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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

 

 

Japan gives up on failed black hole research satellite

 
‎Today, ‎April ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎20 minutes agoGo to full article
Tokyo (AFP) Apr 28, 2016
Japan's space agency said Thursday that a quarter-of-a-billion-dollar satellite sent to study mysterious black holes has failed, concluding a month-long effort to salvage the ambitious project closely watched across the globe. The ultra-high-tech satellite "Hitomi" - or eye - was launched in February to observe X-rays emanating from black holes and galaxy clusters. But the device -
 

First rocket launch from Russia's Vostochny after delay

 
‎Today, ‎April ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎20 minutes agoGo to full article
Vostochny, Russia (AFP) April 28, 2016
Russia's new Vostochny cosmodrome hosted its first rocket launch Thursday, the Roscosmos space agency said, after a last-minute delay a day earlier led to President Vladimir Putin criticising the programme's officials. The Soyuz 2.1a rocket carrying three satellites took off at 11.01 am local time (0201 GMT), the national space agency said in a statement, after the countdown was automaticall
 

Putin slams Russian space failures after delayed launch

 
‎Today, ‎April ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎20 minutes agoGo to full article
Vostochny, Russia (AFP) April 27, 2016
President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday criticised Russia's large number of space failures after the first rocket launch from the country's new Vostochny cosmodrome was delayed minutes before blast-off. Putin scolded space chiefs after the unmanned launch from the far eastern cosmodrome was halted a minute and a half before lift-off and postponed at least 24 hours - the latest embarrassing gl
 

SpaceX vows to send capsule to Mars by 2018

 
‎Today, ‎April ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎20 minutes agoGo to full article
Miami (AFP) April 27, 2016
SpaceX chief Elon Musk announced Wednesday that he will send an unmanned spaceship to Mars as early as 2018, as part of his quest to colonize the Red Planet some day. Few details of the plan were released by Musk, the Internet entrepreneur who rose to fame as the cofounder of PayPal and currently also runs Tesla Motors. "Planning to send Dragon to Mars as soon as 2018," Musk announced on
 

South China city gears up for satellite tourism

 
‎Today, ‎April ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎20 minutes agoGo to full article
Haikou, China (XNA) Apr 28, 2016
South China's Wenchang City in Hainan Province is preparing to welcome rocket-watching tourists to the country's fourth space launch center. The city has completed about 70 percent of tourism preparation work for the Wenchang satellite center's first launch, scheduled for June, including improving the transportation network, and building more parking lots and public toilets, according to a
 

Space X's Red Dragons to start Mars exploration in 2018

 
‎Today, ‎April ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎20 minutes agoGo to full article
Los Angeles CA (Sputnik) Apr 28, 2016
The Space X aerospace company has scheduled a 2018 test mission to Mars that, under the ambitious plans announced by company head Elon Musk, will become the first step to colonizing the Red Planet. On Wednesday, the company teased the launch of its "Red Dragon" on Twitter, intended to "inform overall Mars architecture." A company spokesperson detailed that the major goal of the missi
 

Putin calls for urgent solution to space launch failures

 
‎Today, ‎April ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎20 minutes agoGo to full article
Vostochny Cosmodrome (Sputnik) Apr 28, 2016
Russian President Vladimir Putin praised the country's space companies for dominating the launch market on Wednesday, however, noted that something must be done about a rising rate of failures. The first space launch from the newly-built Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia's Far East of a Soyuz-2.1a rocket carrying three satellites scheduled on Wednesday was postponed due to calculation errors
 

China can meet Chile's satellite needs: ambassador

 
‎Today, ‎April ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎20 minutes agoGo to full article
Santiago (XNA) Apr 28, 2016
Chile should consider China as a potential service provider as the South American country needs to replace its sole satellite, said Chilean ambassador to China Jorge Heine. China is a first-class space power with 110 functioning satellites in orbit, a global satellite navigation system, a high-resolution earth observation system and advanced rockets, Heine wrote in an article in Tuesday's
 

Curiosity Mars Rover crosses rugged plateau

 
‎Today, ‎April ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎20 minutes agoGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Apr 28, 2016
NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has nearly finished crossing a stretch of the most rugged and difficult-to-navigate terrain encountered during the mission's 44 months on Mars. The rover climbed onto the "Naukluft Plateau" of lower Mount Sharp in early March after spending several weeks investigating sand dunes. The plateau's sandstone bedrock has been carved by eons of wind erosion into ridges
 

Opportunity completes mini-walkabout

 
‎Today, ‎April ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎20 minutes agoGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Apr 28, 2016
Opportunity is exploring 'Marathon Valley' located on the rim of Endeavour crater. The objective is to identify specific outcrops for evidence of clay minerals. Opportunity has completed a mini-'walkabout' with extensive imaging of the region and is now beginning the in-situ (contact) investigation. On Sol 4345 (April 14, 2016), the rover moved just about 8 feet (2.5 meters), appro
 

Could Earth's light blue color be a signature of life?

 
‎Today, ‎April ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎20 minutes agoGo to full article
Moffett Field CA (SPX) Apr 28, 2016
In 1990, Voyager 1 captured the most distant portrait of our planet ever taken, revealing that from beyond Pluto's orbit, Earth appears as nothing more than a "pale blue dot." In a new study, researchers have tested whether Earth's color is a unique feature of life-friendly planets. If so, searching for exoplanets displaying this hue could help in singling out worlds potentially brimming with al
 

Mars' surface revealed in unprecedented detail

 
‎Today, ‎April ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎20 minutes agoGo to full article
London, UK (SPX) Apr 28, 2016
The surface of Mars - including the location of Beagle-2 - has been shown in unprecedented detail by UCL scientists using a revolutionary image stacking and matching technique. Exciting pictures of the Beagle-2 lander, the ancient lakebeds discovered by NASA's Curiosity rover, NASA's MER-A rover tracks and Home Plate's rocks have been released by the UCL researchers who stacked and matched
 

"Lomonosov" set to embark to orbit

 
‎Today, ‎April ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎20 minutes agoGo to full article
Vostochny, Russia (SPX) Apr 28, 2016
On April 27th, at 5:01 am Moscow time [02:01 UTC, 10:01 pm US Eastern Daylight Time on April 26th], the first launch from the Vostochny Cosmodrome will take place. A Soyuz-2.1a rocket will place into orbit the scientific satellite "Lomonosov" of Moscow State University, along with the Aist-2D spacecraft and the nano-satellite SamSat-218. Lomonosov is an international project engaging scien
 

Profile of a methane sea on Titan

 
‎Today, ‎April ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎20 minutes agoGo to full article
Paris (ESA) Apr 28, 2016
Saturn's largest moon is covered in seas and lakes of liquid hydrocarbons - and one sea has now been found to be filled with pure methane, with a seabed covered by a sludge of organic-rich material, and possibly surrounded by wetlands. Of all the moons in the Solar System, Titan is the only one with a thick atmosphere and large liquid reservoirs on its surface - in some ways making it more
 

China launches Kunpeng-1B sounding rocket

 
‎Today, ‎April ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎20 minutes agoGo to full article
Beijing (Sputnik) Apr 28, 2016
China has successfully launched the Kunpeng-1B sounding rocket from a launch pad in Danzhou City in the southern Chinese Hainan Province. The research rocket, which is due to take measurements in the upper atmosphere and help with high-speed flight and space tourism research, was launched at 2 a.m. local time (18:00 GMT Tuesday) by China's National Space Science Center (NSSC) of the Chines
 

China targets 2020 Mars mission launch: official

 
‎Sunday, ‎April ‎24, ‎2016, ‏‎11:58:24 AMGo to full article
Beijing (AFP) April 22, 2016
China plans to send a rover to Mars to explore the Red Planet, a top space official announced on Friday, in the latest step of its ambitious space programme. Authorities approved the mission in January, said National Space Administration director Xu Dazhe told a press conference in Beijing, according to a transcript. The aim was to launch around 2020, he said, calling the timing "a chall
 

China defends right to carry out 'normal' missile tests

 
‎Sunday, ‎April ‎24, ‎2016, ‏‎11:58:24 AMGo to full article
Beijing (AFP) April 21, 2016
China said on Thursday it was "normal" to carry out ballistic missile launches, after a US media report accused Beijing of having test-fired an intercontinental weapon last week. US media site Washington Free Beacon, citing unidentified Pentagon officials, reported that China had carried out a test of its DF-41 long-range missile on April 12. The report linked the tests to tensions betw
 

Nearby supernova ashes continue to rain on Earth

 
‎Sunday, ‎April ‎24, ‎2016, ‏‎11:58:24 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Apr 22, 2016
Traces of 60Fe detected in space indicate that a nearby supernova occurred within the last few million years. The iron isotope 60Fe, which is very rare, is created when a massive star collapses in the form of supernova. Walter Binns et al. detected 60Fe in cosmic rays flying through space, revealing that the contents of a nearby supernova are being sprinkled on Earth to this day. Som
 

Pluto's 'Halo' Craters

 
‎Sunday, ‎April ‎24, ‎2016, ‏‎11:58:24 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Apr 22, 2016
Within Pluto's informally named Vega Terra region is a field of eye-catching craters that looks like a cluster of bright halos scattered across a dark landscape. The region is far west of the hemisphere NASA's New Horizons spacecraft viewed during close approach last summer. The upper image - in black and white - sports several dozen "haloed" craters. The largest crater, at bottom-right, m
 

NASA rocket fuel pump tests pave way for methane-fueled Mars lander

 
‎Sunday, ‎April ‎24, ‎2016, ‏‎11:58:24 AMGo to full article
Huntsville AL (SPX) Apr 22, 2016
NASA has tested a 3-D printed rocket engine turbopump with liquid methane - an ideal propellant for engines needed to power many types of spacecraft for NASA's journey to Mars. "This is one of the most complex rocket parts NASA has ever tested with liquid methane, a propellant that would work well for fueling Mars landers and other spacecraft," said Mary Beth Koelbl, the manager of the Propulsio
 

Microscopic 'clocks' time distance to source of galactic cosmic rays

 
‎Sunday, ‎April ‎24, ‎2016, ‏‎11:58:24 AMGo to full article
St. Louis MO (SPX) Apr 22, 2016
Most of the cosmic rays arriving at Earth from our galaxy come from nearby clusters of massive stars, according to new observations from the Cosmic Ray Isotope Spectrometer (CRIS), an instrument aboard NASA's Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) spacecraft. The distance between the galactic cosmic rays' point of origin and Earth is limited by the survival of a very rare type of cosmic ray t
 

Menstruation in spaceflight: Options for astronauts

 
‎Sunday, ‎April ‎24, ‎2016, ‏‎11:58:24 AMGo to full article
London, UK (SPX) Apr 22, 2016
A new paper in the journal npj Microgravity explores the options for astronauts who want to prevent menstrual bleeding during their space missions. The paper, written by authors at King's College London and Baylor College of Medicine, reviews contraceptive devices available including those already used by military and aviation personnel, and calls for more research into the effect of hormone tre
 

Numerical simulations shed new light on early universe

 
‎Sunday, ‎April ‎24, ‎2016, ‏‎11:58:24 AMGo to full article
Los Alamos NM (SPX) Apr 22, 2016
Innovative multidisciplinary research in nuclear and particle physics and cosmology has led to the development of a new, more accurate computer code to study the early universe. The code simulates conditions during the first few minutes of cosmological evolution to model the role of neutrinos, nuclei and other particles in shaping the early universe. Anticipating precision cosmological dat
 

Hubble sees a star 'inflating' a giant bubble

 
‎Sunday, ‎April ‎24, ‎2016, ‏‎11:58:24 AMGo to full article
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Apr 22, 2016
For the 26th birthday of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers are highlighting a Hubble image of an enormous bubble being blown into space by a super-hot, massive star. The Hubble image of the Bubble Nebula, or NGC 7635, was chosen to mark the 26th anniversary of the launch of Hubble into Earth orbit by the STS-31 space shuttle crew on April 24, 1990 "As Hubble makes its 26th revolut
 

Calling all artists: apply now for art and science residency

 
‎Sunday, ‎April ‎24, ‎2016, ‏‎11:58:24 AMGo to full article
Paris (ESA) Apr 22, 2016
ESA, in partnership with Ars Electronica, is announcing art at science@ESA, a new art residency to explore the fertile ground between art and space science. Art and scientific research are often driven by a similar spirit: investigating the nature of our being in the world, pushing boundaries in knowledge and technology, venturing into the domain of the unexplored. Space science operates a
 

Sentinel-1 counts fish

 
‎Sunday, ‎April ‎24, ‎2016, ‏‎11:58:24 AMGo to full article
Paris (ESA) Apr 22, 2016
Images from the Sentinel-1A satellite are being used to monitor aquaculture in the Mediterranean, in another example of the mission's contribution to food security, as fisheries become the main source of seafood. The satellite counted nearly 4500 fish cages over six months, mainly of mussel racks or finfish, along the western Mediterranean's coastline. The number of fish hatching cages in the Me
 

China exported military drones to 10 nations: report

 
‎Sunday, ‎April ‎24, ‎2016, ‏‎11:58:24 AMGo to full article
Beijing (AFP) April 21, 2016
China has exported military drones to more than 10 countries in deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and plans to sell unmanned craft capable of launching laser-guided bombs, state-run media said Thursday. Chinese drones "have bigger payloads, which means they can carry more weapons" than their competitors, Shi Wen, chief drone designer at the China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics,
 

China plans to launch core module of space station around 2018

 
‎Sunday, ‎April ‎24, ‎2016, ‏‎11:58:24 AMGo to full article
Beijing (XNA) Apr 22, 2016
China will launch a core module belonging to its first space station around 2018, according to a senior engineer with China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. on Thursday. Two space labs will be launched later and dock with the core module, "Tianhe-1," said Wang Zhongyang, spokesperson with a key research institute attached to the corporation. The construction of space station is expec
 

China set to launch "more livable" space lab in Q3

 
‎Sunday, ‎April ‎24, ‎2016, ‏‎11:58:24 AMGo to full article
Beijing (XNA) Apr 22, 2016
China will put the country's second space lab Tiangong-2 into space in the third quarter of this year with more livable conditions for astronauts, a spokesman said here Thursday. According to Wang Zhongyang, spokesman with the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), the new space lab will consist of a hermetically sealed experiment cabin, designed to provide astronauts with clean air and
 

China aims for deeper space with new generation rockets

 
‎Sunday, ‎April ‎24, ‎2016, ‏‎11:58:24 AMGo to full article
Beijing (XNA) Apr 22, 2016
China will take its new generation heavy-lift rocket Long March-5 to the skies later this year, and is planning even bigger models. According to Wang Jue, head of the Long March-5 project, the rocket has a liftoff weight of 869 tonnes, with a payload capacity of 25 tonnes to the low Earth orbit (LEO) and 14 tonnes to the geostationary transfer orbit (GTO). "It can carry more than two
 

Pentagon says replacing Russian engines would cost extra $1Bln

 
‎Friday, ‎April ‎22, ‎2016, ‏‎6:47:58 AMGo to full article
Washington (Sputnik) Apr 22, 2016
Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Logistics Frank Kendall said that the US armed forces will need to buy Russian RD-180 engines for Atlas rocket boosters to send satellites into space for at least another five years. The US armed forces will need to buy Russian RD-180 engines for Atlas rocket boosters to send satellites into space for at least another five years, Under Secretary of
 

Space Subcommittee examines commercial challenges

 
‎Friday, ‎April ‎22, ‎2016, ‏‎6:47:58 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Apr 22, 2016
The House Space Subcommittee has held a hearing to examine the current state of the small satellite commercial launch industry, which generates hundreds of billions of dollars of economic activity and serves both the private and public sector. Several companies are currently working to supply the growing demand for commercial launches. Witnesses discussed various policy challenges that may need
 

India to Launch Navigation Satellite on April 28, Complete Full System

 
‎Friday, ‎April ‎22, ‎2016, ‏‎6:47:58 AMGo to full article
Chennai, India (IANS) Apr 22, 2016
India is slated to put into orbit its seventh and final navigation satellite on April 28, thereby having its full satellite navigation system up in the sky, said a senior space agency official. "The launch of India's seventh and the final in the series of satellites will be on April 28 afternoon. The IRNSS-1G (Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System-1G) will be put into orbit by our ro
 

US-Russia Space Projects Set Example of Good Cooperation

 
‎Friday, ‎April ‎22, ‎2016, ‏‎6:47:58 AMGo to full article
Moscow (Sputnik) Apr 22, 2016
Russian cosmonaut and the executive director for Roscosmos manned programs Sergei Krikalev told Sputnik that the space cooperation between Moscow and Washington was a vivid example of the countries' partnership. The current space cooperation between Russia and the United States sets an example of how the two countries should work together, a Russian cosmonaut and senior official at the spa
 

Russia, US discuss boosting efficiency of cooperation at ISS

 
‎Friday, ‎April ‎22, ‎2016, ‏‎6:47:58 AMGo to full article
Moscow (Sputnik) Apr 22, 2016
The deputy head of the Russian Federal Space Agency said that Russia and the United States discussed the possibility of increasing the efficiency of cooperation at ISS. Russia and the United States discussed the possibility of increasing the efficiency of cooperation at the International Space Station (ISS), including the need to optimize the docking standards, Sergei Savelyev, the deputy
 

Microscopic 'timers' reveal likely source of galactic space radiation

 
‎Friday, ‎April ‎22, ‎2016, ‏‎6:47:58 AMGo to full article
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Apr 22, 2016
Most of the cosmic rays that we detect at Earth originated relatively recently in nearby clusters of massive stars, according to new results from NASA's Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) spacecraft. ACE allowed the research team to determine the source of these cosmic rays by making the first observations of a very rare type of cosmic ray that acts like a tiny timer, limiting the distance the
 

NASA seeks industry ideas for an advanced Mars satellite

 
‎Friday, ‎April ‎22, ‎2016, ‏‎6:47:58 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Apr 22, 2016
NASA is soliciting ideas from U.S. industry for designs of a Mars orbiter for potential launch in the 2020s. The satellite would provide advanced communications and imaging, as well as robotic science exploration, in support of NASA's Journey to Mars. The orbiter would substantially increase bandwidth communications and maintain high-resolution imaging capability. It also may use experimen
 

Soyuz meets its multi-satellite payload for Friday's Arianespace launch

 
‎Friday, ‎April ‎22, ‎2016, ‏‎6:47:58 AMGo to full article
Kourou, French Guiana (SPX) Apr 22, 2016
The medium-lift Soyuz for Arianespace's upcoming launch from French Guiana is now complete, following the integration of its "upper composite" - which consists of a five-satellite payload to support European sustainable development and science, while also promoting science and technology careers. This activity occurred at the Spaceport's ELS launch complex, beginning with the upper composi
 

NASA Interested in Using Russia's Vostochny Spaceport

 
‎Friday, ‎April ‎22, ‎2016, ‏‎6:47:58 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (Sputnik) Apr 22, 2016
The Russian space agency's deputy chief said Roscosmos and NASA were yet to figure out how they could use the spaceport in Russia's Far East jointly but added that this was a matter of "a not-so-distant future." The United States and other partners of the Russian space agency Roscosmos have been interested in Russia's new Vostochny spaceport, although NASA has voiced no concrete plans to u
 

Russia to put 11 communications satellites into orbit by 2025

 
‎Friday, ‎April ‎22, ‎2016, ‏‎6:47:58 AMGo to full article
Moscow (Sputnik) Apr 22, 2016
Russia plans to put a dozen of new communications satellites into the Earth's orbit in the next nine years, the head of the country's communications agency Rossvyaz said Thursday. "A program has been laid out on how to expand the civil satellite constellation in 2017-2025. Under it, we plan to launch seven satellites into the geostationary orbit and four into the highly-elliptical orbit,"
 

