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  • Jack 3:39 am on December 13, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: james owen weatherall, nautilus, quantum theory, undersstanding quantum states   

    Quantum Questions 

    Physicists know how to use quantum theory—your phone and computer give plenty of evidence of that. But knowing how to use it is a far cry from fully understanding the world the theory describes—or even what the various mathematical devices scientists use in the theory are supposed to mean. One such mathematical object, whose status physicists have long debated, is known as the quantum state.

    One of the most striking features of quantum theory is that its predictions are, under virtually all circumstances, probabilistic. If you set up an experiment in a laboratory, and then you use quantum theory to predict the outcomes of various measurements you might perform, the best the theory can offer is probabilities—say, a 50 percent chance that you’ll get one outcome, and a 50 percent chance that you’ll get a different one. The role the quantum state plays in the theory is to determine, or at least encode, these probabilities. If you know the quantum state, then you can compute the probability of getting any possible outcome to any possible experiment.

    But does the quantum state ultimately represent some objective aspect of reality, or is it a way of characterizing something about us, namely, something about what some person knows about reality? This question stretches back to the earliest history of quantum theory, but has recently become an active topic again, inspiring a slew of new theoretical results and even some experimental tests.

    To see why the quantum state might represent what someone knows, consider another case where we use probabilities. Before your friend rolls a die, you guess what side will face up. If your friend rolls a standard six-sided die, you’d usually say there is about a 17 percent (or one in six) chance that you’ll be right, whatever you guess. Here the probability represents something about you: your state of knowledge about the die. Let’s say your back is turned while she rolls it, so that she sees the result—a six, say—but not you. As far as you are concerned, the outcome remains uncertain, even though she knows it. Probabilities that represent a person’s uncertainty, even though there is some fact of the matter, are called epistemic, from one of the Greek words for knowledge.

    This means that you and your friend could assign very different probabilities, without either of you being wrong. You say the probability of the die showing a six is 17 percent, whereas your friend, who has seen the outcome already, says that it is 100 percent. That is because each of you knows different things, and the probabilities are representations of your respective states of knowledge. The only incorrect assignments, in fact, would be ones that said there was no chance at all that the die showed a six.

    Over the last 15 years or so, physicists have asked whether the quantum state could be epistemic in a similar way. Suppose there is some fact of the matter about the configuration of the world—something like an arrangement of particles in space, or even an actual result in the die game—but you do not know what it is. A quantum state, according to these approaches, is just a way of characterizing your incomplete knowledge about the configuration of the world. Given some physical situation, there might be more than one correct way of assigning a quantum state, depending on what information you have.

    It’s appealing to think of the quantum state this way because of how quantum states change when you measure something about a physical system. Measuring a system will generally change its state from one in which each possible outcome has some non-zero probability to one in which only one outcome occurs. That’s a lot like what happens when, in the die game, you learn that the die does, in fact, show a six. It seems strange to think that the world would change simply because you measured something. But if it is just your knowledge that changes, things don’t seem so strange.

    Another reason to think the quantum state is epistemic is that, in most cases, there is no way of telling, with a single experiment, what the quantum state actually was before the experiment. This also resembles probabilities in the die game. Suppose that another friend came along to play the game, and insisted that the probability of the die showing a six was only 10 percent, while you still say it is 17 percent. Could a single experiment show who is right? No. The reason is that the actual outcome—of six, say—is compatible with both of your probability assignments (though one may be more accurate in the sense of getting the frequencies right over many rolls). There’s no way of telling if you or your friend is right in any particular case. According to epistemic approaches to quantum theory, the reason you cannot experimentally distinguish most quantum states is just like the die game: There are some possibilities for the actual physical situation that are compatible with multiple quantum states.

    Rob Spekkens, a physicist at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, in Waterloo, Ontario, published in 2007 what turned out to be an influential paper, presenting a “toy theory” designed to mimic quantum theory. The toy theory wasn’t the same as quantum theory, because it was limited to extremely simple systems—namely, systems with at most two possible values for any of their properties, such as “red” or “blue” for their color or “up” or “down” for their orientation. But like quantum theory, it included states that could be used to calculate probabilities. And it made many of the same predictions as quantum theory, at least for these simple systems.

    Spekkens’s toy theory was exciting because just like in quantum theory, its states were generally “indistinguishable”—and that indistinguishability was fully explained by their mutual compatibility with the same underlying physical situations. In other words, the toy theory was very like quantum theory, and its states were unambiguously epistemic. Since the indistinguishability of quantum states has, for those inclined to an epistemic approach, no accepted explanation—the question is whether they can come up with one at all—Spekkens and others took this as strong evidence that quantum states might be epistemic, too, if only the toy theory could extend to more complicated systems. It has since inspired a flurry of research, with some physicists trying to extend his work to cover all quantum phenomena, and others trying to show how that’s mistaken.

    Thus far, it seems the naysayers have the upper hand. For instance, one widely discussed result from a 2012 paper in Nature Physics, by theoretical physicists Matthew Pusey, Jonathan Barrett, and Terry Rudolph, established that if physical experiments can always be set up independently of one another then there cannot be any ambiguity about the “correct” quantum state describing those experiments. Other quantum states would be wrong, in the same way that it would be wrong to think there’s a 0 percent chance of rolling a six on a die that has, in fact, landed on six.

    Another paper, published in Physical Review Letters in 2014 by Jonathan Barrett, Eric Cavalcanti, Raymond Lal, and Owen Maroney, showed that there was no way to extend Spekkens’ toy theory to systems whose properties can take on three or more values—such as “red,” “blue,” and “green” for color, rather than just “red” and “blue”—without violating the predictions of quantum theory. The authors even proposed experiments that could tell the difference between the predictions of quantum theory and the predictions that any epistemic approach would have to make—and so far, the experiments that have been performed all agree with the standard quantum theory. In other words, it seems you can’t interpret the quantum state as epistemic because any theory in which the state is epistemic makes predictions different from quantum theory.

    So do these results rule out the idea that the quantum state is a feature of our mind? Well, yes and no. The arguments weighing against epistemic approaches are mathematical theorems proved in a particular framework for thinking about physical theories. First developed by Spekkens and collaborators as a way of explaining epistemic approaches, this framework includes several fundamental assumptions. One is that the world is always in some ontic state, a determinate physical state independent of what we happen to know, which may or may not coincide with the quantum state; another is that a physical theory makes predictions that can be represented using methods from standard probability theory. These assumptions are not controversial—but that doesn’t mean they’re right. What the Nature Physics and Physics Review Letters results show is that there can be no theory in this framework that is epistemic in the same way that Spekkens’s toy model is, while agreeing with quantum theory.

    Whether this is the last word depends on your view of the framework. And on this subject, opinions can vary.

    For instance, Owen Maroney, a physicist and philosopher at Oxford University and one of the authors of the 2014 Physical Review Letters paper, said in an email, “The most plausible psi-epistemic models”—epistemic models that can be accommodated by Spekkens’ framework—“are getting ruled out.” Likewise, Matt Leifer, a physicist at Chapman University who has written extensively on epistemic approaches to the quantum state, says that even the 2012 Nature Physics result closes the case—as long as you are willing to accept their independence assumption (which, Leifer says, he is “often inclined to do”).

    Spekkens himself is more circumspect. He agrees that these results have placed important constraints on epistemic approaches to the quantum state. But he emphasizes that these results are all proved within his framework—and as the originator of that framework, he is quick to point out that it has limitations, such as its assumptions about probability. And so, he thinks, epistemic approaches to the quantum state remain well-motivated, but if they are to succeed, we need to revisit basic assumptions about physical theories that most physicists have been willing to accept without question.

    What seems clear, however, is that real progress has been made on foundational issues in quantum theory. Many physicists are tempted to dismiss questions about the meaning of the quantum state as merely interpretational or, worse, “philosophical,” since they are not relevant to the problems most quantum physicists worry about, like designing new particle accelerators or building better lasers. Saying a problem is “philosophical” makes it seem as if it falls outside the scope of mathematical and experimental physics.

    But work on epistemic approaches show how wrong this is. Spekkens and his collaborators managed to take an interpretation of the quantum state and turn it into a precise hypothesis—a hypothesis that was then refuted with mathematical and experimental results. That does not mean epistemic approaches are dead, but it does force their advocates to come up with a new hypothesis. And that is unambiguous progress—both scientific and philosophical.

    James Owen Weatherall is Professor of Logic and Philosophy of Science at U.C. Irvine. His most recent book is Void: The Strange Physics of Nothing (Yale University Press, 2016), which explores the structure of empty space in physics, from the 17th century to today. 

    Source…

     
  • Jack 11:45 am on December 1, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: elon musk, iqs directory, ,   

    Mission Mars 

    In the movie The Martian, Matt Damon is stranded on the planet Mars after his crew is caught in a rip-roaring sand storm. The crew is forced to evacuate the planet, leaving Damon to fend for himself and survive the harsh climate.

    Thankfully, Damon is the ultimate survivor. He’s survived numerous assassination attempts in the Bourne Identity series, fought off freakish monsters in The Wall, and somehow survived another space disaster in Interstellar. If anything, he can handle a little loneliness on Mars.

    Thanks to his ingenuity and mechanical genius, he manages to create a shelter, grow potatoes, and eventually be rescued. It’s like Apollo 13 has a one night stand with Castaway.

    And while all this may seem absurd and far fetched, Elon Musk wants to make this, and a whole lot more happen. In approximately six years.

    Yes, this may gargantuan plan may seem a bit odd given that Musk and his SpaceX crew struggled mightily simply to get a rocket to land on a platform in the middle of the ocean.

    But Musk doesn’t seem intimidated. He has a very specific plan for how he will get a rocket to Mars, as well as what will happen to make it the planet liveable. Like I said, this is The Martian on a massive dose of steroids.

    Introducing The Big F****** Rocket

    big rocket_1

    Musk’s ambitious plan centers around a rocket that he affectionately calls the “BFR” (Big F******* Rocket). When will this monstrosity take to the skies? He plans to have it spaceborne by 2022, with four of them headed to Mars by 2024.

    The innovator recently unveiled plans for a new spacecraft that he says would allow humans to colonise Mars, build a base on the moon, and travel to anywhere on Earth in under an hour.

    Obviously, traveling with enough speed and power to reach Mars will require a tremendous amount of power, which is why Musk is focused heavily on the Raptor engines that will propel the rocket. The engines, which deliver about 500,000 pounds of liftoff thrust, use liquid methane rather than kerosene. Musk says that they will use 31 of these enormous engines, each of which are capable of delivering a whopping 170 tons of thrust.

    Despite the size, he says that these engines will be equal to or even exceed the safety of airline jets:

    The flight engine design is much lighter and tighter, and is extremely focused on reliability. The objective [sic] If our engine is even close to a jet engine in reliability, has a flak shield to protect against a rapid unscheduled disassembly and we have more engines than the typical two of most airliners, then exceeding airline safety should be possible.

