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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”.
 
 
Space News from SpaceDaily.com
Space News From SpaceDaily.Com
 
 

China completes construction of advanced space launch facility

 
‎12 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎08:10:01 PMGo to full article
Beijing (SPX) Sep 12, 2014
China has finished building of its fourth and most advanced space launch center, a senior space official said. Yang Liwei, deputy director of the China Manned Space Agency, said in Beijing on Wednesday that infrastructure construction on the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center in the southern island province of Hainan has been completed and that the station will soon become operational.
 

Russia to boost nuclear, space defence forces against US

 
‎12 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎08:10:01 PMGo to full article
Moscow (AFP) Sept 10, 2014
Russia will respond to the United States' "prompt global strike" programme designed to take out targets within an hour by upgrading its nuclear and space defence forces, its deputy prime minister said Wednesday. "Our response to the prompt global strike strategy is upgrading our strategic nuclear forces and resources - the strategic rocket forces and the naval ones - and also developing ai
 

Where to grab space debris

 
‎12 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎08:10:01 PMGo to full article
Boston MA (SPX) Sep 12, 2014
Objects in space tend to spin - and spin in a way that's totally different from the way they spin on earth. Understanding how objects are spinning, where their centers of mass are, and how their mass is distributed is crucial to any number of actual or potential space missions, from cleaning up debris in the geosynchronous orbit favored by communications satellites to landing a demolition crew o
 

Unprecedented X-ray View of Supernova Remains

 
‎12 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎08:10:01 PMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Sep 12, 2014
The destructive results of a powerful supernova explosion reveal themselves in a delicate tapestry of X-ray light, as seen in this image from NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory and the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton. The image shows the remains of a supernova that would have been witnessed on Earth about 3,700 years ago. The remnant is called Puppis A, and is around 7,000 light years awa
 

Mysterious quasar sequence explained

 
‎12 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎08:10:01 PMGo to full article
Pasadena, CA (SPX) Sep 12, 2014
Quasars are supermassive black holes that live at the center of distant massive galaxies. They shine as the most luminous beacons in the sky across the entire electromagnetic spectrum by rapidly accreting matter into their gravitationally inescapable centers. New work from Carnegie's Hubble Fellow Yue Shen and Luis Ho of the Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics (KIAA) at Peking Univers
 

Proton Launches May Compete on Price With US Falcons

 
‎12 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎08:10:01 PMGo to full article
Moscow (RIA Novosti) Sep 12, 2014
Future commercial launches of Russian Proton launch vehicles will be able to compete with the US Space X's Falcon 9 rockets but on certain conditions, the Deputy Director General in charge of Economics and Finance of the United Rocket and Space Corporation said Thursday. "If Space X enters the market with the prices and features it is talking about, if it can launch the Falcon 9 to a geost
 

PPPL scientists take key step toward solving a major astrophysical mystery

 
‎12 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎08:10:01 PMGo to full article
Princeton NJ (SPX) Sep 12, 2014
Magnetic reconnection can trigger geomagnetic storms that disrupt cell phone service, damage satellites and black out power grids. But how reconnection, in which the magnetic field lines in plasma snap apart and violently reconnect, transforms magnetic energy into explosive particle energy remains a major unsolved problem in plasma astrophysics. Magnetic field lines represent the direction, and
 

NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover Arrives at Martian Mountain

 
‎12 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎08:10:01 PMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Sep 12, 2014
NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has reached the Red Planet's Mount Sharp, a Mount-Rainier-size mountain at the center of the vast Gale Crater and the rover mission's long-term prime destination. "Curiosity now will begin a new chapter from an already outstanding introduction to the world," said Jim Green, director of NASA's Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "After
 

NASA Research Gives Guideline for Future Alien Life Search

 
‎12 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎08:10:01 PMGo to full article
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Sep 12, 2014
Astronomers searching the atmospheres of alien worlds for gases that might be produced by life can't rely on the detection of just one type, such as oxygen, ozone, or methane, because in some cases these gases can be produced non-biologically, according to extensive simulations by researchers in the NASA Astrobiology Institute's Virtual Planetary Laboratory. The researchers carefully simul
 

NASA's Orion Spacecraft Nears Completion, Ready for Fueling

 
‎12 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎08:10:01 PMGo to full article
Cape Canveral FL (SPX) Sep 12, 2014
NASA is making steady progress on its Orion spacecraft, completing several milestones this week at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida in preparation for the capsule's first trip to space in December. Engineers finished building the Orion crew module, attached it and the already-completed service module to the adapter that will join Orion to its rocket and transported the spacecraft to a new
 

Lurking bright blue star caught!

 
‎12 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎08:10:01 PMGo to full article
Tokyo, Japan (SPX) Sep 12, 2014
A team led by Gaston Folatelli at the Kavli IPMU, the University of Tokyo, has found evidence of a hot binary companion star to a yellow supergiant star, which had become a bright supernova. The existence of the companion star had been predicted by the same team on the basis of numerical calculations. This finding provides the last link in a chain of observations that have so far supported
 

'Hot Jupiters' provoke their own host suns to wobble

 
‎12 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎08:10:01 PMGo to full article
Ithaca NY (SPX) Sep 12, 2014
These large, gaseous exoplanets (planets outside our solar system) can make their suns wobble when they wend their way through their own solar systems to snuggle up against their suns, according to new Cornell University research to be published in Science. "Although the planet's mass is only one-thousandth of the mass of the sun, the stars in these other solar systems are being affected b
 

This star cluster is not what it seems

 
‎12 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎08:10:01 PMGo to full article
Munich, Germany (SPX) Sep 12, 2014
The Milky Way galaxy is orbited by more than 150 globular star clusters, which are balls of hundreds of thousands of old stars dating back to the formation of the galaxy. One of these, along with several others in the constellation of Sagittarius (The Archer), was found in the late eighteenth century by the French comet hunter Charles Messier and given the designation Messier 54. For more
 

NASA Research Helps Unravel Mysteries Of The Venusian Atmosphere

 
‎12 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎08:10:01 PMGo to full article
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Sep 12, 2014
Underscoring the vast differences between Earth and its neighbor Venus, new research shows a glimpse of giant holes in the electrically charged layer of the Venusian atmosphere, called the ionosphere. The observations point to a more complicated magnetic environment than previously thought - which in turn helps us better understand this neighboring, rocky planet. Planet Venus, with i
 

ESA's bug-eyed telescope to spot risky asteroids

 
‎12 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎08:10:01 PMGo to full article
Paris (ESA) Sep 12, 2014
Spotting Earth-threatening asteroids is tough partly because the sky is so big. But insects offer an answer, since they figured out long ago how to look in many directions at once. As part of the global effort to hunt out risky celestial objects such as asteroids and comets, ESA is developing an automated telescope for nightly sky surveys. This telescope is the first in a future network
 

Three Russian and American astronauts return to Earth

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:58:50 PMGo to full article
Moscow (AFP) Sept 11, 2014
Two Russian cosmonauts and an American astronaut returned to Earth on Thursday after spending more than six months working together aboard the International Space Station, as tensions between their countries soared over the Ukraine crisis. American Steven Swanson and Russians Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev, who left on March 26, landed in the Kazakh steppe at 0223 GMT aboard a Soyuz c
 

Science Continues on Orbital Lab While Trio Prepares for Departure

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:58:50 PMGo to full article
Houston TX (SPX) Sep 11, 2014
One set of Expedition 40 crew members is working advanced microgravity science while another set is wrapping up its stay in space. NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman started his morning on a pair of fluid physics experiments. He first photographed samples of colloids, or microscopic particles suspended in liquids, for a version of the Binary Colloid Alloy Test experiment subtitled Low Gravity Pha
 

SSTL collaborates with Kypros on new turnkey, low-cost geostationary system

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:58:50 PMGo to full article
Guildford UK (SPX) Sep 11, 2014
Surrey Satellite Technology (SSTL) and Kypros Satellites (Kyprosat) have signed an agreement to collaborate on a turnkey, low-cost geostationary telecommunications satellite system. The solution is based on SSTL's small GMP-T geostationary satellite platform which delivers up to 5.5kW power, offered together with orbital slot assets and asset management services provided by Kyprosat. The f
 

Spitzer's SPLASH Project Dives Deep for Galaxies

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:58:50 PMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Sep 11, 2014
A new survey of galaxies by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is taking a plunge into the deep and uncharted waters of our cosmos. In one of the longest surveys the telescope will have ever performed, astronomers have begun a three-month expedition trawling for faint galaxies billions of light-years away. The results are already yielding surprises. "If you think of our survey as fishing
 

12th Batch of Messenger Data Released; Water Ice Exploration Tool Unveiled

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:58:50 PMGo to full article
Laurel MD (SPX) Sep 11, 2014
Data collected during MESSENGER's 31st through 36th month in orbit around Mercury were released to the public by the Planetary Data System (PDS), an organization that archives and distributes NASA's planetary mission data. With this release, data are now available to the public through the sixth full Mercury solar day of MESSENGER orbital operations. NASA requires that all of its planetary
 

MEASAT-3b and Optus 10 given go-ahead for Ariane 5 Sept 11 launch

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:58:50 PMGo to full article
Kourou, French Guiana (ESA) Sep 11, 2014
The Arianespace heavy-lift Ariane 5 mission with telecommunications satellites for two leading Asia-Pacific operators received the "green light" for its Thursday liftoff from the Spaceport in French Guiana. Carrying Malaysian-based MEASAT's MEASAT-3b in the upper position under Ariane 5's fairing and Optus 10 for Australia's Optus as the lower passenger, this mission further underscores Ar
 

EIAST announces Remote Sensing Applications Competition 2014

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:58:50 PMGo to full article
Dubai, UAE (SPX) Sep 11, 2014
The Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST) has announced the launch of the Remote Sensing Applications Competition 2014 (RSAC 2014). The competition, which is open for all governmental sectors, educational and research institutes in the UAE, will be to conduct scientific research and comprehensive studies in designing and implementing state-of-the-art applications for t
 

A Map of Rosetta's Comet

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:58:50 PMGo to full article
Munich, Germany (SPX) Sep 11, 2014
High-resolution images of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko reveal a unique, multifaceted world. ESA's Rosetta spacecraft arrived at its destination about a month ago and is currently accompanying the comet as it progresses on its route toward the inner solar system. Scientists have now analyzed images of the comet's surface taken by OSIRIS, Rosetta's scientific imaging system, and allocated
 

Reports of Meteorite Strike in Nicaragua and Update on Asteroid 2014 RC

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:58:50 PMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Sep 11, 2014
Reports in the media over the weekend that a small meteorite impacted in Nicaragua have yet to be confirmed. A loud explosion was heard near Managua's international airport Saturday night, and photos of a 24-meter (80-foot) crater have been circulated. As yet, no eyewitness accounts or imagery have come to light of the fireball flash or debris trail that is typically associated with a mete
 

Hubble Finds Supernova Companion Star after Two Decades of Searching

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:58:50 PMGo to full article
Baltimore MD (SPX) Sep 11, 2014
Using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered a companion star to a rare type of supernova. The discovery confirms a long-held theory that the supernova, dubbed SN 1993J, occurred inside what is called a binary system, where two interacting stars caused a cosmic explosion. "This is like a crime scene, and we finally identified the robber," said Alex Filippenko, professor
 

FirstNet-related Tactical LTE Communications System at Urban Shield Exercise

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:58:50 PMGo to full article
Oakland CA (SPX) Sep 10, 2014
At Urban Shield 2014, Mutualink, Sonim and Oceus will participate in a FirstNet-related deployment of an Enhanced System on Wheels (ESOW). The exercise will give public safety officials in northern California the opportunity to prepare for a coordinated, multi-agency, emergency response using advanced collaboration across LTE Band 14. During the Urban Shield exercise, officials from the No
 

Intelsat General Extends Contract to Provide Satellite Capacity to Forces in Afghanistan

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:58:50 PMGo to full article
Bethesda, MD (SPX) Sep 10, 2014
Intelsat General has confirmed that it had received a one-year contract renewal for satellite capacity from DRS Technologies, one of several previously referenced renewals that were received in the 2014 third quarter under the Future Commercial Satellite Communications Acquisition (FCSA) vehicle. Under the contract, entering its third year, Intelsat General is supplying satellite services
 

Russian Defense Ministry Denies Reports that Its Satellite Exploded Above US

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:58:50 PMGo to full article
Moscow (RIA Novosti) Sep 10, 2014
The Russian Defense Ministry on Tuesday denied media reports of a Russian military satellite that allegedly exploded above the United States. Earlier in the day, the American Meteor Society published more than 30 reports from alleged eyewitnesses, who claimed they observed a blast of Russia's Kosmos-2495 imaging reconnaissance satellite. "The Russian satellite group functions normall
 

Israel, US test upgraded Arrow 2 missile interceptor

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:58:50 PMGo to full article
Jerusalem (AFP) Sept 09, 2014
Israel and the United States on Tuesday successfully conducted a joint test of an upgraded Arrow 2 ballistic missile interception system over the Mediterranean Sea, the defence ministry said. "An Arrow 2 missile was launched and performed its flight sequence as planned," the defence ministry said in a statement, with a spokesman confirming the system had been upgraded. The two countries
 

China's Space Station is Still On Track

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:58:50 PMGo to full article
Sydney, Australia (SPX) Sep 11, 2014
China has recently disclosed some more developments in its space laboratory and space station program. We can expect China's next space laboratory, Tiangong 2, to launch in 2016. The large Chinese Space Station will be launched around 2022. The overall structure of these plans has not changed from previous announcements but the dates seem to be slipping. Should we be concerned? Not really.
 

Ultra-thin Detector Captures Unprecedented Range of Light

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎02:39:44 PMGo to full article
College Park MD (SPX) Sep 10, 2014
New research at the University of Maryland could lead to a generation of light detectors that can see below the surface of bodies, walls, and other objects. Using the special properties of graphene, a two-dimensional form of carbon that is only one atom thick, a prototype detector is able to see an extraordinarily broad band of wavelengths. Included in this range is a band of light wavelen
 

First evidence for water ice clouds found outside solar system

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎11:46:40 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Sep 10, 2014
A team of scientists led by Carnegie's Jacqueline Faherty has discovered the first evidence of water ice clouds on an object outside of our own Solar System. Water ice clouds exist on our own gas giant planets--Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune--but have not been seen outside of the planets orbiting our Sun until now. Their findings are published by The Astrophysical Journal Letters. At
 

Space Traffic Control Architecture

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎11:46:40 AMGo to full article
Bethesda MD (SPX) Sep 10, 2014
The number of organizations using the near-Earth space environment for applications ranging from exploration to exploitation and national security is impressive and continues to grow. Safety is a prime concern for both equipment and personnel. For government operators, the control of risk is mandatory. For commercial operators, operational efficiency and favorable cost/benefit consideratio
 

Interactive dark matter could explain Milky Way's missing satellite galaxies

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎11:46:40 AMGo to full article
Durham, UK (SPX) Sep 10, 2014
Scientists believe they have found a way to explain why there are not as many galaxies orbiting the Milky Way as expected. Computer simulations of the formation of our galaxy suggest that there should be many more, smaller galaxies around the Milky Way than are observed through telescopes. This has thrown doubt on the generally accepted theory of cold dark matter, a substance that scientis
 

NASA EPSCoR to fund planetary seismology research at NMSU

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎11:46:40 AMGo to full article
Las Cruces, NM (SPX) Sep 10, 2014
New Mexico NASA Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) has awarded a grant of $749,893 to New Mexico State University astronomers for research to be conducted over the next three years. Jason Jackiewicz and Patrick Gaulme are leading an international team of researchers working on the "Jovian Interiors from Velocimetry Experiment (JIVE) in New Mexico," to develop a
 

Mars Rover Opportunity's Vista Includes Long Tracks

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎11:46:40 AMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Sep 10, 2014
From a ridgeline viewpoint, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity recently recorded a scene looking back over its own tracks made from nearly half a mile (more than 700 meters) of southbound driving. Opportunity's panoramic camera (Pancam) recorded the component images on Aug. 15, 2014, from an elevated portion of the west rim of Endeavour Crater. A brief video places the scene i
 

Large space object slams Nicaragua's capital as asteroid passes Earth

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎11:46:40 AMGo to full article
Moscow (Voice of Russia) Sep 10, 2014
A blast that filled Nicaragua's 1.2 million capital Managua with dismay on Sunday night is most probably a meteorite that left a 12-meter crater near the city's airport. The space rock might be a fragment of a larger space object that passed near Earth. "We are convinced that this was a meteorite. We have seen the impact from the crater," Wilfredo Strauss of the Seismic Institute said, as
 

Mitsubishi Electric to Deliver Satellite to Qatari Operator

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎11:46:40 AMGo to full article
Tokyo, Japan (SPX) Sep 10, 2014
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has been awarded a contract to deliver the Es'hail 2 communications satellite to operator Qatar Satellite Company (Es'hailSat) in Doha. In-orbit delivery is scheduled for the end of 2016. Mitsubishi Electric is the first Japanese satellite manufacturer to enter the Arab commercial communications satellite market. With a more than 15-year design life, t
 

Flash-Memory Reformat On Opportunity Underway

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎11:46:40 AMGo to full article
Pasadena CA (JPL) Sep 10, 2014
Opportunity is on the west rim of Endeavour Crater heading towards 'Marathon Valley,' a putative location for abundant clay minerals. The project is taking steps to reformat the rover's Flash file system to correct the recurring reset problem. On Sols 3767 and 3768 (Aug. 29 and 30, 2014), the project sent special commands to put the rover into a mode that does not use the Flash file system
 

DoD Agrees to Share Space Data with South Korea

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎11:46:40 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Sep 10, 2014
The Defense Department has signed a memorandum of understanding to share space situational awareness data with South Korea's Defense Ministry, Pentagon officials said. The accord provides South Korea's air force with higher-quality and more timely space information tailored for its specific purposes in exchange for satellite-positional and radio-frequency information it will provide to U.S
 

NRL Scientist Explores Birth of a Planet

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎11:46:40 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Sep 10, 2014
Dr. John Carr, a scientist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), is part of an international team that has discovered what they believe is evidence of a planet forming around a star about 335 light years from Earth. This research is published in the August 20th issue of The Astrophysical Journal. Carr and the other research team members set out to study the protoplanetary disk aroun
 

NASA Launches New Era of Earth Science from ISS

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎11:46:40 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Sep 10, 2014
The launch of a NASA ocean winds sensor to the International Space Station (ISS) this month inaugurates a new era of Earth observation that will leverage the space station's unique vantage point in space. Before the end of the decade, six NASA Earth science instruments will be mounted to the station to help scientists study our changing planet. The first NASA Earth-observing instrument to
 

New NASA Probe Will Study Earth's Forests in 3-D

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎11:46:40 AMGo to full article
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Sep 10, 2014
A laser-based instrument being developed for the International Space Station will provide a unique 3-D view of Earth's forests, helping to fill in missing information about their role in the carbon cycle. Called the Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) lidar, the instrument will be the first to systematically probe the depths of the forests from space. The system is one of two in
 

Space Agency to be Established in UAE

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎11:46:40 AMGo to full article
Moscow (RIA Novosti) Sep 10, 2014
United Arab Emirates (UAE) President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued a decree on the establishment of a space agency, which will deal with all issues related to space industry, according to a statement released Sunday by Emirati newspaper Al Bayan. The headquarters of the agency will be located in Abu Dhabi, its offices - in Dubai and other emirates as well as abroad. The agency will be
 

Turkey in talks with France over missile purchase: Erdogan

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎11:46:40 AMGo to full article
Ankara (AFP) Sept 07, 2014
Turkey has resumed talks with France on purchasing a new missile system after negotiations on a controversial deal with a US-blacklisted Chinese company hit a rock, the Turkish president was reported Sunday as saying. "Some disagreements have emerged with China on the issues of joint production and technology transfer during negotiations over missile defence system," President Recep Tayyip E
 

Live from inside a battery

 
‎10 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎05:52:47 PMGo to full article
Munich, Germany (SPX) Sep 05, 2014
Lithium-ion batteries are seen as a solution for energy storage of the future and have become indispensible, especially in electromobility. Their key advantage is that they are able to store large amounts of energy but are still comparatively light and compact. However, when metallic lithium forms and deposits during charging it can lead to a reduced battery lifespan and even short-circuits.
 

