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This page is dedicated to My Grandson Brandon.

(Branstein)

***IN STOCK***
 HOLOGRAPHIC

UNIVERSE

by Chuck Missler

DVD

PRICE R 159.00

 

 

 

 

This DVD includes notes in PDF format and M4A files.


This briefing pack contains 2 hours of teachings

Available in the following formats

Session 1

• Epistemology 101: How do we “know”?

– Scientific Myths of the Past

– Scientific Myths of the Present

• The Macrocosm: The Plasma Universe: Gravitational Presumption?

• The Microcosm: The Planck Wall

• The Metacosm: Fracture of Hyperspace?

Session 2


• The Holographic Model: David Bohm

• GEO 600 “Noise”

• The Black Hole Paradox

– String Theorists examine the elephant

• A Holographic Universe:

– Distances are synthetic (virtual) images

– A Geocentric Cosmology?

– Some Scriptural Perspective(s)

 

 

“One can’t believe impossible things,”

Alice laughed.

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

said the Queen.

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

half-an-hour a day.

Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many

as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Through the Looking Glass

Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)
 

DVD:

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

M4A File Video

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


 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured Briefing

A Holographic Universe?

by Dr. Chuck Missler

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

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

The Cosmos As a Super-Hologram?

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

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

The Nature of Reality

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

The Search for Gravity Waves

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

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

Mystery Noise

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

Gravitational Wave Observatories Join Forces

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

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

Cosmic Implications

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

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

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

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

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

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


Notes

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

Published on Jan 28, 2015

Chuck Missler had the opportunity to sit discuss Zero Point Energy (ZPE) with Barry Setterfield 
Space News from SpaceDaily.com
 

Space News From SpaceDaily.Com

 

 
 

Russia Launches Satan Missile With S Korean Kompsat 3A Satellite

 
‎27 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎03:28:06 AMGo to full article
Moscow, Russia (Sputnik) Mar 27, 2015
The launch was completed at 01:08 a. m. Moscow time on Thursday (22:08 GMT on Wednesday) from the Yasny launch site located in Russia's Orenburg Region, according to the spokesman. The RS-20B missile will deliver the South Korean Kompsat-3A satellite into orbit. Kompsat-3A, developed by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), will be used for environmental, agricultural and oceanogr
 

United Launch Alliance Launches Second Mission in Less than Two Weeks

 
‎27 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎03:28:06 AMGo to full article
Cape Canaveral FL (SPX) Mar 27, 2015
A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV rocket successfully launched the ninth Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF satellite for the U.S. Air Force at 2:36 pm Thursday from Space Launch Complex-37. This is ULA's fourth launch in 2015 and the 95th successful launch since the company was formed in December 2006. "Congratulations to the Air Force and all of our mission partners on today's suc
 

Japan Launches Spy Satellite Into Orbit

 
‎27 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎03:28:06 AMGo to full article
Tokyo, Japan (Sputnik) Mar 27, 2015
Japan successfully launched a rocket carrying a backup optical satellite for the government's intelligence gathering program. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. launched the H-2A rocket with an advanced ground-monitoring satellite from the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan, Kyodo news agency reported Thursday.
 

Countdown Begins for ISRO's Navigation Satellite Launch

 
‎27 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎03:28:06 AMGo to full article
Chennai, India (SPX) Mar 27, 2015
The countdown for the lift of an Indian rocket with the country's fourth navigation satellite as the sole passenger began at 5.49 am Thursday, the ISRO said. According to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the 59 and half hours countdown for the launch of rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-27) carrying Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System-IRNSS-1D began in the Sriha
 

Explosions of Jupiter's aurora linked to extraordinary planet-moon interaction

 
‎27 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎03:28:06 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Mar 26, 2015
On Earth, bursts of particles spewed by the Sun spark shimmering auroras, like the Northern Lights, that briefly dance at our planet's poles. But, on Jupiter, there's an auroral glow all the time, and new observations show that this Jovian display sometimes flares up because of a process having nothing to do with the Sun. Jupiter watchers have long known that the giant planet's ever-presen
 

Russia Plans to Boost Space Tourism at Orbital Outpost

 
‎27 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎03:28:06 AMGo to full article
Moscow, Russia (Sputnik) Mar 26, 2015
Russia may reduce the number of cosmonauts on board the International Space Station (ISS) in order to optimize the commercial use of its ISS segment, the Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, said Tuesday. Russia has suspended its space tourism program in 2010 due to ISS crew increase. Tourist flights are set to resume in 2015. British singer Sarah Brightman is set to be the eighth space touris
 

UAE Moves to Purchase Russian Spacecraft Launch Platform

 
‎27 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎03:28:06 AMGo to full article
Moscow, Russia (Sputnik) Mar 26, 2015
The United Arab Emirates is interested in the acquisition of the international spacecraft launch platform "Sea Launch". It is a sea-based launch system that allows launches of commercial freights on specialized Zenit-3SL rockets. The UAE expressed its interest in this project. Several meetings were held between the UAE and Russia. But at the moment the intensity of negotiations regarding t
 

Cost of Russian Space Projects Grows by 27 percent

 
‎27 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎03:28:06 AMGo to full article
Moscow, Russia (Sputnik) Mar 26, 2015
Russian space projects have risen in price on average by 27 percent due to the current economic situation, Yuri Koptev, a representative of the Russian Space Agency Roscosmos said Tuesday. "All this [economic situation] has led to a 27-percent price jump on average for every space project," Koptev said at a press-conference. The ministry of economic development had expected a lower level o
 

Soyuz ready March 27 flight to deploy two Galileo navsats

 
‎27 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎03:28:06 AMGo to full article
Paris (SPX) Mar 27, 2015
Authorization has been given for tomorrow's Arianespace Soyuz launch from French Guiana, providing the "green light" for this medium-lift mission that will further expand Europe's Galileo global navigation satellite system. The approval was granted after the regular pre-launch review for Arianespace flights - which confirmed the readiness of Soyuz and its payload of two Galileo Full Operat
 

A new spin on Saturn's peculiar rotation

 
‎27 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎03:28:06 AMGo to full article
Tel Aviv, Israel (SPX) Mar 26, 2015
Tracking the rotation speed of solid planets, like the Earth and Mars, is a relatively simple task: Just measure the time it takes for a surface feature to roll into view again. But giant gas planets Jupiter and Saturn are more problematic for planetary scientists, as they both lack measureable solid surfaces and are covered by thick layers of clouds, foiling direct visual measurements by space
 

The key to the long-term storage of DOC in the deep ocean

 
‎27 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎03:28:06 AMGo to full article
Madrid, Spain (SPX) Mar 26, 2015
Researchers from the Malaspina Expedition have made strides in the understanding of the mechanisms governing the persistence of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) for hundreds or thousands of years in the deep ocean. Most of this material is below 1,000 meters deep, but it is not degraded by bacteria. Until now, it was thought that it consisted of non-degradable chemical compounds, but this st
 

New transitory form of silica observed

 
‎27 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎03:28:06 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Mar 26, 2015
A Carnegie-led team was able to discover five new forms of silica under extreme pressures at room temperature. Their findings are published by Nature Communications. Silicon dioxide, commonly called silica, is one of the most-abundant natural compounds and a major component of the Earth's crust and mantle. It is well-known even to non-scientists in its quartz crystalline form, which is a m
 

Landmark study proves that magnets can control heat and sound

 
‎27 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎03:28:06 AMGo to full article
Columbus OH (SPX) Mar 26, 2015
Researchers at The Ohio State University have discovered how to control heat with a magnetic field. In the journal Nature Materials, they describe how a magnetic field roughly the size of a medical MRI reduced the amount of heat flowing through a semiconductor by 12 percent. The study is the first ever to prove that acoustic phonons - the elemental particles that transmit both heat and sound - h
 

New technology converts packing peanuts to battery components

 
‎27 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎03:28:06 AMGo to full article
West Lafayette IN (SPX) Mar 26, 2015
Researchers have shown how to convert waste packing peanuts into high-performance carbon electrodes for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that outperform conventional graphite electrodes, representing an environmentally friendly approach to reuse the waste. Batteries have two electrodes, called an anode and a cathode. The anodes in most of today's lithium-ion batteries are made of graphit
 

Feud on Earth but peace in space for US and Russia

 
‎27 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎03:28:06 AMGo to full article
Moscow (AFP) March 26, 2015
Hundreds of kilometres below on Earth, their governments are locked in a standoff over Ukraine - but up in space, Russian cosmonauts and American astronauts are still working together side by side. The International Space Station (ISS) is one of the rare areas of US-Russian cooperation that has not been hit by the Ukraine crisis and in the latest show of commitment, the next joint mission i
 

Curiosity Rover Finds Biologically Useful Nitrogen on Mars

 
‎26 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:45:47 PMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Mar 26, 2015
A team using the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite aboard NASA's Curiosity rover has made the first detection of nitrogen on the surface of Mars from release during heating of Martian sediments. The nitrogen was detected in the form of nitric oxide, and could be released from the breakdown of nitrates during heating. Nitrates are a class of molecules that contain nitrogen in
 

Next Steps on Journey to Mars: Progress on Asteroid Initiative

 
‎26 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:45:47 PMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Mar 26, 2015
NASA Wednesday announced more details in its plan for its Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), which in the mid-2020s will test a number of new capabilities needed for future human expeditions to deep space, including to Mars. NASA also announced it has increased the detection of near-Earth asteroids by 65 percent since launching its asteroid initiative three years ago. For ARM, a robotic spac
 

NASA Reformats Memory of Longest-Running Mars Rover

 
‎26 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:45:47 PMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Mar 26, 2015
After avoiding use of the rover's flash memory for three months, the team operating NASA's 11-year-old Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has reformatted the vehicle's flash memory banks and resumed storing some data overnight for transmitting later. The team received confirmation from Mars on March 20 that the reformatting completed successfully. The rover switched to updated software ear
 

Ancient Martian lake system records 2 water-related events

 
‎26 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:45:47 PMGo to full article
Providence RI (SPX) Mar 26, 2015
Researchers from Brown University have completed a new analysis of an ancient Martian lake system in Jezero Crater, near the planet's equator. The study finds that the onslaught of water that filled the crater was one of at least two separate periods of water activity in the region surrounding Jezero. "We can say that this one really well-exposed location makes a strong case for at least t
 

Galileo satellites enclosed for Friday's launch

 
‎26 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:45:47 PMGo to full article
Paris (ESA) Mar 26, 2015
Thousands of engineers have worked on the seventh and eighth navigation satellites of Europe's Galileo constellation in recent years, but last Friday marked the very last time the spacecraft were glimpsed by human eyes. The team from ESA and builders OHB in the S3B building of Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana looked on as the focus of their work disappeared from view. The pair of satell
 

Have Researchers Discovered the Sound of the Stars

 
‎26 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:45:47 PMGo to full article
York, UK (SPX) Mar 26, 2015
A chance discovery by a team of researchers, including a University of York scientist, has provided experimental evidence that stars may generate sound. The study of fluids in motion - now known as hydrodynamics - goes back to the Egyptians, so it is not often that new discoveries are made. However when examining the interaction of an ultra-intense laser with a plasma target, the team obse
 

Chemical Fingerprints of Ancient Supernovae Found

 
‎26 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:45:47 PMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Mar 26, 2015
A Carnegie-based search of nearby galaxies for their oldest stars has uncovered two stars in the Sculptor dwarf galaxy that were born shortly after the galaxy formed, approximately 13 billion years ago. The unusual chemical content of the stars may have originated in a single supernova explosion from the first generation of Sculptor stars. The Sculptor dwarf is a small galaxy that orbits a
 

Satellites Catch 'Growth Spurt' from Newborn Protostar

 
‎26 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:45:47 PMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Mar 26, 2015
Using data from orbiting observatories, including NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, and ground-based facilities, an international team of astronomers has discovered an outburst from a star thought to be in the earliest phase of its development. The eruption, scientists say, reveals a sudden accumulation of gas and dust by an exceptionally young protostar known as HOPS 383. Stars form within
 

Colliding stars explain enigmatic 17th century explosion

 
‎26 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:45:47 PMGo to full article
Munich, Germany (SPX) Mar 26, 2015
New observations made with APEX and other telescopes reveal that the star that European astronomers saw appear in the sky in 1670 was not a nova, but a much rarer, violent breed of stellar collision. It was spectacular enough to be easily seen with the naked eye during its first outburst, but the traces it left were so faint that very careful analysis using submillimetre telescopes was nee
 

I Zw 18 - The Galaxy that Reveals the Universe's History

 
‎26 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:45:47 PMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Mar 26, 2015
I Zw 18 stands out for its extreme scarcity of heavy elements, a characteristic typical of primeval galaxies. A map of ionized helium in the galaxy has just been published, indicating the presence of peculiar stars similar to the first that ever shone in the universe. The first galaxies were formed some 13.3 billion years ago, mainly composed of hydrogen and helium, the primary elements th
 

US Prepares for Space Warfare, Citing Chinese Success

 
‎26 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:45:47 PMGo to full article
Washington DC (Sputnik) Mar 26, 2015
Anti-missile technologies tested by China over the last decade have caused alarm for US officials. In terms of space defense, the United States may be losing out in the futuristic "counterspace" campaign. In 2007, a Chinese weather satellite circling in polar orbit was struck by a missile fired from the Sichuan province. This marked the first successful satellite interception test since th
 

Tern enables small ships to host their own UAVs

 
‎26 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:45:47 PMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Mar 26, 2015
DARPA has awarded prime contracts for Phase 2 of Tern, a joint program between DARPA and the U.S. Navy's Office of Naval Research (ONR). The goal of Tern is to give forward-deployed small ships the ability to serve as mobile launch and recovery sites for medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial systems (UAS). These systems could provide long-range intelligence, surveillance and reco
 

US Developing Space Radar in Marshall Islands

 
‎26 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:45:47 PMGo to full article
Washington DC (Sputnik) Mar 26, 2015
The US Air Force is establishing an advanced radar system in the Marshall Islands to detect thousands of satellites and space debris, the builder of the Space Fence radar system Lockheed Martin said in a statement. "The number of small satellites and satellite operators around the world is skyrocketing, rapidly crowding an environment already congested by the more than 17,000 pieces of spa
 

Russia Warns West Against Destroying Nuclear Parity

 
‎26 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:45:47 PMGo to full article
Moscow, Russia (Sputnik) Mar 26, 2015
The United States and other NATO countries should reconsider making unilateral steps in the area of missile defense that could destroy nuclear parity and prompt an adequate response from Moscow, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Wednesday. "The United States and other NATO countries, in our opinion, should abandon harmful unilateral steps in the sphere of missile defense so that they could
 

Russia warns US against sending missile defence system to South Korea

 
‎26 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎05:54:43 AMGo to full article
Moscow (AFP) March 24, 2015
Russia on Tuesday warned the United States against sending a ballistic missile defence system to South Korea, saying it could threaten regional security. Washington says it wants to deploy the system, known as THAAD, to South Korea as a deterrent to military provocation by North Korea. "Such a development cannot but cause concern about the destructive influence of the United States' g
 

NASA rover completes 11-year Mars marathon

 
‎25 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:13:35 PMGo to full article
Washington (AFP) March 25, 2015
NASA's Opportunity Mars rover has become the first human-made vehicle to complete a marathon on another planet - a feat accomplished in a record time of no less than 11 years. Opportunity passed the 26-mile (42-kilometer) mark Tuesday after approximately 11 years and two months traveling the Martian terrain, where it surpassed scientists' original expectations for a mission lasting just sev
 

