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

frosty@khouseafrica.com

 

 

 

K-House Africa

 

Banking Details

 

Radio 66/40

 

 

 

 Africa news

 

THE STRUGGLE FOR JERUSALEM

 

 

The Rise Of Islam

 

 

THE DECLINE OF THE USA

 

 

GLOBAL RELIGION

 

 

GLOBAL PESTILENCE

 

 

Global Government

 

 

THE RISE OF THE FAR EAST

 

 

THE RISE OF THE EUROPEAN SUPER STATE

 

 

WEAPONS PROLIFERATION

 

 

THE MAGOG INVASION

 

 

Space & Science

Classics

 

 

UNDERSTAND THE TIMES

 

 

 

Articles

 

DVD PRICELIST

 

Price List

 

 Kings High Way Briefing Packs

 

Topical Teachings

DVD Briefing Back

Packs

 

Audio CD

 

Audio MP3 Collections

 

DVD

 Commentaries

 

Strategic Trends

 

Verse By Verse Commentaries

 

Old Testament Study Notes

 

New Testament Study Notes

 

Personal Update

 

Donations

 

New Product Notice

 

FAQ

 

Contact US

 

K-House USA

 

Comment Line

 

Time Traveller

 

Other Links

 

DEVOTIONAL

 

Words in Red

 

Prophecy News Watch

 

The Coming Prince

 

THE WITNESS 1 Audio MP3

 

THE WITNESS 2 Audio MP3

 

hawk warrior

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTERNATIONAL NEWS FEEDS


 In The News provided by Koinonia House


Best viewed with Internet Explorer.


 

 

This page is dedicated to My Grandson Brandon.

(Branstein)

***IN STOCK***
 HOLOGRAPHIC

UNIVERSE

by Chuck Missler

DVD

PRICE R 159.00

 

 

 

 

This DVD includes notes in PDF format and M4A files.


This briefing pack contains 2 hours of teachings

Available in the following formats

Session 1

• Epistemology 101: How do we “know”?

– Scientific Myths of the Past

– Scientific Myths of the Present

• The Macrocosm: The Plasma Universe: Gravitational Presumption?

• The Microcosm: The Planck Wall

• The Metacosm: Fracture of Hyperspace?

Session 2


• The Holographic Model: David Bohm

• GEO 600 “Noise”

• The Black Hole Paradox

– String Theorists examine the elephant

• A Holographic Universe:

– Distances are synthetic (virtual) images

– A Geocentric Cosmology?

– Some Scriptural Perspective(s)

 

 

“One can’t believe impossible things,”

Alice laughed.

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

said the Queen.

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

half-an-hour a day.

Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many

as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Through the Looking Glass

Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)
 

DVD:

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

M4A File Video

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


 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured Briefing

A Holographic Universe?

by Dr. Chuck Missler

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

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

The Cosmos As a Super-Hologram?

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

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

The Nature of Reality

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

The Search for Gravity Waves

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

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

Mystery Noise

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

Gravitational Wave Observatories Join Forces

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

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

Cosmic Implications

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

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

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

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

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

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


Notes

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

Space News From SpaceDaily.Com

 

 
 

Smaller Gas Giants Could Support Life

 
‎29 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎03:46:49 AMGo to full article
Seattle WA (SPX) Jan 29, 2015
Two phenomena known to inhibit the potential habitability of planets - tidal forces and vigorous stellar activity - might instead help chances for life on certain planets orbiting low-mass stars, University of Washington astronomers have found. In a paper published this month in the journal Astrobiology, UW doctoral student Rodrigo Luger and co-author Rory Barnes, research assistant prof
 

IXV spaceplane packed and ready for Vega launch Feb 11

 
‎29 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎03:46:49 AMGo to full article
Kourou, French Guiana (ESA) Jan 29, 2015
Preparations are moving forward for next month's Vega flight, with its Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV) passenger now integrated in the lightweight launcher's payload fairing. During activity at the Spaceport's S5 payload preparation facility on Monday, IXV was installed on the cone-shaped adapter that serves as its interface with Vega - the smallest member of Arianespace's launch v
 

Ballooning offers platform for space-like environment

 
‎29 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎03:46:49 AMGo to full article
Singapore (SPX) Jan 29, 2015
New discoveries are being made on an annual basis by researchers flying their instruments on a high-altitude balloon platform. Ease of access to ballooning, relatively low cost and the potential for quick turn-around response times create a large appeal for using this platform to perform novel science and to train new scientists. This appeal is reinforced by the availability of a range of
 

NASA's SMAP Earth Mission Awaits Launch

 
‎29 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎03:46:49 AMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jan 29, 2015
NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory, which will produce the highest-resolution and most accurate maps of soil moisture ever obtained from space, is set to launch Thursday, Jan. 29, at 6:20 a.m. PST (9:20 a.m. EST) from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. A United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket will carry SMAP into orbit. The launch window lasts three minutes. Below
 

Gully patterns document Martian climate cycles

 
‎29 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎03:46:49 AMGo to full article
Providence RI (SPX) Jan 29, 2015
Geologists from Brown University have found new evidence that glacier-like ice deposits advanced and retreated multiple times in the midlatitude regions of Mars in the relatively recent past. For the study, in press in the journal Icarus, the researchers looked at hundreds of gully-like features found on the walls of impact craters throughout the Martian midlatitudes. They conclude that ma
 

Orbital Stockholders Approve ATK Division Merger

 
‎29 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎03:46:49 AMGo to full article
Dulles VA (SPX) Jan 28, 2015
Orbital Sciences has announced that at a special meeting held this morning, the company's stockholders voted overwhelmingly to approve the proposed merger with the Aerospace and Defense Groups of Alliant Techsystems, pursuant to the definitive transaction agreement dated April 28, 2014. Approximately 99% of the votes cast at the special meeting voted in favor of the adoption of the transac
 

Will NASA's TESS Spacecraft Revolutionize Exoplanet Hunting?

 
‎29 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎03:46:49 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Jan 29, 2015
NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), planned to be launched in August 2017 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, is designed to discover thousands of exoplanets. Led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), TESS will focus on stars 30-100 times brighter than those surveyed by the Kepler telescope, thus, the newly discovered pla
 

Japanese businessman set to resume space tourist training

 
‎29 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎03:46:49 AMGo to full article
Moscow, Russia (Sputnik) Jan 29, 2015
A Japanese businessman, who used to shoot space TV commercials at a cosmonaut training facility near Moscow, told journalists at a press conference, that he was happy to return to Star City as a space tourist, preparing for his flight to the International Space Station (ISS). "I am very happy to come back to Star City not for TV commercial shooting, but for the cosmonaut training," Takamat
 

The two faces of Mars

 
‎29 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎03:46:49 AMGo to full article
Zurich, Switzerland (SPX) Jan 29, 2015
The two hemispheres of Mars are more different from any other planet in our solar system. Non-volcanic, flat lowlands characterise the northern hemisphere, while highlands punctuated by countless volcanoes extend across the southern hemisphere. Although theories and assumptions about the origin of this so-called and often-discussed Mars dichotomy abound, there are very few definitive answers.
 

Quantum computer as detector shows space is not squeezed

 
‎29 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎03:46:49 AMGo to full article
Berkeley CA (SPX) Jan 29, 2015
Ever since Einstein proposed his special theory of relativity in 1905, physics and cosmology have been based on the assumption that space looks the same in all directions - that it's not squeezed in one direction relative to another. A new experiment by University of California, Berkeley, physicists used partially entangled atoms - identical to the qubits in a quantum computer - to demonst
 

SpaceX releases animation of heavy-lift Falcon rocket

 
‎29 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎03:46:49 AMGo to full article
Cape Canaveral, Fla. (UPI) Jan 28, 2015
The new video showing the blast off of SpaceX's heavy-lift rocket might look real, but the Falcon Heavy is still a work in progress - the video is only a simulation. The latter half of the new animation offers another vision of a hypothetical: rocket boosters being returned safely to floating landing pads. In other words, the new video is bookended by two of the most vital features of
 

Obama wraps India visit with pleas on religion, climate

 
‎29 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎03:46:49 AMGo to full article
New Delhi (AFP) Jan 27, 2015
US President Barack Obama urged India to promote religious tolerance and do more to combat global warming Tuesday as he wrapped up a visit aimed at forging a new friendship between the world's largest democracies. Speaking to an audience of mainly young people, Obama said the United States could be India's "best partner" but put pressure on his hosts over a range of political and social issu
 

Europe to resume satnav launches in March: Arianespace

 
‎29 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎03:46:49 AMGo to full article
Paris (AFP) Jan 28, 2015
Europe in March will resume satellite launches for its troubled Galileo navigation system, hoping to boost by at least six the number of orbiters this year, Arianespace and the European Commission said Wednesday. "We are ready for a launch on March 26" from Kourou, Europe's space base in French Guyana, chairman Stephane Israel of launch firm Arianespace told AFP in Paris after the European C
 

Raytheon acquires remote sensing, UAS tech company

 
‎29 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎03:46:49 AMGo to full article
Tucson (UPI) Jan 27, 2015
Raytheon reports it has enhanced the prospects of growing its unmanned aerial systems business through the acquisition of Sensintel Inc. Sensintel, headquartered in Arizona, was a privately held company specializing in expendable remote sensing and UAS engineering for intelligence and special operations communities. The Tucson company was created in 2013 when Britain's BAE Systems sold
 

Russia to Launch Three Communications Satellites

 
‎29 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎03:46:49 AMGo to full article
Moscow, Russia (Sputnik) Jan 29, 2015
The trio of Gonets-M probes will blast off from Plesetsk in early March, their maker, Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems, has announced on its website. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu visited the RISS headquarters last week to oversee the construction of the six space satellites being manufactured for the Russian military. "The Gonets-M satellites have been delivered to the space
 

Dawn ahead!

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎05:54:35 PMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jan 29, 2015
NASA's Dawn spacecraft has returned the sharpest images ever seen of the dwarf planet Ceres. The images were taken 147,000 miles (237,000 kilometers) from Ceres on Jan. 25, and represent a new milestone for a spacecraft that soon will become the first human-made probe to visit a dwarf planet. "We know so little about our vast solar system, but thanks to economical missions like Dawn, those
 

Kepler astronomers discover ancient star with 5 Earth-size planets

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎05:54:35 PMGo to full article
Ames IA (SPX) Jan 29, 2015
Astronomers poring over four years of data from NASA's Kepler spacecraft have discovered a star that's 11.2 billion years old and has at least five Earth-size planets. "We thus show that Earth-size planets have formed throughout most of the Universe's 13.8-billion-year history, leaving open the possibility for the existence of ancient life in the Galaxy," the astronomers wrote in their pap
 

Galactic bubbles offer clues to dark matter

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎05:54:35 PMGo to full article
Oxnard CA (SPX) Jan 29, 2015
Compared to other galaxies, the Milky Way is a peaceful place. But it hasn't always been so sleepy. In 2010, a team of scientists working at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics discovered a pair of "Fermi bubbles" extending tens of thousands of light-years above and below the Milky Way's disk. These structures are enormous balloons of radiation emanating from the center of our
 

What are yellowballs

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎05:54:35 PMGo to full article
Ames IA (SPX) Jan 29, 2015
Some four years ago, a citizen scientist helping the Milky Way Project study Spitzer Space Telescope images for the tell-tale bubble patterns of star formation noticed something else. "Any ideas what these bright yellow fuzzy objects are?" the volunteer wrote on a project message board. Well, that sparked some discussion among the professional astronomers on the Milky Way Project and
 

Surface composition of BL86 studies during Earth flyby

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎05:54:35 PMGo to full article
Tucson AZ (SPX) Jan 29, 2015
Planetary Science Institute researchers Vishnu Reddy and Driss Takir studied the surface composition of near-Earth asteroid 2004 BL86 during its close flyby of Earth early this morning. Remotely operating the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (NASA IRTF) on Mauna Kea, Hawai'i, Reddy and Takir studied infrared sunlight reflected off the asteroid to determine its composition. They were part o
 

An Astro-archaeological find from the dawn of time

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎05:54:35 PMGo to full article
Birmingham, UK (SPX) Jan 29, 2015
Scientists led by University of Birmingham asteroseismologists have discovered a solar system with 5 Earth-sized planets dating back to the dawn of the Galaxy. Thanks to the NASA Kepler mission, the scientists announced today (Tuesday 27 January 2015) in The Astrophysical Journal the observation of a Sun-like star (Kepler-444) hosting 5 planets with sizes between Mercury and Venus. K
 

Building a Better Weather Forecast? SMAP May Help

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎05:54:35 PMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jan 29, 2015
If you were trying to forecast tomorrow's weather, you would probably look up at the sky rather than down at the ground. But if you live in the U.S. Midwest or someplace with a similar climate, one key to a better weather forecast may lie beneath your feet. Precipitation and temperature are part of every weather forecast. Precipitation comes from clouds, clouds are formed of airborne water
 

Satellites for peat's sake

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎05:54:35 PMGo to full article
Paris (ESA) Jan 27, 2015
Satellites can help us to safeguard nature's richest carbon storehouses - peatlands. Peatlands make up just 3% of land but capture twice as much carbon as all forests combined. They are also an important source of drinking water and provide a home to many rare and threatened animals and plants. Ecosystems work best when left intact but these wetland areas are being threatened by human expl
 

SMAP Will Track a Tiny Cog That Keeps Cycles Spinning

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎05:54:35 PMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jan 28, 2015
When you open the back of a fine watch, you see layer upon layer of spinning wheels linked by interlocking cogs, screws and wires. Some of the cogs are so tiny they're barely visible. Size doesn't matter - what's important is that the cogs fit together well so the wheels keep turning smoothly. For centuries, scientists have thought of the Earth system as a series of cycles or interlocking
 

More weather tantrums predicted for 'La Nina' says study

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎05:54:35 PMGo to full article
Paris (AFP) Jan 26, 2015
La Nina, a weather phenomenon that periodically causes devastating droughts and storms, will likely occur more frequently and more violently this century as a result of global warming, researchers said Monday. An exceptionally harsh La Nina like the 1998-9 event which killed thousands of people and displaced millions, will become almost twice as common in the 21st century, according to their
 

Sailing spacecraft LightSail to harness power of solar wind

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎05:54:35 PMGo to full article
Pasadena, Calif. (UPI) Jan 27, 2015
Why burn expensive fuel, when you can harness the kinetic power of the wind - solar wind. It's always been a dream of aerospace engineers to set sail in the cosmos. That possibility is gaining momentum as the space research nonprofit The Planetary Society prepares to launch LightSail, its tissue-box-sized sail-powered spacecraft. "We strongly believe this could be a big part of
 

Drone entrepreneur settles US 'reckless flying' case

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎05:54:35 PMGo to full article
Washington (AFP) Jan 22, 2015
A European entrepreneur who challenged the right of US authorities to regulate small drones has settled his case with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), his lawyer said Thursday. Raphael Pirker will pay $1,100 in the settlement after the FAA had initially slapped Pirker with a $10,000 fine for reckless flying. The fine came when he used a five-pound (2.25 kilogram) Styrofoam dron
 

Climate models disagree on why temperature 'wiggles' occur

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎05:54:35 PMGo to full article
Durham NC (SPX) Jan 28, 2015
A new Duke University-led study finds that most climate models likely underestimate the degree of decade-to-decade variability occurring in mean surface temperatures as Earth's atmosphere warms. The models also provide inconsistent explanations of why this variability occurs in the first place. These discrepancies may undermine the models' reliability for projecting the short-term pace as
 

Nanoshuttle wear and tear: It's the mileage, not the age

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎05:54:35 PMGo to full article
New York NY (SPX) Jan 28, 2015
As nanomachine design rapidly advances, researchers are moving from wondering if the nanomachine works to how long it will work. This is an especially important question as there are so many potential applications, for instance, for medical uses, including drug delivery, early diagnosis, disease monitoring, instrumentation, and surgery. In a new study led by Henry Hess, associate professor
 

Scientists 'bend' elastic waves with new metamaterials

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎05:54:35 PMGo to full article
Columbia MO (SPX) Jan 28, 2015
Sound waves passing through the air, objects that break a body of water and cause ripples, or shockwaves from earthquakes all are considered "elastic" waves. These waves travel at the surface or through a material without causing any permanent changes to the substance's makeup. Now, engineering researchers at the University of Missouri have developed a material that has the ability to cont
 

New telescope concept would image objects far better than Hubble

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎01:46:19 AMGo to full article
Boulder CO (SPX) Jan 28, 2015
University of Colorado Boulder researchers will update NASA officials next week on a revolutionary space telescope concept selected by the agency for study last June that could provide images up to 1,000 times sharper than the Hubble Space Telescope. CU-Boulder Professor Webster Cash said the instrument package would consist of an orbiting space telescope and an opaque disk in front of it
 

Ancient star system has Earth-sized planets forming near start of universe

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎01:46:19 AMGo to full article
Sydney, Australia (SPX) Jan 28, 2015
A Sun-like star with orbiting planets, dating back to the dawn of the Galaxy, has been discovered by an international team of astronomers. At 11.2 billion years old it is the oldest star with earth-sized planets ever found and proves that such planets have formed throughout the history of the Universe. The discovery, announced in the Astrophysical Journal, used observations made by NASA's
 

SpaceBillboard, the first billboard in Space ready for launch

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎01:46:19 AMGo to full article
Leuven, Belgium (SPX) Jan 28, 2015
SpaceBillboard, a supporter of innovative space research, is set to launch the world's first billboard in space in a milestone that marks the increasing importance of CubeSats in Space Exploration. Researchers at KU Leuven University in Belgium came up with the novel idea of launching a real billboard into space to help fund their research on a new line up of NexGen satellites called CubeSats.
 

Black Hole Chokes on a Swallowed Star

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎01:46:19 AMGo to full article
Fort Davis TX (SPX) Jan 28, 2015
A five-year analysis of an event captured by a tiny telescope at McDonald Observatory and followed up by telescopes on the ground and in space has led astronomers to believe they witnessed a giant black hole tear apart a star. The work is published this month in The Astrophysical Journal. On January 21, 2009, the ROTSE IIIb telescope at McDonald caught the flash of an extremely bright even
 

Vanguard Delivers Advanced EHF Bus Structure Assembly

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎01:46:19 AMGo to full article
San Diego CA (SPX) Jan 28, 2015
Vanguard Space Technologies has successfully delivered two primary structural bus assemblies for the Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) Program to its customer, Lockheed Martin. Vanguard was responsible for fabrication, assembly, hardware and component integration and static load test for the complete bus structure on this mission-critical military satellite system. Vanguard de
 

Canadian students design robotic sailboat for Atlantic challenge

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎01:46:19 AMGo to full article
Vancouver, Canada (XNA) Jan 28, 2015
Crossing the Atlantic Ocean by an unmanned sailing boat? Yes, this is a dream of a group of students from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver in west Canada. They've designed a robotic sailboat that will become the first unmanned vessel to cross the Atlantic Ocean. They plan to launch the so-called "Sailbot" off the coast of Newfoundland in the far east of Canada this sum
 

Russian Scientists Study Cosmic Dust at Unique Open-Air Lab in Antarctic

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎01:46:19 AMGo to full article
Moscow, Russia (Sputnik) Jan 28, 2015
The laboratory, which is located inland near Russia's Vostok Station in Princess Elizabeth Land, Antarctic, will help scientists explore cosmic dust particles, the Russian online newspaper Gazeta.ru reported on Sunday. Sergei Bulat of the St. Petersburg Institute of Nuclear Physics touted a sophisticated technology that he said is being used by the lab. "No one has ever applied such
 

Satellites catch Austfonna shedding ice

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎01:46:19 AMGo to full article
Paris (ESA) Jan 28, 2015
Rapid ice loss in a remote Arctic ice cap has been detected by the Sentinel-1A and CryoSat satellites. Located on Norway's Nordaustlandet island in the Svalbard archipelago, parts of the Austfonna ice cap have thinned by more than 50 m since 2012 - about a sixth of the ice's thickness. Over the last two decades, ice loss from the southeast region of Austfonna has increased significantly, a
 

New HESS discovery in Science

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎01:46:19 AMGo to full article
Johannesburg, South Africa (SPX) Jan 28, 2015
Wits scientists are part of a multinational team of astronomers working on the High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.) telescopes that have again demonstrated its excellent capabilities in searching for high-energy gamma rays. In the latest discovery, H.E.S.S. found three extremely luminous gamma-ray sources in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a satellite dwarf galaxy of the Milky Way.
 