MAVEN Spacecraft Makes Final Preparations For Mars

 
‎09 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:34:16 PMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Sep 09, 2014
On Sept. 21, 2014, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution spacecraft will complete roughly 10 months of travel and enter orbit around the Red Planet. The orbit-insertion maneuver will be carried out as the spacecraft approaches Mars, wrapping up an interplanetary journey of 442 million miles (711 million kilometers). Six thruster engines will fire briefly for a "settling" burn that dam
 

SpaceX launches AsiaSat 6 satellite

 
‎09 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:34:16 PMGo to full article
Cape Canaveral AFB FL (SPX) Sep 09, 2014
The 45th Space Wing supported Space Exploration Technologies' (SpaceX) successful launch of the Falcon 9 rocket carrying the AsiaSat 6 satellite here from Space Launch Complex 40 at 1 a.m. EDT Sept. 7. The Falcon 9 topped with the SpaceX fairing is 224.4 feet (68.4 meters) tall and 12 feet in diameter (the fairing is 17 feet in diameter). Its nine first-stage Merlin engines generate 1.3 mi
 

China launches remote sensing satellite

 
‎09 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:34:16 PMGo to full article
Taiyuan, China (XNA) Sep 09, 2014
China successfully launched the Yaogan-21 remote sensing satellite into preset orbit at 11:22 a.m. on Monday Beijing Time (0322 GMT) from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center. The carrier rocket, a Long March-4B, is also carrying the Tiantuo-2 satellite, designed and built by the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT). Yaogan-21 will be used for scientific experiments, natural r
 

Evidence of 'Diving' Tectonic Plates on Jupiter's Moon Europa

 
‎09 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:34:16 PMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Sep 09, 2014
Scientists have found evidence of plate tectonics on Jupiter's moon Europa. This indicates the first sign of this type of surface-shifting geological activity on a world other than Earth. Researchers have clear visual evidence of Europa's icy crust expanding. However, they could not find areas where the old crust was destroyed to make room for the new. While examining Europa images taken b

 

 
News About Time And Space
 
 

Mysterious quasar sequence explained

 
‎12 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎10:28:28 PMGo to full article
Pasadena, CA (SPX) Sep 12, 2014 - Quasars are supermassive black holes that live at the center of distant massive galaxies. They shine as the most luminous beacons in the sky across the entire electromagnetic spectrum by rapidly accreting matter into their gravitationally inescapable centers. New work from Carnegie's Hubble Fellow Yue Shen and Luis Ho of the Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics (KIAA) at Peking University solves a quasar mystery that astronomers have been puzzling over for 20 years.

Their work, published in the September 11 issue of Nature, shows that most observed quasar phenomena can be unified with two simple quantities: one that describes how efficiently the hole is being fed, and the other that reflects the viewing orientation of the astronomer.

Quasars display a broad range of outward appearances when viewed by astronomers, reflecting the diversity in the conditions of the regions close to their centers. But despite this variety, quasars have a surprising amount of regularity in their quantifiable physical properties, which follow well-defined trends (referred to as the "main sequence" of quasars) discovered more than 20 years ago. Shen and Ho solved a two-decade puzzle in quasar research: What unifies these properties into this main sequence?

Using the largest and most-homogeneous sample to date of over 20,000 quasars from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, combined with several novel statistical tests, Shen and Ho were able to demonstrate that one particular property related to the accretion of the hole, called the Eddington ratio, is the driving force behind the so-called main sequence.

The Eddington ratio describes the efficiency of matter fueling the black hole, the competition between the gravitational force pulling matter inward and the luminosity driving radiation outward. This push and pull between gravity and luminosity has long been suspected to be the primary driver behind the so-called main sequence, and their work at long last confirms this hypothesis.

Of additional importance, they found that the orientation of an astronomer's line-of-sight when looking down into the black hole's inner region plays a significant role in the observation of the fast-moving gas innermost to the hole, which produces the broad emission lines in quasar spectra.

This changes scientists' understanding of the geometry of the line-emitting region closest to the black hole, a place called the broad-line region: the gas is distributed in a flattened, pancake-like configuration. Going forward, this will help astronomers improve their measurements of black hole masses for quasars.

"Our findings have profound implications for quasar research. This simple unification scheme presents a pathway to better understand how supermassive black holes accrete matter and interplay with their environments," Shen said.

"And better black hole mass measurements will benefit a variety of applications in understanding the cosmic growth of supermassive black holes and their place in galaxy formation," Ho added.

 

 

Two-dimensional electron liquids

 
‎12 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎10:28:28 PMGo to full article
College Park MD (SPX) Sep 11, 2014 - Truly two-dimensional objects are rare. Even a thin piece of paper is trillions of atoms thick. When physicists do succeed in producing 2D systems, quantum interactions can lead to new phenomena and Nobel prizes.

Two examples: graphene - single-atom-thick sheets of carbon atoms - has unique mechanical, electrical, and optical properties; and two-dimensional electron gases (2DEG) - planar collections of electrons supported at the interface between certain semiconductors such as gallium arsenide - allow the observation of such emergent behaviors as the quantum Hall effect and the spin Hall effect.

A relatively new frontier for studying 2D matter is provided by planar collections of electrons at the surface of transition-metal-oxide (TMO) materials, in which high electron densities give rise to interactions that are stronger than in semiconductors.

Consequently it is more accurate to refer to the TMO electron ensemble as a 2D liquid rather than as a 2D gas. Scientists hope to find exotic emergent phenomena in these high-density, highly-interactive electron environments.

One of the leaders in this effort is James Williams, a new fellow at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI), where he is also an assistant professor of physics at the University of Maryland.

Before he left Stanford University, Williams and his colleagues performed tests on a thin sample of strontium titanate (STO) covered over with an electrolyte gel, a material in which negative and positive ions dissociate (saltwater is a common electrolyte: Na+ and Cl- ions come apart in a water solution). Their results appear in the journal Nature Physics. The article is accompanied by a "News and Views" essay recounting the highlights of the work.

The Experiment
The figure shows the basic setup of the work conducted at Stanford. A thin STO panel, covered by a gate electrode down the middle, is wetted by an electrolyte gel. The negative ions in the electrolyte are drawn off by an unseen electrode and can be forgotten. Meanwhile the positive electrolyte ions settle down on the STO surface, where they induce a dense 2D layer of electrons to form directly beneath.

The transport of these electrons as a current can be encouraged or discouraged by a voltage applied to an overlying electrostatic gate, pretty much the same arrangement used to move currents through field-effect-transistors (FETs), one of the universal components of myriad electronic devices. In effect, voltages applied at the 50-nm-wide gate region can create a barrier cutting off one portion of the material from the other or, conversely, offering a passage from the one side to the other.

Now is the time to mention that TMO materials are versatile. They can be insulating, conducting, semiconducting, superconducting and even show signs of ferromagnetism.

Williams and his colleagues at Stanford and Santa Barbara were the first to discover that bulk strontium titanate (a common TMO) that was simultaneously superconducting and ferromagnetic. Furthermore, the same material can be tuned from one type of behavior to another, usually by changing the density of electrons in the sample.

In the present experiment, the interest is in seeing how normal and supercurrents flow through tiny channels from one superconducting STO panel to another through a narrow passage. The passage is so narrow -- comparable to the size of the electrons considered in their wavelike manifestation -- that quantum effects are expected to occur.

The size of the opening and the consequent flow of current through the barrier to the other side can be controlled by changing the gate voltage. At low voltages (and at densities of less than about 8 x 10^12 electrons per sq. centimeter) the barrier material remains an insulator. Little or no current flows.

At medium voltage and density, some quantum tunneling proceeds; that is, some electron-pairs can leap to the other size. At higher voltage and at higher density (above 5 x 10^13 per/cm^2---a hundred times larger than is present in most FETs) tiny conducting zones can materialize. When some of these zones link to span the barrier, an effective channel allows superconducting currents to flow freely.

These little free-current gauntlets---called quantum point contacts---have been studied before, but not in strontium titanates. What justifies the use of the word quantum here is that the conductivity of the superconducting STO material is quantized. That is, the conductivity of Cooper pairs should only occur at certain levels, namely multiples of 2e^2/h, where e is the charge of an electron and h is Planck's constant.

But graphs of current versus gate voltage show that the conductivity (equal to the slope of the graph at any one voltage) can also occur at multiples of e^2/h. This suggests that the electrons flowing through the tiny passage have their spin degree of freedom broken, just as electrons in a ferromagnet don't have the freedom to point in any direction but are lined up in a coordinated way.

The combination of the high electron density and potent electron interactions are not seen in other materials and the quantum regime enforced by the tight passageway, might here be engendering some new kind of electron transport.

As the electron density outside the quantum point contact is increased, the material becomes superconducting and the transmission of Cooper pairs - the particles that comprise a superconducting current - through the constriction was also studied in this work. But something is missing: Cooper pairs are made of pairs of electrons with opposite spins, yet in the constriction these two degrees of freedom are not available. How then, do Cooper pairs make it through the constriction? Could this particular TMO have Cooper pairs that don't get together in the conventional way?

Looking for Novel Forms of Superconductivity: P-Wave Versus S-Wave
Their new experimental results are reported online in the journal Nature Physics on August 31, 2014. The authors speculate that this behavior is consistent with (but not yet proof of) of novel superconductivity, one candidate of which is a p-wave superconductor.

More research needs to be done before this speculation is given a strong footing. In conventional, or s-wave superconductivity, the pairs of electrons (Cooper pairs) that constitute a zero-resistance current, are spherical in shape. In p-wave superconductivity, the pairs would look more like miniature dumbbells festooned with additional lobes.

P-wave superconductivity has not been unambiguously seen yet since the anatomy of the electron pairs is difficult to establish. But the search has generated much interest. This is because theorists believe the p-wave materials could support the existence of Majorana particles (named for physicist Ettore Majorana), which are expected to have strange properties, such as being their own antiparticles.

 

 

God Particle could destroy universe, according to Hawking

 
‎12 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎10:28:28 PMGo to full article
Washington DC (UPI) Sep 08, 2014 - In the preface of an upcoming book, Starmus, Stephen Hawking claims the Higgs Boson particle, a.k.a. the "God particle," could destroy the universe.

As first discovered by the Sunday Times of the United Kingdom, Hawking claims if enough energy is directed at the particle, it could cause space and time to completely collapse. He also claims that we "wouldn't see it coming."

The Higgs Boson particle is said to be the particle that gives matter its mass. "The Higgs potential has the worrisome feature that it might become metastable at energies above 100bn gigaelectronvolts (GeV)," Hawking writes. He claims that under such conditions, it is theoretically possible the particle would cause an unstoppable vacuum to form that would expand at the speed of light.

The likelihood of such an event occurring is apparently very low. According to Hawking, "A particle accelerator that reaches 100bn GeV would be larger than Earth, and is unlikely to be funded in the present economic climate." The end of days scenario is theoretical, but he said he still believes it is possible.

 

 

Co-flowing liquids can stabilize chaotic 'whipping' in microfluidic jets

 
‎12 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎10:28:28 PMGo to full article
Atlanta GA (SPX) Sep 09, 2014 - Industrial wet spinning processes produce fibers from polymers and other materials by using tiny needles to eject continuous jets of liquid precursors. The electrically charged liquids ejected from the needles normally exhibit a chaotic "whipping" structure as they enter a secondary liquid that surrounds the microscopic jets.

But the liquid jets sometimes form a helical wave. And that was intriguing to Alberto Fernandez-Nieves, an associate professor in the School of Physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

By controlling the viscosity and speed of the secondary liquid surrounding the jets, a research team led by Fernandez-Nieves has now figured out how to convert the standard chaotic waveform to the stable helical form. Based on theoretical modeling and experiments using a microfluidic device, the findings could help improve industrial processes that are used for fiber formation and electro-spray.

The research, conducted in collaboration with the University of Seville in Spain, was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF). It was reported Sept. 8, 2014, in the early online edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

"We are developing an understanding of the basic coupling between hydrodynamic and electric fields in these systems," said Fernandez-Nieves. "The issue we examined is fundamental physics, but it could potentially lead to something more interesting in fiber generation through electro-spinning."

In conventional industrial processes, tiny metal needles apply an electric field as they eject the polymer-containing solution.

In the laboratory, the researchers used a glass-based microfluidic device to create the jets so they could more closely examine what was happening. Using a conductive liquid, ethylene glycol, allowed them to apply an electrical field to produce electrified jets.

"When you charge these polymer solutions, the jets themselves move out of axis, which creates a chaotic phenomenon known as whipping," Fernandez-Nieves explained.

"This off-axis movement causes the jet to abruptly move in all directions, and in the industrial world, all that motion seems to be beneficial from the standpoint of making thinner fibers."

The researchers experimented with many variables as their liquid jets emerged into a co-flowing secondary liquid inside the microfluidic device.

Those variables included the applied electrical field, the flow rate of the ejected liquid and the secondary liquid, the viscosities of the liquids, the needle diameters and the physical geometry of microfluidic device.

While producing a whipped jet in a viscous dielectric material - polydimethylsiloxane oil - the researchers were surprised to see the chaotic motion switch over to a steady-state helical structure.

"We were able to stabilize the structure associated with the whipping behavior and found that the stable structure is a helix with a conical shape," said Fernandez-Nieves.

"You can picture it as a conical envelope, and inside the envelope you have a helix. Once the viscosity of the outer liquid is sufficient, you stabilize the structure and get this beautiful helix."

Georgia Tech postdoctoral fellow Josefa Guerrero used a high-speed, microscope-based video camera operating at 50,000 frames per second to study the waveforms emerging from the experimental jets, which were less than five microns in diameter. The video allowed precise examination of the waveforms produced when the liquid flowed out of the glass needle and into the second liquid flowing around it.

Working with collaborators Javier Rivero-Rodriguez and Miguel Perez-Saborid at the University of Seville, the Georgia Tech team - Fernandez-Nieves, Guerrero and former postdoctoral fellow Venkata R. Gundabala - used hydrodynamics theory to help understand what they were seeing experimentally.

"By developing the model, we were able to balance the importance of the different forces in the experiment," explained Fernandez-Nieves.

"The helix was part of the solutions in the model and it reproduced some aspects of the experimentally observed helices."

Once the jets were stabilized by the viscous secondary liquid, the properties of the helix were controlled by the electrical charge. In the experiment, the researchers applied approximately 1,000 volts to generate the jets.

"We learned that the outer fluid plays a major role in stabilizing the structure of the jets," Fernandez-Nieves added. "Once the structure is stable, the details of the properties of the helical structure depend on the charge."

Ultimately, the stable jets break up into spherical droplets. The researchers have not yet formed fibers with their experimental setup.

In future work, Fernandez-Nieves hopes to study other waveforms that may be produced by the system, and evaluate how controlling the liquid jets could improve industrial techniques used in fiber production and electro-spray processes that generate clouds of droplets.

"We are interested in trying to map out those different behaviors," he said. "For us as physicists, this is interesting because it allows us to explore, address and measure things that nobody could look at before in the way we can today. We are anxious to understand the applied impact."

Josefa Guerrero, et al., "Whipping of electrified jets," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2014.

 

 

Single laser stops molecular tumbling motion instantly

 
‎12 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎10:28:28 PMGo to full article
Evanston IL (SPX) Sep 04, 2014 - In the quantum world, making the simple atom behave is one thing, but making the more complex molecule behave is another story.

Now Northwestern University scientists have figured out an elegant way to stop a molecule from tumbling so that its potential for new applications can be harnessed: shine a single laser on a trapped molecule and it instantly cools to the temperature of outer space, stopping the rotation of the molecule.

"It's counterintuitive that the molecule gets colder, not hotter when we shine intense laser light on it," said Brian Odom, who led the research. He is an assistant professor of physics and astronomy in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.

"We modify the spectrum of a broadband laser, such that nearly all the rotational energy is removed from the illuminated molecules. We are the first to stop molecular tumbling in such a powerful yet simple way."

It is not very difficult to trap many types of molecules and hold them precisely in place, Odom said, but they stubbornly persist in rotating just as much as if they were not trapped at all.

Using their customized laser, he and his colleagues cooled singly charged aluminum monohydride molecules from room temperature to 4 degrees Kelvin (minus 452 degrees Fahrenheit) in a fraction of a second. The abrupt temperature drop stopped the molecules' normally persistent tumbling motion in its tracks.

Such control of molecules, of their rotational and vibrational states, is essential to using molecules in the construction of superfast quantum computers -- machines whose processing power would be exponentially faster than today's computers.

The new technique is faster, easier and more practical and efficient than techniques developed thus far to control molecules. Details will be published Sept. 2 by the journal Nature Communications.

Previously, it was long assumed that far too many lasers would be required to cool molecular rotations. However, broadband laser light contains many different frequency components, and the Northwestern researchers used those components to custom design a laser for their task.

They filtered out the part of the spectrum that causes molecules to start spinning faster (and become hotter) while leaving in the useful frequency components that slows the molecules down (and also cools them).

Also noteworthy, Odom said, is that they cooled the molecule to its very lowest quantum rotational state using a room-temperature apparatus, not the cumbersome liquid helium cryostats some other researchers have used.

"In our quantum world, every type of motion has only certain allowed energies," said Odom, an atomic physicist. "If I want to slow down a molecule, quantum mechanics tells me that it happens in steps. And there is a very lowest step that we can get the molecule down to, which is what we've done."

Odom and his team chose to work with singly charged aluminum monohydride molecules because the molecule does not vibrate when it interacts with a laser.

"By choosing the right molecule we were able to stop the molecules from rotating without worrying about the vibrations," Odom said.

Aluminum monohydride molecules are inexpensive and could be used in wide range of applications, beyond quantum computing.

"There is a lot you can do if you get one species of molecule under control, such as we've done in this study," Odom said.

In addition to quantum information processing, applications that could springboard off this new ability to control molecular rotors include ultracold quantum-controlled chemistry and tests of whether fundamental constants are truly static or if they vary in time.

The title of the paper is "Broadband optical cooling of molecular rotors from room temperature to the ground state."

 

 

Cool Calculations for Cold Atoms

 
‎12 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎10:28:28 PMGo to full article
College Park MD (SPX) Sep 03, 2014 - Chemical reactions drive the mechanisms of life as well as a million other natural processes on earth. These reactions occur at a wide spectrum of temperatures, from those prevailing at the chilly polar icecaps to those at work churning near the earth's core. At nanokelvin temperatures, by contrast, nothing was supposed to happen.

Chemistry was expected to freeze up. Experiments and theoretical work have now show that this is not true. Even at conditions close to absolute zero atoms can interact and manage to form chemical bonds.

Within this science of ultracold chemistry, there is a sub-field that deals with "Efimov states," named for Russian physicist Vitaly Efimov. In 1970 he predicted that under some conditions all two-particle bound states would be unstable while (paradoxically) some three-particle states could exist. Such states were eventually seen experimentally in 2006, among cesium atoms (see Related JQI Article below).

Two scientists at the Joint Quantum Institute have now formulated a universal theory to describe the properties of these Efimov states, a theory that, for the first time, does not need extra adjustable unknown parameters . This should allow physicists to predict the rates of chemical processes involving three atoms---or even more---using only a knowledge of the interaction forces at work.

The JQI authors, Yujun Wang and Paul Julienne, publish their results in the journal Nature Physics.

Pico-Electron Volts
Efimov states are fragile. They depend for their existence on quantum effects and on the subtle interplay of two phenomena: Feshbach resonance and van der Waal forces. Quantum effects are necessarily at work at ultracold temperatures in the nano-kelvin regime. Here atoms should be viewed not as hard balls, typically a few tenths of nanometers across, but as wave packets, blobs extending over hundreds of nm.

It is common, when talking about colliding particles, to see them as cars speeding toward each other, perhaps meeting head on or glancing off at a relative angle. It is more unusual to visualize the collision if the "particles" are so large as to overlap each other at relatively great distances.

More strange still if three such particles are involved in an interaction whose result will be a loosely-bound confederation. In the study of Efimov states, the primary force at work among the atoms is the van der Waals force, named for Dutch physicist Johannes Diderik van der Waals. This long-range force among atoms or molecules arises from the temporary appearance of electric dipole moments in the particles.

Even for a neutral atom, a momentary imbalance of charge---more of the atomic electrons' negative charge might appear to the left, say, leaving a positive preponderance on the right---will constitute an electric dipole, which in turn can attract an atom with a complementary dipole orientation.

This induced-dipole force varies at the inverse sixth power of the distance between the two particles. Another way of controlling inter-particle collisions at ultracold temperatures is to turn on an external magnetic field.

For certain ranges of field strength, two particles can be coaxed to form semi-stable objects called Feshbach resonances, named for US physicist Herman Feshbach. Feshbach resonances are commonly used in cold-physics to control interactions, and this is especially true in the study of Efimov states.

