles relative to a fluid under the influence of electric field was named electrophoresis.

Behind the apparent simplicity of the effect lies pretty complicated physics. It was understood only a century later in 1909 when the Polish physicist Marian Smoluchowski succeeded in describing the process of electroosmotic flow theoretically.

Nobody questioned his theory during the XX century, and now it turned to be only a special case of more general theory. Moreover, it is applicable only to cases similar to Smoluchowski's one when the liquid flows past the wettable hydrophilic surface and no-slip boundary conditions are taken into account. Now it appears that entirely different conditions are needed to be applied in cases of hydrophobic poorly wettable surfaces.

This small "nuance" was discovered just in time, because such sciences as microfluidics and nanofluidics deal with the fluid flowing through ultrathin channels. And it is difficult to drive flows mechanically in extremely thin channels even by applying a pressure drop which in this case should be enormously high. However, if the conventional pump is replaced by the battery, then it is possible to establish fast electroosmotic flow in the ultrathin channel.

Sometimes physicists have to leave behind the dogmas of good old hydrodynamics. The authors of the article, who in addition to Olga Vinogradova are the young scientists Salim Maduar and Alexey Belyaev, have shown theoretically and confirmed in computer experiments that in quantitative description of flows in electric fields for hydrophobic surface electro-hydrodynamic slip boundary condition should be imposed. The new approach has immediately changed the picture.

Tthe electro-osmotic flow is caused by the cloud of ions with the opposite sign, which forms near the charged surface of the fluid. There are two possible cases. In the first one the surface charges are immobile and able to move along the surface under the electric field applied. In the case of immobile charges everything is relatively simple as the speed of electro-osmotic flow increases due to hydrophobic slippage.

In case surface charges can react on the applied electric field, as scientists imply, lots of different variants arise, some of which are quite unexpected. For instance, in the article it is shown that it is possible to induce the electro-osmotic flow even near uncharged surface, or, on the contrary, to suppress such a flow completely in the channels with perfectly slipping charged walls.

The lead role in the Smoluchowski theory was given to so-called zeta potential which is a physiochemical parameter calculated with a special formula and reflects the degree of electroosmotic and electrophoretic mobility. The higher the zeta potential is the faster is the flow of a liquid or particle motion.

Until recently zeta potential was considered equal to the surface potential of the solid at its boundary with the liquid. In the new theory zeta-potential also plays the leading role, but its interpretation became much more complicated.

"In the Smoluchowski theory zeta potential is equal to the potential of the surface itself and is independent of neighbouring surfaces, -- Olga Vinogradova explains -- These conclusions are the result of the classical no-slip hydrodynamic conditions". Olga Vinorgradova and her colleagues have shown that in the case of hydrophobic surfaces it occurs differently as the hydrophobic surfaces are slippery and ions associated with the slippery surface can respond to an electric field.

So zeta potential appears to be connected with the parameters which characterize the mobility of surface charge and hydrodynamic slippage on the surface and the dependency of the possible presence of the other surface.

The new theory makes life both more complicated and more coherent as it has immediately allowed to resolve a number of paradoxes, which were doubtful for years. For instance, it gave an explanation to the zeta potential measurements of bubbles and drops.

"These measurements have been consistently showing that their zeta potentials are similar to those of the solid body" - Olga Vinogradova says - "Which was explained in particular by the presence of impurities on the surfaces of bubbles and drops. We have shown that the impurities are irrelevant and that zeta potential in this case is indeed the same as for the solid body, but due to completely different reasons." The theory also helped to understand the highly debated electro-osmotic flows in foam films.

According to Olga Vinogradova, the possible practical implementations of the new theory are quite extensive at least for the reason that the concept of zeta potential is widely used in many fields of science and technology, such as medicine, pharmaceuticals, mineral processing, water treatment, purification of soil from pollution and even more.

New interpretation of the parameter will give a better understanding of the results of its experimental measurements and will also make possible to control its value. Particularly promising application of the new theory lies in the field of microfluidics and nanofluidics. Especially it could be used for the creation of Lab-on-a-Chip (LOC) devices and nanofluidic diodes, which are already used for the detection and the separation of biomolecules and for the energy harvesting.

"Without no doubt, the path from the new theory to practical applications is always very long, -- Olga Vinogradova says, -- And I suppose the experimentalists would be the first ones to use our results."

 

 

Thousands of atoms entangled with a single photon

 
‎08 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎05:03:23 AMGo to full article
Boston MA (SPX) Mar 27, 2015 - Physicists from MIT and the University of Belgrade have developed a new technique that can successfully entangle 3,000 atoms using only a single photon. The results, published today in the journal Nature, represent the largest number of particles that have ever been mutually entangled experimentally.

The researchers say the technique provides a realistic method to generate large ensembles of entangled atoms, which are key components for realizing more-precise atomic clocks.

"You can make the argument that a single photon cannot possibly change the state of 3,000 atoms, but this one photon does -- it builds up correlations that you didn't have before," says Vladan Vuletic, the Lester Wolfe Professor in MIT's Department of Physics, and the paper's senior author. "We have basically opened up a new class of entangled states we can make, but there are many more new classes to be explored."

Vuletic's co-authors on the paper are Robert McConnell, Hao Zhang, and Jiazhong Hu of MIT, as well as Senka Cuk of the University of Belgrade.

Atomic entanglement and timekeeping
Entanglement is a curious phenomenon: As the theory goes, two or more particles may be correlated in such a way that any change to one will simultaneously change the other, no matter how far apart they may be. For instance, if one atom in an entangled pair were somehow made to spin clockwise, the other atom would instantly be known to spin counterclockwise, even though the two may be physically separated by thousands of miles.

The phenomenon of entanglement, which physicist Albert Einstein once famously dismissed as "spooky action at a distance," is described not by the laws of classical physics, but by quantum mechanics, which explains the interactions of particles at the nanoscale. At such minuscule scales, particles such as atoms are known to behave differently from matter at the macroscale.

Scientists have been searching for ways to entangle not just pairs, but large numbers of atoms; such ensembles could be the basis for powerful quantum computers and more-precise atomic clocks. The latter is a motivation for Vuletic's group.

Today's best atomic clocks are based on the natural oscillations within a cloud of trapped atoms. As the atoms oscillate, they act as a pendulum, keeping steady time. A laser beam within the clock, directed through the cloud of atoms, can detect the atoms' vibrations, which ultimately determine the length of a single second.

"Today's clocks are really amazing," Vuletic says. "They would be less than a minute off if they ran since the Big Bang -- that's the stability of the best clocks that exist today. We're hoping to get even further."

The accuracy of atomic clocks improves as more and more atoms oscillate in a cloud. Conventional atomic clocks' precision is proportional to the square root of the number of atoms: For example, a clock with nine times more atoms would only be three times as accurate.

If these same atoms were entangled, a clock's precision could be directly proportional to the number of atoms -- in this case, nine times as accurate. The larger the number of entangled particles, then, the better an atomic clock's timekeeping.

Picking up quantum noise
Scientists have so far been able to entangle large groups of atoms, although most attempts have only generated entanglement between pairs in a group. Only one team has successfully entangled 100 atoms -- the largest mutual entanglement to date, and only a small fraction of the whole atomic ensemble.

Now Vuletic and his colleagues have successfully created a mutual entanglement among 3,000 atoms, virtually all the atoms in the ensemble, using very weak laser light -- down to pulses containing a single photon. The weaker the light, the better, Vuletic says, as it is less likely to disrupt the cloud. "The system remains in a relatively clean quantum state," he says.

The researchers first cooled a cloud of atoms, then trapped them in a laser trap, and sent a weak laser pulse through the cloud. They then set up a detector to look for a particular photon within the beam.

Vuletic reasoned that if a photon has passed through the atom cloud without event, its polarization, or direction of oscillation, would remain the same. If, however, a photon has interacted with the atoms, its polarization rotates just slightly -- a sign that it was affected by quantum "noise" in the ensemble of spinning atoms, with the noise being the difference in the number of atoms spinning clockwise and counterclockwise.

"Every now and then, we observe an outgoing photon whose electric field oscillates in a direction perpendicular to that of the incoming photons," Vuletic says. "When we detect such a photon, we know that must have been caused by the atomic ensemble, and surprisingly enough, that detection generates a very strongly entangled state of the atoms."

Vuletic and his colleagues are currently using the single-photon detection technique to build a state-of-the-art atomic clock that they hope will overcome what's known as the "standard quantum limit" -- a limit to how accurate measurements can be in quantum systems. Vuletic says the group's current setup may be a step toward developing even more complex entangled states.

"This particular state can improve atomic clocks by a factor of two," Vuletic says. "We're striving toward making even more complicated states that can go further."

This research was supported in part by the National Science Foundation, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

 

 

Quantum correlation can imply causation

 
‎01 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎07:08:37 AMGo to full article
Ontario, Canada (SPX) Mar 26, 2015 - Contrary to the statistician's slogan, in the quantum world, certain kinds of correlations do imply causation.

