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NeuroLogica Blog
How Much Carbon do Living Things Store? Since we are in a “all hands on deck” situation when it comes to climate change, we need to take a...
11 hours ago
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11 hours ago
Since we are in a “all hands on deck” situation when it comes to climate change, we need to take a look at all potential strategies for delaying and blunting global warming. The game at this point is all about peak warming – how much will the Earth warm before temperatures peak...
Quanta Magazine
In New Paradox, Black Holes Appear to Evade Heat Death The puzzling behavior of black hole interiors has led researchers to propose a new physical law: the...
10 hours ago
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10 hours ago
The puzzling behavior of black hole interiors has led researchers to propose a new physical law: the second law of quantum complexity. The post In New Paradox, Black Holes Appear to Evade Heat Death first appeared on Quanta Magazine
Blog - Practical...
How Flood Tunnels Work [Note that this article is a transcript of the video embedded above.] This is Waterloo Park in...
8 hours ago
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8 hours ago
[Note that this article is a transcript of the video embedded above.] This is Waterloo Park in downtown Austin, Texas, just a couple of blocks away from the state capitol building. It’s got walking trails, an ampitheater, Waller Creek runs right through the center, and it has...
symmetry magazine
A cosmological headache For over a century, scientists have wondered what is counteracting the force of gravity in the...
9 hours ago
The Roots of...
What I’ve been reading, June 2023 A monthly feature. As usual, recent blog posts and news stories are omitted from this; you can find...
2 days ago
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2 days ago
A monthly feature. As usual, recent blog posts and news stories are omitted from this; you can find them in my links digests. In all quotes below, any emphasis in bold was added by me. Books Thomas S. Ashton, The Industrial Revolution, 1760–1830 (1948). A classic in the field,...
Quanta Magazine
First-Year Graduate Student Finds Paradoxical Set No two pairs have the same sum; add three numbers together, and you can get any whole number. ...
2 days ago
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2 days ago
No two pairs have the same sum; add three numbers together, and you can get any whole number. The post First-Year Graduate Student Finds Paradoxical Set first appeared on Quanta Magazine
Drew Ex Machina
Catching Up: Talking about the Weather After an unintended four-month hiatus publishing new work on the Drew Ex Machina website, I figured...
2 days ago
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2 days ago
After an unintended four-month hiatus publishing new work on the Drew Ex Machina website, I figured it was time to catch up on what I’ve been […]
NeuroLogica Blog
Have Current AI Reached Their Limit? We are still very much in the hype phase of the latest crop of artificial intelligence applications,...
2 days ago
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2 days ago
We are still very much in the hype phase of the latest crop of artificial intelligence applications, specifically the large language models and so-called “transformers” like Chat GPT. Transformers are a deep learning model that use self-attention to differentially weight the...
Drew Ex Machina
Failure to Launch: The First Moon Race 1958-60 While it has been a few months since I have published a new post on the Drew Ex Machina website,...
5 days ago
NeuroLogica Blog
Everything Will Evaporate What will be the ultimate fate of our universe? There are a number of theories and possibilities,...
5 days ago
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5 days ago
What will be the ultimate fate of our universe? There are a number of theories and possibilities, but at present the most likely scenario seems to be that the universe will continue to expand, most mass will eventually find its way into a black hole, and those black holes will...
nanoscale views
What is a spin glass? As mentioned previously, structural glasses are materials in which there is no periodic lattice (no...
6 days ago
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6 days ago
As mentioned previously, structural glasses are materials in which there is no periodic lattice (no long-range spatial order) and the building blocks get "stuck" in some configuration, kinetically unable to get to the true energetic minimum state which would almost certainly be a...
Quanta Magazine
How Math Has Changed the Shape of Gerrymandering New tools make it possible to detect hidden manipulation of maps. The post How Math Has...
6 days ago
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6 days ago
New tools make it possible to detect hidden manipulation of maps. The post How Math Has Changed the Shape of Gerrymandering first appeared on Quanta Magazine
NeuroLogica Blog
Harvesting Energy from Water Vapor I did not plan to write yet another post about energy, but this popped up and I had to write about...
6 days ago
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6 days ago
I did not plan to write yet another post about energy, but this popped up and I had to write about it. UMASS researchers have produced a device that generates electricity by harvesting charge from water vapor. They write: The common feature of these materials is that they are...
Quanta Magazine
What Is the Nature of Consciousness? Consciousness, our experience of being in the world, is one of the mind’s greatest mysteries, but as...
a week ago
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a week ago
Consciousness, our experience of being in the world, is one of the mind’s greatest mysteries, but as the neuroscientist Anil Seth explains to Steven Strogatz, research is making progress in understanding this elusive phenomenon. The post What Is the Nature of...
Quanta Magazine
Data Compression Drives the Internet. Here’s How It Works. One student’s desire to get out of a final exam led to the ubiquitous algorithm that shrinks data...
a week ago
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a week ago
One student’s desire to get out of a final exam led to the ubiquitous algorithm that shrinks data without sacrificing information. The post Data Compression Drives the Internet. Here’s How It Works. first appeared on Quanta Magazine
Quantum Frontiers
Quantum physics proposes a new way to study biology – and the results could revolutionize our... By guest blogger Clarice D. Aiello, faculty at UCLA Imagine using your cellphone to control the...
a week ago
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a week ago
By guest blogger Clarice D. Aiello, faculty at UCLA Imagine using your cellphone to control the activity of your own cells to treat injuries and disease. It sounds like something from the imagination of an overly optimistic science fiction writer. … Continue reading →
Many Worlds
The Mars Water Story Takes an Important New Turn in Jezero Crater A mosiac made of 203 individual images taken by Perseverance showing the fossilized remains of what...
a week ago
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a week ago
A mosiac made of 203 individual images taken by Perseverance showing the fossilized remains of what was  likely once a strong and wild river in Jezero Crater.  Named Skrinkle Haven after a site in Wales, this river is the most powerful identified so far by Mars rovers. ...
symmetry magazine
A different way of thinking Neurodivergent physicists face barriers in STEM, but there are also benefits to being who they are.
a week ago
Quanta Magazine
How 3D Changes in the Genome Turned Sharks Into Skates Changes in the 3D structure of their genome gave skates and rays their distinctive winglike fins and...
a week ago
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a week ago
Changes in the 3D structure of their genome gave skates and rays their distinctive winglike fins and pancake flatness. The post How 3D Changes in the Genome Turned Sharks Into Skates first appeared on Quanta Magazine
NeuroLogica Blog
Should You Get a Heat Pump? Starting around 1550 and lasting through the 1600s, England had an energy crisis. They were running...
a week ago
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a week ago
Starting around 1550 and lasting through the 1600s, England had an energy crisis. They were running out of wood, which was the main source of fuel for residential and commercial heating. England also needed a lot of wood for their massive navy – it took about 2,000 trees to build...
Andrew Fraknoi –...
A Star Blows Up in Nearby Galaxy Astronomers have seen a star explode in a nearby galaxy. Such explosions are part of the recycling...
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a week ago
Astronomers have seen a star explode in a nearby galaxy. Such explosions are part of the recycling scheme of the universe. The post A Star Blows Up in Nearby Galaxy appeared first on Andrew Fraknoi - Astronomy Lectures - Astronomy Education Resources.
The Roots of...
The American Information Revolution in Global Perspective In “What if they gave an Industrial Revolution and nobody came?” I reviewed The British Industrial...
a week ago
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a week ago
In “What if they gave an Industrial Revolution and nobody came?” I reviewed The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective, by Robert Allen. In brief, Allen’s explanation for the Industrial Revolution is that Britain had high wages and cheap energy, which meant it was...
Quanta Magazine
The Physicist Who Glues Together Universes Renate Loll has helped pioneer a radically new approach to quantum gravity. She assumes that the...
a week ago
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a week ago
Renate Loll has helped pioneer a radically new approach to quantum gravity. She assumes that the fabric of space-time is a blend of all possible fabrics, and she has developed the computational tools needed to calculate the far-reaching implications of that assumption. ...
Quanta Magazine
Is It Real or Imagined? How Your Brain Tells the Difference. New experiments show that the brain distinguishes between perceived and imagined mental images by...
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New experiments show that the brain distinguishes between perceived and imagined mental images by checking whether they cross a “reality threshold.” The post Is It Real or Imagined? How Your Brain Tells the Difference. first appeared on Quanta Magazine
The Works in...
Issue 11: Nuclear sandboxes Plus: Why Britain can’t seem to fix its housing market, gene-edited super-rice, and one weird trick...
2 weeks ago
Quanta Magazine
Math That Goes On Forever but Never Repeats Simple math can help explain the complexities of the newly discovered aperiodic monotile. ...
2 weeks ago
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2 weeks ago
Simple math can help explain the complexities of the newly discovered aperiodic monotile. The post Math That Goes On Forever but Never Repeats first appeared on Quanta Magazine
Beautiful Public...
Mapping Volcano Eruptions With Drones Drones have become an essential tool to map, measure and observe the extremely dangerous...
2 weeks ago
symmetry magazine
From inventor to entrepreneur Creating a startup to commercialize technology developed during research is a risky road for...
2 weeks ago
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2 weeks ago
Creating a startup to commercialize technology developed during research is a risky road for physicists and engineers, but the help of experts can improve their chances.
Quanta Magazine
Some Neural Networks Learn Language Like Humans Researchers uncover striking parallels in the ways that humans and machine learning models acquire...
2 weeks ago
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Researchers uncover striking parallels in the ways that humans and machine learning models acquire language skills. The post Some Neural Networks Learn Language Like Humans first appeared on Quanta Magazine
brr
Polar Night Surreal and otherworldly.
2 weeks ago
nanoscale views
What is a glass? I want to write about a recently published paper, but to do so on an accessible level, I should...
2 weeks ago
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2 weeks ago
I want to write about a recently published paper, but to do so on an accessible level, I should really lay some ground work first. At the primary school level, typically people are taught that there are three states of matter: solid, liquid, and gas.  (Plasma may be introduced...
NeuroLogica Blog
Making Fuel from Sunshine When it comes to big problems it’s generally a good idea to remember some basic principles. One is...
2 weeks ago
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2 weeks ago
When it comes to big problems it’s generally a good idea to remember some basic principles. One is that there is no free lunch. This is a cliche because it’s true. Another way to put this is – there are no solutions, only trade offs. Sometimes there is a genuine advance that does...
Quanta Magazine
Secret Messages Can Hide in AI-Generated Media In steganography, an ordinary message masks the presence of a secret communication. Humans can never...