    You would think that such a ship would be incredibly uncomfortable for passengers, given the complexity involved, but Musk indicates that it should be able to hold about 100 passengers in 40 separate cabins. This seems relatively luxurious, which will be a necessity given that the trip will take around three months.

    For those of you who want to know the deep details, here’s Musk himself explaining the BFR:

    Funding The BFR

     

    bfr flight_1

    It shouldn’t come as a surprise that creating a rocket that can do all Musk promises will cost money. A lot of money. So where is this budget going to come from?

    Musk plans on cannibalizing all the other SpaceX products and projects.

    Eventually, Musk wants to use the BFR to tackle all of its missions. Rather than using smaller crafts like the Falcon9, Dragon, and Heavy, he wants the BFR to be their flagship rocket.

    If they can achieve this goal, the the resources being used to construct the smaller craft can all be diverted into creating a fleet of BFRs that can travel to Mars, rocket around the Earth, and make quick trips out to the moon.

    Additionally, Musk’s goal is to make the BFR a reusable rocket, which is different than the Falcon9, which they’ve crashed again and again. This would also represent a significant budget savings.

    Actually Colonizing Mars

     

    mars rover_1

    It’s one thing to talk about creating a rocket that could go to Mars, it’s something else altogether to colonize a planet.

    Musk estimates that a ticket to Mars will cost about $200,000. Assuming you can pay for it, it will look something like this:

    You and 99 or more other passengers board a huge crew vessel atop a massive new rocket—combined, they are about as tall as a 40-story building. Forty-two Raptor engines rumble to life below, and soon you and your fellow pilgrims are gunning through the upper atmosphere at tens of thousands of miles per hour. After depositing you in orbit, the first stage booster drops back to Earth, and flies itself back to the launchpad at Cape Canaveral. After some indeterminate refurbing, a crane attaches another spaceship on top. Except this one has no people. It’s full of fuel. The rocket launches again, and releases the spaceship, which meets your spaceship in orbit and transfers its fuel load into your ship’s tanks. Repeat a few times until your ship is topped off. Then, you head for Mars.

    The plan for actually setting up colonies on Mars isn’t quite a clear, but that has never stopped Musk in the past. In a recent Reddit AMA, he indicated that the actual development of the colonies will be the responsibility of other companies.

    Populating Mars isn’t Musk’s main goal. He simply wants to get people, a lot of people, to Mars over the next 40 years. If he can do that, he figures other people can handle the colonization side.

    The Challenges

     

    mars rover_1

    Musk’s plan, like all of his ideas, is huge, entailing enormous costs and seemingly impossible odds. Is this even feasible?

    Here are the challenges:

    • Cost for passengers: $200,000 is a LOT of money for a ticket to Mars. And this doesn’t include the additional expenses involved in the actual colonization of the planet. While costs are always initially high for any technology, this will certainly limit who can travel to Mars.
    • Space colonization: Mars is similar to Earth in terms of planetary conditions. Technically, we could survive on the planet if we created the right type of environment. But again, that assumes we can get people there in the first place, have them do all the necessary research to determine how to build those environments, and then actually build them.
    • Planet alignment: Mars and Earth only are in the proper alignment once every two years, meaning that getting a huge number of people to the planet would take centuries. Musk wants to get a million people there, which would take approximately 10,000 launches. His solution is to build 1,000 BFRs and send them all into orbit at once, carrying 100,000 people at a time. This would reduce the total time to transport 1 million people to somewhere around 20 years.

    The Final Countdown

    If anyone can get people to Mars, it’s Musk. He’s been a big, driving force in the tech scene for years, and has been ambitiously working on everything from electric cars to creating the Hyperloop.

    He’s come far with his SpaceX program, and although he still has miles to go, it does seem at least feasible.

    Musk seems to be driven by the spirit that inhabited John F. Kennedy in his famous moon speech. He isn’t the kind of person who asks, “Why?”

    Rather, he asks, “Why not?”

     
  • Jack 3:21 am on November 24, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , , ,   

    Ridiculous Science 

    Just when you thought it was safe to fire up the Hummer, there comes some devastating news from our friends in the climate change industry.

    Global warming may be making bearded dragons more stupid.

    No really, this is not a joke.

    Obviously you’re praying that it is because the last thing any of us would want – dear God, anything but that – would be for arguably the world’s most popular and friendly, frilly-necked reptilian pet from Australia to be dropping a few IQ points as a result of man’s selfishness, greed and refusal to change his carbon-guzzling lifestyle.

    Here, though, is the headline in black and white at Phys.Org:

    Climate Change may be making Bearded Dragons less Intelligent.

    And here is what “scientists” are saying, apparently, in this peer-reviewed study for the Royal Society.

    A team of researchers affiliated with the University of Lincoln in the U.K. has found evidence suggesting that as the planet heats up due to global warming, the bearded dragon may become less intelligent. In their paper published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, the group describes exposing incubating bearded dragons to warmer than normal air temperatures and then testing their intelligence.

    Over the past several years, scientists have been finding that creatures great and small are smarter than commonly assumed. This is the case for , the people-friendly reptile from Australia. Some studies have shown, for example, that they are able to note the behavior of their peers and then copy it if it offers a reward. Such behavior offers a means for testing the intelligence of individuals among a group.

    To find out what impact rising temperatures might have on the bearded , the researchers incubated 13 eggs, seven in a warmer than normal 30 degrees Celsius nest and six at the normal 27 degrees C. After they hatched and grew older, the researchers tested the intelligence of all the lizards by exposing them to a video showing a bearded dragon opening a sliding door and then testing them to see if they could or would imitate the behavior for a reward—prior research showed that opening a screen door is something the lizards can only learn if they see another lizard do it first.

    The researchers report that fewer of the  that incubated in the warmer pens were able to mimic the lizard on the video than those that had incubated at normal temperatures—and those that did succeed did so at a much slower pace. This, the researchers suggest, indicates that as the planet warms, animals across the globe will be impacted in some unexpected ways. For the bearded dragon, it could spell serious trouble if they become less intelligent, making them less able to adapt to change. The researchers also note that their results are similar to those of researcher Jonathan Webb—he found that exposing geckos to warmer temperatures in the nest made them not only duller but less likely to survive once released into the wild.

    Oh please, no. Say, it ain’t so. Not just the Bearded Dragons. But the geckos too???

    Source…

     
  • Jack 3:31 am on November 15, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: ben-gurion university, cloaking device, dr alina karabchevsky, invisibility, israeli military procurement, israeli technology, rebecca pinington,   

    Invisibility 

    RESEARCHERS have discovered how to make objects entirely invisible in a major scientific breakthrough.

    Top scientists have come up with a cloaking device that scatters light away from an object so it cannot be detected.

    The new method, conceived as an “invisibility cloak”, will scatter waves around an object meaning it can be totally concealed from view.

    Scientists at Ben-Gurion University in Israel will now set to work creating a prototype to prove their method for making objects invisible really works.

    If successful it could be used in the military alongside technologies such as radar-absorbing dark paint on stealth aircraft, local optical camouflage, surface cooling to prevent infrared detection, and electromagnetic wave scattering.

    Dr Alina Karabchevsky, the lead scientist behind the study, said: “We showed that it is possible to bend the light around an object located on the cloak on an optical chip.

    “The light does not interact with the object, thus resulting in the object’s invisibility.”

    The study, published in Nature Scientific Reports, shows how placing an object on top of a surface made of the “cloaking” material could scatter light around it.

    The object would then be invisible to the eye – although it could still be picked up by infrared sensors or radar.

    Scientists came up with their method for concealing objects based on the study of “metamaterials”.

    This focuses on exploiting and controlling light by looking at how it interacts with objects.

    The path of light is deflected when it hits material objects – but “metamaterials” are a new class of material that can refract light.

    They were also used by researchers from the US Department of Energy when they created an invisibility “skin cloak” that conforms to the size of an object and conceals it from detection.

    The cloak, created in 2015, was microscopic in size. However researchers have been working on creating a larger version that could be used on large objects.

    Scientists will continue to push the boundaries of how light can interact with objects as they experiment with X-rays, infrared and light waves in upcoming studies.

    Source…

     
  • Jack 2:50 pm on November 14, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: ben wolfgang, chinese pollution, , , indian pollution, paris climate accord, , ,   

    Exposed…Again 

    The Paris climate pact is off to a rocky start due to a huge increase in Chinese pollution this year, researchers said Monday in a report that finds U.S. emissions are still dropping despite President Trump’s decision to pull the nation from the global agreement.

    Several studies released by the Global Carbon Project and presented Monday at a United Nations climate conference in Germany say that worldwide carbon emissions are projected to rise about 2 percent in 2017 after they’d been flat for three years, according to preliminary estimates of this year’s data.

    The culprit, the data show, is China, which had kept its emissions in check in recent years but now is seeing a massive uptick in pollution. Under the Paris pact, China agreed to cap its emissions by 2030, meaning it’s free to ramp up pollution between now and then.

    China’s uptick in 2017, which comes after a 1 percent drop in 2015 and flat emissions last year, largely is due to the country’s increased use of fossil fuels.

    More broadly, researchers say the data show the Paris agreement so far is not working as intended.

    “Global commitments made in Paris in 2015 to reduce emissions are still not being matched by actions,” said Glen Peters, a research director at CICERO Center for International Climate Research.

    “It is far too early to proclaim that we have turned a corner and started the journey towards zero emissions. While emissions may rise 2 percent in 2017, it is not possible to say whether this is a return to growth, or a one-off increase,” said Mr. Peters, who led one of the studies that was included in the sweeping Global Carbon Project study.

    Chinese emissions are projected to rise by 3.5 percent this year, according to the study. China is the world’s largest polluter and accounts for nearly 30 percent of all worldwide carbon emissions.

    India’s emissions also are expected to rise by 2 percent, though that’s a much smaller rise than in recent years.

    U.S. emissions, meanwhile, are projected to decline by 0.4 percent in 2017. That’s less of a decline than in recent years, research shows, but still underscores that technological advancements and a market shift away from coal in America are having tangible impacts.

    European emissions also are expected to decline slightly this year.

    The news comes as virtually every country in the world has signed on to the Paris agreement. Signed in late 2015, the deal required the U.S. to cut its emissions by at least 26 percent by 2025 when compared to 2005 levels. But Mr. Trump shelved that commitment in June, saying the agreement was unfair to the U.S. and let other major polluters — such as China and India — off the hook.

    Monday’s data appear to back up his contention.

    Researchers say the new information underscores how difficult it is to control emissions, especially from countries such as China, despite the Paris accord.

    “The slowdown in emissions growth from 2014 to 2016 was always a delicate balance, and the likely 2 percent increase in 2017 clearly demonstrates that we can’t take the recent slowdown for granted”, said Robbie Andrew, a senior researcher at CICERO who also co-authored the studies.

    Highlights of the report can be found here.