Mice in space showed liver damage after two weeks

 
‎Friday, ‎April ‎22, ‎2016, ‏‎6:47:58 AMGo to full article
Miami (AFP) April 20, 2016
Lab mice that spent just two weeks in orbit showed early signs of liver damage upon returning to Earth, raising concern about what long-duration spaceflight might do to humans, researchers said Wednesday. The findings could interest the US space agency, which plans to send people to deep space destinations such as an asteroid or Mars by the 2030s - missions that will require long stays in s
 

Europe to launch satellites for Earth, Einstein

 
‎Friday, ‎April ‎22, ‎2016, ‏‎6:47:58 AMGo to full article
Paris (AFP) April 21, 2016
Europe is set to launch two satellites on Friday with very important missions: one will track environmental damage to Earth, while the other will test a mainstay of physics theory. Setting off on a Russian Soyuz rocket will be Sentinel-1B with its Earth surveillance radar, and Microscope, a French-built orbiter seeking to poke a hole in Einstein's theory of general relativity. They will
 

Students observe damaged Hitomi X-ray satellite and debris

 
‎Wednesday, ‎April ‎20, ‎2016, ‏‎8:07:16 AMGo to full article
Daytona Beach FL (SPX) Apr 20, 2016
Engineering Physics students at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Daytona Beach Campus have made several high-cadence telescope observations of the recently damaged Hitomi X-ray satellite and several of its debris pieces. Hitomi, also known as ASTRO-H, was a Japanese X-ray astronomy satellite that was launched in February. The $275 million spacecraft was 46 feet long when deployed and
 

New Ceres Images Show Bright Craters

 
‎Wednesday, ‎April ‎20, ‎2016, ‏‎8:07:16 AMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Apr 20, 2016
Craters with bright material on dwarf planet Ceres shine in new images from NASA's Dawn mission. In its lowest-altitude mapping orbit, at a distance of 240 miles (385 kilometers) from Ceres, Dawn has provided scientists with spectacular views of the dwarf planet. Haulani Crater, with a diameter of 21 miles (34 kilometers), shows evidence of landslides from its crater rim. Smooth material a
 

Fermi telescope poised to pin down gravitational wave sources

 
‎Wednesday, ‎April ‎20, ‎2016, ‏‎8:07:16 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Apr 20, 2016
On Sept. 14, waves of energy traveling for more than a billion years gently rattled space-time in the vicinity of Earth. The disturbance, produced by a pair of merging black holes, was captured by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) facilities in Hanford, Washington, and Livingston, Louisiana. This event marked the first-ever detection of gravitational waves and opens
 

Swansong experiment sheds light on Venus's polar atmosphere

 
‎Wednesday, ‎April ‎20, ‎2016, ‏‎8:07:16 AMGo to full article
Paris (ESA) Apr 20, 2016
Some of the final results sent back by ESA's Venus Express before it plummeted down through the planet's atmosphere have revealed it to be rippling with atmospheric waves - and, at an average temperature of -157C, colder than anywhere on Earth. As well as telling us much about Venus's previously unexplored polar regions and improving our knowledge of our planetary neighbor, the experiment
 

Mobile phone technology propels Starshot's ET space search

 
‎Wednesday, ‎April ‎20, ‎2016, ‏‎8:07:16 AMGo to full article
New York (Sputnik) Apr 20, 2016
The ambitious Starshot project aims to send a nanocraft to search for extraterrestrial life in another solar system, powered by a 100 gigawatt laser from Earth. On Tuesday, the 55th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's pioneering space flight, theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking and internet entrepreneurs Yuri Milner and Mark Zuckerberg announced the launch of the $100 million Starshot project.
 

Chinese scientists develop mammal embryos in space for first time

 
‎Wednesday, ‎April ‎20, ‎2016, ‏‎8:07:16 AMGo to full article
Beijing (XNA) Apr 20, 2016
Chinese scientists on Sunday said they have successfully developed early-stage mouse embryos in space for the first time on a retrievable microgravity satellite set to return to Earth sometime next week. The SJ-10 research probe, launched on April 6, carried over 6,000 mouse embryos in a self-sufficient chamber the size of a microwave oven, according to Duan Enkui, a researcher with the Ch
 

NASA blasts Orion Service Module with giant horns

 
‎Wednesday, ‎April ‎20, ‎2016, ‏‎8:07:16 AMGo to full article
Sandusky OH (SPX) Apr 20, 2016
Engineers and technicians moved the Orion service module test article into the Reverberant Acoustic Test Facility at NASA Glenn Research Center's Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio on Friday, April 8. Acoustic testing is scheduled to begin April 18. The blue structure sitting on top of the test article is a mass simulator that represents the Orion crew module. The test article will
 

HAWC Gamma-Ray Observatory's reveals the very-high-energy sky

 
‎Wednesday, ‎April ‎20, ‎2016, ‏‎8:07:16 AMGo to full article
College Park MD (SPX) Apr 20, 2016
The United States and Mexico constructed the High Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) Gamma-ray Observatory to observe some of the most energetic phenomena in the known universe - the aftermath when massive stars die, glowing clouds of electrons around rapidly spinning neutron stars, and supermassive black holes devouring matter and spitting out powerful jets of particles. These violent explosions p
 

Lone planetary-mass object found in family of stars

 
‎Wednesday, ‎April ‎20, ‎2016, ‏‎8:07:16 AMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Apr 20, 2016
In 2011, astronomers announced that our galaxy is likely teeming with free-floating planets. In fact, these lonely worlds, which sit quietly in the darkness of space without any companion planets or even a host sun, might outnumber stars in our Milky Way galaxy. The surprising discovery begged the question: Where did these objects come from? Are they planets that were ejected from solar systems,
 

Russia's Vostochny Cosmodrome ready to start launching

 
‎Wednesday, ‎April ‎20, ‎2016, ‏‎8:07:16 AMGo to full article
Moscow (Sputnik) Apr 20, 2016
Russia's new Vostochny Cosmodrome will be ready to launch rockets starting from April 20, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Tuesday. The first launch from Vostochny is planned for April 27, according to the Russian Space Agency Roscosmos. "Starting tomorrow, we'll be ready for a launch of our space rocket, though [the launch] is scheduled for the 27th at 5:00 Moscow t
 

15 years of Europe on the International Space Station

 
‎Wednesday, ‎April ‎20, ‎2016, ‏‎8:07:16 AMGo to full article
Paris (ESA) Apr 20, 2016
On 23 April 2001, Italian ESA Umberto Guidoni made history as the first European astronaut to board the International Space Station. Guidoni had been launched on four days earlier, on 19 April, on Space Shuttle Endeavour as part of its seven-strong STS-100 crew from Kennedy Space Centre, with a liftoff at 20:41 CEST. The 11-day STS-100 mission was the ninth Shuttle visit to the Space Stati
 

China offers electronics for Russian rocket engines

 
‎Wednesday, ‎April ‎20, ‎2016, ‏‎8:07:16 AMGo to full article
Moscow (Sputnik) Apr 20, 2016
China is ready to share radiation-resistant electronic components used in spacecraft construction with Russia in exchange for the technology of building liquid-fuel rocket engines, a senior Roscosmos official told Izvestia newspaper. The details of the proposed deal were discussed late last year by Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yang, in Irk
 

NASA missions measure solar flare from 2 spots in space

 
‎Wednesday, ‎April ‎20, ‎2016, ‏‎8:07:16 AMGo to full article
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Apr 20, 2016
Solar flares are intense bursts of light from the sun. They are created when complicated magnetic fields suddenly and explosively rearrange themselves, converting magnetic energy into light through a process called magnetic reconnection - at least, that's the theory, because the signatures of this process are hard to detect. But during a December 2013 solar flare, three solar observatories captu
 

Solar electric propulsion for deep space exploration

 
‎Wednesday, ‎April ‎20, ‎2016, ‏‎8:07:16 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Apr 20, 2016
NASA has selected Aerojet Rocketdyne, Inc. of Redmond, Washington, to design and develop an advanced electric propulsion system that will significantly advance the nation's commercial space capabilities, and enable deep space exploration missions, including the robotic portion of NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) and its Journey to Mars. The Advanced Electric Propulsion System (AEPS)
 

Dino dinner, dead or alive

 
‎Wednesday, ‎April ‎20, ‎2016, ‏‎8:07:16 AMGo to full article
Dublin, Ireland (SPX) Apr 18, 2016
When asked to think of meat-eating dinosaurs we usually conjure images of voracious predators chasing down helpless prey. These visions are no doubt inspired by the depiction of species such as Tyrannosaurs rex and Velociraptor in the movie Jurassic Park; however, new research conducted at Trinity College Dublin suggests that many of these species might be better remembered as oversized, scaly o
 

Russia to shift all Lunar launches to Vostochny Cosmodrome

 
‎Friday, ‎April ‎15, ‎2016, ‏‎9:29:48 AMGo to full article
Moscow (Sputnik) Apr 15, 2016
Russia will stop using the Soviet-era Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for lunar launches, according to Russian-based Rocket and Space Corporation (RSC Energia). Moscow made the decision to shift all operations linked to Russia's moon mission to the Vostochny cosmodrome, the company behind the program said Monday. "All further works to implement the lunar program, including a flight
 

Saturn Spacecraft Samples Interstellar Dust

 
‎Friday, ‎April ‎15, ‎2016, ‏‎9:29:48 AMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Apr 15, 2016
NASA's Cassini spacecraft has detected the faint but distinct signature of dust coming from beyond our solar system. The research, led by a team of Cassini scientists primarily from Europe, is published this week in the journal Science. Cassini has been in orbit around Saturn since 2004, studying the giant planet, its rings and its moons. The spacecraft has also sampled millions of ice-ric
 

First light for ExoMars

 
‎Friday, ‎April ‎15, ‎2016, ‏‎9:29:48 AMGo to full article
Paris (ESA) Apr 15, 2016
The ESA-Roscosmos ExoMars spacecraft are in excellent health following launch last month, with the orbiter sending back its first test image of a starry view taken en route to the Red Planet. In the weeks following liftoff on 14 March, mission operators and scientists have been intensively checking the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and the Schiaparelli entry, descent, and landing demonstrator to
 
 
 

 

 
 

News About Time And Space

 

 
 

The Universe, where space-time becomes discrete

 
‎Yesterday, ‎April ‎25, ‎2016, ‏‎5:53:55 AMGo to full article
Trieste, Italy (SPX) Apr 25, 2016 - Our experience of space-time is that of a continuous object, without gaps or discontinuities, just as it is described by classical physics. For some quantum gravity models however, the texture of space-time is "granular" at tiny scales (below the so-called Planck scale, 10-33 cm), as if it were a variable mesh of solids and voids (or a complex foam). One of the great problems of physics today is to understand the passage from a continuous to a discrete description of spacetime: is there an abrupt change or is there gradual transition? Where does the change occur?

The separation between one world and the other creates problems for physicists: for example, how can we describe gravity - explained so well by classical physics - according to quantum mechanics? Quantum gravity is in fact a field of study in which no consolidated and shared theories exist as yet. There are, however, "scenarios", which offer possible interpretations of quantum gravity subject to different constraints, and which await experimental confirmation or confutation.

One of the problems to be solved in this respect is that if space-time is granular beyond a certain scale it means that there is a "basic scale", a fundamental unit that cannot be broken down into anything smaller, a hypothesis that clashes with Einstein's theory of special relativity.

Imagine holding a ruler in one hand: according to special relativity, to an observer moving in a straight line at a constant speed (close to the speed of light) relative to you, the ruler would appear shorter. But what happens if the ruler has the length of the fundamental scale?

For special relativity, the ruler would still appear shorter than this unit of measurement. Special relativity is therefore clearly incompatible with the introduction of a basic graininess of spacetime. Suggesting the existence of this basic scale, say the physicists, means to violate Lorentz invariance, the fundamental tenet of special relativity.

So how can the two be reconciled? Physicists can either hypothesize violations of Lorentz invariance, but have to satisfy very strict constraints (and this has been the preferred approach so far), or they must find a way to avoid the violation and find a scenario that is compatible with both granularity and special relativity.

This scenario is in fact implemented by some quantum gravity models such as String Field Theory and Causal Set Theory. The problem to be addressed, however, was how to test their predictions experimentally given that the effects of these theories are much less apparent than are those of the models that violate special relativity.

One solution to this impasse has now been put forward by Stefano Liberati, SISSA professor, and colleagues in their latest publication. The study was conducted with the participation of researchers from the LENS in Florence (Francesco Marin and Francesco Marino) and from the INFN in Padua (Antonello Ortolan). Other SISSA scientists taking part in the study, in addition to Liberati, were PhD student Alessio Belenchia and postdoc Dionigi Benincasa. The research was funded by a grant of the John Templeton Foundation.

"We respect Lorentz invariance, but everything comes at a price, which in this case is the introduction of non-local effects", comments Liberati. The scenario studied by Liberati and colleagues in fact salvages special relativity but introduces the possibility that physics at a certain point in space-time can be affected by what happens not only in proximity to that point but also at regions very far from it.

"Clearly we do not violate causality nor do we presuppose information that travels faster than light", points out the scientist. "We do, however, introduce a need to know the global structure so as to understand what's going on at a local level".

From theory to facts
There's something else that makes Liberati and colleagues' model almost unique, and no doubt highly precious: it is formulated in such a way as to make experimental testing possible.

"To develop our reasoning we worked side by side with the experimental physicists of the Florence LENS. We are in fact already working on developing the experiments". With these measurements, Liberati and colleagues may be able to identify the boundary, or transition zone, where space-time becomes granular and physics non-local.

"At LENS they're now building a quantum harmonic oscillator: a silicon chip weighing a few micrograms which after being cooled to temperatures close to absolute zero, is illuminated with a laser light and starts to oscillate harmonically" explains Liberati. "Our theoretical model accommodates the possibility of testing non-local effects on quantum objects having a non-negligible mass".

This is an important aspect: a theoretical scenario that accounts for quantum effects without violating special relativity also implies that these effects at our scales must necessarily be very small (otherwise we would already have observed them). In order to test them, we need to be able to observe them in some way or other.

According to our model, it is possible to see the effects in 'borderline' objects, that is, objects that are undeniably quantum objects but having a size where the mass - i.e., the 'charge' associated with gravity (as electrical charge is associated with electrical field) - is still substantial."

"On the basis of the proposed model, we formulated predictions about how the system would oscillate", says Liberati. "Two predictions, to be precise: one function that describes the system without non-local effects and one that describes it with local effects". The model is particularly robust since, as Liberati explains, the difference in the pattern described in the two cases cannot be generated by environmental influences on the oscillator.

"So it's a 'win-win' situation: if we don't see the effect, we can raise the bar of the energies where to look for the transition. Above all, the experiments being prepared should be able to push the constraints on the non-locality scale to the Planck scale. In this case , we go as far as to exclude these scenarios with non-locality. And this in itself would be a good result, as we would be cutting down the number of possible theoretical scenarios", concludes Liberati.

"If on the other hand we were to observe the effect, well, in that case we would be confirming the existence of non-local effects, thus paving the way for an altogether new physics."

 

 

Numerical simulations shed new light on early universe

 
‎Yesterday, ‎April ‎25, ‎2016, ‏‎5:53:55 AMGo to full article
Los Alamos NM (SPX) Apr 22, 2016 - Innovative multidisciplinary research in nuclear and particle physics and cosmology has led to the development of a new, more accurate computer code to study the early universe. The code simulates conditions during the first few minutes of cosmological evolution to model the role of neutrinos, nuclei and other particles in shaping the early universe.

Anticipating precision cosmological data from the next generation of "Extremely Large" telescopes, the BURST code developed by scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory in collaboration with colleagues at University of California San Diego, "promises to open up new avenues for investigating existing puzzles of cosmology," says Los Alamos physicist Mark Paris of the Nuclear and Particle, Astrophysics and Cosmology group.

"These include the nature and origin of visible matter and the properties of the more mysterious 'dark matter' and 'dark radiation.' The BURST computer code allows physicists to exploit the early universe as a laboratory to study the effect of fundamental particles present in the early universe," Paris explains.

"Our new work in neutrino cosmology allows the study of the microscopic, quantum nature of fundamental particles - the basic, subatomic building blocks of nature - by simulating the universe at its largest, cosmological scale," said Paris.

"The frontiers of fundamental physics have traditionally been studied with particle colliders, such as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, by smashing together subatomic particles at great energies," says UCSD physicist George Fuller, who collaborated with Paris and other staff scientists at Los Alamos to develop the novel theoretical model. BURST brings a new dimension in simulations.

"Our 'self-consistent' approach, achieved for the first time by simultaneously describing all the particles involved, increases the precision of our calculations. This allows us to investigate exotic fundamental particles that are currently the subject of intense theoretical speculation."

The new theoretical work has been recognized by Physical Review D editors as an Editors' Suggestion, a category reserved for "a small fraction of papers, which we judge to be particularly important, interesting, and well written." It will appear in the late April 2016 issue.

The research is driven by several mission goals of Los Alamos's Nuclear and Particle Futures research pillar in basic and applied nuclear science.

According to Paris, "The early universe is becoming such a tightly constrained environment with increasingly good measurements that we can test our descriptions of microscopic quantum physics, such as nuclear cross sections, to high accuracy." These cross sections are important for Los Alamos' nuclear data needs that feed into applications in nuclear energy, safety and security.

A few seconds after the Big Bang, the universe was composed of a thick, 10-billion degree "cosmic soup" of subatomic particles. As the hot universe expanded, these particles' mutual interactions caused the universe to behave as a cooling thermonuclear reactor.

This reactor produced light nuclei, such as hydrogen, helium, and lithium, found in the universe today. And the amounts of the light nuclei created depend on what other particles - such as neutrinos and perhaps their exotic cousins, "sterile" neutrinos - comprise the "soup'" and how they interact with each other.

"Neutrinos are very interesting - they're the second most abundant particle in the universe after photons yet we still have much to learn about them," commented Evan Grohs, who earned his Ph.D. through UCSD for the work, while working on the project in the Center for Space and Earth Sciences at Los Alamos.

"By comparing our calculations with cosmological observables, such as the deuterium abundance," says Grohs, "we can use our BURST computer code to test theories regarding neutrinos, along with other - even less understood - particles. It can be difficult to test these theories in terrestrial labs, so our work provides a window into an otherwise inaccessible area of physics."

This research has become possible only recently with the advent of astronomers' precision measurements of the amounts of nuclei present in the early universe. These measurements were made with "Very Large" telescopes, which are about 10-meters wide. The next generation of "Extremely Large" telescopes, 30-meters across, are currently under construction.

"With coming improvements in cosmological observations, we expect our BURST computer code to be useful for many years to come," said Paris.

Improvements in BURST are planned that will exploit the precision cosmological observations to reveal even more exotic physics such as the nature of dark matter and dark radiation. A complete understanding of dark matter, which comprises about a quarter of the mass in the universe, is currently lacking, Paris noted.

Physical Review D, "Neutrino energy transport in weak decoupling and Big Bang Nucleosynthesis," by E. Grohs, G.M. Fuller, C.T. Kishimoto, M.W. Paris, A. Vlasenko

 

 

Zip software can detect the quantum-classical boundary

 
‎Yesterday, ‎April ‎25, ‎2016, ‏‎5:53:55 AMGo to full article
Singapore (SPX) Apr 25, 2016 - Quantum physics has a reputation for being mysterious and mathematically challenging. That makes it all the more surprising that a new technique to detect quantum behaviour relies on a familiar tool: a "zip" program you might have installed on your computer.

