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How lapping canine tongues create columns of liquid, allowing them to gulp down water

How lapping canine tongues create columns of liquid, allowing them to gulp down water | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
If you've ever watched a dog drink water, you know that it can be a sloshy, spilly, splashy affair—in other words, adorable.
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excerpt: "Behind all of the happy, wet messes, however, lies the mechanical logic of carnivorous compensation—dogs splash when they drink because they have the cheeks of a predatory quadruped. By studying the drinking habits of various dog breeds and sizes, a group of researchers at Virginia Tech and Purdue University has recently identified and modeled the fluid dynamics at play when dogs drink water."

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Fusion Lasers Compress Diamond To Pressures Of 50 Million Earth Atmospheres (5 Terapascals)

Fusion Lasers Compress Diamond To Pressures Of 50 Million Earth Atmospheres (5 Terapascals) | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

Physicists reported recently that they have successfully used the lasers built for fusion reactions at the National Ignition Facilityin Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to compress a synthetic diamond to pressures of 50 million Earth atmospheres (5 terapascals).  For the first time scientists measured pressure-density curves of matter at trillion pascal pressures, an extreme environment found in the core of gas giants and super Earth planets.

 

A tiny sample of synthetic diamond, millimeter-sized and in the shape of a cylinder, was held upright and put into the crosshairs of 176 high powered fusion laser beams.  The beams have total peak power of 2200 gigawatts (GW).  In comparison, a nuclear power plant only produces as much as energy at a rate of 0.5 to 2 GW.  Since power is the energy output over time, the laser beams can only run a very short time at such power, so the total output of energy is not high.

 

Half the beams are focused on the top half of the cylinder and the other half on the bottom.  This squeezes the cylinder when the lasers fire.  Upon firing, the physicists measured the rate of diamond material moving under the tremendous heating and counter-reactions.  As the cylindrical piece of diamond is compressed, its middle bulges out at extremely high velocities.  The measured peak velocity was 109,000 miles per hour, or about 45 kilometers per second.

 

They found that at the peak pressure of 5 trillion pascals, or equivalently 50 million Earth atmospheres, the density of the diamond had more than tripled.  Therefore the diamond was compressed to three times a smaller volume than before, making its density equal to that of lead.

 

The results were compared to a type of computer simulation called density functional theory (DFT).  DFT is based on a branch of physics known as quantum mechanics.  While it is an approximate method, meaning that accuracy of representing the underlying physics is sacrificed for purposes of speed, it is quite successful in predicting many complex aspects of matter.  The researchers used two types of theories in DFT and showed that the measured results fall right in between the computer predictions.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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How space tech helped scientists ID gravitational waves from Big Bang inflation

How space tech helped scientists ID gravitational waves from Big Bang inflation | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

To make the find, astronomers developed a big new array of superconducting detectors for a telescope at the South Pole, which spotted characteristic patterns in ancient light left over from the Big Bang.


Via Luca Baptista
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New state of matter discovered

New state of matter discovered | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

There was a time when states of matter were simple: Solid, liquid, gas. Then came plasma, Bose -Einstein condensate, supercritical fluid and more. Now the list has grown by one more, with the unexpected discovery of a new state dubbed 'dropletons' that bear some resemblance to liquids but occur under very different circumstances. 


Via Luca Baptista
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High-Powered Lasers Deliver Fusion Energy Breakthrough

High-Powered Lasers Deliver Fusion Energy Breakthrough | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
A new experiment releases more energy than is pumped into fuel—a major milestone—but a long journey still remains for sustainable energy from fusion
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excerpt: "The power of the sun has edged a little closer to Earth. Under x-ray assault, the rapid implosion of a plastic shell onto icy isotopes of hydrogen has produced fusion and, for the first time, 170 micrograms of this superheated fusion fuel released more energy than it absorbed. Experimental shots of the 192 lasers at the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California have reproduced such fusion at least four times since September 2013. The advance offers hope that someday in the far future scientists might reliably replicate the power source of the sun and stars."

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Bose-Einstein Condensate Made at Room Temperature for First Time

Bose-Einstein Condensate Made at Room Temperature for First Time | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

The quantum mechanical phenomena, known as Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC), was first demonstrated in 1995 when experiments proved that the septuagenarian theory did in fact exist in the physical world. Of course, to achieve the phenomena a state of near absolute zero (-273 Celsius, -459 Fahrenheit) had to be created.

 

Now researchers at IBM’s Binnig and Rohrer Nano Center have been able to achieve the BEC at room temperature using a specially developed polymer, a laser, and some mirrors.

 

IBM believes that this experiment could potentially be used in the development of novel optoelectronic devices, including energy-efficient lasers and ultra-fast optical switches. One application for BEC is for the building of so-called atom lasers, which could have applications ranging from atomic-scale lithography to measurement and detection of gravitational fields.