    Source…

     
  • Jack 3:21 pm on November 8, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: ancient greek art, ancient mystery, bronze age, , harry pettit, high technology, minoan, mycenaeans   

    Sealstone Mystery 

    A rare 3,500-year-old sealstone found in the treasure-laden tomb of a Bronze Age Greek warrior could rewrite the history of ancient Greek art.

    The thumb-sized gem depicts a fierce hand-to-hand battle between three warriors, and would have been stamped into clay or wax.

    Experts say the seal’s design is so intricate it may have required a magnifying glass to carve, and is one of the finest works of prehistoric Greek art ever discovered.

    The ‘Pylos Combat Agate’, named after the battle it depicts, changes our understanding of Greek art in the Bronze Age because it was around 1,000 years ahead of its time, experts claim.

    The researchers, from the University of Cincinnati, say the seal’s craftsmanship is unlike anything seen from the period.

    ‘What is fascinating is that the representation of the human body is at a level of detail and musculature that one doesn’t find again until the classical period of Greek art 1,000 years later,’ team member Dr Jack Davis told UC Magazine, the university’s news outlet.

    ‘It’s a spectacular find.’

    The painstakingly carved combat scene was etched on a piece of hard stone just 3.6 centimetres (1.4 inches) long.

    Some of the seal’s details are so intricate they can only be seen using a powerful camera lens or microscope.

    The stone’s architect may have used a magnifying glass to create the details, but the researchers claim that no type of magnifying tool from this time period has ever been found.

    ‘Some of the details on this are only a half-millimeter big – they’re incomprehensibly small,’ Dr Davis said.

    The thumb-sized gem depicts a victorious warrior who, having already killed one opponent, is shown plunging his sword into the exposed neck of another.

    The masterpiece sheds light on the dawn of the Mycenaean civilisation, which conquered the culturally advance Minoans on the nearby island of Crete around the time the body was buried.

    This scene ‘undoubtedly’ reflects a legend that was well known to the Minoans and Mycenaeans of the time, the researchers said.

    ‘It would have been a valuable and prized possession – I think he would have certainly identified himself with the hero depicted on the seal,’ said dig leader Dr Shari Stocker.

    The seal's design (pictured) is so intricate it may have required a magnifying glass to carve. The 'Pylos Combat Agate', named after the battle it depicts, changes our understanding of Greek art in the Bronze Age

    The seal’s design (pictured) is so intricate it may have required a magnifying glass to carve. The ‘Pylos Combat Agate’, named after the battle it depicts, changes our understanding of Greek art in the Bronze Age

    THE GRIFFIN WARRIOR

    The sealstone was found by researchers in a Bronze Age warrior’s wooden tomb outside the ancient Greek city of Pylos in 2015.

    It was discovered among a trove of riches including four gold signet rings and a number of weapons, cups and basins made of bronze, silver and gold.

    The Greek culture minister confirmed at the time that the find was ‘the most important to have been discovered in 65 years’ in continental Greece.

    The ancient man, who could have been a powerful Mycenaean warrior or priest, was named the ‘Griffin Warrior’ after an ivory plaque adorned with the half lion and half eagle mythical beast that was buried with him.

    The team reconstructed the Griffin Warrior's  face (pictured) by layering facial tissues from the skull surface outward by using depth marker pegs to determine the thickness - revealing a he had long black hair, a square jaw and powerful neck

    In a previous study, the team reconstructed the Griffin Warrior’s face (pictured) by layering facial tissues from the skull surface outward using depth marker pegs to determine the thickness. He had long black hair, a square jaw and powerful neck

    A significant number of the artefacts were made by Minoans, a culturally more advanced civilisation that arose on the island of Crete, southeast of Pylos.

    Analyses of the warrior’s skull have shown he had long black hair, a square jaw and powerful neck.

    The fact the vessels in the warrior’s tomb, built around 1500 B.C, are metal and not pottery is an indication of his wealth and power.

    He is estimated to have been around 30-years-old when he died.

    The skill and finesse of the Pylos Combat Agate is unparalleled by anything found from the Minoan-Mycenaean world before, the researchers said.

    ‘It seems that the Minoans were producing art of the sort that no one ever imagined they were capable of producing,’ Dr Davis said.

    ‘It shows that their ability and interest in representational art, particularly movement and human anatomy, is beyond what it was imagined to be.

    The sealstone was found in a Bronze Age warrior's wooden tomb (artist's impression)  in 2015 The skeleton of an adult male stretched out on his back lay in the grave with weapons arranged to his left and a hoard of fine jewellery on his right. Other weapons and pots were found nearby

    The sealstone was found in a Bronze Age warrior’s wooden tomb (artist’s impression) in 2015 The skeleton of an adult male stretched out on his back lay in the grave with weapons arranged to his left and a hoard of fine jewellery on his right. Other weapons and pots were found nearby.

    But while the tomb was discovered two years ago, it took almost a year to clean the limestone-encrusted gemstone the team found in the man's grave (pictured)

    But while the tomb was discovered two years ago, it took almost a year to clean the limestone-encrusted gemstone the team found in the man’s grave (pictured)

    HOW DOES THIS CHANGE OUR VIEW OF ANCIENT GREEK ART?

    The skill and finesse of the Pylos Combat Agate is unparalleled by anything found from the Minoan-Mycenaean world before, the researchers said.

    ‘It seems that the Minoans were producing art of the sort that no one ever imagined they were capable of producing,’ Dr Davis said.

    ‘It shows that their ability and interest in representational art, particularly movement and human anatomy, is beyond what it was imagined to be.

    ‘Combined with the stylized features, that itself is just extraordinary.’

    This revelation could change how experts view the evolution of Greek art, the researchers said.

    ‘This seal should be included in all forthcoming art history texts, and will change the way that prehistoric art is viewed,’ Dr Stocker said.

    ‘Combined with the stylized features, that itself is just extraordinary.’

    This revelation could change how experts view the evolution of Greek art, the researchers said.

    ‘This seal should be included in all forthcoming art history texts, and will change the way that prehistoric art is viewed,’ Dr Stocker said.

    The sealstone was found by researchers in a Bronze Age warrior’s wooden tomb outside the ancient Greek city of Pylos in 2015.

    The fact that vessels found in the warrior's tomb, built around 1500 B.C, are metal and not pottery is an indication of his wealth and power

    The fact that vessels found in the warrior’s tomb, built around 1500 B.C, are metal and not pottery is an indication of his wealth and power.

    THE DAWN OF THE MYCENAEAN CIVILIZATION

    The grave and its bounty sheds light on the dawn of the Mycenaean civilisation, a transformative period in the Bronze Age.

    A significant number of the artefacts were made by Minoans, a culturally more advanced civilisation that arose on the large island of Crete, southeast of Pylos.

    Dr Stocker explained: ‘The grave was right around the time the Mycenaeans were conquering the Minoans.

    ‘We know there were extensive raids and shortly after the date of our grave, Minoan-Crete fell to the Mycenaeans.’

    But the researchers said that the carefully selected and hand placed items reveal much about the heart of the relationship of the burgeoning mainland Greek culture to that of the more refined Crete.

    After more than a year of careful examination of the grave’s artifacts, the researchers believe the Mycenaeans understood what they were taking from the Minoans and the concepts behind the iconography of the rings.

    It was discovered among a trove of riches including four gold signet rings and a number of weapons, cups, pitchers and basins made of bronze, silver and gold.

    A significant number of the artefacts were made by Minoans, a culturally more advanced civilisation that arose on the large island of Crete, southeast of Pylos.

    The Greek culture minister confirmed at the time that the find was ‘the most important to have been discovered in 65 years’ in continental Greece.

    The fact the vessels in the warrior’s tomb, built around 1500 B.C, are metal and not pottery is an indication of his wealth and power.

    The ancient man, who could have been a powerful Mycenaean warrior or priest, was named the ‘Griffin Warrior’ after an ivory plaque adorned with the half lion and half eagle mythical beast that was buried with him.

    The ancient man, who could have been a powerful Mycenaean warrior or priest, was named the 'Griffin Warrior' after the mythical animal depicted in his grave. By his right side and spread around his head were over one thousand beads of carnelian, amethyst, jasper, agate and gold

    The ancient man, who could have been a powerful Mycenaean warrior or priest, was named the ‘Griffin Warrior’ after the mythical animal depicted in his grave. By his right side and spread around his head were over one thousand beads of carnelian, amethyst, jasper, agate and gold

    THE FOUR MINOAN RINGS

    Four rings found alongside the body, which were revealed by the researchers last year, are crafted from multiple sheets of gold and feature iconographical references seen elsewhere in Minoan art and religious culture.

    The first ring shows a scene of a bull leaping – a common motif in Minoan imagery.

    Another, the second largest gold signet ring known in the Aegean world, shows five elaborately dressed female figures gathered by a seaside shrine.

    A third ring shows a female figure, thought to be a goddess, holding a staff and flanked by two birds atop a mountain glen.

    The final ring shows a woman presenting a bull’s horn offering to a goddess holding a mirror and seated on a high-backed throne atop of which is perched a bird.

    The sealstone was discovered among a trove of riches including four gold signet rings (pictured) and a number of weapons, cups and basins made of bronze, silver and gold. This ring shows a scene of a bull leaping - a common motif in Minoan imagery

    The sealstone was discovered among a trove of riches including four gold signet rings (pictured) and a number of weapons, cups and basins made of bronze, silver and gold. This ring shows a scene of a bull leaping – a common motif in Minoan imagery

    But while the tomb was discovered two years ago, it took almost a year to clean the limestone-encrusted gemstone the Cincinnati team found in the man’s grave.

    As the elaborate details of the deal emerged, the Cincinnati researchers were shocked to discover they had in fact discovered a ‘masterpiece’.

    ‘Looking at the image for the first time was a very moving experience, and it still is,’ Dr Stocker said.

    When the grave and its contents were found in 2015, the Greek culture minister said that the find was 'the most important to have been discovered in 65 years' in continental Greece. Pictured is gold necklace discovered in the tomb

    When the grave and its contents were found in 2015, the Greek culture minister said that the find was ‘the most important to have been discovered in 65 years’ in continental Greece. Pictured is gold necklace discovered in the tomb.

    The sealstone's architect may have used a magnifying glass to create the details, but the researchers claim that no type of magnifying tool from this time period has ever been found. Pictured is a necklace found alongside the gem in the Griffin Warrior's grave

    The sealstone’s architect may have used a magnifying glass to create the details, but the researchers claim that no type of magnifying tool from this time period has ever been found. Pictured is a necklace found alongside the gem in the Griffin Warrior’s grave

    ‘It’s brought some people to tears.’

    The researchers will present findings from the Pylos Combat Agate in a paper to be published later this month in the journal Hesperia.

    In total, they have uncovered around 3,000 items from the grave so far, many of which are still in the process of being cleaned and preserved.

    ‘There will be many more surprises to come, for sure,’ Dr Davis said.