NASA plans to bring boulder into moon orbit

 
‎25 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:13:35 PMGo to full article
Washington (AFP) March 25, 2015
NASA plans to launch a craft to capture a boulder from a nearby asteroid and move it into orbit around the Earth's moon for exploration by astronauts, the space agency said Wednesday. The mission, to be conducted in the mid-2020s, will help hone the capabilities NASA needs to send humans deeper into space, including to Mars, the agency said. "The option to retrieve a boulder from an aste
 

Europe poised to launch more navigation satellites

 
‎25 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:13:35 PMGo to full article
Paris (AFP) March 25, 2015
Europe is all set to launch the seventh and eighth satellites for its navigation constellation that will ultimately consist of 30 orbiters, operators said on Wednesday. The pair have been readied for the overnight Friday launch aboard a Soyuz rocket, said a European Space Agency (ESA) statement. It will be the first addition to the Galileo satnav programme since a rocket mislaunch last A
 

NASA picks Orbital ATK for NOAA satellite

 
‎25 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:13:35 PMGo to full article
Dulles, Va. (UPI) Mar 25, 2015
NASA has contracted Orbital ATK to design, produce and integrate up to three Joint Polar Satellite Systems spacecraft for weather forecasting. The satellites will be operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In addition to weather forecasting the satellites will advance environmental and oceanographic science. "Orbital ATK is honored to be selected by NASA
 

Short circuit delays particle hunter machine restart

 
‎25 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:13:35 PMGo to full article
Geneva (AFP) March 25, 2015
A short-circuit at the world's largest proton smasher has indefinitely delayed the particle-hunting machine's planned restart, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) said on Wednesday. The error occurred last Saturday in one of the Large Hadron Collider's (LHC) magnet circuits, the laboratory said in a statement. "It is a well understood issue, but one that could take time
 

Mars has nitrogen, key to life: NASA

 
‎25 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:13:35 PMGo to full article
Washington (AFP) March 24, 2015
NASA's Curiosity rover has found nitrogen on the surface of Mars, a significant discovery that adds to evidence the Red Planet could once have sustained life, the space agency said Tuesday. By drilling into Martian rocks, Curiosity found evidence of nitrates, compounds containing nitrogen that can be used by living organisms. The Curiosity team has already found evidence that other ingre
 

India's frugal Mars mission extended by six months

 
‎25 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:13:35 PMGo to full article
Bangalore, India (AFP) March 24, 2015
India's famously frugal Mars mission has been extended by around six months thanks to a surplus of fuel on board the spacecraft, the country's space agency said Tuesday. The Mars Orbiter Mission spacecraft had been scheduled to wrap up its mission this month after India in September became the first Asian nation to reach the Red Planet, all on a shoe-string budget. But scientists said th
 

50 years ago today, space welcomed its first sandwich

 
‎25 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:13:35 PMGo to full article
Washington (UPI) Mar 24, 2015
Fifty years ago, on March 23, 1965, space welcomed a sandwich - a corned beef sandwich, snuck aboard the Gemini 3 probe. The sandwich was smuggled into space by NASA pilot John Young. Commander pilot Gus Grissom accompanied Young on the mission - the first manned Gemini mission and second manned U.S. space mission ever. As Space.com reports, when Young pulled the sandwich from
 

Ground broken for Space Fence installation

 
‎25 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:13:35 PMGo to full article
Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands (UPI) Mar 24, 2015
Construction of facilities for the new Space Fence radar system has been started in the Marshall Islands by the U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin. Space Fence is an S-band ground-based radar system. It will replace the 1960s Air Force Space Surveillance System to track objects in orbit around the Earth and increase the ability to predict and prevent space-based collisions. "The
 

Wandering Jupiter accounts for our unusual solar system

 
‎25 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:13:35 PMGo to full article
Santa Cruz CA (SPX) Mar 25, 2015
Jupiter may have swept through the early solar system like a wrecking ball, destroying a first generation of inner planets before retreating into its current orbit, according to a new study published March 23 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The findings help explain why our solar system is so different from the hundreds of other planetary systems that astronomers have discove
 

Europa's Elusive Water Plume Paints Grim Picture For Life

 
‎25 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:13:35 PMGo to full article
Moffett Field CA (SPX) Mar 25, 2015
A meteorite may have been responsible for a water plume briefly spotted above Europa two years ago, implying it takes a very rare event to breach the ice on the Jovian moon. Astrobiologists worldwide received news in December 2013 that water vapor was detected in Hubble Space Telescope observations of Jupiter's moon Europa, which is considered one of the top potential locations in our sola
 

A stiff new layer in Earth's mantle

 
‎25 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:13:35 PMGo to full article
Salt Lake City UT (SPX) Mar 25, 2015
By crushing minerals between diamonds, a University of Utah study suggests the existence of an unknown layer inside Earth: part of the lower mantle where the rock gets three times stiffer. The discovery may explain a mystery: why slabs of Earth's sinking tectonic plates sometimes stall and thicken 930 miles underground. The findings - published in the journal Nature Geoscience - also may e
 

Comet 67P's Speed of Rotation Shows Signs of Slowing Down

 
‎25 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:13:35 PMGo to full article
Moscow (Sputnik) Mar 25, 2015
Scientists have said that Comet 67P, which is being monitored by Europe's Rosetta satellite, has started to slow down. Comet 67P, which is being monitored by the European Space Agency's Rosetta satellite, is gradually spinning down, according to researchers. They said that a full rotation of the icy dirt-ball takes just over 12.4 hours, but that mission controllers have detected that this
 

Slight surface movements on the radar

 
‎25 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:13:35 PMGo to full article
Paris (ESA) Mar 25, 2015
Scientists are making advances in the use of satellite radar data - such as those from the Sentinel-1 mission - to monitor Earth's changing surface. Italy's Phlegraean Fields - or Campi Flegrei - is a large, active volcanic area near the city of Naples near Mount Vesuvius. Since the 1970s, the ground has been rising owing to the volcanic nature of this area. "In 2012, deformation rates up
 

3-D satellite, GPS earthquake maps isolate impacts in real time

 
‎25 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:13:35 PMGo to full article
Ames IA (SPX) Mar 25, 2015
When an earthquake hits, the faster first responders can get to an impacted area, the more likely infrastructure--and lives--can be saved. New research from the University of Iowa, along with the United States Geological Survey (USGS), shows that GPS and satellite data can be used in a real-time, coordinated effort to fully characterize a fault line within 24 hours of an earthquake, ensuring tha
 

UK data hub will maximize benefits of Europe's EO program

 
‎25 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:29:24 AMGo to full article
London, UK (SPX) Mar 25, 2015
The UK is set to host a world-class data facility that will give UK scientists full access to a wealth of new Earth observation data from Europe's cutting-edge Copernicus programme. Europe's most ambitious Earth observation (EO) programme to date, Copernicus is launching a family of satellites, called Sentinels, that will provide accurate, timely and easily accessible information to improv
 

Historical Satellite Images Reveal Snow is Melting Earlier in Wyoming

 
‎25 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:29:24 AMGo to full article
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Mar 25, 2015
A NASA study of a basin in northwestern Wyoming revealed that the snowmelt season in the area is now ending on average about sixteen days earlier than it did from the 1970s through the 1990s. "The Wind River Range is a very high mountain range, with lots of snow," said Dorothy Hall, lead author of the study and a senior research scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryl
 

US and UAE Ink Bilateral Space Cooperation

 
‎25 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:29:24 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Mar 25, 2015
Officials from several departments and agencies of the United States of America and the United Arab Emirates Space Agency met in Washington, D.C., during the week of March 16-20, 2015, to review a broad list of potential areas of space cooperation. The United States and the United Arab Emirates officials discussed strengthening civil and national security space collaboration. They agree
 

Surviving in hostile territory

 
‎25 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:29:24 AMGo to full article
Santa Barbara CA (SPX) Mar 25, 2015
Many strange creatures live in the deep sea, but few are odder than archaea, primitive single-celled bacteria-like microorganisms. Archaea go to great lengths - eating methane or breathing sulfur or metal instead of oxygen - to thrive in the most extreme environments on the planet. Recently, while searching the ocean's depths off the coast of Santa Monica, California, a team of UC Santa Ba
 

Processing Paradigms That Accelerate Computer Simulations

 
‎25 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:29:24 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Mar 25, 2015
Whether designed to predict the spread of an epidemic, understand the potential impacts of climate change, or model the acoustical signature of a newly designed ship hull, computer simulations are an essential tool of scientific discovery. By using mathematical models that capture the complex physical phenomena of the real world, scientists and engineers can validate theories and explore s
 

DoD Works to Build Competition Into Space Launches

 
‎24 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:14:52 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (AFNS) Mar 24, 2015
Space capability is critical to national security, and the Defense Department is working to make its launch program more competitive and end its longtime use of a Russian rocket engine on the Atlas launch system, the assistant secretary of defense for acquisition said this week. Katrina G. McFarland testified before the House Armed Services Committee's strategic forces subcommittee March 1
 

Our Solar System May Have Once Harbored Super-Earths

 
‎24 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:14:52 AMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (SPX) Mar 24, 2015
Long before Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars formed, it seems that the inner solar system may have harbored a number of super-Earths - planets larger than Earth but smaller than Neptune. If so, those planets are long gone - broken up and fallen into the Sun billions of years ago largely due to a great inward-and-then-outward journey that Jupiter made early in the solar system's history. Thi
 

Search for extraterrestrial intelligence extends to new realms

 
‎24 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:14:52 AMGo to full article
San Diego CA (SPX) Mar 24, 2015
Astronomers have expanded the search for extraterrestrial intelligence into a new realm with detectors tuned to infrared light. Their new instrument has just begun to scour the sky for messages from other worlds. "Infrared light would be an excellent means of interstellar communication," said Shelley Wright, an Assistant Professor of Physics at the University of California, San Diego who l
 

Mars One's CEO Bas Lansdorp answers questions about mission feasibility

 
‎24 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:14:52 AMGo to full article
Amersfoort, Netherlands (SPX) Mar 24, 2015
Mars One recently published a video in which Bas Lansdorp, CEO and Co-founder of Mars One, replies to recent criticism concerning the feasibility of Mars One's human mission to Mars. The video and the transcript of the interview can be found below. b>What do you think of the recent news articles that doubt the feasibility of Mars One? br> /b> At Mars One we really value good criticism be
 

China completes second test on new carrier rocket's power system

 
‎24 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:14:52 AMGo to full article
Beijing (XNA) Mar 24, 2015
The second ground test of the power system of China's next-generation carrier rocket was completed Monday, ahead of its first flight in 2016. Using non-toxic, non-polluting liquid propellant, the engines of Long March-5 were test-fired on the ground to test current technology, said Tan Yonghua, head of the Academy of Aerospace Propulsion Technology. Long March-5 was first test-fired
 

One-Year Crew Set for Launch to Space Station

 
‎24 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:14:52 AMGo to full article
Baikonur, Kazakhstan (SPX) Mar 24, 2015
The first one-year crew for the International Space Station is set to launch Friday, March 27. NASA Television will provide extensive coverage of the launch and the crew's arrival to the orbital laboratory. NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko will spend a year living and working aboard the space station and will launch with co
 

HAWC Observatory to Study Universe's Most Energetic Phenomena

 
‎24 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:14:52 AMGo to full article
College Park MD (SPX) Mar 24, 2015
Supernovae, neutron star collisions and active galactic nuclei are among the most energetic phenomena in the known universe. These violent explosions produce high-energy gamma rays and cosmic rays, which can easily travel large distances-making it possible to see objects and events far outside our own galaxy. The High Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) Gamma-Ray Observatory, located 13,500 fe
 

Black holes and the dark sector explained by quantum gravity

 
‎24 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:14:52 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Mar 24, 2015
Ask any theoretical physicist on what are the most profound mysteries in physics and you will be surprised if she mentions anything other than Quantum Gravity and the Dark Sector. Questions such as how do we reconcile GR and Quantum Theory? What is Dark Matter? And what is Dark Energy? These are what keep most physicists awake late at night. Suggested solutions to these problems are manifold but
 

Rosetta makes first detection of molecular nitrogen at a comet

 
‎24 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:14:52 AMGo to full article
Paris (ESA) Mar 24, 2015
ESA's Rosetta spacecraft has made the first measurement of molecular nitrogen at a comet, providing clues about the temperature environment in which Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko formed. Rosetta arrived last August, and has since been collecting extensive data on the comet and its environment with its suite of 11 science instruments. The in situ detection of molecular nitrogen has
 

Largest Asteroid Impacts Found in Central Australia

 
‎24 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:14:52 AMGo to full article
Canberra, Australia (SPX) Mar 24, 2015
A 400-kilometer-wide impact zone from a huge meteorite that broke in two moments before it slammed into the Earth has been found in Central Australia. The crater from the impact millions of years ago has long disappeared. But a team of geophysicists has found the twin scars of the impacts - the largest impact zone ever found on Earth - hidden deep in the earth's crust. Lead researcher Dr.
 

Unusual Asteroid Suspected of Spinning to Explosion

 
‎24 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:14:52 AMGo to full article
Mauna Kea HI (SPX) Mar 24, 2015
A team led by astronomers from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, recently used the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii to observe and measure a rare class of "active asteroids" that spontaneously emit dust and have been confounding scientists for years. The team was able to measure the rotational speed of one of these objects, suggesting the asteroid spun so fast it burst, ejecti
 

NASA data reveals mysteries of meteor that struck Chelyabinsk

 
‎24 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:14:52 AMGo to full article
Washington (UPI) Mar 22, 2015
New data from NASA has revealed some information about the meteor that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia in 2013. NASA found the meteor's orbital parent body had been struck one dozen times over its four billion year life, according to Forbes. The meteor exploded over Chelyabinsk in February of 2013 and caused some chaos for a period. It is believed to have come from the main ast
 

Name the features on Pluto and its moon Charon

 
‎24 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:14:52 AMGo to full article
Washington (UPI) Mar 23, 2015
NASA scientists and officials at the International Astronomical Union (IAU) are asking for the public's help in naming the geological components of Pluto and Charon. As of now, there aren't any geophysical features on Pluto to supply with names. That's because, as of now, even the sharpest images of Photo don't reveal much more than a series of colored blurry blobs. The same goes for Pl
 

Space Radar Helps Track Underground Water Pollution Risk

 
‎24 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:14:52 AMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Mar 24, 2015
The next time you're digging for buried treasure, stop when you hit water. That underground resource is more valuable than all legendary hoards combined. Ninety percent of Earth's available fresh water is beneath the surface at any particular time. We drink it, we grow our food with it, and we power industries with it. We also pollute it. When pollutants get into groundwater, they can stay
 

The Mystery of Nanoflares

 
‎24 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎07:14:52 AMGo to full article
Huntsville AL (SPX) Mar 24, 2015
When you attach the prefix "nano" to something, it usually means "very small." Solar flares appear to be the exception. Researchers are studying a type of explosion on the sun called a 'nanoflare.' A billion times less energetic than ordinary flares, nanoflares have a power that belies their name. "A typical 'nanoflare' has the same energy as 240 megatons of TNT," says physicist David Smit
 

Robotic SPACE Explorers Need Smarts to Survive

 
‎23 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎03:31:05 AMGo to full article
Moffett Field CA (SPX) Mar 23, 2015
If a robot plunges into the ocean of an icy moon, perhaps near Saturn or Jupiter, its main problem will be figuring out what to do next. Even at light speed, it takes hours for communications to pass back and forth to Earth. This means any robotic explorer would need to be smart enough to avoid danger, and sophisticated enough to figure out what information to send back. These were problem
 

