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Feb 2, 2023

Market Map: Generative AI for Virtual Worlds

Posted by in categories: entertainment, mapping, robotics/AI

Someday soon, we’ll speak entire universes into existence.

This article is a guide to the companies building the generative artificial intelligence technology that will lead to these virtual worlds (games, simulations, metaverse applications).

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Feb 2, 2023

A precise X-ray thermometer for warm dense matter

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, mathematics

Warm dense matter (WDM) measures thousands of degrees in temperature and is under the pressure of thousands of Earth’s atmospheres. Found in many places throughout the universe, it is expected to have beneficial applications on Earth. However, its investigation is a challenge.

Even the temperature of a material under WDM conditions is anything but easy to determine. A team of researchers led by Dr. Tobias Dornheim from the Center for Advanced Systems Understanding (CASUS) at HZDR has demonstrated a mathematical solution that allows an accurate assessment of the temperature.

As the team points out in the journal Nature Communications, their method can readily be used at experimental facilities of matter research around the world and expedite the gain of scientific knowledge.

Feb 2, 2023

Researchers find the key to reducing drag on superhydrophobic surfaces can come down to a single parameter

Posted by in category: transportation

Sometimes, the most complex problems can be solved with the simplest approaches. Such was the case for researchers at UC Santa Barbara as they tried to resolve a longstanding issue of fluid friction—the resistance between an object moving through fluid, or conversely, a stationary object with fluid flowing around or through it. It’s also known as drag.

“We had built a theory, but it was a very messy problem,” said mechanical engineering professor Paolo Luzzatto-Fegiz. Their problem dealt in particular with (SHS), which are seen as a potential solution to the problem of drag, a phenomenon that reduces the efficiency of things traveling through water, like cargo ships, and increases the to pump liquids through pipes.

Their calculations for an effective SHS encompassed 10 complex parameters, but as it turns out, the ability to predict if an SHS will perform as intended boils down to just one. Their research is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Feb 2, 2023

Predicting human group sizes with physics

Posted by in categories: computing, particle physics

Only by knowing the average number of friends each person has, scientists at Complexity Science Hub (CSH) were able to predict the group sizes of people in a computer game. For this purpose, they modeled the formation of social groups on an example from physics, namely the self-organization of particles with spin.

Sociologists have focused on how are forming and the mechanism behind it for a long time. The urge to avoid stress, as well as homophily—the tendency of people to join groups with others who share similar features, traits, or opinions—have been observed in many different contexts.

“Although multiple models have been studied, little is known about how homophily and stress avoidance affect the formation of human groups, and in particular the of them—whether there are many or few large ones, for example,” explains Jan Korbel from CSH and first author of the study. By using two contemporary fields from physics, called self-assembly and spin glasses, scientists now shed new light on social group formation.

Feb 2, 2023

Researchers devise a new path toward ‘quantum light’

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

Researchers have theorized a new mechanism to generate high-energy “quantum light,” which could be used to investigate new properties of matter at the atomic scale.

The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, along with colleagues from the U.S., Israel and Austria, developed a theory describing a new state of light, which has controllable quantum properties over a broad range of frequencies, up as high as X-ray frequencies. Their results are reported in the journal Nature Physics.

The world we observe around us can be described according to the laws of classical physics, but once we observe things at an atomic scale, the strange world of takes over. Imagine a basketball: observing it with the , the basketball behaves according to the laws of classical physics. But the atoms that make up the basketball behave according to quantum physics instead.

Feb 2, 2023

The first lab-created ‘quantum abacus’

Posted by in categories: mathematics, quantum physics

Do you want to know whether a very large integer is a prime number or not? Or if it is a “lucky number”? A new study by SISSA, carried out in collaboration with the University of Trieste and the University of Saint Andrews, suggests an innovative method that could help answer such questions through physics, using some sort of “quantum abacus.”

By combining theoretical and , scientists were able to reproduce a quantum potential with corresponding to the first 15 and the first 10 lucky numbers using holographic laser techniques. This result, published in PNAS Nexus, opens the door to obtaining potentials with finite sequences of integers as arbitrary quantum energies, and to addressing mathematical questions related to with quantum mechanical experiments.

“Every physical system is characterized by a certain set of energy levels, which basically make up its ID,” explains Giuseppe Mussardo, at SISSA—International School for Advanced Studies. “In this work, we have reversed this line of reasoning: is it possible—starting from an arithmetic sequence, for example that of prime numbers—to obtain a quantum system with those very numbers as energy levels?”

Feb 2, 2023

Unconventional superconductivity found in kagome metal

Posted by in categories: engineering, quantum physics

Physicists using advanced muon spin spectroscopy at Paul Scherrer Institute PSI found the missing link between their recent breakthrough in a kagome metal and unconventional superconductivity. The team uncovered an unconventional superconductivity that can be tuned with pressure, giving exciting potential for engineering quantum materials.

A year ago, a group of physicists led by PSI detected evidence of an unusual collective electron behavior in a kagome metal, known as time-reversal symmetry-breaking charge order—a discovery that was published in Nature.

Although this type of behavior can hint towards the highly desirable trait of , actual evidence that the material exhibited unconventional superconductivity was lacking. Now, in a new study published in Nature Communications, the team have provided key evidence to make the link between the unusual charge order they observed and unconventional superconductivity.

Feb 2, 2023

How ‘modern-day slavery’ in the Congo powers the rechargeable battery economy

Posted by in categories: economics, mobile phones, sustainability, transportation

Phone and electric car batteries are made with cobalt mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Cobalt Red author Siddharth Kara describes the conditions for workers as a “horror show.”

Feb 2, 2023

We Don’t Need To Go To Mars

Posted by in category: space travel

Buckle up, this one is fun: Maciej Cegowski has begun what promises to be a multi-part essay arguing against a crewed mission to Mars. It’s called “Why Not Mars,” it’s 8,000 words long, with 66 footnotes, and it sings. I’m not even sure I agree, but I enjoy the hell out of it.

The goal of this essay is to persuade you that we shouldnt send human beings to Mars, at least not anytime soon. Landing on Mars with existing technology would be a destructive, wasteful stunt whose only legacy would be to ruin the greatest natural history experiment in the Solar System. It would no more open a new era of spaceflight than a Phoenician sailor crossing the Atlantic in 500 B.C. would have opened up the New World. And it wouldnt even be that much fun.

A few choice lines:

Feb 2, 2023

Google ads push ‘virtualized’ malware made for antivirus evasion

Posted by in category: cybercrime/malcode

An ongoing Google ads malvertising campaign is spreading malware installers that leverage KoiVM virtualization technology to evade detection when installing the Formbook data stealer.

KoiVM is a plugin for the ConfuserEx. NET protector that obfuscates a program’s opcodes so that the virtual machine only understands them. Then, when launched, the virtual machine translates the opcodes back to their original form so that the application can be executed.

“Virtualization frameworks such as KoiVM obfuscate executables by replacing the original code, such as NET Common Intermediate Language (CIL) instructions, with virtualized code that only the virtualization framework understands,” explains a new report by SentinelLabs.

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