Research from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo and the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics shows that in quantum mechanics, certain kinds of observations will let you distinguish whether there is a common cause or a cause-effect relation between two variables. The same is not true in classical physics.

Explaining the observed correlations among a number of variables in terms of underlying causal mechanisms, known as the problem of 'causal inference', is challenging but experts in field of machine learning have made significant progress in recent years Physicists are now exploring how this problem appears in a quantum context.

Causal inference hinges on the distinction between correlation and causation. "If A and B are correlated, then when you learn about A, you update your knowledge of B - this is inference. If A causes B, then by manipulating A, you can control B - this is influence," said Robert Spekkens, a faculty member at Perimeter Institute and the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Waterloo. "In quantum foundations, this distinction is key."

Knowing if a correlation arises from a cause-effect relation or a common cause relation is a fundamental problem in science. A prime example: drug trials. When physicians observe a correlation between treatment and recovery, they cannot presume that the treatment is the cause of the recovery. If men are more likely to choose the treatment and also more likely to recover spontaneously, regardless of treatment, then the correlation would be explained by a common cause.

That is why, when testing treatments, pharmaceutical companies intervene and randomly assign either the drug or a placebo to participants. This ensures that the treatment variable is statistically independent of any potential common causes. This is a general feature of classical statistics: one needs to intervene in order to determine whether the correlations are due to a cause-effect relation, a common cause relation, or a mix of both.

The paper, published in Nature Physics, demonstrates that quantum effects can eliminate the need for intervention. "This research provides a new way to think about quantum mechanics," said Professor Kevin Resch, Canada Research Chair in Optical Quantum Technologies in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. "It's also a really useful framework for thinking about foundational problems."

Spekkens, along with PhD student Katja Ried and fellow theorist Dominik Janzing, considered the situation of an observer who is probing two variables and finds them to be correlated.

The observer doesn't know whether this is because they are the input and output of a quantum process, that is, cause-effect related, or because they are the two halves of an entangled quantum state, and therefore correlated by a common cause. They realized that certain patterns of correlations are distinctive to each scenario.

Spekkens with Resch and Ried in Resch's Quantum Optics and Quantum Information Lab.

Resch, together with his students Megan Agnew and Lydia Vermeyden, had the tools to put this idea to the test. They built a photonic circuit that could switch between the two scenarios proposed by the theorists, allowing them to vary the causal structure realized by the experiment.

Their results confirmed that the quantum effects of entanglement and coherence provide an advantage for causal inference. This parallels the way in which quantum effects can help to solve computational problems and make cryptography more secure. Thinking about which practical tasks are easier in a quantum world has traditionally led to many insights into its foundations.

The team describes their work as opening the door to answering questions such as: How can these techniques be generalized to scenarios involving more than two systems? Is the menu of possible causal relations between quantum systems larger than between classical systems? How should we understand causality in a quantum world?

 

 

Short circuit delays particle hunter machine restart

 
‎01 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎07:08:37 AMGo to full article
Geneva (AFP) March 25, 2015 - A short-circuit at the world's largest proton smasher has indefinitely delayed the particle-hunting machine's planned restart, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) said on Wednesday.

The error occurred last Saturday in one of the Large Hadron Collider's (LHC) magnet circuits, the laboratory said in a statement.

"It is a well understood issue, but one that could take time to resolve," it said.

The LHC is a 27-kilometre (17-mile) ring-shaped tunnel, in which two beams of protons are sent in opposite directions.

Powerful magnets bend the beams so that they collide at points around the track where four laboratories have clusters of sensors.

Some of the protons smash together, creating sub-atomic rubble that may hold clues to novel particles, from which physicists hope to learn more about the fundamental building blocks of all matter, and the forces that control them.

In 2012, scientists at CERN, one of the world's top research centres on particle physics, announced they had discovered the Higgs boson, until then only theorised as the mass-giver to all matter -- a feat crowned with the 2013 Nobel Prize in physics.

The LHC has since undergone a two-year upgrade that nearly doubled its muscle.

The lab's super-powered hunt for particles that may change our understanding of the universe, was due to resume any day now.

Beams containing billions of protons travelling at 99.9-percent the speed of light, were to have begun recirculating in late March, while collisions had been planned for end-May or early June.

But post short-circuit repairs may take weeks, said CERN, a giant lab straddling the Swiss-French border near Geneva.

"In the grand scheme of things, a few weeks' delay in humankind's quest to understand our universe is little more than the blink of an eye," CERN director Rolf Heuer said.

Scientists hope the new run of the LHC will shed light on theoretical concepts like dark matter and dark energy, and possible extra dimension.

 

 

Black holes and the dark sector explained by quantum gravity

 
‎27 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎04:12:54 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Mar 24, 2015 - Ask any theoretical physicist on what are the most profound mysteries in physics and you will be surprised if she mentions anything other than Quantum Gravity and the Dark Sector. Questions such as how do we reconcile GR and Quantum Theory? What is Dark Matter? And what is Dark Energy? These are what keep most physicists awake late at night. Suggested solutions to these problems are manifold but all fall short of providing a satisfactory explanation.

The situation is set to change however as a new theory authored by Lic. Stuart Marongwe who holds a licentiate degree in physics and electronics from Jose Varona University in Havana, Cuba now stationed at the physics Department of McConnell College in Botswana, provides a self-consistent theory of Quantum Gravity which explains the Dark sector and is in agreement with observations.

The theory is known as Nexus in the sense that it provides a link between Quantum Theory and GR. This link manifests in the form of the Nexus graviton- a composite spin 2 particle of space-time which emerges naturally from the unification process.

One remarkable feature of the Nexus graviton which distinguishes it from the graviton hypothesized in the Standard Model is that it is not a messenger particle but rather it induces a constant rotational motion on any test particle embedded within its confines. Moreover the Nexus graviton can also be considered as a globule of vacuum energy which can merge and de-merge with others in a process that resembles cytokineses in cell biology.

The Nexus graviton is Dark Matter and constitutes space-time. The emission of a graviton of least energy by a high energy graviton results in the expansion of the high energy graviton as it assumes a lower energy state. This process manifests as Dark Energy and takes place throughout space-time as the theory explains.

This paper is significant in the sense that it sheds some light on some of the most perplexing questions in physics which include a quantum description of Black Holes without singularities inherent in classical GR.The solutions provided in this paper will certainly open doors to new physics.

The paper can be found in International Journal of Geometric Methods in Modern Physics (IJGMMP).

 

 

Frozen highly charged ions for highest precision spectroscopy

 
‎27 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎04:12:54 AMGo to full article
Heidelberg, Germany (SPX) Mar 16, 2015 - A team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt in Braunschweig and the University of Aarhus in Denmark demonstrated for the first time Coulomb crystallization of highly-charged ions (HCIs). Inside a cryogenic radiofrequency ion trap the HCIs are cooled down to sub-Kelvin temperatures by interaction with laser-cooled singly charged Beryllium ions.

The new method opens the field of laser spectroscopy of HCIs providing the basis for novel atomic clocks and high-precision tests of the variability of natural constants. [Science, March 13 2015]

Atoms can lose many of their electrons at very high temperatures, forming highly-charged ions (HCIs). Such HCIs constitute a large class of atomic systems offering various new possibilities for high precision studies in metrology, astrophysics, and even for the search for new physics beyond the Standard Model of particle physics.

Over the last few decades, laser spectroscopy of cold atoms or low-charge state ions has developed into today's most powerful method for high-precision measurements.

However, this was so far restricted to a few atomic and ionic species, and the preparation of cold HCIs constituted a major challenge in atomic physics up to now.

The main obstacle arises from the usual production methods for HCIs, which require high temperatures of millions of degrees. But in order to exploit the power of laser spectroscopy, temperatures of less than one degree above absolute zero have to be reached; i. e. the thermal energy of the ions has to be reduced by a factor of at least 10 million.

In a joint project by the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics Heidelberg (MPIK), the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) in Braunschweig and Aarhus University, a team of physicists succeeded in cooling HCIs down to sub-Kelvin temperatures and freezing their motion in vacuum forming a so-called Coulomb crystal. The procedure was demonstrated for the first time at MPIK in the group under Jose Crespo Lopez-Urrutia.

It involves three steps (Fig. 1), explains PhD student Lisa Schmoger, who built the deceleration set-up and carried out the reported experiment: First, HCIs are generated in Hyper-EBIT, an ion source which produces and confines ions at a million degrees temperature inside a dense and energetic electron beam in an extreme vacuum.

Bunches of HCIs are then extracted from this trap, transferred through a vacuum beamline, slowed down and pre-cooled with a pulsed linear deceleration potential.

The ions are very delicately transported into, and eventually confined in, CryPTEx, a cryogenic radiofrequency Paul trap developed at the MPIK in collaboration with Michael Drewsen's group in Aarhus. Inside this trap, the HCIs bounce back and forth between mirror electrodes, slowly losing speed before they become embedded in a laser-cooled ensemble of light ions (singly-charged beryllium) which provide a cooling bath for the HCIs (providing so-called indirect or sympathetic cooling).