"We found a new way to see a difference between the quantum universe and a classical one, using nothing more complex than a compression program," says Dagomir Kaszlikowski, a Principal Investigator at the Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT) at the National University of Singapore.

Kaszlikowski worked with other researchers from CQT and collaborators at the Jagiellonian University and Adam Mickiewicz University in Poland to show that compression software, applied to experimental data, can reveal when a system crosses the boundary of our classical picture of the Universe into the quantum realm. The work is published in the March issue of New Journal of Physics.

In particular, the technique detects evidence of quantum entanglement between two particles. Entangled particles coordinate their behaviour in ways that cannot be explained by signals sent between them or properties decided in advance. This phenomenon has shown up in many experiments already, but the new approach does without an assumption that is usually made in the measurements.

"It may sound trivial to weaken an assumption, but this one is at the core of how we think about quantum physics," says co-author Christian Kurtsiefer at CQT. The relaxed assumption is that particles measured in an experiment are independent and identically distributed - or i.i.d.

Experiments are typically performed on pairs of entangled particles, such as pairs of photons. Measure one of the light particles and you get results that seems random. The photon may have a 50:50 chance of having a polarization that points up or down, for example. The entanglement shows up when you measure the other photon of the pair: you'll get a matching result.

A mathematical relation known as Bell's theorem shows that quantum physics allows matching results with greater probability than is possible with classical physics. This is what previous experiments have tested. But the theorem is derived for just one pair of particles, whereas scientists must work out the probabilities statistically, by measuring many pairs. The situations are equivalent only as long as each particle-pair is identical and independent of every other one - the i.i.d. assumption.

With the new technique, the measurements are carried out the same way but the results are analyzed differently. Instead of converting the results into probabilities, the raw data (in the forms of lists of 1s and 0s) is used directly as input into compression software.

Compression algorithms work by identifying patterns in the data and encoding them in a more efficient way. When applied to data from the experiment, they effectively detect the correlations resulting from quantum entanglement.

In the theoretical part of the work, Kaszlikowski and his collaborators worked out a relation akin to Bell's theorem that's based on the 'normalized compression difference' between subsets of the data. If the universe is classical, this quantity must stay less than zero. Quantum physics, they predicted, would allow it to reach 0.24. The theorists teamed up with Kurtsiefer's experimental group to test the idea.

First the team collected data from measurements on thousands of entangled photons. Then they used an open-source compression algorithm known as the Lempel-Ziv-Markov chain algorithm (used in the popular 7-zip archiver) to calculate the normalized compression differences. They find a value exceeding zero - 0.0494 +/- 0.0076 - proving their system had crossed the classical-quantum boundary. The value is less than the maximum predicted because the compression does not reach the theoretical limit and the quantum states cannot be generated and detected perfectly.

It's not yet clear whether the new technique will find practical applications, but the researchers see their 'algorithmic' approach to the problem fitting into a bigger picture of how to think about physics. They derived their relation by considering correlations between particles produced by an algorithm fed to two computing machines.

"There is a trend to look at physical systems and processes as programs run on a computer made of the constituents of our universe," write the authors. This work presents an "explicit, experimentally testable example".

Research paper: 'Probing the quantum-classical boundary with compression software' Hou Shun Poh et al, New Journal of Physics, 18 035011 (2016).

 

 

Swiss watch exports plunge on Hong Kong, US slowdown

 
‎Yesterday, ‎April ‎25, ‎2016, ‏‎5:53:55 AMGo to full article
Zurich (AFP) April 21, 2016 - Global exports of Swiss watches plummeted in March, amid a dramatic contraction of sales in main markets Hong Kong and the United States.

Exports fell 16.1 percent from March 2015 to 1.5 billion Swiss francs ($1.5 billion, 1.4 billion euros), the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FHS) said.

In 2015, watch exports recorded their first full-year decline since 2009, contracting by 3.3 percent with weakening Hong Kong demand already the main factor.

And FHS said the downward trend was accelerating.

The numbers last month, it said, were "the lowest March figures since 2011."

"The scale of the downturn is also unusual, since we must go back to the crisis of 2009 to find rates of variation of this order," it said.

Analysts voiced disappointment at lacking improvements on the market.

"The mood amongst watch retailers seems to have deteriorated in recent months," Citi Research analyst Thomas Chauvet said in a note, blaming "subdued economic conditions, stock market and (currency) volatility, travel fears after several terrorist attacks in Europe and depressed oil prices."

The slump came as top Swiss watch market Hong Kong saw one of its sharpest downturns, slumping a full 37.7 percent compared to March a year earlier.

The Hong Kong watch market has steadily shrunk since the 2014 pro-democracy Umbrella protests chased away the wealthy Chinese tourists who previously travelled there in droves to purchase luxury timepieces.

And the strengthening Hong Kong dollar has since prompted them to look to other markets where prices are more attractive.

Exports to the United States, the second largest market for Swiss watches, meanwhile fell 32.9 percent in March.

And the market in China slumped 13.7 percent, countering signs of a timid recovery seen at the end of last year.

After years of euphoric growth, the Chinese market took a major hit following a 2013 Beijing decision to crack down on corruption by banning extravagant gifts like expensive watches to public officials.

Germany was basically the only market bucking the downward trend last month, showing 2.2 percent growth over March 2015, "which confirms the steady improvement in its situation," FHS said.

Japan, which had recently provided a small dose of optimism to the gloomy market, meanwhile disappointed, recording a 9.4 percent drop in demand from a year earlier.

 

 

Iowa State physicist analyzes first electron neutrino data from NOvA Experiment

 
‎Yesterday, ‎April ‎25, ‎2016, ‏‎5:53:55 AMGo to full article
Ames IA (SPX) Apr 20, 2016 - Mayly Sanchez clicked to a presentation slide showing the telltale track of an electron neutrino racing through the 14,000-ton Far Detector of the NOvA Neutrino Experiment.

Since that detector started full operations in November 2014, two analyses of data from the long-distance experiment have made the first experimental observations of muon neutrinos changing to electron neutrinos. One analysis found 11 such transitions. And, Sanchez wrote on her slide, "All 11 of them are absolutely gorgeous."

The 260 members of the NOvA collaboration have just reported the experiment's initial findings in two papers: One in Physical Review Letters describes the first appearance of electron neutrinos in the NOvA experiment; another in Physical Review D - Rapid Communications describes the disappearance of muon neutrinos in the experiment.

Taken together, the papers offer insights into fundamental neutrino properties such as mass, the way neutrinos change, or oscillate, from one type to another and whether neutrinos are a key to the dominance of matter in the universe.

Sanchez - an Iowa State associate professor of physics and astronomy who is also an Intensity Frontier Fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy's Fermilab near Chicago - is one of the leaders of the NOvA experiment. She serves on the experiment's executive committee and co-leads the analysis of electron neutrino appearance in the Far Detector.

The paper about electron neutrino appearance reports two, independent analyses of detector data: One found six cases of the muon neutrinos sent to the Far Detector oscillating into electron neutrinos. The other found 11 oscillations. If there were no oscillations, researchers predicted there would be one electron neutrino observed in the Far Detector.

Sanchez said the flickering electron neutrino tracks she helped analyze prove the experiment can do what it was designed to do. That's spotting and measuring neutrinos after they make the 500-mile, 3-millisecond journey from Fermilab to the Far Detector in northern Minnesota. (That detector is huge - 344,000 plastic cells within a structure 200 feet long, 50 feet high and 50 feet wide, making it the world's largest freestanding plastic structure.)

"The big news here is we observed electron neutrino appearance," Sanchez said.

If the calibrations and parameters had been just a little off, "We might not have seen anything," she said. "When you design an experiment like this, you hope that nature is kind to you and allows you to do a measurement."

In this case, physicists are detecting and measuring mysterious and lightweight neutrinos. They're subatomic particles that are among the most abundant in the universe but almost never interact with matter. They're created in nature by the sun, by collapsing stars and by cosmic rays interacting with the atmosphere. They're also created by nuclear reactors and particle accelerators.

There are three types of neutrinos - electron, muon and tau. As they travel at almost the speed of light, they oscillate from one type to another. Takaaki Kajita of Japan and Arthur B. McDonald of Canada won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics for their contributions to the independent, experimental discoveries of neutrino oscillation.

The NOvA experiment has three main physics goals: make the first observations of muon neutrinos changing to electron neutrinos, determine the tiny masses of the three neutrino types and look for clues that help explain how matter came to dominate antimatter in the universe.

At the beginning of the universe, physicists believe there were equal amounts of matter and antimatter. That's actually a problem because matter and antimatter annihilate each other when they touch.

But the universe still exists. So something happened to throw off that balance and create a universe full of matter. Could it be that neutrinos decayed asymmetrically and tipped the scales toward matter?

The NOvA experiment, as it takes more and more neutrino data, could provide some answers.

Sanchez likes the data she's seen: "These are absolutely stunning electron neutrino events. We've looked at them and they're textbook perfect - all 11 of them so far."

Iowa Staters working with Mayly Sanchez on the NOvA Neutrino Experiment include Ioana Anghel, a postdoctoral research associate, and Tian Xin, Erika Catano-Mur and Jose Andres Sepulveda, all graduate students. They're all co-authors of the two NOvA papers

 

 

Study finds unexpected long-range particle interactions

 
‎Yesterday, ‎April ‎25, ‎2016, ‏‎5:53:55 AMGo to full article
Boston MA (SPX) Apr 18, 2016 - Moving bodies can be attracted to each other, even when they're quite far apart and separated by many other objects: That, in a nutshell, is the somewhat unexpected finding by a team of researchers at MIT.

Scientists have known for a long time that small particles of matter, from the size of dust to sand grains, can exert influences on each other through electrical, magnetic, or chemical effects. Now, this team has found a new kind of long-range interaction between particles, in a liquid medium, that is based entirely on their motions. And these interactions should apply to any kind of particles that move, whether they be living cells or metal particles whirled by magnetic fields.

The discovery, which holds for both living and nonliving particles, is described in a paper by Alfredo Alexander-Katz, the Walter Henry Gale Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT, and his co-researchers, in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences.

Alexander-Katz describes the kind of interactions his team found as being related to the research field of active matter. Example of active systems are the flocking behavior of birds or the schooling of fish. Each individual member of the system may be responding just to others in its vicinity, but the result is a coherent overall pattern of movement that can span a large region. Cells in a fluid medium, or even tiny structures moving within a cell, exhibit similar kinds of motion, he says.

The researchers studied magnetic particles a few micrometers (millionths of a meter) across, comparable to the size of some cells. A small number of these magnetic metal microparticles were interspersed with a much larger quantity of inert particles of comparable size, all suspended in water.

When a rotating magnetic field was applied, the metal particles would begin to spin, simulating the movements of living cells in the midst of nonliving or relatively inert objects - such as when cells migrate through tissues or move in a crowded environment.

They found that the spinning particles, even when separated by distances tens of times their size, would ultimately migrate toward each other. Though that attraction progressed through a slow and apparently random series of motions, the particles would in the end almost always come together.

While there has been a lot of research on interactions among active particles, Alexander-Katz says, this is one of the few studies that has looked at the way such particles interact when they are surrounded by inactive particles. "In the absence of the inactive particles there are essentially no interactions," he says.

The unexpected finding might ultimately lead to a better understanding of the behavior of some natural biological systems or new methods for creating synthetic active materials which could be useful for selectively delivering drugs into certain parts of the body, Alexander-Katz suggests. It could also end up finding applications in electronics or energy-harvesting systems, for example providing a way to flip a crystal structure between two different configurations.

"What we're addressing is collective excitations of the system, or coherent excitations," he explains. "What we're looking at is, what are the interactions as a function of activity" of the individual particles.

The faster the particles spin, the greater the attraction between them, the team found. Below a certain speed the effect stops altogether. But the amount of inert matter also makes a difference, they found.

With no inert particles - if the moving particles are suspended in clear water - there is no motion-based attraction. But when the nonspinning particles are added and their concentration reaches a certain point, "there is attraction!" Alexander-Katz says.

One unexpected aspect of the findings was how far the effect extended. "What was really surprising was that the range of the interactions is gigantic," he says. By way of comparison, he says, imagine you're in a crowd, and you start to move a bit, and someone else also starts to move, while everyone else tries to stand still. "I would be able to sense, even 20 people away or more, that that person is also active - assuming that the other folks around us are not active."

The attraction, he says, "is not chemical, it is not magnetic, it is not electrostatic, it's just based on activity." And because the range is so long, these interactions could not be modeled in simulations but required physical experiments to be uncovered. The tests by Alexander-Katz and his team used two-dimensional films, similar to particle sediments that form on a rock surface, he says.

He speculates that some biological organisms may use this phenomenon as a way of sensing parts of their environment, though this has not yet been tested.

The team included MIT postdoc Juan Aragones, graduate student Joshua Steimel, undergraduate Helen Hu, and collaborator Naser Qureshi from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. The work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, MISTI Mexico, and the Chang Family.

 

 

Three-way battles in the quantum world

 
‎Yesterday, ‎April ‎25, ‎2016, ‏‎5:53:55 AMGo to full article
Zurich, Switzerland (SPX) Apr 18, 2016 - When water in a pot is slowly heated to the boil, an exciting duel of energies takes place inside the liquid. On the one hand there is the interaction energy that wants to keep the water molecules together because of their mutual attraction. On the other hand, however, the motional energy, which increases due to heating, tries to separate the molecules.

Below the boiling point the interaction energy prevails, but as soon as the motional energy wins the water boils and turns into water vapour. This process is also known as a phase transition. In this scenario the interaction only involves water molecules that are in immediate proximity to one another.

A team of researchers led by Tilman Esslinger at the Institute for Quantum Electronics at ETH Zurich, and Tobias Donner, a scientist in his group, have now shown that particles can be made to "feel" each other even over large distances. By adding such long-range interactions the physicists were able to observe novel phase transitions that result from energetic three-way battles.

Artificial quantum worlds
The physicists did not, of course, perform their experiments in a cooking pot, but rather in an artificially created quantum world called a "quantum simulator". To do so, the researchers cooled a tiny cloud of rubidium atoms to temperatures just above absolute zero and then caught them in a crystal-like lattice made of laser beams.

The interaction energy stems from collisions between atoms that move back and forth between lattice sites. The motional energy of the atoms, on the other hand, can be controlled through the intensity of the laser beams, which determines how easily the atoms can move inside the lattice.

Finally, in order to bring about an interaction between atoms that are far apart, Renate Landig, a PhD student in Esslinger's group, and her colleagues used a technical trick. Using two highly reflecting mirrors they built a resonator that ensured that light particles scattered by one of the atoms would fly through the rubidium cloud several times.

In that way, sooner or later all the atoms in the cloud come into contact with the scattered photon. They thus "feel" the presence of the original atom that first deviated the photon. This feeling over a distance is tantamount to an effective long-range interaction. How strongly the atoms interact in this way can be exactly controlled through the frequency of the laser beams.

"Using this trick we now have three competing energy scales in our system: besides the motional and interaction energies there is, in addition, the energy associated with the long-range interaction", explains Landig. "By varying the motional energy and the long-range interaction energy, we are able to study a number of novel quantum phase transitions."

First order phase transitions
The researchers were already familiar with some of the possible phase transitions. For instance, when the long-range interaction is very small and the motional energy is increased little by little, the phase of the rubidium cloud changes from a Mott insulator, with one immobile atom sitting on each lattice site, to a superfluid, in which atoms can move completely freely.

If, by contrast, the researchers increase the long range interaction energy, something completely different happens. At a particular strength of that interaction the atoms spontaneously arrange themselves in a checkerboard pattern, with one empty lattice site between two atoms.

"The peculiarity of this phase transition, which is similar to that between water and water vapour, is that it's a first order transition", Donner emphasizes. In such phase transitions a particular property of a substance changes suddenly, whereas second order phase transitions, which are the type of transitions that have been detected in artificial quantum systems up to now, are characterized by a gradual change.

Supersolidity detected
The physicists were also able to induce another unusual phase transition by making both the motional energy and the long-range interaction energy very large. In that case, too, a checkerboard pattern appeared inside the lattice, but this time there was phase coherence between the atoms - in other words, their quantum mechanical wave functions were synchronized.

Phase coherence is usually only observed when the atoms are relatively free to roam, as is the case, for instance, in the superfluid state. The coexistence of a checkerboard pattern and phase coherence at the same time indicates that one is dealing with a supersolid phase. The hybrid state of supersolidity was theoretically predicted as much as fifty years ago, but thus far unambiguously detecting it has proved difficult.

In the future, Esslinger and his collaborators will use their quantum simulator to study such exotic effects more closely. The researchers' aim is to get a general idea of quantum phenomena in increasingly complex systems. This, in turn, goes hand in hand with the development and investigation of materials with special properties.

The research was undertaken in conjunction with TherMiQ, a European research project examining the thermodynamics of mesoscopic open quantum systems.

Landig R, Hruby L, Dogra N, Landini M, Mottl R, Donner T, Esslinger T: Quantum phases from competing short- and long-range interactions in an optical lattice, Nature, 11 April 2016, doi: 10.1038/nature17409

 

 

A single ion impacts a million water molecules

 
‎Yesterday, ‎April ‎25, ‎2016, ‏‎5:53:55 AMGo to full article
Lausanne, Switzerland (SPX) Apr 15, 2016 - Water is simple and complex at the same time. A single water molecule (H20) is made up of only 3 atoms. Yet the collective behavior of water molecules is unique and continues to amaze us. Water molecules are linked together by hydrogen bonds that break and form several thousands of billions of times per second. These bonds provide water with unique and unusual properties. Living organisms contain around 60% water and salt. Deciphering the interactions among water, salt and ions is thus fundamentally important for understanding life.

Researchers at EPFL's Laboratory for fundamental BioPhotonics, led by Sylvie Roke, have probed the influence of ions on the structure of water with unprecedentedly sensitive measurements. According to their multi-scale analyses, a single ion has an influence on millions of water molecules, i.e. 10,000 times more than previously thought.

In an article appearing in Science Advances, they explain how a single ion can "twist" the bonds of several million water molecules over a distance exceeding 20 nanometers causing the liquid to become "stiffer". "Until now it was not possible to see beyond a hundred molecules. Our measurements show that water is much more sensitive to ions than we thought," said Roke, who was also surprised by this result.

The molecules line up around the ions
Water molecules are made up of one negatively charged oxygen atom and two positively charged hydrogen atoms. The Mickey Mouse-shaped molecule therefore does not have the same charge at its center as at its extremities.

When an ion, which is an electrically charged atom, comes into contact with water, the network of hydrogen bonds is perturbed. The perturbation spreads over millions of surrounding molecules, causing water molecules to align preferentially in a specific direction. This can be thought of as water molecules "stiffening their network" between the various ions.

From atomistic to macroscopic length scales
Water's behavior was tested with three different approaches: ultrafast optical measurements, which revealed the arrangement of molecules on the nanometric scale; a computer simulation on the atomic scale; and measurement of the water's surface structure and tension, which was done at the macroscopic level.

"For the last method, we simply dipped a thin metal plate into the water and pulled gently using a tensiometer to determine the water's resistance," said Roke.

"We observed that the presence of a few ions makes it easier to pull the plate out, that is, ions reduce the surface resistance of water. This strange effect had already been observed in 1941, but it remained unexplained until now. Through our multiscale analysis we were able to link it to ion-induced stiffening of the bulk hydrogen bond network: a stiffer bulk results in a comparatively more flexible surface."

