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May 21, 2024

Quantum Coherence: Harvard Scientists Uncover Hidden Order in Chemical Chaos

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

If you zoom in on a chemical reaction to the quantum level, you’ll notice that particles behave like waves that can ripple and collide. Scientists have long sought to understand quantum coherence, the ability of particles to maintain phase relationships and exist in multiple states simultaneously; this is akin to all parts of a wave being synchronized. It has been an open question whether quantum coherence can persist through a chemical reaction where bonds dynamically break and form.

Now, for the first time, a team of Harvard scientists has demonstrated the survival of quantum coherence in a chemical reaction involving ultracold molecules. These findings highlight the potential of harnessing chemical reactions for future applications in quantum information science.

“I am extremely proud of our work investigating a very fundamental property of a chemical reaction where we really didn’t know what the result would be,” said senior co-author Kang-Kuen Ni, Theodore William Richards Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Physics. “It was really gratifying to do an experiment to find out what Mother Nature tells us.”

May 21, 2024

Scientists develop artificial brain cell using mix of salt and water

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

In a path-breaking study, researchers have created artificial neurological junctions called synapses using a mix of water and salt, paving the way for the development of advanced computers that mimic the performance of a human brain. The artificial brain cells, developed by the team from Utrecht University in the Netherlands and Sogang University in South Korea, use the same water and salt ingredients the brain uses.

The results of the study were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Scientists striving to develop energy efficient and high-performance computers often look up to human brains as a source of inspiration.

May 20, 2024

Critical Mineral Deposits and Coal: An Unexpected Co-Location

Posted by in category: energy

Can the very locations that fossil fuels are mined also be used to extract rare earth elements (REEs) for renewable energies? This is what a recent study published in Frontiers of Earth Science hopes to address as a team of researchers investigated how coal mines could be exploited for REEs whose metals could be used for technology applications and renewable energies throughout the world. This study holds the potential to help scientists, miners, and conservationists better understand previously unknown avenues for pursuing REEs within the United States, as REEs are traditionally imported from other countries.

“The model is if you’re already moving rock, could you move a little more rock for resources towards energy transition?” said Dr. Lauren Birgenheier, who is an associate professor of geology and geophysics at the University of Utah and a co-author on the study. “In those areas, we’re finding that the rare earth elements are concentrated in fine-grain shale units, the muddy shales that are above and below the coal seams.”

May 20, 2024

Genetically engineered pig hearts transplanted in two brain-dead patients reveal more about immune response

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

A large team of biomedical researchers affiliated with a host of institutions across the U.S., the U.K., Saudi Arabia and France, has learned more about many of the factors involved in xenotransplantation as they conducted a large number of tests on two brain-dead human patients that had received genetically engineered pig hearts.

May 20, 2024

Scarlett Johansson says she is ‘shocked, angered’ over new ChatGPT voice

Posted by in categories: entertainment, robotics/AI

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, who has said the 2013 Spike Jonze film is his favorite movie, invited comparisons by posting the word “Her” on X after the company announced the new ChatGPT version. But later, OpenAI executives denied any connection between Johansson and the new voice assistant.

Then the company suddenly dropped the voice.

In a post on X just before midnight Pacific time Sunday, OpenAI said the voice would be halted as it addresses “questions about how we chose the voices in ChatGPT.” A company spokeswoman would not provide further detail.

May 20, 2024

Could Dyson spheres exist in our galaxy?

Posted by in category: space

A Dyson sphere is a hypothetical giant structure that surrounds a star and can capture its solar output. Two separate groups of astronomers have claimed that they have detected dozens of possible Dyson spheres within the Milky Way galaxy. NBC’s Gadi Schwartz speaks with Dr. Michio Kaku about what it would take to create a Dyson sphere and how advanced a civilization would need to be to make it happen.

May 20, 2024

Scientists Identify Seven Star Systems That May Be Hosting Alien Megastructures

Posted by in category: alien life

Astronomers have identified seven star systems in our galaxy that could potentially host a Dyson sphere — a hypothetical megastructure an alien civilization could build around a star or black hole to capture most of its power in the form of radiation.

The concept, first proposed by theoretical physicist Freeman Dyson in 1960, could take on a number of different shapes, from giant cage structures to ring shells to constellations of mirrors.

Of course, it’s an entirely theoretical idea. After all, we haven’t even discovered the existence of extraterrestrial life, let alone an intelligent alien civilization.

May 20, 2024

How smart is ChatGPT?

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

OpenAI has introduced GPT-4o, in the form of a digital personal assistant that can interact using text and visuals 🤖

Here, we look back at GPT-4’s performance in human exams from a year ago for comparison.

From the archive:

May 20, 2024

Windows 11 Recall AI feature will record everything you do on your PC

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

A new Winows 11 feature that will remember what you did in your PC.


Microsoft has announced a new AI-powered feature for Windows 11 called ‘Recall,’ which records everything you do on your PC and lets you search through your historical activities.

Recall works like a photographic memory for your PC, letting you access everything you’ve seen or done on your computer in an organized way using queries in your native language.

Continue reading “Windows 11 Recall AI feature will record everything you do on your PC” »

May 20, 2024

Testing theory of mind in large language models and humans

Posted by in category: futurism

Testing two families of large language models (LLMs) (GPT and LLaMA2) on a battery of measurements spanning different theory of mind abilities, Strachan et al. find that the performance of LLMs can mirror that of humans on most of these tasks. The authors explored potential reasons for this.

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