In a radiofrequency trap, the confined, mutually repelling ions are forced to share a small volume in space by a combination of electrostatic and oscillating electric fields inside a vacuum chamber.

Additionally, the millimeter-sized beryllium ion cloud is cooled by a special laser such that the ions freeze out and form a Coulomb crystal once their thermal motion becomes negligible compared with their electric repulsion. Sophisticated laser systems built at the PTB by Oscar Versolato and colleagues are used at MPIK for this purpose. Once sufficiently cold inside the laser cooled ion ensemble, the HCIs crystallize as well, and can be stored in various configurations.

Such ion pairs form the basis for quantum clocks and quantum logic spectroscopy, a technique developed by Piet Schmidt, the PTB group leader during his stay at Nobel laureate Dave Wineland's laboratory at NIST (Boulder, USA). Here, the "spectroscopy ion" provides a high-precision optical transition used to keep the pace of the clock at 17 decimal digits accuracy.

It is quantum mechanically linked to the "logic ion" which serves both for the cooling and readout of the spectroscopy ion: laser pulses enable the fluorescing logic ion to feel the quantum state of its nearly undetectable neighbour and changes strongly its own fluorescence yield according to the excitation of the other.

Jose Crespo Lopez-Urrutia explains with an analogy: "In this quantum married couple, the ions feel everything together, but whilst one of the partners cannot talk at all, the other one talks a lot. You then simply ask the talkative one."

The efficient cooling of trapped HCIs opens up new fields in laser spectroscopy: precision tests of quantum electrodynamics, measurement of nuclear properties, and laboratory astrophysics. HCIs are rather insensitive to thermal radiation shifts and other systematic effects that could make a clock imprecise, and thus promise future applications for novel optical clocks using quantum logic spectroscopy.

The ultimate goal of the MPIK-PTB collaboration will be to test the time dependence of natural constants such as the fine structure constant a, which determines the strength of electromagnetic interaction.

For laser spectroscopy, theory predicts that the most sensitive atomic species with respect to a variation is 17-times ionized iridium. In preparation for these future studies, a new highly stable laser system will be installed by the PTB at MPIK to demonstrate the technique with the better known Ar13+ first. And the young scientists seem very eager to start playing with this tool and their novel cooling method.

Original paper: Coulomb crystallization of highly charged ions; L. Schmoger, O. O. Versolato, M. Schwarz, M. Kohnen, A. Windberger, B. Piest, S. Feuchtenbeiner, J. Pedregosa-Gutierrez, T. Leopold, P. Micke, A. K. Hansen, T. M. Baumann, M. Drewsen, J. Ullrich, P. O. Schmidt, J. R. Crespo Lopez-Urrutia Science, March 13 2015

 

 

Quantum mechanic frequency filter for atomic clocks

 
‎27 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎04:12:54 AMGo to full article
Copenhagen, Denmark (SPX) Mar 13, 2015 - Atomic clocks are the most accurate clocks in the world. In an atomic clock, electrons jumping from one orbit to another decides the clock's frequency. To get the electrons to jump, researchers shine light on the atoms using stabilised laser light. However, the laser light has to have a very precise frequency to trigger very precise electron jumps. It is however challenging to get the laser light frequency ultra precise - there will always be a little 'noise'.

Now researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute have developed a method that reduces the noise so that it is up to 100 times quieter. The results are published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

The atoms in the atomic clock are made up of strontium gas, kept in a vacuum chamber. Using magnetic fields and precise beams of laser light (blue light), the atoms are cooled down to near absolute zero, minus 273 degrees Celsius, where it is maintained.

The electrons are located in certain orbits around the nucleus and each orbit has one energy level. By now flashing the strontium atoms with laser light (red light), the electrons get a higher energy level and jump from one orbit to the next, but they immediately jump right back to their normal orbit. When you then shine the light on the strontium atoms, the electrons keep jumping back and forth in a classical sense and this constitutes the pendulum in the atomic clock.

An atomic clock is now so precise that it only loses one second every 300 million years, but we are working to make it even more precise and this has great potential, including for navigation and space based optical technology for exploration of the universe. The problem with making it more precise is controlling the laser light, so that the light has exactly the wavelength that hits the atoms' electrons and gets them to oscillate very precisely and very accurately.

Solves noise problems
"The laser light is stabilised, but it fluctuates a bit and creates 'noise'. Since there are several wavelengths at the same time due to the noise, we send the light via a mirror to a 'resonator', which is two mirrors joined together so that it allows some waves to pass, while the rest disappear.

So it is a sorting mechanism so that the laser light wavelengths become more precise. So, everyone should be happy, but the mirrors fluctuate slightly - simply because the atoms in the mirror vibrate and this puts some limitations on the stability that we could not get rid of. So we said - why don't we try to change our mindset and turn the whole thing upside down," explains Jan Thomsen, associate professor and head of the research group, Ultra Cold Atoms at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen.

And so they did - turned it all upside down. Instead of trying to further stabilise the mirrors, they decided to completely ignore the vibrations. They decided to put 'something' between the laser light and the resonator's two mirrors. This 'something' would act as a filter.

The filter consisted of a vacuum chamber with ultra cold strontium atoms between the two mirrors. Strontium is a very 'demanding' atom, which must have a very specific wavelength in order to react with the light. The light is now sent back and forth between the two mirrors and even though the two mirrors vibrate a little due to the temperature in the room, the light does not care, because it is primarily the cold atoms that sort the wavelengths.

"The method is simple, but effective and the result is that the laser beam is much more precise and stable and the noise is reduced by up to 100 times. So we have developed a technique that can create an ultra-precise laser beam using a quantum frequency filter," explains Jan Thomsen, who points out that the technique could be used to make atomic clocks more precise than until now and in a much simpler way than before.

Article

 

 

Physicists propose new classification of charge density waves

 
‎27 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎04:12:54 AMGo to full article
New Orleans LA (SPX) Mar 12, 2015 - LSU Professors in the Department of Physics and Astronomy Ward Plummer and Jiandi Zhang, in collaboration with their colleagues from the Institute of Physics, Beijing, China, have published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences titled "Classification of Charge Density Waves based on their Nature." This work is a result of a collaboration funded by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Charge Density Waves, or CDWs, are observed in many solids, especially in low-dimensional systems.

The existence of CDWs was first predicted in the 1930s by Sir Rudolf Peierls, who prophesied that they would exist in an ideal one-dimensional (1-D) chain of atoms, lowering the energy of the system and driving a reconstruction of the lattice. The 1940 paper by Frisch and Peierls described how one could construct an atomic bomb from a small amount of uranium-235.

In 1959, Walter Kohn, who received the Nobel Prize in 1998, pointed out that the origin of a CDW in the Peierls' picture would result in what is now known as a "Kohn Anomaly," a simultaneous softening of coherent lattice vibrations, for example, phonon softening.

This simple textbook picture of the origin of CDWs does not seem to be correct in most if not all materials.

Therefore, Plummer and Zhang propose a new classification of CDWs based upon their nature.

 

 

Particle jets reveal the secrets of the most exotic state of matter

 
‎23 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎03:35:15 PMGo to full article
Cracow, Poland (SPX) Mar 12, 2015 - Shortly following the Big Bang, the Universe was filled with a chaotic primordial soup of quarks and gluons, particles which are now trapped inside of protons and neutrons. Study of this quark-gluon plasma requires the use of the most advanced theoretical and experimental tools.

Physicists from the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has taken one crucial step towards a better understanding of the plasma and its properties, and recently published the results of their latest analysis.

When the LHC accelerator at the world's largest laboratory in CERN, Geneva, collided two lead ions travelling at nearly the speed of light, for a fraction of a second ordinary matter was transformed into the most exotic state of matter known to physics: quark-gluon plasma.

Analysis of the streams of particles penetrating the plasma has led to new findings about the properties of the plasma, and was recently published in the prestigious journal Physical Review Letters by the international team of physicists working at the ATLAS detector.

Immediately following the Big Bang and the formation of space-time, the Universe was filled with matter of extraordinary properties. Quarks and gluons, today only found bound within protons and neutrons, bounced about freely, comprising a homogenous 'soup'. This exceptional state of matter, appearing only at temperatures of billions of degrees, has been recreated by physicists at the LHC accelerator by colliding heavy lead ions.

Study of the quark-gluon plasma poses an enormous challenge. It appears only rarely during collisions, in extremely minute quantities, and then only for a fraction of a second.

It immediately begins to expand under its own pressure, rapidly cools and transforms itself into an avalanche of ordinary particles. Modern physics has no tools at its disposal to directly observe quarks and gluons. We cannot simply proceed with the usual methods of measurement, like inserting a thermometer into the plasma and waiting a few minutes for the results. Much more refined methods are needed.

"Fortunately detectors like the ATLAS detector have suceeded in recording the decay products of particles which have interacted in the quark-gluon plasma. By carefully analysing the properties of those particles, we can come to guarded conclusions about the features of the plasma," says Prof. Barbara Wosiek of the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Krakow, Poland, who coordinated and approved the analysis of data gathered by the ATLAS detector in 2011. The analysis was performed by a team from Columbia University.