NASA Data Peers into Greenland's Ice Sheet

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎01:46:19 AMGo to full article
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Jan 28, 2015
Scientists using ice-penetrating radar data collected by NASA's Operation IceBridge and earlier airborne campaigns have built the first-ever comprehensive map of layers deep inside the Greenland Ice Sheet. This new map allows scientists to determine the age of large swaths of Greenland's ice, extending ice core data for a better picture of the ice sheet's history. "This new, huge data volu
 

Congressman claims relying on GLONASS jeopardizes US lives

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎01:46:19 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (Sputnik) Jan 28, 2015
Depending on a Russian satellite system to route US emergency phone calls, as outlined in a proposal being considered by the US government's main communications agency, would endanger the lives of American citizens, US Congressman Mike Rogers' spokesperson Shea Miller told Sputnik. "Using Russian technology could make any emergency situation even worse because Russia doesn't play by the ru
 

SOHO and Hinode Offer New Insight Into Solar Eruptions

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎01:46:19 AMGo to full article
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Jan 28, 2015
The sun is home to the largest explosions in the solar system. For example, it regularly produces huge eruptions known as coronal mass ejections - when billions of tons of solar material erupt off the sun, spewing into space and racing toward the very edges of the solar system. Scientists know that these ejections, called CMEs, are caused by magnetic energy building up on the sun, which suddenly
 

Something Special in the Air

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎01:46:19 AMGo to full article
Laurel MD (SPX) Jan 28, 2015
The earliest stages of our Pluto encounter have begun, and New Horizons remains healthy and on course. Already, the SWAP, PEPSSI and SDC instruments are taking daily science data - measuring the charged particle and dust environment of the space near Pluto's orbit. Next week, on Jan. 25, the sensitive LORRI long focal length camera aboard New Horizons will begin imaging the Pluto system fo
 

Russia Develops Two New Drones, Ready for Testing

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎01:46:19 AMGo to full article
Moscow, Russia (Sputnik) Jan 27, 2015
The Russian United Instrument Corporation (UIC) has constructed two prototype versions of reconnaissance and strike drones, code-named "Chirok," and is currently preparing them for tests, a source at UIC told RIA Novosti Friday. The source explained that currently there are three models of reconnaissance and strike drones (RSD) "Chirok." One of these is a mock-up copy, two others are full-
 

DSCOVR set for voyage to "far out" orbit

 
‎27 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎06:17:09 AMGo to full article
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Jan 27, 2015
Many satellites that monitor the Earth orbit relatively close to the planet, while some satellites that monitor the sun orbit our star. DSCOVR will keep an eye on both, with a focus on the sun. To cover both the Earth and sun, it will have an unusual orbit in a place called L1. The Deep Space Climate Observatory, or DSCOVR, spacecraft will orbit between Earth and the sun, observing and pro
 

Swarm of microprobes to head for Jupiter

 
‎27 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎06:17:09 AMGo to full article
Toronto, Canada (SPX) Jan 27, 2015
A swarm of tiny probes each with a different sensor could be fired into the clouds of Jupiter and grab data as they fall before burning up in the gas giant planet's atmosphere. The probes would last an estimated 15 minutes according to planetary scientists writing in the International Journal Space Science and Engineering. Transmitting 20 megabits of data over fifteen minutes would be suff
 

NASA, Boeing, SpaceX Outline Objectives to ISS Flights

 
‎27 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎06:17:09 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Jan 27, 2015
American spacecraft systems testing followed by increasingly complex flight tests and ultimately astronauts flying orbital flights will pave the way to operational missions during the next few years to the International Space Station. Those were the plans laid out Monday by NASA's Commercial Crew Program officials and partners as they focus on developing safe, reliable and cost-effective s
 

In theory black holes exist with unbounded speeds of propagation

 
‎27 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎06:17:09 AMGo to full article
Singapore (SPX) Jan 27, 2015
Lorentz invariance (LI) is a cornerstone of modern physics, and strongly supported by observations. In fact, all the experiments carried out so far are consistent with it, and no evidence to show that such a symmetry needs to be broken at a certain energy scale. Nevertheless, there are various reasons to construct gravitational theories with broken LI. In particular, our understanding of s
 

Space Launch System Booster Aimed and Ready to Fire

 
‎27 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎06:17:09 AMGo to full article
Huntsville AL (SPX) Jan 27, 2015
A full-scale version of the booster for NASA's new rocket, the Space Launch System, is ready to fire for a major ground test and is paving the way on NASA's journey to Mars. When completed, two five-segment boosters and four RS-25 engines will power the SLS to orbit and enable astronauts to explore destinations in deep space, including an asteroid and the Red Planet. The two-minute,
 

Asteroid That Flew Past Earth Has Moon

 
‎27 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎06:17:09 AMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jan 27, 2015
Scientists working with NASA's 230-foot-wide (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California, have released the first radar images of asteroid 2004 BL86. The images show the asteroid, which made its closest approach today (Jan. 26, 2015) at 8:19 a.m. PST (11:19 a.m. EST) at a distance of about 745,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers, or 3.1 times the distance from Earth to the moon)
 

M-TeX and MIST Experiments Launched from Alaska

 
‎27 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎06:17:09 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Jan 27, 2015
The Mesosphere-Lower Thermosphere Turbulence Experiment, or M-TeX, and the Mesospheric Inversion-layer Stratified Turbulence, or MIST, experiment were successfully conducted the morning of Jan. 26, 2015, from the Poker Flat Research Range, Alaska. The first M-Tex rocket, a NASA Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket, was launched at 4:13 a.m. EST and was followed one-minute later by the
 

Gigantic ring system around J1407b much larger, heavier than Saturn's

 
‎27 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎06:17:09 AMGo to full article
Rochester NY (SPX) Jan 27, 2015
Astronomers at the Leiden Observatory, The Netherlands, and the University of Rochester, USA, have discovered that the ring system that they see eclipse the very young Sun-like star J1407 is of enormous proportions, much larger and heavier than the ring system of Saturn. The ring system - the first of its kind to be found outside our solar system - was discovered in 2012 by a team led by Rochest
 

NASA's CATS Installed on ISS by Robotic Handoff

 
‎27 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎06:17:09 AMGo to full article
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Jan 27, 2015
On Jan. 22, 2015, robotic flight controllers successfully installed NASA's Cloud Aerosol Transport System (CATS) aboard the International Space Station through a robotic handoff - the first time one robotic arm on station has worked in concert with a second robotic arm. CATS will collect data about clouds, volcanic ash plumes and tiny airborne particles that can help improve our understand
 

Virgin Galactic Appoints Mark Stucky as Pilot

 
‎27 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎06:17:09 AMGo to full article
Mojave CA (SPX) Jan 27, 2015
Virgin Galactic, the privately-funded space company owned by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group and Abu Dhabi's Aabar Investments PJS, is pleased to announce the appointment of Mark 'Forger' Stucky as pilot. Stucky will join Virgin Galactic's commercial flight team responsible for flying WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo: Chief Pilot Dave Mackay and pilots Frederick 'CJ' Sturckow, Michael 'S
 

911 Assc says lobbyist behind tactics to derail GLONASS

 
‎27 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎06:17:09 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (Sputnik) Jan 27, 2015
US lobbyist is behind a campaign to derail a proposal being considered by the US government's main communications agency to use Russian satellites to help first responders more accurately locate 911 calls from cell phones, the director of government affairs for the National Emergency Number Association Trey Forgety told Sputnik. "This retired admiral has gone to the Department of Defense a
 

Boeing will be first to carry US astronauts to space

 
‎27 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎06:17:09 AMGo to full article
Miami (AFP) Jan 26, 2015
Boeing will be the first commercial company to carry a NASA astronaut to space in July 2017 under a contract with the US space agency, followed by its competitor SpaceX, officials said Monday. NASA is funneling billions of dollars to both companies so that they can replace American access to the orbiting International Space Station after the US space shuttle program was retired in 2011.
 

Cosmic puzzle settled: Comets give us shooting stars

 
‎27 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎06:17:09 AMGo to full article
Paris (AFP) Jan 26, 2015
Suspicions that shooting stars come from comet dust, transformed into fiery streaks as they hit Earth's atmosphere, have been bolstered by Europe's Rosetta space mission, scientists reported Monday. Comets and asteroids have both been eyed as possible progenitors of meteors, also known as shooting or falling stars - and now particles spewed from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko have provide
 

Scientists befuddled by mysterious white spot on Ceres

 
‎27 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎06:17:09 AMGo to full article
Pasadena, Calif. (UPI) Jan 26, 2015
Everyday, NASA's Dawn probe gets a bit closer to the dwarf planet Ceres. They're hoping this history-making flyby can answer questions and offer scientists a new and improved understanding of the glorified asteroid. But so far, Ceres is all mystery. Scientists on the Dawn mission are especially puzzled by a strange shiny white spot seen on the surface of the mini planet. Last wee
 

Colorado scientists pitch concept for telescope better than Hubble

 
‎27 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎06:17:09 AMGo to full article
Boulder, Colo. (UPI) Jan 26, 2015
In the world of telescopes, it doesn't get much better than Hubble's resolution. The Hubble Space Telescope has provided astronomers with some of the most detailed images of distant space ever captured. But there's always room for improvement. And scientists at the University of Colorado, Boulder say they've got a strategy for honing in ever more precisely on the distant corners of the
 

More Astronauts for China

 
‎26 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎10:43:50 PMGo to full article
Sydney, Australia (SPX) Jan 26, 2015
The next Chinese crewed space mission won't fly until 2016. China is expected to send a crew of three astronauts to the Tiangong 2 space laboratory, which is expected to launch in the same year. Right now, nobody knows who will be aboard the Shenzhou 11 spacecraft, which will carry these astronauts to the laboratory. The Chinese themselves probably won't even have a rough idea for at least
 

New research re-creates planet formation in the lab

 
‎26 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎10:43:50 PMGo to full article
Livermore CA (SPX) Jan 26, 2015
New laser-driven compression experiments reproduce the conditions deep inside exotic super-Earths and giant planet cores, and the conditions during the violent birth of Earth-like planets, documenting the material properties that determined planets' formation and evolution processes. The experiments, reported in Science, reveal the unusual properties of silica - the key constituent of rock
 

Planetary Society announces test flight for LightSail

 
‎26 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎10:43:50 PMGo to full article
Pasadena, CA (SPX) Jan 26, 2015
The Planetary Society today announced the first of its LightSail spacecraft will embark on a May 2015 test flight. Funded entirely by private citizens, the solar sail satellite will hitch a ride to space aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The mission will test LightSail's critical functions, a precursor to a second mission slated for 2016. That secon
 

Stardust shows gold and uranium alchemy in stars less than expected

 
‎26 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎10:43:50 PMGo to full article
Jerusalem, Israel (SPX) Jan 26, 2015
Researchers combing the ocean depths have made a surprising discovery about the frequency with which stars beyond our solar system produce special heavy elements such as gold and uranium. Stellar explosions such as supernovae or star collisions emit extremely bright light and vast amounts of energy and heavy matter. Half of the heavy elements in nature, including gold and uranium, are crea
 

New laser could upgrade the images in tomorrow's technology

 
‎26 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎10:43:50 PMGo to full article
New Haven CT (SPX) Jan 26, 2015
A new semiconductor laser developed at Yale has the potential to significantly improve the imaging quality of the next generation of high-tech microscopes, laser projectors, photolithography, holography, and biomedical imaging. Based on a chaotic cavity laser, the technology combines the brightness of traditional lasers with the lower image corruption of light emitting diodes (LEDs). The s
 

NASA craft set to beam home close-ups of Pluto

 
‎26 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎10:43:50 PMGo to full article
Washington (AFP) Jan 25, 2015
Nine years after leaving Earth, the New Horizons spacecraft is at last drawing close to Pluto and on Sunday was expected to start shooting photographs of the dwarf planet. The first mission to Pluto began in January 2006 when an Atlas V rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida and hauled the piano-sized New Horizons craft away from Earth and on a three-billion mile journey. "New
 

Microsoft HoloLens goggles captivate with holograms

 
‎26 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎10:43:50 PMGo to full article
San Francisco (AFP) Jan 25, 2015
Microsoft's HoloLens goggles have hit a sweet spot between Google Glass and virtual reality headgear, immersing users in a mesmerizing world of augmented reality holograms. The glasses, which the US technology titan sprang on an unsuspecting press this week, elicited descriptions such as "magical" and "unbelievable," the first time in a while such praise was heaped on a Microsoft creation.
 

Rare view of three moons casting shadows on Jupiter

 
‎26 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎10:43:50 PMGo to full article
Los Angeles (UPI) Jan 24, 2015
The shadows of three moons orbiting Jupiter were viewable on Friday night. The event was streamed live on the Griffith Observatory website from California. The shadow of Callisto came first, followed by Io and Europa. The event lasted for roughly 25 minutes. This kind of event will not occur again until 2032. Jupiter is said to have 67 moons, which makes it the planet with
 

The path to artificial photosynthesis

 
‎26 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎10:43:50 PMGo to full article
Berlin, Germany (SPX) Jan 26, 2015
Through their work, Professor Emad Aziz, head of the HZB Institute "Methods for Material Development", Professor Leone Spiccia from Monash University and their teams have taken an important leap forward in understanding photosynthesis - the method green plants use to obtain energy - in artificial systems. These findings of the team have been published in the journal ChemSUSChem (DOI: DOI:
 

Scientists slow down light particles

 
‎26 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎10:43:50 PMGo to full article
Glasgow, Scotland (UPI) Jan 23, 2015
The speed of light is a limit, not a constant - that's what researchers in Glasgow, Scotland, say. A group of them just proved that light can be slowed down, permanently. Scientists already knew light could be slowed temporarily. Photons change speeds as they pass through glass or water, but when they exit the other side and return to a vacuum (like outer space) they speed back up.
 

Scientists invent 3-D printer 'teleporter'

 
‎26 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎10:43:50 PMGo to full article
Potsdam, Germany (UPI) Jan 23, 2015
Scientists at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany, say they've invented the world's first teleporter. Naturally, it's named "Scotty" after Star Trek's enterprising engineer Mr. Scott. "We present a simple self-contained appliance that allows relocating inanimate physical objects across distance," the researchers wrote in the paper submitted to the Tangible, Embedded and Emb
 

Roscosmos, NASA Still Planning on Sending Men Into Space

 
‎26 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎07:05:52 AMGo to full article
Moscow, Russia (Sputnik) Jan 23, 2015
Piloted space flight programs will be the focus of cooperation between the Russian and US space agencies, new Roscosmos head, Igor Komarov, said Thursday. According to Komarov, NASA is interested in continuing cooperation with Russia in manned space exploration despite the difficult geopolitical situation. "It will be the key area of our cooperation with NASA," Komarov said. "I beli
 

SES Entrusts Arianespace With SES-12

 
‎26 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎07:05:52 AMGo to full article
Betzdorf, Luxembourg (SPX) Jan 24, 2015
SES has announced that the company has selected Arianespace to launch the powerful new hybrid communications satellite, SES-12, on board an Ariane 5 booster from the European Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, during Q4 2017. This will be the 40th launch of an SES spacecraft on board an European Ariane launch vehicle. The new satellite will expand SES's capabilities to provide direct-t
 

Black hole on a diet creates a 'changing look' quasar

 
‎26 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎07:05:52 AMGo to full article
New Haven CT (SPX) Jan 24, 2015
Yale University astronomers have identified the first "changing look" quasar, a gleaming object in deep space that appears to have its own dimmer switch. The discovery may offer a glimpse into the life story of the universe's great beacons. Quasars are massive, luminous objects that draw their energy from black holes. Until now, scientists have been unable to study both the bright and dim
 

SPIDER Experiment Touches Down in Antarctica

 
‎26 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎07:05:52 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Jan 24, 2015
After spending 16 days suspended from a giant helium balloon floating 115,000 feet (35,000 meters) above Antarctica, a scientific instrument dubbed SPIDER has landed in a remote region of the frozen continent. Conceived of and built by an international team of scientists, the instrument was launched from McMurdo Station on New Year's Day. The California Institute of Technology and NASA's J
 

Rogozin Says Russia Must Continue International Space Cooperation

 
‎24 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎08:47:51 AMGo to full article
Moscow, Russia (Sputnik) Jan 23, 2015
Introducing the new head of Russia's Federal Space Agency Roscosmos, Rogozin, who oversees Russia's defense and space industries, said that the creation of the Roscosmos state corporation would help developing this cooperation. Igor Komarov was appointed Wednesday the head of Roscosmos until the establishment of the corporation on the basis of the current federal agency and the United Rock

 

 
News About Time And Space
 

Black Hole Chokes on a Swallowed Star

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎01:58:49 AMGo to full article
Fort Davis TX (SPX) Jan 28, 2015 - A five-year analysis of an event captured by a tiny telescope at McDonald Observatory and followed up by telescopes on the ground and in space has led astronomers to believe they witnessed a giant black hole tear apart a star. The work is published this month in The Astrophysical Journal.

On January 21, 2009, the ROTSE IIIb telescope at McDonald caught the flash of an extremely bright event. The telescope's wide field of view takes pictures of large swathes of sky every night, looking for newly exploding stars as part of the ROTSE Supernova Verification Project (RSVP). Software then compares successive photos to find bright "new" objects in the sky - transient events like the explosion of a star or a gamma-ray burst.

With a magnitude of -22.5, this 2009 event was as bright as the "superluminous supernovae" (a new category of the brightest stellar explosions known) that the ROTSE team discovered at McDonald in recent years. The team nicknamed the 2009 event "Dougie," after a character in the cartoon South Park. (Its technical name is ROTSE3J120847.9+430121.)

The team thought Dougie might be a supernova, and set about looking for its host galaxy (which would be much too faint for ROTSE to see). They found that the Sloan Digital Sky Survey had mapped a faint red galaxy at Dougie's location. The team followed that up with new observations of the galaxy with one of the giant Keck telescopes in Hawaii, pinpointing the galaxy's distance at three billion light-years.

These deductions meant Dougie had a home - but just what was he? Team members had four possibilities: a superluminous supernova; a merger of two neutron stars; a gamma-ray burst; or a "tidal disruption event" - a star being pulled apart as it neared its host galaxy's central black hole.

To narrow it down, they studied Dougie in various ways. They made ultraviolet observations with the orbiting Swift telescope, and took many spectra from the ground with the 9.2-meter Hobby-Eberly Telescope at McDonald.

Finally, they used computer models of how the light from different possible physical processes that might explain how Dougie would behave - how it varies in brightness over time, and what chemical signatures it might show - and compared them to Dougie's actual behavior.

In detail, Dougie did not look like a supernova. The neutron star merger and gamma-ray burst possibilities were similarly eliminated.

"When we discovered this new object, it looked similar to supernovae we had known already," said lead author Jozsef Vinko of the University of Szeged in Hungary. "But when we kept monitoring its light variation, we realized that this was something nobody really saw before. Finding out that it was probably a supermassive black hole eating a star was a fascinating experience," Vinko said.

Team member J. Craig Wheeler, leader of the supernova group at The University of Texas at Austin, elaborated. "We got the idea that it might be a 'tidal disruption' event," he said, explaining that means that the enormous gravity of a black hole pulls on one side of the star harder than the other side, creating tides that rip the star apart.

"A star wanders near a black hole, the star's side nearer the black hole is pulled" on more than the star's far side, he said. "These especially large tides can be strong enough that you pull the star out into a noodle" shape.

The star "doesn't fall directly into the black hole," Wheeler said. "It might form a disk first. But the black hole is destined to swallow most of that material."

