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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”.
 
 

The Physics of Immortality

DVD


by Dr. Chuck Missler

Price R 249.00

 

 

The Physics of Immortality

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

Published on Jan 28, 2015

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

Space News from SpaceDaily.com

 

 

Space News From SpaceDaily.Com

 

 

Young hopefuls in race to be first black African in space

 
‎27 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎11:18:49 AMGo to full article
Lagos (AFP) Aug 27, 2015
In half a century of space travel more than 500 people have glimpsed the Earth from the unique vantage point of the cosmos, yet no black African has been among them. Now a Nigerian and two South Africans are in a race to become the first after being shortlisted in a global talent search to send a "young icon of the future" into the heavens. The winner will undergo intense training, exper
 

ASU chosen to lead lunar CubeSat mission

 
‎27 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎11:18:49 AMGo to full article
Tempe AZ (SPX) Aug 27, 2015
A spacecraft the size of a shoebox with Arizona origins will soon be orbiting our nearest neighbor to create a map of water-ice on the moon. The NASA-selected CubeSat will be designed, built and operated at Arizona State University and is one piece of the agency's larger mission to fully characterize the water content at the lunar South Pole in preparation for exploration, resource utiliza
 

Orion parachutes pass failure test

 
‎27 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎11:18:49 AMGo to full article
Yuma, Ariz. (UPI) Aug 26, 2015
The Orion space capsule's parachute system passed its latest test on Wednesday, in which engineers simulated a mechanical failure. Similar to previous tests, the Orion prototype was dropped from the upper reaches of the atmosphere - by a C-17 aircraft instead of a balloon - and allowed to free fall toward Earth's surface. Only this time, the craft's parachutes were programmed by NASA
 

NASA Zeroes in on Ocean Rise: How Much? How Soon?

 
‎27 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎11:18:49 AMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Aug 27, 2015
Seas around the world have risen an average of nearly 3 inches (8 centimeters) since 1992, with some locations rising more than 9 inches (25 centimeters) due to natural variation, according to the latest satellite measurements from NASA and its partners. An intensive research effort now underway, aided by NASA observations and analysis, points to an unavoidable rise of several feet in the future
 

TMA-18M Flight to Take Two Days

 
‎27 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎11:18:49 AMGo to full article
Moscow (Sputnik) Aug 27, 2015
The new International Space Station (ISS) crew's Soyuz TMA-16M flight to the station, slated for September, will take two days, Russia's Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) said Wednesday. "Manned spacecraft Soyuz TMA-18M, the launch of which is planned to take place at Baikonur Cosmodrome on September 2, 2015, will approach the International Space Station on a two-day scheme," Roscosmos said
 

IRIS and Hinode: A Stellar research team

 
‎27 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎11:18:49 AMGo to full article
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Aug 26, 2015
Modern telescopes and satellites have helped us measure the blazing hot temperatures of the sun from afar. Mostly the temperatures follow a clear pattern: The sun produces energy by fusing hydrogen in its core, so the layers surrounding the core generally get cooler as you move outwards--with one exception. Two NASA missions have just made a significant step towards understanding why the corona-
 

NASA's OMG Mission Maps Greenland's Coastline

 
‎27 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎11:18:49 AMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Aug 27, 2015
This summer, a refitted fishing boat is mapping the seafloor around Greenland as the first step in a six-year research program to document the loss of ice from the world's largest island. NASA's Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) field campaign is gathering data that will help scientists both to understand how the oceans are joining with the atmosphere in melting the vast ice sheet and to predict th
 

Destination Red Planet: Will Billionaires Fund a Private Mars Colony

 
‎27 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎11:18:49 AMGo to full article
Moscow (Sputnik) Aug 27, 2015
With over 1,800 billionaires in the world, a sizeable investment from at least one of them could provide a major push to colonize the Red Planet. For nonprofit organization Mars One, the right wealthy investor could help with their ambitious plan to put man on Mars by 2027. Mars One was founded with the goal of eventually colonizing the fourth planet from the Sun. Bas Lansdorp, one of the
 

Galileo satellites are "topped off" for Arianespace's upcoming Soyuz launch

 
‎27 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎11:18:49 AMGo to full article
Kourou, French Guiana (ESA) Aug 27, 2015
The two European Galileo navigation satellites for Arianespace's next mission from French Guiana have been fueled at the Spaceport, readying them for integration with their Soyuz launcher. These spacecraft were "topped off" during activity this week at the Spaceport's S3B payload preparation facility, further advancing preparations for the September 10 mission - which is designated Flight
 

Chandra Data Suggest Giant Collision Triggered "Radio Phoenix"

 
‎27 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎11:18:49 AMGo to full article
Huntsville AL (SPX) Aug 27, 2015
Astronomers have found evidence for a faded electron cloud "coming back to life," much like the mythical phoenix, after two galaxy clusters collided. This "radio phoenix," so-called because the high-energy electrons radiate primarily at radio frequencies, is found in Abell 1033. The system is located about 1.6 billion light years from Earth. By combining data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Obse
 

Dying Star Suffers "Irregular Heartbeats

 
‎27 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎11:18:49 AMGo to full article
Warwick UK (SPX) Aug 26, 2015
Some dying stars suffer from 'irregular heartbeats', research led by astronomers at the University of Warwick has discovered. The research confirms rapid brightening events in otherwise normal pulsating white dwarfs, which are stars in the final stage of their life cycles. In addition to the regular rhythm from pulsations they expected on the white dwarf PG1149+057, which cause the star to
 

Discovery of the Origin of Saturn's F Ring and Its Shepherd Satellites

 
‎27 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎11:18:49 AMGo to full article
Kobe, Japan (SPX) Aug 26, 2015
Hyodo Ryuki, a second-year student in the Doctoral Program, and Professor Ohtsuki Keiji of the Graduate School of Science at Kobe University have revealed that Saturn's F ring and its shepherd satellites are natural by-products of the final stage of formation of Saturn's satellites. Their research results will be published in Nature Geoscience on August __. Saturn, which is the second larg
 

Discovering Dust-Obscured Galaxies As They Grow

 
‎27 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎11:18:49 AMGo to full article
Tokyo, Japan (SPX) Aug 26, 2015
A group of researchers from Ehime University, Princeton University, and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) among others has performed an extensive search for dust obscured galaxies (DOGs) using data obtained from the Subaru Strategic Program with Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC). HSC is a new wide-field camera mounted at the prime focus of the Subaru Telescope and is an ideal instrumen
 

Manchester team reveal new, stable 2-D materials

 
‎27 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎11:18:49 AMGo to full article
Manchester UK (SPX) Aug 21, 2015
The problem has been that the vast majority of these atomically thin 2D crystals are unstable in air, so react and decompose before their properties can be determined and their potential applications investigated. Writing in Nano Letters, the University of Manchester team demonstrate how tailored fabrication methods can make these previously inaccessible materials useful. By protecti
 

NASA to test location transmitters during simulated place crash

 
‎27 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎11:18:49 AMGo to full article
Hampton, Va. (UPI) Aug 25, 2015
On Wednesday, NASA will crash a small plane into the ground in order to test its latest generation of emergency locator transmitters (ELTs). The vintage airplane, a 1974 Cessna 172, will be outfitted with crash-test dummies and five ELTs. Cameras and sensors will offer researchers a variety of data points with which to analyze the physics of the crash. On Wednesday afternoon, bet

 

 

Russia eyes reviving its Reusable Space Shuttle Program

 
‎21 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎03:15:26 AMGo to full article
Moscow (Sputnik) Aug 21, 2015
After a 25-year pause since the death of Russia's winged space shuttle program, known as Buran (Snowstorm) designed to serve as the Soviet counterpart to the US Space Shuttle, Russia is set to develop a new Reusable Space Rocket System, or MRKS in Russian. The idea is to reduce the cost of launching satellites and other equipment into space. The system, which is being developed under the F
 

German space agency scopes out Suborbital Jet plan

 
‎21 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎03:15:26 AMGo to full article
Bonn, Germany (Sputnik) Aug 21, 2015
A German aerospace company is revisiting plans to design a rocket-propelled jet that can take passengers to the other side of the world in just an hour and a half. And if they get enough funding, they can make it happen by 2040. DLR is a German aerospace agency that specializes in complex flight systems. In 2007, the agency designed a concept for a hypersonic airliner capable of flying 50
 

NASA Considers Using Old Water Tanks in New ISS Storage System

 
‎21 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎03:15:26 AMGo to full article
Kennedy Space Center FL (SPX) Aug 21, 2015
NASA's Space Shuttle program ended in 2011, with Atlantis having been the last American shuttle to fly into space in July 2011 as part of the 135th and final US shuttle mission. "We can confirm that we are removing the tanks from [space shuttle] Endeavour this week. They, along with the ones from space shuttle Atlantis which were removed in May 2015, could potentially be used in a new Wate
 

NanoRacks External Platform, CubeSats, Launched to ISS on Japanese HTV-5

 
‎21 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎03:15:26 AMGo to full article
Webster, TX (SPX) Aug 21, 2015
The NanoRacks External Payload Platform (NREP), and 16 customer CubeSats, were successfully launched to the International Space Station on Wednesday, August 19 via the fifth H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) Commercial Resupply Mission. The External Payload Platform offers new mission opportunities for small size hosted payloads in the extreme environment of space. This commercial gateway will b
 

ESA's next astronaut to go into space arrives at launch site

 
‎21 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎03:15:26 AMGo to full article
Paris (ESA) Aug 20, 2015
ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen, Soyuz spacecraft commander Sergei Volkov and Kazakh cosmonaut Aidyn Aimbetov arrived in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, yesterday. This is their last destination before heading to the International Space Station in the night of 2 September. The trio will spend their last two weeks on Earth with technicians and medical staff to make sure everything is ready for the mis
 

Experiment attempts to snare a dark energy 'chameleon'

 
‎21 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎03:15:26 AMGo to full article
Berkeley CA (SPX) Aug 21, 2015
If dark energy is hiding in our midst in the form of hypothetical particles called "chameleons," Holger Muller and his team at the University of California, Berkeley, plan to flush them out. The results of an experiment reported in this week's issue of Science narrows the search for chameleons a thousand times compared to previous tests, and Muller, an assistant professor of physics, hopes
 

Success for 2 long-time Arianespace customers: Eutelsat and Intelsat

 
‎21 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎03:15:26 AMGo to full article
Kourou, French Guiana (ESA) Aug 21, 2015
Arianespace continued its track record of success with the company's fourth Ariane 5 flight in 2015 and seventh launch overall this year - performing a heavy-lift mission today for Eutelsat and Intelsat, two key customers for the past 30 years. Departing from the Spaceport in French Guiana, Arianespace's workhorse vehicle deployed EUTELSAT 8 West B and Intelsat 34 into geostationary transf
 

Cassini's Final Breathtaking Close Views of Dione

 
‎21 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎03:15:26 AMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Aug 21, 2015
A pockmarked, icy landscape looms beneath NASA's Cassini spacecraft in new images of Saturn's moon Dione taken during the mission's last close approach to the small, icy world. Two of the new images show the surface of Dione at the best resolution ever. Cassini passed 295 miles (474 kilometers) above Dione's surface at 11:33 a.m. PDT (2:33 p.m. EDT) on Aug. 17. This was the fifth close enc
 

India to Set Up Space Research and Satellite Monitoring Station in Fiji

 
‎21 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎03:15:26 AMGo to full article
New Delhi (Sputnik) Aug 21, 2015
The Indian Space Research Organization has announced plans to open a new space research and satellite monitoring station on the Fiji Islands. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to formally announce the proposal for the station at Friday's second Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation, to be held in Jaipur and New Delhi, India. Prime Minister Modi had played an instrumental role
 

Russian-made unmanned/manned drone set for display

 
‎21 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎03:15:26 AMGo to full article
Moscow (UPI) Aug 19, 2015
A full-sized prototype drone from Russia's United Instrument Manufacturing Corporation is to be displayed later this month. The unmanned/manned vehicle is the Chirok, a reconnaissance and combat hovercraft drone with cargo-carry capabilities. Rostec, the state-owned parent company of UIMC, says the UAV is made of composite materials, has a maximum altitude of more than 19,500 fee
 

Russia to Engage US in Space Wars With New Electronic Warfare Technology

 
‎21 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎03:15:26 AMGo to full article
Moscow (Sputnik) Aug 18, 2015
The Russian Defense Ministry has developed new technology to counter US battle stations in space, said Igor Nasenkov, the first deputy head of Russia's Radio-Electronic Technologies Concern (RETC), according to Russian media sources. "If the United States starts developing and launching its battle stations into space, Russia will have to respond in kind - namely with the development of hig
 

US Sees Space as Next Potential Battlefield With China

 
‎21 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎03:15:26 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (Sputnik) Aug 20, 2015
The United States must take a defensive posture in space to counter threats posed by Chinese anti-satellite capabilities, Booz Allen Hamilton Executive Vice President Henry Obering said on Wednesday. "We must treat space for what it is, it is a domain in which we must be prepared to fight and win," Obering stated at a Hudson Institute conference on advanced military threats from China.
 

