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Nov 19, 2020

Dark Matter Candidate Could Generate String-Like Entities in Exotic Materials

Posted by in categories: cosmology, mathematics, particle physics, quantum physics

Calculations show how theoretical ‘axionic strings’ could create odd behavior if produced in exotic materials in the lab.

A hypothetical particle that could solve one of the biggest puzzles in cosmology just got a little less mysterious. A RIKEN physicist and two colleagues have revealed the mathematical underpinnings that could explain how so-called axions might generate string-like entities that create a strange voltage in lab materials.

Axions were first proposed in the 1970s by physicists studying the theory of quantum chromodynamics, which describes how some elementary particles are held together within the atomic nucleus. The trouble was that this theory predicted some bizarre properties for known particles that are not observed. To fix this, physicists posited a new particle—later dubbed the axion, after a brand of laundry detergent, because it helped clean up a mess in the theory.

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Nov 18, 2020

Physicists discover the ‘Kings and Queens of Quantumness’

Posted by in categories: mathematics, quantum physics

Extreme quantum states.


A new mathematical framework helps physicists define the degree of quantumness of a system.

Nov 18, 2020

Expect the Unexpected: Frontiers of Mathematics, Computation, Systems and Design

Posted by in categories: government, mathematics, robotics/AI, security, surveillance

AI designed to be aware of it’s own competence.


Ira Pastor, ideaXme life sciences ambassador interviews Dr. Jiangying Zhou, DARPA program manager in the Defense Sciences Office, USA.

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Nov 13, 2020

Xzavier Herbert, a bright star in space math

Posted by in categories: mathematics, quantum physics, space

Sophomore math major Xzavier Herbert was never much into science fiction or the space program, but his skills in pure mathematics seem to keep drawing him into NASA’s orbit.

With an interest in representation theory, Herbert spent the summer virtually at NASA, studying connections between classical information theory and quantum information theory, each of which corresponds to a different set of laws: classical physics and quantum mechanics.

“What I’m doing involves how representation theory allows us to draw a direct analog from classical information theory to quantum information theory,” Herbert says. “It turns out that there is a mathematical way of justifying how these are related.”

Nov 13, 2020

Tripping Over the Mysteries of the Universe: Molecules, Particles and People

Posted by in categories: chemistry, computing, education, mathematics, particle physics, space

Ira Pastor, ideaXme life sciences ambassador and CEO Bioquark interviews Dr. Michelle Francl the Frank B. Mallory Professor of Chemistry, at Bryn Mawr College, and an adjunct scholar of the Vatican Observatory.

Ira Pastor comments:

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Nov 12, 2020

Hundreds of copies of Newton’s Principia found in new census

Posted by in category: mathematics

In a story of lost and stolen books and scrupulous detective work across continents, a Caltech historian and his former student have unearthed previously uncounted copies of Isaac Newton’s groundbreaking science book Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, known more colloquially as the Principia. The new census more than doubles the number of known copies of the famous first edition, published in 1687. The last census of this kind, published in 1953, had identified 187 copies, while the new Caltech survey finds 386 copies. Up to 200 additional copies, according to the study authors, likely still exist undocumented in public and private collections.

“We felt like Sherlock Holmes,” says Mordechai (Moti) Feingold, the Kate Van Nuys Page Professor of the History of Science and the Humanities at Caltech, who explains that he and his former student, Andrej Svorenčík (MS ‘08) of the University of Mannheim in Germany, spent more than a decade tracing copies of the book around the world. Feingold and Svorenčík are co-authors of a paper about the survey published in the journal Annals of Science.

Moreover, by analyzing ownership marks and notes scribbled in the margins of some of the books, in addition to related letters and other documents, the researchers found evidence that the Principia, once thought to be reserved for only a select group of expert mathematicians, was more widely read and comprehended than previously thought.

Nov 11, 2020

Samsung develops a slim-panel holographic video display

Posted by in categories: information science, mathematics, mobile phones

A team of researchers at Samsung has developed a slim-panel holographic video display that allows for viewing from a variety of angles. In their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, the group describes their new display device and their plans for making it suitable for use with a smartphone.

Despite predictions in science-fiction books and movies over the past several decades, 3D holographic players are still not available to consumers. Existing players are too bulky and display video from limited viewing angles. In this new effort, the researchers at Samsung claim to have overcome these difficulties and built a demo device to prove it.

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Nov 9, 2020

Inside the Secret Math Society Known Simply as Nicolas Bourbaki

Posted by in category: mathematics

For almost a century, the anonymous members of Nicolas Bourbaki have written books intended as pure expressions of mathematical thought.

Oct 30, 2020

AI has cracked a key mathematical puzzle for understanding our world

Posted by in categories: information science, mathematics, robotics/AI, transportation

Unless you’re a physicist or an engineer, there really isn’t much reason for you to know about partial differential equations. I know. After years of poring over them in undergrad while studying mechanical engineering, I’ve never used them since in the real world.

But partial differential equations, or PDEs, are also kind of magical. They’re a category of math equations that are really good at describing change over space and time, and thus very handy for describing the physical phenomena in our universe. They can be used to model everything from planetary orbits to plate tectonics to the air turbulence that disturbs a flight, which in turn allows us to do practical things like predict seismic activity and design safe planes.

The catch is PDEs are notoriously hard to solve. And here, the meaning of “solve” is perhaps best illustrated by an example. Say you are trying to simulate air turbulence to test a new plane design. There is a known PDE called Navier-Stokes that is used to describe the motion of any fluid. “Solving” Navier-Stokes allows you to take a snapshot of the air’s motion (a.k.a. wind conditions) at any point in time and model how it will continue to move, or how it was moving before.

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Oct 27, 2020

The Deck Is Not Rigged: Poker and the Limits of AI

Posted by in categories: business, cybercrime/malcode, government, health, information science, mathematics, military, robotics/AI

Tuomas Sandholm, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University, is not a poker player—or much of a poker fan, in fact—but he is fascinated by the game for much the same reason as the great game theorist John von Neumann before him. Von Neumann, who died in 1957, viewed poker as the perfect model for human decision making, for finding the balance between skill and chance that accompanies our every choice. He saw poker as the ultimate strategic challenge, combining as it does not just the mathematical elements of a game like chess but the uniquely human, psychological angles that are more difficult to model precisely—a view shared years later by Sandholm in his research with artificial intelligence.

“Poker is the main benchmark and challenge program for games of imperfect information,” Sandholm told me on a warm spring afternoon in 2018, when we met in his offices in Pittsburgh. The game, it turns out, has become the gold standard for developing artificial intelligence.

Tall and thin, with wire-frame glasses and neat brow hair framing a friendly face, Sandholm is behind the creation of three computer programs designed to test their mettle against human poker players: Claudico, Libratus, and most recently, Pluribus. (When we met, Libratus was still a toddler and Pluribus didn’t yet exist.) The goal isn’t to solve poker, as such, but to create algorithms whose decision making prowess in poker’s world of imperfect information and stochastic situations—situations that are randomly determined and unable to be predicted—can then be applied to other stochastic realms, like the military, business, government, cybersecurity, even health care.

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