Most of the information we have on the quark-gluon soup is provided by particles that disperse sideways as the result of a collision. As they move in this specific direction, crosswise to the initial direction of flight of the lead nuclei, it makes it relatively easy to distinguish them from thousands of other particles and assures that they resulted from the early stage of the collision.

If so, immediately after the collision they had to traverse through the quark-gluon cloud, to then collapse into a concentrated narrow stream of particles, known as jets.

"These initially produced particles lose energy while going through the hot, dense plasma soup, which leads to extinguishing the high-energy jets. Through our analysis we go about reconstructing jets of an extremely high energy level, reaching 400 gigaelectronvolts", adds Prof. Wosiek.

After gathering the data on the reconstructed jets in the collision of lead nuclei, the team of physicists can correlate and compare the results with those obtained from proton-proton collisions. The idea behind such a comparison is quite simple. From a precise enough theoretical consideration it is expected that quark-gluon plasma will not arise in a proton-proton collision.

In turn, theoretical models of heavy ions in collision predict the formation of dense plasma in a head-on ion-ion collision of extremely high energy. Comparison of results from the data analysis of both types of collisions enables evaluation of how the jets are disturbed by the presence of plasma.

"In collisions of the lead nuclei we recorded up to half the number of jets as in the proton-proton collisions. This indicates that the particles ensuing from the intial collision lose energy as they interact with the plasma, and the high-energy jets are thus extinguished. It is an important result, because it allows us to discard some of the theoretical models of quark-gluon plasma which do not provide for such a high rate of suppression", explains Prof. Wosiek.

The ATLAS detector, built from the start with the help of Polish institutions, including the Institute of Nuclear Physics, is an extraordinarily sophisticated instrument the size of a multi-storey building. The data it collects on particle collisions flows through over one hundred million electronic channels and during a typical measurement 99% of them work properly.

Studies of lead ion collisions are only one element of the research undertaken by the international group of scientists experimenting at the LHC accelerator. The main research programme is carried out with proton-proton collisions to put the current theory of particle physics, the Standard Model, to the test, as well as to explore phenomena going beyond the Standard Model.

The most spectacular success of the physicists working on the ATLAS and CMS detectors at the LHC has been the discovery, after a half-century search, of the elusive and now famous Higgs boson.

"Measurements of the Nuclear Modification Factor for Jets in Pb+Pb Collisions..."; G. Aad et al. (ATLAS Collaboration); Physical Review Letters 114, 072302; DOI

 

 

Breakthrough in particle control creates special half-vortex rotation

 
‎23 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎03:35:15 PMGo to full article
Glasgow, UK (SPX) Mar 05, 2015 - A breakthrough in the control of a type of particle known as the polariton has created a highly specialised form of rotation.

Researchers at the Universities of Strathclyde and Pittsburgh, and Princeton University, conducted a test in which they were able to arrange the particles into a 'ring geometry' form in a solid-state environment. The result was a half-vortex in a 'quantised rotation' form.

This experiment had previously been possible only with the use of ultra-cold atoms, a fraction of a degree above absolute zero, but new techniques enabled the researchers to perform the test at higher temperatures. This made for a simpler, more efficient system which could feed into research for new technologies.

Professor Andrew Daley, of Strathclyde's Department of Physics, was part of the research team and worked on the underlying model of the experiment, which was performed in Pittsburgh.

He said: "This type of controlled experiment is fundamental science but also has applications in quantum technology; much of our research revolves around controlling and understanding these quantum systems. This type of research led in the past to the understanding of building a transistor or a laser.

"Fringes were seen across the entire image of the ring we created, showing that we were controlling the polaritons in a coherent way and that they were displaying collective behaviour, as opposed to behaving as individuals. We were then able to demonstrate unusual states where the particles rotated in the ring at rates that were quantised. The phenomena we observed, known as half-vortices, are peculiar to situations where two different kinds of particles rotate in a superfluid - that is, the particles also must flow with no resistance.

"In this experiment, the polaritons had a much longer lifetime than in previous experiments, which made this collective behaviour possible. The ring made in our work can be created relatively easily in solid-state systems that can operate up to room temperature; this opens the door to all kinds of other superfluid light effects, which could have applications in optical communications."

 

 

First scientific publication from data collected at NSLS-II

 
‎23 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎03:35:15 PMGo to full article
Upton NY (SPX) Mar 05, 2015 - Just weeks after the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II), a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility at Brookhaven National Laboratory, achieved first light, a team of scientists at the X-Ray Powder Diffraction (XPD) beamline tested a setup that yielded data on thermoelectric materials.

The work was part of the commissioning activities for the XPD beamline, a process that fine-tunes the settings of beamline equipment to ready the facility for first scientific commissioning experiments in mid-March on its way to full user operations later in the year.

The work was published online in the scientific journal Applied Physics Letters - Materials. To test the optical performance and components of the beamline, the XPD scientists put a material in the path of the x-ray beam and attempted to characterize its structure as the best way to identify and fix possible flaws or aberrations that the instrument could have caused.

"Our colleagues at NSLS-II were commissioning the XPD beamline and we discussed the best sample for the instrument tuning, something that was going to be straightforward to measure. We realized we could use a sample that was also of scientific interest. It was one of the first things that was put in an NSLS-II beam shortly after the XPD team first opened the shutter," said Simon Billinge, a Brookhaven Lab physicist who co-authored the paper.

"We were lucky. The sample gave valuable information allowing the beam to be tuned, but it also yielded an important scientific result."

That result revealed information about the relationship between the atomic structure of ruthenium diselenide (RuSe2) and its thermoelectric properties. Cedomir Petrovic, a Brookhaven Lab condensed matter physicist, was inspired to study diselenide because of its close chemical relationship to iron diantimonide, the material holding the world record for its thermoelectric power factor.

Thermoelectric materials hold promise for converting waste heat to electricity, as well as for solid-state refrigerators when worked in reverse. Good thermoelectric materials have high power factors and low thermal conductivities.

The power factor is a product of thermopower and electrical conductivity. Petrovic reasoned that the little-studied RuSe2 compound would also have a high thermopower - and it did. But it also had a low electrical conductivity, making it less than ideal for real-world applications, and the NSLS-II data showed why.

When you place a temperature gradient across thermoelectric materials- with one end of the material hotter than the other - electrons at the warm end heat up and gain kinetic energy, eventually migrating toward the cool end. It's similar to a battery with a positive and negative end; the flow of electrons generates a voltage.

The power factor measures how well this happens. If the material also conducts heat well, the cool end will warm up to match the hotter end and the flow will stop. Therefore, a good thermoelectric material has a high power factor but low thermal conductivity.

Petrovic's hunch that RuSe2 would have a high thermopower was borne out, but the power factor was limited by the material's low electrical conductivity. Milinda Abeykoon, who is part of the XPD team carrying out the commissioning, put the sample of this material in the beam to help the team find out why the electrical conductivity was low.

The x-rays revealed how the atomic structure of ruthenium diselenide differs from iron antimony. In the latter, picture two pyramids with square bases that share an edge to make up the crystal structure.

With ruthenium diselenide, it's not the bases that share common edges but the vertices, or corners, of these structures that touch. That small change in orientation means there are fewer channels the electrons can flow through, resulting in the low conductivity and the modest power factor, despite the good thermopower.

"Now that we understand this, we will explore ways to improve the thermoelectric properties of RuSe2, but we will have to concentrate on lowering the thermal conductivity while controlling any resulting defects and without introducing impurities. This will have to be done carefully, though, said Petrovic. "We need to find a way of decreasing or eliminating the thermal conductivity while maintaining the high thermopower."

Billinge adds, "We need a more fundamental understanding of how the thermoelectric properties come about. If we can study more new materials such as RuSe2 that are similar in some ways and different in others, we can tease out, or at least narrow down, what factors give materials their good thermoelectric properties."

XPD is designed for in situ and in operando studies of materials, so scientists can explore materials as they function under real operating conditions.

"It took me and my team many years to transform our conceptual ideas into a working state-of-the-art instrument," said Eric Dooryhee, who led the design and construction of XPD.

"However, it is a testament to the dedication, effort and planning of the entire NSLS-II team---from the scientists, engineers, technicians and procurement and administrative staff through the numerous support teams to the specialists overseeing our safety that it all came together so smoothly. There is some magic to see this decade-long process deliver a very intense and stable beam right to the sample so quickly after turning on the machine.

"There is a real sense of pride here in how well all that work is paying off. As soon as we could safely stabilize and optimize the x-ray beam in the experimental endstation, we could not wait to benchmark the instrument with a real-world sample and see XPD address its first science case, which promises to be first of a long series."

The commissioning data were collected while NSLS-II was operating at just 5 milliamps of ring-current; NSLS-II is designed to provide 100 times more current, and ultrabright coherent x-ray beams.