A new model of gas giant planet formation

 
‎21 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎03:15:26 AMGo to full article
Kingston, UK (SPX) Aug 20, 2015
Queen's University researcher Martin Duncan has co-authored a study that solves the mystery of how gas giants such as Jupiter and Saturn formed in the early solar system. In a paper published this week in the journal Nature, Dr. Duncan, along with co-authors Harold Levison and Katherine Kretke (Southwest Research Institute), explain how the cores of gas giants formed through the accumulati
 

Revealed: Russia's Ambitious New ICBM Early Warning System

 
‎21 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎03:15:26 AMGo to full article
Moscow (Sputnik) Aug 20, 2015
Sergei Boev, the chief designer of Russia's nuclear war early warning system faces a massive challenge: to build a globally reaching system for Russia's nuclear security in only four years. Can he do it? He reveals his plans to Russian media. Russia has been revamping its Soviet-era nuclear war early warning system, with plans to use not only ground radar stations and satellites, but also
 

Antarctic detector firms up cosmic neutrino sighting

 
‎21 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎03:15:26 AMGo to full article
Madison WI (SPX) Aug 21, 2015
Researchers using the IceCube Neutrino Observatory have sorted through the billions of subatomic particles that zip through its frozen cubic-kilometer-sized detector each year to gather powerful new evidence in support of 2013 observations confirming the existence of cosmic neutrinos. The evidence is important because it heralds a new form of astronomy using neutrinos, the nearly massless

 

 

Rosetta hits 'milestone' in comet's run past Sun

 
‎14 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎12:06:38 PMGo to full article
Paris (AFP) Aug 13, 2015
The European space probe Rosetta captured a range of scientific data Thursday as it trailed an ancient comet past the Sun which could help scientists better understand the origins of life on Earth. During its run before the Sun the probe collected particles and gas put off by the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as it delivered a solar heat-driven fireworks show of gas jets and shed about a t
 

Electrical Glitch in US Sector of ISS Fixed

 
‎14 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎12:06:38 PMGo to full article
Moscow, Russia (Sputnik) Aug 14, 2015
Electrical glitch in the US segment has been fixed, according to a NASA source. The crew of the International Space Station has completely fixed the electrical glitch in the US segment that occurred late Tuesday night, a NASA source at the Mission Control outside Moscow said. "A glitch in the convector's operation giving charges to the system of electrical energy for the American sec
 

US to get second shipment of Russian RD-181 rocket engines later in 2015

 
‎14 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎12:06:38 PMGo to full article
Moscow, Russia (Sputnik) Aug 14, 2015
The American satellite and rocket builder Orbital ATK Corporation is set to receive a second shipment of Russian-made RD-181 rocket engines for its Antares launcher in late fall. "Now when the first shipment has already come in and the second is expected later in autumn, the Antares is strictly keeping up with its schedule of flight resuming in the beginning of 2016," Scott Lehr, a senior
 

Cassini to Make Last Close Flyby of Saturn Moon Dione

 
‎14 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎12:06:38 PMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Aug 14, 2015
NASA's Cassini spacecraft will zip past Saturn's moon Dione on Monday, Aug. 17 - the final close flyby of this icy satellite during the spacecraft's long mission. Cassini's closest approach, within 295 miles (474 kilometers) of Dione's surface, will occur at 11:33 a.m. PDT (2:33 p.m. EDT). Mission controllers expect fresh images to begin arriving on Earth within a couple of days following
 

Astronomers discover 'young Jupiter' exoplanet

 
‎14 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎12:06:38 PMGo to full article
Montreal, Canada (SPX) Aug 14, 2015
A Jupiter-like planet within a young system that could serve as a decoder ring for understanding how planets formed around our Sun has been discovered by a team of astronomers from the University of Montreal's Institute of Research on Exoplanets (iREx) in collaboration with an international team of astronomers led by professor Bruce MacInstosh from Stanford University. One of the best ways to le
 

First Sunshield layer completed for James Webb Space Telescope

 
‎14 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎12:06:38 PMGo to full article
Redondo Beach CA (SPX) Aug 14, 2015
The first of the five sunshield layers that will make it possible for NASA's James Webb Space Telescope to image the formation of stars and galaxies created more than 13.5 billion years ago, was delivered to Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NOC) Space Park facility April 24. Northrop Grumman is designing the Webb Telescope's optics, sunshield and spacecraft for NASA's Goddard Space Flight C
 

ULA to launch 2nd Cygnus spacecraft to ISS on Cargo Mission

 
‎14 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎12:06:38 PMGo to full article
Centennial CO (SPX) Aug 14, 2015
United Launch Alliance (ULA) will launch a second Cygnus cargo mission to the International Space Station (ISS) under a contract with Orbital ATK to support NASA's Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) program. The first ULA Atlas launch of a Cygnus cargo mission, OA-4, is set to lift off in early December 2015. "We look forward to working with our outstanding mission partners on this second
 

NASA Selects Proposals to Build Better Batteries for Space Exploration

 
‎14 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎12:06:38 PMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Aug 14, 2015
NASA's Game Changing Development (GCD) program has selected two proposals for Phase II awards targeted toward developing new energy storage technologies to replace the battery systems currently used by America's space program. Addressing several high priority challenges, NASA is making significant investments to achieve safe and affordable deep space exploration. The development of high-en
 

NASA's Hubble Finds Supernovae in 'Wrong Place at Wrong Time'

 
‎14 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎12:06:38 PMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Aug 14, 2015
Scientists have been fascinated by a series of unusual exploding stars-outcasts beyond the typical cozy confines of their galaxies. A new analysis of 13 supernovae - including archived data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope - is helping astronomers explain how some young stars exploded sooner than expected, hurling them to a lonely place far from their host galaxies. It's a complicated my
 

Space sector heads to US on major growth mission

 
‎14 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎12:06:38 PMGo to full article
London, UK (SPX) Aug 14, 2015
Nine UK space companies are in the US on a trade mission to boost investment of proprietary equipment. It will feature some of the most exciting British companies in the space industry, from small start-ups to established market leaders, with the overall aim of growing the UK presence in the global space sector from 6.5% to 10% by 2030. While the US is best known for its space launch syste
 

China's "sky eyes" help protect world heritage Angkor Wat

 
‎14 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎12:06:38 PMGo to full article
Beijing (XNA) Aug 14, 2015
Think heritage protection, and the restoration and conservation of historic sites comes to mind. Crowd control and on-site monitoring to limit visitor numbers are also common measures. Now China's eyes in the sky are providing a new level of protection for the ruins of Cambodia's Angkor Wat, the magnificent temple of the Khmer Empire, which faces inundation by tourists and environmental da
 

NASA rocket launches UH's scientific payload into space

 
‎14 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎12:06:38 PMGo to full article
Manoa HI (SPX) Aug 14, 2015
University of Hawaii community college students watched their scientific payload spin into space on August 12 when a two-stage Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket was launched around midnight Hawaii time from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Students from Honolulu Community College, Kapiolani Community College, Kauai Community College and Windward Community College are par
 

Paving the way for a faster quantum computer

 
‎14 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎12:06:38 PMGo to full article
Vienna, Austria (SPX) Aug 12, 2015
Since its conception, quantum mechanics has defied our natural way of thinking, and it has forced physicists to come to grips with peculiar ideas. Although they may be difficult to digest, quantum phenomena are real. What's more, in the last decades, scientists have shown that these bizarre quantum effects can be used for many astonishingly powerful applications: from ultra-secure communic
 

Nanoscale switches promise faster, more versatile chip-scale devices

 
‎14 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎12:06:38 PMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Aug 10, 2015
By combining complementary mindsets on the leading edges of electronic and radiofrequency device engineering, a pair of researchers in DARPA's Young Faculty Award program has devised ultratiny, electronic switches with reprogrammable features resembling those at play in inter-neuron communication. These highly adaptable nanoscale switches can toggle on and off so fast, and with such low lo
 

Researcher uses vibrations to identify materials' composition

 
‎14 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎12:06:38 PMGo to full article
Orlando FL (SPX) Aug 12, 2015
A researcher now at the University of Central Florida has developed a new method for identifying materials' unique chemical "fingerprints" and mapping their chemical properties at a much higher spatial resolution than ever before. It's a discovery that could have promising implications for fields as varied as biofuel production, solar energy, opto-electronic devices, pharmaceuticals and me

 

 
 

From a million miles away, NASA camera shows moon crossing face of Earth

 
‎07 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎09:25:24 AMGo to full article
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Aug 07, 2015
A NASA camera aboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite captured a unique view of the moon as it moved in front of the sunlit side of Earth last month. The series of test images shows the fully illuminated "dark side" of the moon that is never visible from Earth. The images were captured by NASA's Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC), a four megapixel CCD camera and
 

India to launch 9 US satellites in 2015, 2016

 
‎07 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎09:25:24 AMGo to full article
New Delhi, India (XNA) Aug 07, 2015
India will launch nine U.S. satellites in 2015 and 2016, a senior space official said on Wednesday. "Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch nine nano and micro satellites for the U.S. this year and next year from the southern spaceport of Sriharikota," the official said, on condition of anonymity. The commercial arm of ISRO, Antrix Corporation Ltd, has already inked pa
 

Milky Way-like galaxies may have existed in the early universe

 
‎07 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎09:25:24 AMGo to full article
Pittsburgh PA (SPX) Aug 07, 2015
A new, large-scale computer simulation has shown for the first time that large disk galaxies, much like our own Milky Way, may have existed in the early days of the universe. The simulation, created by physicists at Carnegie Mellon University's McWilliams Center for Cosmology and the University of California Berkeley, shows that the early universe --a mere 500 million years after the Big B
 

Scientists solve planetary ring riddle

 
‎07 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎09:25:24 AMGo to full article
Leicester, UK (SPX) Aug 07, 2015
In a breakthrough study, an international team of scientists, including Professor Nikolai Brilliantov from the University of Leicester, has solved an age-old scientific riddle by discovering that planetary rings, such as those orbiting Saturn, have a universally similar particle distribution. The study, which is published in the academic journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Scien
 

'Snowball Earth' Might Be Slushy

 
‎07 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎09:25:24 AMGo to full article
Moffett Field CA (SPX) Aug 05, 2015
Imagine a world without liquid water - just solid ice in all directions. It would certainly not be a place that most life forms would like to live. And yet our planet has gone through several frozen periods, in which a runaway climate effect led to global, or near global, ice cover. The last of these so-called "Snowball Earth" glaciations ended around 635 million years ago when complex lif
 

The ghost of a dying star

 
‎07 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎09:25:24 AMGo to full article
Paris (SPX) Aug 07, 2015
This extraordinary bubble, glowing like the ghost of a star in the haunting darkness of space, may appear supernatural and mysterious, but it is a familiar astronomical object: a planetary nebula, the remnants of a dying star. This is the best view of the little-known object ESO 378-1 yet obtained and was captured by ESO's Very Large Telescope in northern Chile. Nicknamed the Southern Owl
 

NASA Renews $490Mln Contract With Russian Space Agency

 
‎07 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎09:25:24 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (Sputnik) Aug 07, 2015
Congressional failure to fund spacecraft development has forced the National Aeronautical Space Administration's (NASA) to extend a nearly half-billion dollar contract with Russia to fly astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS), NASA Administrator Charles Bolden wrote in a letter to members of Congress on Wednesday. Bolden explained NASA modified its contract with the Russian Fe
 

New Study Sheds Light on Origin of Most Common Meteorites

 
‎07 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎09:25:24 AMGo to full article
Tucson AZ (SPX) Aug 07, 2015
For decades astronomers debated the source of the most common type of meteorites that fall on Earth called H ordinary chondrites. A new study by researchers at the Planetary Science Institute sheds some light on the origin of these meteorites in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. "H-chondrites make up 33 percent of all the meteorites that fall on Earth, yet their origin has b
 

Researchers Use 'Seafloor Gardens' to Switch on Light Bulb

 
‎07 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎09:25:24 AMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Aug 07, 2015
One of the key necessities for life on our planet is electricity. That's not to say that life requires a plug and socket, but everything from shrubs to ants to people harnesses energy via the transfer of electrons - the basis of electricity. Some experts think that the very first cell-like organisms on Earth channeled electricity from the seafloor using bubbling, chimney-shaped structures, also
 

New Online Exploring Tools Bring NASA's Journey to Mars to New Generation

 
‎07 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎09:25:24 AMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Aug 07, 2015
On the three-year anniversary of the Mars landing of NASA's Curiosity rover, NASA is unveiling two new online tools that open the mysterious terrain of the Red Planet to a new generation of explorers, inviting the public to help with its journey to Mars. Mars Trek is a free, Web-based application that provides high-quality, detailed visualizations of the planet using real data from 50 year
 

Caltech astronomers unveil a distant protogalaxy connected to the cosmic web

 
‎07 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎09:25:24 AMGo to full article
Los Angeles CA (spx) aug 07, 2015
A team of astronomers led by Caltech has discovered a giant swirling disk of gas 10 billion light-years away--a galaxy-in-the-making that is actively being fed cool primordial gas tracing back to the big bang. Using the caltech-designed and -built cosmic web imager (cwi) at palomar observatory, the researchers were able to image the protogalaxy and found that it is connected to a filament of the
 

Celebrating a year at the comet

 
‎07 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎09:25:24 AMGo to full article
Paris (ESA) Aug 07, 2015
ESA's Rosetta mission today celebrates one year at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, with its closest approach to the Sun now just one week away. It's been a long but exciting journey for Rosetta since its launch in 2004, featuring Earth, Mars and two asteroid flybys before arriving at its ultimate destination on 6 August 2014. Over the following months, the mission became the first ever to
 

China to deploy space-air-ground sensors for environment protection

 
‎07 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎09:25:24 AMGo to full article
Beijing (XNA) Aug 07, 2015
China will build a space-air-ground integrated sensing system to detect and stop pollution, according to the Ministry of Environmental Protection Tuesday. China's central authorities decided in July to build a comprehensive ecological environment monitoring system that will have the ability for automatic early warning using surveillance sites across the country. The ministry said it
 

Spaceflight may increase susceptibility to inflammatory bowel disease

 
‎07 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎09:25:24 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Aug 07, 2015
Here's the summary of a new research report appearing in the August 2015 issue of The FASEB Journal: Prolonged spaceflight may give you a nasty case of diarrhea. Specifically, when mice were subjected to simulated spaceflight conditions, the balance of bacteria and the function of immune cells in the gut changed, leading to increased bowel inflammation. "Our study provides useful insights
 

IBM acquires medical imaging firm to help Watson 'see'

 
‎07 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎09:25:24 AMGo to full article
San Francisco (AFP) Aug 6, 2015
IBM said Thursday it was boosting the capacity of its Watson supercomputer, acquiring the medical imaging group Merge Healthcare for $1 billon. The new group will be integrated into IBM's Watson Health platform, which sifts through vast amounts of research and medical data to help health professionals improve treatment. "The planned acquisition bolsters IBM's strategy to add rich image a

 

 
 
 

 

 
 

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Copper clusters capture and convert carbon dioxide to make fuel

 
‎18 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎09:32:24 AMGo to full article
Lemont IL (SPX) Aug 12, 2015 - Capture and convert--this is the motto of carbon dioxide reduction, a process that stops the greenhouse gas before it escapes from chimneys and power plants into the atmosphere and instead turns it into a useful product.