2 weeks ago
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2 weeks ago
In steganography, an ordinary message masks the presence of a secret communication. Humans can never do it perfectly, but a new study shows it’s possible for machines. The post Secret Messages Can Hide in AI-Generated Media first appeared on Quanta Magazine
NeuroLogica Blog
The Fight over Education There is an ongoing culture war, and not just in the US, over the content of childhood education,...
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There is an ongoing culture war, and not just in the US, over the content of childhood education, both public and private. This seems to be flaring up recently, but is never truly gone. Republicans in the US have recently escalated this war by banning over 500 books in several...
The Roots of...
What if they gave an Industrial Revolution and nobody came? Imagine you could go back in time to the ancient world to jump-start the Industrial Revolution. You...
2 weeks ago
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2 weeks ago
Imagine you could go back in time to the ancient world to jump-start the Industrial Revolution. You carry with you plans for a steam engine, and you present them to the emperor, explaining how the machine could be used to drain water out of mines, pump bellows for blast furnaces,...
Quanta Magazine
Are There Reasons to Believe in a Multiverse? Several areas of physics suggest reasons to think that unobservable universes with different natural...
2 weeks ago
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Several areas of physics suggest reasons to think that unobservable universes with different natural laws could lie beyond ours. The theoretical physicist David Kaplan talks with Steven Strogatz about the mysteries that a multiverse would solve. The post Are There...
Quanta Magazine
Memories Help Brains Recognize New Events Worth Remembering Memories may affect how well the brain will learn about future events by shifting our perceptions of...
2 weeks ago
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Memories may affect how well the brain will learn about future events by shifting our perceptions of the world. The post Memories Help Brains Recognize New Events Worth Remembering first appeared on Quanta Magazine
Blog - Practical...
Merrimack Valley Gas Explosions: What Really Happened? [Note that this article is a transcript of the video embedded above.] On September 13, 2018, a...
3 weeks ago
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3 weeks ago
[Note that this article is a transcript of the video embedded above.] On September 13, 2018, a pipeline crew in the Merrimack Valley in Massachusetts was hard at work replacing an aging cast iron natural gas line with a new polyethylene pipe. Located just north of Boston, the...
Quanta Magazine
New Proof Finds the ‘Ultimate Instability’ in a Solar System Model For the first time, mathematicians have proved that planetary orbits in a solar system will always...
3 weeks ago
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3 weeks ago
For the first time, mathematicians have proved that planetary orbits in a solar system will always be unstable. The post New Proof Finds the ‘Ultimate Instability’ in a Solar System Model first appeared on Quanta Magazine
symmetry magazine
Searching for the matter that hides its shine Just because matter is visible doesn’t mean it’s easy to see.
3 weeks ago
NeuroLogica Blog
The Role of Plausibility in Science I have been writing blog posts and engaging in science communication long enough that I have a...
3 weeks ago
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3 weeks ago
I have been writing blog posts and engaging in science communication long enough that I have a pretty good sense how much engagement I am going to get from a particular topic. Some topics are simply more divisive than others (although there is an unpredictable element from social...
The Roots of...
Video: Intro to progress studies at Learning Night Boston I got invited to speak at Learning Night Boston and give an intro to progress studies: why study...
3 weeks ago
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3 weeks ago
I got invited to speak at Learning Night Boston and give an intro to progress studies: why study progress, and why do we need a new philosophy of progress? There are then a few minutes of Q&A. (It was in a bar and the audio quality is poor, sorry.)
Quanta Magazine
The Tiny Physics Behind Immense Cosmic Eruptions A new theory describes how particle interactions fuel fast magnetic reconnection, the process behind...
3 weeks ago
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3 weeks ago
A new theory describes how particle interactions fuel fast magnetic reconnection, the process behind solar flares and other astrophysical jets. The post The Tiny Physics Behind Immense Cosmic Eruptions first appeared on Quanta Magazine
NeuroLogica Blog
Student Attitudes Toward AI in the Class Researchers recently published an extensive survey of almost 6,000 students across academic...
3 weeks ago
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3 weeks ago
Researchers recently published an extensive survey of almost 6,000 students across academic institution in Sweden. The results are not surprising, but they do give a snapshot of where we are with the recent introduction of large language model AIs. Most students, 56%, reported...
The Works in...
Degrowth and the monkey's paw Fifteen years ago, when I worked in the “social innovation” field, there was a world-view that was...
3 weeks ago
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3 weeks ago
Fifteen years ago, when I worked in the “social innovation” field, there was a world-view that was very popular among my colleagues about what was wrong with society and how to fix it. The idea was that people and governments needed to stop seeing economic growth as a good thing,...
nanoscale views
Anyons, simulation, and "real" systems Quanta magazine this week published an article about two very recent papers, in which different...
3 weeks ago
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3 weeks ago
Quanta magazine this week published an article about two very recent papers, in which different groups performed quantum simulations of anyons, objects that do not follow Bose-Einstein or Fermi-Dirac statistics when they are exchanged.  For so-called Abelian anyons (which I wrote...
Quanta Magazine
Chatbots Don’t Know What Stuff Isn’t Today’s language models are more sophisticated than ever, but they still struggle with the concept...
3 weeks ago
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Today’s language models are more sophisticated than ever, but they still struggle with the concept of negation. That’s unlikely to change anytime soon. The post Chatbots Don’t Know What Stuff Isn’t first appeared on Quanta Magazine
NeuroLogica Blog
Will Hydrogen BEV Hybrids Be A Thing? I recently recorded a YouTube video on the notion of hydrogen fuel cell cars (it will be posted...
3 weeks ago
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3 weeks ago
I recently recorded a YouTube video on the notion of hydrogen fuel cell cars (it will be posted soon, and I will add the link when it’s up). One question I did not get into in the video, but which is an interesting thought experiment, is hydrogen – plug-in battery hybrid...
Quanta Magazine
A Plan to Address the World’s Challenges With Math Minhyong Kim is leading a new initiative called Mathematics for Humanity that encourages...
3 weeks ago
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3 weeks ago
Minhyong Kim is leading a new initiative called Mathematics for Humanity that encourages mathematicians to apply their skills to solving social problems. The post A Plan to Address the World’s Challenges With Math first appeared on Quanta Magazine
NeuroLogica Blog
Germany and Nuclear Power Germany has been thrown around a lot as an example of both what to do and what not to do in terms of...
3 weeks ago
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3 weeks ago
Germany has been thrown around a lot as an example of both what to do and what not to do in terms of addressing global warming by embracing green energy technology. It’s possible to look back now and review the numbers, to see what the effect was of its decision to embrace...
Quanta Magazine
What Causes Alzheimer’s? Scientists Are Rethinking the Answer. (Pt 2) If plaques of amyloid protein in the brain aren’t the root cause of Alzheimer’s disease, what is?...
3 weeks ago
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3 weeks ago
If plaques of amyloid protein in the brain aren’t the root cause of Alzheimer’s disease, what is? Researchers investigating alternative possibilities have faced resistance from the biomedical establishment for decades, but intriguing theories about the role of defects in protein...
The Roots of...
Quote quiz answer Here’s the answer to the recent quote quiz: The author was Ted Kaczynski, aka the Unabomber. The...
4 weeks ago
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4 weeks ago
Here’s the answer to the recent quote quiz: The author was Ted Kaczynski, aka the Unabomber. The quote was taken from his manifesto, “Industrial Society and Its Future.” Here’s a slightly longer, and unaltered, quote: First let us postulate that the computer scientists succeed in...
Quanta Magazine
Physicists Create Elusive Particles That Remember Their Pasts In two landmark experiments, researchers used quantum processors to engineer exotic particles that...
4 weeks ago
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4 weeks ago
In two landmark experiments, researchers used quantum processors to engineer exotic particles that have captivated physicists for decades. The work is a step toward crash-proof quantum computers. The post Physicists Create Elusive Particles That Remember Their Pasts...
NeuroLogica Blog
Is The Boring Company Useful? Elon Musk has a complicated legacy. Most people I encounter who bother to express an opinion tend to...
4 weeks ago
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4 weeks ago
Elon Musk has a complicated legacy. Most people I encounter who bother to express an opinion tend to be either a fan or hater. I am neither. He’s a complicated and flawed person who has accomplished some interesting things, but also has had some epic failures. People like a clean...
symmetry magazine
Collaboration builds fantastical stories from nuggets of truth What happens when you pair CERN scientists with science fiction writers to create short stories...
4 weeks ago
Many Worlds
Destination: Europa An artist rendering of Europa Clipper over Europa. The spacecraft is scheduled to launch in fall...
4 weeks ago
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4 weeks ago
An artist rendering of Europa Clipper over Europa. The spacecraft is scheduled to launch in fall 2024.  (NASA/JPL) “ALL THESE WORLDS ARE YOURS – EXCEPT EUROPA. ATTEMPT NO LANDING THERE.” These are the words broadcast by the computer HAL as recounted in Arthur C. Clarke’s book...
Quanta Magazine
A Mutation Turned Ants Into Parasites in One Generation A new genetics study of ant “social parasites” shows how complex sets of features can emerge rapidly...
4 weeks ago
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4 weeks ago
A new genetics study of ant “social parasites” shows how complex sets of features can emerge rapidly and potentially split species. The post A Mutation Turned Ants Into Parasites in One Generation first appeared on Quanta Magazine
NeuroLogica Blog
New Platform for Timed Drug Release This is one of those technologies that most people probably never think about, but could potentially...
4 weeks ago
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4 weeks ago
This is one of those technologies that most people probably never think about, but could potentially have a significant impact on our lives – timed drug release. The concept is nothing new, but there is a lot of room for improvement on current technologies. We already have...
The Roots of...
What I’ve been reading, May 2023 This is a monthly feature. As usual, I’ve omitted recent blog posts and such, which you can find in...
a month ago
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a month ago
This is a monthly feature. As usual, I’ve omitted recent blog posts and such, which you can find in my links digests. John Gall, The Systems Bible (2012), aka Systemantics, 3rd ed. A concise, pithy collection of wisdom about “systems”, mostly human organizations, projects, and...
nanoscale views
Michio Kaku and science popularization in the Age of Shamelessness In some ways, we live in a golden age of science popularization.  There are fantastic publications...
a month ago
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a month ago
In some ways, we live in a golden age of science popularization.  There are fantastic publications like Quanta doing tremendous work; platforms like YouTube and podcasts have made it possible for both practicing scientists and science communicators to reach enormous audiences;...
The Roots of...
Who regulates the regulators? IRBs Scott Alexander reviews a book about institutional review boards (IRBs), the panels that review...
a month ago
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a month ago
IRBs Scott Alexander reviews a book about institutional review boards (IRBs), the panels that review the ethics of medical trials: From Oversight to Overkill, by Dr. Simon Whitney. From the title alone, you can see where this is going. IRBs are supposed to (among other things)...
The Works in...