 

For the first time, the IBM team achieved it at room temperature by placing a thin polymer film—only 35 nanometers thick—between two mirrors and then shining a laser into the configuration. The bosonic particles are created as the light travels through the polymer film and bounces back and forth between the two mirrors.

 

While this BEC state of matter only lasts for a few picoseconds (trillionths of a second), the IBM researchers believe that it exists long enough to create a source of laser-like light or an optical switch that could be used in optical interconnects.

 

“That BEC would be possible using a polymer film instead of the usual ultra-pure crystals defied our expectations,” said Dr. Thilo Stöferle, a physicist, at IBM Research, in a press release. “It’s really a beautiful example of quantum mechanics where one can directly see the quantum world on a macroscopic scale.”

 

Now that the researchers have managed to trigger the effect, they are now looking to gain more control over it. In the process they will be evaluating how the effect could best be exploited for a range of applications. One interesting application that will be examined is using the BEC in analog quantum simulations for such macroscopic quantum phenomena as superconductivity, which is extremely difficult to model with today’s simulation approaches.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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New hologram technology created with tiny nanoantennas

New hologram technology created with tiny nanoantennas | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

Researchers at Purdue University have created tiny holograms using a "metasurface" capable of the ultra-efficient control of light, representing a potential new technology for advanced sensors, high-resolution displays and information processing.

 

The metasurface, thousands of V-shaped nanoantennas formed into an ultrathin gold foil, could make possible "planar photonics" devices and optical switches small enough to be integrated into computer chips for information processing, sensing and telecommunications, said Alexander Kildishev, associate research professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University.

 

Laser light shines through the nanoantennas, creating the hologram 10 microns above the metasurface. To demonstrate the technology, researchers created a hologram of the word PURDUE smaller than 100 microns wide, or roughly the width of a human hair.

 

"If we can shape characters, we can shape different types of light beams for sensing or recording, or, for example, pixels for 3-D displays. Another potential application is the transmission and processing of data inside chips for information technology," Kildishev said. "The smallest features - the strokes of the letters - displayed in our experiment are only 1 micron wide. This is a quite remarkable spatial resolution."

 

Metasurfaces could make it possible to use single photons - the particles that make up light - for switching and routing in future computers. While using photons would dramatically speed up computers and telecommunications, conventional photonic devices cannot be miniaturized because the wavelength of light is too large to fit in tiny components needed for integrated circuits.

 

Nanostructured metamaterials, however, are making it possible to reduce the wavelength of light, allowing the creation of new types of nanophotonic devices, said Vladimir M. Shalaev, scientific director of nanophotonics at Purdue's Birck Nanotechnology Center and a distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Engage! Warp Drive Could Become Reality with Quantum-Thruster Physics

Engage! Warp Drive Could Become Reality with Quantum-Thruster Physics | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Warp drive technology, a form of 'faster than light' travel popularized by TV's 'Star Trek,' could be bolstered by the physics of quantum thrusters — another science fiction idea made plausible by modern science.
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Does the Arrow of Time Self-Emerge in a Gravitational System?

Does the Arrow of Time Self-Emerge in a Gravitational System? | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Study of masses interacting via gravity challenges the idea that special initial conditions are needed to give time a direction.

 

The fundamental laws of physics, we believe, do not depend on the direction of time. Why, then, is the future so different from the past? The origin of this “arrow of time” has puzzled physicists and philosophers for more than a century, and it remains one of the fundamental conceptual problems of modern physics [1]. Although a preferred direction of time can occur in models of physical systems, this typically happens only if one inserts very special initial conditions.

 

Julian Barbour at the University of Oxford and his colleagues [2] have now shown this tinkering isn’t necessary to produce an arrow of time in a system of masses interacting via Newtonian gravity. They demonstrate that the evolution of this surprisingly simple system almost always contains a unique moment of lowest “complexity,” a point they identify as a “past” from which two distinct (and more complex) “futures” emerge.


The work of Barbour and his colleagues is the latest in a long history of attempts to explain the arrow of time. One possibility, of course, is that we don’t know the right laws of physics—perhaps the correct fundamental laws do determine a preferred direction of time [3]. Alternatively, if the laws of nature do not pick out a preferred “future,” perhaps boundary conditions do. For example, most cosmological models assume, explicitly or implicitly, that the big bang was a moment of exceptionally low entropy.