One possible end product is methanol, a liquid fuel and the focus of a recent study conducted at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory. The chemical reactions that make methanol from carbon dioxide rely on a catalyst to speed up the conversion, and Argonne scientists identified a new material that could fill this role. With its unique structure, this catalyst can capture and convert carbon dioxide in a way that ultimately saves energy.

They call it a copper tetramer.

It consists of small clusters of four copper atoms each, supported on a thin film of aluminum oxide. These catalysts work by binding to carbon dioxide molecules, orienting them in a way that is ideal for chemical reactions. The structure of the copper tetramer is such that most of its binding sites are open, which means it can attach more strongly to carbon dioxide and can better accelerate the conversion.

The current industrial process to reduce carbon dioxide to methanol uses a catalyst of copper, zinc oxide and aluminum oxide. A number of its binding sites are occupied merely in holding the compound together, which limits how many atoms can catch and hold carbon dioxide.

"With our catalyst, there is no inside," said Stefan Vajda, senior chemist at Argonne and the Institute for Molecular Engineering and co-author on the paper. "All four copper atoms are participating because with only a few of them in the cluster, they are all exposed and able to bind."

To compensate for a catalyst with fewer binding sites, the current method of reduction creates high-pressure conditions to facilitate stronger bonds with carbon dioxide molecules. But compressing gas into a high-pressure mixture takes a lot of energy.

The benefit of enhanced binding is that the new catalyst requires lower pressure and less energy to produce the same amount of methanol.

Carbon dioxide emissions are an ongoing environmental problem, and according to the authors, it's important that research identifies optimal ways to deal with the waste.

"We're interested in finding new catalytic reactions that will be more efficient than the current catalysts, especially in terms of saving energy," said Larry Curtiss, an Argonne Distinguished Fellow who co-authored this paper.

Copper tetramers could allow us to capture and convert carbon dioxide on a larger scale--reducing an environmental threat and creating a useful product like methanol that can be transported and burned for fuel.

Of course the catalyst still has a long journey ahead from the lab to industry.

Potential obstacles include instability and figuring out how to manufacture mass quantities. There's a chance that copper tetramers may decompose when put to use in an industrial setting, so ensuring long-term durability is a critical step for future research, Curtiss said. And while the scientists needed only nanograms of the material for this study, that number would have to be multiplied dramatically for industrial purposes.

Meanwhile, the researchers are interested in searching for other catalysts that might even outperform their copper tetramer.

These catalysts can be varied in size, composition and support material, which results in a list of more than 2,000 potential combinations, Vajda said.

But the scientists don't have to run thousands of different experiments, said Peter Zapol, an Argonne physicist and co-author of this paper. Instead, they will use advanced calculations to make predictions, and then test the catalysts that seem most promising.

"We haven't yet found a catalyst better than the copper tetramer, but we hope to," Vajda said. "With global warming becoming a bigger burden, it's pressing that we keep trying to turn carbon dioxide emissions back into something useful."

For this research, the team used the Center for Nanoscale Materials as well as beamline 12-ID-C of the Advanced Photon Source, both DOE Office of Science User Facilities.

Curtiss said the Advanced Photon Source allowed the scientists to observe ultralow loadings of their small clusters, down to a few nanograms, which was a critical piece of this investigation.

 

 

CMR induced in pure lanthanum manganite

 
‎18 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎09:32:24 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Aug 12, 2015 - Colossal magnetoresistance is a property with practical applications in a wide array of electronic tools including magnetic sensors and magnetic RAM. New research from a team including Carnegie's Maria Baldini, Ho-Kwang "Dave" Mao, Takaki Muramatsu, and Viktor Struzhkin successfully used high-pressure conditions to induce colossal magnetoresistance for the first time in a pure sample of a compound called lanthanum manganite, LaMnO3. It is published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Metals are compounds that are capable of conducting the flow of electrons that makes up an electric current. Non-metals cannot conduct such a current. Magnetoresistance is the capacity of compounds to be changed from electrically resistant to electrically conductive depending on the presence of an external magnetic field. The ability to switch on and off from metal to non-metal is what makes the phenomenon so useful for electronic and spintronic devices.

Manganite compounds, such as the LaMnO3 studied by the research team, are particularly promising when it comes to colossal magnetoresistance, because the change from insulator to metal is several orders of magnitude stronger than in other types of compounds. But controlling and understanding it has remained largely elusive. It has been induced before in chemically doped manganite samples, but not in a pure one until this study.

The transition from insulator to metal in LaMnO3 takes place when the room temperature compound is placed under about 316,000 times normal atmospheric pressure (32 gigapascals). What the team was able to demonstrate by examining LaMnO3 across a range of temperatures and pressures, is that under pressure LaMnO3 separates into two distinct phases, one metallic and one non-metallic. The chemical structure of the non-metallic phase is distorted, and the metallic phase is not.

The insulator-to-metal transition occurs when the metallic phase exceeds the non-metallic one by a certain threshold. This is confirmed by theoretical predictions. But the existence of a period when the two phases are mixed together is the crucial ingredient for inducing colossal magnetoresistance. The phenomenon occurs when the competition between the two phases is at its maximum. The physical separation of the two phases and the interplay between the deformed structure and the non-deformed structures is the key to driving the colossal magnetoresistance

"The ability to induce colossal magnetoresistance by applying pressure to a pure, un-doped sample is a major step forward in understanding the physics underlying the phenomenon and to potentially harnessing it for practical purposes," Baldini said.

 

 

Oxymoronic Black Hole Provides Clues to Growth

 
‎13 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎05:00:13 AMGo to full article
Boston MA (SPX) Aug 13, 2015 - Astronomers using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the 6.5-meter Clay Telescope in Chile have identified the smallest supermassive black hole ever detected in the center of a galaxy. This oxymoronic object could provide clues to how larger black holes formed along with their host galaxies 13 billion years or more in the past.

Astronomers estimate this supermassive black hole is about 50,000 times the mass of the sun. This is less than half the mass of the previous smallest black hole at the center of a galaxy.

"It might sound contradictory, but finding such a small, large black hole is very important," said Vivienne Baldassare of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, first author of a paper on these results published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters. "We can use observations of the lightest supermassive black holes to better understand how black holes of different sizes grow."

The tiny heavyweight black hole is in the center of a dwarf disk galaxy, called RGG 118, located about 340 million light years from Earth, and was originally discovered using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.

Researchers estimated the mass of the black hole by studying the motion of cool gas near the center of the galaxy using visible light data from the Clay Telescope. They used the Chandra data to figure out the X-ray brightness of hot gas swirling toward the black hole. They found the outward push of radiation pressure of this hot gas is about 1 percent of the black hole's inward pull of gravity, matching the properties of other supermassive black holes.

Previously, scientists had noted a relationship between the mass of supermassive black holes and the range of velocities of stars in the center of their host galaxy. This relationship also holds for RGG 118 and its black hole.

"We found this little supermassive black hole behaves very much like its bigger, and in some cases much bigger, cousins," said co-author Amy Reines of the University of Michigan. "This tells us black holes grow in a similar way no matter what their size."

The black hole in RGG 118 is nearly 100 times less massive than the supermassive black hole found in the center of the Milky Way. It's also about 200,000 times less massive than the heaviest black holes found in the centers of other galaxies.

Astronomers are trying to understand the formation of billion-solar-mass black holes from less than a billion years after the big bang, but many are undetectable with current technology. The black hole in RGG 118 gives astronomers an opportunity to study a nearby small supermassive black hole.

Astronomers think supermassive black holes may form when a large cloud of gas, with a mass of about 10,000 to 100,000 times that of the sun, collapses into a black hole. Many of these black hole seeds then merge to form much larger supermassive black holes. Alternately, a supermassive black hole seed could come from a giant star, about 100 times the sun's mass, that ultimately forms into a black hole after it runs out of fuel and collapses.

"We have two main ideas for how these supermassive black holes are born," said Elena Gallo of the University of Michigan. "This black hole in RGG 118 is serving as a proxy for those in the very early universe and ultimately may help us decide which of the two is right."

Researchers will continue to look for other supermassive black holes that are comparable in size or even smaller than the one in RGG 118 to help decide which of the models is more accurate and refine their understanding of how these objects grow.

A preprint of these results is available online. The other co-author of the paper is Jenny Greene, from Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages the Chandra program for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, manages Chandra's science and flight operations.

 

 

Powerful New Black Hole Probe Arrives at Paranal

 
‎13 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎05:00:13 AMGo to full article
Paris (SPX) Aug 12, 2015 - A new instrument called GRAVITY has been shipped to Chile and successfully assembled and tested at the Paranal Observatory. GRAVITY is a second generation instrument for the VLT Interferometer (VLTI). It will allow the measurement of the positions of astronomical objects on the finest scales and perform interferometric imaging and spectroscopy.

GRAVITY will bring the most advanced vision to the VLT, combining four individual telescopes of the Paranal Observatory so that they effectively act as a single telescope with a diameter of more than 100 metres.

Using several novel techniques, GRAVITY will offer sensitivity and accuracy far beyond what is possible today [1]. It aims to measure the positions of objects on scales of order ten microarcseconds, and perform imaging with four milliarcsecond resolution. For illustration, this corresponds to seeing buildings on the Moon, and locating them to within a few centimetres.

GRAVITY will push high angular resolution astronomy to new limits: it will probe physics close to the event horizon of the supermassive black hole at the Galactic Centre - a region which is dominated by effects predicted by Einstein's theory of general relativity. In addition, it will uncover the details of mass accretion and jets - processes that occur both in young stellar objects and in the active nuclei of other galaxies. It will also excel at probing the motions of binary stars, exoplanets and young stellar discs, and in imaging the surfaces of stars.

On 21 July 2015 the team saw "first laboratory fringes" from GRAVITY in the Paranal integration hall using a test light source. Following further tests of the GRAVITY instrument and the preparation of the VLT interferometer, GRAVITY will be moved to the VLTI later this year to see "first star fringes" using the four 1.8-metre Auxiliary Telescopes starting in November 2015. The commissioning of GRAVITY with the four 8-metre VLT Unit Telescopes is foreseen for the first half of 2016.

GRAVITY's development was led by the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, in Garching, Germany and involves six institutes across Europe [2], as well as ESO.

[1] GRAVITY features fibre-fed integrated optics beam combiners, infrared wavefront sensors for adaptive optics, fringe tracking, active beam stabilisation, and a novel metrology concept.

[2] The partner institutes in the GRAVITY Consortium are:

+ Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Garching, Germany

+ LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, Universite Paris Diderot, Meudon, France

+ Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg, Germany

+ University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany

+ Institut de Planetologie et d'Astrophysique de Grenoble (IPAG), Grenoble, France

+ Laboratorio de Sistemas, Instrumentacao e Modelacao em Ciencias e Tecnologias do Ambiente e do Espaco (SIM), Lisbon and Porto, Portugal

+ ESO, Garching, Germany

 

 

Fermilab experiment sees neutrino oscillation

 
‎13 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎05:00:13 AMGo to full article
Ann Arbor, Mich. (UPI) Aug 8, 2015 - The NOvA experiment at Fermilab is already proving a success. Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory have reported observing neutrino oscillation.

Neutrinos are neutral subatomic particles unaffected by most atomic forces and with only a smidgen of mass. They're produced by a variety of high-energy reactions, including the Big Bang, solar fusion, supernovas and nuclear reactions.

What makes them so fascinating is that they can travel directly through matter as if it wasn't there. They also oscillate, changing from one type to another -- from muon neutrinos to electron neutrinos.

The NOvA experiment was designed to produce and study neutrinos' unique behavior. So far, so good. Researchers announced their early successes at the American Physical Society's Division of Particles and Fields conference in Ann Arbor, Mich., this week.

"People are ecstatic to see our first observation of neutrino oscillations," NOvA co-spokesperson Peter Shanahan said in a press release. "For all the people who worked over the course of a decade on the designing, building, commissioning and operating this experiment, it's beyond gratifying."