"As the power of NSLS-II ramps up, we will eventually put a complete, operating, thermoelectric device in the XPD beam and watch how the structure changes in response to voltage and temperature changes," said Billinge. That's what's going to be possible with the very high brilliance of the beam that we'll have at NSLS-II when we have the full capability of the machine."

 

 

Pennies reveal new insights on the nature of randomness

 
‎23 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎03:35:15 PMGo to full article
Princeton NJ (SPX) Mar 06, 2015 - The concept of randomness appears across scientific disciplines, from materials science to molecular biology. Now, theoretical chemists at Princeton have challenged traditional interpretations of randomness by computationally generating random and mechanically rigid arrangements of two-dimensional hard disks, such as pennies, for the first time.

"It's amazing that something so simple as the packing of pennies can reveal to us deep ideas about the meaning of randomness or disorder," said Salvatore Torquato, professor of chemistry at Princeton and principal investigator of the report published on December 30 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In two dimensions, conventional wisdom held that the most random arrangements of pennies were those most likely to form upon repeated packing, or in other words, most "entropically" favored. But when a group of pennies are rapidly compressed the most probable states are actually highly ordered with small imperfections-called a polycrystalline state.

"We're saying that school of thought is wrong because you can find much lower density states that have a high degree of disorder, even if they are not seen in typical experiments," Torquato said.

Torquato and coworkers proposed that randomness should be judged from the disorder of a single state as opposed to many states. "It's a new way of searching for randomness," said Morrel Cohen, a senior scholar at Princeton and the editor assigned to the article.

Using a computer algorithm, the researchers produced so-called maximally random, jammed (rigid) states as defined by a set of "order metrics." These measurements reflect features of a single configuration, such as the fluctuations of density within a system and the extent to which one penny's position can be used to predict another's.

The algorithm generated random states that have never been seen before in systems with up to approximately 200 disks. Theoretically, these maximally random states should exist for even larger systems, but are beyond the computational limits of the program.

These findings hold promise especially for the physics and chemistry of surfaces. Randomly dispersed patterns can be relayed to a 3D printer to create materials with unique properties. This may be desirable in photonics-analogous to electronics, but with photons instead of electrons-where the orientation of particles affects light's ability to travel through a material.

This work also provides a tool for measuring degrees of order that may be applied to broadly to other fields. For example, the degree of disorder in the spatial distribution of cancer cells versus healthy cells could be measured and compared for possible biological links. The next challenge in this line of research will be for experimentalists to replicate these findings in the laboratory.

 

 

Electrons in slow motion

 
‎23 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎03:35:15 PMGo to full article
Rome, Italy (SPX) Mar 10, 2015 - A process that is too fast to be measured and analysed. Yet a group of international scientists did not lose heart and conceived a sort of highly sophisticated moviola film-editing system, which allowed them to observe - for the first time in a direct manner - an effect underlying high-temperature conductivity. The results of their work have been published in Nature Physics on Monday 9 March 2015.

Superconductors have properties that make them potentially very interesting for technology (examples of application include magnetic levitation trains). The road to a true application of the extraordinary properties of these superconductors is, however, blocked by the fact that the "classic" ones work at extremely low temperatures close to absolute zero, and therefore impracticable.

Copper oxide-based superconductors, thanks to a higher working temperature, are more promising but the possibility of synthesizing superconductors at ambient temperature remains a distant goal. The main barrier is the lack of understanding of the mechanism enabling copper oxides to turn into superconductors.

One of the main problems is understanding whether the electron interactions inside the material are direct and instantaneous or mediated by some "delayed" interaction. To answer this question, we need to look at the process "in real life", but given its unusual rapidity, this is far from easy.

"The solution we devised is based on the use of ultrafast light pulses, lasting 10 femtoseconds, that is, 10 million billionths of a second", explains Claudio Giannetti, of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, who coordinated the research.

"To be able to carry out these measurements our laboratories developed a unique experimental apparatus capable of producing, utilizing and measuring light pulses of different colours that last less than 10 femtoseconds", adds Giulio Cerullo, head of the ultrafast spectroscopy laboratories of the Department of Physics of Milan Polytechnic.

The method developed resembles that of "high-speed photography" invented by Eadweard Muybridge more than 100 years ago.

"The famous stroboscopic images, or motion pictures, can give an idea of what we did", explains Massimo Capone, researcher at SISSA in Trieste, and among the authors of the paper.

"Muybridge, a bit like us, would take photographs of fast-moving objects, breaking down their motion into many still frames before creating those beautiful images (that have become icons) that provide a reconstruction of the path of motion. We did something very similar, in a tiny temporal (and spatial) dimension, using infinitely short light pulses as obturators, to observe ultrafast changes in the properties of a superconductor".

The scientists applied the technique to different families of high-temperature copper oxide superconductors, thereby succeeding in measuring what they define as the "fastest slow process" in a solid, and their findings support the hypothesis that electron interactions in these superconductors are mediated by the spin of electrons.

More in detail...

"In general, electron interactions in a solid can be divided into direct interactions, which are virtually instantaneous, and "delayed" interactions, which occur when the electrons interact with other particles (bosons deriving from excitation of the ion network or from magnetic excitations)", explains Capone. "These latter processes are thought to be fundamental for superconductivity to occur, as they form the 'glue' that holds the electrons together in the so-called 'Cooper pairs' underlying the superconducting phenomenon itself".

"To date, similar experiments carried out with a lower temporal resolution succeeded in accessing only the 'slow' processes related to electron interactions with the vibrations of the crystal network formed by ions (phonons)", explains Cerullo. "In this study, for the first time we measured electron pairing with another family of excitations linked to electron spin and magnetism".

"This pairing", concludes Giannetti, "had so far been impossible to access with experimental analyses because it occurs in a timeframe of only 10 femtoseconds. Our technique and its original utilization have opened a new window on ultrafast processes in high-temperature superconductors".

 

 

Why isn't the universe as bright as it should be?

 
‎23 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎03:35:15 PMGo to full article
Boston MA (SPX) Mar 05, 2015 - A handful of new stars are born each year in the Milky Way, while many more blink on across the universe. But astronomers have observed that galaxies should be churning out millions more stars, based on the amount of interstellar gas available.

Now researchers from MIT and Michigan State University have pieced together a theory describing how clusters of galaxies may regulate star formation. They describe their framework this week in the journal Nature.

When intracluster gas cools rapidly, it condenses, then collapses to form new stars. Scientists have long thought that something must be keeping the gas from cooling enough to generate more stars - but exactly what has remained a mystery.

For some galaxy clusters, the researchers say, the intracluster gas may simply be too hot - on the order of hundreds of millions of degrees Celsius. Even if one region experiences some cooling, the intensity of the surrounding heat would keep that region from cooling further - an effect known as conduction.

"It would be like putting an ice cube in a boiling pot of water - the average temperature is pretty much still boiling," says Michael McDonald, a Hubble Fellow in MIT's Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research. "At super-high temperatures, conduction smooths out the temperature distribution so you don't get any of these cold clouds that should form stars."

For so-called "cool core" galaxy clusters, the gas near the center may be cool enough to form some stars. However, a portion of this cooled gas may rain down into a central black hole, which then spews out hot material that serves to reheat the surroundings, preventing many stars from forming - an effect the team terms "precipitation-driven feedback."

"Some stars will form, but before it gets too out of hand, the black hole will heat everything back up - it's like a thermostat for the cluster," McDonald says. "The combination of conduction and precipitation-driven feedback provides a simple, clear picture of how star formation is governed in galaxy clusters."

Crossing a galactic threshold
Throughout the universe, there exist two main classes of galaxy clusters: cool core clusters - those that are rapidly cooling and forming stars - and non-cool core clusters - those have not had sufficient time to cool.

The Coma cluster, a non-cool cluster, is filled with gas at a scorching 100 million degrees Celsius. To form any stars, this gas would have to cool for several billion years. In contrast, the nearby Perseus cluster is a cool core cluster whose intracluster gas is a relatively mild several million degrees Celsius. New stars occasionally emerge from the cooling of this gas in the Perseus cluster, though not as many as scientists would predict.

"The amount of fuel for star formation outpaces the amount of stars 10 times, so these clusters should be really star-rich," McDonald says. "You really need some mechanism to prevent gas from cooling, otherwise the universe would have 10 times as many stars."

McDonald and his colleagues worked out a theoretical framework that relies on two anti-cooling mechanisms.

The group calculated the behavior of intracluster gas based on a galaxy cluster's radius, mass, density, and temperature. The researchers found that there is a critical temperature threshold below which the cooling of gas accelerates significantly, causing gas to cool rapidly enough to form stars.

According to the group's theory, two different mechanisms regulate star formation, depending on whether a galaxy cluster is above or below the temperature threshold. For clusters that are significantly above the threshold, conduction puts a damper on star formation: The surrounding hot gas overwhelms any pockets of cold gas that may form, keeping everything in the cluster at high temperatures.

