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Nov 27, 2023

New study shows how heat can be used in computing

Posted by in categories: computing, particle physics

Physicists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and Central South University in China have demonstrated that, combining specific materials, heat in technical devices can be used in computing. Their discovery is based on extensive calculations and simulations. The new approach demonstrates how heat signals can be steered and amplified for use in energy-efficient data processing.

The team’s research findings have been published in the journal Advanced Electronic Materials (“PT-Symmetry Enabled Spintronic Thermal Diodes and Logic Gates.”).

Information signals are encoded as thermal spin waves (red arrows). Logical operations are realized with two magnetic strips (signal conductors) and precisely controlled with current pulses in a spacer (platinum). (Image: Berakdar group)

Nov 27, 2023

As the ISS turns 25, a look back at the space laboratory’s legacy

Posted by in categories: education, space

The ISS just celebrated its 25th anniversary — soon, the station will be hanging up its boots.

Nov 27, 2023

Deep Mind’s Student of Games AI system can beat humans at a variety of games

Posted by in categories: entertainment, robotics/AI

A team of AI researchers from EquiLibre Technologies, Sony AI, Amii and Midjourney, working with Google’s DeepMind project, has developed an AI system called Student of Games (SoG) that is capable of both beating humans at a variety of games and learning to play new ones. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the group describes the new system and its capabilities.

Over the past half-century, and engineers have developed the idea of machine learning and artificial intelligence, in which human-generated data is used to train computer systems. The technology has applications in a variety of scenarios, one of which is playing board and/or parlor games.

Teaching a computer to play a and then improving its capabilities to the degree that it can beat humans has become a milestone of sorts, demonstrating how far artificial intelligence has developed. In this new study, the research team has taken another step toward artificial general intelligence—in which a computer can carry out tasks deemed superhuman.

Nov 27, 2023

Everyone is talking about artificial intelligence, but we’re missing some key changes that it will unleash

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

As an optimist, I believe it will be a catalyst for changes that will help all of us to learn faster and achieve more of our potential.

Focus on the data

Where do I start? Let me start by noting that, in all the conversations about artificial intelligence, very few people are talking about the data. Most people don’t recognize that AI is actually extremely stupid without data. Data is the fuel that shapes the intelligence of AI. Everyone seems to assume that more and more data will be available as AI evolves. But is that assumption valid?

Nov 27, 2023

High-tech soccer ball unveiled for Euro 2024 promises more accurate offside decisions

Posted by in category: computing

A high-tech soccer ball that helps with more accurate offside decisions will make its European Championship debut next year in Germany after being used at the 2022 World Cup.

European soocer governing body UEFA and manufacturer Adidas unveiled the ball for Euro 2024 in Berlin on Wednesday. It is named “Fussballliebe,” the German word for “love of soccer,” and will be used at next year’s 51-game tournament from June 14-July 14.

A fixed on a gyroscope inside the ball sends data 500 times per second to record the point at which it is kicked. The “kick point” helps match officials make offside decisions using multiple camera angles to create 3D visualizations that illustrate .

Nov 27, 2023

Exploring the Heart of the Milky Way: Webb Telescope’s Breakthrough Observations

Posted by in categories: cosmology, innovation

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) recently used its powerful Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) to peer into the very center of our Milky Way Galaxy, revealing stunning details in a star-forming region known as Sagittarius C (Sgr C) like never before, which includes approximately 500,000 in this single image. Sgr C is located approximately 300 light-years from the exact center of the Milky Way known as Sagittarius A*, which is a supermassive black hole. For context, the Milky Way is approximately 105,000 light-years across, so Sgr C being only 300 light-years from the center of the Milky Way is extremely close.

“The galactic center is a crowded, tumultuous place. There are turbulent, magnetized gas clouds that are forming stars, which then impact the surrounding gas with their outflowing winds, jets, and radiation,” said Dr. Rubén Fedriani, who is a Juan de la Cierva Postdoctoral Fellow at the Instituto Astrofísica de Andalucía in Spain and a co-investigator of the project. “Webb has provided us with a ton of data on this extreme environment, and we are just starting to dig into it.”

Nov 27, 2023

NASA-Funded Mission Unveils Lunar Hydrogen Resource for Future Space Exploration

Posted by in categories: materials, space

A recent study published in Communications Earth & Environment examines how lunar samples collected and returned by Apollo astronauts contain traces of hydrogen produced by the solar wind. The samples, labeled 79221, were collected during surface activities on Apollo 17 in 1972, and holds the potential to help scientists and engineers better understand how hydrogen within these samples can be used for future space exploration, specifically pertaining to in-situ resource utilization (ISRU).

The practice of ISRU involves using resources directly available at a location without the need of resupply from an outside source. In this case, future lunar astronauts would want to use resources already present on the Moon for their survivability needs rather than having constant resupply from the Earth, which can be both costly and risky.

“Hydrogen has the potential to be a resource that can be used directly on the lunar surface when there are more regular or permanent installations there,” said Dr. Katherine D. Burgess, who is a geologist in the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) Materials Science and Technology Division and lead author of the study. “Locating resources and understanding how to collect them prior to getting to the Moon is going to be incredibly valuable for space exploration.”

Nov 27, 2023

Scientists chart the stories of young stars — from being born to moving out

Posted by in categories: futurism, space

The team developed its new method of age determination by harnessing two of the most powerful and accurate techniques already employed by astronomers to study stars. They found that one, known as isochronous measurement, can be used to determine precisely when stars are born. The other, known as dynamical tracking, provides information about when stars leave their cosmic nests.

Synchronizing these two differing cosmic clocks revealed to the team that stars snuggle up to their stellar siblings for around 5.5 million years after birth.

“Our work paves the way for future research into star formation and provides a clearer picture of how stars and star clusters evolve,” Núria Miret-Roig, team leader and an astrophysicist at the University of Vienna, said in a statement. “This is an important step in our endeavor to understand the formation of the Milky Way and other galaxies.”

Nov 27, 2023

Mars Needs Insects

Posted by in category: space

If humans are ever going to live on the red planet, they’re going to have to bring bugs with them.

Nov 27, 2023

NASA is Getting the Plutonium it Needs for Future Missions

Posted by in categories: alien life, government, nuclear energy

Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) have a long history of service in space exploration. Since the first was tested in space in 1961, RTGs have gone on to be used by 31 NASA missions, including the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Packages (ALSEPs) delivered by the Apollo astronauts to the lunar surface. RTGs have also powered the Viking 1 and 2 missions to Mars, the Ulysses mission to the Sun, Galileo mission to Jupiter, and the Pioneer, Voyager, and New Horizons missions to the outer Solar System – which are currently in (or well on their way to) interstellar space.

In recent years, RTGs have allowed the Curiosity and Perseverance rovers to continue the search for evidence of past (and maybe present) life on Mars. In the coming years, these nuclear batteries will power more astrobiology missions, like the Dragonfly mission that will explore Saturn’s largest moon, Titan. In recent years, there has been concern that NASA was running low on Plutonium-238, the key component for RTGs. Luckily, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently delivered a large shipment of plutonium oxide, putting it on track to realize its goal of regular production of the radioisotopic material.

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