Researchers were able to observe the oscillation by firing a trillions of of muon neutrinos from an accelerator at the Fermilab, outside Chicago. The neutrinos travel 500 miles through Earth's crust to a detector at Ash River, Minnesota. There, scientists were able to filter through millions of cosmic ray strikes and hone in on neutrino interactions.

The arriving neutrinos featured some electron neutrinos, suggesting they had oscillated along their path through Earth.

"Basically, it shows that we know what we're doing," said Patricia Vahle, associate professor of physics at the College of William & Mary.

Researchers believe neutrinos may hold the key to understanding some of greatest mysteries of the cosmos and physics. Scientists hope further observations will tell them something about antimatter, dark matter and the Higgs boson.

"One of the big questions of the universe is this: Why is there matter?" said Jeffrey Nelson, a professor of physics at William & Mary who helped plan the NOvA experiment. "Why is there stuff? Matter and antimatter could have just annihilated and we'd be left with nothing in the universe but energy. If the answer isn't in neutrinos, it's something really exotic."

 

 

Astronomers find 'teeny supermassive black hole'

 
‎13 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎05:00:13 AMGo to full article
Ann Arbor MI (SPX) Aug 13, 2015 - In a dwarf, disc galaxy 340 million light years away, University of Michigan astronomers have found the smallest black hole ever observed in the center of a galaxy. At just 50,000 times the mass of the sun, it's more than two times smaller than any other known object of its kind. It's a full 100,000 times less massive than the largest black holes at the heart of other galaxies.

"In a sense, it's a teeny supermassive black hole," said Elena Gallo, assistant professor of astronomy in the U-M College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

Black holes come in two types. The "stellar mass" variety have the mass of several suns. They form when the largest stars die and collapse. The other "supermassive" kind is typically at least 100,000 times the mass of the sun (the newly found one is half that). These are thought to form and evolve with the host galaxies whose centers they inhabit.

Every large galaxy, including our own Milky Way, is believed to have a supermassive black hole at its core. The recently discovered object is one of the first to be identified in a dwarf galaxy.

The findings illuminate for astronomers important similarities between galaxies of vastly different scales. And because the dwarf galaxy, called RGG 118, is so small, it's unlikely that it has ever merged with other galaxies, so it gives researchers a window to a younger universe. Larger galaxies are thought to have grown through mergers.

"These little galaxies can serve as analogs to galaxies in the earlier universe," said Vivienne Baldassare, a U-M doctoral student and first author of a paper on the results published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. "For galaxies like our Milky Way, we don't know what it was like in its youth.

"By studying how galaxies like this one are growing and feeding their black holes and how the two are influencing each other, we could gain a better understanding of how galaxies were forming in the early universe."

As is the case in most present-day galaxies, the Milky Way's black hole is dormant. Young or small galaxies like RGG 118 have active nuclei that are still in the process of swallowing stars, dust and gas. During this tumultuous time in galaxies' history, the central black hole helps to shape its host's evolution. It acts as a thermostat, Gallo described, regulating both the temperature of the galaxy and the movement of the dust and gases that form stars.

"The black hole we found is active and based on the X-ray observations, it appears to be is consuming material at a rate similar to active black holes in much more massive galaxies," Baldassare said.

To make the observations, the team used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the 6.5-meter Clay Telescope in Chile. RGG 118 was originally found through the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.

Researchers figured out the mass of the black hole by studying the motion of the gas near the center of the galaxy using visible light data from the Clay Telescope. They used the Chandra data to figure out the brightness of material around the black hole in the X-ray band.

The X-ray luminosity tells astronomers the rate at which the black hole is taking in matter. RGG 118 is consuming material at 1 percent the maximum rate, which matches the properties of other supermassive black holes.

"This little supermassive black hole behaves very much like its bigger, and in some cases much bigger, cousins," said co-author Amy Reines, a Hubble fellow in the U-M Department of Astronomy. "This tells us black holes grow in a similar way no matter what their size."

Astronomers don't yet understand how supermassive black holes form. Some hypothesize that giant clouds of gas serve as their seeds. Others believe they descend from gargantuan stars about 100 times the mass of the sun.

"We have two main ideas for how these supermassive black holes are born," Gallo said. "This black hole in RGG 118 is serving as a proxy for those in the very early universe and ultimately may help us decide which of the two is right."

The study is titled, "A ~50,000 solar mass Black Hole in the Nucleus of RGG 118." It was funded by the National Science Foundation and NASA.

 

 

Researchers explain why the Greenwich prime meridian moved

 
‎13 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎05:00:13 AMGo to full article
Charlottesville VA (SPX) Aug 12, 2015 - In 1884, a delegation of international representatives convened in Washington, D.C. to recommend that Earth's prime meridian (the north-south line marking zero degrees longitude) should pass through the Airy Transit Circle at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England. (A transit circle is an instrument for measuring star positions, and could be used for determining local time; this one was named for its designer, British Astronomer Royal George Airy.)

But modern navigators, mapmakers, surveyors and London tourists now find that zero longitude runs 334 feet east of the telescope, according to GPS receivers. Why?

Largely because newer technologies - primarily the superb accuracy of the global positioning system, which uses satellites to precisely measure grid coordinates at any point on the Earth's surface - replaced the traditional telescopic observations used to measure the Earth's rotation. A newly published paper in the Journal of Geodesy details the differences.

"With the advancements in technology, the change in the prime meridian was inevitable," said Ken Seidelmann, an astronomer at the University of Virginia and co-author of the study. "Perhaps a new marker should be installed in the Greenwich Park for the new prime meridian."

Seidelmann and his colleagues from the U.S. Naval Observatory, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and the U.S. company Analytical Graphics Inc. concluded that a slight deflection in the natural direction of gravity at Greenwich is responsible for the offset, along with the maintenance of continuity of astronomical time.

The research shows that the 102-meter offset can be attributed to the difference between two conventional methods of determining coordinates: astronomical versus geodetic, which refers to a set of reference points used to locate places on the Earth. Their difference is known as "deflection of the vertical," and high-resolution global gravitational models confirm that the east-west component of this deflection is of the proper sign and magnitude at Greenwich to account for the entire shift.

Because the Earth is not perfectly round, and because different locations on Earth have different terrain features affecting gravitational pull, traditional ways to measure longitude have built-in variations, or errors, based on the specific location where measurements are taken. The observations were based on a vertical determined from a basin of mercury and were dependent on local conditions.

However, Seidelmann said, GPS measures vertical from space in a straight line directly through the center of the Earth, effectively removing the gravitational effects of mountains and other terrain.

Meridian, he said, is dependent on the direction of the vertical, which is gravity- and observational-method-dependent. The distance and direction of the 102-meter offset is confirmed by gravitational models.

For supporting evidence, the authors also analyzed the differences in the coordinates of many former timekeeping observatories to affirm that the apparent longitude shift at Greenwich is a localized effect due to the direction of gravity at Greenwich, and not a global shift in the world's longitude system.

 

 

Molecular trick alters rules of attraction for non-magnetic metals

 
‎13 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎05:00:13 AMGo to full article
Leeds, UK (SPX) Aug 07, 2015 - Scientists have demonstrated for the first time how to generate magnetism in metals that aren't naturally magnetic, which could end our reliance on some rare and toxic elements currently used.

In a study led by the University of Leeds and published today in the journal Nature, researchers detail a way of altering the quantum interactions of matter in order to "fiddle the numbers" in a mathematical equation that determines whether elements are magnetic, called the Stoner Criterion.

Co-lead author Fatma Al Ma'Mari, from the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Leeds, said: "Being able to generate magnetism in materials that are not naturally magnetic opens new paths to devices that use abundant and hazardless elements, such as carbon and copper."

Magnets are used in many industrial and technological applications, including power generation in wind turbines, memory storage in hard disks and in medical imaging.

"Future technologies, such as quantum computers, will require a new breed of magnets with additional properties to increase storage and processing capabilities. Our research is a step towards creating such 'magnetic metamaterials' that can fulfil this need," said Al Ma'Mari.

Yet, despite their widespread use, at room temperature only three elements are ferromagnetic - meaning they have high susceptibility to becoming and remaining magnetic in the absence of a field, as opposed to paramagnetic substances, which are only weakly attracted to the poles of a magnet and do not retain any magnetism on their own. These ferromagnetic elements are the metals iron, cobalt and nickel.

Co-lead author Tim Moorsom, also from the University's School of Physics and Astronomy, said: "Having such a small variety of magnetic materials limits our ability to tailor magnetic systems to the needs of applications without using very rare or toxic materials. Having to build devices with only the three magnetic metals naturally available to us is rather like trying to build a skyscraper using only wrought iron. Why not add a little carbon and make steel?"

The condition that determines whether a substance is ferromagnetic is called the Stoner Criterion. It explains why iron is ferromagnetic while manganese is not, even though the elements are found side-by-side in the periodic table.

The Stoner Criterion was formulated by Professor Edmund Clifton Stoner, a theoretical physicist who worked at the University of Leeds from the 1930s until the 60s. At its heart, it analyses the distribution of electrons in an atom and the strength of the interaction between them.

It states that for an element to be ferromagnetic, when you multiply the number of different states that electrons are allowed to occupy in orbitals around the nucleus of an atom - called the Density of States (DOS) - by something called the 'exchange interaction', the result must be greater than one.

The exchange interaction refers to the magnetic interaction between electrons within an atom, which is determined by the orientation of each electron's magnetic 'spin' - a quantum mechanical property to describe the intrinsic angular momentum carried by elementary particles, with only two options, either 'up' or 'down'.

In the new study, the researchers have shown how to change the exchange interaction and DOS in non-magnetic materials by removing some electrons using an interface coated with a thin layer of the carbon molecule C60, which is also called a 'buckyball'.

The movement of electrons between the metal and the molecules allows the non-magnetic material to overcome the Stoner Criterion.

Dr Oscar Cespedes, principal investigator of the project, also from the University's School of Physics and Astronomy, said: "We and other researchers had noticed that creating a molecular interface changed how magnets behave. For us, the next step was to test if molecules could also be used to bring magnetic ordering into non-magnetic metals."

The researchers say that the study has successfully demonstrated the technique, but that further work is needed to make these synthetic magnets stronger.

"Currently, you wouldn't be able to stick one of these magnets to your fridge. But we are confident that applying the technique to the right combination of elements will yield a new form of designer magnets for current and future technologies," said Dr Cespedes.

 

 

NASA's Hubble finds evidence of galaxy star birth regulated by black-hole fountain

 
‎13 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎05:00:13 AMGo to full article
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Aug 10, 2015 - Astronomers have uncovered a unique process for how the universe's largest elliptical galaxies continue making stars long after their peak years of star birth. NASA's Hubble Space Telescope's exquisite high resolution and ultraviolet-light sensitivity allowed the astronomers to see brilliant knots of hot, blue stars forming along the jets of active black holes found in the centers of giant elliptical galaxies.

Combining Hubble data with observations from a suite of ground-based and space telescopes, two independent teams found that that the black hole, jets, and newborn stars are all parts of a self-regulating cycle. High-energy jets shooting from the black hole heat a halo of surrounding gas, controlling the rate at which the gas cools and falls into the galaxy.

"Think of the gas surrounding a galaxy as an atmosphere," explained the lead of the first study, Megan Donahue of Michigan State University. "That atmosphere can contain material in different states, just like our own atmosphere has gas, clouds, and rain. What we are seeing is a process like a thunderstorm. As the jets propel gas outward from the center of the galaxy, some of that gas cools and precipitates into cold clumps that fall back toward the galaxy's center like raindrops."

"The 'raindrops' eventually cool enough to become star-forming clouds of cold molecular gas, and the unique far ultraviolet capabilities of Hubble allowed us to directly observe these 'showers' of star formation," explained the lead of the second study, Grant Tremblay of Yale University.

"We know that these showers are linked to the jets because they're found in filaments and tendrils that wrap around the jets or hug the edges of giant bubbles that the jets have inflated," said Tremblay, "And they end up making a swirling 'puddle' of star-forming gas around the central black hole."

But what should be a monsoon of raining gas is reduced to a mere drizzle by the black hole. While some outwardly flowing gas will cool, the black hole heats the rest of the gas around a galaxy, which prevents the whole gaseous envelope from cooling more quickly.

The entire cycle is a self-regulating feedback mechanism, like the thermostat on a house's heating and cooling system, because the "puddle" of gas around the black hole provides the fuel that powers the jets. If too much cooling happens, the jets become more powerful and add more heat. And if the jets add too much heat, they reduce their fuel supply and eventually weaken.

This discovery explains the mystery of why many elliptical galaxies in the present-day universe are not ablaze with a higher rate of star birth. For many years, the question has persisted of why galaxies awash in gas don't turn all of that gas into stars. Theoretical models of galaxy evolution predict that present-day galaxies more massive than the Milky Way should be bursting with star formation, but that is not the case.

Now scientists understand this case of arrested development, where a cycle of heating and cooling keeps star birth in check. A light drizzle of cooling gas provides enough fuel for the central black hole's jets to keep the rest of the galaxy's gas hot. The researchers show that galaxies don't need fantastic and catastrophic events such as galaxy collisions to explain the showers of star birth they see.

The study led by Donahue looked at far-ultraviolet light from a variety of massive elliptical galaxies found in the Cluster Lensing And Supernova Survey with Hubble (CLASH), which contains elliptical galaxies in the distant universe. These included galaxies that are raining and forming stars, and others that are not.