Notes on Progress: A winter's tale Melting snow can make the season easier
a month ago
The Works in...
Notes on Progress: A winter's tale Melting snow can make the season easier
a month ago
Quanta Magazine
A New Idea for How to Assemble Life If we want to understand complex constructions, such as ourselves, assembly theory says we must...
a month ago
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a month ago
If we want to understand complex constructions, such as ourselves, assembly theory says we must account for the entire history of how such entities came to be. The post A New Idea for How to Assemble Life first appeared on Quanta Magazine
NeuroLogica Blog
Meteostat-12 Meets Flat Earthers I know this wasn’t the purpose of sending up a €4.3bn satellite into geostationary orbit, but...
a month ago
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a month ago
I know this wasn’t the purpose of sending up a €4.3bn satellite into geostationary orbit, but tweaking flat earthers is a fun side effect. European countries have collaborated on this project, having weather satellites in orbit since 1977. The latest iteration is Meteostat-12,...
Quanta Magazine
Is Perpetual Motion Possible at the Quantum Level? A new phase of matter called a “time crystal” plays with our expectations of thermodynamics. The...
a month ago
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a month ago
A new phase of matter called a “time crystal” plays with our expectations of thermodynamics. The physicist Vedika Khemani talks with Steven Strogatz about its surprising quantum behavior. The post Is Perpetual Motion Possible at the Quantum Level? first appeared on...
Quanta Magazine
The Most Important Machine That Was Never Built When he invented Turing machines in 1936, Alan Turing also invented modern computing. ...
a month ago
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a month ago
When he invented Turing machines in 1936, Alan Turing also invented modern computing. The post The Most Important Machine That Was Never Built first appeared on Quanta Magazine
Blog - Practical...
Why Bridges Need Sensors (and other structures too) [Note that this article is a transcript of the video embedded above.] Almost immediately after I...
a month ago
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a month ago
[Note that this article is a transcript of the video embedded above.] Almost immediately after I started making videos about engineering, people started asking me to play video games on the channel. Apparently there’s roughly a billion people who watch online gaming these days,...
Quanta Magazine
A Very Big Small Leap Forward in Graph Theory Four mathematicians have found a new upper limit to the “Ramsey number,” a crucial property...
a month ago
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a month ago
Four mathematicians have found a new upper limit to the “Ramsey number,” a crucial property describing unavoidable structure in graphs. The post A Very Big Small Leap Forward in Graph Theory first appeared on Quanta Magazine
Beautiful Public...
Here’s All the Rocks We Hauled Back From the Moon The 12 human beings who walked on the Moon collected, catalogued and returned 842 pounds of lunar...
a month ago
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The 12 human beings who walked on the Moon collected, catalogued and returned 842 pounds of lunar rock and soil. Each sample has been meticulously documented in NASA's Lunar Sample Catalog.
symmetry magazine
Encouraging a new community Physicists advocate for getting community college students involved in research.
a month ago
NeuroLogica Blog
Reading The Mind with fMRI and AI This is pretty exciting neuroscience news – Semantic reconstruction of continuous language from...
a month ago
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a month ago
This is pretty exciting neuroscience news – Semantic reconstruction of continuous language from non-invasive brain recordings. What this means is that researchers have been able to, sort of, decode the words that subjects were thinking of simply by reading their fMRI scan. They...
Quanta Magazine
How a Human Smell Receptor Works Is Finally Revealed After decades of frustration, researchers have finally determined how an airborne scent molecule...
a month ago
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After decades of frustration, researchers have finally determined how an airborne scent molecule links to a human smell receptor. The post How a Human Smell Receptor Works Is Finally Revealed first appeared on Quanta Magazine
Quantum Frontiers
Winners of the Quantum-Steampunk Short-Story Contest During the past seven months, I’ve steamed across the Atlantic, sailed in a flying castle,...
a month ago
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a month ago
During the past seven months, I’ve steamed across the Atlantic, sailed in a flying castle, teleported across the globe, and shuttled forward and backward in time. Literarily, not literally—the Quantum-Steampunk Short-Story Contest began welcoming submissions in October 2022. We...
NeuroLogica Blog
Problems with the Institute Of Noetic Sciences I was interviewed recently for a Daily Beast article on recent research involving the Institute of...
a month ago
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a month ago
I was interviewed recently for a Daily Beast article on recent research involving the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS). Overall the article is very good, and author Maddie Bender was fair and reasonable in how I was quoted. I can’t always take that as a given. No matter how...
NeuroLogica Blog
Coaching with Empathy The show Ted Lasso is about to wrap up its final season. I am one of the many people who really...
a month ago
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a month ago
The show Ted Lasso is about to wrap up its final season. I am one of the many people who really enjoy the show, which turns on a group of likable people helping each other through various life challenges with care and empathy. Lasso is an American college football coach who was...
Andrew Fraknoi –...
Earthrise Image (with Eclipse) from Doomed Spacecraft On April 20, the Japanese Hakuto-R spacecraft took a remarkable image of the Earth from orbit around...
a month ago
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a month ago
On April 20, the Japanese Hakuto-R spacecraft took a remarkable image of the Earth from orbit around the Moon, showing a total eclipse of the Sun in progress near Australia. Unfortunately, the spacecraft, which would have been the first commercial mission to land on the Moon,...
The Works in...
Introducing Gentle Density A new series from Works in Progress
a month ago
The Roots of...
Quote quiz: “drifting into dependence” Quote quiz: who said this? (No fair looking it up). I have modified the original quotation slightly,...
a month ago
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a month ago
Quote quiz: who said this? (No fair looking it up). I have modified the original quotation slightly, by making a handful of word substitutions to bring it up to date: It might be argued that the human race would never be foolish enough to hand over all power to AI. But we are...
Quanta Magazine
The Computer Scientist Peering Inside AI’s Black Boxes Cynthia Rudin wants machine learning models, responsible for increasingly important decisions, to...
a month ago
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a month ago
Cynthia Rudin wants machine learning models, responsible for increasingly important decisions, to show their work. The post The Computer Scientist Peering Inside AI’s Black Boxes first appeared on Quanta Magazine
NeuroLogica Blog
AI – Is It Time to Panic? I’m really excited about the recent developments in artificial intelligence (AI) and their potential...
a month ago
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a month ago
I’m really excited about the recent developments in artificial intelligence (AI) and their potential as powerful tools. I am also concerned about unintended consequences. As with any really powerful tool, there is the potential for abuse and also disruption. But I also think that...
Quanta Magazine
Why Mathematicians Re-Prove What They Already Know It’s been known for thousands of years that the primes go on forever, but new proofs give fresh...
a month ago
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a month ago
It’s been known for thousands of years that the primes go on forever, but new proofs give fresh insights into how theorems depend on one another. The post Why Mathematicians Re-Prove What They Already Know first appeared on Quanta Magazine
Many Worlds
A New Model For How Earth Acquired Its Water One of the best known photographs of Earth, this image was taken by the crew of the final Apollo...
a month ago
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a month ago
One of the best known photographs of Earth, this image was taken by the crew of the final Apollo mission as the crew made its way to the Moon.  Named the “Blue Marble,” the image highlights how much of the planet is covered by water — 71 percent of the surface.  How this came to...
symmetry magazine
Whatever happened to the theory of everything? A theory of everything was all the rage in the 1980s. So where did it go? It is...
a month ago
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a month ago
A theory of everything was all the rage in the 1980s. So where did it go? It is only the optimists who achieve anything in this world—theorist John Ellis once read this adage on a candy wrapper. It stuck with him, so much so that in 1986 he referenced this...
Quanta Magazine
How Pools of Genetic Diversity Affect a Species’ Fate A new, deeper understanding of how the breeding structure of species affects their genetic diversity...
a month ago
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a month ago
A new, deeper understanding of how the breeding structure of species affects their genetic diversity is giving conservationists better tools for saving animals. The post How Pools of Genetic Diversity Affect a Species’ Fate first appeared on Quanta Magazine
NeuroLogica Blog
Multipurpose Superconducting Highway When it comes to technology (and also probably many things) there is a pyramid of ideas. At the very...
a month ago
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a month ago
When it comes to technology (and also probably many things) there is a pyramid of ideas. At the very bottom of the pyramid is pure speculation, just throwing out “what if” ideas to feed the conceptual pipeline. A subset of these ideas will pass the sniff test enough to justify...
Quanta Magazine
Tiny Jets on the Sun Power the Colossal Solar Wind A new analysis argues that ubiquitous eruptions in the sun’s corona explain the vast flow of charged...
a month ago
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a month ago
A new analysis argues that ubiquitous eruptions in the sun’s corona explain the vast flow of charged particles seen streaming out through the solar system. The post Tiny Jets on the Sun Power the Colossal Solar Wind first appeared on Quanta Magazine
NeuroLogica Blog
Starship Explodes in Successful Launch A common joke in the medical world is, “The operation was a success, but the patient died.” The...
a month ago
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a month ago
A common joke in the medical world is, “The operation was a success, but the patient died.” The irony comes from how we might define “success”. On April 20th SpaceX conducted the maiden launch of the fully assembled Starship, including a Starship rocket on top of a super heavy...
nanoscale views
Chemical potential and banana waffles The concept of chemical potential is one that seems almost deliberately obscure to many.  I’ve...
a month ago
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a month ago
The concept of chemical potential is one that seems almost deliberately obscure to many.  I’ve written about this here, and referenced this article.  What you may not realize is that the chemical potential, of water in particular, plays a crucial role in why my banana waffle...
The Roots of...
The Commission for Stopping Further Improvements On May 24, 1847, a bridge over the Dee River in Chester, England, collapsed. A passenger train...
a month ago
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a month ago
On May 24, 1847, a bridge over the Dee River in Chester, England, collapsed. A passenger train plunged into the river; five people were killed and nine seriously injured. The subsequent investigation blamed the bridge’s cast iron girders. Cast iron, like concrete but unlike...
Quanta Magazine
The Number 15 Describes the Secret Limit of an Infinite Grid The “packing coloring” problem asks how many numbers are needed to fill an infinite grid so that...
a month ago
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a month ago
The “packing coloring” problem asks how many numbers are needed to fill an infinite grid so that identical numbers never get too close to one another. A new computer-assisted proof finds a surprisingly straightforward answer. The post The Number 15 Describes the...
Quanta Magazine
Why the Brain’s Connections to the Body Are Crisscrossed In all bilaterally symmetrical animals, from humans down to simple worms, nerves cross from one side...
a month ago
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a month ago
In all bilaterally symmetrical animals, from humans down to simple worms, nerves cross from one side of the body to the opposite side of the brain. Geometry may explain why. The post Why the Brain’s Connections to the Body Are Crisscrossed first appeared on Quanta...