    The wooden coffin of the unknown soldier - evidently a person of some importance - was found on the site of the Mycenaean-era Palace of Nestor on the country's Peloponnese peninsula (marked on this map)

    The wooden coffin of the unknown soldier – evidently a person of some importance – was found on the site of the Mycenaean-era Palace of Nestor on the country’s Peloponnese peninsula (marked on this map).

    Inside the tomb, they discovered the well-preserved remains of what is believed to have been a powerful Mycenaean warrior or priest in his early to mid 30s who was buried around 1500 BC, near the Palace of Nestor and several artifacts, including jewellery (pictured)

    Inside the tomb, they discovered the well-preserved remains of what is believed to have been a powerful Mycenaean warrior or priest in his early to mid 30s who was buried around 1500 BC, near the Palace of Nestor and several artifacts, including jewellery (pictured).

    The warrior's tomb revealed more than 3,000 objects arrayed on and around the body, including four solid gold rings, silver cups, precious stone beads, fine-toothed ivory combs and more (pictured)

    The warrior’s tomb revealed more than 3,000 objects arrayed on and around the body, including four solid gold rings, silver cups, precious stone beads, fine-toothed ivory combs and more (pictured).

    A significant number of the artefacts, including bronze cups and bowls (pictured) were made by Minoans, a culturally more advanced civilisation that arose on the large island of Crete, southeast of Pylos

    A significant number of the artefacts, including bronze cups and bowls (pictured) were made by Minoans, a culturally more advanced civilisation that arose on the large island of Crete, southeast of Pylos.

    The carefully selected and hand placed items, including intricate jewelllery, reveal much about the heart of the relationship of the burgeoning mainland Greek culture to that of the more refined Crete

    The carefully selected and hand placed items, including intricate jewelllery, reveal much about the heart of the relationship of the burgeoning mainland Greek culture to that of the more refined Crete.

    While people have suggested that the items in the tomb, including swords and weapons, were treasure, the researchers thing that they were specifically selected to be taken from the Minoans

    While people have suggested that the items in the tomb, including swords and weapons, were treasure, the researchers thing that they were specifically selected to be taken from the Minoans.

    The bronze weapons found within the tomb included a metre-long slashing sword with an ivory handle covered with gold (left), and an intact necklace (right).

    The researchers believe that the items, such as this sword, were not just loot, and instead were specifically selected due to the iconography they contain

    The researchers believe that the items, such as this sword, were not just loot, and instead were specifically selected due to the iconography they contain.

    A mirror found above the Griffin Warrior's legs may relate to one of the gold rings, in which a seated goddess is portrayed holding a mirror. The mirror's placement in the grave suggest it holds special significance to the Mycenaeans

    A mirror found above the Griffin Warrior’s legs may relate to one of the gold rings, in which a seated goddess is portrayed holding a mirror. The mirror’s placement in the grave suggest it holds special significance to the Mycenaeans.

    More than 50 seal stones were found with intricate carvings in Minoan style showing goddesses, altars, reeds, lions and bulls, some with bull-jumpers soaring over the bull’s horns – all in Minoan style and probably made in Crete

    More than 50 seal stones were found with intricate carvings in Minoan style showing goddesses, altars, reeds, lions and bulls, some with bull-jumpers soaring over the bull’s horns – all in Minoan style and probably made in Crete

    Read more:

    Source…

     
  • Jack 3:51 am on November 8, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , space news, space travel, stephen hawking   

    Shock Prediction 

    HUMANS could one day travel to Mars is less than an hour, Stephen Hawking has predicted.

    Using breathtaking new technology, humans could travel at mind-boggling speeds through our solar system and far beyond.

    The British physicist said the human race needed to “boldly go where none has gone before” if it wished to survive for another million years.

    Professor Hawking said the world will become dangerously crowded in around 600 years, by which point humans will need to find a new home.

    During a speech in Beijing, Mr Hawking said this new home could be Mars – with even far off dwarf planets like Pluto reachable in under a day.

    He said regardless of their final destination, humans would need to colonise other planets to survive.

    Professor Hawking, 75, said: “I believe we have reached the point of no return. Our earth is becoming too small for us, global population is increasing at an alarming rate and we are in danger of self-destructing.”

    He said a new space programme must be introduced “with a view to eventually colonising suitable planets for human habitation”.

    The renowned scientist said nanotechnology could help develop a way of sending spacecrafts millions of miles away from earth in a matter of minutes.

    He said: “The idea behind this innovation is to have the nanocraft ride on the light beam.

    “Such a system could reach Mars in less than an hour, or reach Pluto in days, pass Voyager in under a week and reach Alpha Centauri in just over 20 years.”

    Last year Russian scientist Yuri Milner, in partnership with Prof Hawking, revealed plans to send a nanocraft soaring through space at 100 million miles per hour.

    Mr Milner said: “The human story is one of great leaps. Today we are preparing for the next great leap – to the stars.”

    He described the nanocraft, which will be powered using a “sail” that is powered by light, as an “inter-stellar sailboat”.

    Mr Milner said: “This is a thousand times faster than the fastest space craft today, or a million times faster than a car on the highway.”

    Mr Hawking added during the April 2016 event: “Earth is a wonderful place, but it might not last forever. Sooner or later we must look to the stars.”

    Source…

     
  • Jack 3:11 am on November 3, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , ian sample, the guardian   

    New Discovery 

    Archaeologists have uncovered a mysterious enclosure hidden deep inside the Great Pyramid of Giza, the oldest of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

    The massive cavity stretches for at least 30 metres and lies above the grand gallery, an impressive ascending corridor that connects the Queen’s chamber to the King’s in the heart of the historic monument. It is the first major structure found in the pyramid since the 19th century.

    It is unclear whether the void is a chamber or a corridor, or whether it played any more than a structural role in the pyramid’s construction – such as relieving weight on the grand gallery below. But measurements show that it has similar dimensions to the grand gallery, which is nearly 50 metres long, eight metres high and more than a metre wide.

    Scientists discovered the void using sensors that detect particles known as muons, which rain down on Earth when cosmic rays slam into atoms in the upper atmosphere. The muons travel at close to the speed of light and behave much like x-rays when they meet objects. Armed with suitable equipment, researchers can used them to reveal the rough internal structure of pyramids and other ancient monuments.

    “We know that this big void has the same characteristics as the grand gallery,” said Mehdi Tayoubi at the HIP Institute in Paris, a non-profit organisation that draws on new technology to study and preserve cultural heritage. “It’s really impressive.”

    Also known as Khufu’s Pyramid, or the Pyramid of Cheops, the Great Pyramid was built in the 4th dynasty by the pharaoh Khufu, who reigned from 2509 to 2483 BC. The monument rises 140 metres above the Giza Plateau and has three chambers known from previous explorations: a subterranean one at the base of the pyramid, the Queen’s chamber at the centre, and the King’s chamber above. While a granite sarcophagus sits in the King’s chamber, King Khufu’s mummy is missing, and his queens were buried elsewhere. Whatever riches were once in the chambers were looted long ago.

    The ScanPyramids team examining an augmented reality review of the newly-discovered void.
    Pinterest
    The ScanPyramids team examining an augmented reality review of the newly-discovered void. Photograph: ScanPyramids mission

    Egyptologists have scores of theories about how the pyramid was built, but there are no reliable accounts of its construction. Herodotus wrote of stones being drawn from quarries near and far, with some being shipped down the Nile on boats. The mammoth construction project occupied the lives of a hundred thousand men, fuelled in part by radishes, onions and leeks, he noted.

    To pinpoint the cavity, scientists from Nagoya University in Japan, and KEK, the country’s high energy physics lab, installed muon-detecting photographic plates and electronic muon detectors around the Queen’s chamber. At the same time, researchers from CEA, France’s energy research organisation, trained “muon telescopes” on the pyramid from the outside. All three techniques can tell from which direction incoming muons arrive.

    When the teams compared their results, all had found a muon hotspot in the same place, indicating the presence of a large cavity in the pyramid. While most of the monument is made of stone that absorbs muons, chambers and cavities let the particles pass through.

    Muon analysis allows scientists to look deep inside ancient monuments without drilling holes or causing other damage to the precious structures. But the technique produces low resolution images, making it impossible for the researchers to tell if the newly-found void runs horizontally or parallel to the grand gallery. Nor can they be sure it is a single enclosure rather than a series of smaller cavities close together, they report in Nature.

    “What we are sure about is that this big void is there, that it is impressive, and was not expected by any kind of theory,” said Tayoubi. To shed more light on the purpose of the cavity, Tayoubi called on specialists in ancient Egyptian architecture to come forward with ideas of what it may be so they can be modelled and checked against the team’s data. The cavity may have relieved weight on the roof of the underlying grand gallery, or be a hitherto unknown corridor in the pyramid. The team has no plans to drill into the cavity to explore inside, but they are developing a tiny flying robot that might one day be sent in, if the Egyptian authorities approve.

    “It’s a tribute to humankind,” said Tayoubi of the pyramid. “It asks a question about what is our future. If they have been able to do this with the means they had 4,000 or 5,000 years ago and they left this heritage today, what will our own society leave for future generations?”

    Peter Der Manuelian, professor of Egyptology and director of the Harvard Semitic Museum, said the discovery was “potentially a major contribution to our knowledge about the Great Pyramid.”

    Pinterest
    Researchers using muon detectors discover a void in the Great Pyramid of Giza. Credit: ScanPyramids mission

    “I’m sure there are imperfections and perhaps small voids or cavities in several locations in the pyramid. What makes this one so interesting is the size, seeming to rival the grand gallery itself in scale,” he said.

    “The muons can’t tell us about chambers, form, size, or any possible objects, so it’s far too early to speculate. I know most people want to know about hidden chambers, grave goods, and the missing mummy of King Khufu. None of that is on the table at this point. But the fact that this void is so large warrants further non-invasive exploration,” he added.

    In 2011, Rob Richardson, a researcher at the University of Leeds, sent a small snake-like robot into one of the tunnels of the Great Pyramid and took pictures of hieroglyphs that had not been seen for 4,500 years. “I think people assume that all these mysteries of what’s in our world are known but there are still places like the pyramids where we simply don’t know,” he said. “The pyramids have been there for thousands of years and we still don’t know exactly why they are there, what they were used for, or how they were built.”

    Since you’re here …

    … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading the Guardian than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too.

    I appreciate there not being a paywall: it is more democratic for the media to be available for all and not a commodity to be purchased by a few. I’m happy to make a contribution so others with less means still have access to information. Thomasine F-R.

    If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as $1, you can support the Guardian – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.

     
  • Jack 4:54 pm on October 27, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , eric von daniken, great flood, , koran, pole shifts, zecharia sitchen   

    Tiwanaku 

    Before I begin I want all my visitors to look carefully at the above picture and ask themselves how a civilization that had yet to invent the wheel managed to carve a single stone to such exacting specifications many thousands of years ago.  When elders in the area are asked about it they have no idea who did it.

