Archive for the ‘evolution’ category

Jun 7, 2019

To catch and reverse a quantum jump mid-flight

Posted by in categories: evolution, particle physics, quantum physics

In quantum physics, measurements can fundamentally yield discrete and random results. Emblematic of this feature is Bohr’s 1913 proposal of quantum jumps between two discrete energy levels of an atom. Experimentally, quantum jumps were first observed in an atomic ion driven by a weak deterministic force while under strong continuous energy measurement2,3,4. The times at which the discontinuous jump transitions occur are reputed to be fundamentally unpredictable. Despite the non-deterministic character of quantum physics, is it possible to know if a quantum jump is about to occur? Here we answer this question affirmatively: we experimentally demonstrate that the jump from the ground state to an excited state of a superconducting artificial three-level atom can be tracked as it follows a predictable ‘flight’, by monitoring the population of an auxiliary energy level coupled to the ground state. The experimental results demonstrate that the evolution of each completed jump is continuous, coherent and deterministic. We exploit these features, using real-time monitoring and feedback, to catch and reverse quantum jumps mid-flight—thus deterministically preventing their completion. Our findings, which agree with theoretical predictions essentially without adjustable parameters, support the modern quantum trajectory theory5,6,7,8,9 and should provide new ground for the exploration of real-time intervention techniques in the control of quantum systems, such as the early detection of error syndromes in quantum error correction.

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Jun 4, 2019

The Patent Subject Matter Reconfiguration and the Emergence of Proprietarian Norms

Posted by in categories: business, evolution, law

This paper analyses the evolution of the institution of patent by examining the normative meaning of business method patents. A business method is defined as a process of converting abstract data to useful information, to be applied in business activities. A business method patent is a patent whose claims are directed to a business method, regardless of the claim format. In recent years, the patenting of business methods in the US, Japan and in Europe has generated a global claim of controversy. Business method patenting is often seen as an example of subject matter expansion, by which process the institution of patent accommodates challenges brought forth by the increased quantity of potential subject matter. As the subject matter expansion begs the question of what is the proper boundary of the patent law, this paper attempts to answer this question by examining relevant statutes and cases, the administrative examination guidelines of the patent offices, and the claims of business method patents issued in Japan, the US and Europe. Specifically, the thesis questions whether business method patenting signifies something more than a mere accretion of a subject matter, and is a reconfiguration of patent eligible subject matter; and whether this can be justified with the instrumentalism. The paper suggests that to include business methods as a patent-eligible subject matter, courts and patent offices in the US, Japan and Europe have commonly redefined the meaning of invention of technology, from the context of physical instantiation, i.e., physical transformation, to the level of conceptual instantiation, i.e., useful information. Although they are varying in their extensiveness, as a result, the practical definitions of patent-eligible subject matter in all three regions, understood from the issued patents, court decisions and examination guidelines, reflects this change. This thesis argues that this could signify the reconfiguration of patent-eligible subject matter.

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May 30, 2019

Purposeful Evolution: Creating an Ethical, Prosperous Future

Posted by in categories: evolution, neuroscience

More often than not, we fall into the trap of trying to predict and anticipate the future, forgetting that the future is up to us to envision and create. In the words of Buckminster Fuller, “We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims.”

But how, exactly, do we create a “good” future? What does such a future look like to begin with?

In Future Consciousness: The Path to Purposeful Evolution, Tom Lombardo analytically deconstructs how we can flourish in the flow of evolution and create a prosperous future for humanity. Scientifically informed, the books taps into themes that are constructive and profound, from both eastern and western philosophies.

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May 29, 2019

Quantum noise and stochastic reduction

Posted by in categories: evolution, information science, law, quantum physics

Abstract: In standard nonrelativistic quantum mechanics the expectation of the energy is a conserved quantity. It is possible to extend the dynamical law associated with the evolution of a quantum state consistently to include a nonlinear stochastic component, while respecting the conservation law. According to the dynamics thus obtained, referred to as the energy-based stochastic Schrodinger equation, an arbitrary initial state collapses spontaneously to one of the energy eigenstates, thus describing the phenomenon of quantum state reduction. In this article, two such models are investigated: one that achieves state reduction in infinite time, and the other in finite time. The properties of the associated energy expectation process and the energy variance process are worked out in detail. By use of a novel application of a nonlinear filtering method, closed-form solutions—algebraic in character and involving no integration—are obtained for both these models. In each case, the solution is expressed in terms of a random variable representing the terminal energy of the system, and an independent noise process. With these solutions at hand it is possible to simulate explicitly the dynamics of the quantum states of complicated physical systems.

