Archive for the ‘mathematics’ category: Page 30

Mar 2, 2016

Astronomers estimate 100 billion habitable Earth-like planets in the Milky Way, 50 sextillion in the universe

Posted by in categories: alien life, mathematics

Astronomers at the University of Auckland claim that there are actually around 100 billion habitable, Earth-like planets in the Milky Way — significantly more than the previous estimate of around 17 billion. There are roughly 500 billion galaxies in the universe, meaning there is somewhere in the region of 50,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (5×10 22 ) habitable planets. I’ll leave you to do the math on whether one of those 50 sextillion planets has the right conditions for nurturing alien life or not.

The previous figure of 17 billion Earth-like planets in the Milky Way came from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in January, which analyzed data from the Kepler space observatory. Kepler essentially measures the dimming (apparent magnitude) of stars as planets transit in front of them — the more a star dims, the larger the planet. Through repeated observations we can work out the planet’s orbital period, from which we can usually derive the orbital distance and surface temperature. According to Phil Yock from the University of Auckland, Kepler’s technique generally finds “Earth-sized planets that are quite close to parent stars,” and are therefore “generally hotter than Earth [and not habitable].”

The University of Auckland’s technique, called gravitational microlensing, instead measures the number of Earth-size planets that orbit at twice the Sun-Earth distance. This results in a list of planets that are generally cooler than Earth — but by interpolating between this new list, and Kepler’s list, the Kiwi astronomers hope to generate a more accurate list of habitable, Earth-like planets. “We anticipate a number in the order of 100 billion,” says Yock.

Continue reading “Astronomers estimate 100 billion habitable Earth-like planets in the Milky Way, 50 sextillion in the universe” »

Mar 1, 2016

Scott Aaronson On The Relevance Of Quantum Mechanics To Brain Preservation, Uploading, And Identity

Posted by in categories: computing, mathematics, neuroscience, quantum physics

Biography : Scott Aaronson is an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. His research interests center around the capabilities and limits of quantum computers, and computational complexity theory more generally. He also has written about consciousness and personal identity and the relevance of quantum mechanics to these issues.

Michael Cerullo: Thanks for taking the time to talk with me. Given the recent advances in brain preservation, questions of personal identity are moving from merely academic to extremely practical questions. I want to focus on your ideas related to the relevance of quantum mechanics to consciousness and personal identity which are found in your paper “Ghost in the Quantum Turing Machine” ( ), your blog “Could a Quantum Computer Have Subjective Experience?” ( ), and your book “Quantum Computing since Democritus” ( .

Before we get to your own speculations in this field I want to review some of the prior work of Roger Penrose and Stuart Hameroff (…-or-theory ). Let me try to summarize some of the criticism of their work (including some of your own critiques of their theory). Penrose and Hameroff abandon conventional wisdom in neuroscience (i.e. that neurons are the essential computational element in the brain) and instead posit that the microtubules (which conventional neuroscience tell us are involved in nucleic and cell division, organization of intracellular structure, and intracellular transport, as well as ciliary and flagellar motility) are an essential part of the computational structure of the brain. Specifically, they claim the microtubules are quantum computers that grant a person the ability to perform non-computable computations (and Penrose claims these kinds of computations are necessary for things like mathematical understanding). The main critiques of their theory are: it relies on future results in quantum gravity that don’t exist; there is no empirical evidence that microtubules are relevant to the function of the brain; work in quantum decoherence also makes it extremely unlikely that the brain is a quatum computer; even if a brain could somehow compute non-computable functions it isn’t clear what this has to do with consciousness. Would you say these are fair criticisms of their theory and are there any other criticisms you see as relevant?

Continue reading “Scott Aaronson On The Relevance Of Quantum Mechanics To Brain Preservation, Uploading, And Identity” »

Feb 28, 2016

Tech and Facts Photo

Posted by in category: mathematics

Read more

Feb 21, 2016

No Big Bang? Quantum equation predicts universe has no beginning

Posted by in categories: cosmology, information science, mathematics, quantum physics, singularity

New equation proves no “Big Bang” theory and no beginning either as well as no singularity.