Often Feshbach resonances are described in terms of a parameter, a, called the scattering length, denoting the effective distance over which the interaction takes place If a is positive and large (much larger than the nominal range of the force between the atoms), weak binding of atoms can happen.

If a is negative, a slight attraction of two atoms can occur but not binding. If, however, a is large and three atoms are present, then the Efimov state can appear.

Indeed an infinite number of such states can occur. In general since it allows interactions over large distances, the Feshbach effect is more important than the van der Waals force. But the JQI research has shown how the van der Waals force can be decisive in forming Efimov states, especially when the scattering length is short.

Many scientists had believed that making consistent predictions of triplet-forming interactions would be difficult to make. Instead, the Wang-Julienne model successfully incorporates this short-distance regime. Thus there should be a series of Efimov states, with various binding energies.

But unlike atoms, where the quantum energy levels (denoting how much energy is needed to liberate the electron from its atomic binding) are in the electron volt (eV) range, Efimof states are typified by quantum energies of billionths of an eV or less.

The New JQI Theory
Wang and Julienne build their theory of 3-body van der Waals physics around the Schrodinger equation, the equation introduced by Erwin Schrodinger in the 1920s to treat particles as waves. Only here it is three particles---viewed as three sets of waves, or rather as a complex of waves representing the three particles---carefully studied in pairwise fashion to simulate an effective composite force field in which the three particles operate.

The result is a theoretical tool that can predict the important Efimov properties, namely the energies of the Efimov states, the widths of those states (essentially the fuzziness of our knowledge of the precise energy value), and the rates at which the three-particle states will form inside a gas of ultracold atoms.

"Our theory works for a full range of scattering lengths," said Yujun Wang describing the JQI work, "whereas the previous theories could only apply to large scattering lengths. We don't need adjustable parameters. The only inputs in our theory are the known two-body Feshbach parameters and our calculations using the Schrodinger equation. So our theory does not rely on any of the unknown three-body inputs that have been used in previous theories to fit the experimental data. In these two aspects our theory is more comprehensive and powerful. We can make quantitative predictions without relying on the unknowns, so that our results can be directly compared to experiments."

"Universal van der Waals physics for three cold atoms near Feshbach resonances," Y. Wang, P.S. Julienne, Nature Physics, , (2014)

 

 

Measurement at Big Bang Conditions Confirms Lithium Problem

 
‎12 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎10:28:28 PMGo to full article
Dresden, Germany (SPX) Aug 29, 2014 - The field of astrophysics has a stubborn problem and it's called lithium. The quantities of lithium predicted to have resulted from the Big Bang are not actually present in stars. But the calculations are correct - a fact which has now been confirmed for the first time in experiments conducted at the underground laboratory in the Gran Sasso mountain in Italy.

As part of an international team, researchers from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) studied how much lithium forms under Big Bang conditions. The results were published in "Physical Review Letters"

Lithium, aside from hydrogen and helium, is one of the three elements that are created before the first stars form. These three elements were - according to the theory - already created early on, through what is known as "primordial nucleosynthesis."

That means that when the universe was only a few minutes old, neutrons and protons merged to form the nuclei of the these elements. At the Laboratory for Underground Nuclear Astrophysics (LUNA), the nucleosynthesis of lithium has now been reproduced by an international team of scientists.

Michael Anders, who earned his doctorate in the last year at TU Dresden and HZDR on this very topic, took a leading role on the team. Within the framework of a project that was funded by the German Research Foundation, he was supervised by Dr. Daniel Bemmerer, group leader at HZDR.

In the Italian underground laboratory, the scientists fired helium nuclei at heavy hydrogen (known as deuterium) in order to reach energies similar to those just after the Big Bang.

The idea was to measure how much lithium forms under similar conditions to those during the early stages of the universe. The result of the experiment: the data confirmed the theoretical predictions, which are incompatible with the observed lithium concentrations found in the universe.

"For the first time, we could actually study the lithium-6 production in one part of the Big Bang energy range with our experiment," explains Daniel Bemmerer. Lithium-6 (three neutrons, three protons) is one of the element's two stable isotopes. The formation of lithium-7, which possesses an additional neutron, was studied in 2006 by Bemmerer at LUNA.

With these new results, what is known as the "lithium problem" remains a hard nut to crack: on the one hand, now all laboratory results of the astrophysicists suggest that the theory of primordial nucleosynthesis is correct.

On the other hand, many observations of astronomers show that the oldest stars in our Milky Way contain only half as much lithium-7 as predicted. Sensational reports by Swedish researchers, who discovered clearly more lithium-6 in such stars than predicted, must also likely be checked again based on the new LUNA data.

Bemmerer says, "Should unusual lithium concentrations be observed in the future, we know, thanks to the new measurements, that it cannot be due to the primordial nucleosynthesis."

Further research will soon be carried out in a new underground laboratory in Dresden

What was important for the studies was the special location of LUNA: in the mountainous Gran Sasso d'Italia, 1400 meters of solid rock keep the disturbance from cosmic radiation at bay.

The experimental setup is additionally enveloped in a lead shell. Only with such good shielding can the rare interactions between the nuclei be precisely determined. But within the next year, similar research will also be possible in Dresden. TU Dresden and HZDR will put the accelerator laboratory "Felsenkeller" into operation.

Although the solid rock shielding from natural radiation in this former brewery cellar is only forty-five meters, it is already sufficient for many measurements. The new laboratory also possesses a particle accelerator that is more than twelve times as strong: "There we can expand our experiments and study the formation of elements at high energy ranges", says Bemmerer.

M. Anders et al. (2014), First Direct Measurement of the 2H(a,?)6Li Cross Section at Big Bang Energies and the Primordial Lithium Problem. Physical Review Letters 113, 042501. DOI 10.1103/PhysRevLett.113.042501

 

 

Quantum physics enables revolutionary imaging method

 
‎12 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎10:28:28 PMGo to full article
Vienna, Austria (SPX) Sep 01, 2014 - Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI), the Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology (VCQ), and the University of Vienna have developed a fundamentally new quantum imaging technique with strikingly counterintuitive features.

For the first time, an image has been obtained without ever detecting the light that was used to illuminate the imaged object, while the light revealing the image never touches the imaged object.

In general, to obtain an image of an object one has to illuminate it with a light beam and use a camera to sense the light that is either scattered or transmitted through that object.

The type of light used to shine onto the object depends on the properties that one would like to image. Unfortunately, in many practical situations the ideal type of light for the illumination of the object is one for which cameras do not exist.

The experiment published in Nature this week for the first time breaks this seemingly self-evident limitation.

The object (e.g. the contour of a cat) is illuminated with light that remains undetected. Moreover, the light that forms an image of the cat on the camera never interacts with it.

In order to realise their experiment, the scientists use so-called "entangled" pairs of photons. These pairs of photons - which are like interlinked twins - are created when a laser interacts with a non-linear crystal.

In the experiment, the laser illuminates two separate crystals, creating one pair of twin photons (consisting of one infrared photon and a "sister" red photon) in either crystal. The object is placed in between the two crystals.

The arrangement is such that if a photon pair is created in the first crystal, only the infrared photon passes through the imaged object. Its path then goes through the second crystal where it fully combines with any infrared photons that would be created there.

With this crucial step, there is now, in principle, no possibility to find out which crystal actually created the photon pair.

Moreover, there is now no information in the infrared photon about the object. However, due to the quantum correlations of the entangled pairs the information about the object is now contained in the red photons - although they never touched the object. Bringing together both paths of the red photons (from the first and the second crystal) creates bright and dark patterns, which form the exact image of the object.

Stunningly, all of the infrared photons (the only light that illuminated the object) are discarded; the picture is obtained by only detecting the red photons that never interacted with the object.

The camera used in the experiment is even blind to the infrared photons that have interacted with the object. In fact, very low light infrared cameras are essentially unavailable on the commercial market.

The researchers are confident that their new imaging concept is very versatile and could even enable imaging in the important mid-infrared region. It could find applications where low light imaging is crucial, in fields such as biological or medical imaging.

 

 

New technique uses fraction of measurements to efficiently find quantum wave functions

 
‎12 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎10:28:28 PMGo to full article
Rochester NY (SPX) Sep 01, 2014 - The result of every possible measurement on a quantum system is coded in its wave function, which until recently could be found only by taking many different measurements of a system and estimating a wave function that best fit all those measurements.

Just two years ago, with the advent of a technique called direct measurement, scientists discovered they could reliably determine a system's wave function by "weakly" measuring one of its variables (e.g. position) and "strongly" measuring a complementary variable (momentum). Researchers at the University of Rochester have now taken this method one step forward by combining direct measurement with an efficient computational technique.

The new method, called compressive direct measurement, allowed the team to reconstruct a quantum state at 90 percent fidelity (a measure of accuracy) using only a quarter of the measurements required by previous methods.

"We have, for the first time, combined weak measurement and compressive sensing to demonstrate a revolutionary, fast method for measuring a high-dimensional quantum state," said Mohammad Mirhosseini, a graduate student in the Quantum Photonics research group at the University of Rochester and lead author of a paper appearing in Physical Review Letters.

The research team, which also included graduate students Omar Magana-Loaiza and Seyed Mohammad Hashemi Rafsanjani, and Professor Robert Boyd, initially tested their method on a 192-dimensional state. Finding success with that large state, they then took on a massive, 19,200-dimensional state.

Their efficient technique sped up the process 350-fold and took just 20 percent of the total measurements required by traditional direct measurement to reconstruct the state.

"To reproduce our result using a direct measurement alone would require more than one year of exposure time," said Rafsanjani. "We did the experiment in less than 48 hours."

While recent compressive sensing techniques have been used to measure sets of complementary variables like position and momentum, Mirhosseini explains that their method allows them to measure the full wave function.

Compression is widely used in the classical world of digital media, including recorded music, video, and pictures. The MP3s on your phone, for example, are audio files that have had bits of information squeezed out to make the file smaller at the cost of losing a small amount of audio quality along the way.

In digital cameras, the more pixels you can gather from a scene, the higher the image quality and the larger the file will be. But it turns out that most of those pixels don't convey essential information that needs to be captured from the scene. Most of them can be reconstructed later.

Compressive sensing works by randomly sampling portions from all over the scene, and using those patterns to fill in the missing information.

Similarly for quantum states, it is not necessary to measure every single dimension of a multidimensional state. It takes only a handful of measurements to get a high-quality image of a quantum system.

The method introduced by Mirhosseini et al. has important potential applications in the field of quantum information science. This research field strives to make use of fundamental quantum effects for diverse applications, including secure communication, teleportation of quantum states, and ideally to perform quantum computation.

This latter process holds great promise as a method that can, in principle, lead to a drastic speed-up of certain types of computation. All of these applications require the use of complicated quantum states, and the new method described here offers an efficient means to characterize these states.

 

 

Scientists observe quantum vortices in cold helium droplets

 
‎12 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎10:28:28 PMGo to full article
Helmholtz, Germany (SPX) Aug 27, 2014 - An international research team including DESY scientists has observed tiny quantum vortices in cold droplets of liquid helium. The team reports in the journal Science that the exotic vortices arrange themselves as densely packed lattices inside the nanodroplets.

It is the first time that the quantum vortices, which have already been observed in larger samples of what is known as superfluid helium, have been detected in nanodroplets. "The experiment has exceeded our best expectations," says Andrey Vilesov of the University of Southern California, one of the experiment's three leads.

The noble gas helium becomes liquid at minus 269 degrees Celsius. Below minus 271 degrees a quantum effect occurs, through which the liquid helium loses all internal friction and becomes superfluid. In this exotic state it can even crawl up walls.

To explore the dynamics of superfluid helium, the scientists X-rayed tiny helium nanodroplets with what is currently the world's strongest X-ray laser, the Linac Coherent Light Source LCLS at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in California.

The production of the cold droplets with an average of only 0.2 to 2 thousandths of a millimetre was no easy task. The scientists sprayed the liquid helium through a fine nozzle into a vacuum chamber. A portion of the helium evaporated on the way, and the remaining portion of the drop continued cooling due to evaporative cooling.

"After a distance of few millimeters, the drops reached the superfluid state and were struck by the intense X-ray laser flash further downstream," explains DESY scientist Daniel Rolles of the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science CFEL, a joint facility run by DESY, the University of Hamburg and the Max-Planck Society.

An especially detailed recording of the X-ray scattering patterns of the nanodroplets was made possible using the CAMP experimental vacuum chamber, developed by a Max Planck Group in Hamburg at CFEL.

"CAMP has two large detectors that can even register individual photons and can determine their energy very precisely," stresses Benjamin Erk of CFEL. "The detectors create a series of 120 images per second while doing so."

"The analyses of the images shows that a surprising number of drops were not spherical as expected, but were pulled length-wise by rapid rotation," says Rolles.

"In fact, some drops possessed more of a shape resembling a thick wheel with two almost parallel sides." The rotation stems from the expansion of the liquid helium inside the nozzle, through which they enter the experimental chamber.

The droplets rotated up to fourteen million times per second - far faster than a normal round drop could withstand according to the laws of classical physics.

Due to the rapid rotation, tiny "quantum vortices" formed within the nanodroplets, reminiscent of a miniature whirlpool swirling around a bathtub drain. This phenomenon had already been observed in larger units of superfluid helium, but has just now been detected in nanodroplets for the first time. As observed earlier, the vortices form a regular lattice.

"In nanodroplets, the quantum vortices are surprisingly 100,000 times more densely packed than in the larger samples of superfluid helium that were previously studied," says Vilesov.

"What we have observed in this experiment is really surprising," stresses co-lead Christopher Bostedt of SLAC. The experiment's third co-lead, Oliver Gessner from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, adds: "Now that we have shown that we can detect and characterize quantum rotation in helium nanodroplets, it will be important to understand its origin and, ultimately, to try and control it."

 

 

Physics research removes outcome unpredictability of ultracold atomic reactions

 
‎04 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎02:01:53 PMGo to full article
Manhattan KS (SPX) Aug 26, 2014 - Findings from a physics study by a Kansas State University researcher are helping scientists accurately predict the once unpredictable.

Yujun Wang, research associate with the James R. Macdonald Laboratory at Kansas State University, and Paul Julienne at the University of Maryland, looked at theoretically predicting and understanding chemical reactions that involve three atoms at ultracold temperatures. Their findings help explain the likely outcome of a chemical reaction and shed new light on mysterious quantum states.

The scientific journal Nature Physics recently published their findings in the article "Universal van der Waals Physics for Three Cold Atoms near Feshbach Resonances."

In the theoretical study, Wang and Julienne developed a robust yet simple model that successfully predicts what happens in atomic reactions at ultracold temperatures. Their model, which is considered the best available, accounts for spin physics of the atoms as well as the van der Waals force - the attractive long-range forces between the forming molecules.

"For a long time there has been the belief that this kind of reaction in three or more particles is too difficult to predict because the interaction is so complicated," Wang said. "Now, this research has shown consistent observations that indicate and imply that theoretical prediction is possible."

These findings can guide research in chemical engineering, molecular physics and other fields because the model gives scientists a largely accurate idea of how the atoms will bind to form a molecule, Wang said.

Additionally, their work may help scientists understand the Efimov effect.

The Efimov effect, which was first predicted in the early 1970s, is what happens when two atoms that normally repel each other become loosely bound when a third atom is introduced. The result is three atoms that all stick together despite trying to repel each other - a reaction that defies conventional knowledge.

"It's a very bizarre mechanical phenomenon in quantum mechanics that cannot be understood using the classical model of physics," Wang said. "The details of the Efimov effect are seemingly random and therefore complicated to study. But, because we showed that our atomic model and calculations can pretty accurately predict the position of such molecular states, we have new knowledge that may help us bypass those old barriers."

 

 

A study of possible extended symmetries of field theoretic systems

 
‎04 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎02:01:53 PMGo to full article
Singapore (SPX) Aug 21, 2014 - Many physical systems, from superfluids to pi mesons, are understood to be manifestations of spontaneous symmetry breaking, whereby the symmetries of a system are not realized by its lowest energy state.

A consequence of spontaneous symmetry breaking is the existence of excitations known as Goldstone bosons, which account for the broken symmetries. Here the authors investigate systems with larger than usual amounts of broken symmetry.

There has been much recent interest, especially among cosmologists, in theories known as galileons. Galileons are an interesting and novel, though still hypothetical, class of effective scalar fields which are extremely universal and have attracted much recent attention.

They arise generically in describing the short distance behavior of the new degrees of freedom introduced during the process of modifying gravity, and in describing the dynamics of extra dimensional brane worlds.

Modified gravity and brane worlds are just some of the ideas that have been studied as possible solutions to the cosmological constant problem - the problem of explaining why our universe seems to be accelerating.

The galileons possess several key properties: they possess non-trivial symmetries, and are well behaved quantum mechanically compared to other types of fields.

Here the authors investigate whether it is possible to extend the key symmetries of the galileons even further, by enlarging the set of transformations under which the theory remains invariant.

It is found that while it is not possible to enlarge this symmetry while maintaining the symmetries of special relativity and not introducing new degrees of freedom, it is possible to create new kinds of Galileon-like theories it the system is non-relativistic.

Non-relativistic systems such as superfluids are well described by effective degrees of freedom known as Goldstone bosons. Goldstone bosons are manifestations of spontaneous symmetry breaking, where the symmetries of a system are not realized by its ground state.

The new kinds of Galileon-like theories uncovered here could be useful as descriptions of systems near Multi-critical points, points in the phase diagram where multiple phases coincide.

Research at Perimeter Institute is supported by the Government of Canada through Industry Canada and by the Province of Ontario through the Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation. This work was made possible in part through the support of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the John Templeton Foundation (KH). This work was supported in part by the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago through grant NSF PHY-1125897, an endowment from the Kavli Foundation and its founder Fred Kavli, and by the Robert R. McCormick Postdoctoral Fellowship (AJ).

 

 

First Indirect Evidence of So-Far Undetected Strange Baryons

 
‎04 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎02:01:53 PMGo to full article
Upton NY (SPX) Aug 21, 2014 - New supercomputing calculations provide the first evidence that particles predicted by the theory of quark-gluon interactions but never before observed are being produced in heavy-ion collisions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), a facility that is dedicated to studying nuclear physics.

These heavy strange baryons, containing at least one strange quark, still cannot be observed directly, but instead make their presence known by lowering the temperature at which other strange baryons "freeze out" from the quark-gluon plasma (QGP) discovered and created at RHIC, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science user facility located at DOE's Brookhaven National Laboratory.

RHIC is one of just two places in the world where scientists can create and study a primordial soup of unbound quarks and gluons-akin to what existed in the early universe some 14 billion years ago.

The research is helping to unravel how these building blocks of matter became bound into hadrons, particles composed of two or three quarks held together by gluons, the carriers of nature's strongest force.

"These 'invisible' hadrons are like salt molecules floating around in the hot gas of hadrons, making other particles freeze out at a lower temperature than they would if the 'salt' wasn't there."

"Baryons, which are hadrons made of three quarks, make up almost all the matter we see in the universe today," said Brookhaven theoretical physicist Swagato Mukherjee, a co-author on a paper describing the new results in Physical Review Letters.

"The theory that tells us how this matter forms-including the protons and neutrons that make up the nuclei of atoms-also predicts the existence of many different baryons, including some that are very heavy and short-lived, containing one or more heavy 'strange' quarks. Now we have indirect evidence from our calculations and comparisons with experimental data at RHIC that these predicted higher mass states of strange baryons do exist," he said.

Added Berndt Mueller, Associate Laboratory Director for Nuclear and Particle Physics at Brookhaven, "This finding is particularly remarkable because strange quarks were one of the early signatures of the formation of the primordial quark-gluon plasma. Now we're using this QGP signature as a tool to discover previously unknown baryons that emerge from the QGP and could not be produced otherwise."

Freezing point depression and supercomputing calculations
The evidence comes from an effect on the thermodynamic properties of the matter nuclear physicists can detect coming out of collisions at RHIC. Specifically, the scientists observe certain more-common strange baryons (omega baryons, cascade baryons, lambda baryons) "freezing out" of RHIC's quark-gluon plasma at a lower temperature than would be expected if the predicted extra-heavy strange baryons didn't exist.

"It's similar to the way table salt lowers the freezing point of liquid water," said Mukherjee. "These 'invisible' hadrons are like salt molecules floating around in the hot gas of hadrons, making other particles freeze out at a lower temperature than they would if the 'salt' wasn't there."

To see the evidence, the scientists performed calculations using lattice QCD, a technique that uses points on an imaginary four-dimensional lattice (three spatial dimensions plus time) to represent the positions of quarks and gluons, and complex mathematical equations to calculate interactions among them, as described by the theory of quantum chromodynamics (QCD).

