Friday, December 30, 2016

Stephen Hawking and Celebrities

Stephen Hawking vs. Paul Rudd in Quantum Chess (feat. Keanu Reeves)

Stephen Hawking + Zoe Saldana: Quantum is Calling ft. Keanu Reeves, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Paul Rudd

A New Home on Mars: NASA Langley’s Icy Concept for Living on the Red Planet

An artist's rendering of the Mars Ice Home concept.
Credits: NASA/Clouds AO/SEArch

A New Home on Mars: NASA Langley’s Icy Concept for Living on the Red Planet: For researchers at NASA’s Langley Research Center, the best building material for a new home on Mars may lie in an unexpected material: Ice.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Search for Dark Matter in Gamma Rays

This view from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope is the deepest and best-resolved portrait of the gamma-ray sky to date. The image shows how the sky appears at energies more than 150 million times greater than that of visible light. Among the signatures of bright pulsars and active galaxies is something familiar -- a faint path traced by the sun. Credit: NASA/DOE/Fermi LAT Collaboration

The all-sky image released today shows us how the cosmos would look if our eyes could detect radiation 150 million times more energetic than visible light. The view merges LAT observations spanning 87 days, from August 4 to October 30, 2008. See:
Fermi's Best-Ever Look at the Gamma-Ray Sky

Monday, December 19, 2016

Talking About How We See Reality

Donal Hoffman's TED presentation

  We're inclined to think that perception is like a window on reality as it is. The theory of evolution is telling us that this is an incorrect interpretation of our perceptions. Instead, reality is more like a 3D desktop that's designed to hide the complexity of the real world and guide adaptive behavior. Space as you perceive it is your desktop. Physical objects are just the icons in that desktop.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Nima Arkani-Hamed - Physics and Mathematics for the End of Spacetime

Quantum Mechanics and Spacetime - MESSENGER Lecture 1 - Nima Arkani-Hamed

Step Inside the Perimeter

Just one breakthrough in theoretical physics can change the world. Perimeter Institute was created to accelerate breakthroughs in our understanding of the universe. The science is complex, but the basic Perimeter equation is simple: Bright Minds. Illuminating Ideas. Brilliant Future. Be part of the equation:

Perimeter's charitable registration number: 88981 R323 RR0001

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Third Quasicrystal Found

By Paul J. Steinhardt et al. -, CC BY 4.0,

Quasicrystals1,2, short for quasiperiodic crystals, are solids able to violate the conventional rules of crystallography because their structure is “quasiperiodic” rather than periodic; that is, their atomic density can be described by a finite sum of periodic functions with periods whose ratio is irrational. Their diffraction pattern consists of true Bragg peaks whose positions can be expressed as integer linear combinations of D integer linearly independent wavevectors where D is greater than the number of space dimensions. Among the quasicrystals made in the laboratory, many exhibit a crystallographically forbidden, three-dimensional icosahedral symmetry defined by D = 6 integer linearly independent wavevectors. See: Collisions in outer space produced an icosahedral phase in the Khatyrka meteorite never observed previously in the laboratory
Bindi, L. et al. Collisions in outer space produced an icosahedral phase in the Khatyrka meteorite never observed previously in the laboratory. Sci. Rep. 6, 38117; doi: 10.1038/srep38117 (2016).


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Friday, December 09, 2016

Does Consciousness Disappear in Dreamless Sleep?

Does Consciousness Disappear in Dreamless Sleep?: Consciousness is often said to disappear in deep, dreamless sleep. We argue that this assumption is oversimplified. Unless dreamless sleep is defined as unconscious from the outset there are good empirical and theoretical reasons for saying that a range of different types of sleep experience, some of which are distinct from dreaming, can occur in all stages of sleep. We introduce a novel taxonomy for describing different kinds of dreamless sleep experiences and suggest research methods for their investigation.

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Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Dark Matter Not So Rough Around the Edges

Analysis of a giant new galaxy survey, made with ESO’s VLT Survey Telescope in Chile, suggests that dark matter may be less dense and more smoothly distributed throughout space than previously thought. An international team used data from the Kilo Degree Survey (KiDS) to study how the light from about 15 million distant galaxies was affected by the gravitational influence of matter on the largest scales in the Universe. The results appear to be in disagreement with earlier results from the Planck satellite. Credit: Kilo-Degree Survey Collaboration/H. Hildebrandt & B. Giblin/ESO
Hendrik Hildebrandt from the Argelander-Institut für Astronomie in Bonn, Germany and Massimo Viola from the Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands led a team of astronomers [1] from institutions around the world who processed images from the Kilo Degree Survey (KiDS), which was made with ESO’s VLT Survey Telescope (VST) in Chile. For their analysis, they used images from the survey that covered five patches of the sky covering a total area of around 2200 times the size of the full Moon [2], and containing around 15 million galaxies. See:  Dark Matter May be Smoother than Expected