USAF funds sense-and-avoid technology development

 
‎23 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎03:31:05 AMGo to full article
Wright-Patterson Afb, Ohio (UPI) Mar 20, 2015
The U.S. Air Force reports it is providing nearly $1.5 million in SBIR funding for development and maturation of sense-and-avoid technology for remotely piloted aircraft. The funding, through its Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer program, was given to Defense Research Associates Inc. of Ohio, whose research focuses on electro-optical sensors for detec
 

Titan's Atmosphere Created As Gases Escaped Core

 
‎23 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎03:31:05 AMGo to full article
Moffett Field CA (SPX) Mar 23, 2015
A decade ago, a tiny but mighty probe descended into the soupy atmosphere of Titan. This moon of Saturn is of great interest to astrobiologists because its chemistry and liquid cycle remind us of what the early Earth could have looked like before life arose. The probe, called Huygens, made it to the surface and transmitted imagery all the way. It remained alive on the surface for more than
 

SOFIA Finds Missing Link Between Supernovae and Planet Formation

 
‎23 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎03:31:05 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Mar 23, 2015
Using NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), an international scientific team discovered that supernovae are capable of producing a substantial amount of the material from which planets like Earth can form. These findings are published in the March 19 online issue of Science magazine. "Our observations reveal a particular cloud produced by a supernova explos
 

ESA's CHEOPS Satellite: The Pharaoh of Exoplanet Hunting

 
‎23 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎03:31:05 AMGo to full article
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Mar 23, 2015
Just like the Pharaoh Cheops, who ruled the ancient Old Kingdom of Egypt, ESA's CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite (CHEOPS) could be someday ruling in the field of exoplanet hunting. It will be the first mission dedicated to search for transits by means of ultrahigh precision photometry on bright stars already known to host planets. "CHEOPS looks at stars that are already known to host planets a
 

Million stars are forming in a mysterious dusty gas cloud

 
‎23 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎03:31:05 AMGo to full article
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Mar 23, 2015
More than a million young stars are forming in a hot, dusty cloud of molecular gases in a tiny galaxy near our own, an international team of astronomers has discovered. The star cluster is buried within a supernebula in a dwarf galaxy known as NGC 5253, in the constellation Centaurus. The cluster has one billion times the luminosity of our sun, but is invisible in ordinary light, hidden by
 

Time-lapse snapshots of a nova's fading light

 
‎23 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎03:31:05 AMGo to full article
Tokyo, Japan (SPX) Mar 23, 2015
Scientists in a collaboration led by Dai Takei of the RIKEN SPring-8 Center in Japan have, for the first time, examined a detailed 'time lapse' X-ray image of the expansion of a classical nova explosion using the GK Persei nova - a binary star system which underwent a nova explosion in 1901. Through this work, they hope to gain a better understanding of the expansion of gases in the univer
 

Researchers Receive Grant to Send Worms into Space

 
‎23 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎03:31:05 AMGo to full article
Lubbock TX (SPX) Mar 23, 2015
It is common knowledge that the longer humans spend in space, the longer it takes them to regain muscle strength upon their return to earth. The biggest question is, why. With the help of Caenorhabditis elegans, one Texas Tech University researcher hopes to find out. C. elegans has been to space multiple times, and thanks to Siva Vanapalli, they will head to the International Space Station
 

Arms Reductions Treaty Between US, Russia Unlikely in Near Future

 
‎23 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎03:31:05 AMGo to full article
Moscow (Sputnik) Mar 23, 2015
Russia and the United States are unlikely to achieve a new nuclear arms reduction treaty in the near future, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said Tuesday. "A new deal on strategic arms reduction between Russia and the United States will be difficult to achieve in the near future, if it is ever achievable," Antonov said. The deputy defense minister added that Russia's
 

Russia to Deploy 10 Strategic Bombers to Crimea for Snap Drills

 
‎23 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎03:31:05 AMGo to full article
Moscow (Sputnik) Mar 23, 2015
The Russian military will deploy ten Tu-22M3 Backfire C supersonic strategic bombers to Crimea as part of the current large-scale snap inspection of combat readiness, a source in the Defense Ministry told RIA Novosti on Wednesday. "In the framework of the snap inspection of the combat readiness of the Northern Fleet and some units of the Western Military District, 10 TU-22M3 strategic bomb

 

 
News About Time And Space
 
 

Frozen highly charged ions for highest precision spectroscopy

 
‎17 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎02:46:39 AMGo to full article
Heidelberg, Germany (SPX) Mar 16, 2015 - A team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt in Braunschweig and the University of Aarhus in Denmark demonstrated for the first time Coulomb crystallization of highly-charged ions (HCIs). Inside a cryogenic radiofrequency ion trap the HCIs are cooled down to sub-Kelvin temperatures by interaction with laser-cooled singly charged Beryllium ions.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Quantum mechanic frequency filter for atomic clocks

 
‎17 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎02:46:39 AMGo to full article
Copenhagen, Denmark (SPX) Mar 13, 2015 - Atomic clocks are the most accurate clocks in the world. In an atomic clock, electrons jumping from one orbit to another decides the clock's frequency. To get the electrons to jump, researchers shine light on the atoms using stabilised laser light. However, the laser light has to have a very precise frequency to trigger very precise electron jumps. It is however challenging to get the laser light frequency ultra precise - there will always be a little 'noise'.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Article

 

 

Physicists propose new classification of charge density waves

 
‎17 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎02:46:39 AMGo to full article
New Orleans LA (SPX) Mar 12, 2015 - LSU Professors in the Department of Physics and Astronomy Ward Plummer and Jiandi Zhang, in collaboration with their colleagues from the Institute of Physics, Beijing, China, have published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences titled "Classification of Charge Density Waves based on their Nature." This work is a result of a collaboration funded by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 
‎17 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎02:46:39 AMGo to full article
Cracow, Poland (SPX) Mar 12, 2015 - Shortly following the Big Bang, the Universe was filled with a chaotic primordial soup of quarks and gluons, particles which are now trapped inside of protons and neutrons. Study of this quark-gluon plasma requires the use of the most advanced theoretical and experimental tools.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Breakthrough in particle control creates special half-vortex rotation

 
‎10 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎09:03:40 AMGo to full article
Glasgow, UK (SPX) Mar 05, 2015 - A breakthrough in the control of a type of particle known as the polariton has created a highly specialised form of rotation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

First scientific publication from data collected at NSLS-II

 
‎10 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎09:03:40 AMGo to full article
Upton NY (SPX) Mar 05, 2015 - Just weeks after the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II), a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility at Brookhaven National Laboratory, achieved first light, a team of scientists at the X-Ray Powder Diffraction (XPD) beamline tested a setup that yielded data on thermoelectric materials.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Pennies reveal new insights on the nature of randomness

 
‎10 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎09:03:40 AMGo to full article
Princeton NJ (SPX) Mar 06, 2015 - The concept of randomness appears across scientific disciplines, from materials science to molecular biology. Now, theoretical chemists at Princeton have challenged traditional interpretations of randomness by computationally generating random and mechanically rigid arrangements of two-dimensional hard disks, such as pennies, for the first time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Electrons in slow motion

 
‎10 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎09:03:40 AMGo to full article
Rome, Italy (SPX) Mar 10, 2015 - A process that is too fast to be measured and analysed. Yet a group of international scientists did not lose heart and conceived a sort of highly sophisticated moviola film-editing system, which allowed them to observe - for the first time in a direct manner - an effect underlying high-temperature conductivity. The results of their work have been published in Nature Physics on Monday 9 March 2015.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More in detail...

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

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

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

 

 

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

 
‎10 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎09:03:40 AMGo to full article
Boston MA (SPX) Mar 05, 2015 - A handful of new stars are born each year in the Milky Way, while many more blink on across the universe. But astronomers have observed that galaxies should be churning out millions more stars, based on the amount of interstellar gas available.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 
‎10 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎09:03:40 AMGo to full article
Lausanne, Switzerland (SPX) Mar 03, 2015 - Quantum mechanics tells us that light can behave simultaneously as a particle or a wave. However, there has never been an experiment able to capture both natures of light at the same time; the closest we have come is seeing either wave or particle, but always at different times.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Forbidden quantum leaps possible with high-res spectroscopy

 
‎10 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎09:03:40 AMGo to full article
Ann Arbor MI (SPX) Mar 03, 2015 - A new twist on an old tool lets scientists use light to study and control matter with 1,000 times better resolution and precision than previously possible.

Physicists at the University of Michigan have demonstrated "ponderomotive spectroscopy," an advanced form of a technique that was born in the 15th century when Isaac Newton first showed that white light sent through a prism breaks into a rainbow.

Spectroscopy is essential to many branches of science. The term broadly refers to the use of light, often from lasers, to observe, measure and manipulate matter. With it, scientists can detect trace amounts of pollutants.

They can identify elements in the atmospheres of planets outside the solar system. And they laid the groundwork for computing and information processing. Those are just a few examples of how it has been used.

The new high-resolution spectroscopy allows researchers to peer more deeply into the structure of atoms and direct their behavior at a much finer scale. It could have applications in quantum computing, which aims to use particles such as atoms or electrons to perform information processing and memory tasks.

Quantum computers could offer big boosts in computing power because they'd carry out scores of calculations at once. Their purported ability to factor numbers much faster than their conventional counterparts could bring improvements in computer security as well.

In addition, measurements that the new spectroscopy makes possible could lead to new understandings of fundamental physics, said Kaitlin Moore, a doctoral student in applied physics in the U-M College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

"The freedom of access our technique offers could be game-changing for characterizing atoms and molecules, as well for all the physics that stems from these kinds of measurements," Moore said.

To demonstrate their technique, the researchers started with atoms of the soft metal rubidium. In rubidium atoms, just one electron occupies the outer valence shell.

With finely tuned lasers, they excited this outer electron enough to move it 100 times farther away from the atom's nucleus. This turned it into what's called a Rydberg atom - a giant that exhibits not only greater size, but also much stronger interactions. Because of these properties, Rydberg atoms are candidates for the circuits of future quantum computers.

Next, the researchers generated a lattice of laser beams that formed a sort of egg carton of light. This lattice is what gave rise to the ponderomotive force that's essential to their approach.

The ponderomotive interaction is present in all light fields. But the researchers found that by pulsating the laser beams at certain rates over time, they could use the field to both trap the whole Rydberg atom by holding fast to its outer electron, and induce in that atom a real quantum leap that would be forbidden with traditional spectroscopy.

The scientific term for "quantum leap" is "atomic transition," and it refers to a change in the quantum state of an electron in an atom. A change in quantum state is an alteration in either how much energy or angular momentum the electron holds. Angular momentum relates to the shape of the electron's path around the atom's nucleus. Scientists delineate different shapes with a set of letters you might think of as notes on a piano.

With conventional spectroscopy, scientists can only induce angular momentum shifts that amount to one note at a time, and in order. They can't move an electron from, say, a D to a G shape. And they can't, for instance, kick one from a middle D to a D in a different pitch.

In that type of quantum leap, the electron's orbit would keep the same shape, but its energy would change. So if the shape were a sphere, and the state change was one to a greater energy, the new state would be a larger sphere.

Why would the scientists want to make that happen? Inducing one of these "forbidden" changes would efficiently reveal typically hidden information about the atom's structure. That's what ponderomotive spectroscopy can do. The technique lets scientists see and spark a much wider array of electron behaviors than ever before. The selection rules of conventional spectroscopy - the ones that insist atomic transitions occur in order - don't apply.

"We can select which atoms we want to talk to with spatial resolution that is a thousand times better than the conventional case," Moore said. "This could be useful in quantum computing, which uses atoms that are bunched together in a dense array, but that still needs to address the atoms within that array individually."

Added physics professor Georg Raithel, "In the big picture, this work gives atomic physicists a brand new tool to study atoms and molecules."

 

 

What Big Bang? Universe May Have Had No Beginning at All

 
‎10 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎09:03:40 AMGo to full article
Moscow, Russia (Sputnik) Mar 02, 2015 - What we don't know about the Universe... could fill the Universe. Two theoretical physicists have suggested nothing like the Big Bang played a role in the start of our universe 13.8 billion years ago, refuting Edwin Hubble's 1929 theory that the universe was contained in a single point in space and some violent event caused it to expand.

"Our theory suggests that the age of the universe could be infinite," study co-author Saurya Das, a theoretical physicist at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, told LiveScience.

The new study denies claims of an infinitely small and dense point of matter being involved in the beginning of the Universe, as stated in the Big Bang Theory.

"So when we say that the universe begins with a big bang, we really have no right to say that," Robert Brandenberger, a theoretical cosmetologist at McGill University in Montreal told LiveScience.

The Big Bang theory comes from Einstein's general theory of relativity.

The two scientists looked at the two dominant physics theories, quantum mechanics and general relativity, and concluded that they cannot be reconciled as they both fail to explain dark matter.

So they decided to regroup, and found "holes in Einstein's theory."

"One way to test the theory is to look at how dark matter is distributed in the universe and see if it matches the properties of the proposed superfluid... If our results match with those, even approximately, that's great," Das said.

Both scientists confirm that the universe was once very small and hot, but agree that it is infinitely old.

Source: Sputnik International

 

 

Top-precision optical atomic clock starts ticking

 
‎10 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎09:03:40 AMGo to full article
Warsaw, Poland (SPX) Feb 27, 2015 - A state-of-the-art optical atomic clock, collaboratively developed by scientists from the University of Warsaw, Jagiellonian University, and Nicolaus Copernicus University, is now "ticking away" at the National Laboratory of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics in Toru?, Poland. As the first of its kind in Poland and one of just a handful of clocks of this caliber in the world, the new clock will keep track of the passage of time with extraordinary precision.

Physicists from Warsaw, Toru?, and Cracow have constructed an atomic clock that is one of just a few of its kind in the world - already now, at an early stage of operation, it has most likely become Poland's most precise clock.

Occupying four rooms at the National Laboratory for Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (KL FAMO) in Toru?, it was built and launched into operation by the Polish Optical Atomic Clock (POZA) consortium formed by the University of Warsaw (UW, project coordinator), Nicolaus Copernicus University (NCU) and Jagiellonian University (JU).

The theoretical stability of the new clock, stemming from the advanced physical mechanisms it harnesses, means that it would take tens of billions of years for an error of a single second to accumulate - which is several times longer than the time that has passed since the Big Bang.

"We still have a way to go to achieve such great stability. Like every refined measurement device, our clock requires gradual, painstaking calibration, with certain improvements constantly being made. But already now, at the very beginning of our work, we have achieved greater stability than that required for clocks of this type by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures in Paris: we have an error of less than one second in tens of millions of years," says Dr. Roman Ciury?o, the director of KL FAMO.

Optical atomic clocks consist of an atomic standard, an optical comb, and an ultra-precise laser. The frequency of the light generated by the laser is precisely tuned to match the difference in energy between strictly defined levels in the atoms trapped inside the atomic standard. Time is then measured by counting the oscillations in the electromagnetic field of the tuned and stabilized laser light. The frequency of this laser light wave is nevertheless so high that counting individual "ticks" of the clock is beyond the capacity of modern electronics.

This problem is solved using an optical frequency comb, a laser that generates very short pulses lasting mere femtoseconds (a millionth of a billionth of a second), which act like a toothed gear, translating the optical frequencies into lower, radio frequencies. These pulses serve as the optical counterpart of a ruler, whose intervals can be synchronized (with a matching rhythm) to the frequency of the laser light tuned to the atomic standard.