Testing different salts and different "waters"
The researchers carried out the same experiment with 21 different salts: they all affected water in the same way. Then they studied the effect of ions on heavy water, whose hydrogen atoms are heavy isotopes (with an additional neutron in the nucleus). This liquid is almost indistinguishable from normal water. But here the properties are very different. To perturb the heavy water in the same way, it required a concentration of ions six times higher. Further evidence of the uniqueness of water.

No link with water memory
Roke and her team are aware that it might be tempting to link these stunning results to all sorts of controversial beliefs about water. They are however careful to distance themselves from any far-fetched interpretation. "Our research has nothing to do with water memory or homeopathy," she said.

"We collect scientific data, which are all verifiable. To prove the role of water in homeopathy, another million-billion-billion water molecules would have to be affected to even come close, and even then we are not certain.

The new discovery about the behavior of water will be useful in fundamental research, and in other areas too. The interaction between water and ions is omnipresent in biological processes related to enzymes, ion channels and protein folding. Every new piece of knowledge gives greater insight into how life works.

 

 

Venezuela moves clocks forward 30 min to save power

 
‎Yesterday, ‎April ‎25, ‎2016, ‏‎5:53:55 AMGo to full article
Caracas (AFP) April 15, 2016 - Venezuela announced Friday it is shifting its time zone forward 30 minutes to save power and alleviate a severe electricity crisis the government blames on the El Nino weather phenomenon.

The move, effective May 1, will scrap a half-hour subtraction to the clocks Venezuela's late former president Hugo Chavez introduced in 2007 that gave his country a slight offset to its neighbors.

The modified time will see Caracas go back to four hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) -- sharing the same hour as Havana and Washington (on Eastern Daylight Time) -- according to Science and Technology Minister Jorge Arreaza.

Chavez's successor, President Nicolas Maduro, ordered the change as part of a bid to have Venezuelans alter their daily habits and save electricity.

Other measures include giving government workers an extra day off each week for the next two months and Maduro has urged Venezuelan women to stop using their hairdryers.

The president has also made next Monday a public sector holiday, which will mean a five-day weekend because people are already off on Tuesday for Independence Declaration Day.

- Dams dangerously low -

Water levels in the country's 18 hydroelectric dams have dropped to dangerously low levels, and citizens regularly suffer blackouts and water rationing.

The government blames the disruption on El Nino, a cyclical weather pattern that causes drought in parts of Latin America.

But the opposition sees it as another sign of gross public mismanagement, accusing the government failing to invest in the water system to keep up with demand.

The country's power crisis has been ongoing since 2010, whereas the latest El Nino started in 2015.

Venezuela has the world's largest proven oil reserves, but the government has resisted using crude to generate electricity, calling it inefficient.

Maduro's other measures to cut electricity demand include reducing the workday to six hours for ministries and state companies and ordering them to lower their electricity consumption by 20 percent.

He has also ordered shops and hotels to ration electricity, obliging them to generate their own power for several hours a day.

Shopping centers have cut back their hours since that plan was introduced.

The water level in the dam feeding the El Guri hydroelectric plant in Venezuela's southeast, which supplies 70 percent of the country's grid, is just 3.66 meters (12 feet) above its required operating minimum.

Maduro has said there were currently no plans to slash high subsidies that keep electricity and water usage cheap.

"Hopefully we won't have to go that far, but it all depends on each of us saving power, including the big consumers," Arreaza said.

- 'Simple' time change -

The science minister said "it'll be simple to move the clock forward a half hour -- this will allow us to enjoy more daylight, and it won't get dark so early."

He explained that nighttime use of lighting and air conditioning was especially draining for the power grid.

Analysts, however, warn that the measures being introduced will further damage the productivity of the country, which is in serious economic straits. Its inflation rate of 180 percent for 2015 is the highest in the world, and basic goods are scarce.

Some workers complain that, although they might be getting more time off, they don't have any money to enjoy it. So they end up doing more household chores or lining up at the supermarket for rare subsidized food items.

 

 

Quantum effects affect the best superconductor

 
‎Yesterday, ‎April ‎25, ‎2016, ‏‎5:53:55 AMGo to full article
Bizkaia, Spain (SPX) Apr 14, 2016 - The theoretical results of a piece of international research published in Nature, whose first author is Ion Errea, a researcher at the UPV/EHU and DIPC, suggest that the quantum nature of hydrogen (in other words, the possibility of it behaving like a particle or a wave) considerably affects the structural properties of hydrogen-rich compounds (potential room-temperature superconducting substances).

This is in fact the case of the superconductor hydrogen sulphide: a stinking compound that smells of rotten eggs, which when subjected to pressures a million times higher than atmospheric pressure, behaves like a superconductor at the highest temperature ever identified. This new advance in understanding the physics of high-temperature superconductivity could help to drive forward progress in the search for room-temperature superconductors, which could be used in levitating trains or next-generation supercomputers, for example.

Superconductors are materials that carry electrical current with zero electrical resistance. Conventional or low-temperature ones behave that way only when the substance is cooled down to temperatures close to absolute zero (-273C o 0 degrees Kelvin). Last year, however, German researchers identified the high-temperature superconducting properties of hydrogen sulphide which makes it the superconductor at the highest temperature ever discovered: -70C or 203 K.

The structure of the chemical bonds between atoms changes
In classical or Newtonian physics it is possible to measure the position and momentum of a moving object to determine where it is going and how long it will take to reach its destination. These two properties are inherently linked. However, in the strange world of quantum physics, it is impossible, according to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, for specific pairs of observable complementary physical magnitudes of a particle to be known at the same time.

Hydrogen is the lightest element in the periodic table, so it is an atom that is very strongly affected by quantum behaviour. Its quantum nature affects the structural and physical properties of various hydrogen compounds. An example is high-pressure ice where quantum fluctuations of the proton lead to a change in the way the molecules are held together, due to the fact that the chemical bonds between atoms end up being symmetrical. The researchers in this study believe that a similar quantum hydrogen-bond symmetrisation occurs in the hydrogen sulphide superconductor.

The researchers have formulated the calculations by considering the hydrogen atoms as quantum particles behaving like waves, and they have concluded that they form symmetrical bonds at a pressure similar to that used experimentally by the German researchers.

So they have succeeded in explaining the phenomenon of superconductivity at record-breaking temperatures because in previous calculations hydrogen atoms were treated as classical particles, which made impossible to explain the experiment. All this highlights the fact that quantum physics and symmetrical hydrogen bonds lie behind high-temperature conductivity in hydrogen sulphide.

The researchers are delighted that the good results obtained in this research show that quantitative predictions and computation can be used with complete confidence to speed up the discovery of high-temperature superconductors. According to the calculations made, the quantum symmetrisation of the hydrogen bonds has a great impact on the vibrational and superconducting properties of hydrogen sulphide.

"In order to theoretically reproduce the observed pressure dependence of the superconducting critical temperature, the quantum symmetrisation needs to be taken into account," explained Ion Errea, the lead researcher in the study.

This theoretical study shows that in hydrogen-rich compounds, the quantum motion of hydrogen can strongly affect the structural properties (even modifying the chemical bonding), as well as the electron-phonon interaction that drives the superconducting transition.

In the view of the researchers, theory and computation have played a key role in the search for superconducting hydrides subjected to extreme compression. And they also pointed out that in the future an attempt will be made to increase the temperature until room-temperature superconductivity is achieved while dramatically reducing the pressures required.

Errea, M. Calandra, C. J. Pickard, J. R. Nelson, R. J. Needs, Y. Li, H. Liu, Y. Zhang, Y. Ma, y F. Mauri. "Quantum hydrogen-bond symmetrization in the superconducting hydrogen sulfide system". Nature (2016). DOI: 10.1038/nature17175.

 

 

ORNL neutron 'splashes' reveal signature of exotic particles

 
‎Thursday, ‎April ‎21, ‎2016, ‏‎10:06:00 AMGo to full article
Oak Ridge TN (SPX) Apr 14, 2016 - Researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory used neutrons to uncover novel behavior in materials that holds promise for quantum computing. The findings, published in Nature Materials, provide evidence for long-sought phenomena in a two-dimensional magnet.

In 2006, the physicist Alexei Kitaev developed a theoretical model of microscopic magnets ("spins") that interact in a fashion that leads to a disordered state called a quantum spin liquid. This "Kitaev quantum spin liquid" supports magnetic excitations equivalent to Majorana fermions - particles that are unusual in that they are their own antiparticles.

The presence of Majorana fermions is of great interest because of their potential use as the basis for a qubit, the essential building block of quantum computers.

Familiar magnetic materials exhibit magnetic excitations called "spin-waves" that occur in quantized lumps, but in the Kitaev quantum spin liquid, the lumps are split and the Majorana excitations are therefore termed "fractionalized."

Scientists have theorized that Kitaev interactions exist in nature in certain materials containing magnetic ions that exhibit strong coupling between the electron spin and orbital angular momentum. Arnab Banerjee, the study's lead author and a post-doctoral researcher at ORNL, explained that one way to observe spin liquid physics in such a material is to "splash" or excite the liquid using neutron scattering.

Banerjee and colleagues from ORNL and the University of Tennessee, working with collaborators from the Max Planck Institute in Dresden, Germany and Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, used the "splash" technique to investigate a two-dimensional graphene-like material, alpha-ruthenium trichloride. Neutrons shining onto and scattering from the material can deposit small amounts of energy that create magnetic excitations.

The form of magnetic excitations created in alpha-ruthenium trichloride?was found to be different from spin waves seen in ordinary magnets, but was very well-matched to the spectrum predicted for the Majorana fermions expected in the Kitaev quantum spin liquid.

"The concept of Majorana fermion originated in fundamental high energy particle physics, but we saw their signatures in a solid state material at modest temperatures," Banerjee said. "Neutron scattering not only provided the 'splash' we needed to see them, but also directly measured the resulting magnetic excitations.

The Spallation Neutron Source's SEQUOIA instrument is best suited for this research because the range of energy and momentum one can access with the instrument perfectly matches the regime where Majorana fermions show up."

"The observation of these fractionalized excitations is truly remarkable," said Steve Nagler, director of the Quantum Condensed Matter Division at ORNL and co-corresponding author of the paper. "There has been a huge push recently to see if Kitaev quantum spin liquid physics can be found in materials. Time will tell whether this represents a first step on the road to a new qubit technology."

The experiment required extremely pure samples that were prepared by Banerjee and Craig Bridges of ORNL. The interpretation of the experiments was helped by theoretical predictions of team members Roderich Moessner of the Max Planck Institute, and Johannes Knolle of Cambridge and their colleagues.

"This study proved that the proper honeycomb lattice materials can have the exotic excitations long sought by the scientific community, potentially bringing us closer to realizing Kitaev's vision of topologically protected quantum information," said Alan Tennant, chief scientist for Neutron Sciences at ORNL and a co-author on the paper.

The research team also included Jiaqiang Yan, Adam Aczel, Matthew Stone, Garrett Granroth, and Mark Lumsden from ORNL, David Mandrus, a joint faculty of University of Tennessee and ORNL, Ling Li and Yuen Yiu from the University of Tennessee, Dmitry Kovrizhin from Cambridge, and Subhro Bhattacharjee from the Max Planck Institute. The paper is published as "Proximate Kitaev quantum spin liquid behaviour in a honeycomb magnet."

 

 

Exotic quantum effects can govern the chemistry around us

 
‎Thursday, ‎April ‎21, ‎2016, ‏‎10:06:00 AMGo to full article
Warsaw, Poland (SPX) Apr 14, 2016 - Objects of the quantum world are of a concealed and cold-blooded nature: they usually behave in a quantum manner only when they are significantly cooled and isolated from the environment. Experiments carried out by chemists and physicists from Warsaw have destroyed this simple picture. It turns out that not only does one of the most interesting quantum effects occur at room temperature and higher, but it plays a dominant role in the course of chemical reactions in solutions!

We generally derive our experimental knowledge of quantum phenomena from experiments carried out using sophisticated equipment under exotic conditions: at extremely low temperatures and in a vacuum, isolating quantum objects from the disturbing influence of the environment.

Scientists from the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IPC PAS) in Warsaw, led by Prof. Jacek Waluk and Prof. Czeslaw Radzewicz's group from the Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw (FUW), have just shown that one of the most spectacular quantum phenomena - that of tunneling - takes place even at temperatures above the boiling point of water.

However, what is particularly surprising is the fact that the observed effect applies to hydrogen nuclei, which tunnel in particles floating in solution. The results of measurements leave no doubt: in the studied system, in conditions typical for our environment, tunneling turns out to be the main factor responsible for the chemical reaction!

"For some time chemists have been getting used to the idea that electrons in molecules can tunnel. We have shown that in the molecule it is also possible for protons, that is, nuclei of hydrogen atoms, to tunnel. So we have proof that a basic chemical reaction can occur as a result of tunneling, and in addition in solution and at room temperature or higher," explains Prof. Waluk.

In their experiments, the Warsaw researchers studied single molecules of porphycene (C20H14N4), an isomer of porphyrin. Compounds belonging to this group occur naturally, for example in human blood, where they are involved in the transport of oxygen.

Their molecules are in the form of planar carbon rings with hydrogen atoms outside and four nitrogen atoms inside, arranged at the corners of a tetragon. In the space surrounded by nitrogen atoms there are two protons. These protons are able to move between the nitrogen atoms. The open question was whether they do so by moving classically, or by tunneling.

Tunneling is a consequence of the probabilistic nature of quantum objects. In the classical world known to us from everyday life, an object will always with total probability be in one place, and therefore with zero probability in all others.

Not so in the quantum world. When nothing disturbs the state of an elementary particle, atom or small group of them, the probability of the existence of a quantum object dissolves in space. This phenomenon leads to spectacular effects.

When a man wants to surmount a wall, he has to climb it, that is, he has to strenuously increase his gravitational energy until it becomes greater than the potential barrier set by the wall. Meanwhile, the indeterminacy of the quantum object means that it can be found on the other side of the barrier, without increasing its energy - simply 'passing through'.

The effect occurs much faster than ordinary transfer in space and with a probability that is greater the smaller the distance over which the object tunnels. By studying the times of the proton's jumps, it can be determined if they have moved classically or if they have tunneled.

"Reality is less clear-cut. The higher our proton climbs the energy ladder of porphycene, the smaller the width of the barrier to overcome. Tunneling then becomes increasingly likely. So everything indicates that before the proton has time to climb to an energy level allowing it to classically overcome the potential barrier, it has usually tunneled anyway," explains Prof. Waluk.

Climbing the potential barrier is not simple. When we supply the protons in porphycene with energy, we also induce various vibrations in the molecule itself. It turns out that among 108 possible modes of vibration in a molecule of porphycene, some increase the probability of tunneling and others decrease it.

The Warsaw-based researchers, funded by grants from the Polish National Science Centre, determined the rate constants of chemical reactions involving porphycene in the temperature range from 20 to 400 Kelvin, for proton jumps occurring in the lowest energy state of the molecule, and in one of the excited vibrational states, promoting tunneling.

The times of proton jumps between the nitrogen atoms were thus obtained. Experiments conducted on sets of cold, isolated particles suggested times of a few picoseconds (a millionth of one millionth of a second) - and just such times were observed in experiments in Warsaw, led by Dr. Piotr Fita and PhD student Piotr Ciacka from the FUW. Measurements show that not only does tunneling occur in porphycene, but it is responsible - even at room temperature! - for at least 80% of the proton jumps in the centres of the molecules.

The dominant role of tunneling in the course of a chemical reaction and its dependence on the type of vibration of the molecule is the way to incredibly precise control of the course of chemical reactions. This sort of chemistry, known as mode-selective chemistry, has been demonstrated earlier, but at a very low temperature.

The discovery of the researchers from the IPC PAS and the FUW raises hopes that in the future it will be possible to accurately control reactions taking place also under conditions typical for our environment.

Chemical molecules floating in solution, previously excited in a manner that enhances their reactivity, could be introduced into a state of oscillation that significantly reduces their reactivity (or vice versa). A specific reaction, perhaps one of many taking place in the solution, could then be switched on and off on demand, by small changes in the amount of energy supplied to the molecules of a selected compound.

"The tunneling of protons in molecules of porphycene in solution is spectacular proof that even at room temperature and in a dense environment a purely quantum effect can rule the course of a chemical reaction.

"But this is not the end of the surprises. We have a reasonable suspicion that one more exotic quantum phenomenon is involved in the movements of the two protons in porphycene, always jumping together. The world of chemistry around us would then be even more interesting. Whether this will happen - we will learn from further experiments," says Prof. Waluk.

 

 

Mysterious alignment of black holes discovered

 
‎Thursday, ‎April ‎21, ‎2016, ‏‎10:06:00 AMGo to full article
London, UK (SPX) Apr 13, 2016 - Deep radio imaging by researchers in the University of Cape Town and University of the Western Cape, in South Africa, has revealed that supermassive black holes in a region of the distant universe are all spinning out radio jets in the same direction - most likely a result of primordial mass fluctuations in the early universe. The astronomers publish their results in a new paper in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

The new result is the discovery - for the first time - of an alignment of the jets of galaxies over a large volume of space, a finding made possible by a three-year deep radio imaging survey of the radio waves coming from a region called ELAIS-N1 using the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT).

The jets are produced by the supermassive black holes at the centers of these galaxies, and the only way for this alignment to exist is if supermassive black holes are all spinning in the same direction, says Prof. Andrew Russ Taylor, joint UWC/UCT SKA Chair, Director of the recently-launched Inter-University Institute for Data Intensive Astronomy, and principal author of the MNRAS study.

"Since these black holes don't know about each other, or have any way of exchanging information or influencing each other directly over such vast scales, this spin alignment must have occurred during the formation of the galaxies in the early universe," he notes.

This implies that there is a coherent spin in the structure of this volume of space that was formed from the primordial mass fluctuations that seeded the creation of the large-scale structure of the universe.

With study co-author - and UCT PhD student currently working at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Socorro, New Mexico, USA - Preshanth Jagannathan, the team discovered the alignment after the initial image had been made. Within the large-scale structure, there were regions where the spin axes of galaxies lined up.

The finding wasn't planned for: the initial investigation was to explore the faintest radio sources in the universe, using the best available telescopes - a first view into the kind of universe that will be revealed by the South African MeerKAT radio telescope and the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), the world's most powerful radio telescope and one of the biggest scientific instruments ever devised.

Earlier observational studies had previously detected deviations from uniformity (so-called isotropy) in the orientations of galaxies. But these sensitive radio images offer a first opportunity to use jets to reveal alignments of galaxies on physical scales of up to 100 Mpc.

And measurements from the total intensity radio emission of galaxy jets have the advantage of not being affected by effects such as scattering, extinction and Faraday rotation, which may be an issue for other studies.

The presence of alignments and certain preferred orientations can shed light on the orientation and evolution of the galaxies, in relation to large-scale structures, and the motions in the primordial matter fluctuations that gave rise to the structure of the universe.

So what could these large-scale environmental influences during galaxy formation or evolution have been? There are several options: cosmic magnetic fields; fields associated with exotic particles (axions); and cosmic strings are only some of the possible candidates that could create an alignment in galaxies even on scales larger than galaxy clusters.

The authors go on to note it would be interesting to compare this with predictions of angular momentum structure from universe simulations.

UWC Prof. Romeel Dave, SARChI Chair in Cosmology with Multi-Wavelength Data, who leads a team developing plans for universe simulations that could explore the growth of large-scale structure from a theoretical perspective, agrees: "This is not obviously expected based on our current understanding of cosmology. It's a bizarre finding."

It's a mystery, and it's going to take a while for technology and theory alike to catch up.