By comparison, the study by Tremblay and his colleagues looked at only elliptical galaxies in the nearby universe with fireworks at their centers. In both cases, the filaments and knots of star-birth appear to be very similar phenomena. An earlier, independent study, led by Rupal Mittal of the Rochester Institute of Technology and the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics, also analyzed the star-birth rates in the same galaxies as Tremblay's sample.

The researchers were aided by an exciting, new set of computer simulations of the hydrodynamics of the gas flows developed by Yuan Li of the University of Michigan. "This is the first time we now have models in hand that predict how these things ought to look," explains Donahue. "And when we compare the models to the data, there's a stunning similarity between the star-forming showers we observe and ones that occur in simulations. We're getting a physical insight that we can then apply to models

Along with Hubble, which shows where the old and the new stars are, the researchers used the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX), the Herschel Space Observatory, the Spitzer Space Telescope, the Chandra X-ray Observatory, the X-ray Multi-Mirror Mission (XMM-Newton), the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO)'s Jansky Very Large Array (JVLA), the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO)'s Kitt Peak WIYN 3.5 meter telescope, and the Magellan Baade 6.5 meter telescope. Together these observatories paint the complete picture of where all of the gas is, from the hottest to the coldest. The suite of telescopes shows how galaxy ecosystems work, including the black hole and its influence on its host galaxy and the gas surrounding that galaxy.

Donahue's paper was published in the Astrophysical Journal on June 2, 2015. Tremblay's paper was published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society on June 29, 2015.

 

 

Engineered bacterium produces 1,3-diaminopropane, an important industrial chemical

 
‎13 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎05:00:13 AMGo to full article
Daejeon, South Korea (SPX) Aug 12, 2015 - A Korean research team led by Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) reported, for the first time, the production of 1,3-diaminopropane via fermentation of an engineered bacterium.

1,3-Diaminopropane is a three carbon diamine, which has a wide range of industrial applications including epoxy resin and cross-linking agents, as well as precursors for pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, and organic chemicals. It can also be polymerized with dicarboxylic acids to make polyamides (nylons) for use as engineering plastics, medical materials, and adhesives.

Traditionally, 1,3-diaminopropane is derived from petroleum-based processes. In effort to address critical problems such as the depletion of petroleum and environmental issues inherent to the petroleum-based processes, the research team has developed an Escherichia coli (E. coli) strain capable of producing 1,3-diaminopropane. Using this technology, 1,3-diaminopropane can now be produced from renewable biomass instead of petroleum.

E. coli as found in nature is unable to produce 1,3-diaminopropane. Metabolic engineering, a technology to transform microorganisms into highly efficient microbial cell factories capable of producing chemical compounds of interest, was utilized to engineer the E. coli strain. First, naturally existing metabolic pathways for the biosynthesis of 1,3-diaminopropane were introduced into a virtual cell in silico to determine the most efficient metabolic pathway for the 1,3-diaminopropane production. The metabolic pathway selected was then introduced into an E. coli strain and successfully produced 1,3-diaminopropane for the first time in the world.

The research team applied metabolic engineering additionally, and the production titer of 1,3-diaminopropane increased about 21 fold. The Fed-batch fermentation of the engineered E. coli strain produced 13 grams per liter of 1,3-diaminoproapne. With this technology, 1,3-diaminopropane can be produced using renewable biomass, and it will be the starting point for replacing the current petroleum-based processes with bio-based processes.

Professor Lee said "Our study suggested a possibility to produce 1,3-diaminopropane based on biorefinery. Further study will be done to increase the titer and productivity of 1,3-diaminopropane."

 

 

Droplets levitate on a cushion of blue light

 
‎13 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎05:00:13 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Aug 12, 2015 - Researchers in France have discovered a new way to levitate liquid droplets, which surprisingly also creates a mini light show, with the droplet sparking as it floats above a faint blue glowing gap.

Described this week in the journal Applied Physics Letters, from AIP Publishing, the work may offer an inexpensive new way to generate a freely movable microplasma, as well as yield insights into fundamental physics questions.

The floating effect is similar to Leidenfrost levitation - in which droplets dance on a hot vapor cushion. But by creating the vapor with a strong jolt of electricity instead of heat, the researchers found they could ionize the gas into a plasma that glowed a soft blue light.

"This method is probably an easy and original way to make a plasma," said Cedric Poulain, a physicist at the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission. Poulain speculates that the deformability of a liquid drop would let the researchers rig up a device to move the plasma along a surface, but he admits that such applications were far from his and his colleagues' minds when they first conceived the experiment.

At first, the researchers wanted to explore the limits of the analogy between the boiling phenomenon and water electrolysis, which is the breakup of water into hydrogen and oxygen gases by an electric current.

As an example of boiling behavior, Poulain described the case of a liquid droplet at the surface of a hot pan. If the pan temperature is just above 100 degrees Celsius, the drop spreads and water vapor bubbles grow at the pan surface. However, if the pan is very hot (more than 280 degrees Celsius), a cushion of vapor is formed between the drop and the pan, levitating the drop and preventing contact between the liquid water and the pan, a phenomenon called the Leidenfrost effect. "This is a classical 'grandmother' trick to test the temperature of a pan," Poulain said.

The team wondered if a similar transition exists in the case of water electrolysis. The analogy interested the authors, because they study an event called "boiling crisis" in nuclear power plant steam generators. If the core of a nuclear reactor gets too hot, bubbles in the cooling water can suddenly coalesce to form a vapor film that limits further heat transfer and leads to a dangerous increase in temperature.

A Cushion of Vapor from a Jolt of Electricity
In their lab, Poulain and his colleagues devised a set-up to run electricity through conductive droplets and film the droplets' behavior at high speed. They suspended a small drop of weak hydrochloric acid, which conducts electricity, above a metal plate and applied a voltage across the drop. When the drop touched the plate, electricity began to flow, and the water in the hydrochloric acid solution started to break down into hydrogen and oxygen gas.

Above 50 volts, the bottom of the droplet started sparking. It levitated, rising over the surface of the plate, and a faint blue glow emanated from the gap.

At first the researchers believed that the drop might be resting on a cushion of hydrogen gas from the breakup of water, but further analysis revealed that the gaseous cushion was in fact mostly water vaporized by energy from the electric current.

The blue light emission was unexpected and probably the most exciting feature of the experiment, the team said. Although fifty volts is a relatively low voltage, Poulain explained that the tiny gap between the droplet and the metal plate is what gives rise to the very high electric field necessary to generate a long-term and dense plasma with little energy.

Exploring the Blue Light
The researchers next plan to analyze the composition of the plasma layer. They say it appears to be a superposition of two types of plasma that is not well understood. They will also study the fast dynamics at the bottom of the drop just as the sparks begin to fly, which should yield additional insights into the plasma.

Although plasma dynamics may seem far removed from the problem of film boiling in nuclear reactors, Poulain is happy about the path the curiosity-driven research has taken the team.

"It's very exciting," he said of the team's foray into plasma levitation.

 

 

Solving a long-standing atomic mass difference puzzle paves way to the neutrino mass

 
‎13 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎05:00:13 AMGo to full article
Mainz, Germany (SPX) Aug 12, 2015 - To measure the mass of neutrinos, scientists study radioactive decays in which they are emitted. An essential ingredient is the decay energy which corresponds to the mass difference between the mother and daughter nuclei. This decay energy must be known with highest precision. A team of scientists now succeeded to resolve a severe discrepancy of the decay energy for the artificial holmium (Ho) isotope with mass number 163.

It decays by electron capture to the stable dysprosium-163 (163Dy) and appears well suited to measure the neutrino mass. The team prepared pure samples of 163Ho and 163Dy and directly measured their mass difference with high accuracy using the Penning-trap mass spectrometer SHIPTRAP. The research results have recently been published in Physical Review Letters.

Neutrinos are everywhere. Hundred trillion neutrinos are traversing every human per second, but one of their fundamental properties, i.e., their mass, is still unknown. While the standard model of particle physics predicts neutrinos to be massless, observations prove that neutrinos must have a tiny mass. By studying neutrino masses, scientists thus explore physics beyond this otherwise so successful Standard model. So far, only upper limits of the neutrino mass could be determined, confirming it to be tiny.

This makes a direct mass measurement a challenging task, but spectroscopy of radioactive beta decay or electron capture in suitable nuclei is among the most promising approaches. All radiation emitted in the radioactive decay can be precisely measured, with the exception of the fleeting neutrino, which escapes detection. The neutrino mass is thus deduced from comparing the sum of all detectable radiation to that available for the decay.

An artificial isotope of holmium, with mass number 163, is in the focus of several large collaborations aiming at extracting the neutrino mass from measurements of the energy emitted in the electron capture decay of 163Ho to the stable 163Dy. Currently in the lead is the ECHo Collaboration, centered at the University of Heidelberg. A prior clarification concerning the various values reported for the 163Ho decay energy is mandatory.

Values that span the quite large range from about 2,400 to 2,900 electron Volt (eV) have been published over the past decades from indirect measurements performed using different methods. The value recommended in data tables is on the lower end of this band, but the more recent results are some 100 eV higher than this recommended value casting doubt on its validity. In this situation, an attempt to measure the neutrino mass from the 163Ho decays is questionable.

To solve this puzzle, a team of physicists, chemists, and engineers from Germany, Russia, Switzerland, and France combined their expertise and unique instrumentation: While natural dysprosium contains sufficient amounts of 163Dy, samples of 163Ho, which does not occur in nature, first had to be prepared from natural erbium enriched in 162Er by intense neutron irradiation in the high-flux research reactor at the Institut Laue Langevin inat Grenoble in France. Sample purification and processing was done at the Paul Scherrer Institute Villigen in Switzerland and at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.

The atomic mass difference of 163Ho and 163Dy was directly measured using the SHIPTRAP Penning-trap mass spectrometer at the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt. Based on the equivalence of mass and energy according to Albert Einstein's famous equation E=mc2, the mass difference translates into the energy available for the decay.

"To determine the masses of holmium and dysprosium, we measured the frequencies of their ion's circular motion in the strong magnetic field of the ion trap, using the novel phase-imaging ion-cyclotron-resonance technique, which allows measurements with highest precision", explained lead scientist Dr. Sergey Eliseev from the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg. "This circular motion is projected onto a position-sensitive detector in a way that even small mass differences can be determined much faster and more precisely compared to previous methods." 163Ho and 163Dy were measured alternately in intervals of five minutes for several days.

An averaging procedure resulted in a final value of the decay energy of 2,833 eV with an uncertainty of only a few tens of eV. This confirms the recent results, settles the long-standing discrepancy, and thus provides confidence to the approach proposed by the ECHo Collaboration.

"For the statistics expected in the first phase of the ECHo experiment called ECHo-1k, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) with a Research Unit, we will reach a sensitivity below 10 eV for the neutrino mass, which is more than a factor of ten below the current upper limit", explained ECHo spokesperson Dr. Loredana Gastaldo from Heidelberg University.

Within the ECHo Collaboration, a research group headed by Professor Christoph E. Dullmann of the Institute of Nuclear Chemistry together with colleagues at the TRIGA research reactor at Mainz University have been responsible for the production and preparation of the needed supply of 163Ho. "Our successful production of 163Ho samples for these studies is an important step towards the preparation of samples suitable for a sensitive measurement of the neutrino mass," said Dullmann.

"For this, we will introduce yet another level of cleaning of the samples. In cooperation with the group of Professor Klaus Wendt at JGU's Institute of Physics, we will exploit the Mainz-based RISIKO mass separator to receive samples of highest purity, as they are necessary for the envisaged experiments."

 

 

 

Treasure hunting in archive data reveals clues about black holes' diet

 
‎29 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎01:27:38 PMGo to full article
Garching, Germany (SPX) Jul 28, 2015 - Using archival data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, as well as from the XMM-Newton and Chandra X-ray telescopes, a team of astronomers at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics have discovered a gigantic black hole, which is probably destroying and devouring a big star in its vicinity. With a mass of 100 million times more than our Sun, this is the largest black hole caught in this act so far.

The results of this study are published in this month's issue of the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Andrea Merloni and members of his team from the Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) in Garching, near Munich, were exploring the huge archive of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) in preparation for a future X-ray satellite mission.

The SDSS has been observing a large fraction of the night sky with its optical telescope; in addition, spectra have been taken of distant galaxies and black holes. For a variety of reasons, some objects got the spectra taken more than once. And when the team was looking at one of the objects with multiple spectra, they were struck by an extraordinary change in one of the objects under study, with the catalogue number SDSS J0159+0033.

"Usually distant galaxies do not change significantly over an astronomer's lifetime, i.e. on a timescale of years or decades," explains Andrea Merloni, "but this one showed a dramatic variation of its spectrum, as if the central black hole had switched on and off."

This happened between 1998 and 2005, but nobody had noticed the odd behaviour of this galaxy until late last year, when two groups of scientists preparing the next (fourth) generation of SDSS surveys independently stumbled across these data [1].

Luckily enough, the two flagship X-ray observatories, the ESA-led XMM-Newton and the NASA-led Chandra took snapshots of the same area of the sky close in time to the peak of the flare, and again about ten years later. This gave the astronomers unique information about the high-energy emission that reveals how material is processed in the immediate vicinity of the central black hole.

Gigantic black holes are at home in the nuclei of large galaxies all around us. Most astronomers believe that they grew to the enormous sizes that we can observe today by feeding mostly on interstellar gas from its surroundings, which is unable to escape its gravitational pull. Such a process takes place over a very long time (tens to hundreds of millions of years), and is capable to turn a small black hole created in the explosion of a heavy star into the super-heavyweight monsters that lurk at the centre of galaxies.