"Truly precise time measurements demand that the results be constantly compared against many other clocks. That is why, right from the start, we built two completely independent atomic standards. Readings from the two standards enable us to fine-tune the 'ticking' of the clock as a whole with significantly greater precision," says Dr. Micha? Zawada (KL FAMO, NCU).

Both atomic standards in the KL FAMO system operate with strontium 88 atoms, but in order to exclude repetitive errors, in one of them strontium 87 atoms can be used as well. The strontium atoms in each standard are isolated from the environment and from one another: cooled to a temperature below 10 microkelvins, they are situated inside an ultrahigh vacuum chamber and immobilized in a specially constructed optical trap generated by the beam of a supplementary laser.

To read the passage of time off the strontium atoms, they are exposed to the red light of the main, ultra-stable laser, with a frequency of approx. 429 terahertz.

After the energy of the laser light is fine-tuned to match the transition in the atoms, the frequency of the laser beam is translated by means of the optical frequency comb into radio frequencies, at around 250 megahertz. At this stage the individual "ticks" of the clock are counted by the corresponding electronic apparatus.

"The stability of such a clock is one thing, whereas its precision is something else. To ascertain the latter, in other words to be able to compare our readings to those of the existing time standards, we have started a collaboration with the Central Office of Measures in Warsaw and the Borowiec Astrogeodynamic Observatory," stresses Prof. Czes?aw Radzewicz (UW Faculty of Physics).

Time signals are transmitted between the laboratories in Toru?, Warsaw, and Borowiec via fiber-optic cables made available by the PIONIER academic network and the telecoms company Orange, under the OPTIME project financed by the National Centre for Research and Development. The network consists of telecommunications fiber-optic cables and dedicated transmission and amplification equipment developed by engineers from the Department of Electronics at University of Science and Technology in Cracow.

"Merely having the Toru?-based clock included into the pool of existing clocks constituting the time standard has boosted the precision of that standard. In practice that means that our clock will also make a contribution to the future definition of the second," says Dr. Zawada.

Because the new clock has started operating quite recently, the physicists working on the project have not yet finished the tests required to precisely identify all the device's properties. The data collected so far, however, does suggest that at the current stage of operations the clock in Toru? is already the most stable and most precise in Poland.

"The basis for this success lies in the excellent subdivision of responsibilities and the smooth collaboration between the experimental groups from all three universities. The project, after all, represented a serious challenge also in the logistical sense. One of the two atomic standards was built in Cracow and, after being initially set into operation and tested there, was brought to Toru?.

The extremely sensitive apparatus survived that trip unscathed," says Prof. Wojciech Gawlik (JU). He goes on to note: "As a result of our cooperative efforts, Poland now has a unique instrument which, apart from making extremely precise measurements of time, can also be used to carry out highly refined experiments in atomic physics, molecular physics, and quantum optics."

High-precision time measurements play an important role in many fields of science and technology. The most advanced clocks can help physicists to test such fundamental aspects of reality as the time variability of physical constants, to very precisely verify the predictions of the general theory of relativity, and also to search for dark matter in the Universe.

Atomic clocks of the previous generation, with significantly lower precision, are currently being used in applications including satellite navigation systems, high-capacity wireless networks (wi-fi), ensuring the security of bank communications, and also taking measurements of the Earth's gravitational field, yielding insight into its internal geological structure.

 

 

A solution to the puzzle of the origin of matter itself

 
‎10 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎09:03:40 AMGo to full article
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Feb 26, 2015 - Most of the laws of nature treat particles and antiparticles equally, but stars and planets are made of particles, or matter, and not antiparticles, or antimatter. That asymmetry, which favors matter to a very small degree, has puzzled scientists for many years.

New research by UCLA physicists, published in the journal Physical Review Letters, offers a possible solution to the mystery of the origin of matter in the universe.

Alexander Kusenko, a professor of physics and astronomy in the UCLA College, and colleagues propose that the matter-antimatter asymmetry could be related to the Higgs boson particle, which was the subject of prominent news coverage when it was discovered at Switzerland's Large Hadron Collider in 2012.

Specifically, the UCLA researchers write, the asymmetry may have been produced as a result of the motion of the Higgs field, which is associated with the Higgs boson, and which could have made the masses of particles and antiparticles in the universe temporarily unequal, allowing for a small excess of matter particles over antiparticles.

If a particle and an antiparticle meet, they disappear by emitting two photons or a pair of some other particles. In the "primordial soup" that existed after the Big Bang, there were almost equal amounts of particles of antiparticles, except for a tiny asymmetry: one particle per 10 billion.

As the universe cooled, the particles and antiparticles annihilated each other in equal numbers, and only a tiny number of particles remained; this tiny amount is all the stars and planets, and gas in today's universe, said Kusenko, who is also a senior scientist with the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe.

The research also is highlighted by Physical Review Letters in a commentary in the current issue.

The 2012 discovery of the Higgs boson particle was hailed as one of the great scientific accomplishments of recent decades. The Higgs boson was first postulated some 50 years ago as a crucial element of the modern theory of the forces of nature, and is, physicists say, what gives everything in the universe mass.

Physicists at the LHC measured the particle's mass and found its value to be peculiar; it is consistent with the possibility that the Higgs field in the first moments of the Big Bang was much larger than its "equilibrium value" observed today.

The Higgs field "had to descend to the equilibrium, in a process of 'Higgs relaxation,'" said Kusenko, the lead author of the UCLA research.

 

 

Astronomers find impossibly large black hole

 
‎04 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎06:15:41 AMGo to full article
Canberra, Australia (SPX) Feb 26, 2015 - An international team of astronomers have found a huge and ancient black hole which was powering the brightest object early in the universe.

The black hole's mass is 12 billion times that of the Sun, and it lives at the centre of a quasar that pumped out a million billion times the energy of our Sun.

Team member Dr Fuyan Bian, from the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the Australian National University (ANU), said the discovery challenges theories of how black holes form and grow in the early universe.

"Forming such a large black hole so quickly is hard to interpret with current theories," he said.

A quasar is an extremely bright cloud of material in the process of being sucked into a black hole. As the material accelerates towards the black hole it heats up, emitting an extraordinary amount of light which actually pushes away material falling behind it.

This process, known as radiation pressure, is thought to limit the growth rate of black holes, Dr Bian said.

"However this black hole at the centre of the quasar gained enormous mass in a short period of time," Dr Bian said.

The team led by Xue-Bing Wu at Peking University, China, selected the quasar from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey of over 500 million objects in the northern skies, because of its distinctive red colour. They then followed up with three other telescopes to study the object in detail.

Dr Bian expects more surprising objects will be discovered during the Skymapper survey of the southern skies, currently being run by the ANU.

"Skymapper will find more of these exciting objects. Because they are so luminous we can see further back in time and can use them to explore the early universe," Dr Bian said.

 

 

New insight found in black hole collisions

 
‎04 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎06:15:41 AMGo to full article
Dallas TX (SPX) Feb 27, 2015 - New research by an astrophysicist at The University of Texas at Dallas provides revelations about the most energetic event in the universe -- the merging of two spinning, orbiting black holes into a much larger black hole. The work by Dr. Michael Kesden, assistant professor of physics at UT Dallas, and his colleagues provides for the first time solutions to decades-old equations that describe conditions as two black holes in a binary system orbit one another and spiral in toward collision.

The research is available online and in the Feb. 27 issue of the journal Physical Review Letters.

Kesden, who this month was selected as a 2015 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellow, said the solutions should significantly impact not only the study of black holes, but also the search for gravitational waves in the cosmos. Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity predicts that two massive objects orbiting in a binary system should move closer together as the system emits a type of radiation called gravitational waves.

"An accelerating charge, like an electron, produces electromagnetic radiation, including visible light waves. Similarly, any time you have an accelerating mass, you can produce gravitational waves," Kesden said.

"In a binary black hole system, where you have two massive objects orbiting each other and exerting forces on each other, they are accelerating and emitting gravitational waves. The energy lost to gravitational waves causes the black holes to spiral closer and closer together until they merge, which is the most energetic event in the universe.

"That energy, rather than going out as visible light, which is easy to see, goes out as gravitational waves, which are very weak and much more difficult to detect."

While Einstein's theories predict the existence of gravitational waves, they have not been directly detected. But the ability to "see" gravitational waves would open up a new window to view and study the universe.

Optical telescopes can capture photos of visible objects, such as stars and planets, and radio and infrared telescopes can reveal additional information about invisible energetic events. Gravitational waves would provide yet another medium through which to examine astrophysical phenomena, Kesden said.

"Using gravitational waves as an observational tool, you could learn about the characteristics of the black holes that were emitting those waves billions of years ago, information such as their masses and mass ratios," Kesden said. "That's important data for more fully understanding the evolution and nature of the universe."

This year, a large-scale physics experiment called the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) aims to be the first to directly detect gravitational waves. LIGO is the largest project funded by the National Science Foundation.

"The equations that we solved will help predict the characteristics of the gravitational waves that LIGO would expect to see from binary black hole mergers," Kesden said. "We're looking forward to comparing our solutions to the data that LIGO collects."

The equations Kesden solved deal specifically with the spin angular momentum of binary black holes and a phenomenon called precession.

Angular momentum is a measure of the amount of rotation a spinning object has. Spin angular momentum not only includes the speed at which an object rotates, but also the direction in which that spin points. For a simple object like a spinning figure skater, the direction of angular momentum would point up.

Another type of angular momentum, called orbital angular momentum, applies to a system in which objects are in orbit about one another. Orbital angular momentum also has a magnitude and a direction.

In an astrophysical setting like a binary black hole system, the directions of the individual types of angular momenta change, or precess, over time.

"In these systems, you have three angular momenta, all changing direction with respect to the plane of the orbit -- the two spin angular momenta and the one orbital angular momentum," Kesden said. "The solutions that we now have describe the orientations of the precessing black hole spins."

In addition to solving existing equations, Kesden also derived equations that will allow scientists to statistically track spin precession from black hole formation to merger far more efficiently and quickly.

"We can do it millions of times faster than was previously possible," he said. "With these solutions, we can create computer simulations that follow black hole evolution over billions of years. A simulation that previously would have taken years can now be done in seconds. But it's not just faster -- there are things that we can learn from these simulations that we just couldn't learn any other way."

 

 

The building blocks of the future defy logic

 
‎04 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎06:15:41 AMGo to full article
Msida, Malta (SPX) Feb 27, 2015 - Wake up in the morning and stretch; your midsection narrows. Pull on a piece of plastic at separate ends; it becomes thinner. So does a rubber band. One might assume that when a force is applied along an axis, materials will always stretch and become thinner. Wrong.

Thanks to their peculiar internal geometry, auxetic materials grow wider when stretched. After confounding scientists for decades, University of Malta researchers are now developing mathematical models to explain the unusual behaviour of these logic-defying materials, unlocking a plethora of applications that could change the way we envision the future forever.

Auxetic materials have the amazing property of a negative Poisson's ratio, becoming fatter when stretched. This comes from its structure which in the Malta-developed model is represented by a series of connected squares, technically called rigid, rotating subunits. When the subunits turn relative to one another, the material's density lowers but its thickness increases.

Auxetics caused such colossal confusion among researchers that it went ignored for years. It was only in the 1980s that auxetics were picked up again as practical application resurfaced. Recent advances are unlocking this material's potential.

In a paper published last week in Nature Publishing Group's journal Scientific Reports, mechanical metamaterials, chemistry professor Joseph N Grima, together with his team at the University of Malta, have presented a mathematical model of auxetic behaviour using hierarchical rotating unit systems.

These systems take advantage of the enhanced properties provided by a negative Poisson's ratio but also use a hierarchical system whereby the complex structures are created from the simpler units, thus creating a hierarchical auxetic metamaterials that are more versatile in terms of their mechanical properties, with experts being able to control and alter them.

Emeritus Professor Anselm C Griffin (Georgia Institute of Technology, US), notes how Grima's work "represents a huge step forward in the conceptualization and design of a new class of metamaterials."

"With the realistic prospect of tailorable auxetic mechanical properties as described in this paper, the potential for applications of these new metamaterial structures particularly in biomedicine and catalysis is quite exciting," he added.

Materials Chemistry Professor at Oxford University in the United Kingdom, Andrew Goodwin, notes its "exciting [applications], how fractal-like assemblies of simple [shapes] might find application in smart medical stents and ultralight responsive supports."

In principle, he said, the ideas Grima and his team are working on could also be applied to atomic-scale assemblies as they do in life-size structures. Chemists and engineers will be working closer together to develop the smart materials of the future, he added.

For Grima and his team, this innovative approach has one main application: healthcare, and more specifically skin grafts. This procedure involves the removal of a patient's undamaged skin and using it to treat another severely damaged area, as in the case of burns.

"Current methods don't allow for the skin to be used as optimally as possible, which is not ideal when larger skin sections are needed. Our work potentially could reduce the amount of good skin needed to treat the injured area," remarks Grima.

The mathematical model is a solid foundation, but the real world material could always vary. To test that out, the team is 3D printing the designs. Grima said that they are already "managing to approach the ideal systems in a very cost-effective manner."

Despite the present success and the great potential it has unlocked for the future, the journey ahead for Grima and his team remains a long one. The next step is to further develop the auxetic structures then manufacture the materials industrially. "We see a future where real-life applications of auxetics will be rife", states Grima.

While these materials seem illogical, their path into the mainstream seems fairly straightforward. The ultimate aim? To improve people's lives. Logically.

 

 

ALMA Revealed Surprisingly Mild Environment around a Supermassive Black Hole

 
‎04 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎06:15:41 AMGo to full article
Tokyo, Japan (SPX) Feb 27, 2015 - A research team led by Shuro Takano at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) and Taku Nakajima at Nagoya University observed the spiral galaxy M77, also known as NGC1068, with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and discovered that organic molecules are concentrated in a region surrounding a supermassive black hole at its center.

Although these molecules around a black hole are thought to be dissociated by strong X-rays and UV photons, the research results indicate that some regions are shielded from X-rays and UV photons due to a large amount of dust and gas. These results, which were made possible by the high sensitivity and wideband observing capability of ALMA, will be a key to understanding the mysterious environment around supermassive black holes.

Research Background
Interstellar gas contains a wide variety of molecules and its chemical composition differs widely depending on the environment. For example, an active star forming region with a temperature higher than the surrounding environment stimulates the production of certain types of molecules by chemical reactions which are difficult to take place in a cold temperature region.

This enables us to probe the environment (e.g. temperature and density) of a target region by studying the molecular chemical compositions in the region. Since each molecule has its own frequency spectrum, we can identify the chemical composition and the environment of a remote target object through observations with a radio telescope.

From this perspective, astronomers have been actively working on the starburst regions of galaxies [1] and the active galactic nuclei (AGN) at the center of galaxies, which are called circumnuclear disks (CND) [2]. These regions are very important in understanding the evolution of galaxies, and radio observations of molecular emissions are essential to explore the mechanism and environment of these regions [3].

However, the weak radio emission from molecules often made the observations difficult and took us many days for signal detection using conventional radio telescopes.

ALMA Observations
A research team led by Shuro Takano at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) and Taku Nakajima at Nagoya University observed the spiral galaxy M77 in the direction of the constellation Cetus (the Whale) about 47 million light years away with ALMA. M77 is known to have an active galactic nucleus (AGN) at its center which is surrounded by a starburst ring with a radius of 3500 light years.