Such projects are already in the planning stages; the SKA for example, and its precursor telescopes, the South African MeerKAT array and the Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP).

"GMRT is one of the largest and most sensitive radio telescope arrays in the world," notes Prof. Taylor, "but we really need MeerKAT to make the very sensitive maps, over a very large area and with great detail, that will be necessary to differentiate between possible explanations. It opens up a whole new research area for these instruments, which will probe as deeply into the and as far back as we can go - it's going to be an exciting time to be an astronomer."

A large-scale spin distribution has never been predicted by theories - and an unknown phenomenon like this presents a challenge that theories about the origins of the universe need to account for, and an opportunity to find out more about the way the cosmos works.

"We're beginning to understand how the large-scale structure of the universe came about, starting from the Big Bang and growing as a result of disturbances in the early universe, to what we have today," says Prof. Taylor, "and that helps us explore what the universe of tomorrow will be like."

"Alignments of Radio Galaxies in Deep Radio Imaging of ELAIS N1," A. R. Taylor and P. Jagannathan, 2016, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Oxford University Press

 

 

Behemoth black hole found in an unlikely place

 
‎Thursday, ‎April ‎21, ‎2016, ‏‎10:06:00 AMGo to full article
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Apr 11, 2016 - Astronomers have uncovered a near-record breaking supermassive black hole, weighing 17 billion suns, in an unlikely place: in the center of a galaxy in a sparsely populated area of the universe. The observations, made by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and the Gemini Telescope in Hawaii, may indicate that these monster objects may be more common than once thought.

Until now, the biggest supermassive black holes - those roughly 10 billion times the mass of our sun - have been found at the cores of very large galaxies in regions of the universe packed with other large galaxies. In fact, the current record holder tips the scale at 21 billion suns and resides in the crowded Coma galaxy cluster that consists of over 1,000 galaxies.

"The newly discovered supersized black hole resides in the center of a massive elliptical galaxy, NGC 1600, located in a cosmic backwater, a small grouping of 20 or so galaxies," said lead discoverer Chung-Pei Ma, a University of California-Berkeley astronomer and head of the MASSIVE Survey, a study of the most massive galaxies and supermassive black holes in the local universe.

While finding a gigantic black hole in a massive galaxy in a crowded area of the universe is to be expected - like running across a skyscraper in Manhattan - it seemed less likely they could be found in the universe's small towns.

"There are quite a few galaxies the size of NGC 1600 that reside in average-size galaxy groups," Ma said. "We estimate that these smaller groups are about 50 times more abundant than spectacular galaxy clusters like the Coma cluster. So the question now is, 'Is this the tip of an iceberg?' Maybe there are more monster black holes out there that don't live in a skyscraper in Manhattan, but in a tall building somewhere in the Midwestern plains."

The researchers also were surprised to discover that the black hole is 10 times more massive than they had predicted for a galaxy of this mass. Based on previous Hubble surveys of black holes, astronomers had developed a correlation between a black hole's mass and the mass of its host galaxy's central bulge of stars - the larger the galaxy bulge, the proportionally more massive the black hole.

But for galaxy NGC 1600, the giant black hole's mass far overshadows the mass of its relatively sparse bulge. "It appears that that relation does not work very well with extremely massive black holes; they are a larger fraction of the host galaxy's mass," Ma said.

Ma and her colleagues are reporting the discovery of the black hole, which is located about 200 million light years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Eridanus, in the April 6 issue of the journal Nature. Jens Thomas of the Max Planck-Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Garching, Germany is the paper's lead author.

One idea to explain the black hole's monster size is that it merged with another black hole long ago when galaxy interactions were more frequent. When two galaxies merge, their central black holes settle into the core of the new galaxy and orbit each other. Stars falling near the binary black hole, depending on their speed and trajectory, can actually rob momentum from the whirling pair and pick up enough velocity to escape from the galaxy's core.

This gravitational interaction causes the black holes to slowly move closer together, eventually merging to form an even larger black hole. The supermassive black hole then continues to grow by gobbling up gas funneled to the core by galaxy collisions. "To become this massive, the black hole would have had a very voracious phase during which it devoured lots of gas," Ma said.

The frequent meals consumed by NGC 1600 may also be the reason why the galaxy resides in a small town, with few galactic neighbors. NGC 1600 is the most dominant galaxy in its galactic group, at least three times brighter than its neighbors. "Other groups like this rarely have such a large luminosity gap between the brightest and the second brightest galaxies," Ma said.

Most of the galaxy's gas was consumed long ago when the black hole blazed as a brilliant quasar from material streaming into it that was heated into a glowing plasma. "Now, the black hole is a sleeping giant," Ma said. "The only way we found it was by measuring the velocities of stars near it, which are strongly influenced by the gravity of the black hole. The velocity measurements give us an estimate of the black hole's mass."

The velocity measurements were made by the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph (GMOS) on the Gemini North 8-meter telescope on Mauna Kea in Hawaii. GMOS spectroscopically dissected the light from the galaxy's center, revealing stars within 3,000 light-years of the core. Some of these stars are circling around the black hole and avoiding close encounters. However, stars moving on a straighter path away from the core suggest that they had ventured closer to the center and had been slung away, most likely by the twin black holes.

Archival Hubble images, taken by the Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS), supports the idea of twin black holes pushing stars away. The NICMOS images revealed that the galaxy's core was unusually faint, indicating a lack of stars close to the galactic center.

A star-depleted core distinguishes massive galaxies from standard elliptical galaxies, which are much brighter in their centers. Ma and her colleagues estimated that the amount of stars tossed out of the central region equals 40 billion suns, comparable to ejecting the entire disk of our Milky Way galaxy.

 

 

When will a neutron star collapse to a black hole

 
‎Monday, ‎April ‎18, ‎2016, ‏‎5:01:32 PMGo to full article
Frankfurt, Germany (SPX) Apr 11, 2016 - Neutron stars are the most extreme and fascinating objects known to exist in our universe: Such a star has a mass that is up to twice that of the sun but a radius of only a dozen kilometres: hence it has an enormous density, thousands of billions of times that of the densest element on Earth.

An important property of neutron stars, distinguishing them from normal stars, is that their mass cannot grow without bound. Indeed, if a nonrotating star increases its mass, also its density will increase. Normally this will lead to a new equilibrium and the star can live stably in this state for thousands of years.

This process, however, cannot repeat indefinitely and the accreting star will reach a mass above which no physical pressure will prevent it from collapsing to a black hole. The critical mass when this happens is called the "maximum mass" and represents an upper limit to the mass that a nonrotating neutron star can be.

However, once the maximum mass is reached, the star also has an alternative to the collapse: it can rotate. A rotating star, in fact, can support a mass larger than if it was nonrotating, simply because the additional centrifugal force can help balance the gravitational force.

Also in this case, however, the star cannot be arbitrarily massive because an increase in mass must be accompanied by an increase in rotation and there is a limit to how fast a star can rotate before breaking apart. Hence, for any neutron star there is an absolute maximum mass and is given by the largest mass of the fastest-spinning model.

Determining this value from first principles is difficult because it depends on the equation of state of the matter composing the star and this is still essentially unknown. Because of this, the determination of the maximum rotating mass of a neutron star has been an unsolved problem for decades.

This has changed with a recent work published on Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, where it has been found that it is indeed possible to predict the maximum mass a rapidly rotating neutron star can attain by simply considering what is maximum mass of corresponding the nonrotating configuration.

"It is quite remarkable that a system as complex as a rotating neutron star can be described by such a simple relation", declares Prof. Luciano Rezzolla, one of the authors of the publication and Chair of Theoretical Astrophysics at the Goethe University in Frankfurt.

"Surprisingly, we now know that even the fastest rotation can at most increase the maximum mass of 20% at most", remarks Rezzolla.

Although a very large number of stellar models have been computed to obtain this result, what was essential in this discovery was to look at this data in proper way. More specifically, it was necessary to realise that if represented with a proper normalisation, the data behaves in a universal manner, that is, in a way that is essentially independent of the equation of state.

"This result has always been in front of our eyes, but we needed to look at it from the right perspective to actually see it", says Cosima Breu, a Master student at the University of Frankfurt, who has performed the analysis of the data during her Bachelor thesis.

The universal behaviour found for the maximum mass is part of a larger class of universal relations found recently for neutron stars. Within this context, Breu and Rezzolla have also proposed an improved way to express the moment of inertia of these rotating stars in terms of their compactness.

Once observations of the moment of inertia will be possible through the measurement of binary pulsars, the new method will allow us to measure the stellar radius with a precision of 10% or less.

This simple but powerful result opens the prospects for more universal relations to be found in rotating stars. "We hope to find more equally exciting results when studying the largely unexplored grounds of differentially rotating neutron stars", concludes Rezzolla.

Cosima Breu, Luciano Rezzolla: Maximum mass, moment of inertia and compactness of relativistic, in: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

 

 

Supermassive black holes may be lurking everywhere in the universe

 
‎Monday, ‎April ‎11, ‎2016, ‏‎4:18:03 AMGo to full article
Berkeley CA (SPX) Apr 07, 2016 - A near-record supermassive black hole discovered in a sparse area of the local universe indicates that these monster objects - this one equal to 17 billion suns - may be more common than once thought, according to University of California, Berkeley, astronomers.

Until now, the biggest supermassive black holes - those with masses around 10 billion times that of our sun - have been found at the cores of very large galaxies in regions loaded with other large galaxies. The current record holder, discovered in the Coma Cluster by the UC Berkeley team in 2011, tips the scale at 21 billion solar masses and is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.

The newly discovered black hole is in a galaxy, NGC 1600, in the opposite part of the sky from the Coma Cluster in a relative desert, said the leader of the discovery team, Chung-Pei Ma, a UC Berkeley professor of astronomy and head of the MASSIVE Survey, a study of the most massive galaxies and black holes in the local universe with the goal of understanding how they form and grow supermassive.

While finding a gigantic black hole in a massive galaxy in a crowded area of the universe is to be expected - like running across a skyscraper in Manhattan - it seemed less likely they could be found in the universe's small towns.

"Rich groups of galaxies like the Coma Cluster are very, very rare, but there are quite a few galaxies the size of NGC 1600 that reside in average-size galaxy groups," Ma said. "So the question now is, 'Is this the tip of an iceberg?' Maybe there are a lot more monster black holes out there that don't live in a skyscraper in Manhattan, but in a tall building somewhere in the Midwestern plains."

While the black hole discovered in 2011 in the galaxy NGC 4889 in the Coma Cluster was estimated to have an upper limit of 21 billion solar masses, its range of possible masses was large: between 3 billion and 21 billion suns. The 17-billion-solar-mass estimate for the central black hole in NGC 1600 is much more precise, with a range (standard deviation) of 15.5 to 18.5 billion solar masses.

Interestingly, the stars around the center of NGC 1600 are moving as if the black hole were a binary. Binary black holes are expected to be common in large galaxies, since galaxies are thought to grow by merging with other galaxies, each of which would presumably bring a central black hole with it.

These black holes would likely sink to the core of the new and larger galaxy and, after an orbital dance, merge with the emission of gravitational waves. The proposed Evolved Laser Interferometer Space Antenna, or eLISA, is designed to detect gravitational waves produced by the merger of massive black holes, while other groups are looking for evidence of gravitational waves from massive black hole mergers in nanosecond glitches in the precisely timed flashes of millisecond pulsars.

Ma and her colleagues will report the discovery of the black hole, which is located about 200 million light-years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Eridanus, in the April 6 issue of the journal Nature.

In search of quasar remnants
Black holes form when matter becomes so dense that not even light can escape its gravitational pull. In the early universe, when gas was abundant, a handful of voracious black holes grew to become extremely massive by swallowing it up, emitting immense amounts of energy. Looking back in time at the distant universe, these supermassive black holes appear as very bright quasars.

As astronomers look closer to Earth, however, they see galaxies with little gas - it's already turned into stars - and no quasars. The most massive of these local galaxies may, however, house old quasars at their cores. Ma says that the monster black holes her team discovered in 2011 in NGC 4889 and NGC 3842, each weighing about 10 billion solar masses, may be quiescent quasars.

Because NGC 1600 is an old galaxy with little new star formation, Ma suspects that it, too, may harbor an ancient quasar that once blazed brightly but is now asleep. It would be the first discovered in a sparsely populated region of the local universe, she said.

"The brightest quasars, probably hosting the most massive black holes, don't necessarily have to live in the densest regions of the universe," she said. "NGC 1600 is the first very massive black hole that lives outside a rich environment in the local universe, and could be the first example of a descendent of a very luminous quasar that also didn't live in a privileged site."

The MASSIVE Survey was funded in 2014 by the National Science Foundation to weigh the stars, dark matter and central black holes of the 100 most massive, nearby galaxies: those larger than 300 billion solar masses and within 350 million light-years of Earth, a region that contains millions of galaxies. Among its goals is to find the descendants of luminous quasars that may be sleeping unsuspected in large nearby galaxies.

The supermassive black hole found in NGC 1600 is one of the first successes of the project, proving the value of a systematic search of the night sky rather than looking only in dense areas like those occupied by large clusters of galaxies, such as the Coma and Virgo clusters. The new findings combine image data from the Hubble Space Telescope and spectra taken by the Gemini Telescope in Hawaii and the McDonald Observatory in Texas.

Based on the Gemini spectra of the center of NGC 1600, most stars inside the sphere of influence of the black hole - a region about 3,000 light-years in radius - are traveling on circular orbits around the black hole, with very few moving radially inward or outward. It is as if the stars on radial orbits towards the black hole have been slung away, Ma said.

This would be the case only if the closest stars were scattering off a black hole pair and slingshotted away, just as NASA slingshots space probes around other planets to move them more quickly through the solar system.

The black hole's sphere of influence - the region within which the gravity due to the black hole wins out over that due to visible stars - is much larger than the event horizon, the point of no return, which would be about eight times the size of Pluto's orbit for the NGC1600 black hole.

"Somehow the stars have been scared away from the center of very massive galaxies, and either were afraid to come in, or came in and got kicked out," Ma said. The stellar orbits around the center of NGC 1600 indicate the latter, which "may be support for a binary black hole formed by a merger."

Binary black holes and core scouring
Because stars flung out by a binary black hole sap energy from the orbiting pair, the two move closer together and eventually merge. If NGC 1600 does contain a binary black hole with a combined mass of 17 billion suns, orbiting a fraction of a light-year apart, the ongoing pulsar timing arrays have a chance of picking up the emitted gravitational waves, Ma said.

NGC 1600 suggests that a key characteristic of a galaxy with binary black holes at its core is that the central, star-depleted region is the same size as the sphere of influence of the central black hole pair, Ma said. Images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope revealed that the center of NGC 1600 is unusually faint, indicating a lack of stars close to the black hole. A lack of stars close to the galactic center distinguishes massive galaxies from standard elliptical galaxies, which are much brighter in their cores.

"One dynamical footprint of a binary black hole is core scouring," Ma said.

This signature will help Ma and her colleagues refine the MASSIVE Survey and more quickly find the supermassive black holes in Earth's vicinity.

Ma's co-authors are first-author Jens Thomas of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany; former UC Berkeley doctoral student Nicholas McConnell and John Blakeslee of the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory in Victoria, British Columbia; former Miller Visiting Professor Jenny Greene of Princeton University; and Ryan Janish of UC Berkeley's Department of Physics.

 

 

Galaxy with a huge black hole is a hermit

 
‎Monday, ‎April ‎11, ‎2016, ‏‎4:18:03 AMGo to full article
Garching, Germany (SPX) Apr 08, 2016 - The most massive black holes are not confined to the highest density regions in the universe as a new discovery in a galaxy close to our Milky Way shows. An international team of astronomers from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, the USA, and Canada analysed observations from a survey of massive early-type galaxies and found that the black hole at the centre of the group galaxy NGC 1600 has a mass 17 billion times larger than our Sun, one of the most massive black holes found to date.

Moreover, the analysis shows that the distribution of stars near the centre of the galaxy is rather diffuse and that the size of this region extends over the same radius as the gravitational sphere of influence of the black hole.

Massive black holes reside at the centre of almost all galaxies - the one at the heart of our Milky Way is one of the smaller ones, with a mass of "only" 4 million times larger than the Sun. In the distant and early universe, black holes a thousand times more massive than the one in the Milky Way centre power quasars, or quasi-stellar objects: powerful beacons whose energy is released by the accretion of gas onto the massive black holes causing them to outshine their host galaxies by many orders of magnitude.

Until now, the dormant descendants of these very massive black holes typically have only been found in gigantic galaxies at the centres of massive clusters of galaxies with hundreds of other galaxies. What has become of all the other accreting big black holes today?

One of them - and an extremely massive one - has now been found: the centre of the galaxy NGC 1600 harbours a black hole with a mass 17 billion times larger than that of our Sun. This is one of the largest black holes found to date.

The astronomers used observations from the MASSIVE survey, which aims to study the structure, dynamics, and formation history of the 100 most massive early-type galaxies within about 350 million light-years of our Milky Way. In particular, the astronomers measured the stellar velocities near the black hole which were then fed into models for stellar orbits to determine the mass of the black hole.

The huge mass of the black hole combined with the fact that NGC 1600 is part of a relatively small group of only a few galaxies makes this discovery exciting: "This is the first time that we find such a massive black hole in a relatively isolated galaxy, outside a rich galaxy cluster", states Jens Thomas from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, lead author of the study now published in the journal Nature.

"Other galaxies found to harbour very massive black holes are typically located in dense regions of the Universe populated by many other galaxies and clusters," says Jens Thomas. NGC 1600 is the brightest member of its group and outshines the other members by at least three times. To grow so big it may have had a head start, merging with its former close-by galaxies and their central black holes early on.

"Equally astonishing is the centre of the galaxy: it is very diffuse, as if billions of stars are missing." says Chung-Pei Ma, from the University California Berkeley, USA, who leads the MASSIVE Survey.

Massive galaxies like NGC 1600 and their black holes typically grow through mergers and the aftereffects of such a galaxy merger could remove stars from the centre: the two black holes of two merging galaxies are believed to form a binary before they ultimately merge, and stars passing close-by are scattered to larger radii due to gravitational slingshots.

"Less massive elliptical galaxies typically get brighter and brighter the closer you get to the centre, but in NGC 1600 it's like the equivalent of all the stars of the Milky Way disk have been removed," Jens Thomas explains.

By comparing their result with mass determinations of a sample of other core galaxies, the astronomers found that the radius of the region with depleted stellar densities is indistinguishable from the gravitational sphere of influence of the black hole. The core radius seems to be a better indicator of black hole mass than other galaxy properties.

"The black hole in NGC 1600 is the first example of a possible descendant of a luminous quasar in a relatively isolated galaxy," says Chung-Pei Ma. "There are quite a few galaxies of comparable size that reside in average-sized galaxy groups. At the moment we do not know if such very massive black holes are common in other nearby massive galaxies as well. Our ongoing observations will soon reveal if our discovery is a rare find or just the tip of an iceberg."

 

 

Simulating supermassive black holes

 
‎Monday, ‎April ‎11, ‎2016, ‏‎4:18:03 AMGo to full article
Osaka, Japan (SPX) Apr 06, 2016 - Near the edge of the visible Universe are some of the brightest objects ever observed, known as quasars, which are believed to contain supermassive black holes of more than a billion times the mass of our Sun.

Simulations by Kentaro Nagamine at Osaka University's Department of Earth and Space Science, Isaac Shlosman at the University of Kentucky and co-workers have revealed for the first time exactly how these black holes formed 700 million years after the Big Bang.

