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New correction to speed of light could explain SN1987 dual-pulse neutrino burst

New correction to speed of light could explain SN1987 dual-pulse neutrino burst | Infospectives - Science | Scoop.it

The effect of gravity on virtual electron–positron pairs as they propagate through space could lead to a violation of Einstein's equivalence principle, according to calculations by James Franson at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. While the effect would be too tiny to be measured directly using current experimental techniques, it could explain a puzzling anomaly observed during the famous SN1987 supernova of 1987.


In modern theoretical physics, three of the four fundamental forces – electromagnetism, the weak nuclear force and the strong nuclear force – are described by quantum mechanics. The fourth force, gravity, does not currently have a quantum formulation and is best described by Einstein's general theory of relativity. Reconciling relativity with quantum mechanics is therefore an important and active area of physics.


An open question for theoretical physicists is how gravity acts on a quantum object such as a photon. Astronomical observations have shown repeatedly that light is attracted by a gravitational field. Traditionally, this is described using general relativity: the gravitational field bends space–time, and the light is slowed down (and slightly deflected) as it passes through the curved region. In quantum electrodynamics, a photon propagating through space can occasionally annihilate with itself, creating a virtual electron–positron pair. Soon after, the electron and positron recombine to recreate the photon. If they are in a gravitational potential then, for the short time they exist as massive particles, they feel the effect of gravity. When they recombine, they will create a photon with an energy that is shifted slightly and that travels slightly slower than if there was no gravitational potential.


Franson scrutinized these two explanations for why light slows down as it passes through a gravitational potential. He decided to calculate how much the light should slow down according to each theory, anticipating that he would get the same answer. However, he was in for a surprise: the predicted changes in the speed of light do not match, and the discrepancy has some very strange consequences.


Franson calculated that, treating light as a quantum object, the change in a photon's velocity depends not on the strength of the gravitational field, but on the gravitational potential itself. However, this leads to a violation of Einstein's equivalence principle – that gravity and acceleration are indistinguishable – because, in a gravitational field, the gravitational potential is created along with mass, whereas in a frame of reference accelerating in free fall, it is not. Therefore, one could distinguish gravity from acceleration by whether a photon slows down or not when it undergoes particle–antiparticle creation.


An important example is a photon and a neutrino propagating in parallel through space. A neutrino cannot annihilate to create an electron–positron pair, so the photon will slow down more than the neutrino as they pass through a gravitational field, potentially letting the neutrino travel faster than light through that region of space. However, if the problem is viewed in a frame of reference falling freely into the gravitational field, neither the photon nor the neutrino slows down at all, so the photon continues to travel faster than the neutrino.


While the idea that the laws of physics can be dependent on one's frame of reference seems nonsensical, it could explain an anomaly in the 1987 observation of supernova SN1987a. An initial pulse of neutrinos was detected 7.7 hours before the first light from SN1987a reached Earth. This was followed by a second pulse of neutrinos, which arrived about three hours before the supernova light. Supernovae are expected to emit large numbers of neutrinos and the three-hour gap between the second burst of neutrinos and the arrival of the light agrees with the current theory of how a star collapses to create a supernova.


The first pulse of neutrinos is generally thought to be unrelated to the supernova. However, the probability of such a coincidence is statistically unlikely. If Franson's results are correct, then the 7.7-hour gap between the first pulse of neutrinos and the arrival of the light could be explained by the gravitational potential of the Milky Way slowing down the light. This does not explain why two neutrino pulses preceded the light, but Franson suggests the second pulse could be related to a two-step collapse of the star.


The research is published in the New Journal of Physics.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Infospectives's insight:

I love this..."NEW' correction to the speed of light.  Since when did we start messing about with it?

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Two medical trials shed light on how Apple's HealthKit will work

Two medical trials shed light on how Apple's HealthKit will work | Infospectives - Science | Scoop.it

Two prominent U.S. hospitals are preparing to launch trials with diabetics and chronic disease patients using Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) HealthKit, offering a glimpse of how the iPhone maker's ambitious take on healthcare will work in practice.


