When electrons or atoms or individuals or societies interact with one another or their environment, the collective behavior of the whole is different from that of its parts. We call this resulting behavior emergent. Emergence thus refers to collective phenomena or behaviors in complex adaptive systems that are not present in their individual parts.
By David Pines, Co-Founder in Residence, Santa Fe Institute
If modern physics is to be believed, we shouldn’t be here. The meager dose of energy infusing empty space, which at higher levels would rip the cosmos apart, is a trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion times tinier than theory predicts. And the minuscule mass of the Higgs boson, whose relative…
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has been pondering artificial intelligence since he was a kid. In the late '60s, eerily intelligent computers were everywhere, whether it was 2001's HAL or Star Trek'...
The Reilly Center at the University of Notre Dame explores conceptual, ethical, and policy issues where science and technology intersect with society from different disciplinary perspectives. Our purpose is to promote the advancement of science and technology for the common good. We accomplish this through education, research, and outreach in a Catholic context.
The bizarre behavior of the quantum world — with objects existing in two places simultaneously and light behaving as either waves or particles — could result from interactions between many 'parallel' everyday worlds, a new theory suggests.
“It is a fundamental shift from previous quantum interpretations,” says Howard Wiseman, a theoretical quantum physicist at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, who together with his colleagues describes the idea in Physical Review X1.
Theorists have tried to explain quantum behavior through various mathematical frameworks. One of the older interpretations envisages the classical world as stemming from the existence of many simultaneous quantum ones. But that ‘many worlds’ approach, pioneered by the US theorist Hugh Everett III in the 1950s, relies on the worlds branching out independently from one another, and not interacting at all (see 'Many worlds: See me here, see me there').
By contrast, Wiseman’s team envisages many worlds bumping into one another, calling it the 'many interacting worlds' approach. On its own, each world is ruled by classical Newtonian physics. But together, the interacting motion of these worlds gives rise to phenomena that physicists typically ascribe to the quantum world.
The authors work through the mathematics of how that interaction could produce quantum phenomena. For instance, one well-known example of quantum behaviour is when particles are able to tunnel through an energetic barrier that in a classical world they would not be able to overcome on their own. Wiseman says that, in his scenario, as two classical worlds approach an energetic barrier from either side, one of them will increase in speed while the other will bounce back. The leading world will thus pop through the seemingly insurmountable barrier, just as particles do in quantum tunneling.
But much work remains. “By no means have we answered all the questions that such a shift entails,” says Wiseman. Among other things, he and his collaborators have yet to overcome challenges such as explaining how their many-interacting-worlds theory could explain quantum entanglement, a phenomenon in which particles separated by a distance are still linked in terms of their properties.
“For more than two decades,” writes Valerie C. Coffey (@StellarEdit), “one of the holy grails of physics has been to build a quantum computer that can process certain types of large-scale, very difficult problems exponentially faster than classical computers. Physicists are making progress toward this goal every day, but nearly every part of a quantum…
Today the collaboration for the LHCb experiment at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider announced the discovery of two new particles in the baryon family. The particles, known as the Xi_b'- and Xi_b*-, were predicted to exist by the quark model but had never been seen before. A related particle, the Xi_b*0, was found by the CMS experiment at CERN in 2012. The LHCb collaboration submitted a paper reporting the finding to Physical Review Letters.
Evolution is a funny thing. All organic creatures evolve in response to changes in their environment. And then in turn, the environment changes in response to new behaviors from the organisms that inhabit it.
Officials with Google have revealed that researchers working on a start-up recently purchased by the tech giant are working on building what they call a Neural Turing Machine—an artificial intelligence based computer system that seeks to fulfill the idea of a Turing Machine. Teams with the project ...
The AI on the horizon looks more like Amazon Web Services—cheap, reliable, industrial-grade digital smartness running behind everything, and almost invisible except when it blinks off. This is a big deal, and now it's here.
A new paper examines security risks and policy questions related to the growing field of synthetic biology. While the author doesn't think the field is ripe for exploitation by terrorists, it does highlight significant gaps in our understanding of the nuts and bolts of lab work in synthetic biology ...