Quanta Magazine
How Can Some Infinities Be Bigger Than Others? All infinities go on forever, so how is it possible for some infinities to be larger than others?...
a month ago
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a month ago
All infinities go on forever, so how is it possible for some infinities to be larger than others? The mathematician Justin Moore discusses the mysteries of infinity with Steven Strogatz. The post How Can Some Infinities Be Bigger Than Others? first appeared on Quanta...
Quanta Magazine
A New Kind of Symmetry Shakes Up Physics So-called “higher symmetries” are illuminating everything from particle decays to the behavior of...
a month ago
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a month ago
So-called “higher symmetries” are illuminating everything from particle decays to the behavior of complex quantum systems. The post A New Kind of Symmetry Shakes Up Physics first appeared on Quanta Magazine
Blog - Practical...
East Palestine Train Derailment Explained [Note that this article is a transcript of the video embedded above.] On the evening of Friday,...
a month ago
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a month ago
[Note that this article is a transcript of the video embedded above.] On the evening of Friday, February 3, 2023, 38 of 149 cars of a Norfolk Southern Railway freight train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio. Five of the derailed cars were carrying vinyl chloride, a hazardous...
symmetry magazine
Practice makes perfect (particle detectors) Prototyping is an indispensable step in the development of particle physics experiments like DUNE...
a month ago
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a month ago
Prototyping is an indispensable step in the development of particle physics experiments like DUNE and projects like PIP-II. When complete, the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, or DUNE, will be the world’s most comprehensive neutrino experiment—and...
Quanta Magazine
She Tracks the DNA of Elusive Species That Hide in Harsh Places On Mount Everest and in the Peruvian Andes, Tracie Seimon uses DNA to study how species and...
a month ago
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a month ago
On Mount Everest and in the Peruvian Andes, Tracie Seimon uses DNA to study how species and ecosystems respond to climate change, pathogens and other influences. The post She Tracks the DNA of Elusive Species That Hide in Harsh Places first appeared on Quanta Magazine
NeuroLogica Blog
Elizabeth Holmes Going to Prison I first wrote about the Theranos scandal in 2016, and I guess it should not be surprising that it...
a month ago
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a month ago
I first wrote about the Theranos scandal in 2016, and I guess it should not be surprising that it took 7 years to follow this story through to the end. Elizabeth Holmes, founder of the company Theranos, was  convicted of defrauding investors and sentenced to 11 years in prison....
nanoscale views
Brief items With the end of the semester approaching and various grant deadlines, it's been a very busy time. ...
a month ago
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a month ago
With the end of the semester approaching and various grant deadlines, it's been a very busy time.  Here are some items I spotted this week (some new, some old): This article from Quanta about the "Einstein tile" is great - I particularly like the animated illustration.  This...
Eukaryote Writes...
Eukaryote in Asterisk Magazine + New Patreon Per-post setup Eukaryote elsewhere I have an article in the latest issue of Asterisk Magazine. After you get really...
a month ago
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a month ago
Eukaryote elsewhere I have an article in the latest issue of Asterisk Magazine. After you get really deep into the weeds of invertebrate sentience and fish welfare and the scale of factory farming, what do you do with that information vis-a-vis what you feel comfortable eating?...
NeuroLogica Blog
Some Battery News I have been following battery technology pretty closely, as this is a key technology for the...
a month ago
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a month ago
I have been following battery technology pretty closely, as this is a key technology for the transition to green energy. The most obvious application is in battery electric vehicles (BEVs). The second most obvious application is in grid storage. But also there are all the...
Many Worlds
Pam Conrad: The NASA Astrobiologist Who Also Became a Minister Pan Conrad on her last Sunday as rector of St. Albans Episcopal Church in Glen Burnie, Maryland....
a month ago
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a month ago
Pan Conrad on her last Sunday as rector of St. Albans Episcopal Church in Glen Burnie, Maryland. (Julian Lahdelma) Science and religion so often seem to be in conflict, with the chasm between them widening all the time. For many, the grounding of their religion is in faith and...
Quanta Magazine
A New Approach to Computation Reimagines Artificial Intelligence By imbuing enormous vectors with semantic meaning, we can get machines to reason more abstractly —...
a month ago
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a month ago
By imbuing enormous vectors with semantic meaning, we can get machines to reason more abstractly — and efficiently — than before. The post A New Approach to Computation Reimagines Artificial Intelligence first appeared on Quanta Magazine
NeuroLogica Blog
Building A Robotic Hand Roboticists are often engaged in a process of reinventing the wheel – duplicating the function of...
a month ago
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a month ago
Roboticists are often engaged in a process of reinventing the wheel – duplicating the function of biological bodies in rubber, metal, and plastic. This is a difficult task because biological organisms are often wondrous machines. The human hand, in particular, is a feat of...
Quanta Magazine
Mathematicians Find Hidden Structure in a Common Type of Space In 50 years of searching, mathematicians found only one example of a “subspace design” in a vector...
a month ago
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a month ago
In 50 years of searching, mathematicians found only one example of a “subspace design” in a vector space. A new proof reveals that there are infinitely more out there. The post Mathematicians Find Hidden Structure in a Common Type of Space first appeared on Quanta...
The Roots of...
What I’ve been reading, April 2023 A monthly feature. Note that I generally don’t include very recent writing here, such as the latest...
a month ago
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a month ago
A monthly feature. Note that I generally don’t include very recent writing here, such as the latest blog posts (for those, see my Twitter digests); this is for my deeper research. AI First, various historical perspectives on AI, many of which were quite prescient: Alan Turing,...
Quanta Magazine
Primitive Asgard Cells Show Life on the Brink of Complexity As researchers race to cultivate more of the intriguing cells from the deep seafloor, the few cells...
a month ago
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a month ago
As researchers race to cultivate more of the intriguing cells from the deep seafloor, the few cells now growing in labs are giving us our best glimpses of the forerunners of all complex life. The post Primitive Asgard Cells Show Life on the Brink of Complexity first...
NeuroLogica Blog
Using Plants as Biofactories When you think about it, plants are self-reproducing solar-powered biological factories. They are...
a month ago
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a month ago
When you think about it, plants are self-reproducing solar-powered biological factories. They are powered by the sun, extract raw material from the air and soil, and make all sorts of useful molecules. Mostly we use them to make edible molecules (food), but also to make textiles,...
Quanta Magazine
The Electron Is So Round That It’s Ruling Out Potential New Particles If the electron’s charge wasn’t perfectly round, it could reveal the existence of hidden particles....
a month ago
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a month ago
If the electron’s charge wasn’t perfectly round, it could reveal the existence of hidden particles. A new measurement approaches perfection. The post The Electron Is So Round That It’s Ruling Out Potential New Particles first appeared on Quanta Magazine
Beautiful Public...
1,000 Photos of Dolphin Fins Scars, scratches and wounds abound in these photos as encounters with unknown creatures and boat...
a month ago
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a month ago
Scars, scratches and wounds abound in these photos as encounters with unknown creatures and boat propellers leave their marks, imprinting a story of close escapes and cheating death.
NeuroLogica Blog
The Lunar Cycle and Suicide Does the lunar cycle affect human behavior? This seems to be a question that refuses to die, no...
a month ago
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a month ago
Does the lunar cycle affect human behavior? This seems to be a question that refuses to die, no matter how hard it is to confirm any actual effect. It’s now a cultural idea, deeply embedded and not going anywhere. A recent study, however, seems to show a correlation between...
brr
Sunset Hunkering down for the winter!
a month ago
wadertales
Conservation beyond boundaries When an environmental impact assessment concludes that only a small number of shorebirds will be...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
When an environmental impact assessment concludes that only a small number of shorebirds will be affected by a new airport, because relatively small flocks are counted during field surveys, is there an assumption that the birds encountered are always the same individuals? What if...
The Roots of...
Do we get better or worse at adapting to change? Verner Vinge, in a classic 1993 essay, described “the Singularity” as an era where progress becomes...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
Verner Vinge, in a classic 1993 essay, described “the Singularity” as an era where progress becomes “an exponential runaway beyond any hope of control.” The idea that technological change might accelerate to a pace faster than we can keep up with is a common concern. Almost three...
Quanta Magazine
How to Tame the Endless Infinities Hiding in the Heart of Particle Physics In the math of particle physics, every calculation should result in infinity. The set of techniques...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
In the math of particle physics, every calculation should result in infinity. The set of techniques known as “resurgence” points toward an escape. The post How to Tame the Endless Infinities Hiding in the Heart of Particle Physics first appeared on Quanta Magazine
NeuroLogica Blog
New Type of Black Hole Discovered ESA’s Gaia orbital telescope has recently discovered two new black holes. This, in itself, is not...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
ESA’s Gaia orbital telescope has recently discovered two new black holes. This, in itself, is not surprising, as that is Gaia’s mission – to precisely map the three-dimensional position of two billion objects in our galaxy, using three separate instruments. The process is called...
The Works in...
Notes on Progress: Artificial flavoring "Artificial" didn't scare Americans in the 19th century. Why does it scare us now?
2 months ago
The Works in...
Notes on Progress: Artificial flavoring "Artificial" didn't scare Americans in the 19th century. Why does it scare us now?
2 months ago
Many Worlds
What the JWST is Learning About Exoplanet Atmospheres We are now well into the era of exoplanet atmospheres, of measurements made possible by the James...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
We are now well into the era of exoplanet atmospheres, of measurements made possible by the James Webb Space Telescope.  While prior observatories could detect some chemicals in exoplanet atmospheres,  the limits were substantial. This is an artist’s impression of a hot Jupiter...
Quanta Magazine
Animal Mutation Rates Reveal Traits That Speed Evolution The first large-scale comparison of mutation rates gives insights into how quickly species can...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
The first large-scale comparison of mutation rates gives insights into how quickly species can evolve. The post Animal Mutation Rates Reveal Traits That Speed Evolution first appeared on Quanta Magazine
Quanta Magazine
What Has the Pandemic Taught Us About Vaccines? Should Covid-19 vaccines be judged by how well they prevent disease or how well they prevent death?...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
Should Covid-19 vaccines be judged by how well they prevent disease or how well they prevent death? Anna Durbin, a public health expert and vaccine researcher, talks with Steven Strogatz about the science behind vaccines. The post What Has the Pandemic Taught Us About...
Andrew Fraknoi –...
New Records Set on Mars What the Perseverance Rover and Ingenuity Helicopter have been doing on Mars. The post New Records...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
What the Perseverance Rover and Ingenuity Helicopter have been doing on Mars. The post New Records Set on Mars appeared first on Andrew Fraknoi - Astronomy Lectures - Astronomy Education Resources.
Blog - Practical...