"The calculations tell you where you have bound or unbound quarks, depending on the temperature," Mukherjee said.

The scientists were specifically looking for fluctuations of conserved baryon number and strangeness and exploring how the calculations fit with the observed RHIC measurements at a wide range of energies.

The calculations show that inclusion of the predicted but "experimentally uncharted" strange baryons fit better with the data, providing the first evidence that these so-far unobserved particles exist and exert their effect on the freeze-out temperature of the observable particles.

These findings are helping physicists quantitatively plot the points on the phase diagram that maps out the different phases of nuclear matter, including hadrons and quark-gluon plasma, and the transitions between them under various conditions of temperature and density.

"To accurately plot points on the phase diagram, you have to know what the contents are on the bound-state, hadron side of the transition line-even if you haven't seen them," Mukherjee said. "We've found that the higher mass states of strange baryons affect the production of ground states that we can observe. And the line where we see the ordinary matter moves to a lower temperature because of the multitude of higher states that we can't see."

The research was carried out by the Brookhaven Lab's Lattice Gauge Theory group, led by Frithjof Karsch, in collaboration with scientists from Bielefeld University, Germany, and Central China Normal University. The supercomputing calculations were performed using GPU-clusters at DOE's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab), Bielefeld University, Paderborn University, and Indiana University with funding from the Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing (SciDAC) program of the DOE Office of Science (Nuclear Physics and Advanced Scientific Computing Research), the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany, the German Research Foundation, the European Commission Directorate-General for Research and Innovation and the GSI BILAER grant. The experimental program at RHIC is funded primarily by the DOE Office of Science.

 

 

Disney tops and yo-yos with stable spins despite asymmetric shapes

 
‎04 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎02:01:53 PMGo to full article
Zurich, Switzerland (SPX) Aug 21, 2014 - Tops and yo-yos are among the oldest types of playthings but researchers at Disney Research Zurich and ETH Zurich have given them a new spin with an algorithm that makes it easier to design these toys so that they have asymmetric shapes.

The algorithm can take a 3D model of an object and, within less than a minute, calculate how mass can be distributed within the object to enable a stable spin around a desired axis. Sometimes, adding voids within the object is sufficient to provide stability; in other cases, the object's shape might need to be altered a bit or a heavier material might be added inside.

"Our approach is effective on a wide range of models, from characters such as an elephant balancing on its toe, or an armadillo break-dancing on its shell, to abstract shapes," said Moritz Bacher, a post-doctoral researcher at Disney Research Zurich.

"It's well-suited to objects that can be produced with a 3D printer, which we used to make tops and yo-yos with unusual shapes but remarkably stable spins."

The research will be presented at ACM SIGGRAPH 2014, the International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques in Vancouver, Aug. 10-14.

The work could have applications beyond fanciful and customized designs for spinning toys. The algorithm modifies mass within an object to optimize its "moment of inertia," a physical property that measures the resistance to rotations about a given axis.

Moment of inertia is a property fundamental to a number of mechanical systems so the algorithm may also be useful in the computational design of mechanical structures, animatronics and robotics, said Bernd Bickel, research scientist at Disney Research Zurich. By controlling inertial properties of individual parts, it may be possible to minimize a system's overall inertial resistance and thus reduce energy consumption.

Though spinning toys have existed since antiquity, new designs have always required a certain amount of trial and error, relying on the intuition and patience of artists and hobbyists. Not surprisingly, designs tend to be rotationally symmetric.

The new method measures the spinnability of a shape on an axis specified by the user. It then optimizes spin by counterbalancing asymmetric mass distribution and placing the center of mass as low on the rotation axis as possible. For many shapes, simply hollowing out certain areas is sufficient to improve spin quality; in other cases, the method can make changes in the external shape, as well as the internal voids.

If changing the shape is not acceptable, the method also can incorporate heavier materials inside the object. When the object is produced with a 3D printer, as the researchers did in making proof-of-principle tops and yo-yos, the use of heavier materials requires an additional fabrication step.

The approach also can be adapted to the design of non-spinning, statically balanced objects.

 

 

Fascinating rhythm: light pulses illuminate a rare black hole

 
‎03 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎04:05:28 PMGo to full article
College Park MD (SPX) Aug 19, 2014 - The universe has so many black holes that it's impossible to count them all. There may be 100 million of these intriguing astral objects in our galaxy alone. Nearly all black holes fall into one of two classes: big, and colossal.

Astronomers know that black holes ranging from about 10 times to 100 times the mass of our sun are the remnants of dying stars, and that supermassive black holes, more than a million times the mass of the sun, inhabit the centers of most galaxies.

But scattered across the universe like oases in a desert are a few apparent black holes of a more mysterious type. Ranging from a hundred times to a few hundred thousand times the sun's mass, these intermediate-mass black holes are so hard to measure that even their existence is sometimes disputed. Little is known about how they form. And some astronomers question whether they behave like other black holes.

Now a team of astronomers has succeeded in accurately measuring - and thus confirming the existence of - a black hole about 400 times the mass of our sun in a galaxy 12 million light years from Earth. The finding, by University of Maryland astronomy graduate student Dheeraj Pasham and two colleagues, was published online August 17 in the journal Nature.

Co-author Richard Mushotzky, a UMD astronomy professor, says the black hole in question is a just-right-sized version of this class of astral objects.

"Objects in this range are the least expected of all black holes," says Mushotzky.

"Astronomers have been asking, do these objects exist or do they not exist? What are their properties? Until now we have not had the data to answer these questions." While the intermediate-mass black hole that the team studied is not the first one measured, it is the first one so precisely measured, Mushotzky says, "establishing it as a compelling example of this class of black holes."

A black hole is a region in space containing a mass so dense that not even light can escape its gravity. Black holes are invisible, but astronomers can find them by tracking their gravitational pull on other objects. Matter being pulled into a black hole gathers around it like storm debris circling a tornado's center. As this cosmic stuff rubs together it produces friction and light, making black holes among the universe's brightest objects.

Since the 1970s astronomers have observed a few hundred objects that they thought were intermediate-mass black holes. But they couldn't measure their mass, so they couldn't be certain. "For reasons that are very hard to understand, these objects have resisted standard measurement techniques," says Mushotzky.

Pasham, who will receive his Ph.D. in astronomy at UMD August 22, focused on one object in Messier 82, a galaxy in the constellation Ursa Major. Messier 82 is our closest "starburst galaxy," where young stars are forming. Beginning in 1999 a NASA satellite telescope, the Chandra X-ray Observatory, detected X-rays in Messier 82 from a bright object prosaically dubbed M82 X-1.

Astronomers, including Mushotzky and co-author Tod Strohmayer of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, suspected for about a decade that the object was an intermediate-mass black hole, but estimates of its mass were not definitive enough to confirm that.

Between 2004 and 2010 NASA's Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) satellite telescope observed M82 X-1 about 800 times, recording individual x-ray particles emitted by the object. Pasham mapped the intensity and wavelength of x-rays in each sequence, then stitched the sequences together and analyzed the result.

Among the material circling the suspected black hole, he spotted two repeating flares of light. The flares showed a rhythmic pattern of light pulses, one occurring 5.1 times per second and the other 3.3 times per second - or a ratio of 3:2.

The two light oscillations were like two dust motes stuck in the grooves of a vinyl record spinning on a turntable, says Mushotzky. If the oscillations were musical beats, they would produce a specific syncopated rhythm. Think of a Latin-inflected bossa nova, or a tune from The Beatles' White Album: "Mean Mister Mustard sleeps in the park, shaves in the dark, try'na save paper."

In music, this is a 3:2 beat. Astronomers can use a 3:2 oscillation of light to measure a black hole's mass. The technique has been used on smaller black holes, but it has never before been applied to intermediate-mass black holes.

Pasham used the oscillations to estimate that M82 X-1 is 428 times the mass of the sun, give or take 105 solar masses. He does not propose an explanation for how this class of black holes formed. "We needed to confirm their existence observationally first," he says. "Now the theorists can get to work."

Though the Rossi telescope is no longer operational, NASA plans to launch a new X-ray telescope, the Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER), in about two years. Pasham, who will begin a pot-doctoral research position at NASA Goddard in late August, has identified six potential intermediate-mass black holes that NICER might explore.

"A 400 solar mass black hole in the M82 galaxy," Dheeraj R. Pasham, Tod E. Strohmayer, Richard F. Mushotzky, was published online Aug. 17, 2014 in Nature.

 

 

NASA's RXTE Satellite Decodes the Rhythm of an Unusual Black Hole

 
‎01 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎05:21:03 AMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Aug 19, 2014 - Astronomers have uncovered rhythmic pulsations from a rare type of black hole 12 million light-years away by sifting through archival data from NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) satellite.

The signals have helped astronomers identify an unusual midsize black hole called M82 X-1, which is the brightest X-ray source in a galaxy known as Messier 82. Most black holes formed by dying stars are modestly-sized, measuring up to around 25 times the mass of our sun. And most large galaxies harbor monster, or supermassive, black holes that contain tens of thousands of times more mass.

"Between the two extremes of stellar and supermassive black holes, it's a real desert, with only about half a dozen objects whose inferred masses place them in the middle ground," said Tod Strohmayer, an astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Astronomers from Goddard and the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) have suspected M82 X-1 of being midsize for at least a decade, but compelling evidence excluding it from being a stellar black hole proved elusive.

"For reasons that are very hard to understand, these objects have resisted standard measurement techniques," said Richard Mushotzky, a professor of astronomy at UMCP.

By going over past RXTE observations, the astronomers found specific changes in brightness that helped them determine M82 X-1 measures around 400 solar masses.

As gas falls toward a black hole, it heats up and emits X-rays. Variations in X-ray brightness reflect changes occurring in the gas. The most rapid fluctuations happen near the brink of the black hole's event horizon, the point beyond which nothing, not even light, can escape.

Astronomers call these rhythmic pulses quasi-periodic oscillations, or QPOs. For stellar black holes, astronomers have established that the larger the mass, the slower the QPOs, but they could not be sure what they were seeing from M82 X-1 was an extension of this pattern.

"When we study fluctuations in X-rays from many stellar-mass black holes, we see both slow and fast QPOs, but the fast ones often come in pairs with a specific 3:2 rhythmic relationship," explained Dheeraj Pasham, UMCP graduate student. For every three pulses from one member of a QPO pair, its partner pulses twice.

By analyzing six years of RXTE data, the team located X-ray variations that reliably repeat about 5.1 and 3.3 times a second, a 3:2 relationship. The combined presence of slow QPOs and a faster pair in a 3:2 rhythm sets a standard scale allowing astronomers to extend proven relationships used to determine the masses of stellar-mass black holes.

The results of the study were published online in the journal Nature.

Launched in late 1995 and decommissioned in 2012, RXTE is one of NASA's longest-serving astrophysics missions. Its legacy of unique measurements continues to provide researchers with valuable insights into the extreme environments of neutron stars and black holes.

A new NASA X-ray mission called the Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) is slated for launch to the International Space Station in late 2016. Pasham has identified six potential middle-mass black holes that NICER may be able to explore for similar signals.

 

 

Next gen satellite comms system to see testing aboard Coast Guard Cutter Healy during Arctic Shield 2014

 
‎27 ‎August ‎2014, ‏‎07:47:57 AMGo to full article
Coast Guard Cutter Healy, At Sea (SPX) Aug 18, 2014 - From studying the effects of solar activity to improve radio transmissions to enhancing the capabilities of Automated Identification Systems, the importance of having a reliable communications infrastructure in the Arctic has not been lost on researchers traveling aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Healy as part of Arctic Shield 2014.

The ability to send and receive a clear message quickly to prevent or respond to a maritime emergency is vital to the safety of crews transiting the Arctic.

The Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) is the U.S. Navy's next generation narrowband military satellite communications system that will replace the legacy Ultra High Frequency Follow-On (UHF-FO) communications system before that system reaches its end of service life.

Engineers from Lockheed Martin Space Systems, the creators of MUOS, are aboard the Healy to test the system's capabilities in the Arctic for the Department of Defense.

"A single MUOS satellite will provide four times the capacity of the entire legacy UFO constellation of eight satellites," said Dr. Amy Sun, narrowband advanced program lead for Lockheed Martin traveling aboard the Healy.

"The MUOS constellation is designed to provide smartphone-like communications to mobile forces at rates 10 times faster than the legacy system."

MUOS delivers secure voice and data transmissions to mobile users using an advanced waveform similar to commercial cellphone technology.

The MUOS waveform leverages the widely used commercial Wideband Code Division Multiple Access cellphone technology and allows different radios to communicate with the greater MUOS system as well as other network users. Unlike the UFO satellite constellation, the MUOS system allows routing to and from any radio terminal in the system regardless of which satellites are in view.

"This means users could traverse the globe using one radio, without needing to switch out because of different coverage areas," Sun explained. "This goes far in increasing the value that MUOS provides mobile users, not just in traditional theaters of operation, but those at the furthest extents of the planet."

Sponsored by NORAD/NORTHCOM, tests aboard the Healy will begin at latitude 65 degrees North and travel as far north as possible. Another team situated at 82.5 degrees north in Canada will provide Sun and her colleagues an opportunity to evaluate MUOS at the edge of its coverage and gain experience as the satellite rises and falls from view.

The additional coverage provided by MUOS comes at a time when a need for dependable Arctic communications is growing. If successful, the system could provide the Coast Guard and its partners with one more valuable tool for providing safety and security to those under their watch.

 

 

3 SOPS bids farewell to oldest DSCS satellite

 
‎27 ‎August ‎2014, ‏‎07:47:57 AMGo to full article
Schriever AFB CO (SPX) Aug 18, 2014 - As a cadre of 3rd Space Operations Squadron members looked on, 3 SOPS Commander, Lt. Col. Chris Todd, shut down the final remaining components of a Defense Satellite Communications System satellite here July 30.

With those final commands, the vehicle known as DSCS B12 was officially deactivated after serving for more than 22 years.

"As with many Department of Defense satellites, DSCS B12 served the joint warfighter well beyond its 10-year projected lifespan," Todd said. "In its 8,064 days in service, this satellite supported multiple missions on multiple continents during multiple wartime and peacetime contingencies."

Launched in July 1992, DSCS B12 reached geosynchronous orbit more than 22,000 miles above the Earth's surface on schedule.

The satellite provided national command authorities, combatant commanders, joint and allied forces, and other users around the world with reliable wideband satellite communications. It supported communications users during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, and later in life it supported projects led by the National Science Foundation, thanks to its high orbital inclination.

First Lt. Alexander Fiore, 3 SOPS lead DSCS engineer, and his 3 SOPS teammates maneuvered B12 into super synchronous orbit another 417 miles out this past June. Second Lt. Daniel Skaggs, 3 SOPS DSCS engineer, gained his first significant experience on that super synch maneuver and counted on that experience July 30.

"These past few months have been an exciting time for me," said Skaggs.

"I was certified as a DSCS engineer, and in addition, had the opportunity to aid my fellow DSCS engineers in the B12 super synchronization. The final support on B12 could not have gone any smoother. Being on console was a unique experience, which is invaluable since you only get this opportunity maybe once or twice in a career."

Fiore said countless numbers of 3 SOPS team members have gained invaluable experience thanks to B12. It is the oldest DSCS satellite on orbit and has provided communications from the West Pacific region for nearly 20 years. While Air Force operations squadrons have controlled the space vehicle, its communications payload has been managed and operated by the U.S. Army's 53rd Signal Battalion.

"After 22 years, we bid farewell to this wideband communications workhorse," Todd said.

"But, the future is not bleak with regards to satellite communications capacity. In July 2015, we are planning to add to the wideband constellation with the seventh launch of a Wideband Global SATCOM satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. With that launch, we will significantly increase our bandwidth capacity, adding to our ability to communicate in a contested and congested space environment."

 

 

All-You-Can-Eat at the End of the Universe

 
‎27 ‎August ‎2014, ‏‎07:47:57 AMGo to full article
Rehovot, Israel (SPX) Aug 13, 2014 - At the ends of the Universe there are black holes with masses equaling billions of our sun. These giant bodies - quasars - feed on interstellar gas, swallowing large quantities of it non-stop.

Thus they reveal their existence: The light that is emitted by the gas as it is sucked in and crushed by the black hole's gravity travels for eons across the Universe until it reaches our telescopes.

Looking at the edges of the Universe is therefore looking into the past. These far-off, ancient quasars appear to us in their "baby photos" taken less than a billion years after the Big Bang: monstrous infants in a young Universe.

Normally, a black hole forms when a massive star, weighing tens of solar masses, explodes after its nuclear fuel is spent. Without the nuclear furnace at its core pushing against gravity, the star collapses: Much of the material is flung outwards in a great supernova blast, while the rest falls inward, forming a black hole of only about 10 solar masses.

Since these ancient quasars were first discovered, scientists have wondered what process could lead a small black hole to gorge and fatten to such an extent, so soon after the Big Bang.

In fact, several processes tend to limit how fast a black hole can grow. For example, the gas normally does not fall directly into the black hole, but gets sidetracked into a slowly spiraling flow, trickling in drop by drop. When the gas is finally swallowed by the black hole, the light it emits pushes out against the gas. That light counterbalances gravity, and it slows the flow that feeds the black hole.

So how, indeed, did these ancient quasars grow? Prof. Tal Alexander, Head of the Particle Physics and Astrophysics Department, proposes a solution in a paper written together with Prof. Priyamvada Natarajan of Yale University, which recently appeared in Science.

Their model begins with the formation of a small black hole in the very early Universe.

At that time, cosmologists believe, gas streams were cold, dense, and contained much larger amounts of material than the thin gas streams we see in today's cosmos.

The hungry, newborn black hole moved around, changing direction all the time as it was knocked about by other baby stars in its vicinity. By quickly zigzagging, the black hole continually swept up more and more of the gas into its orbit, pulling the gas directly into it so fast, the gas could not settle into a slow, spiraling motion.

The bigger the black hole got, the faster it ate; this growth rate, explains Alexander, rises faster than exponentially. After around 10 million years - a blink of an eye in cosmic time - the black hole would have filled out to around 10,000 solar masses. From then, the colossal growth rate would have slowed to a somewhat more leisurely pace, but the black hole's future path would already be set - leading it to eventually weigh in at a billion solar masses or more.

 

 

NASA's NuSTAR Sees Rare Blurring of Black Hole Light

 
‎25 ‎August ‎2014, ‏‎10:43:39 PMGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Aug 13, 2014 - NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) has captured an extreme and rare event in the regions immediately surrounding a supermassive black hole. A compact source of X-rays that sits near the black hole, called the corona, has moved closer to the black hole over a period of just days.

"The corona recently collapsed in toward the black hole, with the result that the black hole's intense gravity pulled all the light down onto its surrounding disk, where material is spiraling inward," said Michael Parker of the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge, United Kingdom, lead author of a new paper on the findings appearing in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

As the corona shifted closer to the black hole, the gravity of the black hole exerted a stronger tug on the X-rays emitted by it. The result was an extreme blurring and stretching of the X-ray light. Such events had been observed previously, but never to this degree and in such detail.

Supermassive black holes are thought to reside in the centers of all galaxies. Some are more massive and rotate faster than others. The black hole in this new study, referred to as Markarian 335, or Mrk 335, is about 324 million light-years from Earth in the direction of the Pegasus constellation.

It is one of the most extreme of the systems for which the mass and spin rate have ever been measured. The black hole squeezes about 10 million times the mass of our sun into a region only 30 times the diameter of the sun, and it spins so rapidly that space and time are dragged around with it.

Even though some light falls into a supermassive black hole never to be seen again, other high-energy light emanates from both the corona and the surrounding accretion disk of superheated material. Though astronomers are uncertain of the shape and temperature of coronas, they know that they contain particles that move close to the speed of light.

NASA's Swift satellite has monitored Mrk 335 for years, and recently noted a dramatic change in its X-ray brightness.

In what is called a target-of-opportunity observation, NuSTAR was redirected to take a look at high-energy X-rays from this source in the range of 3 to 79 kiloelectron volts. This particular energy range offers astronomers a detailed look at what is happening near the event horizon, the region around a black hole from which light can no longer escape gravity's grasp.

Follow-up observations indicate that the corona still is in this close configuration, months after it moved. Researchers don't know whether and when the corona will shift back.

What is more, the NuSTAR observations reveal that the grip of the black hole's gravity pulled the corona's light onto the inner portion of its superheated disk, better illuminating it. Almost as if somebody had shone a flashlight for the astronomers, the shifting corona lit up the precise region they wanted to study.