Since the research team had already conducted radio observations of various molecular emissions in this galaxy with the 45-m telescope at the Nobeyama Radio Observatory of NAOJ, they aimed to develop their research further with ALMA and identify the difference in chemical composition between AGNs and starburst regions.

ALMA is a telescope suitable for analyzing molecules in galaxies because of: 1) a high sensitivity to detect faint radio signals; 2) a high fidelity imaging capability to image actual gas distributions; 3) the ability to observe wideband multiple wavelengths simultaneously, and high spatial resolution.

ALMA observations revealed clearly the distributions of nine types of molecules in the CND and in the starburst ring. "In this observation, we used only 16 antennas, which are about one-fourth of the complete number of ALMA antennas, but it was really surprising that we could get so many molecular distribution maps in less than two hours. We have never obtained such a quantity of maps in one observation," says Takano, the leader of the research team.

The observational results show that the molecular distribution varies according to the type of molecule. While carbon monoxide (CO) is distributed mainly in the starburst ring, five types of molecules, including complex organic molecules such as cyanoacetylene (HC3N) and acetonitrile (CH3CN), are concentrated in the CND. And In addition, carbon monosulfide (CS) and methanol (CH3OH) are distributed both in the starburst ring and the CND. ALMA provided the first high resolution observation of the five types of molecules in M77, and revealed that they are concentrated in the CND.

"It was quite unexpected that acetonitrile (CH3CN) and cyanoacetylene (HC3N), which have a large number of atoms, are concentrated in the CND," says Nakajima. The supermassive black hole in the AGN devours surrounding materials by its strong gravity and generates a disk around the black hole.

The disk will be heated to a high temperature and emit intense X-rays or UV photons. When an organic molecule with multiple atomic linkages is exposed to strong X-rays or UV photons, the atomic bonding will be broken and the molecule will be destroyed. This is why the CND was thought to be a very difficult environment for organic molecules to survive. However, this ALMA observation proved the contrary; organic molecules are abundant in the CND.

The research team assumes that organic molecules remain intact in the CND due to a large amount of gas which is shielded from X-rays and UV photons, while organic molecules cannot survive the exposure to the strong UV photons in the starburst region where the gas density is lower compared with the CND.

Researchers have been actively engaged in observational research and the establishment of theoretical models of AGNs, but it is just the beginning of the study on the shielding effect on molecules, which was discovered by these ALMA observations. These results were a significant first step in understanding the structure, temperature and density of gas surrounding the AGN.

"We expect that future observations with wider bandwidth and higher resolution will show us the whole picture of our target object in further detail and achieve even more remarkable results," says Takano.

Notes
[1] In the Milky Way Galaxy, in which we live, one sun-like star is generated per year on average, while several hundred sun-like stars are churned out each year in a starburst region.

[2] It is believed that most galaxies have in their center a supermassive black hole of millions to hundreds of millions of solar mass. Among them, Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) represents a type of supermassive black hole which are gulping down surrounding gas very actively and emitting some amount of gas as a high-speed gas flow (jet).

[3] For example, a research team led by Takuma Izumi and Kotaro Kohno at the University of Tokyo, both of whom are engaged in this research, suggests that there is enhanced emission of hydrogen cyanide (HCN) from the supermassive black hole in the barred spiral galaxy NGC1097 by past ALMA observations.

 

 

Widespread winds and eedback from supermassive black holes

 
‎04 ‎March ‎2015, ‏‎06:15:41 AMGo to full article
Keele, UK (SPX) Feb 24, 2015 - Astronomers have discovered that the winds from supermassive black holes at the centre of galaxies blow outward in all directions, a suspected phenomenon that had been difficult to prove before now.

These new findings, by an international team of astrophysicists, were made possible by simultaneous observations of the luminous quasar PDS 456 with ESA's XMM-Newton and NASA's NuSTAR X-ray telescopes, and support the picture of black holes having a significant impact on star formation in their host galaxies.

At the core of every massive galaxy in the Universe, including our own Milky Way, sits a supermassive black hole, with a mass some millions or billions of times that of our Sun. Some of these black holes are active, meaning that their intense gravitational pull causes matter to spiral inward, and at the same time part of that matter is cast away through powerful winds.

"We now know that quasar winds significantly contribute to mass loss in a galaxy, driving out its supply of gas, which is fuel for star formation," said Dr Emanuele Nardini, of the X-ray Astrophysics Group at Keele University in the UK and lead author of the study. "This study provides a unique view of the possible mechanism that links the evolution of the central black holes to that of their host galaxies over cosmic time."

With the shape and extent of the winds determined, the researchers could then figure out their power and answer general questions about the degree to which they can quench the formation of new stars.

Astronomers think that supermassive black holes and their galaxies co-evolve together, regulating each other's growth. For more than a decade astronomers have investigated the correlation between the mass of stars in the bulge of a galaxy and the mass of its central black hole, yet it is by no means obvious that the black hole could have an impact on its host galaxy as a whole.

"Black holes of this kind are very powerful, but their gravitational field only extends over the very inner parts of a galaxy," explains Dr Nardini. "For black holes to really influence the star-forming activity of an entire galaxy, there must be a feedback mechanism connecting the two on a global scale."

One possibility is that the propagation of winds driven by the black hole's accretion activity plays a role and, as reported in the journal Science, Dr Nardini and collaborators have obtained the first solid evidence supporting this scenario.

The researchers have looked at PDS 456, a galaxy that lies just over two billion light-years away and that hosts an exceptionally active black hole with a mass of one billion Suns. PDS 456 is a quasar, a class of galaxies that appear as a point source because the activity of the central black holes outshines the brightness produced by their stars.

A comprehensive view of the accreting activity of this quasar could be obtained by observing PDS 456 simultaneously with ESA's XMM-Newton X-ray observatory and NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) mission. The observations were performed on four occasions in 2013, and once again in 2014.

Since the early X-ray detections, this quasar revealed a strong absorption feature caused by iron nuclei that have been stripped of all but one or two of their electrons.

"The absorption line is blue-shifted with respect to its expected energy in the laboratory, indicating that it arises in a gas that is moving away from the black hole; in other words, we are seeing an outflowing wind," explains Dr Nardini. This line has now been detected in many other quasars, but due to its relative vicinity to us, PDS 456 offers ideal conditions to observe it in detail.

Prior to this study, astronomers used this absorption feature to learn that the wind is blowing at one third the speed of light. But the data were not enough to determine the amount of matter and energy carried away from the black hole. This is where the new observing campaign made a difference, allowing the astronomers to uncover something new: not only they could see the absorption caused by the iron ions, now they also detected direct emission from those ions.

"It was a most welcome surprise," says Dr Nardini.

The emission signature in the spectrum was detected at a slightly lower energy than the absorption feature, indicating that the emitting ions lie outside our line of sight.

"We are seeing material that is flowing away from the black hole, not only towards us but in every direction," he adds.

Such a pair of emission and absorption lines is called a P-Cygni profile, as it was first observed in the variable star P Cygni. It is characteristic of a gaseous envelope expanding away from the central source, and it was never before observed in a wind launched from the vicinity of a supermassive black hole.

With this new feature detected in the spectra of PDS 456, the astronomers could finally study the geometry of the wind blown by the black hole, revealing a wide, almost spherical outflow of matter.

"Knowing the speed, shape and size of the winds, we can now figure out how powerful they are," comments Fiona Harrison of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California, who is a co-author on the paper and the principal investigator of NuSTAR.

The data indicate that the outflowing material amounts to about ten times the mass of the Sun every year, and that the kinetic power it releases into the surroundings is about 20 per cent of the total energy emitted by the quasar.

The wide shape of the wind suggests that the black hole must have quite an impact on the host galaxy, and the estimated amounts of mass and energy that are being blown away seem to confirm that the outflow is able to trigger an effective feedback mechanism on the galaxy as a whole.

While the black-hole wind consists of ionised gas, its power has the potential to set larger outflows into motion, eventually driving away the galaxy's reservoir of molecular gas - the raw material that is needed for stars to form.

Because PDS 456 is relatively nearby by cosmic standards, in this new study astronomers might be witnessing the early stage of a feedback process that more distant quasars underwent around 10 billion years ago, when supermassive black holes and their fierce winds were much more common and possibly contributed to regulating the star-forming activity of the galaxies we observe today.

"This is a great example of the synergy between XMM-Newton and NuSTAR," says Norbert Schartel, XMM-Newton project scientist at ESA. "The complementarity of these two X-ray observatories is enabling us to unveil previously hidden details about the powerful side of the Universe."

 

 

Monster black hole discovered at cosmic dawn

 
‎26 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎03:21:10 AMGo to full article
Tucson AZ (SPX) Feb 26, 2015 - Scientists have discovered the brightest quasar in the early universe, powered by the most massive black hole yet known at that time. The international team led by astronomers from Peking University in China and from the University of Arizona announce their findings in the scientific journal Nature on Feb. 26.

The discovery of this quasar, named SDSS J0100+2802, marks an important step in understanding how quasars, the most powerful objects in the universe, have evolved from the earliest epoch, only 900 million years after the Big Bang, which is thought to have happened 13.7 billion years ago. The quasar, with its central black hole mass of 12 billion solar masses and the luminosity of 420 trillion suns, is at a distance of 12.8 billion light-years from Earth.

The discovery of this ultraluminous quasar also presents a major puzzle to the theory of black hole growth at early universe, according to Xiaohui Fan, Regents' Professor of Astronomy at the UA's Steward Observatory, who co-authored the study.

"How can a quasar so luminous, and a black hole so massive, form so early in the history of the universe, at an era soon after the earliest stars and galaxies have just emerged?" Fan said. "And what is the relationship between this monster black hole and its surrounding environment, including its host galaxy?

"This ultraluminous quasar with its supermassive black hole provides a unique laboratory to the study of the mass assembly and galaxy formation around the most massive black holes in the early universe."

The quasar dates from a time close to the end of an important cosmic event that astronomers referred to as the "epoch of reionization": the cosmic dawn when light from the earliest generations of galaxies and quasars is thought to have ended the "cosmic dark ages" and transformed the universe into how we see it today.

Discovered in 1963, quasars are the most powerful objects beyond our Milky Way galaxy, beaming vast amounts of energy across space as the supermassive black hole in their center sucks in matter from its surroundings. Thanks to the new generation of digital sky surveys, astronomers have discovered more than 200,000 quasars, with ages ranging from 0.7 billion years after the Big Bang to today.

Shining with the equivalent of 420 trillion suns, the new quasar is seven times brighter than the most distant quasar known (which is 13 billion years away). It harbors a black hole with mass of 12 billion solar masses, proving it to be the most luminous quasar with the most massive black hole among all the known high redshift (very distant) quasars.

"By comparison, our own Milky Way galaxy has a black hole with a mass of only 4 million solar masses at its center; the black hole that powers this new quasar is 3,000 time heavier," Fan said.

Feige Wang, a doctoral student from Peking University who is supervised jointly by Fan and Prof. Xue-Bing Wu at Peking University, the study's lead author, initially spotted this quasar for further study.

"This quasar was first discovered by our 2.4-meter Lijiang Telescope in Yunnan, China, making it the only quasar ever discovered by a 2-meter telescope at such distance, and we're very proud of it," Wang said. "The ultraluminous nature of this quasar will allow us to make unprecedented measurements of the temperature, ionization state and metal content of the intergalactic medium at the epoch of reionization."

Following the initial discovery, two telescopes in southern Arizona did the heavy lifting in determining the distance and mass of the black hole: the 8.4-meter Large Binocular Telescope, or LBT, on Mount Graham and the 6.5-meter Multiple Mirror Telescope, or MMT, on Mount Hopkins. Additional observations with the 6.5-meter Magellan Telescope in Las Campanas Observatory, Chile, and the 8.2-meter Gemini North Telescope in Mauna Kea, Hawaii, confirmed the results.

"This quasar is very unique," said Xue-Bing Wu, a professor of the Department of Astronomy, School of Physics at Peking University and the associate director of the Kavli Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics. "Just like the brightest lighthouse in the distant universe, its glowing light will help us to probe more about the early universe."

Wu leads a team that has developed a method to effectively select quasars in the distant universe based on optical and near-infrared photometric data, in particular using data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Explorer, or WISE, satellite.

"This is a great accomplishment for the LBT," said Fan, who chairs the LBT Scientific Advisory Committee and also discovered the previous record holders for the most massive black hole in the early universe, about a fourth of the size of the newly discovered object.

"The especially sensitive optical and infrared spectrographs of the LBT provided the early assessment of both the distance of the quasars and the mass of the black hole at the quasar's center."

For Christian Veillet, director of the Large Binocular Telescope Observatory, or LBTO, this discovery demonstrates both the power of international collaborations and the benefit of using a variety of facilities spread throughout the world.

"This result is particularly gratifying for LBTO, which is well on its way to full nighttime operations," Veillet said.

"While in this case the authors used two different instruments in series, one for visible light spectroscopy and one for near-infrared imaging, LBTO will soon offer a pair of instruments that can be used simultaneously, effectively doubling the number of observations possible in clear skies and ultimately creating even more exciting science."

To further unveil the nature of this remarkable quasar, and to shed light on the physical processes that led to the formation of the earliest supermassive black holes, the research team will carry out further investigations on this quasar with more international telescopes, including the Hubble Space Telescope and the Chandra X-ray Telescope.

 

 

Recent research provides new data on chemical gardens, whose formation is a mystery for science

 
‎26 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎03:21:10 AMGo to full article
Granada, Spain (SPX) Feb 18, 2015 - Recent research which has counted with the participation of the University of Granada Andalusian Institute of Earth Sciences has yielded new data on chemical gardens, mysterious formations produced when certain solid salts (copper sulfate, cobalt chloride) are added to an aqueous solution of sodium silicate.

Self-contained chemical gardens are formed through the self-assembly of mineral precipitates generated during certain chemical reactions, and they produce coloured forms that resemble vegetable structures. The first researcher who watched them was Johann Rudolf Glauber in 1646, and since then their formation has been a veritable mystery for the scientific community.

Besides their popularity in chemistry experiments for massive audiences, self-contained chemical gardens present analogies with a variety of natural systems, such as the ice channels formed underneath sea ice or the hydrothermal chimneys at the bottom of the oceans where it is believed that life on earth could have originated.

Their growth patterns are being studied today fundamentally to produce new self-structuring materials, or to understand their role in the origin of life, thanks to the energy they can store.

To produce a chemical garden in the lab, one typically introduces a metallic salt in an alkaline solution within a container. This leads to the growth of a series of irregular, tubular, multi-coloured structures thanks to the combined action of different physical processes (osmotic pressure, gravity effects, reactions and diffusion)

The fact that these different processes interact in a complex way without any sort of control whatsoever provokes the irregularity, and above all the impossibility of reproducing the obtained three-dimensional forms obtained in this process. This precludes detailed understanding of the growth mechanisms of these structures.

An almost bi-dimensional confined environment
In this context, researchers from the Non-linear Physical Chemistry Unity at the Free University of Brussels, and from the University of Granada Andalusian Institute of Earth Sciences have demonstrated that it is possible to obtain an important collection of reproducible structures by having the chemical gardens grow in a confined, almost bi-dimensional environment, by injecting a reagent inside another one between two horizontal plaques.

The horizontal confinement of the reactor reduces the effects of gravity, while the injection of one reagent within another reduces the effects of osmotic pressure. Besides, the control of the initial concentrations of the reagents, and of the flow of injection allows for the study of the relative importance of chemical processes and transport within the selection of the shape in the precipitate.