"For these hotter clusters, they're stuck in this hot state, and will never cool and form stars," McDonald says. "Once you get into this very high-temperature regime, cooling is really inefficient, and they're stuck there forever."

For gas at temperatures closer to the lower threshold, it's much easier to cool to form stars. However, in these clusters, precipitation-driven feedback starts to kick in to regulate star formation: While cooling gas can quickly condense into clouds of droplets that can form stars, these droplets can also rain down into a central black hole - in which case the black hole may emit hot jets of material back into the cluster, heating the surrounding gas back up to prevent further stars from forming.

"In the Perseus cluster, we see these jets acting on hot gas, with all these bubbles and ripples and shockwaves," McDonald says. "Now we have a good sense of what triggered those jets, which was precipitating gas falling onto the black hole."

On track
McDonald and his colleagues compared their theoretical framework to observations of distant galaxy clusters, and found that their theory matched the observed differences between clusters. The team collected data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the South Pole Telescope - an observatory in Antarctica that searches for far-off massive galaxy clusters.

The researchers compared their theoretical framework with the gas cooling times of every known galaxy cluster, and found that clusters filtered into two populations - very slowly cooling clusters, and clusters that are cooling rapidly, closer to the rate predicted by the group as a critical threshold.

By using the theoretical framework, McDonald says researchers may be able to predict the evolution of galaxy clusters, and the stars they produce.

"We've built a track that clusters follow," McDonald says. "The nice, simple thing about this framework is that you're stuck in one of two modes, for a very long time, until something very catastrophic bumps you out, like a head-on collision with another cluster."

The researchers hope to look deeper into the theory to see whether the mechanisms regulating star formation in clusters also apply to individual galaxies. Preliminary evidence, he says, suggests that is the case.

"If we can use all this information to understand why or why not stars form around us, then we've made a big step forward," McDonald says.

 

 

The first ever photograph of light as a particle and a wave

 
‎23 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎03:35:15 PMGo to full article
Lausanne, Switzerland (SPX) Mar 03, 2015 - Quantum mechanics tells us that light can behave simultaneously as a particle or a wave. However, there has never been an experiment able to capture both natures of light at the same time; the closest we have come is seeing either wave or particle, but always at different times.

Taking a radically different experimental approach, EPFL scientists have now been able to take the first ever snapshot of light behaving both as a wave and as a particle. The breakthrough work is published in Nature Communications.

When UV light hits a metal surface, it causes an emission of electrons. Albert Einstein explained this "photoelectric" effect by proposing that light - thought to only be a wave - is also a stream of particles. Even though a variety of experiments have successfully observed both the particle- and wave-like behaviors of light, they have never been able to observe both at the same time.

A new approach on a classic effect
A research team led by Fabrizio Carbone at EPFL has now carried out an experiment with a clever twist: using electrons to image light. The researchers have captured, for the first time ever, a single snapshot of light behaving simultaneously as both a wave and a stream of particles particle.

The experiment is set up like this: A pulse of laser light is fired at a tiny metallic nanowire. The laser adds energy to the charged particles in the nanowire, causing them to vibrate.

Light travels along this tiny wire in two possible directions, like cars on a highway. When waves traveling in opposite directions meet each other they form a new wave that looks like it is standing in place. Here, this standing wave becomes the source of light for the experiment, radiating around the nanowire.

This is where the experiment's trick comes in: The scientists shot a stream of electrons close to the nanowire, using them to image the standing wave of light. As the electrons interacted with the confined light on the nanowire, they either sped up or slowed down. Using the ultrafast microscope to image the position where this change in speed occurred, Carbone's team could now visualize the standing wave, which acts as a fingerprint of the wave-nature of light.

While this phenomenon shows the wave-like nature of light, it simultaneously demonstrated its particle aspect as well. As the electrons pass close to the standing wave of light, they "hit" the light's particles, the photons.

As mentioned above, this affects their speed, making them move faster or slower. This change in speed appears as an exchange of energy "packets" (quanta) between electrons and photons. The very occurrence of these energy packets shows that the light on the nanowire behaves as a particle.

"This experiment demonstrates that, for the first time ever, we can film quantum mechanics - and its paradoxical nature - directly," says Fabrizio Carbone.

In addition, the importance of this pioneering work can extend beyond fundamental science and to future technologies. As Carbone explains: "Being able to image and control quantum phenomena at the nanometer scale like this opens up a new route towards quantum computing."

 

 

 
 

 

 

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Why do scientists now believe we live in a 10-dimensional universe?

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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.

 

 

Myths Dressed as Science

 
‎13 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

A recent MSN article claims a fossilized hominid called "Little Foot" found near Johannesburg, South Africa, is approximately 3.67 million years old, as does a similar report in ScienceNews. Both articles provide insufficient detail to make an intelligent evaluation of the method used to arrive at the stated conclusion, and as such that conclusion must be regarded as suspect.

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Saturn's Enceladus Looks Younger than Ever

 
‎09 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

The more we learn about Enceladus, the younger it looks. Stated another way, the more that our space probes discover about this fascinating little moon that inhabits Saturn's tenuous E ring, the more challenging it becomes for conventional origins to explain. A new discovery adds to the list of young-looking Enceladus features.

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Another Horizontal Gene Transfer Fairy Tale

 
‎06 ‎April ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

As the genomes of many new creatures rapidly fill the public DNA sequence databases, the problems for the grand evolutionary story are becoming overwhelming. One issue is the fact that different creatures have unique sets of genes specific to their kind with no apparent evolutionary history. To explain this glaring problem, evolutionists have resorted to the myth of pervasive horizontal gene transfer.

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Dinosaur Moth: An Evolutionary Enigma

 
‎30 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Scientists discovered an Australian "dinosaur" moth that, if the evolutionary story is to be believed, has undergone virtually no evolution for at least forty million years. They named it Enigmatinea glatzella. The name is quite descriptive, as Enigmatinea means "enigma moth" in Latin. But why is this moth an enigma to evolutionary scientists?

 


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Twins Provide Peek Into Mankind's Origin

 
‎26 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Lucy and Maria Aylmer are 18-year-old twins from the United Kingdom. They were born on the same day from the same mother, yet one has light skin and hair, and the other has dark skin and dark, curlier hair. Their unique story illustrates how human-trait variations found around the world could have arisen suddenly in Noah's offspring.

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Heads, Evolution Wins--Tails, Creation Loses?

 
‎23 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Wouldn't two billion years of mutations and changing environments inevitably produce some effects in an organism? After all, in only a quarter of that supposed time, evolutionary processes are said to have transformed fish into people. Mutations supposedly occur nonstop, but the authors of a new paper now say that creature stasis proves evolution.

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Spiders Have Always Been Spiders

 
‎19 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

A University of California Berkley graduate student has discovered two beautiful new species of peacock spiders in southeast Queensland, Australia. The student, Madeline Girard, named the two colorful creatures "Sparklemuffin" and "Skeletorus," both of the genus Maratus. Are these splendid specimens highly evolved species or have spiders always been spiders?

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Live Webcasts March 18 and 22!

 
‎16 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article


 


Get a front-row seat to “Science Confirms Biblical Creation” and “Your Origins Matter” in the comfort of your own home as ICR astrophysicist Dr. Jason Lisle shares biblical and scientific truths. Go to ICR.org/webcast at 7:00 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, March 18, and 9:00 or 10:30 a.m. PDT on Sunday, March 22, to view these engaging presentations.

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Cancer Research Inadvertently Refutes Evolution

 
‎12 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

How did nature supposedly transform a single-cell organism into all the varieties of land-walking animals in our world today? Textbook explanations invoke natural selection of beneficial mutations across unimaginable time, with a bit of help from “junk DNA” and heaps of serendipitous chance. Though it was not intended as a test of evolution, a new cancer research discovery jeopardizes these unfounded evolutionary assumptions.

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Lids, Lashes, and Lunar Rovers

 
‎09 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

A recent discovery indicates our eyelashes must measure at just the right length to function properly. Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology studied 22 mammal lash lengths and reported that, from giraffes to hedgehogs, lash length was of "optimum" length—about one-third of the width of the given mammal's eye.

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Manganese Nodule Discovery Points to Genesis Flood

 
‎05 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Scientists recently discovered a large batch of manganese nodules on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. These metallic pellets provide strong evidence that most seafloor sediments were deposited rapidly, not slowly and gradually over millions of years. Are these nodules evidence of the Genesis Flood?

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RNA Editing: Biocomplexity Hits a New High

 
‎02 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

When the workings of the genome were first being discovered, the central evolutionary dogma of molecular biology claimed that genetic information passes consistently from DNA to RNA to proteins. Now we know that RNA messages can be altered by a variety of mechanisms, and a new study in squid genetics has vaulted one of these processes—called RNA editing—to an unprecedented level of biocomplexity.

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Secular Study: No Big Bang?

 
‎23 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Christians who believe the universe began billions of years ago often point to the Big Bang model to try and verify a creation-like beginning. But a new origin of the universe model offers an "everlasting universe" and dismisses the whole idea of a Big Bang. Why would scientists even think to challenge a long-held concept like the Big Bang unless they saw some deal-breaking weaknesses in it?