The new data could ultimately help determine more about the mysterious nature of black hole coronas. In addition, the observations have provided better measurements of Mrk 335's furious relativistic spin rate. Relativistic speeds are those approaching the speed of light, as described by Albert Einstein's theory of relativity.

"We still don't understand exactly how the corona is produced or why it changes its shape, but we see it lighting up material around the black hole, enabling us to study the regions so close in that effects described by Einstein's theory of general relativity become prominent," said NuSTAR Principal Investigator Fiona Harrison of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena.

"NuSTAR's unprecedented capability for observing this and similar events allows us to study the most extreme light-bending effects of general relativity."

 

 

Electrons moving in a magnetic field exhibit strange quantum behavior

 
‎25 ‎August ‎2014, ‏‎10:43:39 PMGo to full article
Tokyo, Japan (SPX) Aug 12, 2014 - The dynamic behavior of electrons in magnetic fields is crucial for understanding physical processes, such as the quantum Hall effect, which are important in many areas of solid state physics, including electrical conductivity. Yet, there is much that remains unknown about exactly how electrons behave in a magnetic field.

In research published in Nature Communications, researchers Franco Nori and Konstantin Bliokh from the RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science in Japan, in collaboration with an experimental team in Austria, have made the first direct observations of free-electron Landau states-a form of quantized states that electrons adopt when moving through a magnetic field-and found that the internal rotational dynamics of quantum electrons, or how they move through the field, is surprisingly different from the classical model, and in line with recent quantum-mechanical predictions made at RIKEN.

The experimental team used a transmission electron microscope to generate nanometer-sized electron vortex beams in which the electrons had a variety of quantum angular-momentum states, and then analyzed the beam propagation to reconstruct the rotational dynamics of the electrons in different Landau states.

According to classical physics, the electrons should rotate uniformly at what is called the cyclotron frequency, the frequency adopted by a charged particle moving through a magnetic field.

Remarkably, what the researchers discovered is that in fact, depending on the quantum number describing the angular momentum, the electrons rotated in three different ways with zero frequency, the cyclotron frequency, and the Larmor frequency, which is half the cyclotron frequency.

This shows that the rotational dynamics of the electrons are more complex and intriguing than was once believed.

According to Franco Nori, who leads the RIKEN team, "This is a very exciting finding, and it will contribute to a better understanding of the fundamental quantum features of electrons in magnetic fields, and help us to reach a better understanding of Landau states and various related physical phenomena."

 

 

Astrophysicists Detect Destruction of Three Stars by Black Holes

 
‎21 ‎August ‎2014, ‏‎04:01:52 AMGo to full article
Moscow, Russia (SPX) Aug 13, 2014 - Researchers from MIPT and the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences have reported registering three possible occasions of thetidal destruction of stars by supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies. Details are given in an article by Ildar Khabibullin and Sergei Sazonov, accepted for publication by the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society journal(a preprint is available here.

The astrophysicists used data obtained by X-ray orbiting observatories ROSAT and XMM-Newton. The former was put into orbit in 1990 and served until 1999, when XMM-Newton took over. The two satellites gathered enough information to detect very rare events, the destruction of stars by supermassive black holes.

A star in a galaxy passes by a black hole closely enough to be destroyed once every 10,000 years. It is possible to detect the death of a star in a fairly distant galaxyas the destruction of a star generates a bright X-ray flare; it is only necessary to distinguish such a flare from other types of X-ray radiation. Because flares occur in a variety of astrophysical processes, the task of finding stars destroyed by black holes is quite complicated.

The researchers developed a number of methods to distinguish the destruction of a star by a black hole from other occurrences. The easiest way to filter out extraneous signals is to eliminate from consideration flares in our galaxy; there is only one supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, so there clearly could not have been stars that have become victims of gravity on the periphery of our galaxy.

The researchers also excluded sources of radiation that were too large (in angular measurements)and additionally analyzed the range of objects along with the dependence of brightness on time.

Since a supermassive black hole takes just a few years to fully absorb the captured matter of a destroyed star (typically, this makes up about a quarter of its original mass), observations repeated a decade later should detect significant dimming of an X-ray source. The researchers obtained sky surveydata in the 1990s and in the 2000s, so they were able to detect objects whose brightness reduced by at least tenfold.

The data led to the identification of three X-ray sources labeled1RXS J114727.1 + 494302, 1RXS J130547.2 + 641252 and 1RXS J235424.5-102053. [1RXS means that the object was first noticed during the first survey of the sky by the ROSATtelescope, and the two six-digit numbers after the letter J are angular coordinates.]

There is another object that may be a starthat has been rippedapart, but theavailable data does not allow for distinguishing it from the active nucleus of a distant galaxy. New data suggests that the destruction of stars near black holes occur once every30,000 years within the same galaxy, which agrees quite well with estimates derived from observations in the visible and ultraviolet spectral range.

The uncertainty of these estimates is quite significant since they are based on a very small number of occurrences - the full sample contains no more than two dozen "credible"X-ray sourcesregistered by various methods in different spectral bands.

Progress in this area is expected to be made with the launch of the space observatory Spectrum-X-Gamma in 2016, which will be equipped with two X-ray telescopes in the soft X-ray wavelength (the Russian-German unit eROSITA) and in the hard wavelength (Russia's ART-XC). They will be used to carry out eight new legs of X-ray sky surveys within four years. The sensitivity of each shot will be several times greater than that of ROSAT.

Researchers estimate that several hundred such occurrences will be registered annually with the help of Spectrum-X-Gamma. This will not only allow them to more accurately measure the average frequency of such occurrences in the universe, but also to examine in greater detail the interaction of supermassive black holeswith surrounding objects.

 

 

Watching Schrodinger's cat die (or come to life)

 
‎21 ‎August ‎2014, ‏‎04:01:52 AMGo to full article
Berkeley CA (SPX) Aug 01, 2014 - One of the famous examples of the weirdness of quantum mechanics is the paradox of Schrodinger's cat. If you put a cat inside an opaque box and make his life dependent on a random event, when does the cat die? When the random event occurs, or when you open the box?

Though common sense suggests the former, quantum mechanics - or at least the most common "Copenhagen" interpretation enunciated by Danish physicist Neils Bohr in the 1920s - says it's the latter. Someone has to observe the result before it becomes final. Until then, paradoxically, the cat is both dead and alive at the same time.

University of California, Berkeley, physicists have for the first time showed that, in fact, it's possible to follow the metaphorical cat through the whole process, whether he lives or dies in the end.

"Gently recording the cat's paw prints both makes it die, or come to life, as the case may be, and allows us to reconstruct its life history," said Irfan Siddiqi, UC Berkeley associate professor of physics, who is senior author of a cover article describing the result in the July 31 issue of the journal Nature.

The Schrodinger's cat paradox is a critical issue in quantum computers, where the input is an entanglement of states - like the cat's entangled life and death- yet the answer to whether the animal is dead or alive has to be definite.

"To Bohr and others, the process was instantaneous - when you opened the box, the entangled system collapsed into a definite, classical state. This postulate stirred debate in quantum mechanics," Siddiqi said.

"But real-time tracking of a quantum system shows that it's a continuous process, and that we can constantly extract information from the system as it goes from quantum to classical. This level of detail was never considered accessible by the original founders of quantum theory."

For quantum computers, this would allow continuous error correction. The real world, everything from light and heat to vibration, can knock a quantum system out of its quantum state into a real-world, so-called classical state, like opening the box to look at the cat and forcing it to be either dead or alive. A big question regarding quantum computers, Siddiqi said, is whether you can extract information without destroying the quantum system entirely.

"This gets around that fundamental problem in a very natural way," he said. "We can continuously probe a system very gently to get a little bit of information and continuously correct it, nudging it back into line, toward the ultimate goal."

Being two opposing things at the same time
In the world of quantum physics, a system can be in two superposed states at the same time, as long as no one is observing. An observation perturbs the system and forces it into one or the other. Physicists say that the original entangled wave functions collapsed into a classical state.

In the past 10 years, theorists such as Andrew N. Jordan, professor of physics at the University of Rochester and coauthor of the Nature paper, have developed theories predicting the most likely way in which a quantum system will collapse.

"The Rochester team developed new mathematics to predict the most likely path with high accuracy, in the same way one would use Newtown's equations to predict the least cumbersome path of a ball rolling down a mountain," Siddiqi said.

"The implications are significant, as now we can design control sequences to steer a system along a certain trajectory. For example, in chemistry one could use this to prefer certain products of a reaction over others."

Lead researcher Steve Weber, a graduate student in Siddiqi's group, and Siddiqi's former postdoctoral fellow Kater Murch, now an assistant professor of physics at Washington University in St. Louis, proved Jordan correct.

They measured the trajectory of the wave function of a quantum circuit - a qubit, analogous to the bit in a normal computer - as it changed. The circuit, a superconducting pendulum, could be in two different energy states and was coupled to a second circuit to read out the final voltage, corresponding to the pendulum's frequency.

"If you did this experiment many, many times, measuring the road the system took each time and the states it went through, we could determine what the most likely path is," Siddiqi said. "Then we could design a control sequence to take the road we want to take for a given quantum evolution."

If you probed a chemical reaction in detail, for example, you could find the most likely path the reaction would take and design a way to steer the reaction to the products you want, not the most likely, Siddiqi said.

"The experiment demonstrates that, for any choice of final quantum state, the most likely or 'optimal path' connecting them in a given time can be found and predicted," Jordan said. "This verifies the theory and opens the way for active quantum control techniques."

 

 

Baby universe picture brought closer to theory

 
‎21 ‎August ‎2014, ‏‎04:01:52 AMGo to full article
Lausanne, Switzerland (SPX) Aug 07, 2014 - Last year, the Planck Telescope revealed the most detailed picture of the cosmic microwave background, the relic radiation from the Big Bang. But this map contains features that challenge the standard model of cosmology, the theory that describes our entire Universe from early on.

Who is right, the map or the theory? Scientists from EPFL (Switzerland) and CEA (France) have shown that several of these enigmatic features disappear from the map by processing Planck telescope's data differently and including other effects, such as the motion of the Milky Way. The findings are published in the August 4th, 2014 edition of the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics.

Our eyes see what is called visible light. But there is a lot of light that we can't see, like ultraviolet and microwave radiation. It turns out that a weak glow of microwave radiation fills the entire sky, in regions between stars. But where does this glow come from?

According to our current understanding of the Big Bang, this glow of microwave radiation is relic light emitted by the Universe when it was a mere 380 000 years old. Before that, the Universe was completely opaque, since light was trapped by a hot plasma. But as the Universe expanded and cooled, electrons and protons combined to form stable atoms, and light was free to propagate for the first time.

In principle, this first light has traveled through time and is reaching us now in the form of microwave radiation. Slight variations in this background radiation indicate the seeds of current structure in the Universe, from planets, solar systems, and galaxies all the way to clusters of galaxies, clusters of clusters.

The European Space Agency set out to map this radiation to unprecedented resolution by launching the Planck space telescope. Scientists collected information from the telescope and processed it to remove unwanted foreground light, like from stars and galaxies. The information was then assembled together to give the most detailed map of microwave radiation of cosmic origin - a microwave photograph of the early Universe.

The Cold Spot: a few tens of millionths of a degree, a big problem for the theory
While the map is generally in agreement with our current theory of the Big Bang, it also contains unexpected features at large-scales, called anomalies. For example, the famous "cold-spot". On Planck's map, this region of the universe is characterized by its unusually low temperature.

It is just a matter of a few tens of millionths of a degree difference in temperature, which might seem negligible, but it is enough for the map to no longer entirely fit the theory.

Cosmologists are at odds over the source of these anomalies. Do these large-scale features reveal phenomena that require new physics? Or does the information gathered by the Planck space telescope need to be processed differently?

Tuning the data
A recent European study led by EPFL cosmologist Anais Rassat indicates that several of the anomalies disappear if the data from the Planck satellite are processed in a new way. "Using new techniques to separate the foreground light from the background, and taking into account effects like the motion of our Galaxy, we found that most of the claimed anomalies we studied, like the cold spot, stop being problematic," explains Rassat.

Previous methods were left with some regions of unwanted light that needed to be masked in the analysis. Instead, Rassat and her partners from CEA in France, studied a map that avoided masking techniques altogether, giving access to the whole sky.

Next, they corrected the data by taking into account the way our Galaxy moves. They also adjusted the data for distortions in the relic light itself as it traveled through moving charged particles in an expanding Universe as well as other known gravitational effects.

Still room for new physics
While Rassat and her collaborators have shown that several anomalies were no longer problematic, others may nevertheless persist in the data. For Rassat, this work is just a first step towards systematically going through all of the possible large-scale irregularities and trying to explain their origin. Until then, there is still room for new physics.

 

 

Spin Diagnostics

 
‎20 ‎August ‎2014, ‏‎02:36:01 AMGo to full article
College Park MD (SPX) Aug 05, 2014 - Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which is the medical application of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, is a powerful diagnostic tool. MRI works by resonantly exciting hydrogen atoms and measuring the relaxation time -- different materials return to equilibrium at different rates; this is how contrast develops (i.e. between soft and hard tissue).

By comparing the measurements to a known spectrum of relaxation times, medical professionals can determine whether the imaged tissue is muscle, bone, or even a cancerous growth.

At its heart, MRI operates by quantum principles, and the underlying spectroscopic techniques translate to other quantum systems.

Recently physicists at the Joint Quantum Institute* led by JQI Fellow Christopher Monroe have executed an MRI-like diagnostic on a crystal of interacting quantum spins. The technique reveals many features of their system, such as the spin-spin interaction strengths and the energies of various spin configurations.

The protocol was published recently in the journal Science (DOI:10.1126/science.1251422). Previously, such methods existed for an array of only three spins--here, the JQI team performed proof-of-principle experiments with up to 18 spins. They predict that their method is scalable and may be useful for validating experiments with much larger ensembles of interacting spins.

'Spin' models are a vital mathematical representation of numerous physical phenomena including magnetism. Here, the team implements an Ising spin model, which has two central features. The spins themselves have only two options for orientation ("up" or "down"), and the interactions happen between pairs of spins, much like the interaction between bar magnets.

The Ising model can be generalized to many seemingly disparate systems where there are binary choices. For instance, this model was used to study how ideas spread through social networks.

In this application, spin-spin interactions represented connections between people in a network, analogous to interaction energies between magnetic spins. Here, the extent of the human connection affected how opinions spread through a social network population.

Back in the quantum laboratory, physicists have the ability to precisely study and calculate everything about a single or a small collection of essentially "textbook" spin particles within various physical platforms.

Yet gaining a complete understanding of the behavior of many interacting spins is a daunting task, for both experimentalists and theorists. Ion traps are a leader in experimental studies of quantum physics, and thus well-poised for tackling this challenge.

The sheer numbers involved in large spin systems give insight into the difficulty of studying them. Consider that for N number of particles there are N(N-1)/2 two-body interactions. The interactions give rise to an energy spectrum containing 2N individual spin configurations. Here, the team does a complete analysis with 5 spins, and so there are 10 two-body interactions and 32 different spin chain configurations.

Conventional computers can work with these modest numbers, but for as few as 30 spins the number of states pushes past a billion, which begins to be prohibitively complicated, particularly when the 435 separate interactions are all distinct. Physicists hope that quantum simulators can help bridge this gap.

The Ion Trap Quantum Spin Simulator
Quantum Simulation is a term that broadly describes the use of one controllable quantum system to study a second analogous, but less experimentally feasible quantum phenomenon. A full-scale quantum computer does not yet exist and classical computers often cannot solve large-scale quantum problems, thus a "quantum simulator" presents an attractive alternative for gaining insight into complex problems.

In the experiment described here, laser-cooled ytterbium atoms confined inside an ion trap are configured to simulate an array of spins. Each spin is made from two of the ion's internal energy levels that are separated by a microwave frequency of 12.642819 GHz (billion vibrations/second).

When radiation having this frequency interacts with the ion, its spin flip-flops between the two spin states, "up" and "down".

The ions also have a vibrational frequency determined by the trap that confines them--typically around 1 MHz or 1 million vibrations/second. In the quantum regime, the quanta of vibration called a phonon can be controllably added and removed from the system with precisely controlled external laser forces. These phonons act as communication channels for the spins, and when combined with the gigahertz radiation, are used to generate a rich variety of interactions.

The simulation begins with the spins initialized into a well-known spin configuration (e.g. all of the spins in the "up" configuration). Then, the physicists apply a probe, which is a tiny oscillating electromagnetic field generated from the laser.

They scan this probe to find the special "resonant" frequencies that cause the spin crystal to undergo transitions to different configurations (see Figure 1 in gallery). This energy/frequency is directly related to how the spins are interacting with each other. If the spins are interacting weakly, with only their nearest neighbors, then the transition energy will be different than when the interactions are more extended.

To assemble a complete energy spectrum and measure all configurations the team must repeatedly probe the ion spins over a range of frequencies. A crucial component of this protocol is the imaging system, which allows the team to directly measure each individual ion spin in the crystal for every probe frequency.

The JQI team hopes this new tool will ease the way towards simulating larger systems and possibly other spin models.

Says Crystal Senko, JQI graduate student and lead author of this work, "Quantum simulation experiments will eventually be studying physics questions that can't be answered in any other way, so we might not know how to tell if the experiment isn't doing quite what we expected. That means it will be important to have many diagnostics, so that when we see something strange and interesting we can be confident that it's interesting physics instead of just a bug in the experiment."

Significantly, this protocol is not limited to trapped ions, and can be tailored to different simulation platforms. Just as MRI is an indispensable tool in modern medicine, this new verification technique may prove essential to the realm of quantum simulation.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Mysterious Holes In The Atmosphere On Venus

 
‎12 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:45:10 AMGo to full article
0 The European Space Agency's Venus Express mission saw something it could not explain. It appeared that there were holes on the nightside of Venus' ionosphere. Researchers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center investigated these mysterious holes, and found evidence that the sun's magnetic field lines may be penetrating through the planet. Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center > Explore Further...
 

ScienceCasts: Jellyfish Flame On The International Space Station

 
‎12 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:30:09 AMGo to full article
0 Astronauts onboard the International Space Station report seeing flames that behave like jellyfish. Video of the microgravity phenomenon is a must-see. Credit: NASA > Explore Further...
 

Expedition 40 Undocks, Ending Mission

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎01:00:49 PMGo to full article
0 After spending 167 days aboard the International Space Station, Steve Swanson, Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev undocked from the station's Poisk module at 7:01 p.m. EDT to begin their voyage home. Skvortsov, the Soyuz commander, is at the controls of the Soyuz TMA-12M spacecraft. The departure of Swanson, Skvortsov and Artemyev marks the end of Expedition 40. The Expedition 41 crew members, Reid Wiseman of NASA, Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency and space station Commander Max Suraev from Roscosmos, will continue research and maintenance aboard the station. Credit: NASA > Explore Further...
 

Zooming In On The Globular Star Cluster Messier 54

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎07:00:31 AMGo to full article
0 This video takes you on a journey past the center of the Milky Way and far out the other side to the globular cluster Messier 54. This cluster looks very similar to many others, but it has a secret. Messier 54 doesn’t belong to the Milky Way, but actually is part of a small satellite galaxy, the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy. The final close-up view comes from the VLT Survey Telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in northern Chile. Credit: ESO/N. Risinger (skysurvey.org). Music: John Dyson > Explore Further...
 