However, galaxies also contain a huge number of stars. Some unlucky ones may happen to pass too close to the central black hole, where they are destroyed and eventually swallowed by the black hole.

If this is compact enough, the strong, tidal gravitational forces tear the star apart in a spectacular way. Subsequently bits and pieces swirl into the black hole and thus produce huge flares of radiation that can be as luminous as all the rest of the stars in the host galaxy for a period of a few months to a year. These rare events are called Tidal Disruption Flares (TDF).

Merloni and his collaborators quite quickly realised that "their" flare [2] matched almost perfectly all the expectations of this model. Moreover, because of the serendipitous nature of the discovery, they realised that this was an even more peculiar system than those which had been found through active searches until now [3]. With an estimated mass of 100 million solar masses, this is the biggest black hole caught in the act of star-tearing so far.

However, the sheer size of the system is not the only intriguing aspect of this particular flare; it is also the first one for which scientists can assume with some degree of certainty that the black hole was on a more standard "gas diet" very recently (a few tens of thousands of years). This is an important clue on which sort of food black holes mostly live on.

"Louis Pasteur said: 'Chance favours the prepared mind' - but in our case, nobody was really prepared," marvels Merloni. "We could have discovered this unique object already ten years ago, but people did not know where to look. It is quite common in astronomy that progress in our understanding of the cosmos is helped by serendipitous discoveries. And now we have a better idea of how to find more such events, and future instruments will greatly expand our reach."

In less than two years' time a new powerful X-ray telescope eROSITA, which is currently being built at MPE, will be put into orbit on the Russian-German SRG satellite. It will scan the entire sky with the right cadence and sensitivity needed to discover hundreds of new tidal disruption flares. Also, big optical telescopes are being designed and built with the goal of monitoring the variable sky, and will greatly contribute to solving the mystery of the black hole eating habits. Astronomers will have to be prepared to catch these dramatic last acts of a star's life. But however prepared they'll be, the sky will be full of new surprises.

Notes:
1. The other group, who independently discovered the strange light curve of this object was Stephanie LaMassa (Yale) and her collaborators. They were the fastest to alert the community about this object, but did not explore the stellar disruption interpretation for this event.

2. The current study is published in the May issue of the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (see also reference in right column).

3. Tidal Disruption Flares are very rare, about one every few tens of thousands of year for any galaxy. In addition, because they do not last very long, they are very hard to find. Only about twenty of them have been studied so far, but with the advent of larger telescopes designed to survey large areas of the sky in a short time, more and more dedicated searches are being carried out, and the pace of discovery is rapidly increasing.

 

 

Deja-vu, new theory says dark matter acts like well-known particle

 
‎29 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎01:27:38 PMGo to full article
Tokyo, Japan (SPX) Jul 24, 2015 - A new theory says dark matter acts remarkably similar to subatomic particles known to science since the 1930s. We owe a lot to dark matter - it is the thing keeping galaxies, stars, our solar system, and our bodies intact. Yet no one has been able to observe it, and it has often been regarded as a totally new exotic form of matter, such as a particle moving in extra dimensions of space or its quantum version, super-symmetry.

Now an international group of researchers has proposed a theory that dark matter is very similar to pions, which are responsible for binding atomic nuclei together. Their findings appear in the latest Physical Review Letters, published on July 10.

"We have seen this kind of particle before. It has the same properties - same type of mass, the same type of interactions, in the same type of theory of strong interactions that gave forth the ordinary pions. It is incredibly exciting that we may finally understand why we came to exist," says Hitoshi Murayama, Professor of Physics at the University of California, Berkeley, and Director of the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe at the University of Tokyo.

The new theory predicts dark matter is likely to interact with itself within galaxies or clusters of galaxies, possibly modifying the predicted mass distributions.

"It can resolve outstanding discrepancies between data and computer simulations," says Eric Kuflik, a postdoctoral researcher at Cornell University. University of California, Berkeley postdoctoral researcher Yonit Hochberg adds, "The key differences in these properties between this new class of dark matter theories and previous ideas have profound implications on how dark matter can be discovered in upcoming experimental searches."

The next step will be to put this theory to the test using experiments such as the Large Hadron Collider and the new SuperKEK-B, and a proposed experiment SHiP.

Journal: Physical Review Letters, 115, 021301 (2015); Title: Model for Thermal Relic Dark Matter of Strongly Interacting Massive Particles Authors: Yonit Hochberg (1,2), Eric Kuflik; (3), Hitoshi Murayama (1,2,4), Tomer Volansky (5), and Jay G. Wacker (6,7)

 

 

 
 

After 85-year search, massless particle with promise for next-generation electronics found

 
‎23 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎07:05:02 AMGo to full article
Princeton NJ (SPX) Jul 20, 2015 - An international team led by Princeton University scientists has discovered Weyl fermions, an elusive massless particle theorized 85 years ago. The particle could give rise to faster and more efficient electronics because of its unusual ability to behave as matter and antimatter inside a crystal, according to new research.

The researchers report in the journal Science July 16 the first observation of Weyl fermions, which, if applied to next-generation electronics, could allow for a nearly free and efficient flow of electricity in electronics, and thus greater power, especially for computers, the researchers suggest.

Proposed by the mathematician and physicist Hermann Weyl in 1929, Weyl fermions have been long sought by scientists because they have been regarded as possible building blocks of other subatomic particles, and are even more basic than the ubiquitous, negative-charge carrying electron (when electrons are moving inside a crystal).

Their basic nature means that Weyl fermions could provide a much more stable and efficient transport of particles than electrons, which are the principle particle behind modern electronics. Unlike electrons, Weyl fermions are massless and possess a high degree of mobility; the particle's spin is both in the same direction as its motion -- which is known as being right-handed -- and in the opposite direction in which it moves, or left-handed.

"The physics of the Weyl fermion are so strange, there could be many things that arise from this particle that we're just not capable of imagining now," said corresponding author M. Zahid Hasan, a Princeton professor of physics who led the research team.

The researchers' find differs from the other particle discoveries in that the Weyl fermion can be reproduced and potentially applied, Hasan said. Typically, particles such as the famous Higgs boson are detected in the fleeting aftermath of particle collisions, he said.

The Weyl fermion, however, was discovered inside a synthetic metallic crystal called tantalum arsenide that the Princeton researchers designed in collaboration with researchers at the Collaborative Innovation Center of Quantum Matter in Beijing and at National Taiwan University.

The Weyl fermion possesses two characteristics that could make its discovery a boon for future electronics, including the development of the highly prized field of efficient quantum computing, Hasan explained.

For a physicist, the Weyl fermions are most notable for behaving like a composite of monopole- and antimonopole-like particles when inside a crystal, Hasan said. This means that Weyl particles that have opposite magnetic-like charges can nonetheless move independently of one another with a high degree of mobility.

The researchers also found that Weyl fermions can be used to create massless electrons that move very quickly with no backscattering, wherein electrons are lost when they collide with an obstruction. In electronics, backscattering hinders efficiency and generates heat. Weyl electrons simply move through and around roadblocks, Hasan said.

"It's like they have their own GPS and steer themselves without scattering," Hasan said. "They will move and move only in one direction since they are either right-handed or left-handed and never come to an end because they just tunnel through. These are very fast electrons that behave like unidirectional light beams and can be used for new types of quantum computing."

Prior to the Science paper, Hasan and his co-authors published a report in the journal Nature Communications in June that theorized that Weyl fermions could exist in a tantalum arsenide crystal.

Guided by that paper, the researchers used the Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials (PRISM) and Laboratory for Topological Quantum Matter and Spectroscopy in Princeton's Jadwin Hall to research and simulate dozens of crystal structures before seizing upon the asymmetrical tantalum arsenide crystal, which has a differently shaped top and bottom.

The crystals were then loaded into a two-story device known as a scanning tunneling spectromicroscope that is cooled to near absolute zero and suspended from the ceiling to prevent even atom-sized vibrations. The spectromicroscope determined if the crystal matched the theoretical specifications for hosting a Weyl fermion. "It told us if the crystal was the house of the particle," Hasan said.

The Princeton team took the crystals passing the spectromicroscope test to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California to be tested with high-energy accelerator-based photon beams. Once fired through the crystal, the beams' shape, size and direction indicated the presence of the long-elusive Weyl fermion.

First author Su-Yang Xu, a postdoctoral research associate in Princeton's Department of Physics, said that the work was unique for encompassing theory and experimentalism.

"The nature of this research and how it emerged is really different and more exciting than most of other work we have done before," Xu said.

"Usually, theorists tell us that some compound might show some new or interesting properties, then we as experimentalists grow that sample and perform experiments to test the prediction. In this case, we came up with the theoretical prediction ourselves and then performed the experiments. This makes the final success even more exciting and satisfying than before."

In pursuing the elusive particle, the researchers had to pull from a number of disciplines, as well as just have faith in their quest and scientific instincts, Xu said.

"Solving this problem involved physics theory, chemistry, material science and, most importantly, intuition," he said. "This work really shows why research is so fascinating, because it involved both rational, logical thinking, and also sparks and inspiration."

Weyl, who worked at the Institute for Advanced Study, suggested his fermion as an alternative to the theory of relativity proposed by his colleague Albert Einstein.

Although that application never panned out, the characteristics of his theoretical particle intrigued physicists for nearly a century, Hasan said. Actually observing the particle was a trying process -- one ambitious experiment proposed colliding high-energy neutrinos to test if the Weyl fermion was produced in the aftermath, he said.

The hunt for the Weyl fermion began in the earliest days of quantum theory when physicists first realized that their equations implied the existence of antimatter counterparts to commonly known particles such as electrons, Hasan said.

"People figured that although Weyl's theory was not applicable to relativity or neutrinos, it is the most basic form of fermion and had all other kinds of weird and beautiful properties that could be useful," he said.

"After more than 80 years, we found that this fermion was already there, waiting. It is the most basic building block of all electrons," he said. "It is exciting that we could finally make it come out following Weyl's 1929 theoretical recipe."

Ashvin Vishwanath, a professor of physics at the University of California-Berkeley who was not involved in the study, commented, "Professor Hasan's experiments report the observation of both the unusual properties in the bulk of the crystal as well as the exotic surface states that were theoretically predicted. While it is early to say what practical implications this discovery might have, it is worth noting that Weyl materials are direct 3-D electronic analogs of graphene, which is being seriously studied for potential applications."

 

 

Bristol researchers revisit two-ball bounce problem

 
‎23 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎07:05:02 AMGo to full article
Bristol, England (UPI) Jul 14, 2015 - As any high-schooler will attest, there is no shortage of ways to demonstrate the frustrating complexities of physics. But one problem stands out as a favorite for showcasing physics' counterintuities -- the two-ball bounce problem.

The problem is demonstrated by dropping a smaller ball and larger ball together, the smaller ball positioned directly on top of the larger ball. The result -- using a tennis ball and basketball, for example -- is a smaller ball bouncing unexpectedly high, three or four times the height from which it was dropped.

Researchers at the University of Bristol recently revisited the classic classroom demonstration and located flaws in the traditional explanation.

Textbooks explain the phenomenon as a demonstration of two basic physic premises, Newton's law of restitution and the the law of conservation of momentum. It turns out, the explanation is based on a flawed reality.

The high bounce is the product of human error, as demonstrators aren't able to drop the balls simultaneously. Inevitably, the smaller ball is dropped a brief moment later, and it is this gap that enables the high bounce.

When Bristol researchers revisited the phenomenon using the preciseness of computers and the keen eye of a high-speed camera, they found the closer the balls are together when dropped, the less impressive the bounce.

That traditional explanation assumes two separate but simultaneous collisions -- the basketball bounces of the floor, the tennis ball bounces off the rebounding basketball. But unless the two balls are dropped with a sizable gap between them, the basketball is still in contact with the ground when the tennis ball hits -- the order of collisions is actually reversed.

What researchers determined, was that the basketball acts like a trampoline. Upon impact, the basketball's compression excites an elastic wave that catapults the tennis ball back into the air. The effect is weakened as the gap between the two dropped balls narrows.

"Understanding how spherical bodies behave when they collide has important implications when modelling 'granular materials', such as sand, as these are can be treated as a collection of lots of tiny spheres," Yani Berdeni, a PhD student in Bristol's engineering department, explained in a press release.

Berdeni and his colleagues published their findings in the Proceedings of the Royal Society A.

 

 

Weyl points: Wanted for 86 years

 
‎23 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎07:05:02 AMGo to full article
Boston MA (SPX) Jul 20, 2015 - Weyl points, the 3D analogues of the structures that make graphene exceptional, were theoretically predicted in 1929. Today, an international team of Physicists from MIT and Zhejiang University, found them in photonic crystals, opening a new dimension in photonics.

In 1928 the English physicist Paul Dirac discovered a crucial equation in particle physics and quantum mechanics, now known as Dirac equation, which describes relativistic wave-particles. Very fast electrons were solutions to the Dirac equation. Moreover, the equation predicted the existence of anti-electrons, or positrons: particles with the same mass as electrons but having opposite charge.

True to Dirac's prediction, positrons were discovered four years later, in 1932, by the American physicist Carl Anderson. In 1929 Hermann Weyl, a German-born mathematician, found another solution to the Dirac equation, this time massless [1].