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Honey Bee Orphan Genes Sting Evolution

 
‎19 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

A key type of rogue genetic data called orphan genes has just been reported in honey bees. Orphan genes conflict with ideas about genome evolution, and they are directly linked with the evolutionary enigma of phenotypic novelty, unique traits specific to a single type of creature.

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Out of Babel--Not Africa

 
‎16 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Newly published research combining genetic, language, and demographic data challenges the idea of a single lineage of languages and human populations evolving out of Africa. Instead, the data supports the idea that multiple people groups have independent origins—a condition one would predict if the confusion of languages at the Tower of Babel happened as described in the Bible.

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Big Bang Evidence Retracted

 
‎12 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

In March 2014, the BICEP2 radio astronomy team announced purported direct evidence of cosmic inflation, an important part of the modern Big Bang model for the universe’s creation. This announcement was front-page news all over the world. However, these scientists recently submitted a paper for publication that effectively retracts their breakthrough claim, acknowledging that their earlier results were spurious. They admitted their “evidence” was actually an artifact of dust within our own galaxy.

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Snakes Have Always Been Snakes

 
‎09 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

It's an old story. An animal or plant is discovered in sedimentary rocks by paleontologists and it pushes the organism's origin further back by many millions of years. This time snakes are the subject of a recent, unexpected discovery that pushes their first appearance back an additional 65 million years.

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A New Antibiotic?

 
‎05 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Antibiotics serve as some of the most effective tools modern medicine has to offer. These amazing chemicals save many lives by targeting specific and essential processes in pathogenic bacteria—but antibiotics are losing their magic touch. Their failure to beat back new strains of antibiotic-resistant germs motivates researchers to design or discover new antibiotics. Scientists now reveal reasons why their new discovery brings hope to those hunting for better germ killers.

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The frilled shark . . . is still a shark

 
‎02 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

On January 21, 2015 the news broke—an Australian fisherman hooked a "living fossil." Called the frilled (or frill) shark, this creature was thought to be 80 million years old. It looks mighty frightening, but is it truly "prehistoric" and somehow linked to shark evolution?

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Encore Presentation of Patterns of Evidence: Exodus

 
‎26 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

The Exodus is one of the best-known narratives in the Bible. It details the Israelites' escape from Egypt after centuries of slavery, Moses' rise to leadership, the devastating plagues on Egypt, and the miraculous Red Sea crossing. Yet many archaeologists and historians insist there is no evidence that the biblical Exodus ever occurred. This debate is the subject of the award-winning documentary Patterns of Evidence: Exodus that has an encore presentation this Thursday.

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2014 Most Notable News: Evolutionary Icons Toppled

 
‎22 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

The big-picture story of evolution tells that, over millions of years, natural processes produced millions of species from one or a few primitive progenitors. Did this really happen, or did God create separate distinct "kinds" of creatures about 6,000 years ago like Genesis 1 clearly describes?

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The Hubble 'Pillars of Creation' Revisited

 
‎19 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

In 1995 the Hubble Telescope photographed spectacular columns of gas, illuminated by nearby stars, in a section of the Eagle Nebula. The enormous columns of gas in this famous photo have been nicknamed "pillars of creation" since secular scientists insist that new stars are being "born" within them.

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2014 Most Notable News: Recent Creation

 
‎15 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

In the year 2014, at least a half dozen fascinating observations confirmed the recent creation of our world and universe. For example, researchers took a closer look at Saturn's moon Enceladus, finding that it has more than just the single known geyser spewing icy material into space—it has 101 active geysers.

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2014 Most Notable News: Creation Is a Hot Topic

 
‎12 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Every generation of believers must settle for itself the core questions of ultimate origins. Where did everything come from? Can God's account of beginnings in Genesis be trusted as actual history? The year 2014 illustrated that this generation is still interested in answers.

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2014 Most Notable News: Fossils Resemble Living Relatives

 
‎08 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Every year, a few fortunate paleontologists discover fossils that closely resemble living creatures, and 2014 was no exception. In fact, it was a banner year for finding modern-looking fossils in what secular scientist believe to be very old rocks.

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2014 Most Notable News: Big Bang Fizzle

 
‎05 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

We might learn an important lesson from a bit of embarrassment Big Bang supporters suffered in 2014. In March, mainstream media outlets announced that the BICEP2 radio astronomy telescope team discovered indirect remains of the Big Bang's supposed inflationary period. Headlines identified their astronomical observations as "smoking gun" evidence for the Big Bang itself, but it didn't take long at all for this smoke to clear.

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Study: Comets Did Not Supply Earth's Water

 
‎29 ‎December ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Slightly different versions of water's constituent elements, hydrogen and oxygen, are relatively common in the universe. But how did Earth's version of water get here? European Space Agency astronomers have been looking for clues using their Rosetta spacecraft to inspect Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

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Facts Bite into Bird Tooth Story

 
‎25 ‎December ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Fossils clearly show that some birds used to have small teeth, but most birds today do not have teeth. When and how did this change happen? A new study in the journal Science makes a few unfounded conclusions.

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Birds Inspire Flight Sensor Inventions

 
‎22 ‎December ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

The Wright brothers studied wing structures of seabirds before building their first airplane, and the first helicopter is said to have been inspired by dragonfly flight. Today, inventors continue this tradition, focusing on bio-inspired flight sensors. A series of telling admissions in a recent summary of state-of-the-art research leave no doubt about the origins of flight-ready sensors.

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Amazing Ant Beetle Same Today as Yesterday

 
‎18 ‎December ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

If ancient history according to Scripture is true, then what should we expect to find in animal fossils? Surely excellent body designs would top the list, closely followed by a lack of "transitional forms." A newly discovered specialized beetle inside Indian amber provides another peek into the past and an opportunity to test these Bible-based expectations.

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Unlocking the Origins of Snake Venom

 
‎15 ‎December ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

The origin of snake venom has been a long-time mystery to both creationists and evolutionists. Interestingly, new research confirms that the same genes that encode snake venom proteins are active in many other tissues.

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How Different was 'Java' from 'Modern' Man?

 
‎11 ‎December ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Interest in human origins persists generation after generation, and researchers continue to uncover and interpret clues. The latest set comes from a reinvestigation of clam shells dug up in the 1890s on the Indonesian island of Java. Someone skillfully drilled and engraved those shells. Who was it?

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550 Million Years of Non-Evolution?

 
‎08 ‎December ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

A strange, new, mushroom-shaped species discovered alive on the deep seafloor off the southeastern coast of Australia may be a record-breaking living fossil. It's not a jellyfish, sea squirt, or sponge. What is it?

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Ghost Lineage Spawns Evolution Ghost Story

 
‎04 ‎December ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Fossils seem to tell amazing stories about ancient animal life, but close inspection reveals that these stories differ from each other not because of different fossils, but because of different interpretations. Do the remarkable circumstances surrounding a newly discovered fossil arthropod tell two stories or just one?

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Thanksgiving in Heaven

 
‎27 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

"We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, because You have taken Your great power and reigned" (Revelation 11:16-17). This is the final reference in the Bible to the giving of thanks. It records a scene in heaven where the 24 elders, representing all redeemed believers, are thanking God that His primeval promise of restoration and victory is about to be fulfilled.

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Missing Link or Another Fish Story?

 
‎24 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Recently there has been some celebration from the Darwinian community regarding a fossil discovery that allegedly links terrestrial animals to their future aquatic relatives.

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Plants' Built-in Photosynthesis Accelerators

 
‎20 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Sunlight can change in a heartbeat. One second, a leaf could be under intense sun and may receive more light than it needs to build sugar molecules through a process called photosynthesis. But a few seconds later, a cloud may wander overhead and block the sun, starving the plant's photosynthetic machinery. A team of plant biologists recently discovered new mechanisms that help plants cope with these fast-changing light conditions.

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Trees Really Are 'Pleasant to the Sight'

 
‎17 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Genesis 2:9 records one of the Lord's original intentions for creating trees, saying, "Out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food." A new study has quantified just how pleasant to the sight trees can be, inadvertently confirming the truthfulness of this ancient biblical passage.

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Saber-Toothed Deer Alive in Afghanistan

 
‎14 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Based on journal entries, a Danish survey team probably sighted musk deer while working in the remote regions of northeast Afghanistan in 1948, but that was the last official sighting—until now. A new survey team recorded the species still alive, but endangered. Seven similar species found throughout Asia eat vegetation, so why do they need tusks?

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Dino Tracks

 
‎11 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Dinosaur tracks are found on every continent—but how did they form?

 


See how the awesome event of a global flood offers an explanation to this confounding scientific riddle.

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Exocomets: Evidence of Recent Creation

 
‎07 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Astronomers recently detected evidence of possible comets orbiting a faraway star system named β Pictoris. They compared what they saw to what our solar system may have looked like billions of years ago when the earth and moon were supposedly forming out of a chaotic debris cloud. But details from their report easily refute this imagined "planetary-system formation," and instead illustrate how God recently and uniquely created space objects.

