Archive for the ‘physics’ category

Jan 23, 2020

NeoHuman Podcast: Evolutionary Cybernetics, Computational Physics and Consciousness Discussed

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, cosmology, existential risks, physics, robotics/AI, transhumanism, virtual reality

Evolutionary cyberneticist and digital philosopher Alex M. Vikoulov, author of The Syntellect Hypothesis, is interviewed by Agah Bahari, host and producer of NeoHuman podcast.

On this recent podcast, Alex Vikoulov, author of The Syntellect Hypothesis, is interviewed by NeoHuman podcaster Agah Bahari. Topics include evolutionary cybernetics, computational physics, consciousness, the simulation theory, the transcension hypothesis, the Global mind, AGI, VR, AR, psychedelics, technological singularities, transhumanism, Fermi Paradox, Digital Physics, objective reality, philosophy of mind, the extended mind hypothesis, absolute idealism, physics of time, the Omega Point cosmology, mind-uploading, synthetic telepathy, and more.

Watch a short intro here ↴.

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Jan 23, 2020

Students calculate how to build Star Trek photon torpedoes

Posted by in categories: military, physics

Circa 2016

Physics students at the University of Leicester have boldly gone where no student has gone before – by calculating one way to potentially build photon torpedoes seen in the Star Trek universe.

Announced to coincide with the release of Star Trek: Beyond, which opens in UK and US cinemas on 22 July, the students’ findings suggest that in order to function correctly, a photon torpedo could be made out of heavy metals such as lead or uranium, as metals with fewer protons would not have the necessary cascade length.

The students presented their findings in a short article for the Journal of Physics Special Topics, a peer-reviewed student journal run by the University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy. The student-run journal is designed to give students practical experience of writing, editing, publishing and reviewing scientific papers.

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Jan 22, 2020

Students prove real-life Star Wars deflector shield is possible

Posted by in category: physics

Circa 2014

Star Wars is science fiction, but deflector shields like the ones in the films might be possible with today’s technology. There are still a few kinks to work out, but a group of physics students have figured out the basics.

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Jan 20, 2020

How (Relatively) Simple Symmetries Underlie Our Expanding Universe

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

Isaac Newton and other premodern physicists saw space and time as separate, absolute entities — the rigid backdrops against which we move. On the surface, this made the mathematics behind Newton’s 1687 laws of motion look simple. He defined the relationship between force, mass and acceleration, for example, as $latex \vec{F} = m \vec{a}$.

In contrast, when Albert Einstein revealed that space and time are not absolute but relative, the math seemed to get harder. Force, in relativistic terms, is defined by the equation $latex \vec {F} =\gamma (\vec {v})^{3}m_{0}\,\vec {a} _{\parallel }+\gamma (\vec {v})m_{0}\,\vec {a} _{\perp }$.

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Jan 19, 2020

An Idea From Physics Helps AI See in Higher Dimensions

Posted by in categories: physics, robotics/AI

The laws of physics stay the same no matter one’s perspective. Now this idea is allowing computers to detect features in curved and higher-dimensional space.

Jan 19, 2020

At the edge of the galactic black hole

Posted by in categories: climatology, cosmology, physics

A team of researchers – including the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching – have gained astounding insights into the galactic centre: The astronomers have spotted gaseous clouds which are spinning around the assumed black hole at the heart of the Milky Way at a speed of around 30 percent of the speed of light. The gas is moving in a circular orbit outside the innermost stable path and can be identified through radiation bursts in the infrared range. This discovery was made possible by the Gravity Instrument, which combines the light of all four eight-metre mirrors of the Very Large Telescope at the European Southern Observatory (ESO). Thanks to this technology, which is called interferometry, Gravity generates the power of a virtual telescope with an effective diameter of 130 metres.

This unusually compact object sits right in the middle of the Milky Way and generates radio emissions: Astronomers call it Sagittarius A*. It is highly probable that this is a black hole with the mass of approx. four million suns. But this is by no means certain, and scientists are always devising new tests to support this thesis. Researchers have now used the Gravity Instrument to take a close look at the edges of the alleged black hole.