Why Engineers Can't Control Rivers [Note that this article is a transcript of the video embedded above.] This is the Old River Control...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
[Note that this article is a transcript of the video embedded above.] This is the Old River Control Structure, a relatively innocuous complex of floodgates and levees off the Mississippi River in central Louisiana. It was built in the 1950s to solve a serious problem. Typically...
symmetry magazine
Is dark matter the most powerful wave in the universe? Dark matter could consist of particles so ultralight, they behave more like waves.  ...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
Dark matter could consist of particles so ultralight, they behave more like waves.  Although the motions of galaxies provide evidence that dark matter exists, scientists have yet to directly detect the invisible stuff, or figure out what it could be made...
Quanta Magazine
Hobbyist Finds Math’s Elusive ‘Einstein’ Tile The surprisingly simple tile is the first single, connected tile that can fill the entire plane in a...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
The surprisingly simple tile is the first single, connected tile that can fill the entire plane in a pattern that never repeats — and can’t be made to fill it in a repeating way. The post Hobbyist Finds Math’s Elusive ‘Einstein’ Tile first appeared on Quanta Magazine
Quanta Magazine
How Randomness Improves Algorithms Unpredictability can help computer scientists solve otherwise intractable problems. The...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
Unpredictability can help computer scientists solve otherwise intractable problems. The post How Randomness Improves Algorithms first appeared on Quanta Magazine
NeuroLogica Blog
Is AI Sentient Revisited On the SGU this week we interviewed Blake Lemoine, the ex-Google employee who believes that Google’s...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
On the SGU this week we interviewed Blake Lemoine, the ex-Google employee who believes that Google’s LaMDA may be sentient, based on his interactions with it. This was a fascinating discussion, and even though I think we did a pretty deep dive in the time we had, it also felt...
Quantum Frontiers
Quantum computing vs. Grubhub pon receiving my speaking assignments for the Tucson Festival of Books, I mentally raised my...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
pon receiving my speaking assignments for the Tucson Festival of Books, I mentally raised my eyebrows. I’d be participating in a panel discussion with Mike Evans, the founder of Grubhub? But I hadn’t created an app that’s a household name. I … Continue reading →
nanoscale views
The problems and opportunities of data We live in a world of "big data", and this presents a number of challenges for how we handle this at...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
We live in a world of "big data", and this presents a number of challenges for how we handle this at research universities.  Until relatively recently, the domain of huge volume/huge throughput scientific data was chiefly that of the nuclear/particle physics community and then...
NeuroLogica Blog
T-rex Had Lips One of the challenges of paleontology is that we are trying to infer and entire animal just from the...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
One of the challenges of paleontology is that we are trying to infer and entire animal just from the hard parts that fossilize, mostly bones and teeth (and sometimes just teeth). But if we look at animals today there are a lot of details we could not guess from their bones alone...
Quanta Magazine
How a DNA ‘Parasite’ May Have Fragmented Our Genes A novel type of “jumping gene” may explain why the genomes of complex cells aren’t all equally...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
A novel type of “jumping gene” may explain why the genomes of complex cells aren’t all equally stuffed with noncoding sequences. The post How a DNA ‘Parasite’ May Have Fragmented Our Genes first appeared on Quanta Magazine
NeuroLogica Blog
Deep Sea Mining for Minerals Could Harm Environment It is an unfortunate reality that with over 8 billion people on the planet almost anything we...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
It is an unfortunate reality that with over 8 billion people on the planet almost anything we collectively do has the potential to have huge environmental impacts. When the human population was in the mere millions we could treat the planet as an essentially unlimited resource....
The Roots of...
Four lenses on AI risks All powerful new technologies create both benefits and risks: cars, planes, drugs, radiation. AI is...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
All powerful new technologies create both benefits and risks: cars, planes, drugs, radiation. AI is on a trajectory to become one of the most powerful technologies we possess; in some scenarios, it becomes by far the most powerful. It therefore will create both extraordinary...
Quanta Magazine
The Colorful Problem That Has Long Frustrated Mathematicians The four-color problem is simple to explain, but its complex proof continues to be both celebrated...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
The four-color problem is simple to explain, but its complex proof continues to be both celebrated and despised. The post The Colorful Problem That Has Long Frustrated Mathematicians first appeared on Quanta Magazine
symmetry magazine
A collaboration pairs Fermilab with fashion students Fashion students at the College of DuPage successfully designed gear to protect Fermilab’s SPOT...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
Fashion students at the College of DuPage successfully designed gear to protect Fermilab’s SPOT robot from radioactive dust. In a recent demonstration for Engineers Week in Chicago, an engineering physicist took the stage accompanied by an unusual guest: a...
Quanta Magazine
Astronomers Dig Up the Stars That Birthed the Milky Way There once was a cosmic seed that sprouted the Milky Way galaxy. Astronomers have discovered its...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
There once was a cosmic seed that sprouted the Milky Way galaxy. Astronomers have discovered its last surviving remnants. The post Astronomers Dig Up the Stars That Birthed the Milky Way first appeared on Quanta Magazine
Bartosz Ciechanowski
Bicycle There is something delightful about riding a bicycle. Once mastered, the simple action of pedaling...
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2 months ago
There is something delightful about riding a bicycle. Once mastered, the simple action of pedaling to move forward and turning the handlebars to steer makes bike riding an effortless activity. In the demonstration below, you can guide the rider with the slider, and you can also...
Quanta Magazine
Emmy Murphy Is a Mathematician Who Finds Beauty in Flexibility The prize-winning geometer feels most fulfilled when exploring the fertile ground where constraint...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
The prize-winning geometer feels most fulfilled when exploring the fertile ground where constraint meets creation. The post Emmy Murphy Is a Mathematician Who Finds Beauty in Flexibility first appeared on Quanta Magazine
Beautiful Public...
The Mirror Fusion Test Facility A decade-long effort to build a machine to unlock the promise of nuclear fusion fell victim to...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
A decade-long effort to build a machine to unlock the promise of nuclear fusion fell victim to budget constraints and competing science, and was shut down the day it was dedicated. It was never turned on.
NeuroLogica Blog
Nuclear Microreactors The first nuclear powered vessel was completed in 1959. Since then there have been nuclear powered...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
The first nuclear powered vessel was completed in 1959. Since then there have been nuclear powered vessels in the oceans, including many nuclear submarines. The obvious advantage is that is such vessels can stay at see for long periods of time without refueling. These ships use...
Quanta Magazine
The Symmetry That Makes Solving Math Equations Easy Learn why the quadratic formula works and why quadratics are easier to solve than cubics. ...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
Learn why the quadratic formula works and why quadratics are easier to solve than cubics. The post The Symmetry That Makes Solving Math Equations Easy first appeared on Quanta Magazine
symmetry magazine
LHC experiments see four top quarks The ATLAS and CMS experiments have observed a process 4,000 times rarer than the production of Higgs...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
The ATLAS and CMS experiments have observed a process 4,000 times rarer than the production of Higgs bosons. The ATLAS and CMS experiments have successfully detected the production of a quartet of top quarks during high-energy proton collisions inside the Large...
NeuroLogica Blog
England Allows Gene-Edited Crops This has been somewhat of a quiet revolution, but a new law in England may bring it to the...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
This has been somewhat of a quiet revolution, but a new law in England may bring it to the foreground. The Precision Breeding Act will now allow gene-edited plants to be developed and marketed in England (not Northern Ireland, Wales, or Scotland). The innovation is that the law...
The Roots of...
Why consumerism is good actually “Consumerism” came up in my recent interview with Elle Griffin of The Post. Here’s what I had to say...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
“Consumerism” came up in my recent interview with Elle Griffin of The Post. Here’s what I had to say (off the cuff): I have to admit, I’ve never 100% understood what “consumerism” is, or what it’s supposed to be. I have the general sense of what people are gesturing at, but it...
NeuroLogica Blog
3D Printed Rocket Launches This is one of those technology news stories where the implications of the technology is greater...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
This is one of those technology news stories where the implications of the technology is greater than the thing itself. Relativity Space, a rocket company based in California, launched their first Terran-1 rocket. The launch ultimately failed when the second stage failed to...
Many Worlds
The Strange Interstellar Object Oumuamua Was a Comet and Not The Space Probe Some Had Proposed New research concludes that the interstellar object that entered our solar system and then rocketed...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
New research concludes that the interstellar object that entered our solar system and then rocketed out was a small comet and not a spacecraft, as some had speculated. (JPL/NASA) In 2017, an  unusual small object flew into our solar system from afar,  approached the inner solar...
nanoscale views
What do we want in a conference venue? The APS March Meeting was in Las Vegas this year, and I have yet to talk to a single attendee who...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
The APS March Meeting was in Las Vegas this year, and I have yet to talk to a single attendee who liked that decision in hindsight.  In brief, the conference venue seemed about 10% too small (severe crowding issues in hallways between sessions); while the APS deal on hotels was...
Blog - Practical...
Why Construction Projects Always Go Over Budget [Note that this article is a transcript of the video embedded above.] Boston, Massachusetts is one...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
[Note that this article is a transcript of the video embedded above.] Boston, Massachusetts is one of the oldest cities in America, founded in 1630, more than a few years before the advent of modern motor vehicles. In the 1980s, traffic in downtown Boston was nearly unbearable...
NeuroLogica Blog
Unifying Cognitive Biases Are you familiar with the “lumper vs splitter” debate? This refers to any situation in which there...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
Are you familiar with the “lumper vs splitter” debate? This refers to any situation in which there is some controversy over exactly how to categorize complex phenomena, specifically whether or not to favor the fewest categories based on similarities, or the greatest number of...
NeuroLogica Blog
UFOs and the Pandemic Did UFO reporting increase during the pandemic? A group of researchers set out to answer that...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
Did UFO reporting increase during the pandemic? A group of researchers set out to answer that question, and recently published their results. Their hypothesis was two-fold, including the notion that people had more free time during the shutdown and perhaps spent more time out...
Beautiful Public...
Special Database 18: 3,248 Mugshots Used for Training Image Recognition Systems The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has maintained a dataset of mugshot photos...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has maintained a dataset of mugshot photos of 1,573 people for decades, including 175 minors, until we asked about them.
brr
The Beer Can Connecting old and new.
2 months ago
Andrew Fraknoi –...
Zoom Into the Andromeda Galaxy Check out an Older Hubble Telescope Image that will Leave You Star-struck We astronomers often talk...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
Check out an Older Hubble Telescope Image that will Leave You Star-struck We astronomers often talk about the vastness of things out there — the sheer, mind-boggling numbers of stars and galaxies that make up the observable universe. That can be easier to see when you are in a...