Though astronomers have seen black holes swallow stars before - though less than a dozen times - this one is special even in that rare company: It's not going down easy.

Models by team members James Guillochon of Harvard and Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz at the University of California, Santa Cruz, showed that the disrupted stellar matter was generating so much radiation that it pushed back on the infall. The black hole was choking on the rapidly infalling matter.

Based on the characteristics of the light from Dougie, and their deductions of the star's original mass, the team has determined that Dougie started out as a Sun-like star, before being ripped apart.

Their observations of the host galaxy, coupled with Dougie's behavior, led them to surmise that the galaxy's central black hole has the "rather modest" mass of about a million Suns, Wheeler said.

Delving into Dougie's behavior has unexpectedly resulted in learning more about small, distant galaxies, Wheeler said, musing "Who knew this little guy had a black hole?"

 

 

Yes, black holes exist in gravitational theories with unbounded speeds of propagation!

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎01:58:49 AMGo to full article
Singapore (SPX) Jan 27, 2015 - Lorentz invariance (LI) is a cornerstone of modern physics, and strongly supported by observations. In fact, all the experiments carried out so far are consistent with it, and no evidence to show that such a symmetry needs to be broken at a certain energy scale. Nevertheless, there are various reasons to construct gravitational theories with broken LI.

In particular, our understanding of space-times at Plank scale is still highly limited, and the renomalizability and unitarity of gravity often lead to the violation of LI.

One concrete example is the Horava theory of quantum gravity, in which the LI is broken in the ultraviolet (UV), and the theory can include higher-dimensional spatial derivative operators, so that the UV behavior is dramatically improved and can be made (power-counting) renormalizable.

On the other hand, the exclusion of high-dimensional time derivative operators prevents the ghost instability, whereby the unitarity of the theory -- a problem that has been faced since 1977 [ K.S. Stelle, Phys. Rev. D16, 953 (1977)] -- is assured. In the infrared (IR) the lower dimensional operators take over, whereby a healthy low-energy limit is presumably resulted.

However, once LI is broken different species of particles can travel with different velocities, and in certain theories , such as the Horava theory mentioned above, they can be even arbitrarily large.

This suggests that black holes may not exist at all in such theories, as any signal initially trapped inside a horizon can penetrate it and propagate to infinity, as long as the signal has sufficiently large velocity (or energy). This seems in a sharp conflict with current observations, which strongly suggest that black holes exist in our universe [R. Narayan and J.E. MacClintock, Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 419, L69 (2012)].

A potential breakthrough was made recently by Blas and Sibiryakov [D. Blas and S. Sibiryakov, Phys. Rev. D84, 124043 (2011)], who found that there still exist absolute causal boundaries, the so-called universal horizons, and particles even with infinitely large velocities would just move around on these boundaries and cannot escape to infinity.

This has immediately attracted lot of attention. In particular, it was shown that the universal horizon radiates like a blackbody at a fixed temperature, and obeys the first law of black hole mechanics [P. Berglund, J. Bhattacharyya, and D. Mattingly, Phys. Rev. D85, 124019 (2012); Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 071301 (2013)]. The main idea is as follows: In a given space-time, a globally timelike foliation parametrized by a scalar field, the so-called khronon, might exist.

Then, there is a surface at which the khronon diverges, while physically nothing singular happens there, including the metric and the space-time. Given that the khronon defines an absolute time, any object crossing this surface from the interior would necessarily also move back in absolute time, which is something forbidden by the definition of the causality of the theory. Thus, even particles with superluminal velocities cannot penetrate this surface, once they are trapped inside it.

In all studies of universal horizons carried out so far the khronon is part of the gravitational theory involved. To generalize the conception of the universal horizons to any gravitational theory with broken LI, recently Lin, Abdalla, Cai and Wang promoted the khronon to a test field, a similar role played by a Killing vector, so its existence does not affect the given space-time, but defines the properties of it.

By this way, such a field is no longer part of the underlaid gravitational theory and it may or may not exist in a given space-time, depending on the properties of the space-time considered. Then, they showed that the universal horizons indeed exist, by constructing concrete static charged solutions of the Horava gravity.

More important, they showed that such horizons exist not only in the IR limit of the theory, as has been considered so far in the literature, but also in the full Horava theory of gravity, that is, when high-order operators are not negligible.

 

 

Black hole on a diet creates a 'changing look' quasar

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎01:58:49 AMGo to full article
New Haven CT (SPX) Jan 24, 2015 - Yale University astronomers have identified the first "changing look" quasar, a gleaming object in deep space that appears to have its own dimmer switch. The discovery may offer a glimpse into the life story of the universe's great beacons.

Quasars are massive, luminous objects that draw their energy from black holes. Until now, scientists have been unable to study both the bright and dim phases of a quasar in a single source.

As described in an upcoming edition of The Astrophysical Journal, Yale-led researchers spotted a quasar that had dimmed by a factor of six or seven, compared with observations from a few years earlier.

"We've looked at hundreds of thousands of quasars at this point, and now we've found one that has switched off," said C. Megan Urry, Yale's Israel Munson Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics, and the study's principal investigator. "This may tell us something about their lifetimes."

Stephanie LaMassa, a Yale associate research scientist, noticed the phenomenon during an ongoing probe of Stripe 82 -- a sliver of the sky found along the Celestial Equator. Stripe 82 has been scanned in numerous astronomical surveys, including the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.

"This is like a dimmer switch," LaMassa said. "The power source just went dim. Because the life cycle of a quasar is one of the big unknowns, catching one as it changes, within a human lifetime, is amazing."

Even more significant for astronomers was the weakening of the quasar's broad emission lines. Visible on the optical spectrum, these broad emission lines are signatures of gas that is too distant to be consumed by a black hole, yet close enough to be "excited" by energy from material that does fall into a black hole.

The change in the emission lines is what told researchers that the black hole had essentially gone on a diet, and was giving off less energy as a result. That's when the "changing look" quasar hit its dimmer switch, and most of its broad emission lines disappeared.

The Yale team analyzed a variety of observation data, including recent optical spectra information and archival optical photometry and X-ray spectra information. They needed to rule out the possibility the quasar merely appeared to lose brightness, due to a gas cloud or other object passing in front of it.

The findings may prove invaluable on several fronts. First, they provide direct information about the intermittent nature of quasar activity; even more intriguingly, they hint at the sporadic activity of black holes.

"It makes a difference to know how black holes grow," Urry said, noting that all galaxies have black holes, and quasars are a phase that black holes go through before becoming dormant. "This perhaps has implications for how the Milky Way looks today."

Additionally, there is the chance the quasar may fire up again, showing astronomers yet another changing look.

"Even though astronomers have been studying quasars for more than 50 years, it's exciting that someone like me, who has studied black holes for almost a decade, can find something completely new," LaMassa said.

 

 

Scientists set quantum speed limit

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎01:58:49 AMGo to full article
Berkeley CA (SPX) Jan 28, 2015 - University of California, Berkeley, scientists have proved a fundamental relationship between energy and time that sets a "quantum speed limit" on processes ranging from quantum computing and tunneling to optical switching.

The energy-time uncertainty relationship is the flip side of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, which sets limits on how precisely you can measure position and speed, and has been the bedrock of quantum mechanics for nearly 100 years. It has become so well-known that it has infected literature and popular culture with the idea that the act of observing affects what we observe.

Not long after German physicist Werner Heisenberg, one of the pioneers of quantum mechanics, proposed his relationship between position and speed, other scientists deduced that energy and time were related in a similar way, implying limits on the speed with which systems can jump from one energy state to another.

The most common application of the energy-time uncertainty relationship has been in understanding the decay of excited states of atoms, where the minimum time it takes for an atom to jump to its ground state and emit light is related to the uncertainty of the energy of the excited state.

"This is the first time the energy-time uncertainty principle has been put on a rigorous basis - our arguments don't appeal to experiment, but come directly from the structure of quantum mechanics," said chemical physicist K. Birgitta Whaley, director of the Berkeley Quantum Information and Computation Center and a UC Berkeley professor of chemistry. "Before, the principle was just kind of thrown into the theory of quantum mechanics."

The new derivation of the energy-time uncertainty has application for any measurement involving time, she said, particularly in estimating the speed with which certain quantum processes - such as calculations in a quantum computer - will occur.

"The uncertainty principle really limits how precise your clocks can be," said first author Ty Volkoff, a graduate student who just received his Ph.D. in chemistry from UC Berkeley. "In a quantum computer, it limits how fast you can go from one state to the other, so it puts limits on the clock speed of your computer."

The new proof could even affect recent estimates of the computational power of the universe, which rely on the energy-time uncertainty principle.

Volkoff and Whaley included the derivation of the uncertainty principle in a larger paper devoted to a detailed analysis of distinguishable quantum states that appeared online Dec. 18 in the journal Physical Review A.

The problem of precision measurement
Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, proposed in 1927, states that it's impossible to measure precisely both the position and speed - or more properly, momentum - of an object. That is, the uncertainty in measurement of the position times the uncertainty in measurement of momentum will always be greater than or equal to Planck's constant. Planck's constant is an extremely small number (6.62606957 + 10-34 square meter-kilogram/second) that describes the graininess of space.

To physicists, an equally useful principle relates the uncertainties of measuring both time and energy: The variance of the energy of a quantum state times the lifetime of the state cannot be less than Planck's constant.

"When students first learn about time-energy uncertainty, they learn about the lifetime of atomic states or emission line widths in spectroscopy, which are very physical but empirical notions," Volkoff said.

This observed relationship was first addressed mathematically in a 1945 paper by two Russian physicists who dealt only with transitions between two obviously distinct energy states.

The new analysis by Volkoff and Whaley applies to all types of experiments, including those in which the beginning and end states may not be entirely distinct. The analysis allows scientists to calculate how long it will take for such states to be distinguishable from one another at any level of certainty.

"In many experiments that examine the time evolution of a quantum state, the experimenters are dealing with endpoints where the states are not completely distinguishable," Volkoff said. "But you couldn't determine the minimum time that process would take from our current understanding of the energy-time uncertainty."

Most experiments dealing with light, as in the fields of spectroscopy and quantum optics, involve states that are not entirely distinct, he said. These states evolve on time scales of the order of femtoseconds - millionths of a billionth of a second.

Alternatively, scientists working on quantum computers aim to establish entangled quantum states that evolve and perform a computation with speeds on the order of nanoseconds.

"Our analysis reveals that a minimal finite length of time must elapse in order to achieve a given success rate for distinguishing an initial quantum state from its time-evolved image using an optimal measurement," Whaley said.

The new analysis could help determine the times required for quantum tunneling, such as the tunneling of electrons through the band-gap of a semiconductor or the tunneling of atoms in biological proteins.

It also could be useful in a new field called "weak measurement," which involves tracking small changes in a quantum system, such as entangled qubits in a quantum computer, as the system evolves. No one measurement sees a state that is purely distinct from the previous state.

 

 

Inside the big wormhole

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎01:58:49 AMGo to full article
Trieste, Italy (SPX) Jan 22, 2015 - "If we combine the map of the dark matter in the Milky Way with the most recent Big Bang model to explain the universe and we hypothesise the existence of space-time tunnels, what we get is that our galaxy could really contain one of these tunnels, and that the tunnel could even be the size of the galaxy itself. But there's more", explains Paolo Salucci, astrophysicist of the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) of Trieste and a dark matter expert.

"We could even travel through this tunnel, since, based on our calculations, it could be navigable. Just like the one we've all seen in the recent film 'Interstellar'". Salucci is among the authors of the paper recently published in Annals of Physics.

Although space-time tunnels (or wormholes or Einstein-Penrose bridges) have only recently gained great popularity among the public thanks to Christopher Nolan's sci-fi film, they have been the focus of astrophysicists' attention for many years.

"What we tried to do in our study was to solve the very equation that the astrophysicist 'Murph' was working on. Clearly we did it long before the film came out" jokes Salucci. "It is, in fact, an extremely interesting problem for dark matter studies".

"Obviously we're not claiming that our galaxy is definitely a wormhole, but simply that, according to theoretical models, this hypothesis is a possibility". Can it ever be tested experimentally? "In principle, we could test it by comparing two galaxies - our galaxy and another, very close one like, for example, the Magellanic Cloud, but we are still very far from any actual possibility of making such a comparison".

To reach their conclusions the astrophysicists combined the equations of general relativity with an extremely detailed map of the distribution of dark matter in the Milky Way: "the map was one we obtained in a study we carried out in 2013", explains Salucci. "Beyond the sci-fi hypothesis, our research is interesting because it proposes a more complex reflection on dark matter".

As Salucci points out, scientists have long tried to explain dark matter by hypothesising the existence of a particular particle, the neutralino, which, however, has never been identified at CERN or observed in the universe. But alternative theories also exist that don't rely on the particle, "and perhaps it's time for scientists to take this issue 'seriously'", concludes Salucci.

"Dark matter may be 'another dimension', perhaps even a major galactic transport system. In any case, we really need to start asking ourselves what it is".

 

 

Two or one splashing... It's different

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎01:58:49 AMGo to full article
Bonn, Germany (SPX) Jan 23, 2015 - If two children splash in the sea high water waves will emerge due to constructive superposition. Different observations are made for the microscopic world in an experiment at the University of Bonn, where physicists used a laser beam to generate light waves from two cesium atoms.

The light waves were reflected back from two parallel mirrors. It turned out that this experimental arrangement suppressed the emergence of high light waves. With their results, which are published now in the "Physical Review Letters", the scientists observed the most fundamental scenario of light-matter interaction with two atoms.

The physicists at the University of Bonn confined two levitating cesium atoms in a light cage for photons. A laser beam continuously irradiated the two atoms, which scattered the laser light similar to levitating dust in a sunbeam. The scattered light waves superimpose and were reflected back onto the atoms by two parallel mirrors.

"We expected that two atoms in such a cage would behave differently from a single atom" says first author Dr. Rene Reimann, colleague of Prof. Dr. Dieter Meschede at the "Institut fur Angewandte Physik", University of Bonn.

This matches with our everyday experience: Two splashing children in the sea produce different water waves than a single child. However, for the light cage with the light waves emitted from the two atoms the analogy to the splashing children in the sea does not fully hold. Here no high light waves are observed.

Backaction suppresses high light waves
The surprising situation of the two atoms inside the light cage can be illustrated with two children in a swimming pool instead of the sea. Here the children create water waves that are partially reflected from the pool edge. Now the reflected waves and the forward running waves cancel each other.

"Due to this feedback two children can in the best case generate barely higher waves than a single child". Albeit by changing the distance between them, the kids in the pool can change the height of the water waves.

Keeping this in mind one can understand the situation of the two cesium atoms in the experiment: Even in the best case when the light waves of the two atoms constructively interfere barely more photons could be counted compared to the one atom case. "It became clear that the mirrors introduce a strong backaction that hinders the emergence of high light waves", describes Dieter Meschede.

New insights in light-matter interaction
Nevertheless minimal position changes of the levitating cesium atoms in the light cage can be detected through distinct changes in the height of the superimposed light waves.

"Up to now this was not possible. Now, this opens up new insights and experimental possibilities for the light-atom interaction of two-atom systems", says Rene Reimann. These new possibilities could support forward-looking technologies like quantum memories and quantum networks for telecommunication and computation.

So far, international teams of scientists observed the interaction of a single or many atoms with photons in a light cage. For his fundamental contributions to this research, Serge Haroche was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics in 2012.

Now, the physicists from Bonn achieved to observe the interaction of exactly two atoms in a light cage. "With this experiment the most fundamental case of collective light-matter interaction has been realized", says Dieter Meschede.

The research group "Quantum Technologies" at the University of Bonn experimentally investigates the controlled interaction between atoms and light. The group is focusing on the generation of particular quantum mechanical states.

 

 

Only the lonely...(reveal the secrets of atomic nuclei)

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎01:58:49 AMGo to full article
Warsaw, Poland (SPX) Jan 23, 2015 - Individual protons and neutrons in atomic nuclei turn out not to behave according to the predictions made by existing theoretical models. This surprising conclusion, reached by an international team of physicists including staff members from the Faculty of Physics at the University of Warsaw (UW), forces us to reconsider how we have been describing large atomic nuclei for the past several decades.

Atomic nuclei shape the nature of our reality: around 99.9% of the mass of all matter is contained within them. Yet in spite of their ubiquity and significance, they still remain relatively poorly understood by contemporary physics.

The main barrier to formulating a consistent theoretical description of atomic nuclei is the complexity of the interactions between their component particles, namely protons and neutrons. The situation becomes even more complicated when the nucleus contains a high number of particles.

Writing in the prestigious physics journal Physical Review Letters, a team of scientists from Poland (UW Faculty of Physics), Finland and Sweden have demonstrated that we have to modify the existing model of atomic nuclei containing a significant and almost magic number of both protons and neutrons.

"We have shown that one of the two main physical factors taken into consideration in our models of certain large atomic nuclei is not actually all that significant. In practice, this means that the physics of such nuclei operate in a slightly different way than previously thought," says Prof. Jacek Dobaczewski from the Institute of Theoretical Physics at the UW Faculty of Physics.

When physicists describe the motion of electrons in atoms, they generally assume that they move in an electrostatic field originating from the neighbouring electrons and from the distant atomic nucleus.

The model predicts the formation of distinct electron shells with different capacities: the first can fit the maximum of 2 electrons, with 8 on the second, 18 on the third, and so on. Physicists also apply a similar model to the atomic nuclei themselves; however, this is made more difficult by the complex interactions between subatomic particles within the nucleus.

"In atoms, each electron is located at a great distance from other electrons and the atomic nucleus. As such, we can safely assume that distinct electrons move in a single, averaged field of interactions originating from the remaining atomic components.

However, protons and neutrons in atomic nuclei are very close together, and they all exist in a field which they also actively shape," explains Dr. Dimitar Tarpanov (University of Warsaw).

As is the case with electrons, the averaged-field model predicts the existence of shells within the nucleus - shells with the greatest probability of a proton or a neutron being found there. Subsequent nuclear shells are complete when they contain 2, 8, 20, 28, 50, 82, and 126 protons (the same numbers apply to neutron shells). Additional filled shells appear at levels 114, 120 and 126 for protons, and 184 for neutrons.

These are known as "magic" numbers; an atomic nucleus is dubbed as being "double magic" when it contains a magic number of protons alongside a magic number of neutrons.

The researchers were especially interested in situations where an atomic nucleus is in an almost double magic state: one of the shells is complete, whereas the next, outermost shell contains just a single proton or neutron. The question was, what interactions will determine the motion of this "lonely" particle?

For several decades now, in order to remain consistent with measurements taken in physics laboratories around the globe, in addition to the averaged field the existing model of large atomic nuclei has taken account of additional effects: the vibrations and motions of nucleons caused by quantum effects.

In certain cases, such vibrations may even affect the appearance of a nucleus by flattening it slightly or rendering it pear-shaped. Such modifications would also have to affect the field of motion of a solitary proton or neutron moving in the outermost shell of the atomic nucleus.

Physicists have used experimental data available for double magic nuclei of oxygen 16O, calcium 40Ca and 48Ca, nickel 56Ni, tin 132Sn and lead 208Pb, as well as for nearly double magic nuclei such as 207Pb and 209Pb. The data were used to precisely fit various parameters used in the existing model.

Theoretical analysis leaves no doubt: quantum effects and the vibrations that go with them turn out to have a significantly lower effect on the motion of individual particles in the nuclear shell than previously thought.

"This is a fascinating result. Since quantum effects in a nucleus as large as 209Pb are not terribly significant, that means that the existing model of the average field itself does not fully reflect reality. There is something we are failing to take into account. I wonder what that is...?" adds Prof. Dobaczewski.

Such work on devising a precise and consistent description of phenomena occurring in light, heavy and superheavy atomic nuclei has significant practical applications. Our understanding of the physics of atomic nuclei is used in the construction of nuclear power plants, the design of future thermonuclear power plants, the military, nuclear medicine, tissue imaging, and in diagnostics and cancer therapies.