HealthKit, which is still under development, is the center of a new healthcare system by Apple. Regulated medical devices, such as glucose monitors with accompanying iPhone apps, can send information to HealthKit. With a patient's consent, Apple's service gathers data from various health apps so that it can be viewed by doctors in one place.

Stanford University Hospital doctors said they are working with Apple to let physicians track blood sugar levels for children with diabetes. Duke University is developing a pilot to track blood pressure, weight and other measurements for patients with cancer or heart disease.


The goal is to improve the accuracy and speed of reporting data, which often is done by phone and fax now. Potentially doctors would be able to warn patients of an impending problem. The pilot programs will be rolled out in the coming weeks.


Apple last week mentioned the trials in a news release announcing the latest version of its operating system for phones and tablets, iOS 8, but this is the first time any details have been made public. Apple declined to comment for this article.


Apple aims eventually to work with health care providers across the United States, including hospitals which are experimenting with using technology to improve preventative care to lower healthcare cost and make patients healthier.


Reuters previously reported that Apple is in talks with other U.S. hospitals. Stanford Children's Chief Medical Information Officer Christopher Longhurst told Reuters that Stanford and Duke were among the furthest along.


Longhurst said that in the first Stanford trial, young patients with Type 1 diabetes will be sent home with an iPod touch to monitor blood sugar levels between doctor's visits.


HealthKit makes a critical link between measuring devices, including those used at home by patients, and medical information services relied on by doctors, such as Epic Systems Corp, a partner already announced by Apple.


Medical device makers are taking part in the Stanford and Duke trials.

DexCom Inc (DXCM.O), which makes blood sugar monitoring equipment, is in talks with Apple, Stanford, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about integrating with HealthKit, said company Chief Technical Officer Jorge Valdes.


DexCom's device measures glucose levels through a tiny sensor inserted under the skin of the abdomen. That data is transmitted every five minutes to a hand-held receiver, which works with a blood glucose meter. The glucose measuring system then sends the information to DexCom's mobile app, on an iPhone, for instance.


Under the new system, HealthKit can scoop up the data from DexCom, as well as other app and device makers.


Data can be uploaded from HealthKit into Epic's "MyChart" application, where it can be viewed by clinicians in Epic's electronic health record.


Via Ray and Terry's , Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Science Shows Something Surprising About People Who Love to Write

Science Shows Something Surprising About People Who Love to Write | Infospectives - Science | Scoop.it
Writers have a serious advantage over the rest of us. (Studies show that writing is good for your health! http://t.co/zqmJw5cAEH)
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Who are the science stars of Twitter? - Science AAAS

Who are the science stars of Twitter? - Science  AAAS | Infospectives - Science | Scoop.it
Science AAAS
Who are the science stars of Twitter?
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Newly Discovered 'Tetraquark' Fuels Quantum Feud - Wired

Newly Discovered 'Tetraquark' Fuels Quantum Feud - Wired | Infospectives - Science | Scoop.it
Newly Discovered 'Tetraquark' Fuels Quantum Feud Wired It would also attest to subtle quantum interactions that may shape the cores of hypothetical “quark stars,” the piping hot quark soup thought to have saturated the infant universe, and, closer...
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Fastest Ever Built Photon Switch of 500 GHz in an Engineered Fiber

Fastest Ever Built Photon Switch of 500 GHz in an Engineered Fiber | Infospectives - Science | Scoop.it

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have built the first 500 Gigahertz (GHz) photon switch. “Our switch is more than an order of magnitude faster than any previously published result to date,” said UC San Diego electrical and computer engineering professor Stojan Radic. “That exceeds the speed of the fastest lightwave information channels in use today.” The work took nearly four years to complete and it opens a fundamentally new direction in photonics – with far-reaching potential consequences for the control of photons in optical fiber channels.


According to an article in the journal Science*, switching photons at such high speeds was made possible by advances in the control of a strong optical beam using only a few photons, and by the scientists’ ability to engineer the optical fiber itself with accuracy down to the molecular level.


In the research paper, Radic and his colleagues in the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering argue that ultrafast optical control is critical to applications that must manipulate light beyond the conventional electronic limits. In addition to very fast beam control and fast switching, the latest work opens the way to a new class of sensitive receivers (also capable of operating at very high rates), faster photon sensors, and optical processing devices.