"The early Universe was a dense, hot and uniform plasma," explains Nagamine. "As it cooled, fluctuations in the mass distribution formed seeds around which matter could gather due to gravity." These are the origins of the first stars. Similar processes might have later seeded the growth of bigger structures such as supermassive black holes.

Until recently, many researchers thought supermassive black holes were seeded by the collapse of some of the first stars. But modeling work by several groups has suggested that this process would only lead to small black holes.

Nagamine and co-workers simulated a different situation, in which supermassive black holes are seeded by clouds of gas falling into potential wells created by dark matter - the invisible matter that astronomers believe makes up 85% of the mass of the Universe.

Simulating the dynamics of huge gas clouds is extremely complex, so the team had to use some numerical tricks called 'sink particles' to simplify the problem.

"Although we have access to extremely powerful supercomputers at Osaka University's Cybermedia Center and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, we can't simulate every single gas particle," explains Nagamine.

"Instead, we model small spatial scales using sink particles, which grow as the surrounding gas evolves. This allows us to simulate much longer timescales than was previously possible."

The researchers found that most seed particles in their simulations did not grow very much, except for one central seed, which grew rapidly to more than 2 million Sun-masses in just 2 million years, representing a feasible path toward a supermassive black hole. Moreover, as the gas spun and collapsed around the central seed it formed two misaligned accretion discs, which have never been observed before.

In other recent work, Nagamine and co-workers described the growth of massive galaxies that formed around the same time as supermassive black holes [1]. "We like to push the frontier of how far back in time we can see," says Nagamine.

The researchers hope their simulations will be validated by real data when NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, due to be launched in 2018, observes distant sources where direct gas collapse is happening.

Yajima, H., Shlosman, I., Romano-Diaz, E. and Nagamine, K. Observational properties of simulated galaxies in overdense and average regions at redshifts z6-12. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 451, 418-432 (2015).

 

 

Elusive Japanese Black Hole Seeking Satellite Breaks Silence

 
‎Monday, ‎April ‎11, ‎2016, ‏‎4:18:03 AMGo to full article
Tokyo (Sputnik) Apr 05, 2016 - Japan's X-Ray Astronomy Satellite Hitomi, which was launched last month, has managed to make fleeting contact with ground control amid reports that the spacecraft has separated into six parts.

The X-Ray Astronomy Satellite Hitomi, which was launched into low-Earth orbit from Japan's Tanegashima Space Center on February 17, has communicated sporadically with ground control in spite of reports that the satellite has separated into six parts.

Hitomi means "eye" in Japanese, specifically the eye's pupil. It was developed by JAXA to study energy processes in the universe.

The satellite's instruments enable high sensitivity observations of the universe across wide energy range, from X-rays to gamma-rays, in order to investigate the mechanisms of how galaxy clusters were formed and influenced by dark energy and dark matter.

Hitomi aims to investigate the formation and evolution of supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies, and to unearth the physical laws governing extreme conditions in neutron stars and black holes.

On May 27, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) stated that scheduled communication with the satellite had failed on March 26. JAXA had not been able to figure out the state of health of the satellite.

JAXA said it had received a short signal from the satellite, and "is working on its recovery."

Amid fears that the satellite would not be able to fulfil its investigative mission, on March 29 JAXA announced that it had received two more short signals from the satellite, but had "not been able to find the state of its health."

The first was at about 10:00 a.m. on March 28 at Japan's Uchinoura Ground Station, and the second was at around 12:30 a.m. on March 29 at the Santiago Tracking Station in Chile.

JAXA also revealed the reason for the satellite's wayward communication: according to data from the US Joint Space Operations Center, the satellite had separated into six pieces when five objects fell off the spacecraft on March 26.

Astronomer Paul Maley in Arizona published a video online, which is believed to show the Hitomi satellite spinning in a freefall on March 28.

Despite the accident, scientists are hopeful that Hitomi is mostly intact and will still be able to contribute to science.

JAXA official Masaki Fujimoto told Spacenews that Hitomi's problems likely started with a loss of attitude control in the spacecraft, which stabilizes its

position in space. This disrupted the spacecraft's ability to generate power from its solar panels and communicate with the ground.

Officials said that in the absence of evidence that the spacecraft was struck by debris, it seems likely the spacecraft generated the debris itself.

"There's hope for recovery unless the spacecraft is severely damaged," Fujimoto said, but added that such a recovery would take months rather than days.

Source: Sputnik News

 

 

Eindhoven and Mexican researchers prove Huygens was right

 
‎Monday, ‎April ‎11, ‎2016, ‏‎4:18:03 AMGo to full article
Eindhoven, Netherlands (SPX) Apr 01, 2016 - In 1665 Christiaan Huygens discovered that two pendulum clocks, hung from the same wooden structure, will always oscillate in synchronicity. Today, some 350 years on, Eindhoven and Mexican researchers present the most accurate and detailed description of this 'Huygens synchronization' to date in the journal Scientific Reports. It is evident that Huygens had come up with the right explanation insofar as this was possible back then.

Moreover, these insights help us to understand synchronization in all kinds of oscillating systems, such as the biological rhythms of the human body.

'An odd sympathy' was the way the renowned Dutch physicist Christiaan Huygens termed the unexpected discovery he made at home in The Hague in 1665. Two pendulum clocks he built himself and hung on the same structure appeared time and again to swing nicely to and fro with the same frequency regardless of their starting position.

Lacking the requisite mathematics at the time, Huygens contended that the effect was being caused by tiny vibrations in the wooden structure on which the clocks were hanging. Some 350 years later, Henk Nijmeijer, professor of Dynamics and Control at Eindhoven University of Technology, a Huygens aficionado, along with his Mexican colleagues found that Huygens genial explanation was right.

In the journal Scientific Reports - a sister journal of the authoritative Nature - they describe the most comprehensive study undertaken to date on the effect, known today as Huygens synchronisation.

The team performed a modern variant of Huygens' experiment whereby two pendulum clocks specially made for the purpose by the Mexican clock manufacturer Relojes Centenario were placed on a wooden undersurface. In addition to taking extensive measurements, they analyzed and simulated the effect using the most detailed mathematical model developed for this experiment.

This enabled them to dissect the mechanism behind the synchronization correctly and in detail, and consign to bin the theory proposed two years ago that the synchronization was attributable to acoustic pulses.

They also discovered what variables determine whether the clocks swing in parallel with or counter to each other, something that Huygens did not observe. Another new discovery is that pendulum clocks are not only synchronous but also move more slowly over time and thus are not very reliable timekeepers.

That such an effect has kept scientists fascinated for a good 350 years is partly due to the fact that many similar occurrences of synchronization are present in engineering and in nature, like imbalanced rotor motion or the human heartbeat. There are also indications that certain epileptic attacks are caused by the synchronization of neurons that takes place in the brain.

Publication in Scientific Reports: The sympathy of two pendulum clocks: beyond Huygens observations.

 

 

New use for X-rays: A radar gun for unruly atoms

 
‎Monday, ‎April ‎11, ‎2016, ‏‎4:18:03 AMGo to full article
Burlington VT (SPX) Apr 04, 2016 - X-rays have long been used to make pictures of tiny objects, even single atoms. Now a team of scientists has discovered a new use for X-rays at the atomic scale: using them like a radar gun to measure the motion and velocity of complex and messy groups of atoms.

"It's a bit like a police speed trap - for atomic and nanoscale defects," says Randall Headrick, a professor of physics at the University of Vermont who led the research team. The new technique was reported on March 28 in the journal Nature Physics.

X-rays have great power to look within. It's not just Superman; scientists have been pushing closer to what might seem like science fiction, training X-rays onto tiny objects, including chains of DNA, viruses, and individual atoms. But as they probe the structure of ever-smaller things, the random arrangement of those objects makes it increasingly difficult to distinguish between them.

A long-standing problem has been that good X-ray pictures require nearly perfect crystals - identical objects in precise order. At the scale of atoms, complex and disordered objects - like the thin films that are used to make the screen on a cell phone or the metal layers used in electronic circuits - give a blurry X-ray picture.

"It's like blending many different faces in a composite image," Headrick says, "or trying to see what an average car looks like by watching traffic zip along a highway."

In a new approach, Headrick and the other scientists, with support from the U.S. Department of Energy, impose order on the X-rays when there isn't order in what they're looking at. They used coherent X-rays (think X-rays traveling in a marching band) to recover some of the information from their picture.

Rather like radar picks out an individual's speed on the highway, they fished out the distinct speeds of small groups of atoms from the bulk X-ray signal they were shining onto a stream of atoms in motion. And in that new kind of X-ray image, they discovered voids and tiny pores that form when making two kinds of thin films with silicon and tungsten - and how those voids and pores move.

Their discovery promises to improve industrial techniques for making smoother, more perfect thin films - which have thousands of commercial applications from solar panels to drug delivery systems, computer chips to potato chip bags.

But far more important, Headrick notes, the research opens a new way to view many kinds of complex clumps of atoms in motion, not just tidy crystals.

"We can see these nanoscale defects form in the film while they are being made," Headrick says. The scientists were surprised that they were able to create a view not just of the surface roughness of the film, but also the interior structure. This is important since the quality of thin films can be strongly affected by the dynamic relationship between how they are growing at the surface - often being sprayed or deposited in a vacuum - and the structure of atoms forming beneath the surface.

"We find that there are two kinds of defects," Headrick notes, "one type that moves along with the surface and are thought to be nanocolumns that grow with the surface - and another type that are voids that do not grow with the surface."

Like Beer
To understand these two kinds of defects, pour yourself a glass of beer and watch the bubbles. Some move in thin lines through the liquid, traveling up while the top of the beer also rises. Other bubbles, trapped in the foamy head, are stuck in place while more foam piles on top of them.

Now imagine that these bubbles are actually single atoms. The lines of bubbles that move up while the beer is being poured are like the nanocolumns of atoms Headrick and the team observed with the new X-ray technique. The voids in the film are like the bubbles trapped in the beer foam.

The lead author on the paper is Headrick's graduate student, Jeffrey Ulbrandt. Together, they collaborated with researchers from Boston University, including physicist Karl Ludwig, and scientists at the Argonne National Laboratory, to make the discovery.

Using a large machine called a synchrotron at Argonne's Advanced Photon Source, they were able to direct highly organized waves of X-rays onto the films. Imaged with these coherent X-rays, disordered objects - like the rough surface and jumbled interior of a silicon film - can be sensed in a complex pattern of speckles that is made on the X-ray detector. "This speckle pattern contains detailed information on the shapes and spacings of the collection of objects," Headrick explains.

X-Ray Tuning
These coherent X-rays can also sense motion, tracking jiggling and swarming groups of atoms that are moving independently and erratically. The new study pushes that realization forward. The scientists took a scattered wave of X-rays bouncing off the rough surface of the thin film being deposited in a vacuum chamber - and mixed it with a scattered wave of X-rays coming off the disordered defects - the nanocolumns and voids - forming at and beneath the film's surface.

These two mixed waves work a bit like a radar gun. The waves from the surface form a speed reference - while the subsurface waves form a much smaller signal mixed into this reference wave. The scientists looked at the speckled pattern from X-rays scattering off the growing surface of the thin films, getting thicker at a known rate. Then they measured how this speckled pattern oscillated when interacting with the X-rays bouncing off the defects and interior.

These oscillations ("like a vibrating tuning fork," Headrick says) are caused by atoms going different speeds - which gave the team a sensitive measure of the relative velocities of atoms in motion. But instead of 55 mph, the thin film surface grows up at a few Angstroms per second. Some of the defects grow with it, while others get left in the nanodust.

"This is a new X-ray effect," Randy Headrick says, "that lets us sense disordered matter in motion - at the atomic scale."

 

 

Revealing the ion transport at nanoscale

 
‎Monday, ‎April ‎11, ‎2016, ‏‎4:18:03 AMGo to full article
Lausanne, Switzerland (SPX) Apr 04, 2016 - EPFL researchers have shown that a law of physics having to do with electron transport at nanoscale can also be analogously applied to the ion transport. This discovery provides insight into a key aspect of how ion channels function within our living cells.

The membrane of all human cells contains tiny channels through which ions pass through at high speed. These ion channels play a fundamental role in how neurons, muscular cells and cardiac cells in particular function.

Ion channels are extremely complex, and many questions remain unanswered. How do the channels select the ions allowed to pass through? What accounts for the channels' high conductivity?

Researchers in EPFL's Laboratory of Nanoscale Biology, which is headed by Aleksandra Radenovic, have demonstrated that ion transport could be described by a law of physics called Coulomb blockade. This finding has been published in Nature Materials. Their observation could improve our understanding of how these channels work.

An island of ions
To carry out their tests, the researchers created an artificial ion channel by making a hole less than a nanometer in size in a two dimensional material molybdenum disulfide.

Then they put this material into a device consisting of two electrodes together with ionic solution on each side. When they applied a voltage, they were able to measure variations in the current between the two chambers.

In contrast to the conventional ion transport in larger nanopores (>1 nm), where the flow of ions never completely stops, they observed at low voltage energy gaps- strips without any current - which showed that the ions were held up in the nanopore until the applied voltage was high enough to facilitate their crossing from one side of the hole to the other one.

In order to interpret these energy gaps, the researchers carried out other tests, such as playing with the liquid's pH , which modulates the charge of the pore. pH-induced conductance oscillations were also found.

All these measurements led to the same conclusion: the manner which the ions are transported can be explained in terms of Coulomb blockade, a law of physics commonly associated with electron transport in quantum dots.

Until now, the mechanism characterized by Coulomb blockade was observed in electronics, particularly in semiconductor particles called quantum dots that tightly confine either electrons or electron holes in all three spatial dimensions.

These 'islands' are only able to hold a certain number of electrons, before giving way to the newcomers. The experiment led by EPFL researchers showed that the same phenomenon was happening with ion transport, when there was a nanopore involved.

"A number of theorists had predicted that Coulomb blockade could also be applied to ion channels. We were glad to collaborate on this work with Prof. Massimiliano Di Ventra from University of California, San Diego," said Radenovic. "And we proved them right, by observing this phenomenon for the first time using our nanopores."

Jiandong Feng, the lead author of the article added: "This observation provides a lot of information on how ions travel through the sub-nanometer sized nanopore, setting the stage for future explorations of mesoscopic ion transport."

Feng J, Liu K, Graf M, Dumcenco D, Kis A, Di Ventra M, and Radenovic A. ,Observation of Ionic Coulomb Blockade in Nanopores, Nature Materials

 

 

A view of the colorful microcosm within a proton

 
‎Monday, ‎April ‎11, ‎2016, ‏‎4:18:03 AMGo to full article
Upton NY (SPX) Mar 29, 2016 - The proton sounds like a simple object, but it's not. Inside, there's a teeming microcosm of quarks and gluons with properties such as spin and "color" charge that contribute to the particle's seemingly simplistic role as a building block of visible matter. By analyzing the particle debris emitted from collisions of polarized protons at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, scientists say they've found a new way to glimpse that internal microcosm.

They've measured a key effect of the so-called color interaction-the basis for the strong nuclear force that binds quarks within the proton. This new measurement tests, for the first time, theoretical concepts that are essential for mapping the proton's three-dimensional internal structure.

The research, described in a paper to be published as an Editor's Suggestion in Physical Review Letters, is only possible at RHIC, a 2.4-mile circular particle collider that operates as a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility for nuclear physics research at DOE's Brookhaven National Laboratory. RHIC is unique in that it uses specialized magnets to strategically align the spins of billions of tiny protons so they are mostly pointing in a particular direction as they circulate and collide.

This adjustable polarization is essential for teasing out details of the particles' internal structure, including how their constituent quarks and glue-like binding particles called gluons contribute to the protons' overall spin, and how these particles interact.

"In this experiment, the polarization gives scientists a unique way to understand hard-to-catch details of how the 'color' charges of quarks and gluons affect their microcosmic interactions," explained Brookhaven physicist Elke Aschenauer, a member of the scientific collaboration using RHIC's STAR detector to analyze the subatomic smashups.

Colors seen and unseen
If you've ever seen the colorful images of particle tracks emerging from collisions at STAR, you might wonder what all the fuss over "color" is about. STAR has been producing these firework-like displays since RHIC started operating in June 2000. The colors of those tracks help identify the types of particles emerging from RHIC collisions.

But the "color" of the quarks that make up the colliding ions is a rather different concept. It's a type of charge that borrows a naming convention from our understanding of visible light because it comes in three forms that must be combined to form a neutral state-similar to the way the three primary colors of light (red, green, and blue) combine to form "neutral" white light.

As is the case with more-familiar positive and negative electric charges, in color charge, opposites attract and like charges repel.

"To get neutral (white) you need all three colors. So the opposite of each individual color charge is the other two combined," Aschenauer said.

The need for three differently colored quarks to combine is the defining property of the strong nuclear force-which makes it impossible for quarks to be free, and ultimately binds protons and neutrons to form the atoms of visible matter. While several experiments have sought to measure the effects of the attractive interaction that binds "unlike" color charges, scientists have now, for the first time, measured an effect of the repulsive color interaction when "like" color charges meet up in particle collisions at RHIC.

Same asymmetry, opposite sign
Probing the effects of color charge interactions in particle collisions at STAR is no easy task. As STAR collaborator Salvatore Fazio explained, the RHIC physicists do it by measuring the number, trajectory, and energy level of particles called W bosons that emerge from RHIC's collisions of polarized protons.

But Ws decay in a flash-into an electron, which is fairly easy to pick up, and a neutrino, a notoriously elusive particle that quickly escapes. To get a read on the neutrino's energy, the scientists must detect all the particles that recoil in the opposite direction from the escaping neutrino-then add all that together with the energy of the electron to get the information they need about each W.

This reconstruction of a particle from a jet-like spray of debris requires a big detector with a very large acceptance-the ability to track a wide variety of particles over a very large area. In other words, you need STAR, a tracking detector that, like a giant barrel, covers the region around the point where the beams collide and is capable of catching thousands of particle sprays per second.

"The details about this measurement are very technical," Fazio said, "but counting up all the Ws can point to something called a 'single transverse spin asymmetry'-an imbalance in the number of these particles emerging to one side of the detector compared to the other depending on where the spin of the proton is pointing." This measurement is a big step toward verifying a long-standing theoretical prediction based on insights into the workings of the color interaction.

As Aschenauer pointed out, "There are a lot of initiatives in the world to measure this asymmetry in electron- or muon-proton collisions, using fixed targets at other facilities such as COMPASS, HERMES, and Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. But all the measurements from those experiments reflect the effects of the attractive force between 'unlike' color charges.

"The only way to test the theory of the color interaction being in one case attractive and in the other repulsive is to have an observable that is driven by the repulsive interaction between 'like' color charges-which is what we were able to test with polarized proton-proton collisions at RHIC."

The hypothesis was that the RHIC experiment would produce the same spatial imbalance in W production, but in the opposite direction as seen in the experiments sensitive to the interactions of "unlike" color charges. The experimental test of this "sign change" is one of the open questions in hadronic physics and was recently noted as a priority by the nation's Nuclear Science Advisory Committee (NSAC).

Even after conducting these studies for a relatively short time as a way to prove the concept, the STAR team says they've seen a hint of the sign change, but more data are needed to be sure.

"Because it is such a complicated measurement, we initially did not dedicate an entire run to this. But now we do have a hint we want to pursue," Fazio said. The team hopes to nail the case in the RHIC run of 2017, which for STAR, will be dedicated to this measurement.

In addition, because these new findings align with the theory scientists have been using to describe the inner structure of the proton, they also support their plan to use future collisions of electrons with polarized protons at a proposed electron ion collider (EIC) to conduct detailed studies of the internal structure of the proton.