Furthermore, nuclear processes and interactions are fundamental to the way we describe stars in the Universe. Theoretical methods developed to describe the interactions of many particles in atomic nuclei also have numerous applications in nuclear physics and condensed matter physics, and also in quantum chemistry, in the spectral analysis of excited states of atomic nuclei, atoms and molecules.

The research has been financed through the ENSAR project ran as part of EU's FP7, Poland's National Science Centre, Finland's FIDIPRO academic programme, and the Bulgarian Research Fund.

Physics and Astronomy first appeared at the University of Warsaw in 1816, under the then Faculty of Philosophy. In 1825 the Astronomical Observatory was established. Currently, the Faculty of Physics' Institutes include Experimental Physics, Theoretical Physics, Geophysics, Department of Mathematical Methods and an Astronomical Observatory.

Research covers almost all areas of modern physics, on scales from the quantum to the cosmological. The Faculty's research and teaching staff includes ca. 200 university teachers, of which 88 are employees with the title of professor. The Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw, is attended by ca. 1000 students and more than 170 doctoral students.

 

 

Atoms can be in 2 places at the same time

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎01:58:49 AMGo to full article
Bonn, Germany (SPX) Jan 21, 2015 - Can a penalty kick simultaneously score a goal and miss? For very small objects, at least, this is possible: according to the predictions of quantum mechanics, microscopic objects can take different paths at the same time. The world of macroscopic objects follows other rules: the football always moves in a definite direction. But is this always correct?

Physicists of the University of Bonn have constructed an experiment designed to possibly falsify this thesis. Their first experiment shows that Caesium atoms can indeed take two paths at the same time.

Almost 100 years ago physicists Werner Heisenberg, Max Born und Erwin Schrodinger created a new field of physics: quantum mechanics. Objects of the quantum world - according to quantum theory - no longer move along a single well-defined path.

Rather, they can simultaneously take different paths and end up at different places at once. Physicists speak of quantum superposition of different paths.

At the level of atoms, it looks as if objects indeed obey quantum mechanical laws. Over the years, many experiments have confirmed quantum mechanical predictions. In our macroscopic daily experience, however, we witness a football flying along exactly one path; it never strikes the goal and misses at the same time. Why is that so?

"There are two different interpretations," says Dr. Andrea Alberti of the Institute of Applied Physics of the University of Bonn.

"Quantum mechanics allows superposition states of large, macroscopic objects. But these states are very fragile, even following the football with our eyes is enough to destroy the superposition and makes it follow a definite trajectory."

Do "large" objects play by different rules?
But it could also be that footballs obey completely different rules than those applying for single atoms. "Let us talk about the macro-realistic view of the world," Alberti explains.

"According to this interpretation, the ball always moves on a specific trajectory, independent of our observation, and in contrast to the atom."

But which of the two interpretations is correct? Do "large" objects move differently from small ones? In collaboration with Dr. Clive Emary of the University of Hull in the U.K., the Bonn team has come up with an experimental scheme that may help to answer this question. "The challenge was to develop a measurement scheme of the atoms' positions which allows one to falsify macro-realistic theories," adds Alberti.

The physicists describe their research in the journal Physical Review X: With two optical tweezers they grabbed a single Caesium atom and pulled it in two opposing directions. In the macro-realist's world the atom would then be at only one of the two final locations. Quantum-mechanically, the atom would instead occupy a superposition of the two positions.

"We have now used indirect measurements to determine the final position of the atom in the most gentle way possible," says the PhD student Carsten Robens. Even such an indirect measurement (see figure) significantly modified the result of the experiments. This observation excludes - falsifies, as Karl Popper would say more precisely - the possibility that Caesium atoms follow a macro-realistic theory.

Instead, the experimental findings of the Bonn team fit well with an interpretation based on superposition states that get destroyed when the indirect measurement occurs. All that we can do is to accept that the atom has indeed taken different paths at the same time.

"This is not yet a proof that quantum mechanics hold for large objects," cautions Alberti. "The next step is to separate the Caesium atom's two positions by several millimetres. Should we still find the superposition in our experiment, the macro-realistic theory would suffer another setback."

 

 

Exotic, gigantic molecules fit inside each other like Russian nesting dolls

 
‎24 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎07:28:46 PMGo to full article
Chicago IL (SPX) Jan 23, 2015 - University of Chicago scientists have experimentally observed for the first time a phenomenon in ultracold, three-atom molecules predicted by Russian theoretical physicsist Vitaly Efimov in 1970. In this quantum phenomenon, called geometric scaling, the triatomic molecules fit inside one another like an infinitely large set of Russian nesting dolls.

"This is a new rule in chemistry that molecular sizes can follow a geometric series, like 1, 2, 4, 8...," said Cheng Chin, professor in physics at UChicago. "In our case, we find three molecular states in this sequence where one molecular state is about 5 times larger than the previous one."

Chin and four members of his research group published their findings Dec. 9, 2014, in Physical Review Letters.

"Quantum theory makes the existence of these gigantic molecules inevitiable, provided proper--and quite challenging--conditions are created," said Efimov, now at the University of Washington.

The UChicago team observed three molecules in the series, consisting of one lithim atom and two cesium atoms in a vacuum chamber at the ultracold temperature of approximately 200 nanokelvin, a tiny fraction of a degree above absolute zero (minus 459.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

Infinitely large molecules
Given an infinitely large universe, the number of increasingly larger molecules in this cesium-lithium system also would extend to infinity. This remarkable idea stems from the exotic nature of quantum mechanics, which conforms confirms to different laws of physics than those that govern the universe on a macroscopic scale.

"These are certainly exotic molecules," said Shih-Kuang Tung, the postdoctoral scholar, now at Northwestern University, who led the project. Only under strict conditions could Tung and his colleagues see the geometric scaling in their Efimov molecules. It appears that neither two-atom nor four-atom molecules can achieve the Efimov state. "There's a special case for three atoms," Chin said.

Efimov's reaction to the research was twofold. "First, I am amazed by the predictive power of the quantum theory," he said. "Second, I am amazed by the skill of the experimentalists who managed to create those challenging conditions."

The finding is important because it shows that Efimov molecules, like other complex phenomena in nature, follow a simple mathematical rule. One other example in nature that displays geometric scaling are snowflakes, rooted in the microscopic physics of their hexagonal crystal structure.

A team at the University of Innsbruck in Austria, which included Chin, experimentally observed the first Efimov molecular state in 2006 in molecules consisting of three cesium atoms. In this Efimov state, three cesium atoms become entangled at temperatures slightly above absolute zero. They form a Borromean ring of three interlocking circles. Any two of them, however, will not interlock.

Chin switched his interest to lithium-cesium molecules in 2010 because observing geometrical scaling in the cesium system presented severe experimental difficulties.

Scaling factor
"The difficulty is that based on what we understand of Efimov's theory, the scaling factor is predicted to be 22.7 for the cesium system, which is a very large number," explained Chin, who also is a member of UChicago's James Franck and Enrico Fermi institutes. Scaling at such a large value demands an extremely low temperature, challenging to reach experimentally.

But the scaling factor of the lithium-cesium triatomic molecule was predicted to be more managable of 4.8. Indeed, after setting up their experiment, "We were able to see three of them at a more accessible temperature of 200 nano-Kelvin," Chin said. "Their sizes are measured to be 17, 86 and 415 nano-meters, respectively. They closely follow a geometric progression with the predicted scaling factor."

But even the lithium-cesium system presented a difficulty: the significantly differing masses of the two elements, which was critical for observing multiple Efimov states. Lithium is one of the lightest elements on the periodic table, while cesium is quite heavy. "One is really massive compared to the other," Tung said.

He compared working both elements into an ultracold experiment to dangling a monkey and an elephant from springs. They would hang at different levels, but they still needed to interact.

In the experiment, the UChicago physicists lowered the temperatures of the lithium and ceisum atoms separately, then brought them together to form the triatomic, Efimov molecules.

"It's a very complicated experiment," Tung said, one requiring an ultracold experimental tool called Feshbach resonance. Carried out in a magnetic field, Feshbach resonance allowed researchers to bind and control the interactions between the cesium and lithium atoms.

Cold atoms are subject to manipulation via Feshbach resonance, which allows the observation of geometric scaling. "Feshbach resonance is a really important tool for us," Tung said. He and his associates learned how to wield the tool effectively in the past three years.

"We needed to tune the Feshbach resonances very carefully in order to generate these Efimov molecules," Tung said.

The efforts culminated in experimental success. Efimov said the results made him feel like the parent of a successful child. "The parent is proud of the child's achievement, and he is also pround that in a sense he is part of the child's success."

 
 

Galactic 'hailstorm' in the early universe

 
‎19 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎06:15:08 PMGo to full article
Boston MA (SPX) Jan 19, 2015 - Two teams of astronomers led by researchers at the University of Cambridge have looked back nearly 13 billion years, when the Universe was less than 10 percent its present age, to determine how quasars - extremely luminous objects powered by supermassive black holes with the mass of a billion suns - regulate the formation of stars and the build-up of the most massive galaxies.

Using a combination of data gathered from powerful radio telescopes and supercomputer simulations, the teams found that a quasar spits out cold gas at speeds up to 2000 kilometres per second, and across distances of nearly 200,000 light years - much farther than has been observed before.

How this cold gas - the raw material for star formation in galaxies - can be accelerated to such high speeds had remained a mystery. Detailed comparison of new observations and supercomputer simulations has only now allowed researchers to understand how this can happen: the gas is first heated to temperatures of tens of millions of degrees by the energy released by the supermassive black hole powering the quasar.

This enormous build-up of pressure accelerates the hot gas and pushes it to the outskirts of the galaxy.

The supercomputer simulations show that on its way out of the parent galaxy, there is just enough time for some of the hot gas to cool to temperatures low enough to be observable with radio telescopes. The results are presented in two separate papers published in the journals Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society and Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Quasars are amongst the most luminous objects in the Universe, and the most distant quasars are so far away that they allow us to peer back billions of years in time. They are powered by supermassive black holes at the centre of galaxies, surrounded by a rapidly spinning disk-like region of gas. As the black hole pulls in matter from its surroundings, huge amounts of energy are released.

"It is the first time that we have seen outflowing cold gas moving at these large speeds at such large distances from the supermassive black hole," said Claudia Cicone, a PhD student at Cambridge's Cavendish Laboratory and Kavli Institute for Cosmology, and lead author on the first of the two papers. "It is very difficult to have matter with temperatures this low move as fast as we observed."

Cicone's observations allowed the second team of researchers specialising in supercomputer simulations to develop a detailed theoretical model of the outflowing gas around a bright quasar.

"We found that while gas is launched out of the quasar at very high temperatures, there is enough time for some of it to cool through radiative cooling - similar to how the Earth cools down on a cloudless night," said Tiago Costa, a PhD student at the Institute of Astronomy and the Kavli Institute for Cosmology, and lead author on the second paper.

"The amazing thing is that in this distant galaxy in the young Universe the conditions are just right for enough of the fast moving hot gas to cool to the low temperatures that Claudia and her team have found."

Working at the IRAM Plateau De Bure interferometer in the French Alps, the researchers gathered data in the millimetre band, which allows observation of the emission from the cold gas which is the primary fuel for star formation and main ingredient of galaxies, but is almost invisible at other wavelengths.

 

 

Race of the electrons

 
‎19 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎06:15:08 PMGo to full article
Vienna, Austria (SPX) Jan 15, 2015 - It is easy to measure electric current. But it is extremely hard to watch the individual electrons which make up this current. Electrons race through the metal with a speed of several million meters per second, and the distance they have to cover between two adjacent atoms is very small. This means that tiny time intervals have to be resolved in order to watch the electrons dashing through the metal.

Measurements in Garching (Germany) and theoretical calculations at the Vienna University of Technology (Austria) have now made this possible. As it turns out, the motion of the electrons in the metal is remarkably similar to ballistic motion in free space. The results have now been published in the journal "Nature".

The Tiny Timescales of the Quantum World
Albert Einstein already explained the "photoelectric effect" in 1905: light transfers energy to an electron, removing it from the metal. This happens so fast that for a long time it seemed impossible to study the time evolution of this process. In recent years, however, attosecond physics has advanced dramatically, so that time resolved analysis of this process has become possible.

An attosecond is a billionth of a billionth of a second (10^-18 seconds). This is approximately the time it takes light to travel the distance from one atom to the next. Using ultrashort laser pulses, time can now be measured with a precision in the attosecond range.

The data which has now been published in "Nature" was measured at the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching, in a collaboration with TU Munich, the Fritz Haber Institute in Berlin, the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg and LMU Munich. At the Vienna University of Technology, theoretical models and large-scale computer simulations have been developed, in order to analyse and interpret the results.

Racing Electrons
"The experiment allows us to watch a race of electrons", says Professor Joachim Burgdorfer (TU Vienna). Two different metals - tungsten and magnesium - are stacked and hit with a laser pulse. Either in the magnesium or in the tungsten layer, the light can remove electrons, which then find their way to the surface. The distance the electrons have to cover is less than a nanometer, but still it is possible to quantify the lead of the electrons from the magnesium layer, arriving shortly before the electrons from the tungsten layer.

The distance of this race can be tuned: one to five atomic layers of magnesium are deposited on tungsten.

"The thicker the magnesium layer, the larger the lead of its electrons compared to the electrons coming from the tungsten layer", says Christoph Lemell (TU Vienna). The simple relationship between layer thickness and arrival time shows that the electrons travel through the metal ballistically, on rather undisturbed and straight lines. Complex scattering processes do not play an important role on theses time and length scales.

For precise timing, it is crucial to have a very well defined finish line. For the photo-finish, a second laser was used. It influences the electrons the moment they left the metal, but not before. The laser beam must not penetrate the metal.

"Within a distance shorter than the spacing between the metal atoms, the intensity of the laser field changes dramatically", says Georg Wachter (TU Vienna). The field of the laser beam is reduced to almost zero in the outermost layer, whereas right outside the metal the electrons immediately enter a strong laser field. This sharp contrast is the reason these extremely precise time measurements become possible.

The new findings are expected to help with the miniaturization of electronic and photonic elements - and they are another proof for the amazing possibilities of attosecond physics. "This new area of research gives us new methods to develop quantum technologies and study fundamental questions of materials science and electronics", says Joachim Burgdorfer.

 

 

Rapid journey through a crystal lattice

 
‎19 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎06:15:08 PMGo to full article
Munich, Germany (SPX) Jan 15, 2015 - The time frames, in which electrons travel within atoms, are unfathomably short. For example, electrons excited by light change their quantum-mechanical location within mere attoseconds - an attosecond corresponds to a billionth of a billionth of a second.

But how fast do electrons whiz across distances corresponding to the diameter of individual atomic layers? Such distances are but a few billionths of a meter. An international team of researchers led by Reinhard Kienberger, Professor for Laser and X-Ray Physics at the TUM and Head of a Research Group at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics investigated the travel times of electrons over these extremely short distances.

To do so, the physicists applied a defined number of layers of magnesium atoms on top of a tungsten crystal. The researchers directed two pulses of light at these samples.

The first pulse lasted approximately 450 attoseconds, at frequencies within the extreme ultraviolet. This light pulse penetrated the material and released an electron from a magnesium atom in the layer system as well as from an atom in the underlying tungsten crystal. Both the electrons that were set free stemmed from the immediate vicinity of the nucleus.

Once released, the "tungsten electron" and the "magnesium electron" travelled through the crystal to the surface at which point they left the solid body. (electrons from the tungsten crystal managed to penetrate up to four layers of magnesium atoms.) There, the particles were captured by the electric field of the second pulse, an infrared wave train lasting less than five femtoseconds.

As the "tungsten electron" and the "magnesium electron" reached the surface at different times due to different path lengths, they experienced the second pulse of infrared light at different times.

That is, they were exposed to different strengths of the oscillating electric field. As a result, both particles were accelerated to varying degrees. From the resulting differences in the energy of the electrons, the researchers were able to determine how long an electron needed to pass through a single layer of atoms.

The measurements showed that upon release a "tungsten electron" possesses a speed of about 5000 kilometers per second. When travelling through a layer of magnesium atoms it is delayed by approximately 40 attoseconds, i.e., this is exactly the time required to travel through this layer.

The experiments provide insight into how electrons move within the widely unknown microcosm.

Knowing how fast an electron travels from one place to the next is of substantial importance for many applications: "While a large number of electrons are able to cover increasingly large distances in today's transistors, for example, individual electrons could transmit a signal through nanostructures in future", explains Prof. Reinhard Kienberger.

"As a result, electronic devices like computers could be made to be several times faster and smaller."

 

 

Unusual Light Signal Yields Clues About Elusive Black Hole Merger

 
‎19 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎06:15:08 PMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (SPX) Jan 13, 2015 - The central regions of many glittering galaxies, our own Milky Way included, harbor cores of impenetrable darkness-black holes with masses equivalent to millions, or even billions, of suns. What is more, these supermassive black holes and their host galaxies appear to develop together, or co-evolve.

Theory predicts that as galaxies collide and merge, growing ever more massive, so too do their dark hearts. Black holes by themselves are impossible to see, but their gravity can pull in surrounding gas to form a swirling band of material called an accretion disk.

The spinning particles are accelerated to tremendous speeds and release vast amounts of energy in the form of heat and powerful X-rays and gamma rays. When this process happens to a supermassive black hole, the result is a quasar-an extremely luminous object that outshines all of the stars in its host galaxy and that is visible from across the universe.

"Quasars are valuable probes of the evolution of galaxies and their central black holes,"says George Djorgovski, professor of astronomy and director of the Center for Data-Driven Discovery at Caltech.

In the journal Nature, Djorgovski and his collaborators report on an unusual repeating light signal from a distant quasar that they say is most likely the result of two supermassive black holes in the final phases of a merger-something that is predicted from theory but which has never been observed before.

The discovery could help shed light on a long-standing conundrum in astrophysics called the "final parsec problem,"which refers to the failure of theoretical models to predict what the final stages of a black hole merger look like or even how long the process might take.

"The end stages of the merger of these supermassive black hole systems are very poorly understood,"says the study's first author, Matthew Graham, a senior computational scientist at Caltech.

The discovery of a system that seems to be at this late stage of its evolution means we now have an observational handle on what is going on.

Djorgovski and his team discovered the unusual light signal emanating from quasar PG 1302-102 after analyzing results from the Catalina Real-Time Transient Survey (CRTS), which uses three ground telescopes in the United States and Australia to continuously monitor some 500 million celestial light sources strewn across about 80 percent of the night sky.

"There has never been a data set on quasar variability that approaches this scope before,"says Djorgovski, who directs the CRTS. "In the past, scientists who study the variability of quasars might only be able to follow some tens, or at most hundreds, of objects with a limited number of measurements. In this case, we looked at a quarter million quasars and were able to gather a few hundred data points for each one."

"Until now, the only known examples of supermassive black holes on their way to a merger have been separated by tens or hundreds of thousands of light years,"says study coauthor Daniel Stern, a scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "At such vast distances, it would take many millions, or even billions, of years for a collision and merger to occur.

In contrast, the black holes in PG 1302-102 are, at most, a few hundredths of a light year apart and could merge in about a million years or less.

Djorgovski and his team did not set out to find a black hole merger. Rather, they initially embarked on a systematic study of quasar brightness variability in the hopes of finding new clues about their physics.

But after screening the data using a pattern-seeking algorithm that Graham developed, the team found 20 quasars that seemed to be emitting periodic optical signals.

This was surprising, because the light curves of most quasars are chaotic-a reflection of the random nature by which material from the accretion disk spirals into a black hole.

"You just don't expect to see a periodic signal from a quasar,"Graham says. "When you do, it stands out." Of the 20 periodic quasars that CRTS identified, PG 1302-102 was the best example. It had a strong, clean signal that appeared to repeat every five years or so. "It has a really nice smooth up-and-down signal, similar to a sine wave, and that just hasn't been seen before in a quasar,"Graham says.

The team was cautious about jumping to conclusions. "We approached it with skepticism but excitement as well,"says study coauthor Eilat Glikman, an assistant professor of physics at Middlebury College in Vermont.