According to this theory, the electrons in the gas approaching the event horizon should speed up and therefore increase in brightness. The region of only a few light hours around the black hole is very chaotic, in a similar way to thunderstorms on Earth or radiation bursts on the Sun. Magnetic fields also play a part here, because the gas conducts electricity making it a plasma. The latter should ultimately show up as a flickering “hot spot” circling the black hole on the final stable path.

Jan 16, 2020

Did the universe design itself?

Posted by in categories: alien life, physics

Many philosophers and scientists believe that we need an explanation as to why the laws of physics and the initial conditions of the universe are fine-tuned for life. The standard two options are: theism and the multiverse hypothesis. Both of these theories are extravagant and arguably have false predictions. Drawing on contemporary philosophy of mind, I outline a form of panpsychism that I believe offers a more parsimonious and less problematic explanation of cosmological fine-tuning.

Jan 15, 2020

Final images from Cassini spacecraft

Posted by in categories: physics, space travel

Researchers are busy analysing some of the final data sent back from the Cassini spacecraft which has been in orbit around Saturn for more than 13 years until the end of its mission in September 2017.

For the last leg of its journey, Cassini was put on a particularly daring orbit passing between Saturn and its rings which brought it closer to Saturn than ever before. This allowed scientists to obtain images of Saturn’s ultraviolet auroras in unprecedented resolution.

The new observations are detailed in two new studies published in Geophysical Research Letters and JGR: Space Physics.

Jan 15, 2020

An ‘unknown’ burst of gravitational waves just lit up Earth’s detectors

Posted by in category: physics

Don’t worry, Betelguese is still there.

Jan 14, 2020

Hyperuniform disordered waveguides and devices for near infrared silicon photonics

Posted by in categories: chemistry, internet, physics, robotics/AI, space

In a new report published on Scientific Reports, Milan M. Milošević and an international research team at the Zepler Institute for Photonics and Nanoelectronics, Etaphase Incorporated and the Departments of Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy, in the U.S. and the U.K. Introduced a hyperuniform-disordered platform to realize near-infrared (NIR) photonic devices to create, detect and manipulate light. They built the device on a silicon-on-insulator (SOI) platform to demonstrate the functionality of the structures in a flexible, silicon-integrated circuit unconstrained by crystalline symmetries. The scientists reported results for passive device elements, including waveguides and resonators seamlessly integrated with conventional silicon-on-insulator strip waveguides and vertical couplers. The hyperuniform-disordered platform improved compactness and enhanced energy efficiency as well as temperature stability, compared to silicon photonic devices fabricated on rib and strip waveguides.

Academic and commercial efforts worldwide in the field of silicon photonics have led to engineer optical data communications at the Terabit-scale at increasingly lower costs to meet the rapidly growing demand in data centers. Explosive growth in cloud computing and entertainment-on-demand pose increasingly challenging costs and energy requirements for , processing and storage. Optical interconnects can replace traditional copper-based solutions to offer steadily increasing potential to minimize latency and , while maximizing the bandwidth and reliability of the devices. Silicon photonics also leverage large-scale, complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) manufacturing processes to produce high-performance optical transceivers with high yield at low-cost. The properties allow applications of optical transceivers (fiber optical technology to send and receive data) to be increasingly compelling across shorter distances.

More than three decades ago, physicist Richard Soref identified silicon as a promising material for photonic integration. Leading to the present-day steady development and rapid production of increasingly complex photonic integrated circuits (PICs). Researchers can integrate large numbers of massively-parallel compact energy-efficient optical components on a single chip for cloud computing applications from deep learning to artificial intelligence and the internet of things. Compared to the limited scope of commercial silicon photonic systems, photonic crystal (PhC) architectures promise smaller device sizes, although they are withheld by layout constraints imposed by waveguide requirements along the photonic crystal’s axis. Until recently, photonic band gap (PBG) structures that efficiently guide light were limited to photonic crystal platforms. Now, newer classes of PBG structures include photonic quasicrystals, hyperuniform disordered solids (HUDs) and local self-uniform structures.

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