NeuroLogica Blog
UK Building More Nuclear The nuclear debate seems never-ending, which I guess is to be expected. Every large technology has...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
The nuclear debate seems never-ending, which I guess is to be expected. Every large technology has tradeoffs. But the need to transition our energy infrastructure to carbon neutral has shifted the equation, and it is now arguable that we cannot afford to ignore the option of...
The Roots of...
The epistemic virtue of scope matching Something a little bit different today. I’ll tie it in to progress, I promise. I keep noticing a...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
Something a little bit different today. I’ll tie it in to progress, I promise. I keep noticing a particular epistemic pitfall (not exactly a “fallacy”), and a corresponding epistemic virtue that avoids it. I want to call this out and give it a name. The virtue is: identifying the...
nanoscale views
Recent RT superconductivity claim - summary page In the interests of saving people from lots of googling or scrolling through 170+ comments, here is...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
In the interests of saving people from lots of googling or scrolling through 170+ comments, here is a bulleted summary of links relevant to the recent claim of room temperature superconductivity in a nitrogen-doped lutetium hydride compound under pressure.   Dias's contributed...
NeuroLogica Blog
Moon Spacesuit Prototype Unveiled Good spacesuits are deceptively difficult to design, even with today’s technology. NASA is planning...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
Good spacesuits are deceptively difficult to design, even with today’s technology. NASA is planning to return to the moon in 2025 (if all goes well) but the spacesuit the astronauts will wear is one piece to the puzzle they have not completed yet (the other being the lunar...
symmetry magazine
How to put together an international physics experiment To build the DUNE neutrino experiment and its associated accelerator upgrade, experts invent...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
To build the DUNE neutrino experiment and its associated accelerator upgrade, experts invent customized ways to transport fragile, expensive and highly specialized components. On a late-September day, in the high-bay building of Daresbury Laboratory in the...
NeuroLogica Blog
Update on Quantum Computers There has been a lot of quantum computer news since I last wrote about the topic. But this is still...
2 months ago
0
2 months ago
There has been a lot of quantum computer news since I last wrote about the topic. But this is still a technology that is slowly advancing in the background, while actual applications have been limited. There is a threshold effect at play – at some point, quantum computers will be...
Many Worlds
What Would Happen If Our Solar System Had a Super-Earth Like Many Others? Chaos. Our solar system’s rocky planets are tiny compared with the larger gas and ice giants. Exoplanet...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
Our solar system’s rocky planets are tiny compared with the larger gas and ice giants. Exoplanet research has found, however, that the most common planets in the galaxy appear to be super-Earths and sub-Neptunes, types of planets not found in our system. Size comparison of the...
NeuroLogica Blog
New Asteroid Probably Won’t Hit Earth NASA recently discovered a 50 meter wide asteroid whose orbit will come close to Earth. They...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
NASA recently discovered a 50 meter wide asteroid whose orbit will come close to Earth. They estimate a close approach in 2046, which will likely bring the asteroid within 1.1 million miles of the Earth, about four times the distance of the moon. However, there is always...
Quantum Frontiers
Identical twins and quantum entanglement “If I had a nickel for every unsolicited and very personal health question I’ve gotten at parties,...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
“If I had a nickel for every unsolicited and very personal health question I’ve gotten at parties, I’d have paid off my medical school loans by now,” my doctor friend complained. As a physicist, I can somewhat relate. I occasionally … Continue reading →
nanoscale views
APS March Meeting 2023, Day 4 + wrapup My last day at the March Meeting was a bit scattershot, but here are a few highlights: In a...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
My last day at the March Meeting was a bit scattershot, but here are a few highlights: In a session about spin transport, the opening invited talk by Jiaming He was a clear discussion of recent experimental results on spin Seebeck effects in the magnetic insulator LuFeO3. The...
NeuroLogica Blog
Is AI Sentient – Revisited This happened sooner than I thought. Last June I wrote about Google employee, Blake Lemoine, who...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
This happened sooner than I thought. Last June I wrote about Google employee, Blake Lemoine, who claimed that the LaMDA  chatbot he was working on was probably sentient. I didn’t buy it then and I still don’t, but Lemoine is not backing away from his claims. In an interview on H3...
nanoscale views
APS March Meeting 2023, Day 3 There is vigorous discussion taking place on the Day 2 link regarding the highly controversial claim...
2 months ago
-3
2 months ago
There is vigorous discussion taking place on the Day 2 link regarding the highly controversial claim of room temperature superconductivity.   Highlights from Wednesday are a hodgepodge because of my meanderings: The session about quantum computing hardware was well attended,...
The Roots of...
What I’ve been reading, March 2023 A new monthly feature, let me know what you think. Books Matt Ridley, How Innovation Works (2020)....
2 months ago
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2 months ago
A new monthly feature, let me know what you think. Books Matt Ridley, How Innovation Works (2020). About halfway through, lots of interesting case studies, very readable. Vaclav Smil, Creating the Twentieth Century (2005). I read the first chapter; saving the rest of it for when...
NeuroLogica Blog
Anxiety Biomarkers Psychiatry, psychology, and all aspects of mental health are a challenging area because the clinical...
2 months ago
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2 months ago
Psychiatry, psychology, and all aspects of mental health are a challenging area because the clinical entities we are dealing with are complex and mostly subjective. Diagnoses are perhaps best understood as clinical constructs – a way of identifying and understanding a mental...
nanoscale views
APS March Meeting 2023, Day 2 I ended up spending more time catching up with people this afternoon than going to talks after my...
3 months ago
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3 months ago
I ended up spending more time catching up with people this afternoon than going to talks after my session ended, but here are a couple of highlights: There was an invited session about the metal halide perovskites, and there were some interesting talks.  My faculty colleague...
Blog - Practical...
Why Rivers Move [Note that this article is a transcript of the video embedded above.] This is a map of the...
3 months ago
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3 months ago
[Note that this article is a transcript of the video embedded above.] This is a map of the Mississippi River drafted by legendary geologist Harold Fisk. It’s part of a fairly unassuming geological report that he wrote in 1944 for Army Corps of Engineers, but the maps he produced...
symmetry magazine
Do hidden influences give neutrinos their tiny mass? The quest to understand the small mass of neutrinos is also a quest to discover new particles. ...
3 months ago
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3 months ago
The quest to understand the small mass of neutrinos is also a quest to discover new particles. Neutrinos are the byproducts of astronomical events that give us life.  They shoot out from the nuclear fusion reaction within the sun and radiate from supernovas....
NeuroLogica Blog
A Climate Debate Regarding Health Effects – Part IV Part 4 This will be the final installment of this mini-debate about climate change and health...
3 months ago
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3 months ago
Part 4 This will be the final installment of this mini-debate about climate change and health effects, following a typical format of each person getting to make a statement and a response. Scott makes a lot of complaints about tone, format and fairness while simultaneously trying...
nanoscale views
APS March Meeting 2023, Day 1 Ahh, Las Vegas.  I will say, I think every APS March Meeting from now on should have a giant Ferris...
3 months ago
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3 months ago
Ahh, Las Vegas.  I will say, I think every APS March Meeting from now on should have a giant Ferris wheel right by the registration lobby.    Here are a few highlights from what I saw after I arrived around lunchtime today: Given some of my current research, I spent a fair bit...
NeuroLogica Blog
A Climate Debate Regarding Health Effects – Part III Part 3 Hi Steve, and thank you for your timely response, and for even considering hosting this...
3 months ago
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3 months ago
Part 3 Hi Steve, and thank you for your timely response, and for even considering hosting this debate. There has been, and continues to be a “blackout” on almost all discussion regarding the science behind climate change. If “The science” is truly “settled”, it is a pretty shaky...
Quantum Frontiers
Memories of things past My best friend—who’s held the title of best friend since kindergarten—calls me the keeper of her...
3 months ago
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3 months ago
My best friend—who’s held the title of best friend since kindergarten—calls me the keeper of her childhood memories. I recall which toys we played with, the first time I visited her house,1 and which beverages our classmates drank during snack … Continue reading →
nanoscale views
APS March Meeting 2023 - coming soon I will be attending the 2023 APS March Meeting in Las Vegas this week.  I will do my best to try to...
3 months ago
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3 months ago
I will be attending the 2023 APS March Meeting in Las Vegas this week.  I will do my best to try to report on some highlights daily, though that may be more challenging than usual for me this time around (looming proposal deadline that I suspect all of my condensed matter faculty...
NeuroLogica Blog
A Climate Debate Regarding Health Effects – Part II Yesterday’s post was the first in an exchange about the effects of climate change on public health....
3 months ago
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3 months ago
Yesterday’s post was the first in an exchange about the effects of climate change on public health. Today’s post is my response. Part II Climate change is a critically important topic for society today, and it’s important that the public have a working knowledge of the facts,...
symmetry magazine
Kétévi Assamagan pays it forward Kétévi Assamagan's contributions to physics go beyond his research at the Large Hadron...
3 months ago
3
3 months ago
Kétévi Assamagan's contributions to physics go beyond his research at the Large Hadron Collider. Kétévi Assamagan first became interested in physics in high school—because he had to be. His school in Togo, in West Africa, required students to declare a major....
NeuroLogica Blog
A Climate Debate Regarding Health Effects – Part I This is the first entry in an exchange between me and Scott Hastings, who requested the exchange....
3 months ago
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3 months ago
This is the first entry in an exchange between me and Scott Hastings, who requested the exchange. This is his opening arguments. My response will be tomorrow’s post.   Part I: Hi Steven, first of all, I am tremendously grateful to you for taking time to engage with me on this...
Light from Space
The Rosette Nebula Next to the Orion Nebula, the Rosette Nebula is definitely a must-do on the list of every aspiring...
3 months ago
4
3 months ago
Next to the Orion Nebula, the Rosette Nebula is definitely a must-do on the list of every aspiring astrophotographer. Located not too far from Orion in Monoceros, this large H II region has spectacular features, centered around a star cluster. Click or tap to...
The Works in...
Issue 10: One word—plastics. Plus: France's baby bust, why we empathise with animals, building infrastructure faster, and more.
3 months ago
The Works in...
Issue 10: One word—plastics. Plus: France's baby bust, why we empathise with animals, building infrastructure faster, and more.
3 months ago
NeuroLogica Blog
The Future of (Unpaid) Work If we think of the top inventions that had a positive impact on human society and our quality of...
3 months ago
3
3 months ago
If we think of the top inventions that had a positive impact on human society and our quality of life most lists would contain things like the printing press, the wheel, or the computer. One invention that should be on everyone’s list but is easy to overlook is – the washing...
Many Worlds
A Scientific Bonanza From Asteroid Ryugu and Hayabusa2 Optical microscope images of six particle samples that were selected from what Hayabusa2 brought...