To build the new switch, the UC San Diego team developed a new measurement technique capable of resolving sub-nanometer fluctuations in the fiber core. This was critical because local fiber dispersion varies substantially, even with small core fluctuations, and until recently, control of such small variations was not considered feasible, particularly over long device lengths.


In the experiment, a three-photon input was used to manipulate a Watt-scale beam at a speed exceeding 500 Gigahertz.

In their research, the engineers in the Photonic Systems Laboratory of UC San Diego’s Qualcomm Institute demonstrated that fast control becomes possible in fiber made of silica glass. “Silica fiber represents a nearly ideal physical platform because of very low optical loss, exceptional transparency and kilometer-scale interaction lengths,” noted Radic. “We showed that a silica fiber core can be controlled with sub-nanometer precision and be used for fast, few-photon control.”


Until recently, control of small variations was not considered feasible – particularly over long scales. But once they were able to profile the fluctuation of the actual fiber, it became clear that the silica fiber core could be controlled with sub-nanometer precision – and be used for fast, few-photon control.



Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Grossed Out By Networking? Science Offers a Solution

Research shows you're not alone if you feel a little dirty about professional networking and suggests a way to get over your reluctance. (Grossed Out By Networking?
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Fabric circuit boards that can take bending, washing, stretching and bullets fired at them

Fabric circuit boards that can take bending, washing, stretching and bullets fired at them | Infospectives - Science | Scoop.it

A pair of researchers at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, has developed a computerized knitting technology that allows for creating fabric circuit boards (FCBs) that can take a beating and keep on working. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, the two describe how the new technology works and just how strong the resulting products can be.

Making circuit boards that can take more punishment than those currently available would allow for whole new types of products—phones that don't break, wearable devices that are actually part of clothes, tougher police and military gear, etc. To make it happen, scientists have been looking to use new materials and processes for making them. In this latest effort, the two researchers in Hong Kong combined electrically conductive fibrous metal materials with normal fabric materials using new computerized knitting technology. The result is a three-dimensional material that can withstand stretching, being washed in a washing machine and dried in a dryer, being shot by a bullet (when under a bulletproof vest) and twisting—over and over. The team reports that not only can their FCBs take the punishment, they can withstand it over many cycles over long periods of time.


FCBs perform the task of directing electricity from one part of the garment to another, thus they offer mechanical support even as they electrically connect discrete electronic components. They can also be designed as single, double or even multiple layered structures, mimicking their traditional counterparts. To be used as a wearable device, they also have to low resistance, as compared to human skin, to allow for a reasonable degree of comfort and be washable to allow for removing both stains and odors.


The researchers claim their FCBs are ready for use—they're comfortable, durable and will last a long time. They could be used to create an entire shirt, for example, or a vest. Either could be used as a solar collector or as a multiple sensory device, recording heat, perspiration, heart rate, etc. In addition, their new knitting technology allows for stitching, weaving, knitting and embroidery.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Sharks are 'nine times more likely' to kill men than women in unprovoked attacks

Sharks are 'nine times more likely' to kill men than women in unprovoked attacks | Infospectives - Science | Scoop.it
Sharks are nine times more likely to kill men than women, a new study has revealed.
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What Is a Quantum Computer, and Why Is Google Building One? - Wall St. Cheat Sheet

What Is a Quantum Computer, and Why Is Google Building One? - Wall St. Cheat Sheet | Infospectives - Science | Scoop.it
What Is a Quantum Computer, and Why Is Google Building One?
Wall St. Cheat Sheet
You may have seen headlines that Google is working on a quantum computer chip with researchers from the University of California Santa Barbara.
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The Quantum Effect of Anaesthesia: A New Theory of Consciousness | Mysterious Universe

The Quantum Effect of Anaesthesia: A New Theory of Consciousness | Mysterious Universe | Infospectives - Science | Scoop.it
If chemicals can have an electronic effect on our brains, the result of which is unconsciousness, as Turin claims they do, then it follows that consciousness is fundamentally electronic in nature.
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Human skin neurons perform advanced calculations previously believed that only the brain could perform

Human skin neurons perform advanced calculations previously believed that only the brain could perform | Infospectives - Science | Scoop.it

A fundamental characteristic of neurons that extend into the skin and record touch, so-called first-order neurons in the tactile system, is that they branch in the skin so that each neuron reports touch from many highly-sensitive zones on the skin.