Published in the journal PNAS, this study has enabled researchers to obtain in a controlled and reproducible way a large variety of motives, such as flowers, filaments or spirals, thus facilitating a better comprehension of the mechanisms that produce their formation.

For instance, the authors of this study have exploited standard methods for the analysis of bi-dimensional motifs with the aim of elucidating the grown mechanism for the spirals, with the support of an elemental geometric models.

These results provide a new methodology for the analysis of growth in an non-equilibrium situation, aimed at obtaining a better control of the physical and chemical properties of self-assembled solid materials.

 

 

NASA, ESA Telescopes Give Shape to Furious Black Hole Winds

 
‎26 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎03:21:10 AMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Feb 20, 2015 - NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) and ESA's (European Space Agency) XMM-Newton telescope are showing that fierce winds from a supermassive black hole blow outward in all directions - a phenomenon that had been suspected, but difficult to prove until now.

This discovery has given astronomers their first opportunity to measure the strength of these ultra-fast winds and prove they are powerful enough to inhibit the host galaxy's ability to make new stars.

"We know black holes in the centers of galaxies can feed on matter, and this process can produce winds. This is thought to regulate the growth of the galaxies," said Fiona Harrison of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, California. Harrison is the principal investigator of NuSTAR and a co-author on a new paper about these results appearing in the journal Science. "Knowing the speed, shape and size of the winds, we can now figure out how powerful they are."

Supermassive black holes blast matter into their host galaxies, with X-ray-emitting winds traveling at up to one-third the speed of light. In the new study, astronomers determined PDS 456, an extremely bright black hole known as a quasar more than 2 billion light-years away, sustains winds that carry more energy every second than is emitted by more than a trillion suns.

"Now we know quasar winds significantly contribute to mass loss in a galaxy, driving out its supply of gas, which is fuel for star formation," said the study's lead author, Emanuele Nardini of Keele University in England.

NuSTAR and XMM-Newton simultaneously observed PDS 456 on five separate occasions in 2013 and 2014. The space telescopes complement each other by observing different parts of the X-ray light spectrum: XMM-Newton views low-energy and NuSTAR views high-energy.

Previous XMM-Newton observations had identified black-hole winds blowing toward us, but could not determine whether the winds also blew in all directions. XMM-Newton had detected iron atoms, which are carried by the winds along with other matter, only directly in front of the black hole, where they block X-rays.

The scientists combined higher-energy X-ray data from NuSTAR with observations from XMM-Newton. By doing this, they were able to find signatures of iron scattered from the sides, proving the winds emanate from the black hole not in a beam, but in a nearly spherical fashion.

"This is a great example of the synergy between XMM-Newton and NuSTAR," said Norbert Schartel, XMM-Newton project scientist at ESA. "The complementarity of these two X-ray observatories is enabling us to unveil previously hidden details about the powerful side of the universe."

With the shape and extent of the winds known, the researchers could then determine the strength of the winds and the degree to which they can inhibit the formation of new stars.

Astronomers think supermassive black holes and their home galaxies evolve together and regulate each other's growth. Evidence for this comes in part from observations of the central bulges of galaxies - the more massive the central bulge, the larger the supermassive black hole.

This latest report demonstrates a supermassive black hole and its high-speed winds greatly affect the host galaxy. As the black hole bulks up in size, its winds push vast amounts of matter outward through the galaxy, which ultimately stops new stars from forming.

Because PDS 456 is relatively close, by cosmic standards, it is bright and can be studied in detail. This black hole gives astronomers a unique look into a distant era of our universe, around 10 billion years ago, when supermassive black holes and their raging winds were more common and possibly shaped galaxies as we see them today.

"For an astronomer, studying PDS 456 is like a paleontologist being given a living dinosaur to study," said study co-author Daniel Stern of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. "We are able to investigate the physics of these important systems with a level of detail not possible for those found at more typical distances, during the 'Age of Quasars.'"

 

 

Getting a grip on exotic atomic nuclei

 
‎26 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎03:21:10 AMGo to full article
Warsaw, Poland (SPX) Feb 23, 2015 - A new model describing atomic nuclei, proposed by a physicist from the University of Warsaw Faculty of Physics, more accurately predicts the properties of various exotic isotopes that are created in supernova explosions or inside nuclear reactors.

Even with modern accelerators and detectors we are still unable to create and observe many exotic isotopes that are formed in supernova explosions and inside nuclear reactors. As a result, a significant number of atomic nuclei still remain unstudied. Predicting some of their properties has just become easier, thanks to a new model describing atomic nuclei recently published by Dr. Krzysztof Miernik from the Faculty of Physics at the University of Warsaw (UW), Poland.

"These days, when just the list of authors contributing to a publication in nuclear physics sometimes runs nearly as long than the main text of the article itself, papers written by a single author are a true rarity. In this case, the paper is all the more unusual in that a new theoretical model has been presented by an experimental physicist," says Prof. Tomasz Matulewicz, director of the Institute of Experimental Physics at the UW Faculty of Physics.

Modern theoretical models of atomic nuclei fall into two groups: microscopic and phenomenological. Microscopic models try to describe nuclei using the equations of quantum mechanics, which can only be done for nuclei with relatively small numbers of protons and neutrons. Phenomenological models, in turn, do not concern themselves with the details of the underlying physical phenomena, but instead try to identify more general, statistical correlations between various nuclei.

"Descriptions derived from the most basic quantum-mechanical principles can be devised only for simple nuclei, containing no more than a dozen-odd particles. Statistical models, on the other hand, work well only when dealing with truly large datasets. And so there's a problem, because the number of protons and neutrons in most atomic nuclei is somewhere in between: large enough to make precise description impossible in practice, but at the same time small enough that statistical description remains imprecise," Dr. Miernik explains.

Modern physics recognizes four fundamental forces: the gravitational, electromagnetic, strong nuclear, and weak nuclear forces. Gravitation operates between particles that have mass, thereby shaping the Universe on cosmic scales.

Electromagnetism binds negatively charged electrons to positively charged atomic nuclei, forming atoms, which we can see thanks to photons, which are carriers of electromagnetism. The strong nuclear force "glues" quarks together to form protons and neutrons, the main components of atomic nuclei. Compared to these other three forces, the weak nuclear force might seem insignificant.

"Nothing could be further from the truth! Weak nuclear forces play a very important role: it is thanks to them that certain nuclear particles can change into others. If it were not for the weak force, we would not have so many chemical elements in the Universe," Dr. Miernik says.

Stars are the main factories churning out various elements in the Universe. However, the thermonuclear reactions taking place within them are unable to produce atomic nuclei heavier than iron.

Fortunately, thanks to the weak force, something called beta minus decay sometimes takes place within a nucleus: a neutron turns into a proton plus two other particles (an electron and an electron antineutrino, which quickly leave the nucleus). As a result of beta minus decay, the number of protons in an atomic nucleus increases, in each case giving rise to a new chemical element.

"Interesting things happen not only during beta minus decay itself, but also afterwards. The new nucleus may be in an excited state. If it has a relatively even ratio of neutrons to protons, it will probably relase the excess energy by simply emitting gamma radiation. But if the neutrons in a nucleus significantly outnumber the protons, it may emit a neutron. We therefore have a beta decay, followed by a delayed neutron emission," Dr. Miernik explains.

Delayed proton emission is a process of important significance in astrophysics. Supernova explosions release large quantities of neutrons, some of which are captured by atomic nuclei. One of the main pathways producing new elements, responsible for the creation of more or less half of the isotopes heavier than iron, involves precisely this beta minus decay combined with delayed neutron emission.

"Our lack of knowledge about the exotic atomic nuclei that get formed in supernova explosions poses a true obstacle to fully understanding the processes occurring there," Dr. Miernik says.

Delayed neutron emission is also of importance here on Earth: it makes it relatively easy to monitor the progression of nuclear reactions in atomic reactors. If, during uranium decay, all the neutrons were to be released immediately, there would always be a chain reaction, leading to a nuclear explosion. Fortunately, that is not the way things happen. A

lthough just one neutron out of every few dozen emitted by decaying uranium gets emitted with a delay, this small ratio is sufficient for the reaction to be controlled.

Uranium decay can give rise to around 270 different atomic nuclei emitting delayed neutrons. However, actually measuring their properties is a tough task. Because of their short lifetimes, most of these atomic nuclei need to be created artificially.

Moreover, detecting the emitted neutrons, which carry information about how the decay happened, requires the use of expensive and inefficient detectors. As a consequence, modern physics has identified the properties of little more than one-third of all the atomic nuclei in this group.

"Let's look at this from the structural engineer's perspective. If certain atomic nuclei are going to be produced inside a reactor, we would like to know which ones, and how they will behave. A new nucleus could be, for instance, an isotope of krypton, which is a noble gas, or it could just as easily be rubidium, an alkali metal, which will behave completely differently inside the reactor," Dr. Miernik says.

The model of delayed neutron emission which Dr. Miernik has proposed is an extension of the statistics-based models. His key idea was to create a systematic analysis method based on one of the parameters (called nuclear level density) so that the predictions of the model correspond as well as possible to experimental measurements.

The model so devised makes it possible to systematize the atomic nuclei known to date, as well as to anticipate the properties of exotic nuclei that have not yet been studied.

Like every new model, this one will also have to undergo persistent experimental verification. For the time being it has passed a preliminary test, in which the number of number of known atomic nuclei was artificially reduced, and the model's predictions based on this restricted dataset were compared to the known parameters of the nuclei that had been eliminated.

Dr. Miernik expects the first measurements of new atomic nuclei, that can be used to verify the accuracy of the model, to come from experiments that will soon get underway at the RIKEN Nishina Center in Japan.

 

 

Stretch and relax by losing 1 electron magnetism switch

 
‎26 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎03:21:10 AMGo to full article
Berlin, Germany (SPX) Feb 24, 2015 - The scientists used the unique Nanocluster Trap experimental station at the BESSY II synchrotron radiation source at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and published their results in the Journal Angewandte Chemie.

The electronic structure and bonding of seemingly simple diatomic molecules like dichromium has puzzled scientist for decades. In surprisingly many cases, the ground state of these smallest molecules is still unknown even after a century of quantum mechanics. Because of the enormous computational challenge associated with the correct description of low-lying excited states and multiple bonds, the sextuple bond in the low-spin ground state of neutral Cr2 molecules has become a benchmark criterion in electronic structure calculations.

In a joint effort, an international team of scientists from Berlin, Freiburg and Fukuoka has now provided the first direct experimental proof of an unexpected high spin ground state of Cr2+, the cationic cousin of Cr2.

Dramatic effect on magnetism
The team studied the effect of x-ray magnetic circular dichroism on free Cr2+ ions that were stored at 18 K in a dedicated cryogenic ion trap. This effect gives direct experimental insight into spin coupling and localization of the relevant valence electrons. For their experiments, the scientists used the unique Nanocluster Trap experimental station that is available at beamline UE52-PGM of the BESSY II synchrotron radiation source at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.

Localisation of ten valence electrons
Even though only one out of twelve electrons is removed when ionizing Cr2 the molecule reacts dramatically, with complete localization of all ten 3d electrons and with maximum spin coupling. This turns an archetypal antiferromagnet ferromagnetic. "It's a dramatic effect we see," says team leader Tobias Lau.

"Its particular spin configuration can be interpreted as a result of indirect exchange coupling, where the two groups of localized electrons "talk" to each other via a single bonding electron as a messenger that controls the parallel alignment of all their spins," says Vicente Zamudio-Bayer who conducted this work as part of his PhD thesis at HZB and TU Berlin and who now continues his research as a postdoc in the Freiburg group.

Almost the same bonding energy
While in the neutral molecule all twelve valence electrons participate in bonding and create a short, unusual sextuple bond, the cation is only bound by one single electron with an almost doubled bond distance but almost the same bond energy. These significantly different bonding situations illustrate the fragile and untypically weak multiple bond in dichromium.

They can be visualized as a change from a short and tight multiple bond to which all valence electrons contribute, to a long and loose single bond with all electrons except one localized at both ends. Combining their new results with earlier findings, the scientists can now even give relative energies of the excited states that have caused much confusion in the correct description of this molecular ion, a fact that will facilitate future theoretical approaches.

Cooperation and experimental set up
The experimental setup that was used for this research is operated jointly by Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, Universitat Freiburg, and Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan. It is currently the only setup worldwide that provides the opportunity to investigate with x-ray spectroscopy ultralow density samples of a broad range of gaseous and size-selected molecular ions, clusters and complexes trapped at cryogenic temperatures in a strong magnetic field.

This unique setup at BESSY II is currently upgraded in a BMBF-funded project of Universitat Freiburg for even lower temperature and increased sensitivity, with the promise for more of these exciting results to come.

 

 

Direct observation of bond formations

 
‎26 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎03:21:10 AMGo to full article
Tsukuba, Japan (SPX) Feb 23, 2015 - A collaboration between researchers from KEK, the Institute for Basic Science (IBS), the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), RIKEN, and the Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute (JASRI) used the SACLA X-ray free electron laser (XFEL) facility for a real time visualization of the birth of a molecular that occurs via photoinduced formation of a chemical bonds. This achievement was published in the online version of the scientific journal Nature (published on 19 February 2015).

Direct "observation" of the bond making, through a chemical reaction, has been longstanding dream for chemists. However, the distance between atoms is very small, at about 100 picometer, and the bonding is completed very quickly, taking less than one picosecond (ps). Hence, previously, one could only imagine the bond formation between atoms while looking at the chemical reaction progressing in the test-tube.

In this study, the research group focused on the process of photoinduced bond formation between gold (Au) ions dissolved in water. In the ground state (S0 state in Fig. 2) Au ions that are weakly bound to each other by an electron affinity and aligned in a bent geometry. Upon a photoexcitation, the S0 state rapidly converts into an excited (S1 state in Fig. 2) state where Au-Au covalent bonds are formed among Au ions aligned in a linear geometry.

Subsequently, the S1 state transforms to a triplet state (T1 state in Fig. 2) in 1.6 ps while accompanying further contraction of Au-Au bonds by 0.1 A. Later, the T1 state of the trimer converts to a tetramer (tetramer state in Fig. 2) on nanosecond time scale. Finally, the Au ions returned to their original loosely interacting bent structure.

In this research, the direct observation of a very fast chemical reaction, induced by the photo-excitation, was succeeded. Therefore, this method is expected to be a fundamental technology for understanding the light energy conversion reaction. The research group is actively working to apply this method to the development of viable renewable energy resources, such as a photocatalysts for artificial photosynthesis using sunlight.

 

 

Supercomputer simulations explore how an air-reed instrument generates air flow and sound

 
‎26 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎03:21:10 AMGo to full article
Toyohashi, Japan (SPX) Feb 23, 2015 - Hiroshi Yokoyama and his colleagues at Department of Mechanical Engineering, Toyohashi University of Technology in collaboration with researchers at YAMAHA Corporation have succeeded in directly predicting sound radiating from a recorder for the first time all over the world.

The calculations for this study took two weeks using about 100 nodes of supercomputers (FX10 in the Tokyo University or Kyushu University). It was a huge computational cost.

In air-reed instruments such as a recorder, the flow velocity fluctuates by the blowing of performer. These fluctuations generate sound (pressure and density fluctuations).

It had been known that a small change of the shape or material of instruments critically affects ease of playing or how a performer feels during performance. However, the detailed relationship of the shape or material and the sound had not been clarified, and the reason why they affect the tones was unknown.