After all, it was possible that the periodicity the scientists were seeing was just a temporary ordered blip in an otherwise chaotic signal. To help rule out this possibility, the scientists pulled in data about the quasar from previous surveys to include in their analysis.

After factoring in the historical observations (the scientists had nearly 20 years' worth of data about quasar PG 1302-102), the repeating signal was, encouragingly, still there. The team's confidence increased further after Glikman analyzed the quasar's light spectrum.

The black holes that scientists believe are powering quasars do not emit light, but the gases swirling around them in the accretion disks are traveling so quickly that they become heated into glowing plasma.

"When you look at the emission lines in a spectrum from an object, what you're really seeing is information about speed-whether something is moving toward you or away from you and how fast. It's the Doppler effect,"Glikman says.

"With quasars, you typically have one emission line, and that line is a symmetric curve. But with this quasar, it was necessary to add a second emission line with a slightly different speed than the first one in order to fit the data. That suggests something else, such as a second black hole, is perturbing this system."

Avi Loeb, who chairs the astronomy department at Harvard University, agreed with the team's assessment that a "tight"supermassive black hole binary is the most likely explanation for the periodic signal they are seeing.

"The evidence suggests that the emission originates from a very compact region around the black hole and that the speed of the emitting material in that region is at least a tenth of the speed of light,"says Loeb, who did not participate in the research.

A secondary black hole would be the simplest way to induce a periodic variation in the emission from that region, because a less dense object, such as a star cluster, would be disrupted by the strong gravity of the primary black hole.

In addition to providing an unprecedented glimpse into the final stages of a black hole merger, the discovery is also a testament to the power of "big data"science, where the challenge lies not only in collecting high-quality information but also devising ways to mine it for useful information.

"We're basically moving from having a few pictures of the whole sky or repeated observations of tiny patches of the sky to having a movie of the entire sky all the time,"says Sterl Phinney, a professor of theoretical physics at Caltech, who was also not involved in the study.

Many of the objects in the movie will not be doing anything very exciting, but there will also be a lot of interesting ones that we missed before. It is still unclear what physical mechanism is responsible for the quasar's repeating light signal.

One possibility, Graham says, is that the quasar is funneling material from its accretion disk into luminous twin plasma jets that are rotating like beams from a lighthouse. "If the glowing jets are sweeping around in a regular fashion, then we would only see them when they're pointed directly at us. The end result is a regularly repeating signal,"Graham says.

Another possibility is that the accretion disk that encircles both black holes is distorted. "If one region is thicker than the rest, then as the warped section travels around the accretion disk, it could be blocking light from the quasar at regular intervals. This would explain the periodicity of the signal that we're seeing,"Graham says.

Yet another possibility is that something is happening to the accretion disk that is causing it to dump material onto the black holes in a regular fashion, resulting in periodic bursts of energy.

"Even though there are a number of viable physical mechanisms behind the periodicity we're seeing-either the precessing jet, warped accretion disk or periodic dumping-these are all still fundamentally caused by a close binary system,"Graham says.

Along with Djorgovski, Graham, Stern, and Glikman, additional authors on the paper, "A possible close supermassive black hole binary in a quasar with optical periodicity,"include Andrew Drake, a computational scientist and co-principal investigator of the CRTS sky survey at Caltech; Ashish Mahabal, a staff scientist in computational astronomy at Caltech; Ciro Donalek, a computational staff scientist at Caltech; Steve Larson, a senior staff scientist at the University of Arizona; and Eric Christensen, an associate staff scientist at the University of Arizona.

Funding for the study was provided by the National Science Foundation.

 

 

New catalyst process uses light, not metal, for rapid polymerization

 
‎19 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎06:15:08 PMGo to full article
Santa Barbara CA (SPX) Jan 13, 2015 - A team of chemistry and materials science experts from University of California, Santa Barbara and The Dow Chemical Company has created a novel way to overcome one of the major hurdles preventing the widespread use of controlled radical polymerization.

In a global polymer industry valued in the hundreds of billions of dollars, a technique called Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization is emerging as a key process for creating well-defined polymers for a vast range of materials, from adhesives to electronics. However, current ATRP methods by design use metal catalysts, a major roadblock to applications for which metal contamination is an issue, such as materials used for biomedical purposes.

This new method of radical polymerization doesn't involve heavy metal catalysts like copper. Their innovative, metal-free ATRP process uses an organic-based photocatalyst--and light as the stimulus for the highly controlled chemical reaction.

"The grand challenge in ATRP has been: how can we do this without any metals?" said Craig Hawker, Director of the Dow Materials Institute at UC Santa Barbara. "We looked toward developing an organic catalyst that is highly reducing in the excited state, and we found it in an easily prepared catalyst, phenothiazine."

"It's "drop-in" technology for industry," said Javier Read de Alaniz, principal investigator and professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UC Santa Barbara. "People are already used to the same starting materials for ATRP, but now we have the ability to do it without copper." Copper, even at trace levels, is a problem for microelectronics because it acts as a conductor, and for biological applications because of its toxicity to organisms and cells.

Read de Alaniz, Hawker, and postdoctoral research Brett Fors, now with Cornell University, led the study that was initially inspired by a photoreactive Iridium catalyst.

Their study was recently detailed in a paper titled "Metal-Free Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization," published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. The research was made possible by support from Dow, a research partner of the UCSB College of Engineering.

ATRP is already used widely across dozens of major industries, but the new metal-free rapid polymerization process "pushes controlled radical polymerization into new areas and new applications," according to Hawker. "Many processes in use today all start with ATRP. Now this method opens doors for a new class of organic-based photoredox catalysts."

Controlling radical polymerization processes is critical for the synthesis of functional block polymers. As a catalyst, phenothiazine builds block copolymers in a sequential manner, achieving high chain-end fidelity. This translates into a high degree of versatility in polymer structure, as well as an efficient process.

"Our process doesn't need heat. You can do this at room temperature with simple LED lights," said Hawker. "We've had success with a range of vinyl monomers, so this polymerization strategy is useful on many levels."

"The development of living radical processes, such as ATRP, is arguably one of the biggest things to happen in polymer chemistry in the past few decades," he added. "This new discovery will significantly further the whole field."

 

 

New light shed on electron spin flips

 
‎19 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎06:15:08 PMGo to full article
Berlin, Germany (SPX) Jan 08, 2015 - Researchers from Berlin Joint EPR Lab at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and University of Washington derived a new set of equations that allows for calculating electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) transition probabilities with arbitrary alignment and polarization of the exciting electromagnetic radiation.

The validity of the equations could be demonstrated with a newly designed THz-EPR experiment at HZB's storage ring BESSY II. This progress is relevant for a broad community of EPR users and is published in Physical Review Letters on January 6. 2015 (DOI 10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.010801).

Electron spins are quantum objects with fascinating characteristics. They can be used as sensitive probes to explore material properties at the atomic level. Electron spins behave like tiny magnets that can be aligned parallel or anti parallel to an external magnetic field. Flips between these states may be induced by electromagnetic radiation matching the energy difference of the spin states.

The probability for an EPR induced spin flip critically depends on the orientation of the magnetic component of the electromagnetic radiation with respect to the external magnetic field. These probabilities can be calculated, however, up to now respective expressions have been available only for a very limited number of experimental settings.

Set of equations for unconventional geometries
Joscha Nehrkorn, Alexander Schnegg, Karsten Holldack (HZB) and Stefan Stoll (UW) now succeeded to lift this restriction and derive general expressions for the magnetic transition rates, which are valid for any excitation configuration. The expressions apply to arbitrary excitation geometry and work for linear and circular polarized as well as unpolarized radiation.

"We developed a general theory for EPR transition rates of anisotropic spins systems and implemented it in a freely available computer program. Thereby, EPR users can now interpret and predict experiments and extract highly desired information which was not accessible recently" explains Joscha Nehrkorn.

Tests have been successful
To test the new theoretical expressions, the authors employed the properties of a unique THz-EPR experiment at BESSY II. They aligned the spins of iron atoms incorporated in small organic molecules to a static magnetic field and excited them by linear polarized coherent synchrotron radiation in the THz range with varying orientations of the magnetic component of the THz radiation.

By comparing the polarization dependence of theoretical predicted and experimental EPR line intensities, they could verify the newly derived equations and determine the parities of ground and excited high spin iron states.

"This experiment is an excellent example how broad band THz radiation from a storage ring may be used for very high frequency EPR applications, these possibilities will be further boosted by BESSY VSR, the next generation of our storage ring," states Karsten Holldack scientist at the THz beam line.

Alexander Schnegg who coordinates the project within a priority program (SPP 1601) of the German Research Foundation (DFG) further outlines: "The achieved breakthrough in EPR methodology strongly improves the predictive power of EPR for applications in e.g. life sciences, spintronics or energy materials research and paves the way for future EPR experiments with novel excitation schemes. "

 

 

Will the Real Monster Black Hole Please Stand Up?

 
‎19 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎06:15:08 PMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jan 09, 2015 - A new high-energy X-ray image from NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, has pinpointed the true monster of a galactic mashup. The image shows two colliding galaxies, collectively called Arp 299, located 134 million light-years away. Each of the galaxies has a supermassive black hole at its heart.

NuSTAR has revealed that the black hole located at the right of the pair is actively gorging on gas, while its partner is either dormant or hidden under gas and dust.

The findings are helping researchers understand how the merging of galaxies can trigger black holes to start feeding, an important step in the evolution of galaxies.

"When galaxies collide, gas is sloshed around and driven into their respective nuclei, fueling the growth of black holes and the formation of stars," said Andrew Ptak of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, lead author of a new study accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal. "We want to understand the mechanisms that trigger the black holes to turn on and start consuming the gas."

NuSTAR is the first telescope capable of pinpointing where high-energy X-rays are coming from in the tangled galaxies of Arp 299. Previous observations from other telescopes, including NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton, which detect lower-energy X-rays, had indicated the presence of active supermassive black holes in Arp 299.

However, it was not clear from those data alone if one or both of the black holes was feeding, or "accreting," a process in which a black hole bulks up in mass as its gravity drags gas onto it.

The new X-ray data from NuSTAR - overlaid on a visible-light image from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope - show that the black hole on the right is, in fact, the hungry one. As it feeds on gas, energetic processes close to the black hole heat electrons and protons to about hundreds of millions of degrees, creating a superhot plasma, or corona, that boosts the visible light up to high-energy X-rays.

Meanwhile, the black hole on the left either is "snoozing away," in what is referred to as a quiescent, or dormant state, or is buried in so much gas and dust that the high-energy X-rays can't escape.

"Odds are low that both black holes are on at the same time in a merging pair of galaxies," said Ann Hornschemeier, a co-author of the study who presented the results Thursday at the annual American Astronomical Society meeting in Seattle. "When the cores of the galaxies get closer, however, tidal forces slosh the gas and stars around vigorously, and, at that point, both black holes may turn on."

NuSTAR is ideally suited to study heavily obscured black holes such as those in Arp 299. High-energy X-rays can penetrate the thick gas, whereas lower-energy X-rays and light get blocked.

Ptak said, "Before now, we couldn't pinpoint the real monster in the merger."

 

 

Astronomers use vanishing neutron star to measure space-time warp

 
‎19 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎06:15:08 PMGo to full article
Vancouver, Canada (SPX) Jan 09, 2015 - In an interstellar race against time, astronomers have measured the space-time warp in the gravity of a binary star and determined the mass of a neutron star--just before it vanished from view.

The international team, including University of British Columbia astronomer Ingrid Stairs, measured the masses of both stars in binary pulsar system J1906. The pulsar spins and emits a lighthouse-like beam of radio waves every 144 milliseconds. It orbits its companion star in a little under four hours.

"By precisely tracking the motion of the pulsar, we were able to measure the gravitational interaction between the two highly compact stars with extreme precision," says Stairs, professor of physics and astronomy at UBC.

"These two stars each weigh more than the Sun, but are still over 100 times closer together than the Earth is to the Sun. The resulting extreme gravity causes many remarkable effects."

According to general relativity, neutron stars wobble like a spinning top as they move through the gravitational well of a massive, nearby companion star. Orbit after orbit, the pulsar travels through a space-time that is curved, which impacts the star's spin axis.

"Through the effects of the immense mutual gravitational pull, the spin axis of the pulsar has now wobbled so much that the beams no longer hit Earth," explains Joeri van Leeuwen, an astrophysicist at the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, and University of Amsterdam, who led the study.

"The pulsar is now all but invisible to even the largest telescopes on Earth. This is the first time such a young pulsar has disappeared through precession. Fortunately this cosmic spinning top is expected to wobble back into view, but it might take as long as 160 years."

The mass of only a handful of double neutron stars have ever been measured, with J1906 being the youngest. It is located about 25,000 light years from Earth. The results were published in the Astrophysical Journal and presented at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Seattle on January 8.

 

 

Planet-hunting satellite observes supermassive black hole

 
‎19 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎06:15:08 PMGo to full article
Salt Lake City UT (SPX) Jan 07, 2015 - Step outside of your house tonight, look up towards the sky, focus your view between the constellations of Cygnus and Lyra, and then zoom in about 100 million light years.

That's the home of a galaxy known as KA 1858, which contains a black hole that BYU scientists observed with the help of NASA and other astrophysicists throughout the University of California system.

The study, which appears in the Astrophysical Journal, estimates that this black hole has a mass of approximately 8 million times the mass of our sun.

Originally, the NASA Kepler satellite's main mission is to hunt for earth-like planets in our own galaxy. In this study, however, researchers were able to combine data from the Kepler mission with ground-based data to observe black hole characteristics. Many of the ground-based observations were performed at BYU's West Mountain Observatory, the largest research observatory in Utah.

"It was a long project that involved lots of different observers, some of them around the world," said Professor Michael Joner, co-author of the study. "Using measurements that were done at BYU, we were able to determine that the mass of the central black hole for this galaxy was about 8 million times the mass of the sun - that's a really really massive object."

Astronomers are used to measuring light radiated by different type of objects, and black holes are very difficult to measure because they don't give off any radiant energy. For this reason, Joner and masters student Carla Carroll, who is also a co-author of the study, used a method known as reverberation mapping.

Reverberation mapping involves observing the light that is emitted as material spirals toward the black hole. At different distances from the center, the light interacts with nearby gases, which then re-emit that light.

These groups of light reach the ground-based telescope within a few days of each other. By analyzing this time difference and by measuring how fast the material is moving around the center of the galaxy, they were able to determine the mass of this central black hole.

According to Carroll, current techniques for this method require some of the largest, and quite overbooked, telescopes in the world. She and Joner are working on a way to use smaller telescopes that have the abilities to observe different active galaxies. This way, astrophysicists everywhere can have the ability to do this science using smaller and less costly telescopes.

"After lots of collaboration, we were both learning amazing things and coming up with new ideas and possibilities," Carroll said. "The best part of this project for me was learning about active galactic nuclei and supermassive black holes on a level I never could have in either undergraduate or graduate classroom settings."

Carroll is finishing up a similar project to the publication and will graduate in April 2015 with a Master of Science. She recently earned admission to the University of Heidelberg in Germany for a Ph.D. program in astrophysics.

 

 

Unusual Light Signal Hints at Distant Black Hole Merger

 
‎19 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎06:15:08 PMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jan 08, 2015 - The central regions of many glittering galaxies, our own Milky Way included, harbor cores of impenetrable darkness - black holes with masses equivalent to millions, or even billions, of suns. What's more, these supermassive black holes and their host galaxies appear to develop together, or "co-evolve."

Theory predicts that as galaxies collide and merge, growing ever more massive, so too do their dark hearts.

Black holes by themselves are impossible to see, but their gravity can pull in surrounding gas to form a swirling band of glowing material called an accretion disk. When this process happens to a supermassive black hole, the result is a "quasar" - an extremely luminous object that outshines all of the stars in its host galaxy, visible from across the universe.

"Quasars are valuable probes of the evolution of galaxies and their central black holes," said S. George Djorgovski, professor of astronomy at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

"If we can systematically study a large population of quasars, we can discover rare and unusual phenomena that can help us better understand the overall picture of their evolution."

In the journal Nature, Djorgovski and his collaborators, including Daniel Stern of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, report on an unusual repeating light signal from a distant quasar that they say is most likely the result of two supermassive black holes in the final stages of a merger - something that is predicted from theory but which has never been observed before.

The findings could lead to a better understanding of black hole mergers and galaxy evolution, and also help shed light on a long-standing conundrum in astrophysics called the "final parsec problem." That refers to the failure of theoretical models to predict what the final stages of a black hole merger look like, or even how long the process might take.

"Until now, the only known examples of supermassive black holes on their way to a merger have been separated by tens or hundreds of thousands of light-years," said Stern.

"At such vast distances it would take many millions, or even billions, of years for a collision and merger to occur. In contrast, these black holes are at most a few hundredths of a light-year apart, and could merge in about a million years or less."

 

 

June 30 will be one second longer this year

 
‎15 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎09:01:09 AMGo to full article
Paris (UPI) Jan 7, 2015 - The guardians of time have spoken, and this year June 30 will be one second longer. A so-called leap second will be added to the world's clock at the end of June.

The decision to plug in an additional second at the beginning of summer was announced this week by the Paris-based International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS), the organization tasked with maintaining global time.

News of the additional second was delivered via a memo addressed: "To authorities responsible for the measurement and distribution of time."

The reason for the extra second: the planet's rotation is slowing. The planet's clocks have had an extra second inserted, either at the end of December or June, 25 times since the practice first began in 1972. This year's leap second will be the 26th.

"They add an extra second to something called UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) in order to make sure the rate of UTC is the same as atomic time," Nick Stamatakos, the chief of Earth Orientation Parameters at the U.S. Naval Observatory, told The Telegraph.

That could be a problem for the long list of Internet-based companies, programs and services that modern society has come to rely on so heavily. In 2012, the last time a leap second was added, the inserted second threw off a variety of systems synched with UTC clocks. Mozilla, Reddit, Foursquare, Yelp, LinkedIn and StumbleUpon all crashed as a result of 2012's leap second.

Google was one of the few who avoided the glitch, having built in a preparedness technology called Leap Smear, which inserted milliseconds in their systems' clocks in anticipation of the full-second leap. It's expected more companies will employ similar measures as this year's leap second approaches.

 

 

New technology enables ultra-fast steering and shaping of light beams

 
‎15 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎09:01:09 AMGo to full article
Bristol, UK (SPX) Jan 07, 2015 - A team of engineers has developed a new acousto-optic device that can shape and steer beams of light at speeds never before achieved. The new technology will enable better optical devices to be made, such as holographs that can move rapidly in real time.

The research led by Bruce Drinkwater, Professor of Ultrasonics at the University of Bristol and Dr Mike MacDonald at the University of Dundee is published in the journal, Optics Express.

The array consists of 64 tiny piezo-electric elements which act as high frequency loudspeakers. The complex sound field generated deflects and sculpts any light passing through the new device. As the sound field changes, so does the shape of the light beam.

Professor Drinkwater from the Department of Mechanical Engineering said: "This reconfigurability can happen extremely fast, limited only by the speed of the sound waves. The key advantage of this method is that it potentially offers very high refresh rates - millions of refreshes per second is now possible. This means that in the future laser beam-based devices will be able to be reconfigured much faster than is currently possible. Previously, the fastest achieved is a few thousand refreshes per second."

The advancement will enable reconfigurable lenses that can automatically compensate for aberrations allowing for improved microscopy and a new generation of optical tweezers that will make them more rapidly reconfigurable and so allow better shaped traps to be produced.

Dr Mike MacDonald, Head of the Biophotonics research group at the University of Dundee, explained: "What we have shown can be thought of as a form of optical holography where the hologram can be made in real time using sound. Previous attempts to do this have not had the level of sophistication that we have achieved in the control of our acoustic fields, which has given us much greater flexibility in the control we have over light with these devices.

"The device can potentially be addressed much more quickly than existing holographic devices, such as spatial light modulators, and will also allow for much higher laser powers to be used. This opens up applications such as beam shaping in laser processing of materials, or even fast and high power control of light beams for free space optical communications using orbital angular momentum to increase signal bandwidth, as shown recently by a demonstration in Vienna."