3 months ago
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3 months ago
Optical microscope images of six particle samples that were selected from what Hayabusa2 brought back to Earth from asteroid Ryugu. {Japan Aerospace Expedition Agency (JAXA), Science.} Collecting and transporting back to Earth samples of other planets, moons, asteroids and comets...
NeuroLogica Blog
Should Tech Companies Be Liable for Content The Supreme Court (SCOTUS) is hearing a case that will have profound effects on social media – is...
3 months ago
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3 months ago
The Supreme Court (SCOTUS) is hearing a case that will have profound effects on social media – is Google liable for a terrorist killing? The family of Nohemi Gonzalez is suing Google, because she was shot by an Islamic terrorist in 2015 and the family alleges this act was abetted...
The Roots of...
Can submarines swim? Did any science fiction predict that when AI arrived, it would be unreliable, often illogical, and...
3 months ago
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3 months ago
Did any science fiction predict that when AI arrived, it would be unreliable, often illogical, and frequently bullshitting? Usually in fiction, if the AI says something factually incorrect or illogical, that is a deep portent of something very wrong: the AI is sick, or turning...
Blog - Practical...
The Only State Capital Where You Can’t Drink the Water [Note that this article is a transcript of the video embedded above.] As a blast of bitter Arctic...
3 months ago
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3 months ago
[Note that this article is a transcript of the video embedded above.] As a blast of bitter Arctic air poured into North America around Christmas Time in December 2022, weather conditions impacted nearly every aspect of life, from travel to electricity to just trying to get out...
symmetry magazine
What the Higgs boson tells us about the universe The Higgs boson is the only fundamental particle known to be scalar, meaning it has no quantum spin....
3 months ago
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3 months ago
The Higgs boson is the only fundamental particle known to be scalar, meaning it has no quantum spin. This fact answers questions about our universe, but it also raises new ones. When it was first discovered in 2012, the Higgs boson captured the popular...
NeuroLogica Blog
A Circular CO2 Economy Big picture time – as I have discussed before, we have just passed 8 billion people on this planet...
3 months ago
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3 months ago
Big picture time – as I have discussed before, we have just passed 8 billion people on this planet and will likely top 10 billion before populations stabilize (which is quite possible, but that’s another story).  What this means is that anything we collectively do is big. It...
nanoscale views
Science and how it will be practiced in the future I just registered for an event that celebrates the 35th anniversary of a particular science and...
3 months ago
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3 months ago
I just registered for an event that celebrates the 35th anniversary of a particular science and engineering program, and one question they posed was, to paraphrase, "Science has changed a lot in the last 35 years.  Please make three predictions about science in the next 35...
NeuroLogica Blog
3D Printing Superalloys This is a cool material science development that nicely illustrates recent technological...
3 months ago
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3 months ago
This is a cool material science development that nicely illustrates recent technological advancements. Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have created a superalloy using additive manufacturing (3D printing). That may not sound that impressive at first, but consider the...
Quantum Frontiers
A (quantum) complex legacy: Part deux I didn’t fancy the research suggestion emailed by my PhD advisor. A 2016 email from John Preskill...
3 months ago
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3 months ago
I didn’t fancy the research suggestion emailed by my PhD advisor. A 2016 email from John Preskill led to my publishing a paper about quantum complexity in 2022, as I explained in last month’s blog post. But I didn’t explain … Continue reading →
NeuroLogica Blog
It’s Not Possible – Until Suddenly It Is There are a couple of recent stories that remind me that perhaps the most powerful thing in the...
3 months ago
2
3 months ago
There are a couple of recent stories that remind me that perhaps the most powerful thing in the world is political will. Often politicians and motivational speakers will say something along the lines of, “We can do anything, if we put our minds to it.” While this sounds like...
NeuroLogica Blog
Serial Dependence Bias As I have discussed numerous times on this blog, our brains did not evolve to be optimal precise...
3 months ago
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3 months ago
As I have discussed numerous times on this blog, our brains did not evolve to be optimal precise perceivers and processors of information. Here is an infographic showing 188 documents cognitive biases. These biases are not all bad – they are tradeoffs. Evolutionary forces care...
The Works in...
Notes on Progress: The world that has never been Introducing Speculative Technologies
3 months ago
The Works in...
Notes on Progress: The world that has never been Introducing Speculative Technologies
3 months ago
brr
Last Flight Out Good-byes, and the beginning of winter isolation.
3 months ago
symmetry magazine
Creating the next 3D maps of the universe Scientists have proposed new instruments that would use spectroscopy to decode dark matter, dark...
3 months ago
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3 months ago
Scientists have proposed new instruments that would use spectroscopy to decode dark matter, dark energy and cosmic inflation. Telescope images can tell us a whole lot about celestial objects: where they are located in the sky, how bright they are, how big they...
NeuroLogica Blog
SpaceX Tests Super Heavy Booster Last Thursday SpaceX successfully conducted the most significant test firing of its Heavy Booster...
3 months ago
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3 months ago
Last Thursday SpaceX successfully conducted the most significant test firing of its Heavy Booster rocket to date. The rocket sports 33 Raptor 2 engines. During the test, 31 of them fired. One engine failed, and one was shut down. According to SpaceX, even with 31 engines the...
wadertales
Why count shorebirds? A tale from Portugal The Sado Estuary is one of Portugal’s most important wetlands – a key link in the chain of sites...
3 months ago
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3 months ago
The Sado Estuary is one of Portugal’s most important wetlands – a key link in the chain of sites connecting Africa and the Arctic, on the East Atlantic Flyway. In a paper in Waterbirds, João Belo and colleagues analyse changes in numbers of waders wintering in this estuary over...
Many Worlds
New Martian Surprise From The Curiosity Rover NASA researchers found that waves on the surface of a shallow lake in Gale Crater stirred up...
3 months ago
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3 months ago
NASA researchers found that waves on the surface of a shallow lake in Gale Crater stirred up sediment billions of years ago. That sediment eventually creating rippled textures left in rock. (NASA/JPLVCaltech/MSSS) In its more than a decade of exploring Gale Crater on Mars, the...
Beautiful Public...
Pilot Manual for a 1940's U.S. Navy Blimp This 122 page manual contains all of the operating instructions and technical details needed to...
3 months ago
5
3 months ago
This 122 page manual contains all of the operating instructions and technical details needed to pilot this sleek, silver, 250 foot long, weaponized anti-submarine dirigible.
NeuroLogica Blog
ChatGPT Almost Passes Medical Licensure Exams The emergence of several AI applications for public use, such as Dalle-2, Midjourney, and ChatGPT,...
3 months ago
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3 months ago
The emergence of several AI applications for public use, such as Dalle-2, Midjourney, and ChatGPT, had made AI one of the biggest science news items of the past year. I have written about it here extensively myself, and have been using these applications extensively to get a feel...
brr
Frost Everyday objects, but cold.
3 months ago
The Works in...
ARIA: Betting on science An inside look at Britain's new DARPA
3 months ago
The Works in...
ARIA: Betting on science An inside look at Britain's new DARPA
3 months ago
NeuroLogica Blog
The Speed of Gravity I recently received an e-mail question from an SGU listener about the speed of gravity. They were...
3 months ago
6
3 months ago
I recently received an e-mail question from an SGU listener about the speed of gravity. They were questioning a statement they heard by Neil DeGrasse Tyson that if the sun were magically plucked from existence, the Earth would not feel the effects for 8 minutes and 20 seconds –...
nanoscale views
Tour de force work: Bragg, diffraction, and diamond There are some examples of scientific progress that just seem so far above and beyond the norm, it's...
3 months ago
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3 months ago
There are some examples of scientific progress that just seem so far above and beyond the norm, it's almost jaw dropping in terms of the mental leap needed for the insight.  One example that I always liked to point out to first-year undergrads learning about gravity is Johannes...
NeuroLogica Blog
Dwarf Planet Ring Mystery Scientists love mysteries, because that is where new discoveries lay. It is nice to find evidence...
3 months ago
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3 months ago
Scientists love mysteries, because that is where new discoveries lay. It is nice to find evidence consistent with existing theories, providing further confirmation, but it’s exciting to find evidence that cannot be explained with existing theories. Astronomers may have found such...
Blog - Practical...
Why Some Roadways Are Made of Styrofoam [Note that this article is a transcript of the video embedded above.] If you’ve ever driven or...
3 months ago
3
3 months ago
[Note that this article is a transcript of the video embedded above.] If you’ve ever driven or ridden in an automobile, there’s a near 100% chance you’ve hit a bump in the road as you transition onto or off of a bridge. In fact, some studies estimate that it happens on a quarter...
Beautiful Public...
The United States Frequency Allocation Chart This crazy, beautiful chart illustrates the incredible complexity of managing one of our nation’s...
4 months ago
1
4 months ago
This crazy, beautiful chart illustrates the incredible complexity of managing one of our nation’s most crucial – and invisible – national assets: the radio spectrum.
Andrew Fraknoi –...
Galaxy Upon Galaxy in this JWST Image (And A New Science Fiction Story) Here is a new image that the James Webb Space Telescope people...
4 months ago
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4 months ago
(And A New Science Fiction Story) Here is a new image that the James Webb Space Telescope people designated their “Image of the Month.” We are looking in the direction of the constellation of Hercules, and we see one large spiral-shaped galaxy toward the bottom which is just a...
nanoscale views
Some interesting links - useful lecture notes, videos Proposal writing, paper writing, and course prep are eating a lot of my bandwidth right now, but I...
4 months ago
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4 months ago
Proposal writing, paper writing, and course prep are eating a lot of my bandwidth right now, but I wanted to share a few things: David Tong at Cambridge is a gifted educator and communicator who has written lecture notes that span a wide swath of the physics curriculum, from...
brr
Showering at the South Pole Potable water, and not much of it.
4 months ago
Eukaryote Writes...
Who invented knitting? The plot thickens Last time on Eukaryote Writes Blog: You learned about knitting history. You thought you were done...
4 months ago
3
4 months ago
Last time on Eukaryote Writes Blog: You learned about knitting history. You thought you were done learning about knitting history? You fool. You buffoon. I wanted to double check some things in the last post and found out that the origins of knitting are even weirder than I...
The Roots of...
Can we “cure” cancer? In an excellent recent essay on “big visions for biology,” Sam Rodriques writes: Ask most biologists...
4 months ago
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4 months ago
In an excellent recent essay on “big visions for biology,” Sam Rodriques writes: Ask most biologists about the cure for cancer, and they will tell you it doesn’t exist: cancer is many diseases that are mostly unrelated to each other, and that all have to be cured one at a...
The Works in...
Notes on Progress: In pursuit of decent coffee No great stagnation in home espresso
4 months ago
The Works in...