Earth Images From Alexander Gerst In 4K

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:45:10 AMGo to full article
0 This timelapse video was made from images taken by ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst orbiting Earth on the International Space Station. The video is offered in Ultra High Definition, the highest available to consumers. Be sure to change the settings in YouTube if your computer or television can handle it for the full effect. The montage is made from a long sequence of still photographs taken at a resolution of 4256 x 2832 pixels at a rate of one every second. The high resolution allowed the ESA production team to create a 3840 x 2160 pixel movie, also known as Ultra HD or 4K. Playing these sequences at 25 frames per second, the film runs 25 times faster than it looks for the astronauts in space. The artistic effects of the light trails from stars and cities at night are created by superimposing the individual images and fading them out slowly. Alexander Gerst is a member of the International Space Station Expedition 40 crew. He is spending five and a half months living and working on the ISS for his Blue Dot mission. Credit: ESA
 

RapidScat: NASA's Newest Wind Watcher

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:30:34 AMGo to full article
0 Mission scientists and engineers describe how their small team, on a tight budget and short deadline, created the ISS-RapidScat instrument to gather high-priority measurements of ocean winds from a berth on the International Space Station. Credit: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
 

Expedition 40/41 Change Of Command Aboard Station

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:00:19 AMGo to full article
0 The reins of the International Space Station were passed from NASA’s Steve Swanson to Max Suraev of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) during a ceremony on the orbital outpost on Sept. 9. Swanson will return to Earth Sept. 11, Kazakh time, in the Soyuz TMA-12M spacecraft with Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev to wrap up almost six months in orbit. Suraev will remain on board with NASA Flight Engineer Reid Wiseman and European Space Agency Flight Engineer Alexander Gerst, awaiting the arrival of Alexander Samokutyaev of Roscosmos, Barry Wilmore of NASA and Elena Serova of Roscosmos, who will launch to the complex on Sept. 26, Kazakh time. Credit: NASA
 

Capillary Flow Experiments On Space Station

 
‎10 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎05:02:23 PMGo to full article
0 Capillary Flow Experiments on the International Space Station are fluid physics experiments that investigate capillary flows and flows of fluids in containers with complex geometries. Results will improve current computer models that are used by designers of fluid systems on Earth and may improve fluid transfer systems on future spacecraft. Credit: NASA
 

First Evidence For Water Ice Clouds Found Outside Solar System

 
‎10 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎04:52:10 PMGo to full article
0 A team of scientists led by Carnegie's Jacqueline Faherty has discovered the first evidence of water ice clouds on an object outside of our own Solar System. Water ice clouds exist on our own gas giant planets--Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune--but have not been seen outside of the planets orbiting our Sun until now. Their findings are published by The Astrophysical Journal Letters. Credit: Carnegie Institution for Science > Explore Further...
 

Close-Up View Of The Globular Star Cluster Messier 54

 
‎10 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎04:27:51 PMGo to full article
0 This video gives a close-up view of an image from the VLT Survey Telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in northern Chile showing the globular cluster Messier 54. This cluster looks very similar to many others, but it has a secret. Messier 54 doesn’t belong to the Milky Way, but actually is part of a small satellite galaxy, the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy. This unusual parentage has allowed astronomers to use the Very Large Telescope (VLT) to test whether unexpectedly low levels of the element lithium are also found in stars outside the Milky Way. Credit: ESO > Explore Further...
 

Opportunity's Long Tracks On Crater Rim

 
‎10 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎04:15:34 PMGo to full article
0 Overhead and on-the-ground views of the 25-mile journey NASA's Opportunity Mars rover has made since landing in 2004. Credit: JPL/Cal-Tech > Explore further...
 

Targeting Mars

 
‎10 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:30:27 AMGo to full article
0 NASA's MAVEN spacecraft is quickly approaching Mars on a mission to study its upper atmosphere. When it arrives on September 21, 2014, MAVEN's winding journey from Earth will culminate with a dramatic engine burn, pulling the spacecraft into an elliptical orbit. Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center > More Information...
 

Space Station Live: High Definition Earth Viewing

 
‎10 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:00:22 AMGo to full article
0 To date there have been millions of viewers looking at the High Definition Earth Viewing, or HDEV camera views. Four cameras are sitting on the exterior of the space station which stream live video of Earth for viewing online. The cameras are enclosed in a temperature specific housing and are exposed to the harsh radiation of space. Analysis of the effect of space on the video quality may help engineers decide which cameras are the best types to use on future missions. The Associate Program Scientist for Crew Earth Observations, Will Stefanov, tells us more. Credit: NASA > More Information...
 

A New Measure Of Ocean Winds

 
‎09 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:45:53 AMGo to full article
0 A new tool for tracking hurricanes and tropical storms, ISS-RapidScat is the first instrument specifically created to watch Earth from the International Space Station. In the station's unique orbit, it will collect the first data ever on how ocean winds change throughout the day in different parts of the world -- vital knowledge for honing the accuracy of all satellite wind measurements. Credit: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
 

Space To Ground: Earth From Above: 9/5/14

 
‎09 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:00:02 AMGo to full article
0 NASA's Space to Ground is your weekly update on what's happening aboard the International Space Station. Credit: NASA
 

Earth From Space: Lake Chad

 
‎08 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:30:01 AMGo to full article
0 Earth from Space is presented by Kelsea Brennan-Wessels from the ESA Web-TV virtual studios. In the one-hundred-fifteenth edition, discover this important water source for over 60 million people in Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria. Credit: ESA
 

ScienceCasts: Mystery In The Ozone Layer

 
‎08 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:15:48 AMGo to full article
0 Almost 30 years after the Montreal Protocol put the brakes on ozone-depleting chemicals, one compound remains stubbornly and mysteriously abundant in the atmosphere. NASA scientists are tracking down the source and studying its effect on the ozone layer. Credit: NASA > More Information...
 

Scanning A Snow Storm

 
‎08 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:00:32 AMGo to full article
0 On March 17, 2014 the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission's Core Observatory flew over the East coast's last snow storm of the 2013-2014 winter season. This was also one of the first major snow storms observed by GPM shortly after it was launched on February 27, 2014. The GPM Core Observatory carries two instruments that show the location and intensity of rain and snow, which defines a crucial part of the storm structure - and how it will behave. The GPM Microwave Imager sees through the tops of clouds to observe how much and where precipitation occurs, and the Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar observes precise details of precipitation in 3-dimensions. For forecasters, GPM's microwave and radar data are part of the toolbox of satellite data, including other low Earth orbit and geostationary satellites, that they use to monitor tropical cyclones and hurricanes. Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center > More Information...
 

The Data Downpour From The GPM Constellation Of Satellites

 
‎05 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:15:26 AMGo to full article
0 A video describing how the GPM constellation turns observed radiances and reflectivities of global precipitation into data products. Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
 

Solar Cycle: Magnetized March To Equator

 
‎04 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎12:19:59 PMGo to full article
0 Bands of magnetized solar material – with alternating south and north polarity – march toward the sun's equator. Comparing the evolution of the bands with the sunspot number in each hemisphere over time may change the way we think about what's driving the sun's 11-year sunspot cycle. Credit: NASA > More Information...
 

Zooming In On The Dark Cloud Lupus 4

 
‎04 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:45:11 AMGo to full article
0 This video sequence takes you from a wide view of the Milky Way deep into a region of dark clouds. The final view of the spider-like Lupus 4 cloud, the site of future star birth, comes from the Wide Field Imager (WFI) on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile. Credit: ESO/N. Risinger (skysurvey.org)/Digitized Sky Survey 2. Music: movetwo > More Information...
 

A Selective History Of Sea Ice Observations

 
‎04 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:30:25 AMGo to full article
0 Arctic sea ice has been been the last frontier of the North for thousands of years, turning back seafarers, testing the mettle of explorers, and providing a way of life for people circling the top of the world. This animated timeline provides a quick (and highly selective) ride from the days of early Greek exploration to the dawn of the Space Age. Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center > More Information...
 

STEREO's View of Aug. 24, 2014 Eruption

 
‎04 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:00:46 AMGo to full article
0 A bright eruption of solar material surges into space as captured by NASA's Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory - Before satellite, which currently has a view of the far side of the sun. The inner image of the sun was provided by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. This video shows a time-lapse of the event and then a slowed-down version, and loops 5 times. Credit: NASA/STEREO
 

A Close-Up View Of The Dark Cloud Lupus 4

 
‎03 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎02:33:53 PMGo to full article
0 This close-up pan video shows a new view of the dark cloud Lupus 4 blotting out background stars. It was captured using Wide Field Imager (WFI) on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile. Lupus 4 is a dense pocket of gas and dust where new stars are expected to form. The cloud is located about 400 light-years away from Earth, on the border between the constellations of Lupus (The Wolf) and Norma (The Carpenter's Square). Credit: ESO. Music: movetwo > More Information...
 

Preparing America For Deep Space Exploration: Episode 7 Music Video

 
‎02 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:30:29 AMGo to full article
0 A quick look at what's been going on in the Orion, Space Launch System and Ground Systems Development and Operations programs in April, May and June of 2014. Credit: NASA
 

Space Launch System Milestone On This Week @NASA

 
‎02 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:15:17 AMGo to full article
0 On August 27, NASA announced a milestone in development of the Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket. The completion of a rigorous review known as Key Decision Point C, or KDP-C, means NASA can transition from formulation to development of the rocket that will send humans beyond Earth orbit and to Mars. KDP-C outlines a conservative development cost baseline and a launch readiness schedule based on an initial SLS flight no later than November 2018. This marks the country's first commitment to building an exploration class launch vehicle since the Space Shuttle Program. Also, 3-D printed rocket injector test, SLS scale model test, Composite fuel tank tests, Crossing Neptune’s orbit, New Horizons: Continuing Voyager’s legacy and more! Credit: NASA
 

NASA'S Armstrong Flight Research Center: Reaching For New Heights

 
‎02 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:00:25 AMGo to full article
0 The Armstrong Flight Research Center, NASA's Center of Excellence for atmospheric flight, conducts research to advance science, technology, aeronautics and space exploration, enhancing knowledge, education, innovation, economic vitality, and stewardship of Earth. This video highlights some of the center's current efforts in support of the agency's strategic goals in Earth science, space exploration, next-generation aviation systems and technology development. Credit: NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center
 

Space To Ground: Heating Up: 08/29/14

 
‎01 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:45:24 AMGo to full article
0 NASA's Space to Ground is your weekly update on what's happening aboard the International Space Station. Credit: NASA
 

What's Up For September 2014

 
‎01 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:30:56 AMGo to full article
0 View the red star Antares near the red planet Mars, plus the Zodiacal Light that points towards Jupiter in the morning sky. Credit: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
 

Flurry Of Flares

 
‎30 ‎August ‎2014, ‏‎10:14:37 AMGo to full article
0 A single, dynamic active region unleashed over half a dozen solar flares in about one day (Aug. 25-26, 2014). The two larger flares were M-class (moderate) flares and the others were smaller flares. The images were taken in a wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light that is well designed to observe flares: this channel (at 131 Angstroms) can measure extremely hot temperatures up to 10 million degrees C. Some coronal mass ejections were also associated with the flares. Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory/NASA

 

 
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Carbon Fiber The Next Level Of 3D Printing

 
‎12 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎07:00:22 AMGo to full article
0 A startup called MarkForged is taking 3D printers to the next level using carbon fiber. Why? Because carbon fiber is stronger, that’s why. They wanted to overcome the strength limitations of other 3D printed materials that have been created. The MarkForged website says that “now you can print parts, tooling, and fixtures with a higher strength-to-weight ratio than 6061-T6 Aluminum. Now that’s pretty strong.

[ Read the Article: Carbon Fiber Becomes The Next Medium For 3D Printing ]
 

The Mysterious Holes In The Atmosphere On Venus

 
‎12 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:45:10 AMGo to full article
0 The European Space Agency's Venus Express mission saw something it could not explain. It appeared that there were holes on the nightside of Venus' ionosphere. Researchers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center investigated these mysterious holes, and found evidence that the sun's magnetic field lines may be penetrating through the planet.

Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

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ScienceCasts: Jellyfish Flame On The International Space Station

 
‎12 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:30:09 AMGo to full article
0 Astronauts onboard the International Space Station report seeing flames that behave like jellyfish. Video of the microgravity phenomenon is a must-see.

Credit: NASA

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Groundbreaking Study Reveals Best Positions To Save Your Spine During Sex

 
‎12 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:15:50 AMGo to full article
0 Contrary to popular belief, spooning is not always the best sex position for those with a bad back, according to research from the University of Waterloo. For the first time ever, scientists have successfully documented the way the spine moves during sex and discovered exactly why certain positions are better than others when it comes to avoiding back pain.

The pioneering study combined infrared and electromagnetic motion capture systems – like those used in the creation of video games – to track how 10 couples’ spines moved when attempting five common sex positions. The findings were used to create an atlas, or set of guidelines, that recommends different sex positions and thrusting techniques based on what movements trigger a patient’s pain.

In this video, Waterloo’s Dr Spine – Professor Stu McGill – and the study’s lead author, Natalie Sidorkewicz explain how they carried out the research and what they found out.

Credit: University of Waterloo

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UM Research Reveals Secrets Of Animal Weapons

 
‎12 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:00:08 AMGo to full article
0 From antlers to horns, humans have long been fascinated by animals’ ability to defend themselves with their natural-born weapons. But until now, no studies have directly tested whether those weapons perform better at the animals’ own style of fighting than they would using the fighting style of another species. Researchers at the University of Montana recently discovered each species’ weapons are structurally adapted to meet their own functional demands of fighting.

The groundbreaking research, conducted over the past year by UM doctoral student Erin McCullough and designed with the help of UM researchers Doug Emlen and Bret Tobalske, is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Credit: University of Montana
 

Expedition 40 Undocks, Ending Mission

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎01:00:49 PMGo to full article
0 After spending 167 days aboard the International Space Station, Steve Swanson, Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev undocked from the station's Poisk module at 7:01 p.m. EDT to begin their voyage home. Skvortsov, the Soyuz commander, is at the controls of the Soyuz TMA-12M spacecraft.

The departure of Swanson, Skvortsov and Artemyev marks the end of Expedition 40. The Expedition 41 crew members, Reid Wiseman of NASA, Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency and space station Commander Max Suraev from Roscosmos, will continue research and maintenance aboard the station.

Credit: NASA

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Zooming In On The Globular Star Cluster Messier 54

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎07:00:31 AMGo to full article
0 This video takes you on a journey past the center of the Milky Way and far out the other side to the globular cluster Messier 54. This cluster looks very similar to many others, but it has a secret. Messier 54 doesn’t belong to the Milky Way, but actually is part of a small satellite galaxy, the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy. The final close-up view comes from the VLT Survey Telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in northern Chile.

Credit: ESO/N. Risinger (skysurvey.org). Music: John Dyson

> Explore Further...
 

Earth Images From Alexander Gerst In 4K

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:45:10 AMGo to full article
0 This timelapse video was made from images taken by ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst orbiting Earth on the International Space Station.

The video is offered in Ultra High Definition, the highest available to consumers. Be sure to change the settings in YouTube if your computer or television can handle it for the full effect.

The montage is made from a long sequence of still photographs taken at a resolution of 4256 x 2832 pixels at a rate of one every second. The high resolution allowed the ESA production team to create a 3840 x 2160 pixel movie, also known as Ultra HD or 4K.

Playing these sequences at 25 frames per second, the film runs 25 times faster than it looks for the astronauts in space.

The artistic effects of the light trails from stars and cities at night are created by superimposing the individual images and fading them out slowly.

Alexander Gerst is a member of the International Space Station Expedition 40 crew. He is spending five and a half months living and working on the ISS for his Blue Dot mission.

Credit: ESA
 

RapidScat: NASA's Newest Wind Watcher

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:30:34 AMGo to full article
0 Mission scientists and engineers describe how their small team, on a tight budget and short deadline, created the ISS-RapidScat instrument to gather high-priority measurements of ocean winds from a berth on the International Space Station.

Credit: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
 

Science Nation - Plum Island Estuary: Studying How Marshes Respond To Sea-Level Rise

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:15:31 AMGo to full article
0 At the Plum Island Sound estuary in northeastern Massachusetts, the marsh floods like clockwork. At high tide, you can pass over the mudflats into the grass in a boat. At low tide, the ocean waters recede, leaving behind fresh deposits of nutrient-rich food for the birds and other wildlife, including juvenile game fish, such as Striped bass. It’s an ecosystem that is at once both hardy and fragile.

The estuary is part of the Plum Island Ecosystems LTER, and LTER stands for “Long Term Ecological Research.” The LTER Network was created by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 1980 to conduct research on ecological issues that can last decades and span huge geographical areas. The Plum Island Ecosystems LTER was established in 1998, and like other LTER sites, this one is focused on the long view, and the research is expected to continue for a generation or more.

Biogeochemist Anne Giblin, of the Marine Biological Laboratory, is leading a team of researchers who are studying the Plum Island salt marshes to determine how this two thousand year old ecosystem is holding up under climate change, land use changes, and sea level rise. “The Plum Island Estuary LTER has given us some valuable insights about how marsh systems will respond to future climate and environmental changes,” says David Garrison, a program director in the NSF Directorate for Geosciences. “These findings would have not been possible without the funding commitment to collect long term observations.” The Plum Island Estuary LTER is co-funded by the NSF Directorates for Geosciences and Biological Sciences.

Credit: National Science Foundation

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Expedition 40/41 Change Of Command Aboard Station

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:00:19 AMGo to full article
0 The reins of the International Space Station were passed from NASA’s Steve Swanson to Max Suraev of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) during a ceremony on the orbital outpost on Sept. 9. Swanson will return to Earth Sept. 11, Kazakh time, in the Soyuz TMA-12M spacecraft with Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev to wrap up almost six months in orbit. Suraev will remain on board with NASA Flight Engineer Reid Wiseman and European Space Agency Flight Engineer Alexander Gerst, awaiting the arrival of Alexander Samokutyaev of Roscosmos, Barry Wilmore of NASA and Elena Serova of Roscosmos, who will launch to the complex on Sept. 26, Kazakh time.

Credit: NASA
 

Capillary Flow Experiments On Space Station

 
‎10 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎05:02:23 PMGo to full article
0 Capillary Flow Experiments on the International Space Station are fluid physics experiments that investigate capillary flows and flows of fluids in containers with complex geometries. Results will improve current computer models that are used by designers of fluid systems on Earth and may improve fluid transfer systems on future spacecraft.

Credit: NASA
 

First Evidence For Water Ice Clouds Found Outside Solar System

 
‎10 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎04:52:10 PMGo to full article
0 A team of scientists led by Carnegie's Jacqueline Faherty has discovered the first evidence of water ice clouds on an object outside of our own Solar System. Water ice clouds exist on our own gas giant planets--Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune--but have not been seen outside of the planets orbiting our Sun until now. Their findings are published by The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Credit: Carnegie Institution for Science

> Explore Further...
 

Close-Up View Of The Globular Star Cluster Messier 54

 
‎10 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎04:27:51 PMGo to full article
0 This video gives a close-up view of an image from the VLT Survey Telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in northern Chile showing the globular cluster Messier 54. This cluster looks very similar to many others, but it has a secret. Messier 54 doesn’t belong to the Milky Way, but actually is part of a small satellite galaxy, the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy. This unusual parentage has allowed astronomers to use the Very Large Telescope (VLT) to test whether unexpectedly low levels of the element lithium are also found in stars outside the Milky Way.

Credit: ESO

> Explore Further...
 

Opportunity's Long Tracks On Crater Rim

 
‎10 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎04:15:34 PMGo to full article
0 Overhead and on-the-ground views of the 25-mile journey NASA's Opportunity Mars rover has made since landing in 2004.

Credit: JPL/Cal-Tech

> Explore further...
 

Researchers Discover New Species Of Dinosaur In Tanzania

 
‎10 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎07:00:29 AMGo to full article
0 NSF-funded paleontologists at Ohio University have discovered a new species of titanosaurian dinosaur in Tanzania. It was discovered embedded in a cliff wall in the Rukwa Rift Basin of Southwestern Tanzania. Only four have been unearthed in African, making this a rare find.

Credit: National Science Foundation

> More Information...
 

Bacteria From Bees Possible Alternative To Antibiotics

 
‎10 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:45:10 AMGo to full article
0 13 lactic acid bacteria found in the honey stomach of bees have shown promising results in a series of studies at Lund University in Sweden.

Credit: Lund University

> More Information...
 

Targeting Mars

 
‎10 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:30:27 AMGo to full article
0 NASA's MAVEN spacecraft is quickly approaching Mars on a mission to study its upper atmosphere. When it arrives on September 21, 2014, MAVEN's winding journey from Earth will culminate with a dramatic engine burn, pulling the spacecraft into an elliptical orbit.

Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

> More Information...
 

Immune System Receptors Unlock Disease Treatment

 
‎10 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:15:57 AMGo to full article
0 A new discovery by Professor Greg Lemke and the team at the Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory at The Salk Institute sheds light on the differences between TAM receptors and their important roles in treatments for disease.

Credit: Salk Institute

> More Information...
 

Space Station Live: High Definition Earth Viewing

 
‎10 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:00:22 AMGo to full article
0 To date there have been millions of viewers looking at the High Definition Earth Viewing, or HDEV camera views. Four cameras are sitting on the exterior of the space station which stream live video of Earth for viewing online. The cameras are enclosed in a temperature specific housing and are exposed to the harsh radiation of space. Analysis of the effect of space on the video quality may help engineers decide which cameras are the best types to use on future missions. The Associate Program Scientist for Crew Earth Observations, Will Stefanov, tells us more.

Credit: NASA

> More Information...
 

What Do People Really Think About DNA Research?

