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Jan 19, 2022

SpaceX Veterans Aim To Shake Up Freight Rail With Electric, Robotic Trains

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

Mile-long, slow-moving diesel trains loaded with cargo chugging slowly across the U.S. could be a thing of the past one day if stealth startup Parallel Systems has its way. The Los Angeles company thinks the future of freight lies in autonomous battery-powered trains that squeeze far more capacity out of existing rail lines.

Founded by a trio of former SpaceX engineers, including CEO Matt Soule, Parallel’s idea for smaller, flexible zero-emission trains pulling no more than 50 cars and operating with greater frequency than traditional behemoths that haul over 150 boxcars at a time caught the attention of tech-oriented venture firms, including Anthos Capital, Congruent Ventures, Riot Ventures and Embark Ventures. With their backing and from other investors, Parallel just raised $49.6 million to refine prototypes and software for its futuristic trains and, eventually, shift more freight hauling from trucks.

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Jan 19, 2022

The World’s First Autonomous Ship Just Finished Its First Run in Japan

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

After 22 weeks of data gathering.

The demonstration test of the world’s first fully autonomous ship navigation system was successfully carried out in Japan on January 17, according to a press release.

The large ferry has autonomously navigated over a 149 mile (240 km) stretch of Japan’s Iyonda Sea at the speed of 26 knots (30 mph or 48 kph) and also performed the docking procedures at the end of its voyage.… See more.

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Jan 19, 2022

Tonga Volcano Eruption Was 500 Times More Powerful Than Hiroshima

Posted by in category: climatology

Estimated to be equivalent to 10 megatons of TNT.

Last weekend the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano, located just over 18 miles off the coast of Tonga’s Fonuafo’ou Island, erupted. The resulting blast was so big, it sent many nations across the world scrambling over tsunami warnings. The same volcano also made headlines with a previous eruption in 2015 that resulted in the creation of small land formations. The new eruption in 2021 has added 50 percent more landmass to the volcano-made islets. However, the recent blast was so massive it destroyed most of the land formations nearby.

Even though it has been four days since the eruption, the island nation of Tonga still remains cut off from the world with undersea communication cables cut and its airport covered in ash.

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Jan 19, 2022

Astronomers Want to Build a Neutrino Telescope. Using the Pacific Ocean?

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics

Neutrino detectors are about to get a lot bigger.

One of the most mysterious particles in the universe are neutrinos, with only dark matter out-baffling scientists as a more puzzling phenomenon.

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Jan 19, 2022

A Hypergiant Star Is ‘Breathing’ in Space. Has It Reached Its Death Throes?

Posted by in category: cosmology

It’s time to make peace with one of the largest-known stars.

Everything is relative. By that, I mean: Jupiter, when compared to Earth, is large. Yet Jupiter, when compared to the Sun, is small. By virtue, the Sun in comparison with hypergiants is basically microscopic. Our local star actually sits right in the middle, between big and small, by star classification. There are many stars in our galaxy alone that fall on one end of the spectrum or the other. Yet, none has quite captured the imagination exactly like the “nearby” star known as VY Canis Majoris (otherwise known as HD 58,061 or HIP 35793) can.

Located approximately between 3,800 and 5,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Canis Major, VY Canis Majoris is technically classified as a red hypergiant, which means it is among the largest of stars known to exist in our galaxy. How large is it, you might ask? Well, VY Canis Major is estimated to be larger than between 1,800 and 2100 Suns, with between 15 to 25 times more mass. At its peak, it may be even weighed as much as 40 solar masses (one solar mass is equivalent to one of our suns, or 1.989 × 1,030 kg), but astronomers believe the star has moved beyond “main sequence” and is reaching the end of its stellar life span. Therefore, a significant amount of its mass has already been blown away by solar winds.

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Jan 19, 2022

Engineering plants to talk via bioluminescence

Posted by in categories: drones, engineering, food, mobile phones, satellites, sustainability

What if plants could tell us when pests are attacking them, or they’re too dry, or they need more fertilizer. One startup is gene engineering farm plants so they can communicate in in fluorescent colors. The result: a farmer’s phone, drone, or even satellite imagery can reveal what is happening in hundreds of acres of fields …

That leads to better food, fewer crop failures, and more revenue for farmers.

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Jan 19, 2022

Scientists Discover How To Halt and Control Cellular Death Process — Previously Thought To Be Irreversible

Posted by in category: mathematics

Numbers like π, e and φ often turn up in unexpected places in science and mathematics. Pascal’s triangle and the Fibonacci sequence also seem inexplicably widespread in nature. Then there’s the Riemann zeta function, a deceptively straightforward function that has perplexed mathematicians since the 19th century. The most famous quandary, the Riemann hypothesis, is perhaps the greatest unsolved question in mathematics, with the Clay Mathematics Institute offering a $1 million prize for a correct proof.

Jan 19, 2022

Quantum zeta epiphany: Physicist finds a new approach to a $1 million mathematical enigma

Posted by in categories: mathematics, quantum physics

Numbers like π, e and φ often turn up in unexpected places in science and mathematics. Pascal’s triangle and the Fibonacci sequence also seem inexplicably widespread in nature. Then there’s the Riemann zeta function, a deceptively straightforward function that has perplexed mathematicians since the 19th century. The most famous quandary, the Riemann hypothesis, is perhaps the greatest unsolved question in mathematics, with the Clay Mathematics Institute offering a $1 million prize for a correct proof.

UC Santa Barbara physicist Grant Remmen believes he has a new approach for exploring the quirks of the function. He has found an analog that translates many of the function’s important properties into . This means that researchers can now leverage the tools from this field of physics to investigate the enigmatic and oddly ubiquitous zeta function. His work could even lead to a proof of the Riemann hypothesis. Remmen lays out his approach in the journalPhysical Review Letters.

“The Riemann zeta function is this famous and mysterious mathematical function that comes up in number theory all over the place,” said Remmen, a postdoctoral scholar at UCSB’s Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics. “It’s been studied for over 150 years.”

Jan 19, 2022

Light from behind supermassive black hole detected for first time

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

The first direct observation of light from behind a supermassive black hole confirms a prediction in Einstein’s theory of general relativity.

Jan 19, 2022

The Forever Battery That Promises to Change the EV Industry

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

Circa 2021


DETROIT – The EV Revolution is in full-swing right now. Tesla just passed the trillion-dollar valuation mark. Lucid Group just rolled out its first cars with 500+ miles of driving range. Rivian just had the biggest initial public offering since Facebook.

Every legacy automaker — from Ford to GM to Volkswagen — is investing tens of billions of dollars iino electrifying their fleets. The EV Revolution has arrived.

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