Notes on Progress: In pursuit of decent coffee No great stagnation in home espresso
4 months ago
Many Worlds
A New Twist On Planet Formation This image of the nearby young star TW Hydrae reveals the classic rings and gaps that signify...
4 months ago
4
4 months ago
This image of the nearby young star TW Hydrae reveals the classic rings and gaps that signify planets are being formed in this protoplanetary disk. {ESO, Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA)} Before the first exoplanets were discovered in the 1990s,  our own solar...
Quantum Frontiers
A (quantum) complex legacy Early in the fourth year of my PhD, I received a most John-ish email from John Preskill, my PhD...
4 months ago
3
4 months ago
Early in the fourth year of my PhD, I received a most John-ish email from John Preskill, my PhD advisor. The title read, “thermodynamics of complexity,” and the message was concise the way that the Amazon River is damp: “Might … Continue reading →
Andrew Fraknoi –...
A Comet on a 50,000-Year Orbit There is a faint new comet in the sky, on an orbit that took it some 50,000 years to come in from...
4 months ago
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4 months ago
There is a faint new comet in the sky, on an orbit that took it some 50,000 years to come in from the deep-space reservoir of icy chunks that surrounds our solar system, While the media hype might lead you to think that it is going to be easily visible, don’t believe it. From any...
nanoscale views
Cavities and tuning physics I've written before about cavity quantum electrodynamics.  An electromagnetic cavity - a resonator...
4 months ago
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4 months ago
I've written before about cavity quantum electrodynamics.  An electromagnetic cavity - a resonator of some kind, like your microwave oven chamber is for microwaves, or like an optical cavity made using nearly perfect mirrors - picks out what electromagnetic modes are allowed...
brr
South Pole Topography The relentless accumulation (and management) of snow.
4 months ago
Drew Ex Machina
Habitable Planet Reality Check: TOI-700e Discovered by NASA’s TESS Mission During a press conference held on January 6, 2020 at the 235th meeting of the American Astronomical...
4 months ago
Many Worlds
The JWST Discovers its First Earth-Sized Exoplanet Artist rendering of LHS 475 b, an Earth-sized exoplanet recently identified using the James Webb...
4 months ago
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4 months ago
Artist rendering of LHS 475 b, an Earth-sized exoplanet recently identified using the James Webb Space Telescope. This was the first planet of its size detected by the JWST. {NASA / ESA / CSA / Leah Hustak (STScI)} In the search for life on distant planets, scientists generally...
Blog - Practical...
What Really Happened with the Substation Attack in North Carolina? [Note that this article is a transcript of the video embedded above.] At around 7PM on the balmy...
4 months ago
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4 months ago
[Note that this article is a transcript of the video embedded above.] At around 7PM on the balmy evening of Saturday, December 3, 2022, nearly every electric customer in Moore County, North Carolina was simultaneously plunged into darkness. Amid the confusion, the power utility...
nanoscale views
Condensed matter’s rough start I’m teaching undergrad solid-state for the first time, and it has served as a reminder of how...
4 months ago
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4 months ago
I’m teaching undergrad solid-state for the first time, and it has served as a reminder of how condensed matter physics got off the ground.  I suspect that one reason CM historically had not received a lot of respect in the early years (e.g. Pauli declaring that solid-state...
Beautiful Public...
The Style Guide for America’s Highways: The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices Driving across America, you will encounter a wide variety of cultures, landscapes, people and...
4 months ago
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4 months ago
Driving across America, you will encounter a wide variety of cultures, landscapes, people and animals. But the one consistent thing that will stay the same from Maine to California are the signs you pass on the highway. That is because America’s roads and highways have a big, fat...
Andrew Fraknoi –...
Great PBS Show: First Contact News of a PBS TV program on how first contact with an alien civilization might happen & a link to my...
4 months ago
4
4 months ago
News of a PBS TV program on how first contact with an alien civilization might happen & a link to my latest science-fiction story on the same topic. The post Great PBS Show: First Contact appeared first on Andrew Fraknoi - Astronomy Lectures - Astronomy Education Resources.
nanoscale views
News items for the new year After I was not chosen to be Speaker of the US House of Representatives, I think it’s time to...
4 months ago
2
4 months ago
After I was not chosen to be Speaker of the US House of Representatives, I think it’s time to highlight some brief items: Here is a great blog post by a Rice grad alum, Daniel Gonzales, about flow to approach faculty searches.  I had written a fair bit on this a number of years...
The Works in...
Notes on Progress: The stats gap Students understand just enough statistics to get by
5 months ago
The Works in...
Notes on Progress: The stats gap Students understand just enough statistics to get by
5 months ago
wadertales
Curlew nest survival The Eurasian Curlew is designated as ‘Near-Threatened’ by IUCN/BirdLife. It is Red-listed in the UK,...
5 months ago
5
5 months ago
The Eurasian Curlew is designated as ‘Near-Threatened’ by IUCN/BirdLife. It is Red-listed in the UK,  largely due to a rapid decline in breeding numbers. In this context, the fact that there are a few pink squares (indicating increased numbers) on the map showing breeding...
Blog - Practical...
How Different Spillway Gates Work [Note that this article is a transcript of the video embedded above.] In the heart of Minneapolis,...
5 months ago
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5 months ago
[Note that this article is a transcript of the video embedded above.] In the heart of Minneapolis, Minnesota on the Mississippi River is the picturesque Upper Saint Anthony Falls Lock and Dam, which originally made it possible to travel upstream on the river past the falls...
nanoscale views
Favorite science fiction invention? In the forward-looking spirit of the New Year, it might be fun to get readers’ opinions of their...
5 months ago
3
5 months ago
In the forward-looking spirit of the New Year, it might be fun to get readers’ opinions of their favorite science fiction inventions.  I wrote about favorite sci-fi materials back in 2015, but let’s broaden the field. Personally, I’m a fan of the farcaster (spoiler warning!) from...
Drew Ex Machina
Top Ten Posts of 2022 Now that we are at the end of 2022, it is time to look back at this year’s material published on...
5 months ago
Beautiful Public...
Mapping the Sea Floor USGS research vessels equipped with cameras, sonar and scanners created a map of 125 square miles of...
5 months ago
nanoscale views
The difficult need for creativity on demand Thoughts at the end of another busy year…. Good science is a creative enterprise.  Some stereotypes...
5 months ago
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5 months ago
Thoughts at the end of another busy year…. Good science is a creative enterprise.  Some stereotypes paint most scientists as toiling away, so deeply constrained by logic that they function more like automatons grinding out the next incremental advance in a steady if slow march of...
wadertales
WaderTales blogs in 2022 Here are brief summaries of the sixteen WaderTales blogs that were published in 2022. I have grouped...
5 months ago
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5 months ago
Here are brief summaries of the sixteen WaderTales blogs that were published in 2022. I have grouped the blogs into sections; problems with trees, more research from Iceland, Curlews, news from the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, tracking and updates. As ever, I am grateful to...
Many Worlds
The World of Water Worlds Artist rendering of a water world exoplanet. NASA predicts that quite a few exist in the galaxies...
5 months ago
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5 months ago
Artist rendering of a water world exoplanet. NASA predicts that quite a few exist in the galaxies but none has been confirmed. Two new candidates have been put forward. (The Cosmic Companion) Among the most intriguing types of exoplanet expected to be orbiting distant stars is...
brr
South Pole Arrival Flying to the bottom of the world!
5 months ago
Andrew Fraknoi –...
Happy Winter Solstice It's the Winter Solstice, when we experience the shortest day and longest night. The post Happy...
5 months ago
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5 months ago
It's the Winter Solstice, when we experience the shortest day and longest night. The post Happy Winter Solstice appeared first on Andrew Fraknoi - Astronomy Lectures - Astronomy Education Resources.
Blog - Practical...
How This Bridge Was Rebuilt in 15 Days After Hurricane Ian [Note that this article is a transcript of the video embedded above.] On September 28, 2022,...
5 months ago
4
5 months ago
[Note that this article is a transcript of the video embedded above.] On September 28, 2022, Hurricane Ian made landfall on the western coast of Florida as a Category 4 storm, bringing enormous volumes of rainfall and extreme winds to the state. Ian was the deadliest hurricane to...
The Works in...
Notes on Progress: Breakfast with g IQ, lived experience, and my boyfriend’s underpants
5 months ago
The Works in...
Notes on Progress: Breakfast with g IQ, lived experience, and my boyfriend’s underpants
5 months ago
Quantum Frontiers
Eight highlights from publishing a science book for the general public What’s it like to publish a book? I’ve faced the question again and again this year, as my book...
5 months ago
5
5 months ago
What’s it like to publish a book? I’ve faced the question again and again this year, as my book Quantum Steampunk hit bookshelves in April. Two responses suggest themselves. On the one hand, I channel the Beatles: It’s a hard … Continue reading →
nanoscale views
Brief items - LOC, GPT, etc. This year was a busy one and my overall posting rate is down.  Hopefully the coming year will be a...
5 months ago
3
5 months ago
This year was a busy one and my overall posting rate is down.  Hopefully the coming year will be a bit less frenetic, but who knows.  A few brief items: First, in the odd self-promotion department, this blog is officially going to be indexed by the Library of Congress as part...
brr
Doors of McMurdo Doors, in a variety of shapes and styles.
5 months ago
nanoscale views
The fusion story of the day There is a press conference going on right now announcing a breakthrough at the National Ignition...
5 months ago
3
5 months ago
There is a press conference going on right now announcing a breakthrough at the National Ignition Facility at Livermore.   The NIF is an inertial confinement fusion facility that uses 192 laser beams to compress a fuel pellet containing deuterium and tritium.  The pellet is...
brr
Mud Murdo The beautiful ambiance of a McMurdo summer.
5 months ago
The Works in...
Issue 09: Cheap shots and killer bots Plus: Why scientific writing is so bad, how to stop snakebites from killing 100,000 people every...
6 months ago
4
6 months ago
Plus: Why scientific writing is so bad, how to stop snakebites from killing 100,000 people every year, and what science can learn from the fight against global poverty.
The Works in...
Issue 09: Cheap shots and killer bots Plus: Why scientific writing is so bad, how to stop snakebites from killing 100,000 people every...
6 months ago
5
6 months ago
Plus: Why scientific writing is so bad, how to stop snakebites from killing 100,000 people every year, and what science can learn from the fight against global poverty.
Blog - Practical...
What Is A Black Start Of The Power Grid? [Note that this article is a transcript of the video embedded above.] November 1965 saw one of the...
6 months ago
5
6 months ago
[Note that this article is a transcript of the video embedded above.] November 1965 saw one of the most widespread power outages in North American history. On the freezing cold evening of the 9th, the grid was operating at maximum capacity as people tried to stay warm when a...