Professor Drinkwater added: "The number of applications of this new technology is vast. Optical devices are everywhere and are used for displays, communications as well as scientific instruments."

The capabilities of laser beam shaping and steering are crucial for many optical applications, such as optical manipulation and aberration correction in microscopy. Depending on specific requirements of each application, these capabilities are currently achieved using different methods which are based on establishing a certain level of control over the phase of the laser beam.

Deformable mirrors are used for aberration corrections in astronomy and spatial light modulators (SLMs) are the common choice in a wide range of applications such as holography, optical tweezers and microscopy.

 

 

Astronomer Detects Record-Breaking Black Hole Outburst

 
‎15 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎09:01:09 AMGo to full article
Amherst MA (SPX) Jan 07, 2015 - Last September, after years of watching, a team of scientists led by Amherst College astronomy professor Daryl Haggard observed and recorded the largest-ever flare in X-rays from a supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. The astronomical event, which was detected by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, puts the scientific community one step closer to understanding the nature and behavior of supermassive black holes.

Haggard and her colleagues discussed the flare today at a press conference during this year's meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle.

Supermassive black holes are the largest of black holes, and all large galaxies have one. The one at the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way, is called Sagittarius A* (or, Sgr A*, as it is called), and scientists estimate that it contains about four and a half million times the mass of our Sun.

Scientists working with Chandra have observed Sgr A* repeatedly since the telescope was launched into space in 1999. Haggard and fellow astronomers were originally using Chandra to see if Sgr A* would consume parts of a cloud of gas, known as G2.

"Unfortunately, the G2 gas cloud didn't produce the fireworks we were hoping for when it got close to Sgr A*," she said. "However, nature often surprises us and we saw something else that was really exciting."

Haggard and her team detected an X-ray outburst last September that was 400 times brighter than the usual X-ray output from Sgr A*. This "megaflare" was nearly three times brighter than the previous record holder that was seen in early 2012. A second enormous X-ray flare, 200 times brighter than Sgr A* in its quiet state, was observed with Chandra on October 20, 2014.

Haggard and her team have two main ideas about what could be causing Sgr A* to erupt in this extreme way. One hypothesis is that the gravity of the supermassive black hole has torn apart a couple of asteroids that wandered too close. The debris from such a "tidal disruption" would become very hot and produce X-rays before disappearing forever across the black hole's point of no return (called the "event horizon").

"If an asteroid was torn apart, it would go around the black hole for a couple of hours - like water circling an open drain - before falling in," said colleague and co-principal investigator Fred Baganoff of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA. "That's just how long we saw the brightest X-ray flare last, so that is an intriguing clue for us to consider."

If that theory holds up, it means astronomers have found evidence for the largest asteroid ever to be torn apart by the Milky Way's black hole.

Another, different idea is that the magnetic field lines within the material flowing towards Sgr A* are packed incredibly tightly. If this were the case, these field lines would occasionally interconnect and reconfigure themselves. When this happens, their magnetic energy is converted into the energy of motion, heat and the acceleration of particles - which could produce a bright X-ray flare. Such magnetic flares are seen on the Sun, and the Sgr A* flares have a similar pattern of brightness levels to the solar events.

"At the moment, we can't distinguish between these two very different ideas," said Haggard. "It's exciting to identify tensions between models and to have a chance to resolve them with present and future observations."

In addition to the giant flares, Haggard and her team also collected more data on a magnetar - a neutron star with a strong magnetic field - located close to Sgr A*. This magnetar is undergoing a long X-ray outburst, and the Chandra data are allowing astronomers to better understand this unusual object.

As for the G2: Astronomers estimate that the gas cloud made its closest approach - still about 15 billion miles away from the edge of the black hole - in the spring of 2014. The researchers estimate the record breaking X-ray flares were produced about a hundred times closer to the black hole, making it very unlikely that the Chandra flares were associated with G2.

 

 

Chandra Detects Record-Breaking Outburst From Milky Way's Black Hole

 
‎11 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎01:19:08 AMGo to full article
Boston MA (SPX) Jan 06, 2015 - Astronomers have observed the largest X-ray flare ever detected from the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy. This event, detected by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, raises questions about the behavior of this giant black hole and its surrounding environment.

The supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, called Sagittarius A*, or Sgr A*, is estimated to contain about 4.5 million times the mass of our Sun.

Astronomers made the unexpected discovery while using Chandra to observe how Sgr A* would react to a nearby cloud of gas known as G2.

"Unfortunately, the G2 gas cloud didn't produce the fireworks we were hoping for when it got close to Sgr A*," said lead researcher Daryl Haggard of Amherst College in Massachusetts. "However, nature often surprises us and we saw something else that was really exciting."

On Sept. 14, 2013, Haggard and her team detected an X-ray flare from Sgr A* 400 times brighter than its usual, quiet state. This "megaflare" was nearly three times brighter than the previous brightest X-ray flare from Sgr A* in early 2012. After Sgr A* settled down, Chandra observed another enormous X-ray flare 200 times brighter than usual on Oct. 20, 2014.

Astronomers estimate that G2 was closest to the black hole in the spring of 2014, 15 billion miles away. The Chandra flare observed in September 2013 was about a hundred times closer to the black hole, making the event unlikely related to G2.

The researchers have two main theories about what caused Sgr A* to erupt in this extreme way. The first is that an asteroid came too close to the supermassive black hole and was torn apart by gravity. The debris from such a tidal disruption became very hot and produced X-rays before disappearing forever across the black hole's point of no return, or event horizon.

"If an asteroid was torn apart, it would go around the black hole for a couple of hours - like water circling an open drain - before falling in," said co-author Fred Baganoff of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. "That's just how long we saw the brightest X-ray flare last, so that is an intriguing clue for us to consider."

If this theory holds up, it means astronomers may have found evidence for the largest asteroid to produce an observed X-ray flare after being torn apart by Sgr A*.

A second theory is that the magnetic field lines within the gas flowing towards Sgr A* could be tightly packed and become tangled. These field lines may occasionally reconfigure themselves and produce a bright outburst of X-rays. These types of magnetic flares are seen on the Sun, and the Sgr A* flares have similar patterns of intensity.

"The bottom line is the jury is still out on what's causing these giant flares from Sgr A*," said co-author Gabriele Ponti of the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Garching, Germany. "Such rare and extreme events give us a unique chance to use a mere trickle of infalling matter to understand the physics of one of the most bizarre objects in our galaxy."

In addition to the giant flares, the G2 observing campaign with Chandra also collected more data on a magnetar: a neutron star with a strong magnetic field, located close to Sgr A*. This magnetar is undergoing a long X-ray outburst, and the Chandra data are allowing astronomers to better understand this unusual object.

These results were presented at the 225th meeting of the American Astronomical Society being held in Seattle.

 

 

Acoustic levitation made simple

 
‎11 ‎January ‎2015, ‏‎01:19:08 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Jan 06, 2015 - A team of researchers at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil has developed a new levitation device that can hover a tiny object with more control than any instrument that has come before.

Featured on this week's cover of the journal Applied Physics Letters, from AIP Publishing, the device can levitate polystyrene particles by reflecting sound waves from a source above off a concave reflector below. Changing the orientation of the reflector allow the hovering particle to be moved around.

Other researchers have built similar devices in the past, but they always required a precise setup where the sound source and reflector were at fixed "resonant" distances.

This made controlling the levitating objects difficult. The new device shows that it is possible to build a "non-resonant" levitation device -- one that does not require a fixed separation distance between the source and the reflector.

This breakthrough may be an important step toward building larger devices that could be used to handle hazardous materials, chemically-sensitive materials like pharmaceuticals -- or to provide technology for a new generation of high-tech, gee-whiz children's toys.

"Modern factories have hundreds of robots to move parts from one place to another," said Marco Aurelio Brizzotti Andrade, who led the research. "Why not try to do the same without touching the parts to be transported?"

The device Andrade and his colleagues devised was only able to levitate light particles (they tested it polystyrene blobs about 3 mm across). "The next step is to improve the device to levitate heavier materials," he said.

How the Acoustic Levitation Device Works
In recent years, there has been significant progress in the manipulation of small particles by acoustic levitation methods, Andrade said.

In a typical setup, an upper cylinder will emit high-frequency sound waves that, when they hit the bottom, concave part of the device, are reflected back. The reflected waves interact with newly emitted waves, producing what are known as standing waves, which have minimum acoustic pressure points (or nodes), and if the acoustical pressure at these nodes is strong enough, it can counteract the force of gravity and allow an object to float.

The first successful acoustical levitators could successfully trap small particles in a fixed position, but new advances in the past year or so have allowed researchers not only to trap but also to transport particles through short distances in space.

These were sorely won victories, however. In every levitation device made to date, the distance between the sound emitter and the reflector had to be carefully calibrated to achieve resonance before any levitation could occur. This meant that the separation distance had to be equal to a multiple of the half-wavelength of the sound waves. If this separation distance were changed even slightly, the standing wave pattern would be destroyed and the levitation would be lost.

The new levitation device does not require such a precise separation before operation. In fact, the distance between the sound emitter and the reflector can be continually changed in mid-flight without affecting the levitation performance at all, Andrade said.

"Just turn the levitator on and it is ready," Andrade said.

"Particle manipulation by a non-resonant acoustic levitator" is authored by Marco A. B. Andrade, Nicolas Perez and Julio C. Adamowski. It appears in the journal Applied Physics Letters on Monday, January 5, 2015 (DOI: 10.1063/1.4905130).

 

 

XMM-Newton spots monster black hole hidden in tiny galaxy

 
‎28 ‎December ‎2014, ‏‎10:58:46 PMGo to full article
Paris (ESA) Dec 20, 2014 - First impressions can be deceptive - astronomers have used ESA's X-ray satellite XMM-Newton to find a massive black hole hungrily feeding within a tiny dwarf galaxy, despite there being no hint of this black hole from optical observations.

The galaxy, an irregular dwarf named J1329+3234, is one of the smallest galaxies yet to contain evidence of a massive black hole. Located over 200 million light-years away, the galaxy is similar in size to the Small Magellanic Cloud, one of our nearest neighbouring galaxies, and contains a few hundred million stars.

In 2013, an international team of astronomers was intrigued to discover infrared signatures of an accreting black hole within J1329+3234 when they studied it with the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE).

The same team has now investigated the galaxy further, using ESA's XMM-Newton to hunt for this black hole in X-rays - and found something very surprising.

"The X-ray emission from J1329+3234 is over 100 times stronger than expected for this galaxy," says Nathan Secrest of George Mason University in Virginia, USA, lead author of the new study published in The Astrophysical Journal. "We would typically expect to find low-level X-ray emission from stellar-mass black holes within the galaxy, but what we found instead was emission consistent with a very massive black hole."

The combined X-ray and infrared properties of this galaxy can only be explained by the presence of a massive black hole residing in J1329+3234, similar to the supermassive black holes found at the centres of much more massive galaxies.

While the exact mass of the black hole is not known, it must be at least 3000 times as massive as the Sun, although it is likely to be much more massive than that. If the black hole in J1329+3234 is similar to known low-mass supermassive black holes, then it has a mass of around 150 000 times that of the Sun.

A feeding black hole at the centre of a galaxy is known as an active galactic nucleus, or AGN. In the region surrounding the black hole, material from the galaxy emits intensely bright radiation as it swirls inwards towards the centre of the galaxy and is devoured by the black hole. AGNs powered by massive black holes are commonplace in large galaxies, but they appear to be rarer in galaxies without a central "bulge" of stars - dwarf galaxies being a key example.

"This is a really important discovery," says co-author Shobita Satyapal, also from George Mason University. "It's interesting enough that such a tiny galaxy has such a large black hole, but this also raises questions about how these black holes form in the first place."

Astronomers believe that the "seeds" of massive black holes formed very early on in the Universe, along with the first generation of stars. These seed black holes then grew into massive black holes via a string of galaxy mergers. As the galaxies merged, so did their central black holes.

The turbulent merging process would feed the accreting black holes with copious amounts of material while simultaneously building up large, bulge-dominated galaxies. However, with each successive merger information about the properties of the original black hole is lost, meaning that astronomers cannot determine the mass of the original seeds by looking at massive bulge-dominated galaxies - instead they probe their dwarf and bulgeless relatives, such as J1329+3234, for clues.

Finding a massive black hole within such a tiny bulgeless galaxy provides support for the theory that black holes may have grown very efficiently within the gaseous haloes of forming galaxies, originating in massive, collapsing clouds of primordial gas.

Along with J1329+3234, Secrest and his colleagues found several hundred other bulgeless galaxies from the WISE survey that also show intriguing infrared properties - many of which, like J1329+3234, display no evidence for AGNs in optical light.

"The idea that we could find an accreting black hole even in a galaxy with no optical evidence for one is exciting," notes Secrest. "Massive black holes and AGNs may be much more common within low mass and bulgeless galaxies than we currently think."

In recent years, growing numbers of massive black holes have been identified within dwarf and bulgeless galaxies. However, it is much harder to find them than it is to find their supermassive counterparts - they are less likely to show up in optical studies since they are often obscured by dust and are usually much dimmer, making them difficult to detect above surrounding light.

This emphasises the importance of multi-wavelength sky surveys, says ESA's XMM-Newton project scientist Norbert Schartel. "Using a mix of optical, infrared, and X-ray observations was vital here," he adds. "The sensitivity of XMM-Newton made it possible not only to discover this black hole but to also fully characterise its spectrum, meaning we can say with much more certainty that it's a black-hole-fuelled AGN."

 

 

'Perfect Storm' Quenching Star Formation around a Supermassive Black Hole

 
‎28 ‎December ‎2014, ‏‎10:58:46 PMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Dec 18, 2014 - High-energy jets powered by supermassive black holes can blast away a galaxy's star-forming fuel, resulting in so-called "red and dead" galaxies: those brimming with ancient red stars yet containing little or no hydrogen gas to create new ones.

Now astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have discovered that black holes don't have to be nearly so powerful to shut down star formation. By observing the dust and gas at the center of NGC 1266, a nearby lenticular galaxy with a relatively modest central black hole, the astronomers have detected a "perfect storm" of turbulence that is squelching star formation in a region that would otherwise be an ideal star factory.

This turbulence is stirred up by jets from the galaxy's central black hole slamming into an incredibly dense envelope of gas. This dense region, which may be the result of a recent merger with another smaller galaxy, blocks nearly 98 percent of material propelled by the jets from escaping the galactic center.

"Like an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object, the particles in these jets meet so much resistance when they hit the surrounding dense gas that they are almost completely stopped in their tracks," said Katherine Alatalo, an astronomer with the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena and lead author on a paper published in the Astrophysical Journal.

This energetic collision produces powerful turbulence in the surrounding gas, disrupting the first critical stage of star formation.

"So what we see is the most intense suppression of star formation ever observed," noted Alatalo.

Previous observations of NGC 1266 revealed a broad outflow of gas from the galactic center traveling up to 400 kilometers per second. Alatalo and her colleagues estimate that this outflow is as forceful as the simultaneous supernova explosion of 10,000 stars. The jets, though powerful enough to stir the gas, are not powerful enough to give it the velocity it needs to escape from the system.

"Another way of looking at it is that the jets are injecting turbulence into the gas, preventing it from settling down, collapsing, and forming stars," said National Radio Astronomy Observatory astronomer and co-author Mark Lacy.

The region observed by ALMA contains about 400 million times the mass of our Sun in star-forming gas, which is 100 times more than is found in giant star-forming molecular clouds in our own Milky Way. Normally, gas this concentrated should be producing stars at a rate at least 50 times faster than the astronomers observe in this galaxy.

Previously, astronomers believed that only extremely powerful quasars and radio galaxies contained black holes that were powerful enough to serve as a star-forming "on/off" switch.

"The usual assumption in the past has been that the jets needed to be powerful enough to eject the gas from the galaxy completely in order to be effective at stopping start formation," said Lacy.

To make this discovery, the astronomers first pinpointed the location of the far-infrared light being emitted by the galaxy. Normally, this light is associated with star formation and enables astronomers to detect regions where new stars are forming.

In the case of NGC 1266, however, this light was coming from an extremely confined region at the center of the galaxy. "This very small area was almost too small for the infrared light to be coming from star formation," noted Alatalo.

With ALMA's exquisite sensitivity and resolution, and along with observations from CARMA (the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy), the astronomers were then able to trace the location of the very dense molecular gas at the galactic center. They found that the gas is surrounding this compact source of far-infrared light.

Under normal conditions, gas this dense would be forming stars at a very high rate. The dust embedded within this gas would then be heated by young stars and seen as a bright and extended source of infrared light. The small size and faintness of the infrared source in this galaxy suggests that NGC 1266 is instead choking on its own fuel, seemingly in defiance of the rules of star formation.

The astronomers also speculate that there is a feedback mechanism at work in this region. Eventually, the black hole will calm down and the turbulence will subside so star formation can begin anew. With this renewed star formation, however, comes greater motion in the dense gas, which then falls in on the black hole and reestablishes the jets, shutting down star formation once again.

NGC 1266 is located approximately 100 million light-years away in the constellation Eridanus. Leticular galaxies are spiral galaxies, like our own Milky Way, but they have little interstellar gas available to form new stars.

 

 

Fraud-proof credit cards possible with quantum physics

 
‎28 ‎December ‎2014, ‏‎10:58:46 PMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Dec 16, 2014 - Credit card fraud and identify theft are serious problems for consumers and industries. Though corporations and individuals work to improve safeguards, it has become increasingly difficult to protect financial data and personal information from criminal activity. Fortunately, new insights into quantum physics may soon offer a solution.

As reported in The Optical Society's (OSA) new high-impact journal Optica, a team of researchers from the Netherlands has harnessed the power of quantum mechanics to create a fraud-proof method for authenticating a physical "key" that is virtually impossible to thwart.

This innovative security measure, known as Quantum-Secure Authentication, can confirm the identity of any person or object, including debit and credit cards, even if essential information (like the complete structure of the card) has been stolen. It uses the unique quantum properties of light to create a secure question-and-answer (Q&A) exchange that cannot be "spoofed" or copied.

The "Question-and-Answer" Security Game
Traditional magnetic-stripe-only cards are relatively simple to use but also simple to copy. Recently, banks have begun issuing so-called "smart cards" that include a microprocessor chip to authenticate, identify and enhance security. But regardless of how complex the code or how many layers of security, the problem remains that an attacker who obtains the information stored inside the card can copy or emulate it.

The new approach outlined in this paper avoids this risk entirely by using the peculiar quantum properties of photons that allow them to be in multiple locations at the same time to convey the authentication questions and answers. Though difficult to reconcile with our everyday experiences, this strange property of light can create a fraud-proof Q&A exchange, like those used to authorize credit card transactions.

"Single photons of light have very special properties that seem to defy normal behavior," said Pepijn Pinkse, a researcher from the University of Twente and lead author on the paper. "When properly harnessed, they can encode information in such a way that prevents attackers from determining what the information is."

The process works by transmitting a small, specific number of photons onto a specially prepared surface on a credit card and then observing the tell-tale pattern they make. Since -- in the quantum world -- a single photon can exist in multiple locations, it becomes possible to create a complex pattern with a few photons, or even just one.

Due to the quantum properties of light, any attempt by a hacker to observe the Q&A exchange would, as physicists say, collapse the quantum nature of the light and destroy the information being transmitted. This makes Quantum-Secure Authentication unbreakable regardless of any future developments in technology.

Making Cards Quantum Secure
To provide security in the real world, a credit card -- for example -- would be equipped with a paper-thin section of white paint containing millions of nanoparticles. Using a laser, individual photons of light are projected into the paint where they bounce around the nanoparticles like metal balls in a pinball machine until they escape back to the surface, creating the pattern used to authenticate the card.

If "normal" light is projected onto the area, an attacker could measure the entering pattern and return the correct response pattern. A bank would therefore not be able to see a difference between the real card and the counterfeit signal projected by the attacker.