From: Dorje C. Brody [view email]

[v1] Mon, 29 Aug 2005 13:22:36 UTC (43 KB)

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May 29, 2019

I See You: the posthuman subject and spaces of virtuality – Rebecca Bishop

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution, neuroscience

Everything is backwards now, like out there is the real world and this is the dream. (James Cameron’s Avatar, 2009)

Over recent years, considerable scholarly attention and mass media speculation has been paid to the emergence of the figure of the posthuman – a vision of augmented human that has undergone radical transformation as a result of new biotechnological and informatic technologies. This posthumanity lives simultaneously in the world of the virtual and the biological, cast concurrently as the future of a biomedically enhanced humanity and a figuration for overcoming the identity politics of the past. Some are arguing that we will eventually leave the human ‘as we know it’ behind, in a techno-modified, cognitively enhanced evolution, while in critical theory, the posthuman is being lauded as an ontology through which the boundary structures of the EuroWestern legacy of humanism can be dismantled.

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May 27, 2019

Signs of selection in the stomach

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution, genetics

Helicobacter pylori, a globally distributed gastric bacterium, is genetically highly adaptable. Microbiologists at LMU have now characterized its population structure in individual patients, demonstrating an important role of antibiotics for its within-patient evolution.

The cosmopolitan bacterium Helicobacter pylori is responsible for one of the most prevalent chronic infections found in humans. Although the infection often provokes no definable symptoms, it can result in a range of gastrointestinal tract pathologies, ranging from inflammation of the lining of the stomach to gastric and duodenal tumors. Approximately 1 percent of all those infected eventually develop stomach cancer, and the World Health Organization has classified H. pylori as a carcinogen. One of Helicobacter pylori’s most striking traits is its genetic diversity and adaptability. Researchers led by microbiologist Sebastian Suerbaum (Chair of Medical Microbiology and Hospital Epidemiology at LMU’s Max von Pettenkofer Institute have now examined the genetic diversity of the species in the stomachs of 16 patients, and identified specific adaptations that enable the bacterium to colonize particular regions of the stomach.

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May 20, 2019

Is dark matter made of axions? Black holes may reveal the answer

Posted by in categories: cosmology, evolution, particle physics

What is dark matter made of? It’s one of the most perplexing questions of modern astronomy. We know that dark matter is out there, since we can see its obvious gravitational influence on everything from galaxies to the evolution of the entire universe, but we don’t know what it is. Our best guess is that it’s some sort of weird new particle that doesn’t like to talk to normal matter very often (otherwise, we would have seen it by now). One possibility is that it’s an exotic hypothetical kind of particle known as an axion, and a team of astronomers are using none other than black holes to try to get a glimpse into this strange new cosmic critter.

Axion Agenda

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May 19, 2019

Where is the Origin of Life on Earth?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, chemistry, evolution, physics

To answer the iconic question “Are We Alone?”, scientists around the world are also attempting to understand the origin of life. There are many pieces to the puzzle of how life began and many ways to put them together into a big picture. Some of the pieces are firmly established by the laws of chemistry and physics. Others are conjectures about what Earth was like four billion years ago, based on extrapolations of what we know from observing Earth today. However, there are still major gaps in our knowledge and these are necessarily filled in by best guesses.

We invited talented scientists to discuss their different opinions about the origin of life and the site of life’s origin. Most of them will agree that liquid water was necessary, but if we had a time machine and went back in time, would we find life first in a hydrothermal submarine setting in sea water or a fresh water site associated with emerging land masses?

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May 17, 2019

Scientists: We’ll Grow Babies in Artificial Wombs “In a Decade”

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution

In coming years, scientists plan to grow human embryos in a lab using high-tech artificial wombs.

Doctors at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia are in talks with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to begin testing artificial wombs on human embryos within the next two years, according to Metro. If they’re successful, the research could radically change the way we view pregnancy, childbirth, and perhaps even human evolution.

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May 16, 2019

Researchers discover an unexpected phase transition in the high explosive TATB

Posted by in categories: evolution, particle physics, supercomputing

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists in collaboration with University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) have discovered a previously unknown pressure induced phase transition for TATB that can help predict detonation performance and safety of the explosive. The research appears in the May 13 online edition of the Applied Physics Letters and it is highlighted as a cover and featured article.

1,3,5-Triamino-2,4,6- trinitrobenzene (TATB), the industry standard for an insensitive high explosive, stands out as the optimum choice when safety (insensitivity) is of utmost importance. Among similar materials with comparable explosive energy release, TATB is remarkably difficult to shock-initiate and has a low friction sensitivity. The causes of this unusual behavior are hidden in the high-pressure structural evolution of TATB. Supercomputer simulations of explosives detonating, running on the world’s most powerful machines at LLNL, depend on knowing the exact locations of the atoms in the crystal structure of an explosive. Accurate knowledge of atomic arrangement under pressure is the cornerstone for predicting the detonation performance and safety of an explosive.

The team performed experiments utilizing a diamond anvil cell, which compressed TATB single crystals to a pressure of more than 25 GPa (250,000 times atmospheric pressure). According to all previous experimental and theoretical studies, it was believed that the atomic arrangement in the crystal structure of TATB remains the same under pressure. The project team challenged the consensus in the field aiming to clarify the high-pressure structural behaviour of TATB.

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