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Human Fairness: Innate or Evolved?

 
‎05 ‎November ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

How does it make you feel when you put forth just as much effort as the next guy, but he receives twice the reward? Unfair! But how did people acquire the sensibilities involved when assessing fairness? Certain animals recognize unequal rewards too, prompting researchers to try and unravel the origins of fairness.

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Pro-Evolution Pope

 
‎31 ‎October ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

During an October 28 meeting of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences held in the Vatican, Pope Francis claimed that evolution and the Big Bang do not contradict the Bible. If the Pope says it's okay for Catholics to embrace naturalistic explanations, does that settle the controversy?

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Did God Make the Ebola Virus?

 
‎29 ‎October ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

When this article was written, the number of West Africans who contract the deadly Ebola virus was doubling about every three and a half weeks, making it the worst outbreak of the disease since the first recorded occurrence in 1976. Where did this virus come from?

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Gamma-Ray Bursts Limit Life in Universe

 
‎27 ‎October ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

What are the odds that life somehow self-generated? Many experiments have shown that the likelihood of just the right chemicals combining by chance to form even the simplest cell on Earth is so close to zero that some origin-of-life researchers have punted the possibility to some distant unknown planet. But a new study of gamma-ray burst frequency estimates has eliminated the possibility of life on other planets.

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Weather Channel Founder Blasts 'Climate Change'

 
‎24 ‎October ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

John Coleman, co-founder of the Weather Channel, claims that politics is influencing the supposedly unbiased realm of science—particularly in the debate over climate change.

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Brain Bath: A Clever Design Solution

 
‎17 ‎October ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

What makes sleep so mentally refreshing? University of Rochester neuroscientist Jeff Iliff addressed the crowd gathered at a September 2014 TEDMED event and explained his amazing new discoveries. The words he used perfectly match what one would expect while describing the works of an ingenious designer.

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Giant Clams Are Brilliant Algae Farmers

 
‎15 ‎October ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Giant clams living in the Pacific Ocean's shallow-water tropics display brilliant, iridescent colors. Why do they display such radiance? Researchers uncovered five high-tech specifications that show how these giant clams use specialized iridescent cells to farm colonies of algae.

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A Fuss Over Dust: Planck Satellite Fails to Confirm Big Bang 'Proof'

 
‎13 ‎October ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Planck satellite data confirm that the "smoking gun" Big Bang evidence is likely the result of something much more mundane: dust within our own galaxy.

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Throwing Darwin a Curve

 
‎10 ‎October ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Great pitchers make it look so easy, and “practice makes perfect,” but it helps that the brain power necessary for control, neurological connections, and muscular arrangements for the human arm are exceedingly better than any system that exists on the planet. Is throwing a ball really that complex?

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Were Intestines Designed for Bacteria?

 
‎08 ‎October ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Scientists purposefully made mice sick to test how the creatures’ intestines—and the microbes they harbor—would react. They discovered details behind a remarkable relationship that, when working well, keeps both parties healthy.

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Vital Function Found for Whale 'Leg' Bones

 
‎06 ‎October ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Few animal traits are trotted out as illustrations of evolution as often as the whale’s supposed vestigial hip bones. Recent research has uncovered new details about the critical function of these whale hips—details that undermine this key evolutionary argument and confirm divine design.

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Jurassic Squirrels?

 
‎03 ‎October ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Jurassic mammals made headlines recently, as Chinese paleontologists described six tiny skeletons comprising three new species. The squirrel-like fossils break the long-held idea that most so-called "dinosaur-era" mammals resembled shrews. These newfound mammals look like they lived in trees—not underground like shrews. Do the new fossils help evolutionists clarify their story for the origin of mammals, or do they crank more twists into evolution's troubled saga?

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Australopith Child Gets an Academic Spanking

 
‎29 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

A fossil group of alleged evolutionary human ancestors called australopithecines—all quite ape-like in their features—have traditionally been uncooperative as transitional forms. Now the famous Taung child, a supposed example of early transitional skull features, has been debunked.

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Cambrian Fossil Intensifies Evolutionary Conundrum

 
‎26 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

New fossil finds further verify one of evolution's biggest problems: the Cambrian explosion. According to evolutionary reckoning, a massive explosion of new life supposedly spawned dozens of brand-new fully formed body plans about 530 million years ago. Details from a newly described Canadian fossil fish intensify this Cambrian conundrum.

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Genome Scrambling and Encryption Befuddles Evolution

 
‎24 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

One-cell creatures called ciliates are expanding the concept of genome complexity at an exponential rate. Now a newly sequenced ciliate genome reveals unimaginable levels of programmed rearrangement combined with an ingenious system of encryption.

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Big Bang Fizzles under Lithium Test

 
‎22 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Secular astrophysicists often talk about “primordial nucleosynthesis” as though it were a proven historical event. In theory, it describes how certain conditions during an early Big Bang universe somehow cobbled together the first elements. But no historical evidence corroborates this primordial nucleosynthesis, an idea beset by a theoretical barrier called the “lithium problem.” Secular scientists recently put this problem to a practical test.

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Are We Evolving Stupidity?

 
‎19 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Social psychologists are tracking IQ scores and noticed a decline in the last decade after a steady rise since the 1950s. Some wonder if the recent downturn reflects genes that have been eroding all along. Are we evolving stupidity?

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Ten Evidences for Creation

 
‎17 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Get some fast facts on the evidences for creation science!

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Bible May Solve Colossal Ancient Iceberg Riddle

 
‎15 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Five seafloor scour troughs show tell-tale signs of having been gouged out by colossal icebergs. But none of today’s icebergs are nearly big enough to scour the seafloor at such a great depth.

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Dual-Gene Codes Defy Evolution...Again

 
‎12 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Discoveries of DNA sequences that contain different languages, each one with multiple purposes, are utterly defying evolutionary predictions. What was once hailed as redundant code is proving to be key in protein production.

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Ciliate Genome Reveals Mind-Bending Complexity

 
‎10 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Certain types of fungi can be parasitic to both plants and animals. Two new studies show that this has developed, in part, by a loss of genetic information—not a gain as predicted by evolution.

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New Giant Dinosaur from Argentina

 
‎08 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Scientists described a new and remarkable fossil skeleton of a giant titanosaur, a group that includes the largest creatures ever to have lived on land. Because this specimen is nearly 45 percent complete, it gives more details than any other fossil of its kind, as well as some details that confirm the biblical creation model.

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Fungal Parasitism Marked by Gene Loss, Not Gain

 
‎05 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Certain types of fungi can be parasitic to both plants and animals. Two new studies show that this has developed, in part, by a loss of genetic information—not a gain as predicted by evolution.

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Decoding Snake-Venom Origins

 
‎03 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

The origin of snake venom has long been a mystery to both creationists and evolutionists. However, by stepping outside the standard research paradigm, scientists recently showed that snake venom proteins may have arisen from existing salivary proteins, supporting the idea that they arose post-Fall through modification of existing features.

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Darwin's Finches: Answers From Epigenetics

 
‎29 ‎August ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Authentic speciation is a process whereby organisms diversify within the boundaries of their gene pools, and this can result in variants with specific ecological adaptability. While it was once thought that this process was strictly facilitated by DNA sequence variability, Darwin's classic example of speciation in finches now includes a surprisingly strong epigenetic component as well.

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Octopus Skin Inspires High-Tech Camouflage Fabric

 
‎27 ‎August ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

An octopus can change the color of its skin at will to mimic any kind of surrounding. It actively camouflages itself with astoundingly complicated biological machinery. Wouldn't it be great if, say, a soldier's uniform or an armored vehicle used similar technology?

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New Finds Reveal Fully-Human Neandertal

 
‎25 ‎August ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

The case for Neandertals as more primitive members of an evolutionary continuum that spans from apes to modern man continues to weaken. Genetic and archaeological finds are completely reshaping modern concepts of Neandertal men and women.

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There's More to the Story

 
‎22 ‎August ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

The Dallas Morning News recently reported that a group of Ph.D. scientists is swimming upstream against the scientific community. Instead of believing in millions of years of evolution, the team at the Institute for Creation Research dares to suggest that science confirms biblical creation's view of a world only thousands of years old. And there's more to the story.

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What Is 'Real Scientific Research'?

 
‎20 ‎August ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

A recent article in The Dallas Morning News and a follow-up NBC interview presented some history and touched on the tenets of the Institute for Creation Research. Both news reports sparked inquiries from readers and viewers. For example, some are now asking, "What defines credible scientific research?"

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DNA Was Created as a Reservoir for the Information of Life

 
‎18 ‎August ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Secular scientists claimed in the 1970s that chimp genomes are 98% similar to humans, and it was apparently verified by more modern techniques. But that estimate actually used isolated segments of DNA that we already share with chimps—not the whole genomes. The latest comparison that included all of the two species’ DNA revealed a huge difference from the percentage scientists have been claiming for years.

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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.
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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

 

 

 
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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.


 

 

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