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Feb 8, 2016

What Are Gravitational Waves And Why Do They Matter?

Posted by in category: physics

Physicists have been buzzing (or rather, tweeting) about the possibility that the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) experiment finally discovered gravitational waves. LIGO has been searching for these cosmic ripples for over a decade. Last September, it upgraded to Advanced-LIGO, a more sensitive system that’s also better at filtering out noise. Advanced-LIGO has a much stronger chance of collecting concrete evidence of gravitational waves—if it hasn’t already.

Scientists may be excited, but talk of gravitational waves leaves most people scratching their heads. What are these cosmic vibrations, and why are they making waves in the scientific community?

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Feb 8, 2016

China’s nuclear fusion machine just smashed Germany’s hydrogen plasma record

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, physics

Just last week, we reported that Germany’s revolutionary nuclear fusion machine managed to heat hydrogen gas to 80 million degrees Celsius, and sustain a cloud of hydrogen plasma for a quarter of a second. This was a huge milestone in the decades-long pursuit of controlled nuclear fusion, because if we can produce and hold onto hydrogen plasma for a certain period, we can harness the clean, practically limitless energy that fuels our Sun.

Now physicists in China have announced that their own nuclear fusion machine, called the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST), has produced hydrogen plasma at 49.999 million degrees Celsius, and held onto it for an impressive 102 seconds.

While this is nowhere near the hottest temperature that’s been produced by an experiment — that honour goes to the Large Hadron Collider, which hit a whopping 4 trillion degrees Celsius (250,000 times hotter than the centre of the Sun) back in 2012 — the team from China’s Institute of Physical Science in Hefei managed to recreate solar conditions for well over a minute.

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Feb 8, 2016

‘Bionic spine’ could enable paralysed patients to walk using subconscious thought

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, health, neuroscience, transhumanism

Australian scientists hope that a tiny device just 3cm long and a few millimetres wide will enable paralysed patients to walk again by allowing them to control bionic limbs with the power of subconscious thought.

The new device, dubbed the “bionic spine”, is the size of a small paperclip and will be implanted in three patients at the Royal Melbourne hospital in Victoria next year. The participants will be selected from the Austin Health spinal cord unit, and will be the first humans to trial the device, which so far has only been tested in sheep.

Doctors will make a tiny cut in the neck of the patients and feed a catheter containing the bionic spine up through the blood vessels leading into the brain, until it rests on top of the motor cortex, the part of the brain where nerve impulses that initiate voluntary muscle movements come from. The catheter will then be removed, leaving the bionic spine behind.

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Feb 8, 2016

Chiral magnetic effect generates quantum current

Posted by in categories: computing, materials, quantum physics

Another step forward for Quantum — The Quantum Current. US Dept. of Energy has a new method to generate very low-resistance electric (Quantum) current which will improve our methods for energy, quantum computing, and medical imaging, and possibly even a new mechanism for inducing superconductivity—the ability of some materials (zirconium pentatelluride) to carry current with no energy loss.

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Feb 8, 2016

Google’s AI Technology Will Transform Life As We Know It

Posted by in categories: quantum physics, robotics/AI

Me and one of my friends on LinkedIn both knew it was only a matter of time that AI & Quantum together would be announced. And, Google with D-Wave indeed would be leading this charge. BTW — once this pairing of technologies is done; get ready for some amazing AI technology including robotics to come out.


But there may not be any competitors for a while if Google’s “Ace of Spades” newbie performs as they predict. According to Hartmut Neven, head of its Quantum Al Lab, this baby can run:

“We found that for problem instances involving nearly 1,000 binary variables, quantum annealing significantly outperforms its classical counterpart, simulated annealing. It is more than 10 to the power of 8 times faster than simulated annealing running on a single core.”

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Feb 8, 2016

It seems life really does have a vital spark: quantum mechanics

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

We all have “Quantum Spark”.


For centuries philosophers have grappled with the question of what makes life, and thanks to the science of quantum mechanics we might just have the answer, writes Johnjoe McFadden.

What is life? Why is the stuff of life — flesh — so different from inanimate material? Does life obey the same laws as the inanimate world? And what happens when we die?

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Feb 8, 2016

Artificial Life in Quantum Technologies

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, evolution, quantum physics

We develop a quantum information protocol that models the biological behaviours of individuals living in a natural selection scenario. The artificially engineered evolution of the quantum living units shows the fundamental features of life in a common environment, such as self-replication, mutation, interaction of individuals, and death. We propose how to mimic these bio-inspired features in a quantum-mechanical formalism, which allows for an experimental implementation achievable with current quantum platforms. This study paves the way for the realization of artificial life and embodied evolution with quantum technologies.

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Feb 8, 2016

Quantum state of molecular ion measured live, non-destructively

Posted by in categories: energy, quantum physics

A non-destructive Quantum State.


The interaction of thermal energy from the environment with motional degrees of freedom is well known and often referred to as Brownian motion (also thermal motion). But in the case of polar molecules, the internal degrees of freedom — in particular the rotational quantum state — are also influenced by the thermal radiation. So far, the detection of the rotational state was only possible by destroying the molecule. However, a German research group has now demonstrated the first implementation of a non-destructive state detection technique for molecular ions.

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Feb 8, 2016

Technology and Millennials Are Driving Business Strategy and Social Change

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business, climatology, ethics, finance, sustainability

Danaher’s Instruments of Change — If you feel like your industry that has always been on a slow & stable growth curve is now under greater pressure to change; you’re not alone. Recent indicators are showing with the latest changes in tech and consumers (namely the millennials as the largest consumers today); industries have been shaken up to perform at new levels like never before or companies in those industries will cease to be relevant.


Doing well by doing good is now expected for businesses, and moral leadership is at a premium for CEOs. For today’s companies to maintain their license to operate, they need to take into account a range of elements in their decision making: managing their supply chains, applying new ways of measuring their business performance that include indicators for social as well as commercial returns, and controlling the full life cycle of their products’ usage as well as disposal. This new reality is demonstrated by the launch last September of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which call on businesses to address sustainability challenges such as poverty, gender equality, and climate change in new and creative ways. The new expectations for business also are at the heart of the Change the World list, launched by Fortune Magazine in August 2015, which is designed to identify and celebrate companies that have made significant progress in addressing major social problems as a part of their core business strategy.

Technology and millennials seem to be driving much of this change. Socially conscious customers and idealistic employees are applauding companies’ ability to do good as part of their profit-making strategy. With social media capable of reaching millions instantly, companies want to be on the right side of capitalism’s power. This is good news for society. Corporate venturing activities are emerging, and companies are increasingly leveraging people, ideas, technology, and business assets to achieve social and environmental priorities together with financial profit. These new venturing strategies are focusing more and more on areas where new partnerships and investments can lead to positive outcomes for all: the shareholders, the workers, the environment, and the local community.

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Feb 8, 2016

How to Never Forget a Name? In the Future, We’ll Just Google Our Brain

Posted by in categories: futurism, neuroscience

Have you ever walked into a room and forgot why you where there? Or while in the middle of conversation forgot a person’s name? Or briefing your boss on a project, only to stumble because a crucial factoid escaped your mind?

Yeah, me too.

“Tip of the tongue” syndrome haunts us all — that feeling where you’re close to remembering something, but just can’t seem to get there. But what if, at that exact moment, an AI-powered “cognitive assistant” pitches in and delivers that missing piece of information straight into your ear?

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