According to researchers at the Department of Integrative Medical Biology, IMB, Umeå University, this branching allows first-order tactile neurons not only to send signals to the brain that something has touched the skin, but also process geometric data about the object touching the skin.


Their recent work has shown that two types of first-order tactile neurons that supply the sensitive skin at our fingertips not only signal information about when and how intensely an object is touched, but also information about the touched object's shape, says Andrew Pruszynski, who is one of the researchers behind the study.


The study also shows that the sensitivity of individual neurons to the shape of an object depends on the layout of the neuron’s highly-sensitive zones in the skin.


Perhaps the most surprising result of our study is that these peripheral neurons, which are engaged when a fingertip examines an object, perform the same type of calculations done by neurons in the cerebral cortex. Somewhat simplified, it means that our touch experiences are already processed by neurons in the skin before they reach the brain for further processing, says Andrew Pruszynski.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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The SkyNet factor: Four myths about science fiction and the killer robot debate - Washington Post (blog)

The SkyNet factor: Four myths about science fiction and the killer robot debate - Washington Post (blog) | Infospectives - Science | Scoop.it
The SkyNet factor: Four myths about science fiction and the killer robot debate Washington Post (blog) Perhaps unsurprisingly, science fiction references infused media coverage of the original meeting in May, just as a stock photo of Terminators...
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Deep sea 'mushroom' is a breed apart

Deep sea 'mushroom' is a breed apart | Infospectives - Science | Scoop.it
A mushroom-shaped deep sea animal discovered off the Australian coast has defied classification within the tree of life.
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Tune Into Silly (and Serious) Science at Ig Nobel Ceremony - NBC News

Tune Into Silly (and Serious) Science at Ig Nobel Ceremony - NBC News | Infospectives - Science | Scoop.it
Science lovers with a sense of humor take note: It's time for the annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony.A parody of the prestigious Nobel Prize ceremony, the 24th a...
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Science Graphic of the Week: An Algorithm That Decodes the Surface of the Earth - Wired

Science Graphic of the Week: An Algorithm That Decodes the Surface of the Earth - Wired | Infospectives - Science | Scoop.it
Science Graphic of the Week: An Algorithm That Decodes the Surface of the Earth
Wired
But, visible light is tiny part of the electromagnetic spectrum, and from a sensing perspective, tells scientists very little about an object.
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Quiz: Can You Answer 5th Grade Science Questions? - TIME

Quiz: Can You Answer 5th Grade Science Questions? - TIME | Infospectives - Science | Scoop.it
Quiz: Can You Answer 5th Grade Science Questions?
TIME
A new survey on scientific literacy from the Center for Accountability in Science found that most respondents failed to correctly answer questions designed for a 5th grade science class.
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Researchers Produced Atom Sounds, Crucial Discovery for Quantum Computing

Researchers Produced Atom Sounds, Crucial Discovery for Quantum Computing | Infospectives - Science | Scoop.it
Scientists managed to hear an atom for the first time. A Swedish research team from Chalmers University of Technology performed an experiment that succeeded with the recording of sound waves create...
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Woman of 24 found to have no cerebellum in her brain

Woman of 24 found to have no cerebellum in her brain | Infospectives - Science | Scoop.it

A 24-year-old woman has discovered that her cerebellum is completely missing, explaining some of the unusual problems she has had with movement and speech. The case highlights just how adaptable the organ is.


The discovery was made when the woman was admitted to the Chinese PLA General Hospital of Jinan Military Area Command in Shandong Province complaining of dizziness and nausea. She told doctors she'd had problems walking steadily for most of her life, and her mother reported that she hadn't walked until she was 7 and that her speech only became intelligible at the age of 6.