    “It was always there.”

    ??????

    One of my pastimes, usually in the evening, is directed to the pursuit of information on our very ancient past and I’m not referring to three of four thousand years ago.  Rather, I’m following information that goes back more than four hundred thousand years and the clues that have been left behind by the ancients.

    Surprisingly, not the ancients we normally associate with the development of our human civilization.  It’s much more than that and what I am learning is very surprising.

    To lead on, all of this interest began with several books written by Erich von Däniken I read ages ago which I found interesting but paid little heed to until I read a book written by Charles Hapgood which is an excellent read in and of itself.  Entitled “The path of the pole” it goes into the idea of several pole shifts (not magnetic…literal shifts) over the millennia and helps to explain the stories of the great flood and the disappearance of Atlantis, which remains only a legend to this day.  There is much more in it to support Hapgood’s theory but it interested Albert Einstein enough that he wrote the forward to the book and recommended the ideas be followed up.

    They haven’t because scientists are bought and paid for by hidden interests who depend on the grants they receive to feed their families and live the lifestyles that they do.  We see this all the time with all the shouting and screaming about “global warming”, “Church of Gore” and all the bullshit that goes with it.  So it’s no surprise to me that any type of news which tends to burst their personal “bubbles” will be fought vigorously.

    Regardless, facts (and they are facts) tend to disrupt their innocent dreams from time to time and folks like Zecharia Sitchen tend to upset them a lot.  I’ve read all his books and it’s no surprise to me that he is being put down continually, even though now dead, by the same sorry bunch that have done so all along simply because he, like Hapgood, has burst their self protecting bubble and they tend to fight back with arguments that are baseless on their face.

    Image result for lake titicaca + great floodWhich brings me to a very ancient city called Tiwanaku, which exists on the southern shore of what is now the highest inland lake in the world.  If I understand correctly this lake was not that high at one time and pictures in the books referenced show an ancient shoreline very different from that now found in the present day.  The earthquake that caused this situation happened, according to Hapgood, around the time pinpointed by Sitchen and others (think ‘Great Flood’) and the existing civilization that lived there at the time was much further advanced and a great deal larger than pandered by those who are ignoring what is right in front of their faces for reasons best known only to them.

    The story gets better as we read into the history of the Sphinx and great pyramid in Egypt, stones carved to a staggering exactness weighing more than a thousand tons and moved not just from one point to another but raised to impossible heights.  Technology we still have not mastered.

    How did all this happen?

    I don’t know but one thing is for certain.  There is much to be learned “out there” if we wander off the beaten track and start to think for ourselves.  I’ve always been that way both in my career and in my off time as I try to satisfy a mind that is always questioning.

    Further, I tend to deal in hard facts and this is a fact that cannot be ignored:

    Image result for peru stones ancient

    How did this happen?  More importantly, who did it?

    The stones pictured are part of the ancient city of Sacsayhuaman in Peru and nobody knows how the ancients did it, unless of course you wander off the beaten track and accept the explanation that there were gods walking the earth at one time, not the God, just advanced visitors from another world who had the scientific knowledge to construct with ease something we today would find very difficult to recreate.

    Today billions are being spent searching for extraterrestrial civilizations when the simple truth is that the evidence of their existence lies all around us.  And have I mentioned the “Ice Ages”?

    There were none (Hapgood explained it all).

    What really happened with the most recent one is that around 15,000 years ago the north pole was centered in Hudson’s Bay…and then the earth shifted…suddenly.  To the point where it exists today.  And mammoths died, suddenly, with buttercups in their teeth.

    One day and one night and a continent disappeared (Atlantis) and today our scientists (highly paid mind you) can’t begin to think outside the box.  I wonder about that sometimes and so should everyone else who is paying attention.  We’re paying out a lot of money in taxation for pure garbage and I don’t know how my readers feel about that but I sure know how I react.

    They really piss me off.

    We pay a lot of money to gain “truth” wherever it may lie and I am sick and tired of being treated like a mushroom, kept in the dark and fed bullshit, so that our political and scientific “elite” can maintain their somewhat exaggerated lifestyles in the manner they are accustomed to.

    We can do better and we should insist upon it.

    © Jack Davies

     
  • Jack 3:40 am on October 27, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: C/2017 U1, interstellar comet, pan-starrs 1 telescope, , , us astronomy, wayward comet   

    What is THAT? 

    SCIENTISTS believe they have found a comet in our solar system that came from outer space – in an astonishing first.

    The comet known as C/2017 U1 was discovered on September 24 by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope in Hawaii when it was making its way away from the sun after a close approach with our host star.Astronomers noted that, while most comets burn up when they get close to a star, this one remained relatively dim as it was travelling way too fast – at 16 miles per second – to be burnt up by the sun’s heat.Now the rock is on its way outwards, it is unlikely to return to our neck of the cosmos ever again.

    Observations published by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center (MPC) believe the comet likely escaped the orbit of another star.

    comet

    The MPC said: “If further observations confirm the unusual nature of this orbit, this object may be the first clear case of an interstellar comet.”It appears to have come from the star Vega – some 25 light years away – although this is likely to be where it first formed.Astronomer Bill Gray said: “Once one of these objects gets kicked loose, it’ll roam the Milky Way for billions of years.

    comet

    “This object may be the first clear case of an interstellar comet.”

    “Massive amounts of material were ejected from the solar system when it was formed; much of it is probably still wandering around, having gone around the galaxy over a hundred times. “Other stars, we may assume have similarly scattered bits all over the place.”Gareth Williams, associate director of the MPC added: “Further observations of this object are very much desired.”Unless there are serious problems with much of the astrometry listed below, strongly hyperbolic orbits are the only viable solutions. “If further observations confirm the unusual nature of this orbit, this object may be the first clear case of an interstellar comet.”

    Source…

    Note:

    (1) For those interested Stephen Hawking’s Doctoral Thesis…

    Properties of expanding universes

    …may be downloaded for free (I don’t understand a word of it).

     
  • Jack 3:53 am on October 25, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: bill steigerwald, exo planets, nasa study, phys.org   

    Searching 

    New NASA research is helping to refine our understanding of candidate planets beyond our solar system that might support life.

    “Using a model that more realistically simulates , we discovered a new process that controls the habitability of exoplanets and will guide us in identifying candidates for further study,” said Yuka Fujii of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), New York, New York and the Earth-Life Science Institute at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan, lead author of a paper on the research published in the Astrophysical Journal Oct. 17.

    Previous models simulated atmospheric conditions along one dimension, the vertical. Like some other recent habitability studies, the new research used a model that calculates conditions in all three dimensions, allowing the team to simulate the circulation of the atmosphere and the special features of that circulation, which one-dimensional models cannot do. The new work will help astronomers allocate scarce observing time to the most promising candidates for habitability.

    Liquid water is necessary for life as we know it, so the surface of an alien world (e.g. an exoplanet) is considered potentially habitable if its temperature allows liquid water to be present for sufficient time (billions of years) to allow life to thrive. If the exoplanet is too far from its parent star, it will be too cold, and its oceans will freeze. If the exoplanet is too close, light from the star will be too intense, and its oceans will eventually evaporate and be lost to space. This happens when rises to a layer in the upper atmosphere called the stratosphere and gets broken into its elemental components (hydrogen and oxygen) by ultraviolet light from the star. The extremely light hydrogen atoms can then escape to space. Planets in the process of losing their oceans this way are said to have entered a “moist greenhouse” state because of their humid stratospheres.

    In order for water vapor to rise to the stratosphere, previous models predicted that long-term surface temperatures had to be greater than anything experienced on Earth – over 150 degrees Fahrenheit (66 degrees Celsius). These temperatures would power intense convective storms; however, it turns out that these storms aren’t the reason water reaches the stratosphere for slowly rotating planets entering a moist greenhouse state.

    Plot of what the sea ice distribution could look like on a synchronously rotating ocean world. The star is off to the right, blue is where there is open ocean, and white is where there is sea ice. Credit: Anthony Del Genio/GISS/NASA

    “We found an important role for the type of radiation a star emits and the effect it has on the atmospheric circulation of an exoplanet in making the moist greenhouse state,” said Fujii. For exoplanets orbiting close to their parent , a star’s gravity will be strong enough to slow a planet’s rotation. This may cause it to become tidally locked, with one side always facing the star – giving it eternal day – and one side always facing away -giving it eternal night.

    When this happens, thick clouds form on the dayside of the planet and act like a sun umbrella to shield the surface from much of the starlight. While this could keep the planet cool and prevent water vapor from rising, the team found that the amount of near-Infrared radiation (NIR) from a star could provide the heat needed to cause a planet to enter the moist greenhouse state. NIR is a type of light invisible to the human eye. Water as vapor in air and water droplets or ice crystals in clouds strongly absorbs NIR light, warming the air. As the air warms, it rises, carrying the water up into the stratosphere where it creates the moist greenhouse.

    This process is especially relevant for planets around low-mass stars that are cooler and much dimmer than the Sun. To be habitable, planets must be much closer to these stars than our Earth is to the Sun. At such close range, these planets likely experience strong tides from their star, making them rotate slowly. Also, the cooler a star is, the more NIR it emits. The new model demonstrated that since these stars emit the bulk of their light at NIR wavelengths, a moist greenhouse state will result even in conditions comparable to or somewhat warmer than Earth’s tropics. For exoplanets closer to their stars, the team found that the NIR-driven process increased moisture in the stratosphere gradually. So, it’s possible, contrary to old model predictions, that an exoplanet closer to its parent star could remain habitable.

    This is an important observation for astronomers searching for habitable worlds, since low-mass stars are the most common in the galaxy. Their sheer numbers increase the odds that a habitable world may be found among them, and their small size increases the chance to detect planetary signals.

    The new work will help astronomers screen the most promising candidates in the search for planets that could support life. “As long as we know the temperature of the star, we can estimate whether close to their stars have the potential to be in the moist greenhouse state,” said Anthony Del Genio of GISS, a co-author of the paper. “Current technology will be pushed to the limit to detect small amounts of water vapor in an exoplanet’s atmosphere. If there is enough water to be detected, it probably means that planet is in the moist greenhouse state.”

    In this study, researchers assumed a planet with an atmosphere like Earth, but entirely covered by oceans. These assumptions allowed the team to clearly see how changing the orbital distance and type of stellar radiation affected the amount of water vapor in the . In the future, the team plans to vary planetary characteristics such as gravity, size, atmospheric composition, and surface pressure to see how they affect vapor circulation and habitability.

    More information: Yuka Fujii et al. NIR-driven Moist Upper Atmospheres of Synchronously Rotating Temperate Terrestrial Exoplanets, The Astrophysical Journal (2017). DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/aa8955

    Provided by: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

    Source…

    See Also:

    (1) Earth has a new ‘traveling buddy’ as researchers confirm mystery object circling the planet is an asteroid and not space junk

     
  • Jack 4:31 am on October 17, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: astrophysics, colliding neutron stars, gold discovered, gravity waves,   

    Eureka Moment 

    GOLD forged from the titanic collision of two super-dense stars has made an alchemist’s dream come true 130 million light years from Earth.

