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Aug 15, 2016

Physicists confirm possible discovery of fifth force of nature

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics

Recent findings indicating the possible discovery of a previously unknown subatomic particle may be evidence of a fifth fundamental force of nature, according to a paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters by theoretical physicists at the University of California, Irvine.

“If true, it’s revolutionary,” said Jonathan Feng, professor of physics & astronomy. “For decades, we’ve known of four fundamental forces: gravitation, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces. If confirmed by further experiments, this discovery of a possible fifth force would completely change our understanding of the universe, with consequences for the unification of forces and dark matter.”

The UCI researchers came upon a mid-2015 study by experimental nuclear physicists at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences who were searching for “dark photons,” that would signify unseen dark matter, which physicists say makes up about 85 percent of the universe’s mass. The Hungarians’ work uncovered a radioactive decay anomaly that points to the existence of a light particle just 30 times heavier than an electron.

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Aug 15, 2016

China launches world‘ first quantum satellite

Posted by in category: quantum physics

Click on photo to start video.

China launches world’s first quantum satellite.

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Aug 15, 2016

Four Sets of Identical Twins Staged a Time Travel Prank on an NYC Subway

Posted by in categories: time travel, transportation

Most NYC subway riders are pretty blasé when panhandlers hit them up for cash between stations. When a panhandler announced he was collecting funds to build a time machine, riders chuckled at the odd request—until another man boarded the train and announced he was the inventor’s future self. He implored them not to give any money because time travel will ruin everything.

It sounds just like that X-Files episode (“Synchrony”) where a scientist travels from the future to stop his younger self from making the cryobiological compound that will one day enable time travel. But it’s actually an elaborate prank by Improv Everywhere:

For our latest mission, we staged an elaborate time travel prank on a New York City subway car with four sets of identical twins. A man enters a subway car and announces he is raising money to complete his time machine. At the next stop, his future self enters to try to talk him out of it. More and more time travelers convene on the subway car as the train rolls along, surprising the random commuters caught up in the middle.

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Aug 15, 2016

Step-by-Step Machine Learning

Posted by in categories: information science, robotics/AI

Deep Learning and Machine Learning: Get the most out of your training and scoring, and algorithms and frameworks on Intel® architecture.

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Aug 15, 2016

Japan can now beam solar energy from space

Posted by in categories: solar power, space, sustainability

If you think the idea of powering the whole world with solar power is still many years away, prepare to be amazed. The inspired minds at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has succeeded in transmitting solar energy right through the air. Using wireless power transmission may be the best way to gather solar energy from space in order to use it here on Earth.

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Aug 15, 2016

SpaceX lands Falcon 9 rocket after launching Japanese satellite

Posted by in categories: drones, satellites

SpaceX successfully landed a reusable Falcon 9 rocket on a floating drone ship at sea early Sunday after the vehicle had sent a Japanese communications satellite into orbit.

The California-based company’s eighth launch this year was part of its ongoing effort to re-use costly rocket parts instead of jettisoning them into the ocean.

It was also the fourth time SpaceX has vertically landed a used Falcon 9 rocket aboard a floating platform at sea.

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Aug 15, 2016

Facebook’s 10-Year Plan: Connectivity, Artificial Intelligence, And Virtual Reality

Posted by in categories: internet, robotics/AI, transportation, virtual reality

Earlier this year at Facebook’s F8 conference, the company revealed three innovation pillars that make up the company’s ten-year vision: connectivity, artificial intelligence (AI), and virtual reality (VR). Facebook’s Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer is responsible for leading each of them. Despite the fact that the vision is ten-years in duration, the company has made significant progress in each.

Facebook’s progress in AI can been seen in everything from the company’s news feed to the way in which people are tagged. The virtual reality innovations are best demonstrated through the Oculus Rift, which I demo’d last Thursday. More recently, the company made a great flight forward on the connectivity pillar as Acquila, a long-endurance plane that will fly above commercial aircraft and the weather, took flight in Arizona. The goal is for this v-shaped aircraft that has a wingspan longer than a Boeing 737, but weighs under 1,o00 pounds to bring basic internet access to the developing world.

I met with Schroepfer at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, and we discussed these three pillars and a variety of other topics, including the company’s recruiting methods, how the company maintains its innovative edge, and the logic behind its headquarters — one of the largest open-space offices in the world.

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Aug 15, 2016

Electric vehicles can meet drivers’ needs enough to replace 90 percent of vehicles now on the road

Posted by in categories: climatology, sustainability

Could existing electric vehicles (EVs), despite their limited driving range, bring about a meaningful reduction in the greenhouse-gas emissions that are causing global climate change? Researchers at MIT have just completed the most comprehensive study yet to address this hotly debated question, and have reached a clear conclusion: Yes, they can.

The study, which found that a wholesale replacement of conventional vehicles with electric ones is possible today and could play a significant role in meeting climate change mitigation goals, was published today in the journal Nature Energy by Jessika Trancik, the Atlantic Richfield Career Development Associate Professor in Energy Studies at MIT’s Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS), along with graduate student Zachary Needell, postdoc James McNerney, and recent graduate Michael Chang SM ‘15.

“Roughly 90 percent of the personal vehicles on the road daily could be replaced by a low-cost electric vehicle available on the market today, even if the cars can only charge overnight,” Trancik says, “which would more than meet near-term U.S. climate targets for personal vehicle travel.” Overall, when accounting for the emissions today from the power plants that provide the electricity, this would lead to an approximately 30 percent reduction in emissions from transportation. Deeper emissions cuts would be realized if power plants decarbonize over time.

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Aug 15, 2016

Google is developing an OS called “Fuchsia,” runs on All the Things

Posted by in categories: computing, mobile phones, transportation

Every single operating system developed by Google to date has one thing in common: they’re based on the Linux kernel. Chrome OS, Android, Chromecasts, you name it. Linux has powered Google hardware for years.

However, the Linux kernel is not ideal for every situation. Especially in the case of embedded devices like car dashboards or GPS units, full-blown desktop kernels like Linux impact performance and cause other issues. There’s a massive ecosystem of operating systems designed for embedded hardware, and Google may be working on their own.

Enter “Fuchsia.” Google’s own description for it on the project’s GitHub page is simply, “Pink + Purple == Fuchsia (a new Operating System)”. Not very revealing, is it? When you begin to dig deeper into Fuchsia’s documentation, everything starts to make a little more sense.

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Aug 15, 2016

Scientists Built a ‘Mini Black Hole’ Out of Sound Waves

Posted by in category: cosmology

A tabletop black hole emits what looks like Hawking radiation.

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