"These STAR measurements give an indication of the internal momentum of quarks and gluons, both in the direction of motion but also transverse momentum. An EIC would unravel all the necessary details to produce 3D pictures of the proton's momentum structure," Aschenauer said.

Research paper: "Measurement of the transverse single-spin asymmetry in p?+p?W+/-/Z0 at RHIC"

 

 

Improving benchtop particle accelerators

 
‎Monday, ‎April ‎4, ‎2016, ‏‎7:08:31 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Mar 28, 2016 - The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), which helped scientists discover the Higgs boson, is a huge instrument buried under the Swiss-French border. It needs 27 kilometers of track to accelerate particles close to the speed of light before smashing them together. Yet there's another type of particle accelerator, called a laser wakefield accelerator, that requires only a fraction of the distance of conventional accelerators like the LHC.

Now researchers from India and South Korea have proposed a new way to improve the beam quality of laser wakefield accelerators, sometimes called benchtop accelerators because they can fit on a standard laboratory table.

Because laser wakefied accelerators are a fraction of the size and cost of convention accelerators, they could bring high energy physics experiments to more labs and universities, and produce charged particles for medical treatments. Improving the beam quality could improve the effectiveness of the devices. The researchers describe their method in a paper in the Journal of Applied Physics, from AIP Publishing.

Conventional particle accelerators use electric fields or radio waves to accelerate bunches of charged particles. Laser wakefield accelerators operate on a very different principle. The laser in the laser wakefield accelerator sends a pulse through a diffuse plasma. Plasma is a state of matter that contains positive ions and free electrons. The laser pulse excites waves in the plasma.

The waves, in turn, create an electric field, also known as a laser wakefield, that traps electrons and accelerates them to energy levels up to the order of gigaelectronvolts. In comparison, the LHC, the world's most powerful particle accelerator, can accelerate particles to energy levels of teraelectronvolts (1000 gigaelectronvolts).

The Indian and South Korean research team identified a technique they think could increase the number of electrons trapped in the wake of the laser pulse, and therefore improve the beam quality of laser wakefield accelerators.

The finding could improve technology for future accelerators, said Devki Nandan Gupta, a physicist at the University of Delhi in India and a member of the team.

In addition to an electric field, plasma-laser interactions can generate a magnetic field. When a laser pulse propagates through a plasma, the electric field of the laser pulse pushes the electrons around. If there is a net electron current within the pulse, it generates a magnetic field.

Gupta and his colleagues analysed laser-plasma dynamics using 2D computer simulations and found that if the plasma density varies and if the laser pulse compresses at the front so that it is asymmetric, both factors produce a larger magnetic field.

"Our study might be helpful in improving the beam quality of the laser wakefield accelerators," Gupta said. "The self-generated magnetic field bends the trajectory of the outgoing electrons towards the plasma wake, consequently the total number of trapped charge particles in the plasma wake increases and hence the total charge in the accelerated bunch in the laser wakefield acceleration increases."

Plasma-based accelerators require approximately 1000 times less distance than standard particle accelerators to achieve a comparable particle energy level. However, the technology is still in the developmental stage. Experimental plasma accelerators have been built in some national labs and universities and the technology continues to improve.

Gupta and his colleagues hope their work could facilitate the next generation of plasma accelerators. "The next step would be to justify these results in three-dimensional geometry. Of course, we may think to test these results experimentally in future as well," he said.

Research paper: "Large-scale magnetic field generation by asymmetric laser-pulse interactions with a plasma in low-intensity regime," is authored by K. Gopal, D. N. Gupta, Y. K. Kim, M. S. Hur and H. Suk. It will be published in the Journal of Applied Physics on March 22, 2016 (DOI: 10.1063/1.4943180).

 

 

Entanglement becomes easier to measure

 
‎Monday, ‎April ‎4, ‎2016, ‏‎7:08:31 AMGo to full article
Innsbruck, Austria (SPX) Mar 28, 2016 - In quantum theory, interactions among particles create fascinating correlations known as entanglement that cannot be explained by any means known to the classical world. Entanglement is a consequence of the probabilistic rules of quantum mechanics and seems to permit a peculiar instantaneous connection between particles over long distances that defies the laws of our macroscopic world - a phenomenon that Einstein referred to as "spooky action at a distance."

Developing protocols to detect and quantify entanglement of many-particle quantum states is a key challenge for current experiments because entanglement becomes very difficult to study when many particles are involved. "We are able to control smaller particle ensembles well, where we can measure entanglement in a relatively straight forward way," says quantum physicist Philipp Hauke.

However, "when we are dealing with a large system of entangled particles, this measurement is extremely complex or rather impossible because the resources required scale exponentially with the system size."

Philipp Hauke and Peter Zoller from the Department of Theoretical Physics at the University of Innsbruck and the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI) at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in collaboration with Markus Heyl from the Technical University of Munich, and Luca Tagliacozzo from ICFO - The Institute of Photonic Sciences have found a new way to detect certain properties of many-particle entanglement independent of the size of the system and by using standard measurement tools.

Entanglement measurable via susceptibility
"When dealing with more complex systems, scientists had to carry out a large number of measurements to detect and quantify entanglement between many particles," says Philipp Hauke. "Our protocol avoids this problem and can also be used for determining entanglement in macroscopic objects, which was nearly impossible until now."

With this new method theoretical physicists are able to use tools already well established experimentally. In their study, published in Nature Physics, the team of researchers give explicit examples to demonstrate their framework: The entanglement of many-particle systems trapped in optical lattices can be determined by laser spectroscopy, and the well-established technique of neutron scattering may be used for measuring it in solid-state systems.

As the physicists have been able to show, the quantum Fisher information, which represents a reliable witness for genuinely multipartite entanglement, is in fact measurable. The researchers have highlighted that entanglement can be detected by measuring the dynamic response of a system caused by a perturbation, which can be determined by comparing individual measurements.

"For example, when we move a sample through a time-dependent magnetic field, we can determine the system's susceptibility towards the magnetic field through the measurement data and thereby detect and quantify internal entanglement," explains Hauke.

Manifold applications
Quantum metrology, i.e. measurement techniques with increased precision exploiting quantum mechanics, is not the only important field of application of this protocol. It will also provide new perspectives for quantum simulations, where quantum entanglement is used as a resource for studying properties of quantum systems. In solid-state physics, the protocol may be used to investigate the role of entanglement in many-body systems, thereby providing a deeper understanding of quantum matter.

Research paper: Measuring multipartite entanglement through dynamic susceptibilities

 

 

Quantum simulation of a disordered system explain quantum many-particle problem

 
‎Monday, ‎April ‎4, ‎2016, ‏‎7:08:31 AMGo to full article
Urbana IL (SPX) Mar 21, 2016 - Using some of the largest supercomputers available, physics researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have produced one of the largest simulations ever to help explain one of physics most daunting problems. "This result was a fantastic collaboration between theory and experiment," explained Physics Professor Brian DeMarco, whose group led the experimental phase of the study.

"One of the grandest and most impactful frontiers of physics is the quantum many-particle problem. We do not understand very well what happens when many quantum particles come together and interact with each other. This problem spans some of the largest scales in the universe, like understanding the nuclear matter in neutron stars, to the smallest, such as electron transport in photosynthesis and the quarks and gluons inside a proton."

DeMarco's group experiments with atoms gases cooled to just billionths of a degree above absolute zero temperature in order to experimentally simulate models of materials such as high-temperature superconductors.

In these experiments, the atoms play the role of electrons in a material, and the analog of material parameters (like disorder) are completely controlled and known and can be changed every 90-second experimental cycle. Measurements on the atoms are used to expose new physics and test theories.

"In most cases, we lack predictive power, because these problems are not readily computable - a classical computer requires exponentially costly resources to simulate many quantum systems," added David Ceperley, a professor of physics whose team developed the companion simulation.

"A key example of this problem with practical challenges lies with materials such as high-temperature superconductors. Even armed with the chemical composition and structure of these materials, it is almost impossible to predict today at what temperature they will super-conduct."

The different approaches to attacking a particularly important quantum many-particle problem by DeMarco's and Ceperley's groups came together in a new result published in Nature Physics. In their paper, "Probing the Bose glass-superfluid transition using quantum quenches of disorder," Carolyn Meldgin from DeMarco's group and Ushnish Ray from Ceperley's team share a new understanding of how disorder in a quantum material gives rise to an exotic quantum state called a Bose glass.

"A Bose glass is a strange and poorly understood insulator that can occur when disorder is added to a superfluid or superconductor," Meldgin said. In her experiments, Meldgin was able to use optical disorder to induce a Bose glass, and Ray exactly simulated the experiment using the Titan supercomputer.

In this work, Ceperley's group achieved the largest scale computer simulations possible of a disordered quantum many-particle system on the biggest supercomputers in existence. These computer simulations were able to simulate relatively large numbers of particles, such as the 30,000 atoms used in DeMarco's experiments.

Together, Meldgin and Ray were able to show something startling - that a dynamic probe in the experiment connects to the equilibrium computer simulations.

"In both cases, the same amount of disorder is required to turn a superfluid into a Bose-glass," Ray stated. "This result is critically important to our understanding of disordered quantum materials, which are ubiquitous, since disorder is difficult to avoid. It also has important implications for quantum annealers, like the D-Wave Systems device."

 

 

Timeless thoughts on the definition of time

 
‎Monday, ‎April ‎4, ‎2016, ‏‎7:08:31 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Mar 28, 2016 - The earliest definitions of time and time-interval quantities were based on observed astronomical phenomena, such as apparent solar or lunar time, and as such, time as measured by clocks, and frequency, as measured by devices were derived quantities. In contrast, time is now based on the properties of atoms, making time and time intervals themselves derived quantities.

Today's definition of time uses a combination of atomic and astronomical time. However, their connection could be modified in the future to reconcile the divergence between the astronomic and atomic definitions.

These are some of the observations made by Judah Levine, author of a riveting paper just published in EPJ H, which provides unprecedented insights into the nature of time and its historical evolution.

The earliest clocks were in Egypt, India, China, and Babylonia before 1500 BC and used the flow of water or sand to measure time intervals. The Babylonians were probably the first to use a base-60 numbering system, and we also employ the Egyptian system of dividing the day into 24 hours, each with 60 minutes, and each minute with 60 seconds.

The definition of the length of the day therefore implicitly defines the length of the second, and vice versa. This link was an important consideration in the definition of the international time scale, UTC (Coordinated Universal Time).

In fact, UTC combines atomic frequency-standard data with observations of the astronomical time-scale UT1, a combination that has both advantages and problems, as discussed in this paper. However, the rate of divergence between UTC and UT1 is estimated to be less than one minute per century.

Levine concludes that as we move away from the everyday definitions of time and time interval towards a more uniform but more abstract realisation, then applications that depend on stable frequencies and time intervals will play a more fundamental role than time itself.

Research paper: The history of time and frequency from antiquity to the present day. J. Levine (2016), European Physical Journal H, DOI 10.1140/epjh/e2016-70004-3

 

 

New research shows quasars slowed star formation

 
‎Monday, ‎April ‎4, ‎2016, ‏‎7:08:31 AMGo to full article
Baltimore MD (SPX) Mar 25, 2016 - Research led by Johns Hopkins University scientists has found new persuasive evidence that could help solve a longstanding mystery in astrophysics: Why did the pace of star formation in the universe slow down some 11 billion years ago?

A paper published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society finds evidence supporting the argument that the answer was energy feedback from quasars within the galaxies where stars are born. That is, intense radiation and galaxy-scale winds emitted by the quasars - the most luminous objects in the universe - heats up clouds of dust and gas. The heat prevents that material from cooling and forming more dense clouds, and eventually stars.

"I would argue that this is the first convincing observational evidence of the presence of quasar feedback when the universe was only a quarter of its present age, when the cosmic star formation was most vigorous," said Tobias Marriage, an assistant professor in the university's Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy. While the findings appearing in the journal published by the Oxford University Press are not conclusive, Marriage said, the evidence is very compelling and has scientists excited.

"It's like finding a smoking gun with fingerprints near the body, but not finding the bullet to match the gun," Marriage said.

Specifically, investigators looked at information on 17,468 galaxies and found a tracer of energy known as the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Effect. The phenomenon, named for two Russian physicists who predicted it nearly 50 years ago, appears when high-energy electrons disturb the Cosmic Microwave Background. The CMB is a pervasive sea of microwave radiation, a remnant from the superheated birth of the universe some 13.7 billion years ago.

Devin Crichton, a Johns Hopkins graduate student and the paper's lead author, said the thermal energy levels were analyzed to see if they rise above predictions for what it would take to stop star formation. A large number of galaxies were studied to give the study statistical heft, he said.

"For feedback to turn off star formation, it must be occurring broadly," said Crichton, one of five Johns Hopkins scientists who led the work conducted by a total of 23 investigators from 18 institutions. Most of the scientists are members of the Atacama Cosmology Telescope collaboration, named for one of the three instruments used in the study.

To take the faint temperature measurements that would show the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Effect, the scientists used information gathered by two ground-based telescopes and one receiver mounted on a space observatory. Using several instruments with different strengths in search of the SZ Effect is relatively new, Marriage said.

"It's a pretty wild sort of thermometer," he said.

Information gathered in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey by an optical telescope at the Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico was used to find the quasars. Thermal energy and evidence of the SZ Effect were found using information from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope, an instrument designed to study the CMB that stands in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile. To focus on the dust, investigators used data from the SPIRE, or Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver, on the Herschel Space Observatory.

Galaxies reached their busiest star-making pace about 11 billion years ago, then slowed down. A team of astronomers more than three years ago estimated that the pace of star formation is one-thirtieth as fast as when it peaked. Scientists have puzzled for years over the question of what happened. The chief suspect has been the feedback process, Marriage said.

Nadia L. Zakamska, an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins and one of the report's co-authors, said it is only in the last few years that evidence of this phenomenon from direct observation has been compiled. The SZ Effect, she said, is a novel approach to the subject, making clearer the full effect of galactic wind on the surrounding galaxy.

"Unlike all other methods that are probing small clumps within the wind, the Sunyaev-Zeldovich Effect is sensitive to the bulk of the wind, the extremely hot plasma that's filling the volume of the wind and is completely undetectable using any other technique," she said.

 

 

Record-breaking ultraviolet winds discovered near black hole

 
‎Monday, ‎April ‎4, ‎2016, ‏‎7:08:31 AMGo to full article
University Park PA (SPX) Mar 24, 2016 - The fastest winds ever seen at ultraviolet wavelengths have been discovered near a supermassive black hole by a research team that includes a Penn State University astronomer.

"This new ultrafast wind surprised us when it appeared at ultraviolet wavelengths, indicating it is racing away from the ravenous black hole at unprecedented speeds - almost like a bat of out Hell," said William Nielsen (Niel) Brandt, the Verne M. Willaman Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics and a professor of physics at Penn State, a member of the research team.

"We're talking wind speeds of more than 200 million miles an hour, equivalent to a category 77 hurricane," said Jesse Rogerson, who led the research as part of his efforts toward earning a Ph.D. degree in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at York University in Canada.

The ultraviolet-wavelength winds are coming from the black hole's quasar - the disk of hot gas that surrounds the black hole. Quasars form around supermassive black holes at the centers of massive galaxies.

Quasars are bigger than Earth's orbit around the Sun and hotter than the surface of the Sun, generating enough light to be seen across the observable universe.

"An exciting discovery in recent years has been the realization that ultraviolet winds from quasars can both appear and disappear when viewed from Earth, depending on various conditions surrounding the black hole," Brandt said.

The team's discovery of the fastest ultraviolet wind ever confirmed from a quasar will be published in the March 21, 2016, print issue of the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

"Black holes can have a mass that is billions of times larger than the Sun, mostly because they are messy eaters in a way, capturing any material that ventures too close," said York University Associate Professor Patrick Hall, who is Rogerson's supervisor. "But as matter spirals toward a black hole, some of it is blown away by the heat and light of the quasar. These are the winds that we are detecting."

The research team used data from a large survey of the sky known as the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) to identify new outflows from quasars. After spotting about 300 examples, the astronomers selected about 100 for further exploration, collecting data with the Gemini Observatory's twin telescopes in Hawaii and Chile.

Much of this research is aimed at better understanding outflows from quasars and why they happen. "Quasar winds play an important role in galaxy formation," said Rogerson. "When galaxies form, these winds fling material outwards and deter the creation of stars.

If such winds didn't exist or were less powerful, we would see far more stars in big galaxies than we actually do. Hubble Space Telescope images of galaxies would look much different if quasar winds did not exist."

In addition to Brandt, Rogerson, and Hall, other members of the research team are Paola Rodriguez Hidalgo of York University and Humboldt State University; Patrik Pirkola of York University; and Nurten Filik Ak, a former Penn State graduate student who now is a professor of astrophysics at Erciyes University in Turkey. This research was supported, in part, by grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the National Science Foundation of the United States, and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey.

 

 

Cold Atom Laboratory Doing Cool Research

 
‎Saturday, ‎March ‎26, ‎2016, ‏‎11:06:06 PMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Mar 22, 2016 - On a sun-drenched hill in Southern California's San Gabriel Mountains, researchers are making progress on an experimental facility that could create the coldest known place in the universe.

The Cold Atom Laboratory (CAL), developed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, will probe the wonders of quantum physics when it launches to the International Space Station. The CAL facility recently hit a milestone of making an ultra-cold quantum gas with potassium, a high-tech feat that puts it on track for launch next year. The planned flight to space is in August 2017.

"Studying gases that have been cooled down to extreme temperatures is key to understanding how complexity arises in the universe, and allows us to test the fundamental laws of physics in a whole new way," said Robert Thompson, project scientist for the Cold Atom Laboratory at JPL.

Researchers with CAL are interested in a state of matter called a Bose-Einstein condensate, which happens when all the atoms in a very cold gas have the same energy levels. Like dancers in a chorus line, the atoms become synchronized and behave like one continuous wave instead of discrete particles.

On Earth, gravity limits how long scientists can study Bose-Einstein condensates because this form of matter falls to the bottom of any apparatus used to study it. In microgravity, such condensates can be observed for longer periods of time. This would allow scientists to better understand the properties of particles in this state and their uses for tests of fundamental physics. Ultra-cold atoms in microgravity may also be key to a wide variety of advanced quantum sensors, and exquisitely sensitive measurements of quantities such as gravity, rotations and magnetic fields.

Using lasers, magnetic traps and an electromagnetic "knife" to remove warm particles, CAL will take atoms down to the coldest temperatures ever achieved.

In February, the team created their first ultra-cold quantum gas made from two elemental species: rubidium and potassium. Previously, in 2014, CAL researchers made Bose-Einstein condensates using rubidium, and were able to reliably create them in a matter of seconds. This time, the cooled rubidium was used to bring potassium-39 down to ultra-cold temperatures.

"This marks an important step for the project, as we needed to verify that the instrument could create this two-species ultra-cold gas on Earth before doing so in space," said Anita Sengupta, the project manager for CAL, based at JPL.

"We were able to cool the gases down to about a millionth of a degree Kelvin above absolute zero, the point at which atoms would be close to motionless," said JPL's David Aveline, the CAL testbed lead.

That sounds inconceivably cold to mere mortals, but such temperatures are like tropical beach afternoons compared to the ultimate goal of CAL. Researchers hope to cool atoms down to a billionth of a degree above absolute zero when the experimental facility gets to space.