However, if a bank sends a pattern of single "quantum" photons into the paint, the reflected pattern would appear to have more information - or points of light - than the number of photons projected. An attacker attempting to intercept the "question" would destroy the quantum properties of the light and capture only a fraction of the information needed to authenticate the transaction.

"It would be like dropping 10 bowling balls onto the ground and creating 200 separate impacts," said Pinkse. "It's impossible to know precisely what information was sent (what pattern was created on the floor) just by collecting the 10 bowling balls. If you tried to observe them falling, it would disrupt the entire system."

Quantum, But Not Difficult
According to Pinkse, this unique way of providing security is suitable for protecting government buildings, bank cards, credit cards, identification cards, and even cars. "The best thing about our method is that secrets aren't necessary. So they can't be filched either," he said.

Quantum-Secure Authentication could be employed in numerous situations relatively easily, since it uses simple and cheap technology -- such as lasers and projectors -- that is already available.

S. A. Goorden, M. Horstmann, A. P. Mosk, B. Skoric and P. W. H. Pinkse, "Quantum-Secure Authentication of a Physical Unclonable Key," Optica, 1, 6, 421-424 (2014)

 

 

Physicists explain puzzling particle collisions

 
‎28 ‎December ‎2014, ‏‎10:58:46 PMGo to full article
San Diego CA (SPX) Dec 16, 2014 - An anomaly spotted at the Large Hadron Collider has prompted scientists to reconsider a mathematical description of the underlying physics. By considering two forces that are distinct in everyday life but unified under extreme conditions like those within the collider and just after the birth of the universe, they have simplified one description of the interactions of elementary particles.

Their new version makes specific predictions about events that future experiments at the LHC and other colliders should observe and could help to reveal "new physics," particles or processes that have yet to be discovered.

Composite subatomic structures created by powerful collisions of protons have fallen apart in unexpected ways within a detector in the Large Hadron Collider called LHCb.

The 'b' in the detector's name stands for beauty, a designation for a kind of quark, one of the fundamental building blocks of matter. Pairs of quarks, a beauty quark plus another - any one of several different kinds - together make up a beauty meson.

Mesons are unstable, fleeting structures that quickly decay into elementary particles. One type of decay produces either an electron and a positron, or a muon and its anti-matter counterpart, an anti-muon.

The Standard Model of particle physics, a powerful mathematical model that has guided physicists to the discovery of the Higgs boson and other particles before it, predicts that the two outcomes will occur at equal rates.

But experiments using the LHCb detector see a skewed muon-to-electron decay ratio lower than expected by 25 percent. Anomalies of this kind point to "new physics," details of the fundamental forces of nature that remain to be worked out.

Benjamin Grinstein, professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego, with postdoctoral fellows Rodrigo Alonso De Pablo and Jorge Martin Camalich reconsidered the mathematics that underlie the prediction. They published a revision this week in the journal Physical Review Letters.

The Standard Model describes the particles and their interactions, which create the fundamental forces of nature including electromagnetism and the "weak force," which is responsible for radioactive decay.

In ordinary circumstances, the weak force and electromagnetism appear to be distinct, but under extraordinary conditions, such as the high energies produced by colliders or extreme condition of the cosmos moments after the Big Bang, they are thought to be unified, a notion called the electroweak theory.

"We noticed that the parameters people were using for experiments for low-mass particles like mesons were not incorporating constraints consistent with this extension -- these modifications to the Standard Model that account for additional interactions," Grinstein said. "When you do, you find surprisingly many restrictions. The thought was that at low energies you can forget about constraints from electroweak theory because you don't see them, but that's not true."

When the two forces are considered as one, some of the mathematical terms that describe the interactions, called parameters, are not allowed and can be discarded, Grinstein's group concluded. Others are related, and so can be collapsed into single parameters, greatly reducing the total number of parameters the model must consider.

"Usually a closer look leads to more detailed or complicated models. One of the nicest things about this project is that our assumptions remarkably simplified the study of the physics of these decays," Alonso said.

"We were able to pin down the new physics to explain the anomaly," Camalich said.

Their description is entirely consistent with the mathematics of the Standard Model. It is an add-on that accounts for small deviations in the expected behavior of low mass particles, such as the way beauty, strange and charm mesons decay.

Their simplified mathematical description makes specific predictions about what experimental physicists should observe. It constrains the spin, or helicity, of the elementary particles produced by certain interactions, for example.

These are extremely rare events; just one in 100 million beauty mesons decay in this way, though the collider produces billions. Only this one detector has seen the anomaly Grinstein's group considered.

Quantum field theory says that forces, or interactions, arise from the exchange of particles.

"This parametrization ignores the particle exchange. It's agnostic about that," Grinstein said. But it's a potential guide for discovering new elementary particles. "Once the exchange is well described, you can go back to ask what kind of particle must mediate it with some very specific requirements."

If additional particles exist, they have escaped notice thus far, perhaps because they are so massive that colliders haven't yet reached the energies needed to produce them.

Cosmology points to undiscovered physics as well with the existence of dark matter made of a substance unknown and dark energy accelerating the expansion of the universe with an unaccounted for force. Mysteries could convene if new particles turn out to be the stuff of dark matter.

"In physics, if you keep asking questions you get to the fundamentals, the basic interactions that can explain everything else," Alonso said.

 

 

Tag Heuer changes tune, now looking at smartwatches

 
‎28 ‎December ‎2014, ‏‎10:58:46 PMGo to full article
La Chaux-De-Fonds, Switzerland (AFP) Dec 16, 2014 - Barely a few months after dismissing Apple's smartwatch, the new chief executive of luxury Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer conceded Tuesday that such a hi-tech gadget might after all have a place in his firm's line-up.

"Initially, we were all a bit reticent," Jean-Claude Biver told reporters in La Chaux-de-Fonds, the Swiss city at the centre of the watchmaking industry.

But he insisted that any new technology would not dilute the company's reputation for making luxury goods that last.

"We will only make smartwatches if we are the best, different and unique," he said.

Biver, an industry legend who leads the watch division of Tag Heuer's owners LVMH, was appointed to head the Swiss brand on an interim basis last week following the departure of Stephane Linder.

He refused to divulge what Tag Heuer was planning, but said it would divide its research and development department so that one side could focus on technological innovation.

Any smartwatch would have to be developed through a partnership, perhaps with a university or a specialist firm.

Company vice-president Guy Semon would not be drawn on whether such a project might include a deal with a big US technology groups such as Google or Intel.

"We're casting a wide net and looking at very big companies," said Semon, who was formerly head of Tag Heuer's research and development.

He added that he viewed smartwatches as a bigger challenge than the introduction of quartz watches in the 1970s, a development which plunged Swiss watchmaking into a major crisis.

Tag Heuer is already undergoing changes. In September, the company laid off 46 Swiss employees and another 49 had their contracts suspended because of sluggish sales.

The firm said it wanted to concentrate on its core business, scrapping products such as telephones and accessories, although maintaining its line of sunglasses.

When the Apple Watch was unveiled in September, Biver insisted it would have no impact on the high end of the watch industry.

"Luxury is eternal, it is perennial. It is not something that becomes worthless after five years," he had said.

 

 

Quantum physics just got less complicated

 
‎28 ‎December ‎2014, ‏‎10:58:45 PMGo to full article
Singapore (SPX) Dec 24, 2014 - Here's a nice surprise: quantum physics is less complicated than we thought. An international team of researchers has proved that two peculiar features of the quantum world previously considered distinct are different manifestations of the same thing. The result is published in Nature Communications.

Patrick Coles, Jedrzej Kaniewski, and Stephanie Wehner made the breakthrough while at the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore. They found that 'wave-particle duality' is simply the quantum 'uncertainty principle' in disguise, reducing two mysteries to one.

"The connection between uncertainty and wave-particle duality comes out very naturally when you consider them as questions about what information you can gain about a system. Our result highlights the power of thinking about physics from the perspective of information," says Wehner, who is now an Associate Professor at QuTech at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.

The discovery deepens our understanding of quantum physics and could prompt ideas for new applications of wave-particle duality.

Wave-particle duality is the idea that a quantum object can behave like a wave, but that the wave behaviour disappears if you try to locate the object. It's most simply seen in a double slit experiment, where single particles, electrons, say, are fired one by one at a screen containing two narrow slits.

The particles pile up behind the slits not in two heaps as classical objects would, but in a stripy pattern like you'd expect for waves interfering. At least this is what happens until you sneak a look at which slit a particle goes through - do that and the interference pattern vanishes.

The quantum uncertainty principle is the idea that it's impossible to know certain pairs of things about a quantum particle at once. For example, the more precisely you know the position of an atom, the less precisely you can know the speed with which it's moving.

It's a limit on the fundamental knowability of nature, not a statement on measurement skill. The new work shows that how much you can learn about the wave versus the particle behaviour of a system is constrained in exactly the same way.

Wave-particle duality and uncertainty have been fundamental concepts in quantum physics since the early 1900s. "We were guided by a gut feeling, and only a gut feeling, that there should be a connection," says Coles, who is now a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Quantum Computing in Waterloo, Canada.

It's possible to write equations that capture how much can be learned about pairs of properties that are affected by the uncertainty principle. Coles, Kaniewski and Wehner are experts in a form of such equations known as 'entropic uncertainty relations', and they discovered that all the maths previously used to describe wave-particle duality could be reformulated in terms of these relations.

"It was like we had discovered the 'Rosetta Stone' that connected two different languages," says Coles. "The literature on wave-particle duality was like hieroglyphics that we could now translate into our native tongue. We had several eureka moments when we finally understood what people had done," he says.

Because the entropic uncertainty relations used in their translation have also been used in proving the security of quantum cryptography - schemes for secure communication using quantum particles - the researchers suggest the work could help inspire new cryptography protocols.

In earlier papers, Wehner and collaborators found connections between the uncertainty principle and other physics, namely quantum 'non-locality' and the second law of thermodynamics. The tantalising next goal for the researchers is to think about how these pieces fit together and what bigger picture that paints of how nature is constructed.

 

 

Sunday night the longest since 1912, here's why

 
‎28 ‎December ‎2014, ‏‎10:58:45 PMGo to full article
Washington (UPI) Dec 21, 2014 - At 6:04 p.m. EST on Sunday, the sun will be appear directly overhead along the Tropic of Capricorn, at 23.5 degrees latitude, south of the Equator.

It's the winter solstice, marking the beginning of winter and the longest day of the year in the Southern Hemisphere and the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Naturally, being the shortest day of the year, Sunday night will be the longest night of the year for the top half of planet Earth.

More than that, Sunday night will be longest in over a century. Scientists estimate that the Earth's rotation has slowed nearly every year since our planet first formed 4.5 billion years ago. While many thought that would mean tonight would be the longest night in history, it is actually only the longest since 1912, as the Earth has sped back up slightly in the decades since.

The slowdown is caused by a phenomenon known as tidal accelerations, whereby Earth's tidal bulge is pushed ahead by the planet's rotation. The bulge acts as a boost to the Moon, pushing its orbit slightly farther away, while the friction of the offset tidal bulge slows the rotation of the Earth. The effects are infinitesimal, but extremely precise atomic clocks have allowed scientists to confirm the slowdown.

That's the complicated part. As to why every December 21 or 22 is the shortest day and longest night of the year in the north and vise versa in the south -- that's easy. Because the Earth rotates along a tilted axis, the amount of sunlight different places on Earth receive over the course of a day changes as the Earth orbits around the sun. The roles of the two hemispheres are reversed during on June 20 or 21 during the summer solstice, when Northern Hemisphere residents enjoy their longest day of the year.

While the two solstices mark the longest and shortest days of the year, they rarely ever mark the warmest or coldest days or nights. For those north of the equator, the days will be continue to longer and longer for the next six months, but because the ocean is slower to heat up and cool down, it will be several more weeks before the ground and ocean reach equilibrium and the top half of the planet can begin to take advantage of the extra solar energy.

 

 

How electrons split: New evidence of exotic behaviors

 
‎28 ‎December ‎2014, ‏‎10:58:45 PMGo to full article
Lausanne, Switzerland (SPX) Dec 26, 2014 - Electrons may be seen as small magnets that also carry a negative electrical charge. On a fundamental level, these two properties are indivisible. However, in certain materials where the electrons are constrained in a quasi one-dimensional world, they appear to split into a magnet and an electrical charge, which can move freely and independently of each other.

A longstanding question has been whether or not similar phenomenon can happen in more than one dimension. A team lead by EPFL scientists now has uncovered new evidence showing that this can happen in quasi two-dimensional magnetic materials. Their work is published in Nature Physics.

A strange phenomenon occurs with electrons in materials that are so thin that they can be thought of as being one-dimensional, e.g. nanowires. Under certain conditions, the electrons in these materials can actually split into an electrical charge and a magnet, which are referred to as "fractional particles". An important but still unresolved question in fundamental particle physics is whether this phenomenon could arise and be observed in more dimensions, like two- or three-dimensional systems.

Henrik M. Ronnow and Bastien Dalla Piazza at EPFL and Martin Mourigal (recently appointed Assistant professor at Georgia Tech) have now led a study that provides both experimental and theoretical evidence showing that this exotic split of the electrons into fractional particles actually does take place in two dimensions.

The scientists combined state-of-the-art polarized neutron scattering technology with a novel theoretical framework, and tested a material that normally acts as an electrical insulator. Their data showed that the electrons magnetic moment can split into two halves and move almost independently in the material.

The existence of fractional particles in more than one dimension was proposed by Nobel laureate PW Anderson in 1987 when trying to develop a theory that could explain high-temperature superconductivity: the ability of some materials to conduct electricity with zero resistance at very low, yet technologically feasible, temperatures. This phenomenon remains one of the greatest mysteries and has been extensively researched in the most promising high-temperature superconductors, the copper-containing cuprates.

Under temperatures close to absolute zero, electrons bind together to form an exotic liquid that can flow with exactly no friction. While this was previously observed at near-absolute zero temperatures in other materials, this electron liquid can form in cuprates at much higher temperatures that can be reached using liquid nitrogen alone.

Consequently, there is currently an effort to find new materials displaying high-temperature superconductivity at room temperature. But understanding how it arises on a fundamental level has proven challenging, which limits the development of materials that can be used in applications. The advances brought by the EPFL scientists now bring support for the theory of superconductivity as postulated by Anderson.

"This work marks a new level of understanding in one of the most fundamental models in physics," says Henrik M. Ronnow. "It also lends new support for Anderson's theory of high-temperature superconductivity, which, despite twenty-five years of intense research, remains one of the greatest mysteries in the discovery of modern materials."

Dalla Piazza B, Mourigal M, Christensen NB, Nilsen GJ, Tregenna-Piggott P, Perring TG, Enderle M, McMorrow DF, Ivanov DA, Ronnow HM. Fractional excitations in the square lattice quantum antiferromagnet. Nature Physics 15 December 2014

 

 

Exact Solution to Model Big Bang and Quark Gluon Plasma

 
‎28 ‎December ‎2014, ‏‎10:58:45 PMGo to full article
Kent, OH (SPX) Dec 23, 2014 - Unlike in mathematics, it is rare to have exact solutions to physics problems. "When they do present themselves, they are an opportunity to test the approximation schemes (algorithms) that are used to make progress in modern physics," said Michael Strickland, Ph.D., associate professor of physics at Kent State University.

Strickland and four of his collaborators recently published an exact solution in the journal Physical Review Letters that applies to a wide array of physics contexts and will help researchers to better model galactic structure, supernova explosions and high-energy particle collisions, such as those studied at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland.

In these collisions, experimentalists create a short-lived high-temperature plasma of quarks and gluons called quark gluon plasma (QGP), much like what is believed to be the state of the universe milliseconds after the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago.

In their article, Strickland and co-authors Gabriel S. Denicol of McGill University, Ulrich Heinz and Mauricio Martinez of the Ohio State University, and Jorge Noronha of the University of Sao Paulo presented the first exact solution that describes a system that is expanding at relativistic velocities radially and longitudinally.

The equation that was solved was invented by Austrian physicist Ludwig Boltzmann in 1872 to model the dynamics of fluids and gases. This equation was ahead of its time since Boltzmann imagined that matter was atomic in nature and that the dynamics of the system could be understood solely by analyzing collisional processes between sets of particles.

"In the last decade, there has been a lot of work modeling the evolution of the quark gluon plasma using hydrodynamics in which the QGP is imagined to be fluidlike," Strickland said. "As it turns out, the equations of hydrodynamics can be obtained from the Boltzmann equation and, unlike the hydrodynamical equations, the Boltzmann equation is not limited to the case of a system that is in (or close to) thermal equilibrium.

"Both types of expansion occur in relativistic heavy ion collisions, and one must include both if one hopes to make a realistic description of the dynamics," Strickland continued. "The new exact solution has both types of expansion and can be used to tell us which hydrodynamical framework is the best."

The abstract for this article can be found here.

 

 

Choreography of an electron pair

 
‎28 ‎December ‎2014, ‏‎10:58:45 PMGo to full article
Heidelberg, Germany (SPX) Dec 19, 2014 - Physicists are continuously advancing the control they can exert over matter. A German-Spanish team working with researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg has now become the first to image the motion of the two electrons in a helium atom and even to control this electronic partner dance. The scientists are succeeding in this task with the aid of different laser pulses which they timed very accurately with respect to each other.

They employed a combination of visible flashes of light and extreme-ultraviolet pulses which lasted only a few hundred attoseconds. One attosecond corresponds to a billionth of a billionth of a second.

Physicists aim to specifically influence the motion of electron pairs because they want to revolutionise chemistry: If lasers can steer the paired bonding electrons in molecules, they could possibly produce substances which cannot be produced using conventional chemical means. Electrons are hard to get a hold of.

Physicists cannot determine their precise location in an atom, but they can narrow down the region where the charge carriers are most probably located. When electrons move, this brings about a change to the regions where the electrons have the highest probability of being located. In some electronic states - physicists call them superposition states - this motion manifests itself as a pulsing with a regular beat.

It is precisely this pulsing motion which scientists working with Thomas Pfeifer, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, have recorded in a series of images of a helium atom.

They observed how the electron pair danced close to the atomic nucleus one moment and slightly moved away from it the next moment. The researchers were not satisfied with the role of mere observers, however, and also actively intervened in the electronic choreography. They laid down the rhythm of the electronic partner dance, so to speak.

"The motion of individual electrons in the atom has already been imaged quite often and even manipulated as well," says Christian Ott, lead author of the study. "We have now achieved it for a pair of electrons which were bound together for a short time."

When electrons are shifted, molecular bonds can be created
On the one hand, the study of an electron pair is useful for physicists who want to gain a better understanding of how atoms and molecules interact with light as this interaction usually involves two or more electrons.

It is useful for chemistry, on the other hand, if they are able to direct pairs of electrons, because the typical chemical bond consists of just such a pair; this means that chemists must always move at least two electrons when they want to create or break a molecular bond.

In order to choreograph and film electrons in a helium atom, the Heidelberg-based physicists sent two laser pulses through a cell with helium gas. It is not only the energy, i.e. the colour of the pulses, which is important here, but also their intensity and the interval between them. The researchers first move the electrons of the helium into the ultrafast pulsing state with the aid of an ultraviolet flash.

They succeed only because the duration of this pulse is shorter than one femtosecond (one-millionth part of a billionth of a second), however. This is how long the pair of electrons needs for one cycle of the pulsing motion in which the pair is initially closer to the nucleus, then moves away from it and then returns to the nucleus again.

The researchers then use a weak, visible laser pulse to determine where the electrons are dancing at that particular moment. And by varying the interval between the ultraviolet attosecond pulse and the visible one, they produce a movie of the electronic dance: "Although we do not directly image where the electrons are," explains Thomas Pfeifer, "the visible pulse provides us with the relative phase of the superposition state."

The phase describes the to and fro of an oscillation, and hence the rhythmic motion of the electron pair. In this case it tells the physicists at which point of their natural pas de deux around the helium atom the electrons are at a given moment.

The team in Heidelberg uses findings from previous research to determine the dance moves. From this existing knowledge they determine where the electrons are when they are not moving.