A year later, the Austrian-born theoretical physicist Wolfgang Pauli postulated the existence of the neutrino, which was then thought to be massless, and it was assumed to be the sought-after solution to the Dirac equation found by Weyl. Neutrinos had not been detected yet in nature, but the case seemed to be closed.

It would be decades before American physicists Frederick Reines and Clyde Cowan finally discovered neutrinos in 1957, and numerous experiments shortly thereafter indicated that neutrinos could have mass. In 1998, the Super-Kamiokande (a neutrino observatory located in Japan) Collaboration announced what had now been speculated for years: neutrinos have non-zero mass. This discovery opened a new question: what then was the zero-mass solution found by Weyl?

Dr. Ling Lu (MIT), Dr. Zhiyu Wang (Zhejiang University, China), Dr. Dexin Ye (Zhejiang University), Prof. Lixin Ran (Zhejiang University), Prof. Liang Fu (MIT), Prof. John D. Joannopoulos (MIT), and Prof. Marin Soljaci? (MIT) found the answer.

Ling Lu, first author of the paper published in Science, is very enthusiastic: "Weyl points do actually exist in nature! We built a double-gyroid photonic crystal with broken parity symmetry. The light that passes through the crystal shows the signature of Weyl points in reciprocal space: two linear dispersion bands touching at isolated points."

Weyl points, the solutions to the massless Dirac equation, were not found in particle experiments. The research team had to build a tailored material to observe them. The double-gyroid photonic crystal is itself a work of art. Gyroids indeed can be found in nature, in systems as different as butterfly wings and ketchup [2,3].

However, the research group wanted a double-gyroid with a very specific broken symmetry, first proposed in a theoretical work by the same group[4]. In order to fabricate this structure, with parts that are interlocking and with ad hoc defects (such as symmetry-breaking air holes), Lu and collaborators had to drill, machine, and stack slabs of ceramic-filled plastics.

Once the sample was ready, it was time to observe if it behaved as expected, by shining light through it and analyzing the outgoing signal. Physicists analyze these experiments in what is called reciprocal space, or momentum space.

"The discovery of Weyl points is not only the smoking gun to a scientific mystery," comments MIT Professor Marin Soljaci, "it paves the way to absolutely new photonic phenomena and applications. Think of the graphene revolution: graphene is a 2D structure, and its electronic properties are, to a substantial extent, a consequence of the existence of linear degeneracy points (known as Dirac points) in its momentum space. Materials containing Weyl points do the same in 3D. They literally add one degree of freedom, one dimension."

The discovery of graphene and its unique electronic properties was lauded with the 2010 Nobel Prize in physics, yet graphene's Dirac points are not stable to perturbations. On the other hand, the structures introduced by Lu et al. are very stable to perturbations, offering a new tool to control how light is confined, how it bounces, and how it radiates.

This discovery opens a new intriguing field in basic physics. The potential applications are equally promising. Examples include the possibility to build angularly selective 3D materials and more powerful single-frequency lasers.

 

 

Old astronomic riddle on the way to be solved

 
‎23 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎07:05:02 AMGo to full article
Basel, Switzerland (SPX) Jul 16, 2015 - Scientists at the University of Basel were able to identify for the first time a molecule responsible for the absorption of starlight in space: the positively charged Buckminsterfullerene, or so-called football molecule. Their results have been published in the current issue of Nature.

Almost 100 years ago, astronomers discovered that the spectrum of star light arrived on earth with dark gaps, so-called interstellar bands. Ever since, researchers have been trying to find out which type of matter in space absorbs the light and is responsible for these "diffuse interstellar bands" (DIB) of which over 400 are known today.

Football molecule and interstellar clouds
Astronomers have been suspecting for a while that big complex molecules and gaseous ions based on carbon could be absorbing the starlight. The Buckminsterfullerene is such a molecule: a structure made up of 60 carbon atoms shaped like a football that was first discovered in the mid-1980s.

After this discovery, the questions arose if it was possible that the football molecule was in fact responsible for the DIB. The research team led by Prof. John P. Maier from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Basel has been studying the electronic absorption of the ionized Buckminsterfullerene since 1993.

In fact, the spectrum measured in the lab did show absorption features at two wavelengths that were near two DIB that had been discovered by astronomers the following year.

Conditions similar to outer space
In order to unequivocally prove that these molecules absorb starlight and thus produce the DIB, a gas phase spectrum of the ion was needed. The Basel researchers now succeeded at this: "This is the very first unequivocal identification of such a molecule in the interstellar clouds", says Professor John P. Maier. "We have achieved a breakthrough in solving the old riddle of the diffuse interstellar bands."

In order to obtain the spectrum in the laboratory using a diode laser, several thousand ionized Fullerenes were confined in a radiofrequency trap and cooled down by collisions with high density helium to very low temperatures of around 6 degree Kelvin - conditions very similar to outer space.

The absorptions measured in the laboratory coincide exactly with the astronomical data, and have comparable bandwidths and relative intensities. This identifies for the first time two DIB and proves that ionized Buckminsterfullerene (C60+) is present at the gas-phase in space. "This is remarkable, considering the complexity of this molecular ion and the presence of high-energy radiation in such an environment", says Maier.

 

 

Drawing a line between quantum and classical world

 
‎23 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎07:05:02 AMGo to full article
Rochester NY (SPX) Jul 22, 2015 - Quantum theory is one of the great achievements of 20th century science, yet physicists have struggled to find a clear boundary between our everyday world and what Albert Einstein called the "spooky" features of the quantum world, including cats that could be both alive and dead, and photons that can communicate with each other across space instantaneously.

For the past 60 years, the best guide to that boundary has been a theorem called Bell's Inequality, but now a new paper shows that Bell's Inequality is not the guidepost it was believed to be, which means that as the world of quantum computing brings quantum strangeness closer to our daily lives, we understand the frontiers of that world less well than scientists have thought.

In the new paper, published in the July 20 edition of Optica, University of Rochester researchers show that a classical beam of light that would be expected to obey Bell's Inequality can fail this test in the lab, if the beam is properly prepared to have a particular feature: entanglement.

Not only does Bell's test not serve to define the boundary, the new findings don't push the boundary deeper into the quantum realm but do just the opposite. They show that some features of the real world must share a key ingredient of the quantum domain. This key ingredient is called entanglement, exactly the feature of quantum physics that Einstein labeled as spooky.

According to Joseph Eberly, professor of physics and one of the paper's authors, it now appears that Bell's test only distinguishes those systems that are entangled from those that are not. It does not distinguish whether they are "classical" or quantum. In the forthcoming paper the Rochester researchers explain how entanglement can be found in something as ordinary as a beam of light.

Eberly explained that "it takes two to tangle."

For example, think about two hands clapping regularly. What you can be sure of is that when the right hand is moving to the right, the left hand is moving to the left, and vice versa.

But if you were asked to guess without listening or looking whether at some moment the right hand was moving to the right, or maybe to the left, you wouldn't know. But you would still know that whatever the right hand was doing at that time, the left hand would be doing the opposite. The ability to know for sure about a common property without knowing anything for sure about an individual property is the essence of perfect entanglement.

Eberly added that many think of entanglement as a quantum feature because "Schrodinger coined the term 'entanglement' to refer to his famous cat scenario." But their experiment shows that some features of the "real" world must share a key ingredient of Schrodinger's Cat domain: entanglement.

The existence of classical entanglement was pointed out in 1980, but Eberly explained that it didn't seem a very interesting concept, so it wasn't fully explored. As opposed to quantum entanglement, classical entanglement happens within one system. The effect is all local: there is no action at a distance, none of the "spookiness."

With this result, Eberly and his colleagues have shown experimentally "that the border is not where it's usually thought to be, and moreover that Bell's Inequalities should no longer be used to define the boundary."

Eberly's co-authors are Xiao-Feng Qian, Bethany Little and Professor John C. Howell.

 

 

The quantum physics of artificial light harvesting

 
‎23 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎07:05:02 AMGo to full article
Vienna, Austria (SPX) Jul 14, 2015 - Plants and bacteria make use of sunlight with remarkably high efficiency: nine out of ten absorbed light particles are being put to use in an ordinary bacterium.

For years, it has been a pressing question of modern research whether or not effects from quantum physics are responsible for this outstanding performance of natural light harvesters.

A team of European research groups, a collaboration between universities in Vienna, Ulm, Cartagena, Prague, Berlin and Lund, have examined these quantum effects in an artificial model system.

It was shown that the hotly debated quantum phenomena can be understood as a delicate interplay between vibrations and electrons of the involved molecules. The resulting theoretical model explains the experiments perfectly. The article was published in Nature Communications.

The studied artificial light harvester is a supramolecule, consisting of hundreds of thousands of light absorbing molecules, arranged in close proximity to one another and in an orderly fashion.

Such architecture puts these systems in between noisy living cells and strictly organized quantum experiments at low temperatures: supramolecules are still governed by the same quantum effects as natural photosynthetic systems, but without the noisy background that makes their investigation so difficult in biological systems.

The research team employed polarized light to isolate the desired quantum-dynamical effects. Studying such ordered systems does not only further our understanding of natural photosynthesis, it also helps us to appreciate the physical mechanisms necessary for energy-efficient, cheaper, more flexible and lighter photovoltaic cells.

 

 

Revealed: Positronium's behavior in particle billiards

 
‎23 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎07:05:02 AMGo to full article
London, UK (SPX) Jul 15, 2015 - Collision physics can be like a game of billiards. Yet in the microscopic world, the outcome of the game is hard to predict. Fire a particle at a group of other particles, and they may scatter, combine or break apart, according to probability distributions governed by quantum mechanics. These processes can tell us about fundamental properties of matter and, if antimatter projectiles are used, also about matter-antimatter interactions.

Scientists at UCL have finally answered one of the basic questions that has remained outstanding until now: if, in a collision with matter, a positron - the antimatter counterpart of electrons - captures an electron, in which directions are the two likely to travel, and with what probability?

All matter particles - electrons, protons, neutrons - have an antimatter counterpart. Antiparticles have very similar properties to particles, but the opposite electrical charge.

Although they are eventually annihilated when they come into contact with matter, antiparticles can briefly interact with particles to form very short-lived matter-antimatter hybrids, atoms in which one of the component particles has been replaced with an antiparticle. Of these, positronium - one electron and one positron in orbit around each other - is the most studied.

"Positrons and positronium are important for our understanding of the physical universe," says Professor Gaetana Laricchia (UCL Physics and Astronomy), who led the study. "They are also useful for applications such as probing the properties of materials, as well as for medical diagnostics. Yet there is much that we still do not know about their interactions with ordinary matter."

In the study, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and published in the journal Physical Review Letters, Professor Laricchia and colleagues used UCL's Positronium Beam - a facility unique in the world - to investigate the behaviour of the positronium as it is created, and have finally been able to compare with theoretical predictions which have been developed over the past 40 years.

The Positronium Beam works by producing a beam of positrons from a radioactive source, passing it through a chamber full of hydrogen, where the positrons bind to electrons to form positronium. The resulting beam of positronium is then usually used to bombard other targets placed downstream. In this study, though, the team examined the formation of the positronium atoms themselves - much like using a microscope to study the way light passes through lenses.

"From the collision, the positronium atoms may emerge forward, sideways or backwards. The absolute proportions had never been measured," says Professor Laricchia. "We sought to analyse this because it tells you important information about how positrons collide in gases, how positronium behaves once it has formed and because it is a very sensitive test of theoretical models."

As well as the hydrogen gas that is usually used in the Positronium Beam, the team also measured the emission of positronium created when hydrogen was replaced with argon, helium and carbon dioxide. They found that in the case of helium and hydrogen, the emission of positronium was broadly in line with a small subset of theories; for argon, the behaviour seems similar to that created in hydrogen and helium and quite different from theoretical predictions. For CO2, there is no prediction to test, and this experiment provides the first data of any kind.

In all four cases, there was a strong preference for the positronium to be emitted in the forward direction, particularly when the positrons were hitting the gas at high speed.

The team hope to carry out further investigations of positronium formation, particularly at lower energies which should provide even better calibration for the theoretical models.

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

New Horizons at Pluto

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

Congratulations to the New Horizons team on their remarkable achievement of sending a spacecraft to Pluto. The mission was a complete success, and we are enjoying high-resolution images of never-before-seen surface features of this distant little world. These pictures dazzle the mind and are already beginning to challenge secular thinking.

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Snakes with Legs?

 
‎10 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

As weird as it may sound, some snakes had legs. Fossils reveal little legs on ancient snakes that have apparently been extinct for some time. Yet, those had only hind legs. Now, in the journal Science researchers describe a new fossil with four limbs. They suggest that this new fossil illustrates how legged snakes evolved from legged lizards. Is this accurate?

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Jesus Lizard Runs on Water, Tramples Evolution

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

Jesus lizards literally run across the surface of ponds in Central and South America. According to evolutionary thinking, all reptiles—snakes, turtles, gavials, dinosaurs, pterosaurs, chameleons, skinks, and Jesus lizards—descended from an unknown original reptilian form. What evidence might demonstrate this? Strings of fossils should clearly connect each basic reptile kind back to that supposed key ancestor. It should have interchangeable or adjustable body features that natural forces could have manipulated without disrupting the evolving creature's essential functions. A newly discovered fossil of a Jesus lizard in Wyoming shows just the opposite evidence.

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A Real Jurassic World?

 
‎04 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

The Jurassic World movie, though thrilling to watch, comes packed with fictional ideas like de-extinction, designer creatures, and iron somehow preserving dinosaur DNA indefinitely. But how would the world respond if live dinosaurs were verified to scientists' satisfaction?