( —The universe may have existed forever, according to a new model that applies quantum correction terms to complement Einstein’s theory of general relativity. The model may also account for dark matter and dark energy, resolving multiple problems at once.

The widely accepted age of the , as estimated by , is 13.8 billion years. In the beginning, everything in existence is thought to have occupied a single infinitely dense point, or . Only after this point began to expand in a “Big Bang” did the universe officially begin.

Continue reading “No Big Bang? Quantum equation predicts universe has no beginning” »

Feb 19, 2016

Physicists discover easy way to measure entanglement—on a sphere

Posted by in categories: mathematics, quantum physics

Measuring entanglement — the amount of entanglement between states corresponds to the distance between two points on a Bloch sphere.

To do this, the scientists turned the difficult analytical problem into an easy geometrical one. They showed that, in many cases, the amount of entanglement between states corresponds to the distance between two points on a Bloch sphere, which is basically a normal 3D sphere that physicists use to model quantum states.

As the scientists explain, the traditionally difficult part of the math problem is that it requires finding the optimal decomposition of mixed states into pure states. The geometrical approach completely eliminates this requirement by reducing the many possible ways that states could decompose down to a single point on the sphere at which there is zero entanglement. The approach requires that there be only one such point, or “root,” of zero entanglement, prompting the physicists to describe the method as “one root to rule them all.”

Read more

Feb 18, 2016

The First Planet Discovered By Math

Posted by in categories: mathematics, physics, space

Two astronomers fought for credit when Neptune’s presence was confirmed in 1846: John Couch Adams from Britain, and Urbain Le Verrier from France. Both had used math and physics to predict Neptune’s position, but Le Verrier’s prediction turned out to be more accurate. See references.

Read more

Dec 24, 2015

New genes associated with extreme longevity identified

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, health, life extension, mathematics, neuroscience

Death is a disease.

Diseases can and will be cured.

Do the math. wink

Continue reading “New genes associated with extreme longevity identified” »

Dec 2, 2015

Why the history of maths is also the history of art — By Lynn Gamwell | The Guardian

Posted by in categories: mathematics, media & arts


“In her new book Mathematics and Art, historian Lyn Gamwell explores how artists have for thousands of years used mathematical concepts — such as infinity, number and form — in their work. Here she choses ten stunning images from her book that reveal connections between maths and art.”

Read more

Nov 16, 2015

An AI Program in Japan Just Passed a College Entrance Exam

Posted by in categories: mathematics, physics, robotics/AI

An artificial intelligence program received such high scores on a standardized test that it’d have an 80% chance of getting into a Japanese university.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the program, developed by Japan’s National Institute of Informatics, took a multi-subject college entrance exam and passed with an above-average score of 511 points out of a possible 950. (The national average is 416.) With scores like that, it has an 8 out of 10 chance of being admitted to 441 private institutions in Japan, and 33 national ones.

Continue reading “An AI Program in Japan Just Passed a College Entrance Exam” »

Oct 31, 2015

‘Impossible’ Device Could Propel Flying Cars, Stealth Missiles

Posted by in categories: mathematics, military, space, transportation

To critics, it’s flat-out junk science, not even worth thinking about. But its inventor, Roger Shawyer, has doggedly continued his work. As Danger Room reported last year, Chinese scientists claimed to validate his math and were building their own version.

Shawyer gave a presentation earlier this week on the Emdrive’s progress at the CEAS 2009 European Air & Space Conference. It answered few questions, but hinted at how the Emdrive might transform spaceflight — and warfare. If the technology works, that is.

The heart of the Emdrive is a resonant, tapered cavity filled with microwaves. According to Shawyer, a relativistic effect generates a net thrust, an effect confirmed by various Emdrives he has built as demonstrations. Critics say that any thrust from the drive must come from another source. Shawyer is adamant that the measured thrust is not caused by other factors.

Read more

Page 30 of 31First2425262728293031