"With the information on the phase which we measured here and our prior knowledge we reconstruct where the electrons are at a given time," says Pfeifer. He and his colleagues' experimental results are in good agreement with state-of-the art theoretical simulations by their cooperators Luca Argenti and Fernando Martin at Universidad Autonoma de Madrid in Spain, confirming the validity of the experimental and computational methodology.

Intense visible laser pulses change the rhythm of the electronic dance
The Heidelberg-based physicists also rely on these simulations to confirm the second part of their experiments. The visible laser pulse here serves them not only as a camera but also as a pacemaker for the pulsing motion of the electrons.

For when they increase the intensity of the pulse, the points in time at which the electrons are close to the atomic nucleus or further away from it shift in time. The researchers also record in an image sequence how the rhythm and thus the choreography of the electronic dance changes.

Thomas Pfeifer and his colleagues have not yet been able to explain all the details which they observe in the experiments with intense laser pulses. They want to change this now with more comprehensive experiments on the effect of the pulses.

In future experiments they also want to follow the subsequent fate of the pair of electrons in great detail, for the electronic dance in the superposition state ends with one of the two partners being ejected from the atom, with the consequence that the atom is ionised.

These ionisations also play a role in many chemical reactions. A better understanding of such wild two-electron dances could thus tell chemists how a reaction can be steered into the desired direction and product channels. At this point, at the latest, attosecond physics would create new tools for chemistry as well.

 

 

Researchers use real data rather than theory to measure the cosmos

 
‎25 ‎December ‎2014, ‏‎11:38:42 PMGo to full article
London, UK (SPX) Dec 15, 2014 - For the first time researchers have measured large distances in the Universe using data, rather than calculations related to general relativity.

A research team from Imperial College London and the University of Barcelona has used data from astronomical surveys to measure a standard distance that is central to our understanding of the expansion of the universe.

Previously the size of this 'standard ruler' has only been predicted from theoretical models that rely on general relativity to explain gravity at large scales. The new study is the first to measure it using observed data. A standard ruler is an object which consistently has the same physical size so that a comparison of its actual size to its size in the sky will provide a measurement of its distance to earth.

"Our research suggests that current methods for measuring distance in the Universe are more complicated than they need to be," said Professor Alan Heavens from the Department of Physics, Imperial College London who led the study. "Traditionally in cosmology, general relativity plays a central role in most models and interpretations. We have demonstrated that current data are powerful enough to measure the geometry and expansion history of the Universe without relying on calculations relating to general relativity.

"We hope this more data-driven approach, combined with an ever increasing wealth of observational data, could provide more precise measurements that will be useful for future projects that are planning to answer major questions around the acceleration of the Universe and dark energy."

The standard ruler measured in the research is the baryon acoustic oscillation scale. This is a pattern of a specific length which is imprinted in the clustering of matter created by small variations in density in the very early Universe (about 400,000 years after the Big Bang). The length of this pattern, which is the same today as it was then, is the baryon acoustic oscillation scale.

The team calculated the length to be 143 Megaparsecs (nearly 480 million light years) which is similar to accepted predictions for this distance from models based on general relativity.

Published in Physical Review Letters, the findings of the research suggest it is possible to measure cosmological distances independently from models that rely on general relativity.

Einstein's theory of general relativity replaced Newton's law to become the accepted explanation of how gravity behaves at large scales. Many important astrophysics models are based on general relativity, including those dealing with the expansion of the Universe and black holes. However some unresolved issues surround general relativity.

These include its lack of reconciliation with the laws of quantum physics and the need for it to be extrapolated many orders of magnitude in scales in order to apply it in cosmological settings. No other physics law have been extrapolated that much without needing any adjustment, so its assumptions are still open to question.

Co-author of the study, Professor Raul Jimenez from the University of Barcelona said: "The uncertainties around general relativity have motivated us to develop methods to derive more direct measurements of the cosmos, rather than relying so heavily on inferences from models. For our study we only made some minimal theoretical assumptions such as the symmetry of the Universe and a smooth expansion history."

Co-author Professor Licia Verde from the University of Barcelona added: "There is a big difference between measuring distance and inferring its value indirectly. Usually in cosmology we can only do the latter and this is one of these rare and precious cases where we can directly measure distance.

Most statements in cosmology assume general relativity works and does so on extremely large scales, which means we are often extrapolating figures out of our comfort zone. So it is reassuring to discover that we can make strong and important statements without depending on general relativity and which match previous statements. It gives one confidence that the observations we have of the Universe, as strange and puzzling as they might be, are realistic and sound!"

The research used current data from astronomical surveys on the brightness of exploding stars (supernovae) and on the regular pattern in the clustering of matter (baryonic acoustic oscillations) to measure the size of this 'standard ruler'. The matter that created this standard ruler formed about 400,000 years after the Big Bang. This period was a time when the physics of the Universe was still relatively simple so the researchers did not need to consider more 'exotic' concepts such as dark energy in their measurements.

"In this study we have used measurements that are very clean," Professor Heavens explained, "And the theory that we do apply comes from a time relatively soon after the Big Bang when the physics was also clean. This means we have what we believe to be a precise method of measurement based on observations of the cosmos.

"Astrophysics is an incredibly active but changeable field and the support for the different models is liable to change. Even when models are abandoned, measurements of the cosmos will survive. If we can rely on direct measurements based on real observations rather than theoretical models then this is good news for cosmology and astrophysics."

Heavens A., Jimenez J., and Verde L. (2014) Standard rulers, candles and clocks from low-redshift Universe. Physical Review Letters, 2014. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.113.241302. The paper is available here.

 

 

ESA and Omega: a watch for astronauts

 
‎21 ‎December ‎2014, ‏‎03:45:07 AMGo to full article
Paris (ESA) Dec 15, 2014 - Swiss watchmaker Omega has announced a new version of its historic space watch, tested and qualified with ESA's help and drawing on an invention of ESA astronaut Jean-Francois Clervoy.

Jean-Francois flew in space three times in the 1990s and began thinking how to improve the wristwatches he wore on his missions. ESA filed a patent based on his ideas for a timepiece that helps astronauts to track their mission events.

One of the new functions allows the wearer to set a date in the past or future down to the second and have the watch calculate how much time has elapsed or is left.

Other features useful for astronauts include flexible programming of multiple alarms with different ring tones.

The Omega company, with its strong links to spaceflight since the first Moon landings in the 1960s, was interested in improving its line of Speedmaster Professional watches, and called on ESA's patent for the new Speedmaster Skywalker X-33.

Testing the new watch
The Skywalker has passed rigorous testing at ESA's technical heart, ESTEC, in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, where many ESA satellites are put through their paces before launch.

The timepiece proved itself capable of surviving anything an astronaut might experience - and more. First, it displayed ruggedness by surviving ESTEC's shaker simulating the intense vibrations of a launch. Then it was spun in a centrifuge to reach seven times the gravity we feel on Earth, just like an astronaut might endure when returning to our planet.

The next step was to analyse its performance after sitting in a vacuum chamber with temperatures ranging from -45 C to +75 C, a far greater range than an astronaut would ever have to endure.

Finally, the watch was blasted with radiation in Sweden under supervision by France's ONERA/DESP aerospace centre to simulate space radiation. Each watch was inspected visually and its functions were reviewed before and after each test.

Ready for spaceflight
The Skywalker model is upgraded with new software loaded in an advanced quartz-based timekeeping unit with a more robust, redesigned case. A dual analogue and digital display provides quick access to multiple time references such as time zones or elapsed time for precise time logging.

President of Omega, Stephen Urquhart, said: "We are delighted that our friends at the European Space Agency have tested and qualified the Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 for all its piloted missions, which is a natural extension of our long relationship with NASA and its space programme.

"ESA's abilities and ambitions are extraordinary, as demonstrated by their recent high-profile successes with Rosetta and Philae, and we are proud that their name and endorsement grace the back of this iconic chronograph."

Jean-Francois Clervoy concludes: "I am excited and proud to see my invention implemented in a high-precision wristwatch.

"Having Omega in this partnership with ESA, based on our patent, will allow all ESA astronauts to benefit from its innovative functions."

This invention, owned and protected by ESA, is one of 135 available for commercialisation by non-space industry.

Note: ESA is an intergovernmental organisation and is not involved in the manufacturing or commercialisation of the Omega Skywalker X-33.

 

 

Scientists measure speedy electrons in silicon

 
‎21 ‎December ‎2014, ‏‎03:45:07 AMGo to full article
Berkeley CA (SPX) Dec 15, 2014 - The entire semiconductor industry, not to mention Silicon Valley, is built on the propensity of electrons in silicon to get kicked out of their atomic shells and become free. These mobile electrons are routed and switched though transistors, carrying the digital information that characterizes our age.

An international team of physicists and chemists based at the University of California, Berkeley, has for the first time taken snapshots of this ephemeral event using attosecond pulses of soft x-ray light lasting only a few billionths of a billionth of a second.

While earlier femtosecond lasers were unable to resolve the jump from the valence shell of the silicon atom across the band-gap into the conduction electron region, the new experiments now show that this transition takes less than 450 attoseconds.

"Though this excitation step is too fast for traditional experiments, our novel technique allowed us to record individual snapshots that can be composed into a 'movie' revealing the timing sequence of the process," explains Stephen Leone, UC Berkeley professor of chemistry and physics.

Leone, his UC Berkeley colleagues and collaborators from the Ludwig-Maximilians Universitat in Munich, Germany, the University of Tsukuba, Japan, and the Molecular Foundry at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory report their achievement in the Dec. 12 issue of the journal Science.

Century-old discovery observed
Leone notes that more than a century has elapsed since the discovery that light can make certain materials conductive. The first movie of this transition follows the excitation of electrons across the band-gap in silicon with the help of attosecond extreme ultraviolet (XUV) spectroscopy, developed in the Attosecond Physics Laboratory run by Leone and Daniel Neumark, UC Berkeley professor of chemistry.

In semiconducting materials, electrons are initially localized around the individual atoms forming the crystal and thus cannot move or contribute to electrical currents. When light hits these materials or a voltage is applied, some of the electrons absorb energy and get excited into mobile states in which the electrons can move through the material. The localized electrons take a "quantum jump" into the conduction band, tunneling through the barrier that normally keeps them bound to atoms.

These mobile electrons make the semiconductor material conductive so that an applied voltage results in a flowing current. This behavior allows engineers to make silicon switches, known as transistors, which have become the basis of all digital electronics.

The researchers used attosecond XUV spectroscopy like an attosecond stop watch to follow the electron's transition. They exposed a silicon crystal to ultrashort flashes of visible light emitted by a laser source. The subsequent illumination with x-ray-pulses of only a few tens of attoseconds (10-18 seconds) in duration allowed the researchers to take snapshots of the evolution of the excitation process triggered by the laser pulses.

Unambiguous interpretation of the experimental data was facilitated by a series of supercomputer simulations carried out by researchers at the University of Tsukuba and the Molecular Foundry. The simulations modeled both the excitation process and the subsequent interaction of x-ray pulses with the silicon crystal.

Electron jump makes atoms rebound
The excitation of a semiconductor with light is traditionally conceived as a process involving two distinct events. First, the electrons absorb light and get excited. Afterwards, the lattice, composed of the individual atoms in the crystal, rearranges in response to this redistribution of electrons, turning part of the absorbed energy into heat carried by vibrational waves called phonons.

In analyzing their data, the team found clear indications that this hypothesis is true. They showed that initially, only the electrons react to the impinging light while the atomic lattice remains unaffected. Long after the excitation laser pulse has left the sample - some 60 femtoseconds later - they observed the onset of a collective movement of the atoms, that is, phonons. This is near the 64 femtosecond period of the fastest lattice vibrations.

Based on current theory, the researchers calculated that the lattice spacing rebounded about 6 picometers (10-12 meters) as a result of the electron jump, consistent with other estimates.

"These results represent a clean example of attosecond science applied to a complex and fundamentally important system," Neumark says.

The unprecedented temporal resolution of this attosecond technology will allow scientists to resolve extremely brief electronic processes in solids that to date seemed too fast to be approached experimentally, says Martin Schultze, who was a guest researcher in Leone's lab last year, visiting from the Ludwig-Maximilians Universitat Munchen.

This poses new challenges to the theory of light-matter interactions, including the excitation step, its timescale and the interpretation of experimental x-ray spectra.

"But here is also an advantage," Schultze adds. "With our ultrashort excitation and probing pulses, the atoms in the crystal can be considered frozen during the interaction. That eases the theoretical treatment a lot."

 

 

Secondary relaxation in metallic glasses: A key to glassy materials and glassy physics

 
‎21 ‎December ‎2014, ‏‎03:45:07 AMGo to full article
Beijing, China (SPX) Dec 09, 2014 - Humans have been experimenting with and utilizing glassy materials for more than ten millennia, dating back to about 12000 B.C. Although glassy materials are the oldest known artificial materials, new discoveries and novel applications continue to appear.

Yet understanding of glass is far from complete, and the nature of glass constitutes a longstanding puzzle in condensed mater physics.

In a new overview titled "The B-Relaxation in Metallic Glasses" and published in the Beijing-based National Science Review, co-authors Hai Bin Yu and and Konrad Samwer, based at the Physikalisches Institut of Gemany's Universitat Gottingen, and Wei Hua Wang and Hai Yang Bai of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Physics in Beijing, demonstrate that many outstanding issues of glassy physics and glassy materials are connected with one relaxation process - the so-called B relaxation or secondary relaxation.

Focusing on metallic glasses as model systems, they review the features and mechanisms of B relaxations, which are intrinsic and universal to supercooled liquids and glasses. To gain a more prefect understanding of the nature of B relaxations, they suggest, computer simulations are urgently needed.

These scientists likewise demonstrate the importance of metallic glasses in understanding many crucial unresolved issues in glassy physics and material sciences, including glass transition phenomena, mechanical properties, shear-banding dynamics and deformation mechanisms, diffusions and the breakdown of Stokes-Einstein relation, as well as crystallization and stability of glasses.

While outlining the scientific significance of each of these areas, the Chinese and German scientists suggest there are attractive prospects to incorporating these insights into the design of new glassy materials with extraordinary properties.

The new study likewise suggests that B relaxations in metallic glasses could play an increasingly important role in tailoring the properties of glassy materials for particular applications.

Glassy materials (alloys or polymers) with pronounced B relaxation peaks around room temperature could be ductile - a property very desired for mechanical applications. On the other hand, however, for amorphous medicines, which can be much better absorbed by humans, B relaxation should be suppressed or avoided as it can cause re-crystallization during storage.

 

 

Einstein documents digitization project complete

 
‎07 ‎December ‎2014, ‏‎03:12:33 AMGo to full article
Princeton, N.J. (UPI) Dec 5, 2014 - Anyone with a computer and an Internet connection can now explore more than 80,000 pages of documents left behind by the world's most famous physics genius, Albert Einstein.

The now-complete Digital Einstein project -- the online phase of the Einstein Papers project and a collaboration between Princeton University Press and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (to whom the scientist bequeathed his intellectual legacy) -- is nearly two decades in the making. Researchers began sorting through the physicist's letters, papers, postcards, notebooks and diaries in 1986.

The online documents correspond with a series of physical books, The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, previously released by Princeton University Press. The more than 5,000 searchable online documents, available in German and English, cover Einstein's life through his 1921 Nobel prize in physics.

"We want to make everything accessible to a much wider audience than just the scholars, historians, physicists and philosophers," Diana Kormos-Buchwald, director of the Einstein Papers project, told The Guardian. "It's been a challenge to get all the material online, but I'm extremely thrilled that we have succeeded."

Additional documents will be uploaded over time as additional volumes are printed by Princeton.

"We've been working on it for a while, and we've been thinking about it for a long time," Kormos-Buchwald told Inside Higher Education. "Only now do we have a fantastic colleague like [Princeton University Press's] Kenneth Reed who could make it so that it could be standardized and authorized and correct."

 

 

 

 

 

***SPECIAL OFFER ***

BUY THE DVD

&

GET THE BOOK

ONLY

PRICE R199.00

THIS LINK ONLY

 

 

 

 

Beyond Perception - DVD

by Chuck Missler  

 

 

DVD

PRICE R 159.00

 

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

Has physics finally reached the very boundaries of reality?

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

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

This DVD includes notes in PDF format and MP3 files.

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


 
The Beyond Collection 

 

 

      

 

 

 

Price R399.00

 The Collection Includes the 4 DVD'S below

 

 

 

DVD - R159.00

 

 

DVD - R159.00

 

 

DVD - R159.00

 

 

DVD - R159.00

 

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

 

 YOU SAVE R 237.00!

Genetics Research Confirms Biblical Timeline

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

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

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

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

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

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

References

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

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

 

 

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.

 More...

 

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?

 More...

 

 

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.

 More...

 

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.

 More...

 

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.

 More...

 

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.

 More...

 

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.

 More...

 
 

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.

 More...

 

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.

 More...

 

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.

 More...

 

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.

 More...

 

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.

 More...

 

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?

 More...

 

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?

 More...

 

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?

 More...

 

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.

 More...

 

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.

 More...

 

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.

 More...

 

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.

 More...

 

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?

 More...

 

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.

 More...
 

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.

 More...

 

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.

 More...

 

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?

 More...

 

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?

 More...

 

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.

 More...

 

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.

 More...

 

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.

 More...

 

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.

 More...

 

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.

 More...

 

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?

 More...

 

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.

 More...

 

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.

 More...

 

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?

 More...

 

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.

 More...

 

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.

 More...

 

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.

 More...

 

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.

 More...

 

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?

 More...

 

Ten Evidences for Creation

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

Get some fast facts on the evidences for creation science!

 More...

 

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.

 More...

 

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.

 More...

 

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.

 More...

 

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.

 More...

 

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.

 More...

 

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.

 More...

 

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.

 More...

 

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?

 More...

 

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.

 More...

 

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.

 More...

 

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?"

 More...

 

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.

 More...

 
 

 

 
 

Scientific American Content: Global

 

 

 

Browse and Search NASA Image Galleries

 

 


DVD

PRICE R 159.00

 

 

 

 

 

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

by Dr. Martin Erdmann


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

More Info

 

 

Price R 159.00
 
 
 
THE BOOK

Price R179.00

 

 

***SPECIAL OFFER ***

BUY THE DVD

&

GET THE BOOK

ONLY

PRICE R199.00

THIS LINK ONLY

 

 

 

 

DVD - R 159.00


 

 

 

Book   R169.00

 

 

 

Available in the following formats:
DVD
Price R 159.00
 
 
 

All prices are in South African Rand's.
 
 

 

 Preview

The Origins of Information: Exploring and Explaining Biological Information


 

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

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

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

 

http://www.stephencmeyer.org/

Got Science? Genesis 1 and Evidence

 

 

 
DVD - R159.00
 

 

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

Intelligent Design is not Creationism

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

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

 

09 December 2011, 11:13:24 PM

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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


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


 

 

Searching For The Truth On Origins
By Roger Oakland

4 DVD set

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRICE  R399.00

 

 ($49.00) equivalent

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

NASA Television
 

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


 

+27 11 969 0086


frosty@khouseafrica.com

 

 


Bible

DVD

+

MP3 on CD-ROM
Featured Commentaries

Learn the Bible

 in 24 hours



Old Testament


Genesis

Exodus

Leviticus

Numbers

Deuteronomy

Joshua and The Twelve Tribes

Judges

Ruth and Esther

I and II Samuel

I and II Kings

I and II Chronicles

Ezra & Nehemiah

Job

Psalms

Proverbs

Ecclesiastes

Song of Songs

Isaiah

Jeremiah

/Lamentations

Ezekiel

Daniel

Hosea

Joel and Amos

Jonah, Nahum & Obadiah

Micah

Zechariah

The Minor

Prophets

 



New Testament


Matthew

Mark

Luke

John

Acts

Romans

I & II Corinthians

Galatians

Ephesians

Philippians

Colossians and Philemon

I and II

Thessalonians

Timothy/

Titus/Philemon

Hebrews

James

I and II Peter

I, II, and III John

Jude

Revelation