 
‎09 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎07:00:18 AMGo to full article
0 Here’s a question for you: “Which comes closer to your opinion about scientific research on human, plant and animal DNA? A. I worry that this research poses unforeseen dangers? B. I’m excited that this research could lead to major scientific breakthroughs. C. Both of these. D. Neither. or E. Not sure?” Well, according to a new Huffington Post Poll that posed this question, seventy-one percent said they were “B” excited but showed some concern in their responses to some of the other questions. When it came to cloning, fifty-five percent said they were against the idea. And when it came to designer DNA babies, they really didn’t go for it with 72% disapproving of such efforts. Gattica anybody? And when asked if they felt that scientists were “playing God” by tinkering with DNA in such ways, thirty-five percent said they were very worried about that possibility.

[ Read the Article: Americans Excited Over DNA Breakthroughs, But Many Worry About The Implications: Poll ]
 

A New Measure Of Ocean Winds

 
‎09 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:45:53 AMGo to full article
0 A new tool for tracking hurricanes and tropical storms, ISS-RapidScat is the first instrument specifically created to watch Earth from the International Space Station. In the station's unique orbit, it will collect the first data ever on how ocean winds change throughout the day in different parts of the world -- vital knowledge for honing the accuracy of all satellite wind measurements.

Credit: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
 

Classroom Decorations Disrupt Attention And Learning In Young Children

 
‎09 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:30:57 AMGo to full article
0 [ Read the Article: Too Many Decorations In A Classroom Can Disrupt Attention And Learning In Young Children ]

Maps, number lines, shapes, artwork and other materials tend to cover elementary classroom walls. However, new research from Carnegie Mellon University shows that too much of a good thing may end up disrupting attention and learning in young children. Published in Psychological Science, Carnegie Mellon's Anna V. Fisher, Karrie E. Godwin and Howard Seltman looked at whether classroom displays affected children's ability to maintain focus during instruction and to learn the lesson content. They found that children in highly decorated classrooms were more distracted, spent more time off-task and demonstrated smaller learning gains than when the decorations were removed.

Credit: Carnegie Mellon University
 

Decoding Brown Tide

 
‎09 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:15:37 AMGo to full article
0 A new study by researchers at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Stony Brook University highlights up close the survival skills that have made Aureococcus, or 'Brown Tide' algae, the bane of fishermen, boaters and real-estate agents.

Credit: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

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Space To Ground: Earth From Above: 9/5/14

 
‎09 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:00:02 AMGo to full article
0 NASA's Space to Ground is your weekly update on what's happening aboard the International Space Station.

Credit: NASA
 

Young, Healthy Adults Should Get A Flu Vaccine

 
‎08 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎07:00:43 AMGo to full article
0 Duke University reports that out of the first 55 patients hospitalized at its University Hospital this flu season, twenty-two required intensive care and only two of those had received the flu vaccine. Those hospitalized were, on average, 28.5 year old healthy young men and women. Out of the 33 who didn’t require ICU, only 11 had received vaccines. And the 2009, H1N1 strain seemed to be the most common culprit in ICU patients. So, doctors basically said, “Come on folks a $30 would save a lot of dough in costly hospitalizations and a whole lot of hassle.”

[ Read the Article: Unvaccinated Flu Patients Found To Require More Intensive Care ]
 

Science Nation - Damaging Volcanic Ash Stays Well Beyond Welcome

 
‎08 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:45:10 AMGo to full article
0 Volcanic ash can become a multimillion-dollar nightmare, lingering in the skies, getting into engines and damaging aircraft.

Volcanic ash is known to present hazards to aviation, infrastructure, agriculture, and human and animal health. With the emergence of aviation in the last 50 years as a key component of global travel and transport, the importance of understanding how long ash is suspended in the atmosphere, and how far it is transported has taken on greater importance.

Airborne ash abrades the exteriors of aircraft, enters modern jet engines and melts while coating the interior parts, thus causing damage and failure. For example, the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption in Iceland was the most disruptive event in aviation history, with billions of dollars of losses to the aviation industry and global economy. Much of this was unnecessary and better knowledge of the transport of fine ash could minimize such losses in the future. However, present understanding of ash transportation can only account for general air movements, but cannot fully address how much or how long ash remains in the atmosphere, and how much falls out as the ash travels downwind.

With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), volcanologist Dork Sahagian of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., and his colleagues are learning more about the aerodynamic properties of ash, and how long different sizes and shapes stay in the atmosphere. They use a wind tunnel to study how ash travels in the atmosphere during and after volcanic eruptions. The researchers want to develop ways to predict when and for how long damaging ash will fill the skies, and when it's safe to fly again.

Credit: National Science Foundation
 

Earth From Space: Lake Chad

 
‎08 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:30:01 AMGo to full article
0 Earth from Space is presented by Kelsea Brennan-Wessels from the ESA Web-TV virtual studios.

In the one-hundred-fifteenth edition, discover this important water source for over 60 million people in Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria.

Credit: ESA
 

ScienceCasts: Mystery In The Ozone Layer

 
‎08 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:15:48 AMGo to full article
0 Almost 30 years after the Montreal Protocol put the brakes on ozone-depleting chemicals, one compound remains stubbornly and mysteriously abundant in the atmosphere. NASA scientists are tracking down the source and studying its effect on the ozone layer.

Credit: NASA

> More Information...
 

Scanning A Snow Storm

 
‎08 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:00:32 AMGo to full article
0 On March 17, 2014 the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission's Core Observatory flew over the East coast's last snow storm of the 2013-2014 winter season. This was also one of the first major snow storms observed by GPM shortly after it was launched on February 27, 2014.

The GPM Core Observatory carries two instruments that show the location and intensity of rain and snow, which defines a crucial part of the storm structure - and how it will behave. The GPM Microwave Imager sees through the tops of clouds to observe how much and where precipitation occurs, and the Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar observes precise details of precipitation in 3-dimensions.

For forecasters, GPM's microwave and radar data are part of the toolbox of satellite data, including other low Earth orbit and geostationary satellites, that they use to monitor tropical cyclones and hurricanes.

Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

> More Information...
 

Cockroach Mystery - Old World Or New World?

 
‎05 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎07:00:21 AMGo to full article
0 After a 49-million-year hiatus, a cockroach has reappeared in North America. This particular cockroach had been thought to be solely Old World and had a long-standing fossil record in Europe. However, new evidence reveals its origins may be rooted in the New World. Four ancient species of this cockroach were found in Baltic amber deposits in Colorado’s Green River Formation. Researchers aren’t sure why this particular cockroach became extinct in the New World but thrived in the Old World.

[ Read the Article: An Old World Cockroach Species May Have Originated In North America ]
 

E-Cigarettes May Promote Illicit Drug Use And Addiction

 
‎05 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:45:08 AMGo to full article
0 Columbia researchers discuss how e-cigarettes may promote illicit drug use and addiction.

Credit: Columbia University

> More Information...
 

Dreadnoughtus: A New Dinosaur Discovery

 
‎05 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:30:15 AMGo to full article
0 Drexel University professor Ken Lacovara has recently unveiled a new supermassive dinosaur species he discovered and unearthed with his team between 2005 and 2009. Weighing in at nearly 65 tons, Dreadnoughtus schrani is the largest land animal ever found of calculable mass and also by far one of the most complete skeletons ever found for a dinosaur in this mass range!

Credit: Drexel University

> More Information...
 

The Data Downpour From The GPM Constellation Of Satellites

 
‎05 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:15:26 AMGo to full article
0 A video describing how the GPM constellation turns observed radiances and reflectivities of global precipitation into data products.

Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
 

Could A Protein Be Linked To Heart Attacks?

 
‎05 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:00:25 AMGo to full article
0 A team of researchers at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, led by Dr. Alexandre Stewart, have uncovered an intriguing link between heart attacks and a protein that is of great interest to drug companies for its impact on cholesterol.

Credit: University of Ottawa Heart Institute

> More Information...
 

Solar Cycle: Magnetized March To Equator

 
‎04 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎12:19:59 PMGo to full article
0 Bands of magnetized solar material – with alternating south and north polarity – march toward the sun's equator. Comparing the evolution of the bands with the sunspot number in each hemisphere over time may change the way we think about what's driving the sun's 11-year sunspot cycle.

Credit: NASA

> More Information...
 

Does Your Nose Make You Eat More?

 
‎04 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎07:00:32 AMGo to full article
0 Scientists from the University of Bordeaux say that the type 1 cannabinoid receptor in the olfactory bulb in the brain could cause you to eat more at the smell of food. They discovered what links hunger and increased smell perception the brain. They found that CB1 cannabinoid receptors control a circuit that connects the olfactory bulb to the cerebral cortex. When hunger is felt, it activates the olfactory circuit. They also found that in mice, the role of the CB1 receptor lead to increased food intake. Scientists hope that by better understanding this smell/food intake connection, they can develop treatments for obesity and eating disorders through the olfactory system.

[ Read the Article: Brain Mechanism Discovered Linking Food Smell And How Much We Eat ]
 

Zooming In On The Dark Cloud Lupus 4

 
‎04 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:45:11 AMGo to full article
0 This video sequence takes you from a wide view of the Milky Way deep into a region of dark clouds. The final view of the spider-like Lupus 4 cloud, the site of future star birth, comes from the Wide Field Imager (WFI) on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile.

Credit: ESO/N. Risinger (skysurvey.org)/Digitized Sky Survey 2. Music: movetwo

> More Information...
 

A Selective History Of Sea Ice Observations

 
‎04 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:30:25 AMGo to full article
0 Arctic sea ice has been been the last frontier of the North for thousands of years, turning back seafarers, testing the mettle of explorers, and providing a way of life for people circling the top of the world. This animated timeline provides a quick (and highly selective) ride from the days of early Greek exploration to the dawn of the Space Age.

Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

> More Information...
 

Spinach Extract Curbs Appetite, Sugar Cravings

 
‎04 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:15:15 AMGo to full article
0 Thylakoids, a compound hidden away in spinach and other green leaves, slows down food digestion and therefore makes us feel fuller, according to research at Lund University in Sweden. A spinach extract high in thylakoids triggered a release of satiety hormones in the intestine, the researchers found.

Credit: Lund University

> More Information...

 

 

RedOrbit Videos Science

 
 

UM Research Reveals Secrets Of Animal Weapons

 
‎12 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:00:08 AMGo to full article
0 From antlers to horns, humans have long been fascinated by animals’ ability to defend themselves with their natural-born weapons. But until now, no studies have directly tested whether those weapons perform better at the animals’ own style of fighting than they would using the fighting style of another species. Researchers at the University of Montana recently discovered each species’ weapons are structurally adapted to meet their own functional demands of fighting. The groundbreaking research, conducted over the past year by UM doctoral student Erin McCullough and designed with the help of UM researchers Doug Emlen and Bret Tobalske, is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Credit: University of Montana
 

RapidScat: NASA's Newest Wind Watcher

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:30:34 AMGo to full article
0 Mission scientists and engineers describe how their small team, on a tight budget and short deadline, created the ISS-RapidScat instrument to gather high-priority measurements of ocean winds from a berth on the International Space Station. Credit: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
 

Science Nation - Plum Island Estuary: Studying How Marshes Respond To Sea-Level Rise

 
‎11 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:15:31 AMGo to full article
0 At the Plum Island Sound estuary in northeastern Massachusetts, the marsh floods like clockwork. At high tide, you can pass over the mudflats into the grass in a boat. At low tide, the ocean waters recede, leaving behind fresh deposits of nutrient-rich food for the birds and other wildlife, including juvenile game fish, such as Striped bass. It’s an ecosystem that is at once both hardy and fragile. The estuary is part of the Plum Island Ecosystems LTER, and LTER stands for “Long Term Ecological Research.” The LTER Network was created by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 1980 to conduct research on ecological issues that can last decades and span huge geographical areas. The Plum Island Ecosystems LTER was established in 1998, and like other LTER sites, this one is focused on the long view, and the research is expected to continue for a generation or more. Biogeochemist Anne Giblin, of the Marine Biological Laboratory, is leading a team of researchers who are studying the Plum Island salt marshes to determine how this two thousand year old ecosystem is holding up under climate change, land use changes, and sea level rise. “The Plum Island Estuary LTER has given us some valuable insights about how marsh systems will respond to future climate and environmental changes,” says David Garrison, a program director in the NSF Directorate for Geosciences. “These findings would have not been possible without the funding commitment to collect long term observations.” The Plum Island Estuary LTER is co-funded by the NSF Directorates for Geosciences and Biological Sciences. Credit: National Science Foundation > Explore Further...
 

Capillary Flow Experiments On Space Station

 
‎10 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎05:02:23 PMGo to full article
0 Capillary Flow Experiments on the International Space Station are fluid physics experiments that investigate capillary flows and flows of fluids in containers with complex geometries. Results will improve current computer models that are used by designers of fluid systems on Earth and may improve fluid transfer systems on future spacecraft. Credit: NASA
 

Researchers Discover New Species Of Dinosaur In Tanzania

 
‎10 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎07:00:29 AMGo to full article
0 NSF-funded paleontologists at Ohio University have discovered a new species of titanosaurian dinosaur in Tanzania. It was discovered embedded in a cliff wall in the Rukwa Rift Basin of Southwestern Tanzania. Only four have been unearthed in African, making this a rare find. Credit: National Science Foundation > More Information...
 

Bacteria From Bees Possible Alternative To Antibiotics

 
‎10 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:45:10 AMGo to full article
0 13 lactic acid bacteria found in the honey stomach of bees have shown promising results in a series of studies at Lund University in Sweden. Credit: Lund University > More Information...
 

What Do People Really Think About DNA Research?

 
‎09 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎07:00:18 AMGo to full article
0 Here’s a question for you: “Which comes closer to your opinion about scientific research on human, plant and animal DNA? A. I worry that this research poses unforeseen dangers? B. I’m excited that this research could lead to major scientific breakthroughs. C. Both of these. D. Neither. or E. Not sure?” Well, according to a new Huffington Post Poll that posed this question, seventy-one percent said they were “B” excited but showed some concern in their responses to some of the other questions. When it came to cloning, fifty-five percent said they were against the idea. And when it came to designer DNA babies, they really didn’t go for it with 72% disapproving of such efforts. Gattica anybody? And when asked if they felt that scientists were “playing God” by tinkering with DNA in such ways, thirty-five percent said they were very worried about that possibility. [ Read the Article: Americans Excited Over DNA Breakthroughs, But Many Worry About The Implications: Poll ]
 

A New Measure Of Ocean Winds

 
‎09 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:45:53 AMGo to full article
0 A new tool for tracking hurricanes and tropical storms, ISS-RapidScat is the first instrument specifically created to watch Earth from the International Space Station. In the station's unique orbit, it will collect the first data ever on how ocean winds change throughout the day in different parts of the world -- vital knowledge for honing the accuracy of all satellite wind measurements. Credit: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
 

Classroom Decorations Disrupt Attention And Learning In Young Children

 
‎09 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:30:57 AMGo to full article
0 [ Read the Article: Too Many Decorations In A Classroom Can Disrupt Attention And Learning In Young Children ] Maps, number lines, shapes, artwork and other materials tend to cover elementary classroom walls. However, new research from Carnegie Mellon University shows that too much of a good thing may end up disrupting attention and learning in young children. Published in Psychological Science, Carnegie Mellon's Anna V. Fisher, Karrie E. Godwin and Howard Seltman looked at whether classroom displays affected children's ability to maintain focus during instruction and to learn the lesson content. They found that children in highly decorated classrooms were more distracted, spent more time off-task and demonstrated smaller learning gains than when the decorations were removed. Credit: Carnegie Mellon University
 

Decoding Brown Tide

 
‎09 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:15:37 AMGo to full article
0 A new study by researchers at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Stony Brook University highlights up close the survival skills that have made Aureococcus, or 'Brown Tide' algae, the bane of fishermen, boaters and real-estate agents. Credit: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory > More Information...
 

Science Nation - Damaging Volcanic Ash Stays Well Beyond Welcome

 
‎08 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:45:10 AMGo to full article
0 Volcanic ash can become a multimillion-dollar nightmare, lingering in the skies, getting into engines and damaging aircraft. Volcanic ash is known to present hazards to aviation, infrastructure, agriculture, and human and animal health. With the emergence of aviation in the last 50 years as a key component of global travel and transport, the importance of understanding how long ash is suspended in the atmosphere, and how far it is transported has taken on greater importance. Airborne ash abrades the exteriors of aircraft, enters modern jet engines and melts while coating the interior parts, thus causing damage and failure. For example, the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption in Iceland was the most disruptive event in aviation history, with billions of dollars of losses to the aviation industry and global economy. Much of this was unnecessary and better knowledge of the transport of fine ash could minimize such losses in the future. However, present understanding of ash transportation can only account for general air movements, but cannot fully address how much or how long ash remains in the atmosphere, and how much falls out as the ash travels downwind. With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), volcanologist Dork Sahagian of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., and his colleagues are learning more about the aerodynamic properties of ash, and how long different sizes and shapes stay in the atmosphere. They use a wind tunnel to study how ash travels in the atmosphere during and after volcanic eruptions. The researchers want to develop ways to predict when and for how long damaging ash will fill the skies, and when it's safe to fly again. Credit: National Science Foundation
 

Earth From Space: Lake Chad

 
‎08 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:30:01 AMGo to full article
0 Earth from Space is presented by Kelsea Brennan-Wessels from the ESA Web-TV virtual studios. In the one-hundred-fifteenth edition, discover this important water source for over 60 million people in Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria. Credit: ESA
 

ScienceCasts: Mystery In The Ozone Layer

 
‎08 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:15:48 AMGo to full article
0 Almost 30 years after the Montreal Protocol put the brakes on ozone-depleting chemicals, one compound remains stubbornly and mysteriously abundant in the atmosphere. NASA scientists are tracking down the source and studying its effect on the ozone layer. Credit: NASA > More Information...
 

Scanning A Snow Storm

 
‎08 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:00:32 AMGo to full article
0 On March 17, 2014 the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission's Core Observatory flew over the East coast's last snow storm of the 2013-2014 winter season. This was also one of the first major snow storms observed by GPM shortly after it was launched on February 27, 2014. The GPM Core Observatory carries two instruments that show the location and intensity of rain and snow, which defines a crucial part of the storm structure - and how it will behave. The GPM Microwave Imager sees through the tops of clouds to observe how much and where precipitation occurs, and the Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar observes precise details of precipitation in 3-dimensions. For forecasters, GPM's microwave and radar data are part of the toolbox of satellite data, including other low Earth orbit and geostationary satellites, that they use to monitor tropical cyclones and hurricanes. Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center > More Information...
 

Cockroach Mystery - Old World Or New World?

 
‎05 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎07:00:21 AMGo to full article
0 After a 49-million-year hiatus, a cockroach has reappeared in North America. This particular cockroach had been thought to be solely Old World and had a long-standing fossil record in Europe. However, new evidence reveals its origins may be rooted in the New World. Four ancient species of this cockroach were found in Baltic amber deposits in Colorado’s Green River Formation. Researchers aren’t sure why this particular cockroach became extinct in the New World but thrived in the Old World. [ Read the Article: An Old World Cockroach Species May Have Originated In North America ]
 

Dreadnoughtus: A New Dinosaur Discovery

 
‎05 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:30:15 AMGo to full article
0 Drexel University professor Ken Lacovara has recently unveiled a new supermassive dinosaur species he discovered and unearthed with his team between 2005 and 2009. Weighing in at nearly 65 tons, Dreadnoughtus schrani is the largest land animal ever found of calculable mass and also by far one of the most complete skeletons ever found for a dinosaur in this mass range! Credit: Drexel University > More Information...
 

The Data Downpour From The GPM Constellation Of Satellites

 
‎05 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:15:26 AMGo to full article
0 A video describing how the GPM constellation turns observed radiances and reflectivities of global precipitation into data products. Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
 

A Selective History Of Sea Ice Observations

 
‎04 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:30:25 AMGo to full article
0 Arctic sea ice has been been the last frontier of the North for thousands of years, turning back seafarers, testing the mettle of explorers, and providing a way of life for people circling the top of the world. This animated timeline provides a quick (and highly selective) ride from the days of early Greek exploration to the dawn of the Space Age. Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center > More Information...
 