    Huge quantities of the precious metal and other heavy elements including platinum and uranium were created in the nuclear furnace lit by merging neutron stars, confirming theories about their origins.

    The spectacular event also generated ripples in the fabric of the universe, leading to the fifth detection of gravitational waves on Earth – a major discovery in itself.

    Scientists not only “heard” the phenomenon by measuring vibrations in space-time, they also used satellite and ground-based telescopes to see light and radiation pouring out of the stellar fireball, dubbed a “kilonova”.

    Excited astronomers talked of opening a “new chapter in astrophysics” and unlocking a “treasure trove” of new science.

    Every other gravitational wave detection has been traced to black holes crashing together in remote regions of the universe more than a billion light years away.

    The new event – though still very distant – was much closer and completely different in nature. It was caused by colliding neutron stars – burned out remnants of giant stars so dense that a teaspoon of their material on Earth would weigh a billion tons.

    The two objects, each about 12 miles in diameter, stretched and distorted space-time as they spiralled towards each other and finally collided.

    Like ripples from a stone thrown in a pond, the gravitational waves fanned out across the universe at the speed of light.

    They were picked up on Earth by two incredibly sensitive detectors in Washington and Louisiana in the US, operated by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (Ligo).

    It was here the first discovery of gravitational waves was made in September 2015, confirming a prediction made by Albert Einstein 100 years ago and earning three pioneers of the project a Nobel Prize.

    Two seconds after the Ligo detection, a burst of gamma rays from the neutron star collision was captured by Nasa’s Fermi space telescope.

    Astronomers around the world quickly turned their telescopes and dishes towards a small patch in the southern sky and also saw the flash across the visible and invisible light spectrum.

    Analysis of the light revealed something astonishing – the manufacture of gold on a cosmic scale, as well as other heavy elements.

    A tight lid was kept on the findings until the publication of a series of papers in journals including Nature, Nature Astronomy, and Physical Review Letters.

    The international researchers expect to spend many months trawling through the mountain of data.

    One question already answered is the origin of short-duration gamma ray bursts. Gamma ray bursts (GRBs), marked by an eruption of gamma rays lasting milliseconds to several minutes, are the most powerful explosions known.

    Scientists now know that one type of GRB is generated when neutron stars collide.

    Dr Samantha Oates, also from the University of Warwick, said: “This discovery has answered three questions that astronomers have been puzzling for decades: what happens when neutron stars merge? What causes the short duration gamma-ray bursts? Where are the heavy elements, like gold, made?

    “In the space of about a week all three of these mysteries were solved.”

    Colleague Dr Danny Steeghs said: “This is a new chapter in astrophysics.”

    British Ligo scientist Professor BS Sathyaprakash, from the University of Cardiff, described the new discovery as “truly a eureka moment”.

    He added: “The 12 hours that followed are inarguably the most exciting hours of my scientific life. This event marks a turning point in observational astronomy and will lead to a treasure trove of scientific results.”

    Professor Bernard Schutz, also from the University of Cardiff, told how his team used the gravitational wave detections to measure the expansion of the universe more accurately than had ever been achieved before.

    “What has amazed me … is that with just this one measurement, we got a result right in the middle between the two rather different values that astronomers have measured recently,” he said.

    Source…

    See Also:

    (1) X3 ion thruster achieves record 102 kilowatts of power and 5.4 newtons of thrust

     
  • Jack 2:45 pm on October 16, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , children's book, , crowd funding, , , michael mann, , ,   

    On Books 

    Michael Mann is writing a children’s book about climate change.

    Don’t all rush to donate at once – you might break the internet – but he wants you to pay for it through crowdfunding.

    The book is called The Tantrum That Saved The World.

    Michael Mann knows all about tantrums. Probably his biggest was the one that led him to sue Mark Steyn for having had the temerity to suggest that his now-infamous Hockey Stick was fraudulent. The case has been grinding on for six years now: as Steyn says “the process is the punishment”. Also, the alarmists funding it really can’t afford for it ever to be resolved because the disclosure requirements may open a can of worms so huge that the $1.5 trillion a year climate industry may never recover.

    His other big toys-out-of-the-pram moment was when he sued Canadian climatologist Tim Ball who had jested that Mann “should be in the State Pen, not Penn State.”

    Both, of course, will likely be exceeded by the Mother of all Tantrums Mann throws if and when he loses both cases, when his reputation is left even more tattered than it is already, and when his vexatious lawsuits succeed in exposing “climate change” as probably the biggest fraud in the history of science.

    About “saving the world”, however, Mann knows not quite so much.

    Perhaps he is leaving that part to his co-author, Australian writer-illustrator Megan Herbert.

    Herbert is dealing with the story side of the book, which involves a little girl called Sophia and – with wearisome inevitability – a polar bear.

    Mann, meanwhile, claims he will explain the “science” of climate change.

    In one section, for example, he will “tell the stories of the climate refugees our heroine encounters.”

    Ah yes. That will be “climate change refugees” as in the ludicrous myth briefly promoted by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). In a 2005 paper – subsequently withdrawn – UNEP claimed that there would be 50 million climate refugees by 2010.

    The actual number of “climate refugees” which has emerged since is a big fat zero.

    “We wrote this book because in our view nothing like it exists,” the authors claim in their Kickstarter appeal.

    Clearly they can never have been anywhere near a school in any Western nation because had they done so, they would find the classrooms full of such books, all spouting the same junk-scientific global warming propaganda about vanishing polar bears and melting icecaps and sinking Pacific Islands and imperilled future generations.

    Still, if you’re interested in purchasing a copy, the good news is that it is sustainably printed, FSC certified, uses biodegradable vegetable dye and with carbon offsets.

    Personally I think they are missing a trick. If only they’d used soft tissue paper and packaged in it in a roll, I think a lot more of us might have been interested.

    Source…

    Watch:

     
    • Jack 3:09 pm on October 16, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Quick! Hide your children. A monster is on the loose once again.

      This is what they do. They program kids from a very early age but once again they have been caught. I’m very surprised someone hasn’t sued Mann for pandering his lies. It’s long overdue and if it does happen I hope he loses his shirt because he definitely WILL lose.

      “Nuff said”….

  • Jack 12:41 pm on October 13, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , nasa, nibiru, planet 9, planet x, shivali best   

    Nibiru 

    It has been widely debated among the science community for years, but now Nasa claims that Planet Nine does exist.

    The space agency highlights five different lines of evidence pointing to the existence of the mysterious world, and says that imagining that Planet Nine does not exist generates more problems than you solve.

    Researchers are now using the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii in the hopes of finding Planet Nine, and hope that its detection will also shed light on its origin.

    Planet Nine was first theorised by experts from Caltech in 2014.

    And while the planet itself is yet to be found, researchers believe there is strong evidence it exists.

    Dr Konstantin Batygin, a planetary astrophysicist at Caltech in Pasadena, whose team is closing in on finding Planet Nine, said: ‘There are now five different lines of observational evidence pointing to the existence of Planet Nine.

    ‘If you were to remove this explanation and imagine Planet Nine does not exist, then you generate more problems than you solve.

    ‘All of a sudden, you have five different puzzles, and you must come up with five different theories to explain them.’

    In 2016, Dr Batygin published a study that examined the orbits of six objects in the Kuiper Belt – a distant region of icy bodies stretching from Neptune outward toward interstellar space.

    His findings revealed that the objects all had elliptical orbits that point in the same direction and are tilted 30 degrees ‘downward’ compared to the plane in which the eight planets circle the sun.

    To investigate this further, the researchers used computer simulations of the solar system with Planet Nine included, and showed that there should be more objects tilted at 90 degrees to the plane of the eight planets.

    The team realised that five objects already known to astronomers fit the bill.

    Following this study, two more clues emerged about Planet Nine.

    A second article by Dr Batygin’s team, led by Ms Elizabeth Bailey, showed that Planet Nine could have tilted the planets of our solar system during the last 4.5 billion years.

    In 2016, the researchers examined the orbits of six objects in the Kuiper Belt - a distant region of icy bodies stretching from Neptune outward toward interstellar space. His findings revealed that the objects all had elliptical orbits that point in the same direction and are tilted 30 degrees 'downward' compared to the plane in which the eight planets circle the sun

    In 2016, the researchers examined the orbits of six objects in the Kuiper Belt – a distant region of icy bodies stretching from Neptune outward toward interstellar space. His findings revealed that the objects all had elliptical orbits that point in the same direction and are tilted 30 degrees ‘downward’ compared to the plane in which the eight planets circle the sun.text_spacer

    Dr Batygin said: ‘Over long periods of time, Planet Nine will make the entire solar-system plane precess or wobble, just like a top on a table.’

    Finally, the researchers demonstrate how Planet Nine’s presence could explain why Kuiper Belt objects orbit in the opposite direction from everything else in the solar system.

    Dr Batygin said: ‘No other model can explain the weirdness of these high-inclination orbits. It turns out that Planet Nine provides a natural avenue for their generation.

    ‘These things have been twisted out of the solar system plane with help from Planet Nine and then scattered inward by Neptune.’

    The researchers now hope to find Planet Nine itself using the Subaru Telescope at Mauna Kea Observatory in Hawaii, which they describe as the ‘best tool’ for the job.

    Dr Batygin added: ‘I think Planet Nine’s detection will tell us something about its origin.’

    Source…

    See Also:

    (1) Zecharia Sitchin…

     
  • Jack 1:42 pm on October 11, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: charles darwin, colin fernandez, , gm crops, , insect resistance   

    Rapid Evolution 

    A major study into crops genetically modified to repel pests has found that insects are rapidly developing resistance.

    They found that bugs had developed resistance that substantially reduced the efficacy of the GM crops in 16 cases as of 2016 – compared to just 3 cases in 2005.

    It took just five years for the bugs to be able to shrug off the poisons produced by the GM crops in the 16 areas where bugs developed resistance.

    WHAT DID THEY DO?

    Researchers looked at 36 cases looking at how insects respond to the GM crops, modified to produce an insect-killing protein called Bt.

    Bt is so called because it is derived from a bacterium called bacillus thuringiensis, which is also used as a spray-on insecticide.

    In its spray form less likely to spread resistance as it rapidly breaks down in the environment.

    They found that bugs had developed ‘resistance that substantially reduced the efficacy of the GM crops in 16 cases as of 2016 – compared to just 3 cases in 2005.

    It took just five years for the bugs to be able to shrug off the poisons produced by the GM crops in the 16 areas where bugs developed resistance.

    GM crops are illegal to grow in the UK – with exceptions granted for scientific research, but widely grown around the world.

