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Apr 4, 2020

New measurements reveal evidence of elusive particles in a newly-discovered superconductor

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

Particle chasing—it’s a game that so many physicists play. Sometimes the hunt takes place inside large supercolliders, where spectacular collisions are necessary to find hidden particles and new physics. For physicists studying solids, the game occurs in a much different environment and the sought-after particles don’t come from furious collisions. Instead, particle-like entities, called quasiparticles, emerge from complicated electronic interactions that happen deep within a material. Sometimes the quasiparticles are easy to probe, but others are more difficult to spot, lurking just out of reach.

New measurements show evidence for the presence of exotic Majorana particles on the surface of an unconventional superconductor, Uranium ditelluride. Graphic provided by Dr. E. Edwards, Managing Director of Illinois Quantum Information Science and Technology Center (IQUIST).

Now a team of researchers at the University of Illinois, led by physicist Vidya Madhavan, in collaboration with researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the University of Maryland, Boston College, and ETH Zurich, have used high-resolution microscopy tools to peer at the inner-workings of an unusual type of superconductor, uranium ditelluride (UTe2). Their measurements reveal strong evidence that this material may be a natural home to an exotic quasiparticle that’s been hiding from physicists for decades. The study is published in the March 26 issue of Nature.

Apr 4, 2020

Anti-Parasitic Drug Kills Coronavirus Cell Cultures in 48 Hours

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

“As the virologist who was part of the team who were first to isolate and share SARS-COV2 outside of China in January 2020, I am excited about the prospect of Ivermectin being used as a potential drug against COVID-19,” Leon Caly, senior medical scientist at the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL) at the Doherty Institute, said.

A vaccine for COVID-19 is likely still at least a year out, despite research teams across the world fast tracking work on potential vaccines. But that doesn’t mean we’re doomed.

“In times when we’re having a global pandemic and there isn’t an approved treatment, if we had a compound that was already available around the world then that might help people sooner,” Wagstaff said in the statement. “Realistically it’s going to be a while before a vaccine is broadly available.”

Apr 4, 2020

Crew Dragon Demo-2 will be a Really Long Test Drive.

Posted by in categories: space, space travel

“Depending on when we launch they’re going to be up there for probably two to three months.”

NASA Administrator Bridenstine
SpaceX and NASA
Elon Musk speaks with NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine, along with astronauts Victor Glover, Doug Hurley, Bob Behnken and Mike Hopkins, in front of the company’s Crew Dragon capsule. Credit NASA

The next launch to the Space Station is planned for April 9th and is only a few days away. Preparations for the launch have been complicated with illness and coronavirus complications. AS OF NOW, the launch is still on track to rocket American astronaut Chris Cassidy and his two Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner. Originally, Ivanishin and Vagner were backup for expedition 63. Due to a temporary health condition, Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner were moved forward onto the prime crew. Because of delays in the US Commercial Crew Program, the crew on the ISS may be lower that normal.

Boeing and SpaceX delays put ISS operations at Risk

Since delays to the US Commercial Crew Program might leave Cassidy as the only crew member on the USOS for an extended period of time, Anatoli Ivanishin has been training on US EMU spacesuits. Cassidy has completed multiple EVAs in the past, including an unscheduled EVA. In the unlikely event that an unscheduled EVA is required before additional USOS crew members arrive on the station, then Ivanishin can support Cassidy. Should Ivanishin participate in EVA in the EMU he would be the first Russian cosmonaut to use an EMU since 2007 where Yuri Malenchenko performed the EVA with NASA Astronaut Peggy Whitson. Vagner has been to training on operation the USOS Robotic Arm (Canadarm 2) should there be a need to robotically support any EVA carried out by Cassidy and Ivanishin.

At the Cosmonaut Hotel crew quarters in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, Expedition 63 crewmembers Chris Cassidy of NASA (left) and Anatoly Ivanishin (center) and Ivan Vagner (right) of Roscosmos practice rendezvous techniques on a laptop simulator April 1 as they prepare for launch. They will launch April 9 on the Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for a six-and-a-half month mission on the International Space Station. Andrey Shelepin/Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center Credit NASA

The three astronauts are scheduled to be in space until October 2020 by which time a SpaceX Crew Dragon should be able to rotate a new crew onto the ISS.

During expedition 63, NASA and SpaceX hope to accomplish the first humans launched to the ISS from American soil since the retirement of the space shuttle in 2011. SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Demo-2 mission is a flight test with crew. NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will take the Crew Dragon for a “Test drive” on the Demo-2 mission. NASA hopes to certify all of the systems operational for future crewed missions to the International Space Station.