One area of science to which CAL will contribute is called Efimov physics, which makes fascinating predictions about the ways that a small number of particles interact. Isaac Newton had fundamental insights into how two bodies interact - for example, Earth and the moon - but the rules that govern them are more complicated when a third body, such as the sun, is introduced. The interactions become even more complex in a system of three atoms, which behave according to the odd laws of quantum mechanics.

Under the right conditions, ultra-cold gases that CAL produces contain molecules with three atoms each, but are a thousand times bigger than a typical molecule. This results in a low-density, "fluffy" molecule that quickly falls apart unless it is kept extremely cold.

"The way atoms behave in this state gets very complex, surprising and counterintuitive, and that's why we're doing this," said Eric Cornell, a physicist at the University of Colorado and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, both in Boulder, and member of the CAL science team. Cornell shared the 2001 Nobel Prize in physics for creating Bose-Einstein condensates.

At a recent meeting at JPL, researchers associated with the mission gathered to discuss ongoing developments and their scientific goals, which range from dark matter detection to atom lasers. They included Cornell, who, along with co-investigator Peter Engels of Washington State University, is leading one of the CAL experiments. "CAL science investigators could open new doors into the quantum world and will demonstrate new technologies for future NASA missions," said CAL Deputy Project Manager Kamal Oudrhiri at JPL.

"CAL's investigation will generate scientific data that could rewrite textbooks for generations," said Mark Lee, senior program scientist for fundamental physics at NASA Headquarters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beyond Perception - DVD

by Chuck Missler  

 

 

DVD

PRICE R 159.00

 

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

Has physics finally reached the very boundaries of reality?

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

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

This DVD includes notes in PDF format and MP3 files.

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


 
The Beyond Collection 

 

 

      

 

 

 

Price R399.00

 The Collection Includes the 4 DVD'S below

 

 

 

DVD - R159.00

 

 

DVD - R159.00

 

 

DVD - R159.00

 

 

DVD - R159.00

 

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

 

 YOU SAVE R 237.00!

Genetics Research Confirms Biblical Timeline

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

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

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

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

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

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

References

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

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

 

 
 

Big Bang Continues to Self-Destruct

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

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

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Iron-mining Fungus Displays Surprising Design

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

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

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Monkey Business in the New Gorilla Genome

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

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

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ICR Discovery Center: Trusting God's Word

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

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

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Amber-Encased Lizards Showcase Recent Creation

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

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

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ICR Discovery Center: Explaining the Scientific Method

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

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

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Viral Genome Junk Hits the Trash

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

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

 


 

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Tyrannosaur Ancestral Tree Remains Limbless

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

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

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ICR Discovery Center: Telling the Truth

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

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

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Evolutionary Tyranny Still Casts Cloud Over Science

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

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

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ICR Discovery Center: Revealing Creation Evidence

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

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

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Tooth Study Takes Bite Out of Evolution

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

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

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ICR Discovery Center: Equipping Believers

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

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

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China Spends Millions Searching for Aliens

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

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

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ICR Museum: Impacting Lives for the Gospel

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

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

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ICR Museum: It's Okay to Ask Dinosaur Questions

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

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

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Were Sauropods Wading in China?

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

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

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Octopus Genome as Large as Human Genome

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

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

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Delicate Silk Fossils Point to Creation

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

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

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Mother's Milk Could Save a Million Lives

 
‎17 ‎February ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Who wouldn't want to encourage a simple practice that can save almost a million lives and over 300 billion dollars per year in health costs? According to an article in medical journal The Lancet, breastfeeding provides so many dramatic advantages over other options that health experts are calling for its widespread practice.

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Honor To Whom Honor

 
‎15 ‎February ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

On President’s Day each year, our nation remembers and honors our presidents, especially such great leaders of the past as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, who played critical roles in the history of our nation. Whether these men were born-again Christians or not is still a matter of controversy, and the same is true of our current leaders.

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Beetles and Bears Inspire Technologies

 
‎12 ‎February ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Namib desert beetles collect faint water droplets on their exquisitely designed outer surfaces so they can survive in their dry environments. And polar bears keep a tight grip on smooth ice using precisely designed footpads. Engineers have copied these exquisite designs to make useful tools.

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ICR Museum: Showcasing a Recent Creation

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

Physicist Dr. Jake Hebert recounts some of the best evidence for recent creation found within his field and explains how ICR’s new museum will be able to showcase it in powerful and engaging ways.

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Living Fossils Found off Australia's Coast

 
‎08 ‎February ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

The Deep Down Under project explores "relict faunas," living creatures with eerily similar counterparts among some of the world's oldest fossils. Deep-sea researchers used a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to look for life around Osprey Reef off Queensland's coast. They found some surprises including animals known only from faraway places and long-gone times.

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ICR Planetarium: Travel Through Space

 
‎05 ‎February ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Astrophysicist Dr. Jason Lisle explains how ICR’s future planetarium will outshine the simple night-sky domes of the past. This 3-D, digital, fully immersive environment will not only transport viewers to endless locations within our vast universe but will also show them the compelling scientific evidence that confirms biblical creation.

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Your Brain Has More Memory Than the Internet

 
‎04 ‎February ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Whoever said the human brain is the most highly organized collection of matter in the universe was more correct than they could have known. New research modeled tiny structures within nerve cells and discovered a clever tactic brains use to increase computing power while maximizing energy efficiency. Its design could form the basis of a whole new and improved class of computer.

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Epigenetic Code More Complicated Than Previously Thought

 
‎28 ‎January ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

In complete contradiction to evolutionary predictions, the language systems in the genome continue to reveal nothing but unimaginable complexity. As a news story on a recent discovery explains, "The world of epigenetics…has just got bigger with the discovery by a team of scientists from the University of Cambridge of a new type of epigenetic modification."

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Rapid Erosion Supports Creation Model

 
‎25 ‎January ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Recently in Dorset, England, bad weather washed a massive section of a cliff into the sea revealing scores of ammonite fossils. Creation scientists are interested in this event because substantial erosion was accomplished in literally seconds. It didn't take hundreds of thousands to millions of years of slow and gradual erosion. One headline recently stated, "Climate can grind mountains faster than they can be rebuilt."

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Genetic Gap Widens Between Humans and Chimps

 
‎21 ‎January ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Increasingly, orphan genes defy evolution and support the Genesis account of creation. These genes are unique sets of coding sequences specific to particular creatures. This is a big problem for evolutionary ideas to explain. In a recent research report, scientists describe a new set of 1,307 orphan genes that are completely different between humans and chimpanzees.

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Population Study Standoff

 
‎18 ‎January ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

In 1975, ICR's founder and hydrological engineer Dr. Henry Morris made some interesting human population calculations. He demonstrated the feasibility of obtaining today's world population in only about 6,000 years. A new study presents a very different version of human history—one in which the population grew very slowly for 200,000 years. Does the science in this new report debunk Dr. Morris' 40-year-old biblical argument?

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NORAD Gene Could Aid Cancer Research

 
‎14 ‎January ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center discovered a gene called NORAD that, unlike protein-coding genes, makes a long functional RNA that works directly in the cell's nucleus. NORAD helps preserve the correct number of chromosomes in cells (e.g. 46 for humans). Conversely, the cellular chromosome number becomes unbalanced when the NORAD gene goes awry, a common trait in cancerous cells. Could the NORAD gene aid cancer research?

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Smart and Stealthy Cuttlefish

 
‎11 ‎January ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Many zoologists consider cuttlefish to be the most intelligent invertebrate species, which is quite a problem from an evolutionary perspective. Evolutionists view intelligence evolving through social interactions and long lifespans. But cuttlefish are cephalopods. They don't have a complex social structure and live only about a year—the lifespan of a butterfly. How did cuttlefish become so bright?

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Top 2015 News: Human Origins

 
‎07 ‎January ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Did mankind come from Adam? Did nations arise from families dispersed from Babel, found in modern-day Iraq? According to the most popular versions of human evolution, mankind came from an ape-kind. Animals supposedly evolved without supernatural tinkering, and the world's nations emerged from Africa. But discoveries from archaeology, linguistics, and genetics during 2015 confirm the Genesis account.

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Top 2015 News: Amazing Animal Designs

 
‎04 ‎January ‎2016, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Every year scientists discover new and amazing animal designs, and 2015 was no exception. Each find brings a new reminder of the same message every generation needs to hear: “The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; The world and all its fullness, You have founded them. The north and the south, You have created them.”

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Top 2015 News: Comets, Planets, and Pluto

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

No discussion of the top science news in 2015 would be complete without mentioning the stunning details of Pluto and its sister Charon received from the New Horizons spacecraft. But before exploring those finds, other solar system features deserve reflection since they also confirm the Bible's straightforward account of a recently created universe.

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Signs of Christmas

 
‎24 ‎December ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

God has given three specific signs with respect to the incarnation of Christ. There were other signs too, no doubt, such as the star of Bethlehem, but three events were specifically called signs.

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2015: Evolution Immobile

 
‎21 ‎December ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Advocates of vertical evolution think their beliefs are as factual as the earth orbiting the sun. However in 2015, science again shows something quite different. A supposed 150-million-year-old fossilized crab larva, discovered in Germany this year, surprised secular scientists because it "possesses a very modern morphology, indistinguishable from many crab larvae living today."

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Top 2015 News: The Real Jurassic World

 
‎17 ‎December ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Plenty of 2015 discoveries clashed with the largely fictional portrayal of dinosaurs in this year's blockbuster movie Jurassic World. They even confront basic theories, like that dinosaurs evolved into birds or died off tens of millions of years ago.

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Top 2015 News: Science Confronts Big Bang

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

2015 was not kind to Big Bang cosmology. This popular idea holds that the universe began from a small point that exploded, accelerated, slowed, and continues to expand. But this past year revealed discoveries that counter this theory's basic assumptions.

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Blue Tarantulas Supposedly Evolved Eight Times

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

The BBC recently reported a group of tarantulas possessing a beautiful blue color that apparently has an important signaling function. Evolutionary researchers maintain this shade of cobalt evolved at least eight separate times. But what's the evidence?

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A New Planet from Cosmic Dust?

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

The discovery of planets around distant stars isn't new. Roughly 2,000 exoplanets are confirmed to exist. But astronomers claim to have direct evidence that a giant planet is in the process of forming. How strong is this claim?

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Do 'Quill Knobs' Show Dino-to-Bird Evolution?

 
‎03 ‎December ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Newfound "feathered dinosaurs" continue to garner fossil headlines. What's the big deal? Peter Larson, part of a team that described an eight-foot tall supposedly feathered raptor fossil, explained its significance to the Rapid City Journal. The paper wrote, "He said this discovery is so important because this group of dinosaurs is 'very, very closely related to birds.'" Did they find actual feathers? Does this fossil really confirm that dinosaurs evolved into birds?

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Thanksgiving

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

The themes of praise and thanksgiving are very prominent throughout Scripture. The word "praise" and its derivatives occur over 330 times, and "thanks," with its derivatives, over 150 times.

 


If frequency of occurrence were an indicator, we might conclude that thanksgiving is important and praise-giving is twice as important!

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Pluto's Craterless Plains Look Young

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

Earlier this year, New Horizons flew past dwarf planet Pluto and its sister Charon, rapidly capturing data. That information continues to trickle in, revealing a surprisingly smooth heart-shaped plain called "Tombaugh Regio." The countless craters expected from billions of years' worth of impacts are nowhere to be found.

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Fossil Shrimp Brains Look Modern

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

Cambrian rocks are supposed to represent a time about 500 million years ago when ancient muds buried some of the first creatures that evolved on Earth. Today's array of life forms supposedly emerged from those "simpler" beginnings. But intriguing Cambrian discoveries, including newly described arthropod fossils from China, keep clashing with these out-of-touch ideas.

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Unexpected Oxygen on Young-Looking Comet

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

The European Space Agency's Rosetta probe travelled all the way to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko to collect unprecedented cometary details. The space probe keeps sending unexpected particulars about the comet—particulars with implications far beyond the comet itself.

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2015 Nobel Prize Highlights Cell Repair Mystery

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

Three scientists were awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for uncovering how human cells repair their own DNA. DNA repair mechanisms keep us alive, and understanding them undergirds a fuller comprehension of how cells work and fend off the disastrous consequences of too many mutations. The research of these three men implies that cells have always used DNA repair mechanisms, thus uncovering evolutionary mysteries that have not yet found sensible solutions.

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Amazing Design Structures in Long-Necked Dinosaurs

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

The 75th annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology provided glimpses into the latest research on fossils of all kinds, including those long-necked dinosaurs called sauropods. One presentation revealed amazing structures that demonstrated the feasibility and efficiency of design that could hold 30-foot-long necks aloft.

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Amazing Sauropod Neck Design in 'Cervical Ribs'

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

When someone says "ribs," people immediately think of those organ-protecting bones that wrap around a thorax. Well, cervical ribs are different, and cervical ribs on extinct long-necked dinosaurs were very different. They ran the whole length of certain sauropods' necks. Each rib attached to a neck vertebra, and each rib stretched across the length of three total vertebrae. Were these cervical ribs an evolutionary happenstance, or did they serve some kind of function as though created on purpose?

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New First Life Estimate Creates More Problems

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

How long would inanimate chemicals take to swirl themselves together and form a living cell? This unfair question assumes that such chemicals could ever form themselves into a cell even given an eternity to do so, but recent evidence from tiny crystals in Australian rocks causes researchers to think life evolved much earlier than most scientists would ever have thought possible. However, this new story of early emerging life comes with an array of new challenges.

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Can't See the Forest for the Trees

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

At the 75th annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, held this year in downtown Dallas, the world's foremost fossil experts presented scores of research summaries. Amazingly, almost all of these fossil descriptions included phylogenetic (evolutionary) tree diagrams. Today's paleontologists show a religious-like devotion to fit their finds in an evolutionary tree. And with equally amazing regularity they describe problems with this process of constructing evolutionary trees. Are these problems significant enough to cast doubt on the whole exercise?

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Noah’s Ark ‘Discovery’ Likely a Sinking Ship

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

“Spirited Debate,” a Fox News program hosted by Lauren Green, recently interviewed Norman Geisler and Philip Williams on the possible discovery of Noah’s Ark. Despite Dr. Geisler’s support, three reasons suggest we should be skeptical toward their claims.

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Homo naledi: Claims of a Transitional Ape

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

Our first article on Homo naledi addressed questions about the anatomy and geologic setting of these fossils. Our second asked why these scientists chose to not date the fossils. This third and final article explores the question of how the fossils arrived in such a remote part of the cave. This may be the toughest of the three questions to answer.

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Homo naledi: Dating the Strange Ape

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

In the first of our three articles on this news-grabbing subject, we pointed out some strange circumstances surrounding the geology of the cave systems in which Homo naledi was discovered, as well as critical mismatches in bony body parts. This second article exposes a strange lack of evolutionary dating methods. Why has lead researcher Lee Berger, who is touring the world touting these fossils, not performed even one of several standard dating methods for fossils?

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Homo naledi: Geology of a Claimed Missing Link

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

Recent claims of a transitional species named Homo naledi have the anthropologic world in an uproar. The new fossil "species" is said to be a human-like ancestor that neatly fills the gap between the Australopithecus and our own genus Homo. This seemingly fits the human evolution story promulgated since the 19th century, but what are these bones really?

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Prosecute Climate-Change Skeptics?

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

Twenty academics have written a letter to President Obama, urging him to use the RICO law—an instrument originally developed to wield against organized crime—to investigate organizations that are skeptical of the purported dangers of "climate change."

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Liquid Water on Mars?

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

Scientists have announced indirect evidence of liquid water on the surface of Mars, raising hopes among secular scientists that life may be present on the "red planet." But why do they hope for this—and are such hopes realistic?

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Cancer Medicine in Wasp Toxin?

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

A short protein, or peptide, in wasp toxin may one day treat human cancer in a whole new way. Researchers isolated a particular peptide from the venom of Brazilian Polybia paulista wasps and studied how it seeks and destroys cancer cells while leaving normal cells unharmed. They uncovered intriguing details that enable this average-looking peptide to become a cell-destroying weapon.

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Discovery: Spine Signals Ears to Maintain Balance

 
‎24 ‎September ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Bodies bounce while jogging or performing any number of other vigorous activities, usually without getting dizzy. However, bodies get dizzy when they are "bounced" from the outside, like while on a boat or airplane. What's the difference? Researchers pinpointed amazing new details behind the mechanism that maintains balance during voluntary motion, but their notion of its origins clearly misses the mark.

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'Living Fossils' Point to Recent Creation

 
‎21 ‎September ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

The creation of original, distinct creature kinds confronts the evolutionary teaching that animals can endlessly morph from one form to another. Recent news reports reveal two clear illustrations of sea creatures living and reproducing according to their kind right from the start.

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Protoplanetary Disc Model Falls Flat

 
‎17 ‎September ‎2015, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

How did our solar system get here? Those who dismiss any possibility of creation imagine ways that pure natural forces might set in motion the sun, each unique planet and their moons. New computer modeling results seem to show promise—but only when they overlook or assume obvious and important factors.

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Pitcher Plants Designed to Attract Bats

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

Even children learn that plants and animals depend on one another. Plants release oxygen for animals to breathe, and plants make food—mostly sugar—for animals to eat. In turn, animals produce carbon dioxide so plants can grow using sunlight. This ecological interdependence shows enough divine design to inspire any honest thinker to consider a Creator, but a recently discovered interaction between pitcher plants and bats shows even more.

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Homo naledi, a New Human Ancestor?

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

A BBC News story reported on September 10 the discovery of a “new human-like species” in Africa, stating “researchers claim that the discovery will change ideas about our human ancestors.” As always, we at the Institute for Creation Research are extremely skeptical, taking such breaking news stories with a little more than a grain of salt. We have found that with more time and research, the preliminary spectacular claims of alleged “human ancestors” dissolve into a footnote, a non-story.

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Dinosaur Footprints in Dallas

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

Spring rains flooded the Dallas area this year, including Lake Grapevine which is about 10 miles west of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) campus. Record water levels submerged entire lakeside parks and adjacent roads. As the water slowly receded, it revealed a reshaped shoreline—and dinosaur tracks. What kinds of creatures made these marks?

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Man and His Labor

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

Whatever our job may be, it can be regarded as serving Christ and helping to fulfill His primeval-dominion commandment, and even helping lead others to know Him.

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Sea Serpent on Danish Ship Prow

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

On August 11, researchers from Södertörn University in Sweden raised an ancient 660-pound ship's prow from the floor of the Baltic Sea. The 11-foot-long beam features an exquisite dragon carving. Discovery News wrote that Marcus Sandekjer, head of the nearby Blekinge Museum which aided the extraction "believes it looks like a monstrous dog." It fits in well with other sea-serpent artwork in history.

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Giant Galaxy Ring Shouldn't Exist

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

A team of astronomers from Hungary and the United States, led by Professor Lajos Balázs of Konkoly Observatory in Budapest, has announced the discovery of an enormous ring of galaxies. According to the Big Bang model, this ring should not exist.

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Cell Feature Resembles Power Grid

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

Apparently, it's time to alter biology and anatomy textbooks again. There's much more to mitochondria than we ever thought. Researchers revealed that these tiny cellular power houses are highly organized to efficiently deliver ATP energy. They interconnect throughout muscle cells, forming a gigantic mitochondrial network. Researchers published this stunning discovery in Nature, calling it the "mitochondrial reticulum."

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Undersea Monolith Reveals Genius Engineering

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

Of all the scientific disciplines, underwater archaeology may be one of the most fascinating. These researchers examine artifacts our ancestors left behind before global sea level rose and covered them. A newly discovered monolith—a gigantic rock placed in what is today the Mediterranean Sea—confronts a few evolution-based errors about human origins.

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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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