    Researchers looked at 36 cases looking at how insects respond to the GM crops, modified to produce an insect-killing protein called Bt.

    Bt is so called because it is derived from a bacterium called bacillus thuringiensis, which is also used as a spray-on insecticide.

    In its spray form less likely to spread resistance as it rapidly breaks down in the environment.

    Bruce Tabashnik and Yves Carriere in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences analysed the global data on Bt crop use and how insect pests adapt, publishing the results in the journal Nature Biotechnology.

    The countries where the GM crops were grown include the US, Brazil, China, Philippines, Spain, Australia and Mexico.

    Professor Tabashnik said: ‘When Bt crops were first introduced in 1996, no one knew how quickly the pests would adapt.

    ‘Now we have a cumulative total of over two billion acres of these crops planted during the past two decades and extensive monitoring data, so we can build a scientific understanding of how fast the pests evolve resistance and why.’

    While 16 out of the 36 cases showed resistance, 17 did not. A further three showed ‘early warnings of resistance’.

    The researchers said that a way of slowing the development of resistance was by planting ‘refuges’ of non-GM crops close to the GM crops.

    This increases the chance that a bug that has genes that resist the killer protein will mate with one that has not – making it less likely the resistant genes will be passed on.

    Professor Tabashnik said: ‘Perhaps the most compelling evidence that refuges work comes from the pink bollworm, which evolved resistance rapidly to Bt cotton in India, but not in the U.S.’

    He added: ‘These plants have been remarkably useful, and resistance has generally evolved slower than most people expected,’ he said. ‘I see these crops as an increasingly important part of the future of agriculture. The progress made provides motivation to collect more data and to incorporate it in planning future crop deployments.’

    Anti-GM crop campaigners said the findings show GM crops are acting as predicted – and spreading resistance to insects.

    ‘We always expect the pests to adapt. However, if we can delay resistance from a few years to a few decades, that’s a big win’, said Professor Tabashnik.

    Liz O’Neill of GM Freeze said: ‘This study confirms a very simple truth: if you try to outwit nature, it’s evolution that wins.

    ‘The author of the study described measures that have in some cases delayed the development of resistant insects by a few years as “a big win”.

    ‘That tells us all we need to know about the GM industry’s vision for the future of farming, biodiversity and our natural environment.’

    Pat Thomas of Beyond GM said: ‘There have been increasing reports that super bugs are developing resistance to the Bt toxin but this report very starkly shows that technofarming with GMOs just does not work and in fact makes life harder for farmers in the long by run ruining crops and livelihoods.’

    Source…

     
  • Jack 1:50 pm on October 9, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: dark energy, mike mcrae, science alert, , universe   

    Mystified 

    For over 20 years, physicists have puzzled over why space appears to be flying apart at the seams.

    New research is adding some deeper insight into the mysterious repulsive force known as dark energy, providing evidence that whatever it might be, its ghostly influence hasn’t been constant over time.

    In 2016, an international team of researchers accurately measured fluctuations in the density of visible matter through the Universe over long periods of its history.

    These shifts – called baryon acoustic oscillations (BAO) – provide something of a yardstick for cosmologists studying relative distances over time.

    Just as astronomers have used light from distant exploding stars to conclude the Universe is spreading out, cosmologists (big picture astronomers) have used BAO.

    Whichever of these two tools we use, it looks as if the Universe has been gaining real estate over the 13.82 billion years of its existence, causing clumps of material in it to spread out.

    Weirder yet, that growth has been speeding up for quite some time.

    The unit used to describe this expansion is called the Hubble Constant, and is thought to be the result of the tension between matter pulling itself together and the swelling of space in between.

    Why is space growing? Nobody is really all that certain, and that’s a problem.

    To help come up with an explanation astrophysicists look at the hum of empty space as if it has qualities, and isn’t just an empty stage for fields and particles.

    The odds-on favourite description at the moment is called the Lambda Cold Dark Matter (ΛCDM) model, which combines what’s referred to as the Friedmann-Lemaitre-Robertson-Walker (FLRW) model of empty space with a distribution of visible and invisible matter within it.

    In this model, dark energy is the constant push of emptiness between masses, possibly caused by the hiss of particles popping in and out of virtual existence.

    But the ΛCDM model is built on a number of assumptions, leaving open the question; does dark energy need to be among the fundamental qualities of space, static over time?

    Or could it be influenced by its surroundings, shifting as the Universe changes?

    “Since its discovery at the end of last century, dark energy has been a riddle wrapped in an enigma,” says researcher Bob Nichol from the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation (ICG) at the University of Portsmouth.

    “We are all desperate to gain some greater insight into its characteristics and origin.”

    Armed with more accurate measures of these tides of matter pulsing like a cosmic heartbeat, the researchers applied their BAO data to a dark energy model developed by Gong-Bo Zhao, from the University of Portsmouth and the National Astronomical Observatories of China (NAOC).

    The study’s results point to a more dynamic description of this mysterious force.

    This conclusion is based in part on a conflict between data produced by the team’s own BAO survey and interpretations based on the cosmic microwave background (CMB) – the echo of light bouncing through the Universe since moments after the Big Bang.

    One way the researchers found they could resolve this difference is to treat dark energy as if it is dynamic changing with time.

    If true, it would mean dark energy isn’t a force produced by the bubbling of a vacuum.

    The significance of their results isn’t enough to overturn the evidence favouring the static dark energy feature of the ΛCDM model.

    But that could all change with data collected from the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument when it starts its survey next year.

    “We are excited to see that current observations are able to probe the dynamics of dark energy at this level, and we hope that future observations will confirm what we see today,” says Zhao.

    Whatever the outcome, it’ll be worth it – the fate of the Universe is at stake, after all.

    This research was published in Nature Astronomy.

    Source…

     
    • Jack 2:44 pm on October 9, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      There’s a lot “out there” we don’t understand yet but the “boffins” are working on it. This column is interesting.

  • Jack 12:10 pm on October 6, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , russian economy, russian space program, star city   

    Falling Behind 

    MOSCOW (AP) – Six decades after Sputnik, a refined version of the rocket that put the first artificial satellite in orbit remains the mainstay of Russia’s space program – a stunning tribute to the country’s technological prowess, but also a sign that it has failed to build upon its achievements.

    And unlike the Cold War era when space was a key area of the rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union, space research now appears to rank low on the Kremlin’s priorities.

    The Soyuz booster, currently the only vehicle that launches crews to the International Space Station, is a modification of the R-7 rocket that put Sputnik in orbit on Oct. 4 1957.

    Another Soviet-designed workhorse, the heavy-lift Proton rocket that has been used to launch commercial satellites to high orbits, was developed in the 1960s.

    Both rockets established a stellar reputation for their reliability, but their record was tarnished by a string of failed launches in recent years that called into question the Russian space industry’s ability to maintain the same high standards of manufacturing.

    Glitches found in Proton and Soyuz in 2016 were traced to manufacturing flaws at the plant in Voronezh that builds engines for both rockets. The Russian space agency, Roscosmos, sent more than 70 rocket engines back to production lines to replace faulty components, a move that resulted in a yearlong break in Proton launches.

    The suspension eroded the nation’s niche in the global market for commercial satellite launches. Last year, Russia for the first time fell behind both the U.S. and China in the number of launches.

    Clients have increasingly opted for new, more efficient and affordable choices, such as the Falkon 9 built by SpaceX, which broke ground in reducing costs by making its rockets reusable.

    Russian officials have recognized the challenge posed by SpaceX and others, but they have offered few specifics on how the nation hopes to retain its place in the global market. The only short-term answer appears to be a plan to manufacture a less-powerful version of the Proton booster to lower costs.

    In an astonishing recognition of the depth of Russia’s space woes, Roscosmos chief Igor Komarov declared earlier this week that the Voronezh factory used substandard alloys because of a logistical failure that occurred after a warehouse worker had become ill.

    The Khrunichev company that assembles the Proton also has fallen on hard times amid criminal investigations into alleged mismanagement and a decision to sharply cut its assets. Much of the prized real estate it occupies in western Moscow has been designated for development.

    Meanwhile, the development of the Angara, a booster rocket intended to replace both the Soyuz and the Proton, has been repeatedly pushed back, and its future remains uncertain. More expensive and lacking the long-established track record of its predecessors, the Angara probably will find it hard to compete with SpaceX rockets and others in the international market.

    The first tests of the Angara have been successful, but full-scale production is yet to be organized at a plant in the Siberian city of Omsk.

    And while the Soyuz is now the only vehicle for ferrying crews to the ISS following the retirement of the U.S. space shuttle fleet, Russia stands to lose the monopoly soon as the SpaceX’s Dragon v2 and Boeing’s Starliner crew capsules are set to fly test missions next year.

    Work on a new spacecraft intended to replace the Soyuz crew capsule designed 50 years ago has crawled slowly. The ship, called Federatsiya – Federation – is tentatively set for its first manned flight in 2023, but little is known about its features and functionality.

    Roscosmos also has talked about sending several unmanned missions to the moon in the next decade, but details are yet to be worked out. Attempts to send unmanned probes to Mars in 1996 and one of the Martian moons, Phobos, in 2011 failed due to equipment problems.

    Russia also has struggled for years to build its own scientific module for the International Space Station. Originally set for 2007, the launch of the Nauka, or Science, module has been pushed back repeatedly, and a 2013 check revealed that its systems had become clogged with residue and required a costly cleaning. The launch is now tentatively set for next year, but some reports suggest it could be delayed further.

    Amid funding shortages, Roscosmos has decided to cut the size of its ISS crews from three to two, a move criticized by many in Russia.

    “It’s very bad when we have to cut the number of cosmonaut seats,” cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya said in parliament earlier this year. “The situation in our space industry is quite alarming.”

    While other space programs faced cutbacks, Russia spent billions of dollars to build the new Vostochny launch pad in the far east as a possible alternative to the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan that Moscow has leased from its former Soviet neighbor.

    Many questioned the feasibility of the expensive new facility, given the fact that Russia intends to continue using Baikonur for most of its launches.

    Work at Vostochny has been dogged by scandals involving protests by unpaid workers and arrests of construction officials accused of embezzlement.

    A launchpad for Soyuz finally opened in 2016, but another one for heavier Angara rockets is only set to be completed in late 2021.

    Amid massive spending on Vostochny, whose future remains unclear, some have criticized Roscosmos for cutting corners on personnel.

    Cosmonaut Maxim Surayev, who now serves as a lawmaker, lamented poor conditions for future space crews at the Star City training center outside Moscow.

    “It’s wrong when instead of fulfilling their task to prepare for space flight they have to find side jobs and a place to live,” Surayev said in parliament.

    Several veteran cosmonauts were forced to retire earlier this year amid vicious infighting at Star City. One of the retirees was Gennady Padalka, who holds the world record for the longest time in orbit – 878 days over five space missions.

    In a letter released to the media, Padalka urged authorities to fire the director of Star City to prevent the facility from falling into “complete ruin.”