Doctors did a CAT scan and immediately identified the source of the problem – her entire cerebellum was missing (see scan, below left). The space where it should be was empty of tissue. Instead it was filled with cerebrospinal fluid, which cushions the brain and provides defence against disease.


The cerebellum – sometimes known as the "little brain" – is located underneath the two hemispheres. It looks different from the rest of the brain because it consists of much smaller and more compact folds of tissue. It represents about 10 per cent of the brain's total volume but contains 50 per cent of its neurons.


Although it is not unheard of to have part of your brain missing, either congenitally or from surgery, the woman joins an elite club of just nine people who are known to have lived without their entire cerebellum. A detailed description of how the disorder affects a living adult is almost non-existent, say doctors from the Chinese hospital, because most people with the condition die at a young age and the problem is only discovered on autopsy (Brain,doi.org/vh7).


The cerebellum's main job is to control voluntary movements and balance, and it is also thought to be involved in our ability to learn specific motor actions and speak. Problems in the cerebellum can lead to severe mental impairment, movement disorders, epilepsy or a potentially fatal build-up of fluid in the brain. However, in this woman, the missing cerebellum resulted in only mild to moderate motor deficiency, and mild speech problems such as slightly slurred pronunciation. Her doctors describe these effects as "less than would be expected", and say her case highlights the remarkable plasticity of the brain.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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God Particle could destroy universe, according to Hawking

God Particle could destroy universe, according to Hawking | Infospectives - Science | Scoop.it
The Higgs Boson particle was discovered in 2012 in CERN's Large Hadron Collider
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A Stunning New Map Reveals For The First Time Where Our Galaxy Fits Into The Universe, page 1

A Stunning New Map Reveals For The First Time Where Our Galaxy Fits Into The Universe, page 1 | Infospectives - Science | Scoop.it
A Stunning New Map Reveals For The First Time Where Our Galaxy Fits Into The Universe, page 1 (SCIENCE! http://t.co/HiGiKoH5b5)
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Super secure quantum encryption for everyone available soon

Super secure quantum encryption for everyone available soon | Infospectives - Science | Scoop.it

The largest information technology agreement ever signed by Los Alamos National Laboratory brings the potential for truly secure data encryption to the marketplace after nearly 20 years of development at the nation's premier national-security science laboratory.


With a new device set to make unbreakable, quantum-based cryptographic security available for everyone for the very first time, ordinary people will be able to use cryptographic systems that – until recently – only existed as experiments in the most advanced physics laboratories.


Using technology developed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and incorporating the quantum mechanics of random photon polarization, the new device generates random numbers and creates cryptographic keys so fast and so securely that the technology is said to revolutionize high-speed cryptography and offer a completely new commercial platform for real-time encryption at high data rates.


This claimed breakthrough is made possible by taking advantage of the various spin states of photons. In line with quantum wave theory, a photon exists in all spin states at once. However, if a photon is passed through a polarizing filter that rejects given spin states, the photon can be made to exhibit just one of four possible states of spin – vertical, horizontal, left, or right.


In this way, random filters may be applied to photons, which in turn, represent ones or zeroes of binary data, dependent on the state of spin selected and the binary notation attributed to it.


However, in accordance with Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, once the photon is polarized we can not then accurately measure it again, unless we apply a filter to it at the end of its journey just like the one it went through at the start to measure its spin state. This means that – provided you know the filter sequence required to decode the incoming photon stream – only the receiver can then read off the encoded data.


More importantly, anyone attempting to intercept the resulting data stream cannot eavesdrop on the transmission because any attempted observation of a quantum system also alters it, and the quantum state changes resulting from attempted unauthorized reading would be immediately detected.


LANL has partnered with Whitewood Encryption Systems to market this device which, when released, may well effectively render any other conventional random number generation system system obsolete. Current systems based on mathematical formulas that can be broken by a computer with sufficient speed and power will not be able to compete with a system that is built on a truly random system that cannot be second-guessed.


"Quantum systems represent the best hope for truly secure data encryption because they store or transmit information in ways that are unbreakable by conventional cryptographic methods," said Duncan McBranch, Chief Technology Officer at LANL. "This licensing agreement with Whitewood Encryption Systems, Inc. is historic in that it takes our groundbreaking technical work that was developed over two decades into commercial encryption applications."


