Archive for the ‘physics’ category: Page 4

Aug 26, 2023

Researchers define the ‘speed limit’ of black holes, suggesting new laws of physics

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

When supermassive black holes barrel toward collision, they can reach speeds of up to 1/10th the speed of light, new research suggests.

Aug 25, 2023

Toward AGI — What is Missing?

Posted by in categories: economics, physics, robotics/AI, singularity

Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) is a term for Artificial Intelligence systems that meet or exceed human performance on the broad range of tasks that humans are capable of performing. There are benefits and downsides to AGI. On the upside, AGIs can do most of the labor that consume a vast amount of humanity’s time and energy. AGI can herald a utopia where no one has wants that cannot be fulfilled. AGI can also result in an unbalanced situation where one (or a few) companies dominate the economy, exacerbating the existing dichotomy between the top 1% and the rest of humankind. Beyond that, the argument goes, a super-intelligent AGI could find it beneficial to enslave humans for its own purposes, or exterminate humans so as to not compete for resources. One hypothetical scenario is that an AGI that is smarter than humans can simply design a better AGI, which can, in turn, design an even better AGI, leading to something called hard take-off and the singularity.

I do not know of any theory that claims that AGI or the singularity is impossible. However, I am generally skeptical of arguments that Large Language Models such the GPT series (GPT-2, GPT-3, GPT-4, GPT-X) are on the pathway to AGI. This article will attempt to explain why I believe that to be the case, and what I think is missing should humanity (or members of the human race) so choose to try to achieve AGI. I will also try to convey a sense for why it is easy to talk about the so-called “recipe for AGI” in the abstract but why physics itself will prevent any sudden and unexpected leap from where we are now to AGI or super-AGI.

To achieve AGI it seems likely we will need one or more of the following:

Aug 25, 2023

Warp Drive and Aliens: Bryan Gaensler Public Lecture

Posted by in categories: physics, space travel

In his live public lecture at Perimeter Institute on February 5, 2020, astronomer Bryan Gaensler (Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, University…

Aug 24, 2023

Black holes can speed through the universe at 17,500 miles per second, scientists say — and the discovery could reveal new laws of physics

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

The discovery could change how we understand “the smallest to the largest objects in the universe,” a co-author of the study said.

Aug 24, 2023

The superconducting diode effect in a device based on coupled Josephson junctions

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, physics

The so-called superconducting (SC) diode effect is an interesting nonreciprocal phenomenon, occurring when a material is SC in one direction and resistive in the other. This effect has been the focus of numerous physics studies, as its observation and reliable control in different materials could enable the future development of new integrated circuits.

Researchers at RIKEN and other institutes in Japan and the United States recently observed the SC diode effect in a newly developed device comprised of two coherently coupled Josephson junctions. Their paper, published in Nature Physics, could guide the engineering of promising technologies based on coupled Josephson junctions.

“We experimentally studied nonlocal Josephson effect, which is a characteristic SC transport in the coherently coupled Josephson junctions (JJs), inspired by a previous theoretical paper published in NanoLetters,” Sadashige Matsuo, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told

Aug 22, 2023

Post Eternity Part 2: Boltzmann Brains

Posted by in categories: media & arts, neuroscience, physics

Boltzmann brain is another bizarre consequence of laws of physics. It’s a configuration of matter, similar to our brains; a statistical fluctuation risen out of thermal equilibrium, a conscious observer created by a sudden decrease in entropy, having false memories of a grand structure exactly like our universe.

Given enough time, every single possibility allowed by the physical laws in our most likely closed universe must eventually occur, including one with a fluctuated brain, sitting in the middle of nowhere, having the exact same thoughts that you are having right now.

Continue reading “Post Eternity Part 2: Boltzmann Brains” »

Aug 21, 2023

Have Physicists Proved Gravity is Breaking Down

Posted by in categories: business, physics

Have we found the smoking-gun evidence for modified gravity? Were Einstein and Newton both wrong about gravity?

#gravity #breakthrough #physics.

Continue reading “Have Physicists Proved Gravity is Breaking Down” »

Aug 21, 2023

Making big leaps in understanding nanoscale gaps

Posted by in categories: chemistry, nanotechnology, physics, solar power, sustainability

Creating novel materials by combining layers with unique, beneficial properties seems like a fairly intuitive process—stack up the materials and stack up the benefits. This isn’t always the case, however. Not every material will allow energy to travel through it the same way, making the benefits of one material come at the cost of another.

Using cutting-edge tools, scientists at the Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) User Facility at Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the Institute of Experimental Physics at the University of Warsaw have created a new layered structure with 2D materials that exhibits a unique transfer of energy and charge. Understanding its may lead to advancements in technologies such as solar cells and other optoelectronic devices. The results were published in the journal Nano Letters.

Transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) are a class of materials structured like sandwiches with . The meat of a TMD is a , which can form with electrons on their outermost orbit or shell, like most elements, as well as the next shell. That metal is sandwiched between two layers of chalcogens, a category of elements that contains oxygen, sulfur, and selenium.

Aug 21, 2023

Light-responsive nanocrystal array lifts 10,000 times its own mass

Posted by in categories: chemistry, engineering, physics, transportation

Researchers have developed a novel material using tiny organic crystals that convert light into a substantial mechanical force able to lift 10,000 times its own mass. Without the need for heat or electricity, the photomechanical material could one day drive wireless, remote-controlled systems that power robots and vehicles.

Photomechanical materials are designed to transform light directly into mechanical force. They result from a complex interplay between photochemistry, polymer chemistry, physics, mechanics, optics, and engineering. Photomechanical actuators, the part of a machine that helps achieve physical movements, are gaining popularity because external control can be achieved simply by manipulating light conditions.

Researchers from the University of Colorado, Boulder, have taken the next step in the development of photomechanical materials, creating a tiny organic crystal array that bends and lifts objects much heavier than itself.

Aug 21, 2023

The Universe’s Humming Riddle: Groundbreaking Research Uncovers Clues to Its Source

Posted by in categories: physics, space

The universe is not static or silent, as is commonly believed. It moves, expands and… vibrates. And this is where gravitational waves play an important role: tiny ripples in the fabric of space and time that occur when massive objects accelerate or collide.

Gravitational waves are generally very difficult to detect because they are usually very short and weak, and get lost in the background noise of the universe.

For this reason, until now only some of them have been captured with very sensitive instruments such as the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), which measures the distortions caused by the waves in two laser light beams separated by kilometers.

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