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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.

May 20, 2024

Alzheimer’s breakthrough as common hormone could become new dementia drug

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

A hormone already present in the human body could be used to stop Alzheimer’s disease in its tracks, scientists have announced.

Researchers discovered that a small part of an appetite-suppressing hormone called leptin, which is present in everyone, can have dramatic effects on the brain, including stopping the development of Alzheimer’s disease in its earliest stages.

Their tests have shown that leptin can reduce the effects of two toxic proteins in the brain called amyloid and tau, which build up and lead to memory loss and development of Alzheimer’s disease.

May 20, 2024

Scientists Uncover Unique New 1D Superconducting State

Posted by in categories: materials, quantum physics

A team led by Chen Xianhui and Professor Xiang Ziji from the CAS Key Laboratory of Strongly-Coupled Quantum Matter Physics and the Department of Physics at the University of Science and Technology of China, uncovered a unique superconducting state characterized by one-dimensional superconducting stripes. This state is induced by the ferromagnetic proximity effect in an oxide heterostructure made up of ferromagnetic EuO and (110)-oriented KTaO3 (KTO). Their findings were published in Nature Physics.

The academic community concurs that the emergence of unconventional superconducting pairings is intricately linked to magnetism, particularly in copper oxides and iron-based high-temperature superconductors. Magnetic fluctuations are deemed pivotal in the genesis of high-temperature superconductivity, where the interplay between superconductivity and magnetism gives rise to superconducting states exhibiting unique spatial modulation. Superconducting oxide heterostructures encompassing magnetic structural units emerge as an optimal platform for investigating such superconducting states.

Building upon their prior achievements, the research team delved deeper into the superconductivity of this system and its relationship with the ferromagnetic proximity effect, meticulously adjusting the carrier concentration of the two-dimensional electron gas residing at the interface. They uncovered an intriguing in-plane anisotropy in superconductivity among samples with low carrier concentrations, which nevertheless vanished in samples exhibiting higher carrier concentrations.

May 20, 2024

Beyond Hydrogen: Discovery of Tiny New Atom Tauonium With Massive Implications

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

Recent discoveries in quantum physics have revealed simpler atomic structures than hydrogen, involving pure electromagnetic interactions between particles like electrons and their antiparticles. This advancement has significant implications for our understanding of quantum mechanics and fundamental physics, highlighted by new methods for detecting tauonium, which could revolutionize measurements of particle physics.

The hydrogen atom was once considered the simplest atom in nature, composed of a structureless electron and a structured proton. However, as research progressed, scientists discovered a simpler type of atom, consisting of structureless electrons (e-), muons (μ-), or tauons (τ-) and their equally structureless antiparticles. These atoms are bound together solely by electromagnetic interactions, with simpler structures than hydrogen atoms, providing a new perspective on scientific problems such as quantum mechanics, fundamental symmetry, and gravity.

Discovery of Electromagnetic Interaction Atoms.

May 20, 2024

Karmela Padavic-Callaghan

Posted by in categories: education, mathematics, quantum physics

Karmela Padavic-Callaghan is a science writer reporting on physics, materials science and quantum technology. Karmela earned a PhD in theoretical condensed matter physics and atomic, molecular and optical physics from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Their research has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including Physical Review Letters and New Journal of Physics.

They studied ultracold atomic systems in novel geometries in microgravity and the interplay of disorder and quasiperiodicity in one-dimensional systems, including metamaterials. During their doctoral training, they also participated in several art-based projects, including co-developing a course on physics and art and serving as a production manager for a devised theatre piece titled Quantum Voyages.

Before joining New Scientist, Karmela was an assistant professor at Bard High School Early College in New York City, where they taught high school and college courses in physics and mathematics. Karmela’s freelance writing has been featured in Wired, Scientific American, Slate, MIT Technology Review, Quanta Magazine and Physics World.

May 20, 2024

Life’s Secret Ingredient? USC Scientist Discovers New “Rule of Biology”

Posted by in categories: biological, law

University of Southern California Dornsife molecular biologist John Tower suggests that while living things generally prefer stability to conserve energy and resources, instability may also play a crucial role.

A molecular biologist at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences may have found a new “rule of biology.”

A rule of biology, sometimes called a biological law, describes a recognized pattern or truism among living organisms. Allen’s rule, for example, states that among warm-blooded animals, those found in colder areas have shorter, thicker limbs (to conserve body heat) than those in hotter regions, which need more body surface area to dissipate heat.

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