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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denis binette's curator insight, September 7, 10:13 PM

Soon.  How long before? 

Miro Svetlik's curator insight, September 10, 4:36 AM

Finally it is quantum encryption making its way to the masses in form of a relatively small device. I hope this will solve the secure communication on the internet at least for some while.

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Project Hieroglyph: Fighting society's dystopian future - BBC News

Project Hieroglyph: Fighting society's dystopian future - BBC News | Infospectives - Science | Scoop.it
BBC News
Project Hieroglyph: Fighting society's dystopian future
BBC News
Pop culture has painted a darkly dystopian vision of the future.
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Asteroid threat in 2032? Don't panic, but don't brush it off - NBC News

Asteroid threat in 2032? Don't panic, but don't brush it off - NBC News | Infospectives - Science | Scoop.it
An artist's conception shows a near-Earth asteroid passing by Earth.A big asteroid sailed past Earth last month, and astronomers haven't yet totally excluded... (Asteroid threat in 2032?
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Researchers demonstrate first direct brain-to-brain communication in human subjects over a distance of 5,000 miles

Researchers demonstrate first direct brain-to-brain communication in human subjects over a distance of 5,000 miles | Infospectives - Science | Scoop.it

In a first-of-its-kind study, an international team of neuroscientists and robotics engineers have demonstrated the viability of direct brain-to-brain communication in humans. Recentlypublished in PLOS ONE the highly novel findings describe the successful transmission of information via the internet between the intact scalps of two human subjects – located 5,000 miles apart.


"We wanted to find out if one could communicate directly between two people by reading out the brain activity from one person and injecting brain activity into the second person, and do so across great physical distances by leveraging existing communication pathways," explains coauthor Alvaro Pascual-Leone, MD, PhD, Director of the Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. "One such pathway is, of course, the internet, so our question became, 'Could we develop an experiment that would bypass the talking or typing part of internet and establish direct brain-to-brain communication between subjects located far away from each other in India and France ?'" It turned out the answer was "yes."


In the neuroscientific equivalent of instant messaging, Pascual-Leone, together with Giulio Ruffini and Carles Grau leading a team of researchers from Starlab Barcelona, Spain, and Michel Berg, leading a team from Axilum Robotics, Strasbourg, France, successfully transmitted the words "hola" and "ciao" in a computer-mediated brain-to-brain transmission from a location in India to a location in France using internet-linked electroencephalogram (EEG) and robot-assisted and image-guided transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) technologies.


Using EEG, the research team first translated the greetings "hola" and "ciao" into binary code and then emailed the results from India to France. There a computer-brain interface transmitted the message to the receiver's brain through noninvasive brain stimulation. The subjects experienced this as phosphenes, flashes of light in their peripheral vision. The light appeared in numerical sequences that enabled the receiver to decode the information in the message, and while the subjects did not report feeling anything, they did correctly receive the greetings.


A second similar experiment was conducted between individuals in Spain and France, with the end result a total error rate of just 15 percent, 11 percent on the decoding end and five percent on the initial coding side.


"By using advanced precision neuro-technologies including wireless EEG and robotized TMS, we were able to directly and noninvasively transmit a thought from one person to another, without them having to speak or write," says Pascual-Leone. "This in itself is a remarkable step in human communication, but being able to do so across a distance of thousands of miles is a critically important proof-of-principle for the development of brain-to-brain communications. We believe these experiments represent an important first step in exploring the feasibility of complementing or bypassing traditional language-based or motor-based communication."



Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Time Travel's 'Grandfather Paradox' Solves Itself at Quantum Level - NBCNews.com

Time Travel's 'Grandfather Paradox' Solves Itself at Quantum Level - NBCNews.com | Infospectives - Science | Scoop.it
NBCNews.com
Time Travel's 'Grandfather Paradox' Solves Itself at Quantum Level
NBCNews.com
A paradox perennially posed to would-be time travelers may resolve itself — but only for a single photon at a time, and only at the quantum level.
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