However, by these predicted results, we understand the way the sound is radiating from flows in the recorder. Moreover, the way the sound is propagated to the far field (performer's ears or audience) around the recorder was also clarified (Movie 2). These results contribute to the revolution of the design of future musical instruments.

Everyone knows the instrument radiates sound when we blow it. However, the complex flow and sound phenomena are hidden. In your childhood, did you find it difficult to resonate the lowest "do" in music classes? In the future, we can clarify the effects of the shape of instruments on tones clearly using computers. I believe that it becomes possible to propose a new design of musical instrument easy-to-play or new musical instruments.

 

 

New and improved Large Hadron Collider ready to do science again

 
‎26 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎03:21:10 AMGo to full article
San Jose, Calif. (UPI) Feb 19, 2015 - Researchers hope the Large Hadron Collider, set to resume scientific work in March after two years of improvements, can help them confirm the existence of "dark matter" particles.

Dark matter makes up 27 percent of the universe. Dark energy -- the all-encompassing term used to describe the strange properties exhibited by the emptiness of space -- makes up 68 percent of the universe. In other words, more than 95 percent of the universe remains largely a mystery.

But next month, particle- and astrophysicists will go to work on shining a bit of light on these dark mysteries using the bigger, more powerful LHC.

"What we know about dark matter is that it exists, and then very little after that," Michael Williams, a physicist and researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told Discovery News.

Scientists know dark energy is responsible for the acceleration of the universe's expansion, and that dark matter absorbs light but does not reflect or emit it, but no one has any real idea how or why such is the case.

"It would be nice if we could start to understand what dark matter is and how it affects the galaxy and the evolution of the universe," Williams added.

He said, however, that he and his colleagues would be satisfied with small insights into the particles that make up dark matter.

In 2012, scientists used the LHC to confirm the existence of the Higgs boson, or Higgs particle, an elementary particle that had previously only existed in theoretical equations. Follow up research revealed other similar particles, the smallest and faintest of subatomic building blocks.

Some of these so-called ghost particles, researchers claim, have hinted at what could be the relatives of dark matter.

The Large Hadron Collider, located at the CERN research laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland, works by smashing particles together at high speeds. During these high-energy collisions, strange new particles are often produced. These particle fragments exist for only a nanosecond or less before they decay into more recognizable forms.

With the LHC now twice as powerful, scientists hope even more energy-packed collisions will reveal new subatomic particles -- like dark matter.

"If we find something that looks like it could be dark matter at the LHC, we would try to measure as much as we can about it ... and hopefully get hints of how to detect it directly in other experiments," Jay Hauser, a physicist at UCLA, told Live Science.

Researchers shared their aspirations for LHC's upcoming work, and the ongoing search of dark matter, at this week's American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in San Jose.

 

 

In the quantum world, the future affects the past

 
‎26 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎03:21:10 AMGo to full article
St. Louis MO (SPX) Feb 18, 2015 - We're so used murder mysteries that we don't even notice how mystery authors play with time. Typically the murder occurs well before the midpoint of the book, but there is an information blackout at that point and the reader learns what happened then only on the last page.

If the last page were ripped out of the book, physicist Kater Murch, PhD, said, would the reader be better off guessing what happened by reading only up to the fatal incident or by reading the entire book?

The answer, so obvious in the case of the murder mystery, is less so in world of quantum mechanics, where indeterminacy is fundamental rather than contrived for our reading pleasure.

Even if you know everything quantum mechanics can tell you about a quantum particle, said Murch, an assistant professor of physics in Arts and Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, you cannot predict with certainty the outcome of a simple experiment to measure its state. All quantum mechanics can offer are statistical probabilities for the possible results.

The orthodox view is that this indeterminacy is not a defect of the theory, but rather a fact of nature. The particle's state is not merely unknown, but truly undefined before it is measured. The act of measurement itself forces the particle to collapse to a definite state.

In the Feb. 13 issue of Physical Review Letters, Kater Murch describes a way to narrow the odds. By combining information about a quantum system's evolution after a target time with information about its evolution up to that time, his lab was able to narrow the odds of correctly guessing the state of the two-state system from 50-50 to 90-10.

It's as if what we did today, changed what we did yesterday. And as this analogy suggests, the experimental results have spooky implications for time and causality--at least in microscopic world to which quantum mechanics applies.

Measuring a phantom
Until recently physicists could explore the quantum mechanical properties of single particles only through thought experiments, because any attempt to observe them directly caused them to shed their mysterious quantum properties.

But in the 1980s and 1990s physicists invented devices that allowed them to measure these fragile quantum systems so gently that they don't immediately collapse to a definite state.

The device Murch uses to explore quantum space is a simple superconducting circuit that enters quantum space when it is cooled to near absolute zero. Murch's team uses the bottom two energy levels of this qubit, the ground state and an excited state, as their model quantum system. Between these two states, there are an infinite number of quantum states that are superpositions, or combinations, of the ground and excited states.

The quantum state of the circuit is detected by putting it inside a microwave box. A few microwave photons are sent into the box, where their quantum fields interact with the superconducting circuit. So when the photons exit the box they bear information about the quantum system.

Crucially, these "weak," off-resonance measurements do not disturb the qubit, unlike "strong" measurements with photons that are resonant with the energy difference between the two states, which knock the circuit into one or the other state.

A quantum guessing game
In Physical Review Letters, Murch describes a quantum guessing game played with the qubit.

"We start each run by putting the qubit in a superposition of the two states," he said. "Then we do a strong measurement but hide the result, continuing to follow the system with weak measurements."

They then try to guess the hidden result, which is their version of the missing page of the murder mystery.

"Calculating forward, using the Born equation that expresses the probability of finding the system in a particular state, your odds of guessing right are only 50-50," Murch said. "But you can also calculate backward using something called an effect matrix. Just take all the equations and flip them around. They still work and you can just run the trajectory backward.

"So there's a backward-going trajectory and a forward-going trajectory and if we look at them both together and weight the information in both equally, we get something we call a hindsight prediction, or "retrodiction."

The shattering thing about the retrodiction is that it is 90 percent accurate. When the physicists check it against the stored measurement of the system's earlier state it is right nine times out of 10.

Down the rabbit hole
The quantum guessing game suggests ways to make both quantum computing and the quantum control of open systems, such as chemical reactions, more robust. But it also has implications for much deeper problems in physics.

For one thing, it suggests that in the quantum world time runs both backward and forward whereas in the classical world it only runs forward.

"I always thought the measurement would resolve the time symmetry in quantum mechanics," Murch said. "If we measure a particle in a superposition of states and it collapses into one of two states, well, that sounds like a process that goes forward in time."

But in the quantum guessing experiment, time symmetry has returned. The improved odds imply the measured quantum state somehow incorporates information from the future as well as the past. And that implies that time, notoriously an arrow in the classical world, is a double-headed arrow in the quantum world.

"It's not clear why in the real world, the world made up of many particles, time only goes forward and entropy always increases," Murch said. "But many people are working on that problem and I expect it will be solved in a few years," he said.

In a world where time is symmetric, however, is there such a thing as cause and effect? To find out, Murch proposes to run a qubit experiment that would set up feedback loops (which are chains of cause and effect) and try to run them both forward and backward.

"It takes 20 or 30 minutes to run one of these experiments," Murch said, "several weeks to process it, and a year to scratch our heads to see if we're crazy or not."

"At the end of the day," he said, "I take solace in the fact that we have a real experiment and real data that we plot on real curves."

 

 

With new data, Planck satellite brings early universe into focus

 
‎24 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎07:45:39 PMGo to full article
Oxnard CA (SPX) Feb 20, 2015 - From its orbit 930,000 miles above Earth, the Planck space telescope spent more than four years detecting the oldest light in the universe, called the cosmic microwave background.

This fossil from the Big Bang fills every square inch of the sky and offers a glimpse of what the universe looked like almost 14 billion years ago, when it was just 380,000 years old. Planck's observations of this relic radiation shed light on everything from the evolution of the universe to dark matter.

Just this month, Planck released new maps of the cosmic microwave background supporting the theory of cosmic inflation, which posits that the universe underwent a monumental expansion in the moments following the Big Bang. During this time, space expanded faster than the speed of light, growing from smaller than a proton to an enormity that defies comprehension.

Yet the theory of inflation is not yet a full and detailed theory that can completely explain the universe's earliest moments.

"We don't yet understand the fundamental physics that drove inflation, and we certainly don't understand the details of how it worked," said George Efstathiou, director of the Kavli Institute for Cosmology at the University of Cambridge and one of the leaders of the Planck mission. Efstathiou offered his insights during a recent conversation with The Kavli Foundation.

"What we need is better experimental data that tells us what the early universe looked like and hopefully this will point us toward a fundamental theory of inflation."

That said, the latest Planck data do support the general idea that the universe expanded mindbogglingly fast in its first moments. The data also offers insight into neutrinos, the tiny, ubiquitous particles known come in three types but whose mass is still unknown.

Previous experiments determined the lightest these particles could be; the Planck results have now set a limit on heaviest they could possibly be.

"We're narrowing down the options, and will hopefully soon learn their exact mass," said Efstathiou. "Neutrinos are some of the most mysterious particles in the universe, so this would be an important step toward understanding them."

Planck also looked for dark matter - the mysterious substance that makes up 20 percent of the universe yet has yet to be well understood - but found no signal whatsoever. That's not all that surprising, said Efstathiou.

Dark matter is easy to hide, and it will take future experiments to find it. Theorists have also suggested that dark matter might interact in some way with dark energy, the substance that permeates all of space and pushes the universe apart. From the Planck data, Efstathiou said, it looks like dark energy is completely constant and does not interact with dark matter.

In addition, Efstathiou said that although no experiment has yet detected gravitational waves, ripples in the curvature of space-time that, if they exist, could help prove the theory of inflation, future experiments have a good shot at it.

"If you look at the [data], you see that there's plenty of room for gravitational waves to be lurking there, just below the level" we can see, he said. "If that's true, it shouldn't take a very long time to dig it out. So there could be a very important development coming."

 

 

Interstellar technology throws light on spinning black holes

 
‎18 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎05:33:25 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Feb 18, 2015 - The team responsible for the Oscar-nominated visual effects at the centre of Christopher Nolan's epic, Interstellar, have turned science fiction into science fact by providing new insights into the powerful effects of black holes.

In a paper published 13 February, in IOP Publishing's journal Classical and Quantum Gravity, the team describe the innovative computer code that was used to generate the movie's iconic images of the wormhole, black hole and various celestial objects, and explain how the code has led them to new science discoveries.

Using their code, the Interstellar team, comprising London-based visual effects company Double Negative and Caltech theoretical physicist Kip Thorne, found that when a camera is close up to a rapidly spinning black hole, peculiar surfaces in space, known as caustics, create more than a dozen images of individual stars and of the thin, bright plane of the galaxy in which the black hole lives. They found that the images are concentrated along one edge of the black hole's shadow.

These multiple images are caused by the black hole dragging space into a whirling motion and stretching the caustics around itself many times. It is the first time that the effects of caustics have been computed for a camera near a black hole, and the resulting images give some idea of what a person would see if they were orbiting around a hole.

The discoveries were made possible by the team's computer code, which, as the paper describes, mapped the paths of millions of lights beams and their evolving cross-sections as they passed through the black hole's warped spacetime. The computer code was used to create images of the movie's wormhole and the black hole, Gargantua, and its glowing accretion disk, with unparalleled smoothness and clarity.

It showed portions of the accretion disk swinging up over the top and down under Gargantua's shadow, and also in front of the shadow's equator, producing an image of a split shadow that has become iconic for the movie.

This weird distortion of the glowing disk was caused by gravitational lensing--a process by which light beams from different parts of the disk, or from distant stars, are bent and distorted by the black hole, before they arrive at the movie's simulated camera.

This lensing happens because the black hole creates an extremely strong gravitational field, literally bending the fabric of spacetime around itself, like a bowling ball lying on a stretched out bed sheet.

Early in their work on the movie, with the black hole encircled within a rich field of distant stars and nebulae instead of an accretion disk, the team found that the standard approach of using just one light ray for one pixel in a computer code--in this instance, for an IMAX picture, a total of 23 million pixels--resulted in flickering as the stars and nebulae moved across the screen.

Co-author of the study and chief scientist at Double Negative, Oliver James, said: "To get rid of the flickering and produce realistically smooth pictures for the movie, we changed our code in a manner that has never been done before. Instead of tracing the paths of individual light rays using Einstein's equations--one per pixel--we traced the distorted paths and shapes of light beams."

Co-author of the study Kip Thorne said: "This new approach to making images will be of great value to astrophysicists like me. We, too, need smooth images."

Oliver James continued: "Once our code, called DNGR for Double Negative Gravitational Renderer, was mature and creating the images you see in the movie Interstellar, we realised we had a tool that could easily be adapted for scientific research."

In their paper, the team report how they used DNGR to carry out a number of research simulations exploring the influence of caustics--peculiar, creased surfaces in space--on the images of distant star fields as seen by a camera near a fast spinning black hole.

"A light beam emitted from any point on a caustic surface gets focussed by the black hole into a bright cusp of light at a given point," James continued. "All of the caustics, except one, wrap around the sky many times when the camera is close to the black hole. This sky-wrapping is caused by the black hole's spin, dragging space into a whirling motion around itself like the air in a whirling tornado, and stretching the caustics around the black hole many times."

As each caustic passes by a star, it either creates two new images of the star as seen by the camera, or annihilates two old images of the star. As the camera orbits around the black hole, film clips from the DNGR simulations showed that the caustics were constantly creating and annihilating a huge number of stellar images.

The team identified as many as 13 simultaneous images of the same star, and as many as 13 images of the thin, bright plane of the galaxy in which the black hole lives.

These multiple images were only seen when the black hole was spinning rapidly and only near the side of the black hole where the hole's whirling space was moving toward the camera, which they deduced was because the space whirl was 'flinging' the images outward from the hole's shadow edge.

On the shadow's opposite side, where space is whirling away from the camera, the team deduced that there were also multiple images of each star, but that the whirl of space compressed them inward, so close to the black hole's shadow that they could not be seen in the simulations.

 

 

A new spin on spintronics

 
‎18 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎05:33:25 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Feb 18, 2015 - A team of researchers from the University of Michigan and Western Michigan University is exploring new materials that could yield higher computational speeds and lower power consumption, even in harsh environments.

Most modern electronic circuitry relies on controlling electronic charge within a circuit, but this control can easily be disrupted in the presence of radiation, interrupting information processing. Electronics that use spin-based logic, or spintronics, may offer an alternative that is robust even in radiation-filled environments.

Making a radiation-resistant spintronic device requires a material relevant for spintronic applications that can maintain its spin-dependence after it has been irradiated. In a paper published in the journal Applied Physics Letters, from AIP Publishing, the Michigan research team presents their results using bulk Si-doped n-GaAs exposed to proton radiation.

How Does Spintronics Work?
Modern electronic devices use charges to transmit and store information, primarily based upon how many electrons are in one place or another. When a lot of them are at a given terminal, you can call that 'on.'

If you have very few of them at the same terminal, you can call that 'off,' just like a light switch. This allows for binary logic depending on whether the terminal is 'on' or 'off.' Spintronics, at its simplest, uses the 'on/off' idea, but instead of counting the electrons, their spin is measured.