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Human Nucleome Reveals Amazing 4D World

 
‎27 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

A new study investigating the three-dimensional human genome (the nucleome) in the context of time and gene expression revealed unimaginable complexity and precision. The authors of a new research paper, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, wrote at the very beginning of their report, "The human genome is a beautiful example of a dynamical system in three dimensions." The results of their research spectacularly vindicated this opening statement.

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Scientists Describe Job's 'Springs of the Sea'

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

Modern machines provide our generation with knowledge entirely unknown in yesteryear. Which of our great grandparents saw footage of water rising through hydrothermal vents on the deep sea floor? New research into water circulating from the ocean, into seafloor crustal rocks, and back into the ocean echoes one of the questions God asked Job thousands of years ago.

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Bacteria Metabolisms Are Like Computer Circuit Boards

 
‎20 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Bacteria sometimes face a rough life. At about a tenth the size of most plant and animal cells, they have no layer of skin to protect them. Environments can change quickly and if microbes don't have the right tools to adapt, they won't last long. Bioengineers modeled three interdependent aspects of a metabolic system that bacteria use to thrive in ever-changing environments, revealing an underlying array of interrelated parts that they described as "underappreciated."

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New Horizons, Pluto, and the Age of the Solar System

 
‎14 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Today, more than nine years after its launch, the New Horizons spacecraft is scheduled to make its closest approach to the dwarf planet Pluto. This will make New Horizons the first space probe to examine Pluto and its moons up close during this historic flyby. A NASA press release states, "A close-up look at these worlds from a spacecraft promises to tell an incredible story about the origins and outskirts of our solar system." But what is the real story?

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Discovery: Volcanoes on Venus

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

The tortured surface of Venus appears to have been formed through recent geologic processes, and its rocks contain no record of deep time. What if Venus were young rather than 4.5 billion years old? It would explain quite a bit, including a brand-new discovery made by scientists peering through its dense atmosphere.

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Solving the Missing Tropical Dinosaurs Mystery?

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

One of the unsolved mysteries of secular science is why so few dinosaurs are found in rocks from supposed tropical regions, especially the Triassic system rocks. Jessica Whiteside of the University of Southampton, UK and her colleagues from eight other institutions have proposed a solution to this enigma.

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Carbon-14 Found in Dinosaur Fossils

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

New science directly challenges the millions-of-years dogma scattered throughout the blockbuster movie Jurassic World. The spring 2015 edition of the Creation Research Society Quarterly (CRSQ) is a special issue that focuses on the investigation of dinosaur proteins inside fossil bones. The last article in the issue presents never-before-seen carbon dates for 14 different fossils, including dinosaurs. Because radiocarbon decays relatively quickly, fossils that are even 100,000 years old should have virtually no radiocarbon left in them. But they do.

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Bronze-Age DNA Confirms Babel Dispersion

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

Scientists used new techniques to sequence 101 ancient human genomes believed to be from Bronze-Age populations in Europe. Their findings indicate a massive migratory influx of genetic diversity just a few thousand years ago. This data also coincides with known language diversification patterns, providing strong evidence for the dispersion of people groups at the Tower of Babel.

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Can Iron Preserve Fossil Proteins for Eons?

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

News reports around the world tell of red-blood-cell-like and collagen-like structures found in 75 million year-old dinosaur bones long stored in the British Museum. This news coincides with the release of the film Jurassic World, in which fictional scientists resurrect dinosaurs using dino DNA that "iron chelators" somehow preserved for millions of years. Though the movie is fiction, it does refer to a real study involving blood and bone. However, a closer look at the relevant chemistry shows that the iron-as-preservative story may be just as fictional as Jurassic World.

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Britain's 'Oldest' Sauropod and a Jurassic World

 
‎18 ‎June ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Crumbling seaside cliffs at Whitby in northern England continuously reveal new fossils. Most of them are remains of small plants and animals, but researchers from the University of Manchester described a much larger fossil: a giant vertebra from a sauropod's tail. How long ago was the rare bone buried?

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Does National Geographic Promote Atheism?

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

National Geographic interviewed atheist Jerry Coyne. The subject was not science, but Coyne's personal beliefs. Will Nat Geo provide the same platform for a researcher who believes that God, rather than nature, created all things?

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Colorful Dinosaur Eggs Challenge Deep Time

 
‎11 ‎June ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

German scientists revealed that some Chinese dinosaur eggs probably looked similar to the dark blue-green hue of modern emu eggs. If the dinosaur’s original pigment molecules revealed the egg’s color, then a significant question emerges. Can pigments really stay colorful for 66 million years?

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Dog Fossil Study Shows Wobbly Dating Practice

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

DNA research identified a Siberian fossil as an ancient dog bone. But its radiocarbon date doesn't match the accepted evolutionary story for dog origins. The ease with which scientists revised the date of dog divergence from wolf-like ancestry shows that secular dating practices may be much more subjective than their proponents would care to admit.

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Dinosaur Thighbone Found in Marine Rock

 
‎04 ‎June ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Researchers have excavated a portion of a theropod dinosaur thighbone from beachfront marine rock north of Seattle. How did a land animal's leg bone get buried in marine rock?

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Why Do Animals Use Sexual Reproduction?

 
‎28 ‎May ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Biologists from the U.K. conducted a 10-year-long experiment on common flour beetles to help understand why insects keep on using sexual reproduction despite its inefficiencies. Though they interpreted the results as supporting evolution, a key observation on the immutability of reproductive systems calls that into question.

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Remembering Mount St. Helens 35 Years Later

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


 


A landslide on the northern side of Mount St. Helens in Washington state on May 18, 1980 uncorked a violent volcanic eruption of ash, vapor, molten material and pulverized rock. The effects of this one of the most scrupulously documented volcanos in history have reshaped the way geologists think about certain landforms.

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What Mean These Stones

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

The poet George Santayana once said, “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” In the life of every nation, there are “memories” that must be preserved if that nation is to retain an awareness of its unique role among the nations of the world—indeed, among the long list of nations throughout history.

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New Fossil Dubbed 'Platypus Dinosaur'

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

It has a bill like a duck, leg spurs like a rooster, lays eggs like a reptile, but has fur like a mammal. Yet all these features elegantly integrate to form the body of a modern platypus. If God created the platypus, then why couldn't He create other creatures that seem to have borrowed parts from other familiar forms? He may have done just that when he made Chilesaurus.

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Clever Construction in Rorqual Whales

 
‎14 ‎May ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

A few years ago, scientists discovered a unique sensory organ in the jaw of a rorqual whale—the world's largest creature. Rorqual whales, which include the blue whale and fin whale, feed by ballooning out folds of tissue that bag gobs of krill from fertile ocean waters. Some of those researchers recently described the unique bungee-cord-like nerve fibers that illustrate clever and intentional design.

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Still Searching for Geology's Holy Grail

 
‎11 ‎May ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

The origin of the continental crust continues to baffle secular geologists who often refer to this mystery as the "holy grail of geology." Earth's plates are composed of two distinctly different types of crust: oceanic and continental. Explaining the reason for the unique crust and plates on Earth has been the subject of on-going research and debate for decades. Two recent articles attempt to shed light on the mystery of the continents.

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A Cosmic 'Supervoid' vs. the Big Bang

 
‎07 ‎May ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

In a new paper, scientists have announced the discovery of an enormous region of lower-than-average galaxy density about three billion light-years from Earth. This "supervoid," the largest single structure ever discovered at 1.8 billion light-years across, is newsworthy in its own right. However, it also has implications for the Big Bang model of the universe's origin.

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Scientific Suicide

 
‎04 ‎May ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

The recent cover of New Scientist magazine reads "Belief: They drive everything we do. But our beliefs are built on…nothing." This is an amazing statement by a magazine, supposedly dedicated to science, in that it presents its readers with a philosophical conundrum. How can scientists, who must depend on a strict belief in logic and order, make such a statement?

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Three-Dimensional DNA Code Defies Evolution

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

Scientists have long been baffled as to what actually tells proteins called transcription factors (TFs) where to bind in the genome to turn genes off and on. However, new research incorporating the three-dimensional shape of DNA has revealed an incredibly complex system of interacting biochemical codes.

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Mosasaur Babies: Aren't They Cute?

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

We often hear claims that birds are similar to dinosaurs, but birds and mosasaurs? Mosasaurs were swimming reptiles. How can they be confused with birds? A recent study published in Palaeontology by Yale University's Daniel Field and his colleagues clears up some of this confusion and in the end, illustrates a mosasaur lifecycle of marvelous design.

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No Salamander Evolution Evidence, Past or Present

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

Scientists in Portugal unearthed a "super salamander" which, although "weird compared to anything today," is still very much a salamander. The fossilized bones of the six-foot animal were discovered on a hillside dig "chock-full" of bones and declared to originate from the "Upper Triassic" period, some 200 million years ago according to evolutionary dating. But creationists see this as yet another discovery of a created animal that grew to large dimensions in the fertile world before the Flood, and was subsequently buried during the Flood itself.

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Myths Dressed as Science

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

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

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Saturn's Enceladus Looks Younger than Ever

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

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

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Another Horizontal Gene Transfer Fairy Tale

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

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

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Dinosaur Moth: An Evolutionary Enigma

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

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

 


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Twins Provide Peek Into Mankind's Origin

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

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

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Heads, Evolution Wins--Tails, Creation Loses?

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

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

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Spiders Have Always Been Spiders

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

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

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Live Webcasts March 18 and 22!

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


 


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

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Cancer Research Inadvertently Refutes Evolution

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

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

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Lids, Lashes, and Lunar Rovers

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

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

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Manganese Nodule Discovery Points to Genesis Flood

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

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

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RNA Editing: Biocomplexity Hits a New High

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

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

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Secular Study: No Big Bang?

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

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

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Honey Bee Orphan Genes Sting Evolution

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

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

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Out of Babel--Not Africa

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

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

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Big Bang Evidence Retracted

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

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

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Snakes Have Always Been Snakes

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

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

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A New Antibiotic?

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

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

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The frilled shark . . . is still a shark

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

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

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Encore Presentation of Patterns of Evidence: Exodus

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

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

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2014 Most Notable News: Evolutionary Icons Toppled

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

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

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The Hubble 'Pillars of Creation' Revisited

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

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

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2014 Most Notable News: Recent Creation

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

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

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2014 Most Notable News: Creation Is a Hot Topic

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

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

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2014 Most Notable News: Fossils Resemble Living Relatives

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

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

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2014 Most Notable News: Big Bang Fizzle

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

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

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Study: Comets Did Not Supply Earth's Water

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

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

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Facts Bite into Bird Tooth Story

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

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

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Birds Inspire Flight Sensor Inventions

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

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

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Amazing Ant Beetle Same Today as Yesterday

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

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

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Unlocking the Origins of Snake Venom

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

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

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

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

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

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550 Million Years of Non-Evolution?

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

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

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Ghost Lineage Spawns Evolution Ghost Story

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

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

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Thanksgiving in Heaven

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

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

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Missing Link or Another Fish Story?

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

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

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Plants' Built-in Photosynthesis Accelerators

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

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

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Trees Really Are 'Pleasant to the Sight'

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

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

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Saber-Toothed Deer Alive in Afghanistan

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

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

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Dino Tracks

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

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

 


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

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Exocomets: Evidence of Recent Creation

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

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

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Human Fairness: Innate or Evolved?

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

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

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Pro-Evolution Pope

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

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

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Did God Make the Ebola Virus?

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

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

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Gamma-Ray Bursts Limit Life in Universe

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

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

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Weather Channel Founder Blasts 'Climate Change'

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

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

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Brain Bath: A Clever Design Solution

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

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

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Giant Clams Are Brilliant Algae Farmers

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

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

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

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

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

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Throwing Darwin a Curve

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

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

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Were Intestines Designed for Bacteria?

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

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

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Vital Function Found for Whale 'Leg' Bones

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

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

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Jurassic Squirrels?

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

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

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Australopith Child Gets an Academic Spanking

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

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

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Cambrian Fossil Intensifies Evolutionary Conundrum

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

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

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Genome Scrambling and Encryption Befuddles Evolution

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

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

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Big Bang Fizzles under Lithium Test

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

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

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Are We Evolving Stupidity?

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

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

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Ten Evidences for Creation

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

Get some fast facts on the evidences for creation science!

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Bible May Solve Colossal Ancient Iceberg Riddle

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

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

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Dual-Gene Codes Defy Evolution...Again

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

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

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Ciliate Genome Reveals Mind-Bending Complexity

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

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

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New Giant Dinosaur from Argentina

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

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

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Fungal Parasitism Marked by Gene Loss, Not Gain

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

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

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Decoding Snake-Venom Origins

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

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

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Darwin's Finches: Answers From Epigenetics

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

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

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Octopus Skin Inspires High-Tech Camouflage Fabric

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

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

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New Finds Reveal Fully-Human Neandertal

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

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

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There's More to the Story

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

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

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What Is 'Real Scientific Research'?

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

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

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DNA Was Created as a Reservoir for the Information of Life

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

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

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

by Dr. Martin Erdmann


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


 

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

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

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

 

http://www.stephencmeyer.org/

Got Science? Genesis 1 and Evidence

 

 

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

Intelligent Design is not Creationism

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

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

 

09 December 2011, 11:13:24 PM

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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


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


 

 

Searching For The Truth On Origins
By Roger Oakland

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