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May 16, 2024

JunoCam Images Suggest Icy Crust Shifts on Europa

Posted by in category: space

Jupiter’s moon, Europa, has long been hypothesized to contain a vast, liquid water ocean beneath its icy crust. But has this crust remained stationary, or has it moved over millions of years since it could be separated from the ocean below? This is what two recent studies published in The Planetary Science Journal and JGR Planets hope to address as high-resolution images from NASA’s Juno spacecraft revealed some unique surface features on the small moon. These images and studies hold the potential to help scientists better understand what they refer to as “true polar wander” on Europa, which is a hypothesis stating that Europa’s outer icy shell moves freely since it’s allegedly detached from the ocean underneath.

“True polar wander occurs if Europa’s icy shell is decoupled from its rocky interior, resulting in high stress levels on the shell, which lead to predictable fracture patterns,” said Dr. Candy Hansen, who is a co-investigator on Juno, along with being lead author of The Planetary Science Journal study and a co-author on the JGR Planets study. “This is the first time that these fracture patterns have been mapped in the southern hemisphere, suggesting that true polar wander’s effect on Europa’s surface geology is more extensive than previously identified.”

May 16, 2024

Scientists demonstrate the survival of quantum coherence in a chemical reaction involving ultracold molecules

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.

May 16, 2024

Researchers achieve ultra-high-Q free space coupling to microtoroid resonators

Posted by in category: computing

Scientists from the University of Arizona have achieved far-field coupling of light to ultra-high quality factor microtoroids using a single objective lens. This could provide the foundation for a fully on-chip multiplexed microtoroid sensing platform.

May 16, 2024

Researchers call for a new measurement of time for tunneling particles

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

In an amazing phenomenon of quantum physics known as tunneling, particles appear to move faster than the speed of light. However, physicists from Darmstadt believe that the time it takes for particles to tunnel has been measured incorrectly. They propose a new method to stop the speed of quantum particles.

May 16, 2024

Scientists use generative AI to answer complex questions in physics

Posted by in categories: physics, robotics/AI

“This is a really nice way of incorporating something you know about your physical system deep inside your machine-learning scheme. It goes far beyond just performing feature engineering on your data samples or simple inductive biases,” Schäfer says.

This generative classifier can determine what phase the system is in given some parameter, like temperature or pressure. And because the researchers directly approximate the probability distributions underlying measurements from the physical system, the classifier has system knowledge.

This enables their method to perform better than other machine-learning techniques. And because it can work automatically without the need for extensive training, their approach significantly enhances the computational efficiency of identifying .

May 16, 2024

Quantum experts review major techniques for isolating Majoranas

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

Named after an Italian theoretical physicist, Majoranas are complex quasiparticles that could be the key to building next-generation quantum computing systems.

May 16, 2024

AI Uncovers Hidden Differences in Male and Female Brain Structures

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

Summary: Researchers use AI to reveal distinct cellular-level differences in the brains of men and women, focusing on white matter. These findings show AI can accurately identify sex-based brain patterns invisible to human eyes.

The study suggests that understanding these differences can enhance diagnostic tools and treatments for brain disorders. This research emphasizes the need for diversity in brain studies to ensure comprehensive insights into neurological diseases.

May 16, 2024

Scientists make lithium-replacement battery with 8,000 cycles

Posted by in category: futurism

“Both zinc and lignin are super cheap, and the battery is easily recyclable,” said Khan in the press release. “If you calculate the cost per usage cycle, it becomes an extremely cheap battery compared to lithium-ion batteries.”

Unlike other zinc-based batteries that discharge in just a few hours, the newly made battery can retain its charge for a week. Additionally, the battery is stable and maintains 80 percent of its performance even over the course of 8,000 cycles.

May 16, 2024

Intel ‘Sunsets’ Its Massive Ponte Vecchio Data Center GPU

Posted by in category: computing

The company has decided to refocus its HPC efforts on Falcon Shores, its successor, and its existing Gaudi accelerators.

May 16, 2024

Is Dark Energy Evolving?

Posted by in categories: cosmology, futurism

Life is shaped by choices. The fundamental debate is whether to live life for learning or for pleasure. This weekend, my existential tension boiled down to a simple question: why am I writing my next book and my next scientific paper rather than having fun in the sun?

After some contemplation, I came up with the realization that learning is pleasure. But there is another benefit to writing. Most people will live in the future and I wish to communicate my thoughts to those who will be born long after I am gone. I weigh my priorities in life based on the number of people who might benefit from my actions.

There are currently 8.1 billion people on Earth, about 7% of the total number of humans who have ever lived since the Big Bang, 117 billion. Based on the star count from the Gaia sky survey, the number of stars in the Milky-Way galaxy is comparable to this total value within a factor of a few. This implies that for the foreseeable future, Milky-Way stars could be named after each person who ever lived on Earth.

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