"You can think of the spin of an electron as a tiny bar magnet with an arrow painted on it. If the arrow points up, we call that 'spin-up.' If it points down, we call that 'spin-down.' By using light, electric, or magnetic fields, we can manipulate, and measure, the spin direction," said researcher Brennan Pursley, who is the first author of the new study.

While spintronics holds promise for faster and more efficient computation, researchers also want to know whether it would be useful in harsh environments. Currently, radioactivity is a major problem for electronic circuitry because it can scramble information and in the long term degrade electronic properties. For the short term effects, spintronics should be superior: radioactivity can change the quantity of charge in a circuit, but should not affect spin-polarized carriers.

Studying spintronic materials required that the research team combine two well established fields: the study of spin dynamics and the study of radiation damage. Both tool sets are quite robust and have been around for decades but combining the two required sifting through the wealth of radiation damage research. "That was the most difficult aspect," explains Pursley.

"It was an entirely new field for us with a variety of established techniques and terminology to learn. The key was to tackle it like any new project: ask a lot of questions, find a few good books or papers, and follow the citations."

Technically, what the Michigan team did was to measure the spin properties of n-GaAs as a function of radiation fluence using time-resolved Kerr rotation and photoluminescence spectroscopy.

Results show that the spin lifetime and g-factor of bulk n-GaAs is largely unaffected by proton irradiation making it a candidate for further study for radiation-resistant spintronic devices. The team plans to study other spintronic materials and prototype devices after irradiation since the hybrid field of irradiated spintronics is wide open with plenty of questions to tackle.

Long term, knowledge of radiation effects on spintronic devices will aid in their engineering. A practical implementation would be processing on a communications satellite where without the protection of Earth's atmosphere, electronics can be damaged by harsh solar radiation.

The theoretically achievable computation speeds and low power consumption could be combined with compact designs and relatively light shielding. This could make communications systems faster, longer-lived and cheaper to implement.

 

 

Cesium atoms shaken, not stirred, to create elusive excitation in superfluid

 
‎18 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎05:33:25 AMGo to full article
Chicago IL (SPX) Feb 13, 2015 - Scientists discovered in 1937 that liquid helium-4, when chilled to extremely low temperatures, became a superfluid that could leak through glass, overflow its containers, or eternally gush like a fountain.

Future Nobel laureate Lev Landau came along in 1941, predicting that superfluid helium-4 should contain an exotic, particle-like excitation called a roton. But scientists, including Landau, Nobel laureate Richard Feynman and Wolf Prize recipient Philippe Nozieres have debated what structure the roton would take ever since.

"Even nowadays, after seven decades, it remains an issue of interest and controversy," said Cheng Chin, professor in physics at the University of Chicago. But in a new paper published Feb. 3, 2015, in Physical Review Letters, Chin and four associates describe how they can create roton structure in a new system: atomic superfluid of cesium-133 in the laboratory.

Scientists who specialize in superfluids have found it difficult to study rotons. Chin's team has pioneered a system that will make it much easier to reveal the long-cloaked mysteries of the roton.

The UChicago researchers generated artificial rotons using what they call the shaken lattice technique. With this technique, the physicists created a superfluid in a one-foot cylindrical chamber cooled to a temperature of approximately 15 nano-Kelvin, just a tiny fraction of a degree above absolute zero (minus 459.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

During the experiment, 30,000 cesium atoms became trapped in a crossing pattern of infrared laser beams. This optical lattice holds the atoms fast, like eggs in a crate, while gently shaking them.

Superfluidity in 10 seconds
"We need about 10 seconds to reach that temperature to prepare a superfluid as our first step," Chin said. "It is a brand new idea that shaking the optical lattice leads to the emergence of the rotons."

The superfluid persists for several seconds, during which time the physicists create the roton structure and image it to see how the structure influences the superfluid's properties.

Competing research teams at the University of Science and Technology in Shanghai, China, and at Washington State University also succeeded in creating roton structure using a different technique within few weeks after the Chicago group announced the result last summer. Those teams used additional laser beams to excite the atoms in the proper way.

"We approached the challenge to create rotons based on a new technology that we recently developed," said Li-Chung Ha, a graduate student in physics at UChicago. The lead author of the Physical Review Letters paper, Ha played a key role in developing the shaken lattice and in-situ imaging techniques used to collect the roton data.

Chin's research group developed the lattice shaking technique over a period of years. In 2013, Ha, Chin and UChicago postdoctoral scholar Colin V. Parker published a paper in Nature Physics showing that a variation of that technique could reveal interesting magnetic features in ultracold atoms. Later, they realized that they could use the same technique to create roton structure.

Engineering roton excitation
"With this technique, we can engineer an excitation spectrum of the atoms," Ha said. This feature, a hallmark of superfluid helium, is one of three pieces of evidence reported in the paper indicating that Ha and his associates had successfully created roton structure.

The other two lines of evidence include the measurements of roton energy confirming that its manifestation depends on the atomic interaction. The UChicago team also observed how roton excitations affect the superfluidity by dragging a laser speckle pattern across the superfluid.

"Experimentally, we see that a superfluid will become weaker in the presence of roton structure," Chin said. A superfluid can flow with no friction up to a maximum speed, called "superfluid critical velocity." Rotons suppress the critical velocity, which is the opposite of the desired goal to improve the robustness of superfluidity.

How robust can superfluidity be?
Researchers have proposed many ways to increase the robustness of superconductors, and atomic superfluids offer experimental means to test these ideas, Chin said.

"Superconductors can transfer energy without dissipation, that is, without energy loss, so a robust superconducting material can find widespread applications everywhere," he said. At the moment, power companies still use copper wire for energy transmission, which carries with it energy losses ranging from 30 to 40 percent from power plant to home or office.

Switching to superconductivity is currently impractical because superconducting material is expensive, and it works only at extremely low temperatures. More importantly, Chin noted, "a single superconducting wire can only carry a limited amount of energy."

"Our experiments provide a new platform to study excitations of a superfluid. They can help us better identify the key issues that limit the robustness of superconductivity," he said.

 

 

Rutgers-led team makes stride in explaining 30-year-old 'hidden order' physics mystery

 
‎18 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎05:33:25 AMGo to full article
New Brunswick NJ (SPX) Feb 13, 2015 - A new explanation for a type of order, or symmetry, in an exotic material made with uranium may lead to enhanced computer displays and data storage systems, and more powerful superconducting magnets for medical imaging and levitating high-speed trains, according to a Rutgers-led team of research physicists.

The team's findings are a major step toward explaining a puzzle that physicists worldwide have been struggling with for 30 years, when scientists first noticed a change in the material's electrical and magnetic properties but were unable to describe it fully. This subtle change occurs when the material is cooled to 17.5 degrees above absolute zero or lower (a bone-chilling minus 428 degrees Fahrenheit).

"This 'hidden order' has been the subject of nearly a thousand scientific papers since it was first reported in 1985 at Leiden University in the Netherlands," said Girsh Blumberg, professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the School of Arts and Sciences.

Collaborators from Rutgers University, the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, and Leiden University, published their findings this week in the web-based journal Science Express, which features selected research papers in advance of their appearance in the journal Science. Blumberg and two Rutgers colleagues, graduate student Hsiang-Hsi Kung and professor Kristjan Haule, led the collaboration.

Changes in order are what make liquid crystals, magnetic materials and superconductors work and perform useful functions. While the Rutgers-led discovery won't transform high-tech products overnight, this kind of knowledge is vital to ongoing advances in electronic technology.

"The Los Alamos collaborators produced a crystalline sample of the uranium, ruthenium and silicon compound with unprecedented purity, a breakthrough we needed to make progress in solving the puzzle of hidden order," said Blumberg. Uranium is commonly known as an element in nuclear reactor fuel or weapons material, but in this case, physicists value it as a heavy metal with electrons that behave differently than those in common metals.

Under these cold conditions, the orbital patterns made by electrons in uranium atoms from adjacent crystal layers become mirror images of each other. Above the hidden order temperature, these electron orbitals are the same. The Rutgers researchers discovered this so-called "broken mirror symmetry" using instrumentation they developed - based on a principle known as Raman scattering - to distinguish the pattern of the mirror images in the electron orbitals.

Blumberg also credits two theoretical physics professors at Rutgers for predicting the phenomenon that his team discovered.

"In this field, it's rare to have such predictive power," he said, noting that Gabriel Kotliar developed a computational technique that led to the prediction of the hidden order symmetry. Haule and Kotliar applied this technique to predict the changes in electron orbitals that Kung and Blumberg detected.

At still colder temperatures of 1.5 degrees above absolute zero, the material becomes superconducting - losing all resistance to the flow of electricity. While not practical for today's products and systems that rely on superconductivity, the material provides new insights into ways that materials can become superconducting.

The hidden order puzzle has also been a focus of other Rutgers researchers. Two years ago, professors Premala Chandra and Piers Coleman, along with Rutgers alumna Rebecca Flint, published another theoretical explanation of the phenomenon in the journal Nature.

The Leiden University collaborator, John Mydosh, is a member of the laboratory that discovered hidden order in 1985.

"The work of Blumberg and his team is an important and viable step towards the understanding of hidden order," Mydosh said. "We are well on our way after 30 years towards the final solution."

 

 

Switching superconductivity by light

 
‎18 ‎February ‎2015, ‏‎05:33:25 AMGo to full article
Tokyo, Japan (SPX) Feb 13, 2015 - A research team led by Prof. Hiroshi M. Yamamoto of the Institute for Molecular Science, National Institutes of Natural Sciences has developed a novel superconducting transistor which can be switched reversibly between ON and OFF by light-irradiation. This achievement is a milestone for future high-speed switching devices or highly-sensitive optical sensors.

The field-effect transistor (FET) is a basic switching element that controls electrical current in electronic circuits. FETs are currently included in a variety of electronic devices such as smart phones and computers. In recent years, much effort has been devoted to develop a superconducting FET as a key technology for computations using quantum states.

In 2013, the research team developed the world's first organic superconducting FET based on the organic superconductor: ?-(BEDT-TTF)2Cu[N(CN)2]Br (?-Br). Their previous work has allowed the organic superconducting FET to be recognized again as having inherent advantages such as flexibility and designability.

In this research, the team fabricated a novel photo-switchable transistor by replacing the gate electrode in the conventional FET with a 'spiropyran'-thin-film. When Dr. Masayuki Suda, a member of the research team, shone a pale UV light on this novel FET, it showed a rapid decrease of electrical resistance and turned into a superconducting state after 180 seconds.

Spiropyran is a photo-active organic molecule that shows intra-molecular electrical polarization by UV light irradiation. In this system, carriers for the superconductivity can be accumulated by UV light-induced electrical polarization of the spiropyran-film. Dr. Suda also found that the device can be switched to the superconducting state both by gate-voltage control and light-irradiation control.

Such a multi-mode operation obtained by combining two kinds of functional molecules, BEDT-TTF and spiropyran, indicates the high designability of organic systems. The superconductivity could also be removed by visible light-induced depolarization of the film.

This research presents a novel concept in which "superconductivity can be switched by optical stimuli," and will drive innovation in the field of future high-speed switching devices or high-sensitivity optical sensors. "Now it takes 180 seconds to switch the FET, but it can be operated much faster in principle," said Dr. Suda, "and it will open a way to a new type of devices that can satisfy glowing demand for a high-speed information infrastructure."

 

 

 

 

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Media Type: DVD
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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.

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Genetics Research Confirms Biblical Timeline

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

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

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

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

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

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

References

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

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

 

 

Twins Provide Peek Into Mankind's Origin

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

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

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Heads, Evolution Wins--Tails, Creation Loses?

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

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

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Spiders Have Always Been Spiders

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

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

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Live Webcasts March 18 and 22!

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


 


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

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Cancer Research Inadvertently Refutes Evolution

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

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

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Lids, Lashes, and Lunar Rovers

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

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

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Manganese Nodule Discovery Points to Genesis Flood

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

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

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RNA Editing: Biocomplexity Hits a New High

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

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

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Secular Study: No Big Bang?

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

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

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Honey Bee Orphan Genes Sting Evolution

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

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

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Out of Babel--Not Africa

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

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

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Big Bang Evidence Retracted

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

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

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Snakes Have Always Been Snakes

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

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

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A New Antibiotic?

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

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

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The frilled shark . . . is still a shark

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

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

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Encore Presentation of Patterns of Evidence: Exodus

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

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

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2014 Most Notable News: Evolutionary Icons Toppled

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

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

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The Hubble 'Pillars of Creation' Revisited

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

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

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2014 Most Notable News: Recent Creation

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

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

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2014 Most Notable News: Creation Is a Hot Topic

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

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

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2014 Most Notable News: Fossils Resemble Living Relatives

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

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

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2014 Most Notable News: Big Bang Fizzle

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

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

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Study: Comets Did Not Supply Earth's Water

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

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

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Facts Bite into Bird Tooth Story

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

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

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Birds Inspire Flight Sensor Inventions

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

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

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Amazing Ant Beetle Same Today as Yesterday

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

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

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Unlocking the Origins of Snake Venom

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

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

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

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

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

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550 Million Years of Non-Evolution?

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

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

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Ghost Lineage Spawns Evolution Ghost Story

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

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

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Thanksgiving in Heaven

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

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

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Missing Link or Another Fish Story?

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

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

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Plants' Built-in Photosynthesis Accelerators

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

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

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Trees Really Are 'Pleasant to the Sight'

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

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

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Saber-Toothed Deer Alive in Afghanistan

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

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

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Dino Tracks

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

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

 


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

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Exocomets: Evidence of Recent Creation

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

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

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Human Fairness: Innate or Evolved?

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

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

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Pro-Evolution Pope

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

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

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Did God Make the Ebola Virus?

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

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

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Gamma-Ray Bursts Limit Life in Universe

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

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

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Weather Channel Founder Blasts 'Climate Change'

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

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

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Brain Bath: A Clever Design Solution

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

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

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Giant Clams Are Brilliant Algae Farmers

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

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

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

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

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

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Throwing Darwin a Curve

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

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

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Were Intestines Designed for Bacteria?

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

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

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Vital Function Found for Whale 'Leg' Bones

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

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

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Jurassic Squirrels?

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

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

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Australopith Child Gets an Academic Spanking

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

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

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Cambrian Fossil Intensifies Evolutionary Conundrum

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

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

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Genome Scrambling and Encryption Befuddles Evolution

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

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

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Big Bang Fizzles under Lithium Test

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

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

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Are We Evolving Stupidity?

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

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

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Ten Evidences for Creation

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

Get some fast facts on the evidences for creation science!

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Bible May Solve Colossal Ancient Iceberg Riddle

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

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

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Dual-Gene Codes Defy Evolution...Again

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

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

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Ciliate Genome Reveals Mind-Bending Complexity

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

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

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New Giant Dinosaur from Argentina

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

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

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Fungal Parasitism Marked by Gene Loss, Not Gain

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

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

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Decoding Snake-Venom Origins

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

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

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Darwin's Finches: Answers From Epigenetics

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

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

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Octopus Skin Inspires High-Tech Camouflage Fabric

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

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

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New Finds Reveal Fully-Human Neandertal

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

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

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There's More to the Story

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

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

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What Is 'Real Scientific Research'?

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

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

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DNA Was Created as a Reservoir for the Information of Life

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

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

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

by Dr. Martin Erdmann


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


 

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

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

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

 

http://www.stephencmeyer.org/

Got Science? Genesis 1 and Evidence

 

 

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

Intelligent Design is not Creationism

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

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

 

09 December 2011, 11:13:24 PM

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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


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


 

 

Searching For The Truth On Origins
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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