    Source…

     
  • Jack 9:54 am on October 5, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: australia, , , , great barrier reef, , paul krugman,   

    Fake News 

    The Great Barrier Reef is recovering ‘surprisingly’ fast, according to Australia’s state propagandist ABC.

    Optimism is rising among scientists that parts of the Great Barrier Reef that were severely bleached over the past two years are making a recovery.

    Scientists from the Australian Institute of Marine Science this month surveyed 14 coral reefs between Cairns and Townsville to see how they fared after being bleached.

    The institute’s Neil Cantin said they were surprised to find the coral had already started to reproduce.

    This will come as precisely zero surprise to anyone here at Breitbart.

    As I’ve reported before:

    Great Barrier Reef Still not Dying Whatever Washington Post Says

    and

    Only Gullible Fools Believe The Great Barrier Reef is Dying

    But the “Barrier Reef is dying” scare – and believe me, it won’t be the last we hear of it – was never about the facts. Always, but always, it was and is about the narrative.

    Because the Great Barrier Reef is a world heritage site which has lots of pretty fish in it and looks photogenic on endless Discovery Channel documentaries it is the perfect poster child for the “world is dying and it’s all man’s fault because climate change” movement.

    Liberal media outlets like to report on it because scare stories sell and because it elides with their “progressive” politics.

    Scientists – who really should know better – like to ramp it up because it grabs them media attention and attracts funding from compliant governments keen to be seen to be doing something about this apparently major problem.

    Green propagandists big it up because a) it generates donations from the well-meaning, gullible fools who buy this nonsense and b) because it’s a chance to smear their opponents as heartless and uncaring and scientifically ignorant.

    Here’s one example of ‘b’ from a Soros-funded attack dog site. It’s titled “Breitbart‘s James Delingpole denies the danger of the Barrier Reef”. (Wow! That Delingpole! He sounds so EVIL!)

    You might ask – given that the facts are not on their side and given that, inevitably, they are going to be proved wrong – why they keep putting out these fake news stories.

    Simple. It’s because of what you might call the Krugman Effect.

    Paul Krugman...

    Paul Krugman…

    Compare and contrast the public response.

    When Paul Krugman posts his fake news lie about Trump being responsible for a cholera outbreak in Puerto Rico, he gets over 8,000 retweets and 18,000 likes.

    But when he runs his half-assed and shamelessly unapologetic correction, only a few hundred show much interest.

    Increasingly, this is how the regressive left rolls. True to the principle that “a lie is half way round the world before the truth has got its boots on”, it cheerfully promotes fake news stories knowing that they will remain in the public consciousness long after the tiny correction has been run.

    Source…

     
  • Jack 9:01 am on October 4, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: albert einstein, cheyenne macdonald, computer simulation, , holographic simulation, quantum effects   

    Illusion 

    It’s a question that has persisted in science fiction and philosophical discussion alike: are we living in a computer simulation?

    Scientists have long argued both sides of the theory, with some even suggesting if we did live in a simulated reality, we’d never know the truth.

    But now, a new study could finally put the debate to rest.

    Theoretical physicists have discovered that it is impossible, by principle, to simulate a quantum phenomenon that occurs in metals – and, ultimately, something as complex as the entire universe.

    In a new study published to the journal Science Advances, the team from the University of Oxford and the Hebrew University used a technique known as Monte Carlo simulation to investigate a phenomenon said to be a gravitational anomaly.

    The effect, called thermal Hall conductance, can be seen in systems with high magnetic fields and low temperatures.

    But in their work, the researchers found that the simulation is unable to capture a system with gravitational anomalies, such as the quantum Hall effect.

    As the number of particles required for the simulation increased, the researchers found the simulation itself became far more complex.

    If the particles increased in a linear way, the number of computational resources to simulate the system would have to as well; for a system twice as large, for example, the number of required resources, including processors and memory, would have to double.

    But, if the system grew exponentially, this effect would be far more extreme.

    To store the information of a few hundred electrons on a computer, the simulation would require memory built from more atoms than exist in the entire universe, the researchers note.

    ‘Our work provides an intriguing link between two seemingly unrelated topics: gravitational anomalies and computational complexity,’ said co-author Zohar Ringel, a professor at Hebrew University.

    SIMULATION THEORY IGNORES LAWS OF NATURE, PHYSICIST SAYS

    Last summer, when asked at the Code Conference in southern California if the answer to the question of whether we are in a simulated computer game was ‘yes’, Elon Musk said the answer is ‘probably’.

    Musk believes that computer game technology, particularly virtual reality, is already approaching a point that it is indistinguishable from reality.

    But, according to Sabine Hossenfelder, a theoretical physicist at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies, the simulation scenario ignores the laws of nature.

    Such a universe that would either have to ‘overthrow quantum mechanics’ or rely on qubits, which have yet to tie in with general relativity.

    Essentially, the researcher argues, ‘our presently best theories are the standard model and general relativity, and whatever other explanation you have for our observations must first be able to reproduce these theories’ achievements.’

    So far, no one has been able to do this.

    Hossenfelder considers a scenario in which the universe is composed of bits, like a computer, relying on ordered time-series encoded by an algorithm.

    Such a thing could not be done using classical bits, as there would be no quantum effects.

    But, even if you were to attempt to build the universe from quantum bits (qubits), there ‘are good reasons to believe it’s not possible,’ the physicist argues, as no one has yet succeeded in recovering general relativity and the standard model of particle physics from qubits.

    ‘It also shows that the thermal Hall conductance is a genuine quantum effect: one for which no local classical analogue exists.’

    According to the researchers, the study shows that systems with gravitational anomalies will bring about a ‘sign problem’ within the Monte-Carlo approach.

    If the problem could be solved, large-scale quantum simulations could be possible, they say – but the work provides proof that it cannot be solved for some systems.

    While the computer simulation theory continues to gnaw at the minds of many, with people such as Elon Musk backing the idea, the new study suggests it would be impossible to generate the illusion of reality in this way.

    Source…

    See Also:

    (1) China holds world’s first ‘unhackable’ quantum videoconference in secure communication breakthrough

     
  • Jack 12:25 pm on September 22, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , mars, ,   

    Space Race 

    China’s programme to launch a mission to Mars in 2020 is ‘well underway’ according to its top planner.

    As the country moves forward with its ambitious space programme, a probe that will will carry 13 types of payload is being developed.

    The Communist regime hopes to have both six rovers on the surface of the red planet, as well as seven vehicles in orbit, collecting vital data.

    This could one day lead to both a ‘robotic and human settlement’ on the red planet, according to the project’s leader.

    Zhang Rongqiao, the mission’s chief architect, was speaking at the Beijing International Forum on Lunar and Deep-space Exploration, which began Wednesday.

    ‘Since Mars is close to Earth and shares relatively similar characteristics, it has become the priority target in deep space exploration,’ he said, according to reports in China Daily.

    ‘Not only might Mars serve for future robotic or human settlement, studying its evolution can help us answer some of the key questions in cosmology that can have a profound impact on our life.’

    Nasa has confirmed that liquid water existed on Mars, ‘so is Mars the past or the future of Earth?, he added.

    ‘Studying how Mars became a mostly barren, arid planet can help with our own environmental protection effort on Earth?’.

    The Long March-5 carrier rocket will blast off from the Wenchang Space Launch Centre in the tropical island province of Hainan in July or August 2020.

    Data collected by probes in orbit will include temperature, atmospheric conditions, electromagnetic fields and details of the landscape of the planet’s surface.

    Once the probe is in orbit around Mars after a seven-month journey, a lander will separate from it and touch down in the red planet’s northern hemisphere.

    The 440 lb (200 kg) lander will then deploy rovers to explore the surface.

    This will be used to direct landing craft, which will gather more information from soil and rock samples.

    Speaking to the official Xinhua news Mr Zhang added : ‘The Mars exploration programme is well underway.

    ‘The payloads will be used to collect data on the environment, morphology, surface structure and atmosphere of Mars.’

    Beijing sees its multi-billion-dollar space programme as a symbol of its rise and of the Communist Party’s success in turning around the fortunes of the once poverty-stricken nation.

    Russia, India, the US and the European Space Agency have probes orbiting Mars.

    But only the US has successfully landed a rover and carried out surface missions.

    Around 2020, Nasa, the ESA and the United Arab Emirates will also launch more Mars probes.

    In July, China successfully launched the Long March-4B, its first X-ray space telescope to study black holes, pulsars and gamma-ray bursts.

    And in April the country’s first cargo spacecraft completed its docking with an orbiting space lab, a key development in China’s goal of having its own crewed space station by 2022.

    Before 2020, China will launch an unmanned landing mission to the moon named Chang’e 4, as well as a moon sample retrieval mission named Chang’e 5.

    In the following years, China will explore asteroids and smaller bodies to understand the solar system’s origin and formation, and search for information on possible extraterrestrial life.

    China also plans to launch probes to Jupiter in 2036 and Uranus in 2046, Zhang said.

    However, these planets are so far away from the sun that light is too weak to power solar-powered probes.

    Chemical propulsion systems face long-term storage issues and an even harsher environment in space, he added.

    Source…

     
  • Jack 8:55 am on September 16, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: baltic sea, , strange anomoly, uk daily mail   

    Baltic Sea Mystery 

    THE mysterious Baltic Sea Anomaly contains metals that nature “could not produce” by themselves it has been claimed and the revelation has sent UFO hunters into a frenzy.

    The odd-shaped object has fascinated mystery buffs since it was discovered in June 2011.

    The anomaly is a 70-metre long (210 feet) strangely-shaped feature that showed up on sonar laying 100 metres (300 feet) beneath the waves.

    Theories as to what the anomaly could be have ranged from the interesting to the outrageous, with the most crackpot claim to date that it could be part of fleet of crashed UFOs on ocean floor.

    Some conspiracy theorists even point out it bears a striking resemblance to the Star Wars Millennium Falcon with a steel grey appearance.

    Others have claimed it could be the remains of a sunken city lost to the waves years ago.

    A team of divers known as Ocean X allegedly collected samples from the Anomaly, and found it contains limonite and goethite.

    According to Israeli geologist Steve Weiner, these are “metals which nature could not produce itself”.

    If that was not strange enough, Stefan Hogerborn, part of the Ocean X team, said their electrical equipment stopped working when they got to within 200 metres of the anomaly on the Baltic seabed.

    He is quoted by NDTV as saying: “Anything electric out there – and the satellite phone as well – stopped working when we were above the object.”

    “And then we got away about 200 meters and it turned on again, and when we got back over the object it didn’t work.”

    Diver Peter Lindberg said: “We have experienced things that I really couldn’t imagine and I have been the team’s biggest skeptic regarding these different kinds of theories.”

    “I was kind of prepared just to find a stone or cliff or outcrop or pile of mud but it was nothing like that, so for me, it has been a missing experience I must say.”

    Source…

     
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