A Good Book For A Better Brain

 
‎01 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎07:00:24 AMGo to full article
0 A study from Emory University looked at the lingering effects of reading a story on the brain. Participants read the novel “Pompeii” and were subjected to brain scans each morning and for five days after finishing the book. Scans showed elevated connectivity in the left temporal cortex, which is associated with language, in the mornings after the reading assignment. They said this effect was almost like muscle memory. Elevated levels of connectivity were also seen in the primary sensory motor region of the brain, which is responsible for grounded cognition. For example, thinking about running can activate the neurons related to the physical act of running. So reading not only figuratively puts you in someone else’s shoes, but biologically as well! [ Read the Article: The Brain Effects Of A Good Novel ]
 

Science Now - Origami Robots, Ancient Amber And A Meteorology App For Kids

 
‎01 ‎September ‎2014, ‏‎06:15:16 AMGo to full article
0 Researchers explore 20-million-year-old amber, origami robots made from sheets of paper-and finally an iPad app called "Storm Evader" excites kids about meteorology. Check it out! Credit: National Science Foundation
 

NASA's TRMM Satellite Sees Powerful Towering Storms in Cristobal

 
‎30 ‎August ‎2014, ‏‎10:09:29 AMGo to full article
0 On Aug. 26, NASA's TRMM Satellite saw a band of thunderstorms with heights of over 15km (about 9.3 miles) and was generating heavy rain. That band was wrapping into the center of Cristobal. Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
 

Tropospheric Ozone - Summers Of Smog

 
‎29 ‎August ‎2014, ‏‎06:45:22 AMGo to full article
0 Local weather forecast warnings about unhealthy air could become much more common around the country. A recent scientific study by the National Center for Atmospheric Research warns of a whopping 70 percent increase in the number of days with unhealthy summertime ozone levels by the year 2050. Credit: National Science Foundation
 

ISS Science Garage - Aeroponics In Space

 
‎29 ‎August ‎2014, ‏‎06:00:39 AMGo to full article
0 How are plants grown aboard ISS? Mass and Don show you. Credit: NASA
 

Committed To Climate Change?

 
‎28 ‎August ‎2014, ‏‎06:15:06 AMGo to full article
0 In this video abstract, Steve Davis explains the concept of commitment accounting and introduce the main findings of the paper published by himself and Rob Socolow of Princeton University in Environmental Research Letters on August 26, 2014. Credit: Steve Davis > Explore Further...
 

How Can A Snake Fly?

 
‎27 ‎August ‎2014, ‏‎07:00:58 AMGo to full article
0 New research from a team of American scientists found that the Paradise tree snake “flies” from tree to tree. These snakes shape their body into an aerofoil mid-flight in order to glide around 100 feet from the top of a tree. Scientists used a 3D printed model to simulate the snake. They found that the snake flexes it’s ribs as it launches, then flattens to change from a circular tube into an arched semi-circle to make itself more aerodynamic. Scientists say “it looks like someone’s version of a UFO.” [ Read the Article: The Aerodynamics Of Flying Snakes ]
 

Finding Fingerprints Of Selection In Poplar Genomes

 
‎27 ‎August ‎2014, ‏‎06:30:59 AMGo to full article
0 Jerry Tuskan of Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the DOE JGI talks about poplar trees as models for selective adaptation to an environment. This video complements a study published ahead online August 24, 2014 in Nature Genetics. Credit: DOE Joint Genome Institute > Explore Further...
 

Baby Corals, Fish Sniff Out Bad Reefs

 
‎26 ‎August ‎2014, ‏‎06:30:21 AMGo to full article
0 Professors Mark Hay and Danielle Dixson talk about their research in Fiji and why marine protected areas might not be enough to help overfished areas recover. The research was featured on the cover of the journal Science. Credit: Georgia Tech > Explore Further...
 

Stanford Scientists Develop Low-Cost Water Splitter

 
‎25 ‎August ‎2014, ‏‎06:45:55 AMGo to full article
0 Hydrogen gas is used to power zero-emissions fuel cell vehicles, but most hydrogen is made from fossil fuels that contribute to global warming. Stanford University Professor Hongjie Dai has developed an emissions-free electrolytic device that splits water into hydrogen and oxygen at room temperature. The device runs on an ordinary AAA battery using electrodes made of inexpensive nickel and iron. Credit: Stanford University > Explore Further...
 

Sequencing At Sea

 
‎25 ‎August ‎2014, ‏‎06:30:23 AMGo to full article
0 Scientists at San Diego State University overcame equipment failure, space constraints and shark-infested waters to do real-time DNA sequencing in a remote field location. Credit: San Diego State University > Explore Further...
 

Show Me The Water

 
‎25 ‎August ‎2014, ‏‎06:15:52 AMGo to full article
0 Freshwater seems abundant, but when accounting for all the water on Earth, it's in limited supply. Just three percent of the water on our planet is freshwater. A majority of this water, about two percent of the world total, is contained in glaciers and ice sheets or stored below ground. The remaining one percent is found in lakes, rivers and wetland areas or transported through the atmosphere in the form of water vapor, clouds and precipitation. Rain and snowfall replenish freshwater sources, making it vital to know when, where and how much water is falling at any given time. Using NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement satellite, researchers can track precipitation worldwide and monitor levels from space. Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
 

Discovering Life Beneath The Antarctic Ice Sheet

 
‎22 ‎August ‎2014, ‏‎06:45:44 AMGo to full article
0 A U.S. expedition, led by a team of scientists from Montana State University, yields the first breakthrough paper about life under the Antarctic ice sheet. Credit: Montana State University > Explore Further...
 

Ozone-Depleting Compound Persists

 
‎22 ‎August ‎2014, ‏‎06:30:42 AMGo to full article
0 Earth's atmosphere contains an unexpectedly large amount of an ozone-depleting compound from an unknown source decades after the compound was banned worldwide. The compound, carbon tetrachloride, was used in applications such as dry cleaning and as a fire-extinguishing agent, until its regulation in 1987 under the Montreal Protocol along with other chlorofluorocarbons that destroy ozone and contribute to the ozone hole over Antarctica. Parties to the Montreal Protocol reported zero new emissions between 2007-2012. However, new research led by Qing Liang at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, shows that worldwide emissions of carbon tetrachloride average 39 kilotons per year – approximately 30 percent of peak emissions prior to the international treaty going into effect. Now that scientists have quantified the emissions they can begin investigating where they are coming from. Are there industrial leakages, large emissions from contaminated sites, or some other unknown source? Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center > Explore Further...
 

Dating Neanderthals: New Research Published In Nature

 
‎22 ‎August ‎2014, ‏‎06:15:37 AMGo to full article
0 Neanderthals and modern humans were both living in Europe for between 2,600 and 5,400 years, according to a new paper published in the journal, Nature. A research team, led by Professor Thomas Higham of the University of Oxford, has constructed a robust timeline showing when the last Neanderthals died out. Significantly, they have strong evidence to suggest that Neanderthals disappeared at different times across Europe rather than being rapidly replaced by modern humans. Credit: University of Oxford > Explore Further...
 

Bio-Logging Collar Reveals Unprecedented Detail About California Mountain Lions

 
‎20 ‎August ‎2014, ‏‎06:15:28 AMGo to full article
0 How do you get to know a free-roaming California mountain lion? Very carefully! Actually, you may never be able to spend time on the trail with a wild cat, but if the cat is wearing the new high tech collar designed by University of California, Santa Cruz, researchers, you'll find out a lot more about what you're missing. With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), wildlife ecologist Chris Wilmers and his team developed the collar to help them learn more about the behavior, metabolism and habitat preferences of mountain lions. It's a GPS tracker, and so much more! In addition to its location, the collar records the animal's behavior and physiology in unprecedented detail. For example, the researchers try to determine in real time whether the animal being tracked is walking, running, stalking or pouncing. The researchers are learning more about how the cats respond to different stimuli, such as climate, and interactions with other animals, and changes in the landscape created by development. Credit: National Science Foundation
 

Researchers Identify A Brain 'Switchboard' Important In Attention And Sleep

 
‎15 ‎August ‎2014, ‏‎06:45:34 AMGo to full article
0 Michael Halassa, M.D., Ph.D. discusses his work with the thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN) and it's importance in identifying new targets for treating various psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia, autism and post-traumatic stress disorder. Credit: NYU Langone Medical Center
 

NASA's ARISE Arctic Mission Takes Shape

 
‎15 ‎August ‎2014, ‏‎06:30:07 AMGo to full article
0 Crews at NASA Goddard’s Wallops Flight Facility are hard at work integrating a suite of instruments into a C-130 aircraft in preparation for the start of the ARISE campaign later this month. ARISE, which stands for Arctic Radiation IceBridge Sea and Ice Experiment, will make simultaneous measurements of ice, clouds and levels of incoming and outgoing radiation, the balance of which determines the degree of climate warming. Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center > Explore Further...
 

Beer Cooler Helps Measure Sea Temperature

 
‎15 ‎August ‎2014, ‏‎06:15:06 AMGo to full article
0 A beer cooler is playing an important role in helping to make sure that satellite measurements of sea-surface temperature are accurate. Converted beer coolers are used to house reference blackbodies for radiometers that measure sea-surface temperatures from ships. These ground-truth measurements are used to check that the satellite and the ship data are accurate and compliant with international metrology standards. Credit: B. Haran / H. Mortimer / ESA / Planetary Visions / ATG medialab
 

Attack Of The Parasitic Plants!

 
‎15 ‎August ‎2014, ‏‎06:00:01 AMGo to full article
0 This time-lapse video shows how the parasitic plant dodder attacks tomatoes. But beyond stealing nutrients from the host plants, a Virginia Tech researcher has discovered that the two plants also share vast amounts of genetic information during the exchange. Credit: Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
 

Exploring A Brain's Switchboard Operators

 
‎14 ‎August ‎2014, ‏‎04:51:21 PMGo to full article
0 Scientists studied how just a few nerve cells in the mouse brain may control the switch between internal thoughts and external distractions. Using optogenetics, a technique that uses light-sensitive molecules to control nerve cell firing, the scientists were able to switch on and off drowsiness in mice. Credit: Halassa lab, NYU Langone Medical Center and NINDS
 

ANU Scientists Create A Tractor Beam On Water

 
‎14 ‎August ‎2014, ‏‎06:45:54 AMGo to full article
0 > Explore Further... Physicists at The Australian National University (ANU) have created a tractor beam on water, providing a radical new technique that could confine oil spills, manipulate floating objects or explain rips at the beach. The team, led by Dr Horst Punzmann, discovered they can control water flow patterns with simple wave generators, enabling them to move floating objects at will. The team also experimented with different shaped plungers to generate different swirling flow patterns. The surprisingly simple technique gives scientists a way of controlling things adrift on water in a way they have never had before, resembling sci-fi tractor beams that draw in objects. Using a ping-pong ball in a wave tank, the group worked out the size and frequency of the waves required to move the ball in whichever direction they want. Advanced particle tracking tools revealed that the waves do not push the ball along. Credit: Australian National University

 

 

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

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

Ciliate Genome Reveals Mind-Bending Complexity

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

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

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New Giant Dinosaur from Argentina

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

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

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Fungal Parasitism Marked by Gene Loss, Not Gain

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

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

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Decoding Snake-Venom Origins

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

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

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Darwin's Finches: Answers From Epigenetics

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

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

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Octopus Skin Inspires High-Tech Camouflage Fabric

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

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

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New Finds Reveal Fully-Human Neandertal

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

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

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There's More to the Story

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

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

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What Is 'Real Scientific Research'?

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

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

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DNA Was Created as a Reservoir for the Information of Life

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

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

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ICR Featured in The Dallas Morning News

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

The Institute for Creation Research was featured on the front page of the August 15, 2014, edition of The Dallas Morning News in an article that contrasts the evolutionary story with young-earth creationism.

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Christian Band Rejects Literal Genesis

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

Respected guitarist and talented Christian songwriter Michael Gungor has recently made the news—not with his music, but with his outspoken rejection of a historical Genesis. Gungor cited science and reason for his position on Noah's Ark. How reasonable are his reasons?

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European Spacecraft's Comet Close-up a World First

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

After a ten-year-long flight, the European Space Agency's (ESA) Rosetta spacecraft entered into orbit around a comet. It will soon attempt to actually land a probe on the comet's surface. Though data-gathering has only just begun, the comet is already divulging secrets.

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Does Dinosaur Extinction Encourage Faith?

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

Many professors at private religious universities cling to secular views of the past despite the clear anti-Christian consequences. Theological inferences from a recent study on dinosaur extinction illustrate this dilemma.

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Solar System Geysers—Each a Fountain of Youth

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

Detailed inspection of a Saturn moon now shows not just one, but 101 geysers shooting ice particles into space. If these geysers formed billions of years ago they should be old, cold, and dead—that is, completely inactive. Why aren’t they?

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Solar-Powered Sea Slug Illuminates Evolutionary Weaknesses

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

In an everyday scene so bizarre that science fiction writers might never have imagined it, algae-eating sea slugs actually hijack chloroplasts—those tiny plant structures that perform photosynthesis—and use them as energy producers for themselves. Evolutionists have been trying to explain this complicated and baffling process. Have they?

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Zombie Ant Origins Mystify

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

A fungus turns ants into zombies. Roundworms brainwash insects, forcing them to commit suicide by drowning in order to complete the worm's life cycle. These parasites' complicated life cycles and surgically-precise host interactions leave virtually no doubt that they were intentionally fashioned. But how, when and why could God's originally "very good" creation accommodate such morbid features?

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Four-Winged Dinosaur Definition Doesn't Fly

 
‎30 ‎July ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

An international team of scientists discovered a new fossil in Chinese sediments famous for their supposed feathered dinosaur specimens. Like a handful of previous finds, this new example apparently had four wings. Fossil impressions show flight feathers extending not only from the front wings of Changyuraptor yangi, but also from a pair of hind wings, making this the largest four-winged creature yet found in fossils.

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Echolocation

 
‎28 ‎July ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

While bats live in air and dolphins live in water, both use a biological form of sonar technology called echolocation to see with sound! The specifications in dolphin and bat biosonar systems are so many, so well-integrated, and so precise, could they really have developed at random in two completely different environments?

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Fossilized Brain May Give Paleontologists Headache

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

Who has ever heard of a fossilized brain? Few would expect such a discovery, yet it looks like that's what researchers found inside a Stone Age skull from Norway. If so, it would confirm a published creation prediction and challenge many evolutionary timescales.

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NASA's Far-Out Search for Life

 
‎23 ‎July ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

NASA promoters discussed the hope of discovering life on other planets at a recent meeting in NASA headquarters. Despite billions of dollars spent over the decades-long search and the fact that not one shred of distant life evidence has been found, NASA continues to suggest that life might really be out there and that its discovery is within reach.

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Circular Arguments Punch Holes in Triceratops Study

 
‎21 ‎July ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

The eleven-year Hell Creek Project involved collecting fossils from the famous Montana Hell Creek Formation, including over fifty Triceratops specimens. The latest report from the project, however, reveals three "logic holes" in its attempts to answer questions about when and how these dinosaurs evolved.

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Second Look Causes Scientist to Reverse Dino-Bird Claim

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

Stephen Czerkas digs dinosaurs. His early advocacy for feathered dinosaurs makes his recent reversal that much more remarkable. His reexamination of a fossil—one that had been known as a feathered dinosaur—reveals the fruits of taking a closer look at spectacular claims.

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Do We Always Believe What Scientists Say?

 
‎16 ‎July ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Many Americans are convinced that mainstream narratives are true—like humans descended from ape-like ancestors or that burning fossil fuels causes global warming. But many times large contingents totally disagree with these popular ideas. How can equally intelligent and educated people arrive at such opposing conclusions? Conventional thinkers often assume that those who diverge from mainstream narratives simply need more science education. However, a new study shows why some other factor must be to blame.

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Did Adam Really Live 930 Years?

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

Genesis 5:5 says Adam lived for 930 years. Judging by today’s standards, this sounds impossible. Many contemporary readers of Genesis balk at such numbers and some end up rejecting the whole Bible. But a few researchers have found reasons to believe it.

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Oops! Evolutionists Disproving Evolution

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

For protozoa-to-person evolution to have worked over time, purely natural factors must have conceived, constructed, integrated, and implemented new proteins into old organisms. Brave researchers—already convinced that this somehow occurred—have been investigating this core issue, but their recent discovery refutes their own perspective.

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Clever Clover: Evidence for Evolution?

 
‎09 ‎July ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Plant biologists continue to frame interesting clover traits in terms of evolution. However, one clever clover trait in particular keeps showing up—or disappearing—in peculiar patterns. Do these patterns illustrate evolutionary changes or does something entirely different switch off this trait?

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Darwin's 'Special Difficulty' Solved?

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

Darwin's hypothesis of evolution faced enormous scientific challenges from the very outset of its publication. Recently, a group of evolutionists, publishing in the journal Science, claimed to have simplified one of those challenges. Have they?

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Ceremony Becoming the Occasion

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

This Fourth of July we celebrate our precious liberty as a country, but we should not forget the things from which we are truly free, and the Liberator who rescued us from them.

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Human Remains in Spain: Neandertal or Not?

 
‎02 ‎July ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

A famous fossil cave in Spain yielded human fossils from over two dozen ancient individuals. Investigators analyzed these human head bones and compared them with typical Neandertal skulls. Their findings, published in the journal Science, unwittingly support a biblical creation model for Neandertal origins.

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Oceans of Water Deep Beneath the Earth?

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

We should not imagine subterranean oceans as depicted in Jules Verne’s classic novel Journey to the Center of the Earth, but scientists keep finding evidence for vast amounts of water far below the surface in the form of hydrated minerals. The newfound waters are causing quite a stir.

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Chimp DNA Mutation Study—Selective Yet Surprising

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

A popular evolutionary belief is that humans and chimps shared a common ancestor 2 to 6 million years ago. Apparently, evolutionists still aren't too sure of their own theory: now they've more than doubled that timeline.

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Cyclostratigraphy: Another Round of Circular Reasoning?

 
‎23 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Secular scientists believe that fossils and rock layers correspond to multi-million-year time scales, but nowhere does the Bible refer to that supposed "deep time." Do these old ages come from genuine observations, or are they somehow maintained as fact no matter what the data show?

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Powerhouse of Scientists Refute Evolution, Part Three

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

The information of life is in a state of gradual decay, not upward evolution, according to at least eight technical papers published in the proceedings of a unique symposium called Biological Information: New Perspectives.

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Human Proteome 'More Complex than Previously Thought'

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

Once again the oft-repeated phrase "More complex than previously thought" has been used to describe new research cataloguing thousands of proteins produced from the human genome. Will a Designer ever be considered?

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Powerhouse of Scientists Refute Evolution, Part Two

 
‎16 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

What does it take to make a language? Researchers recently asked this question of the language encoded inside cells. Whatever it takes to make a human language must have happened to make the information-packed language of life, right?

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Powerhouse of Scientists Refute Evolution, Part One

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

Life science textbooks have long taught that Neo-Darwinism explains how single cells evolved into sentient scientists, but not all scientists agree. Do they disagree because of a blind adherence to religion that opposes Darwinian science, or because they have examined the issues and found the science lacking?

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Comb Jelly Genome Gums Up Evolution

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

Comb jellies look like disco balls with flashing lights that dance and spin as they float around the ocean. These creatures are so fascinating that one neuroscientist likened them to "aliens who've come to earth."

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Brainwashing Children to 'Suppress' Design Intuition

 
‎09 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

The Wall Street Journal is praising psychological interventions on kindergarteners that demonstrate how repeated picture-stories can train them to suppress their intelligent design inferences about the world with natural selection…and this may be permanent.

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'Smoking Gun' Proof of Big Bang Already In Doubt

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

In March 2014, a team of radio astronomers announced purported direct evidence for inflation, an important part of the Big Bang model. But only two months after this “discovery” a number of secular scientists have become increasingly skeptical.

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Saturn's Magnetic Field Auroras: Evidence for Creation

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

New evidence confirms that, like Earth, Saturn's magnetic field helps create its own auroras. This space spectacle attracts a more fundamental question about where its magnetic field came from in the first place.

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Antarctica Rising: Uplift Rate Suppresses Conventional Geology

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

New results show that the continental crust underlying Antarctica is rising rapidly as parts of its massive ice sheet have been melting away. This unexpected bounce might help better position the timing of similar effects that occurred in northern North America near the close of the Ice Age.

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'Simple and Elegant' Insect Design Showcases Creation

 
‎28 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎10:00:00 AMGo to full article

Symbiosis in tiny creatures very clearly showcases divine creation. How could two unrelated creatures come to fully depend on one another unless they were intentionally crafted that way from the beginning? Otherwise, they would die while waiting for a perfect partner to evolve.

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

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


 

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

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

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

 

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

Intelligent Design is not Creationism

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

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

 

09 December 2011, 11:13:24 PM

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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


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


 

 

July 14, 2010

What is the key thing that needs to be explained in origin of life research?

Dr. Stephen Meyer explains the importance of biological information in origin of life research, as discussed in his groundbreaking intelligent design book Signature in the Cell.

 

 

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