Apr 4, 2020

Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 video reveals the foldable phone we really want

Posted by in category: mobile phones

A new Galaxy Fold 2 concept brings the leaks to life with a bigger 120Hz display and S Pen support.

Apr 4, 2020

FBI warns white supremacists encouraging members to spread coronavirus to law enforcement, Jews: report

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business, law enforcement

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s New York office recently sent out an alert to local authorities warning of extremist groups it said are encouraging their members to spread the novel coronavirus to police and Jewish people, ABC News reported.

According to the news agency, the alert, which was reportedly issued on Thursday, said that “members of extremist groups are encouraging one another to spread the virus, if contracted, through bodily fluids and personal interactions.”

The alert reportedly warned that the racist groups were urging their members to go to places where Jewish people “may be congregated, to include markets, political offices, businesses and places of worship.”

Apr 4, 2020

Chinese city bans the eating of cats and dogs

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food

The ruling is a tougher version of China’s ban of wildlife meat, after it was linked to the virus.

Apr 4, 2020

How a Bouncy Ball Changed the Way I See the World

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, robotics/AI, space

In the stillness and noise of the M.R.I., I picture what the magnet is doing to my brain. I imagine hydrogen protons aligning along and against the direction of its field. Bursts of radio waves challenge their orientation, generating signals that are rendered into images. Other than the sting of the contrast agent, the momentary changes in nuclear spin feel like nothing. “Twenty-five more minutes,” the radiologist says through the plastic headphones. Usually, I fall asleep.

I’ve had more than 50 scans since 2005, when I received a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, and I now possess thousands of images of my brain and spine. Sometimes I open the files to count the spinal-cord lesions that are slowly but aggressively taking away my ability to walk. On days my right leg can clear the ground, it feels as if a corkscrew is twisting into my femur. I take halting steps, like a hapless robot, until it’s impossible to move forward. “Maybe in 10 years there will be a pill, or a treatment,” a doctor told me.

For now, even a sustained low fever could cause permanent disability, and medications that treat the disease have left me immunosuppressed, making fevers more likely. I quarantined before it was indicated, and what I miss most now, sheltering in place, are walks through my neighborhood park in Los Angeles with my dog, who gleefully chases the latest bouncy ball I’m hurtling against the concrete. Her current favorite is the Waboba Moon Ball, which comes in highlighter fluorescent yellow and Smurf blue, among other colors. Technically Moon Balls are spherical polyhedrons. They sport radically dimpled surfaces, as if Buckminster Fuller had storyboarded an early pitch for “Space Jam.” Moon Balls are goofy, but they bounce 100 feet.

Apr 4, 2020

Quantum computing at the nanoscale

Posted by in categories: computing, nanotechnology, quantum physics

It’s been said that quantum computing will be like going from candlelight to electric light in the way it will transform how we live. Quite a picture, but what exactly is quantum computing?

For the answer to that question, we’ll have to visit a scale of existence so small that the usual rules of physics are warped, stretched and broken, and there are few layperson terms to lean on. Strap yourself in.

Luckily, we have a world-leading researcher in quantum computing, Professor David Reilly, to guide us. “Most modern technologies are largely based on electromagnetism and Newtonian mechanics,” says Reilly in a meeting room at the University’s Nano Hub. “Quantum computing taps into an enormous new area of nano physics that we haven’t harnessed yet.”

Apr 4, 2020

Quantum Computers: Should We Be Prepared?

Posted by in categories: quantum physics, robotics/AI

Some foresee quantum computers will come to solve some of the world’s most serious issues. However, others accept that the advantages will be exceeded by the downsides, for example, cost or that quantum computers basically can’t work, incapable to play out the complexities demanded of them in the manner we envision. The integral factor will be if the producers can guarantee ‘quantum supremacy’ by accomplishing low error rates for their machines and outperforming current computers.

Hollywood has made numerous anticipations with respect to the future and artificial intelligence, some disturbing, others empowering. One of the most quickly developing research areas takes a look at the use of quantum computers in molding artificial intelligence. Actually, some consider machine learning the yardstick by which the field is estimated.

The idea of machine learning, to ‘learn’ new data without express explicit instruction or programming has existed since 1959, in spite of the fact that we still haven’t exactly shown up at the vision set somewhere by the likes of Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke. In any case, the conviction is that quantum computing will help accelerate our advancement right now. What was at one time a periphery thought evaded by the more extensive science community, has developed to turn into a well known and practical field worthy of serious investment.

Apr 4, 2020

High-energy particle physicists figured out video conferencing a long time ago

Posted by in category: particle physics

If scientists can solve the universe’s toughest problems over video chat, you can too.