Indeed, most physicists accept the view that the direction of time is the same as the direction of increasing entropy. But this is, at best, an incomplete picture, failing to explain why there should have been a rare condition of low entropy in the past. More than a century ago, Boltzmann suggested that our visible Universe might merely be a temporary, low-entropy statistical fluctuation, affecting a small portion of a much larger equilibrium system [4]. In that case, the direction of time would simply be the one that takes us back towards equilibrium. But most contemporary physicists find this explanation unsatisfying: a random fluctuation containing “us” would have been far more likely to produce a single galaxy, a planet, or just a “brain” rather than a whole universe [5, 6]. Moreover, according to the “Loschmidt irreversibility paradox,” if one posits such a moment of low entropy, entropy should increase both to the future and to the past, giving two separate arrows of time [7].

 
Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Solving a convex mirror problem | Physics Inventions/New Inventions In Science and Physics

Solving a convex mirror problem | Physics Inventions/New Inventions In Science and Physics | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Solving a convex mirror problem http://t.co/PGZ4aiVnCL
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Gravitational Waves Finding Confirms Early Universe's Exponential Growth

Gravitational Waves Finding Confirms Early Universe's Exponential Growth | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Astronomers have for the first time witnessed signs of gravitational waves rippling through the explosive first moments of the universe.
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excerpt: "Surprisingly strong gravitational waves rippled through the fiery aftermath of the Big Bang, a finding which confirms the cosmos grew to a stunningly vast size in it very first moments, a team of astronomers announced Monday."

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Phys.Org Mobile: An end in sight in the long search for gravity waves

Phys.Org Mobile: An end in sight in the long search for gravity waves | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
By 1957 physicists had proved that they must carry energy and cause vibrations. But it was also apparent that waves carrying a million times more energy than sunlight would make vibrations smaller than an atomic nucleus.
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Quantum dots provide complete control of photons

Quantum dots provide complete control of photons | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
By emitting photons from a quantum dot at the top of a micropyramid, researchers at Linköping University are creating a polarized light source for such things as energy-saving computer screens and wiretap-proof communications.

 

Polarized light – where all the light waves oscillate on the same plane – forms the foundation for technology such as LCD displays in computers and TV sets, and advanced quantum encryption.

 

Normally, this is created by normal unpolarized light passing through a filter that blocks the unwanted light waves. At least half of the light emitted, and thereby an equal amount of energy, is lost in the process.

 

A better method is to emit light that is polarized right at the source. This can be achieved with quantum dots – crystals of semiconductive material so small that they produce quantum mechanical phenomena. But until now, they have only achieved polarization that is either entirely too weak or hard to control.

 

A semiconductive materials research group led by Professor Per Olof Holtz is now presenting an alternative method where asymmetrical quantum dots of a nitride material with indium is formed at the top of microscopic six-sided pyramids. With these, they have succeeded in creating light with a high degree of linear polarization, on average 84%. The results are being published in the Nature periodical Light: Science & Applications.

 

The micropyramid is constructed through crystalline growth, atom layer by atom layer, of the semiconductive material gallium nitride. A couple of nanothin layers where the metal indium is also included are laid on top of this. From the asymmetrical quantum dot thus formed at the top, light particles are emitted with a well-defined wavelength.

 

The results of the research are opening up possibilities, for example for more energy-effective polarized light-emitting diodes in the light source for LCD screens. As the quantum dots can also emit one photon at a time, this is very promising technology for quantum encryption, a growing technology for wiretap-proof communications.

 


Article: Direct generation of linearly polarized photon emission with designated orientations from site-controlled InGaN quantum dots by A. Lundskog, C-W Hsu, K F Karlsson, S Amloy, D Nilsson, U Forsberg, P O Holtz and E Janzén. Light: Science & Applications (2014) 3, e139; online 31 January 2014. doi:10.1038/lsa.2014.20


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Cloning quantum information from the past | KurzweilAI

Cloning quantum information from the past | KurzweilAI | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it

Abstract of Physical Review Letters paper

We show that it is possible to clone quantum states to arbitrary accuracy in the presence of a Deutschian closed timelike curve (D-CTC), with a fidelity converging to one in the limit as the dimension of the CTC system becomes large—thus resolving an open conjecture [Brun et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 210402 (2009)]. This result follows from a D-CTC-assisted scheme for producing perfect clones of a quantum state prepared in a known eigenbasis, and the fact that one can reconstruct an approximation of a quantum state from empirical estimates of the probabilities of an informationally complete measurement. Our results imply more generally that every continuous, but otherwise arbitrarily nonlinear map from states to states, can be implemented to arbitrary accuracy with D-CTCs. Furthermore, our results show that Deutsch’s model for closed timelike curves is in fact a classical model, in the sense that two arbitrary, distinct density operators are perfectly distinguishable (in the limit of a large closed timelike curve system); hence, in this model quantum mechanics becomes a classical theory in which each density operator is a distinct point in a classical phase space.

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David Deutsch – On Artificial Intelligence

David Deutsch – On Artificial Intelligence | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
The very laws of physics imply that artificial intelligence must be possible. What's holding us up?
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