Nature

This #Video, goes out, to all the #Flat #Earthers out there! #LMFAO

We here at Notoriously White, Now and then, like to keep all the, sub human, No IQ’ers informed, so sit down open a beer and enjoy these video’s on Flat Earthers. I know the Smart users out there will appreciate this informative video collection!!

 

Testing Flattards – Part 1

Testing Flattards – Part 2

MinusIQ | The pill to lower your IQ permanently

Published on 27 Nov 2016

Part one in a series taking a wry look at the idiotic belief that the Earth is flat, and how that stacks up against reality. This part takes a look at some fundamental geometric problems with flattards’ favourite “map”, an Azimuthal Equidistant Projection.

Guidance: Contains some mild language within a comedy context.

This video also contains specially composed music by AlanKey86. You can listen to more of Alan’s music over on his channel:
https://www.youtube.com/user/AlanKey86

Check out Martymer 81’s here:
https://www.youtube.com/user/Martymer81

Check out Kraut and Tea here:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCr_Q…

Published on 22 Jan 2017

Part two in a series taking a wry look at the idiotic belief that the Earth is flat, and how that stacks up against reality. This part looks skyward as we consider basic observations of the stars, and find out where the Sun would be if it were a flying spotlight.

Guidance: Contains some mild language within a comedy context.

This video also contains specially composed music by AlanKey86. You can listen to more of Alan’s music over on his channel:
https://www.youtube.com/user/AlanKey86

Curious about the night sky? Grab yourself a copy of the open source planetarium, Stellarium:
http://stellarium.sourceforge.net/

Published on 19 Mar 2013

The world’s a much brighter place when you’re not too bright for it.
http://www.sleepthinker.com
http://www.facebook.com/sleepthinker

There Is Sound In Space, Thanks To Gravitational Waves

Merging black holes are one class of objects that creates gravitational waves of certain frequencies and amplitudes. Thanks to detectors like LIGO, we can 'hear' these sounds as they occur.

It’s long been said that there’s no sound in space, and that’s true, to a point. Conventional sound requires a medium to travel through, and is created when particles compress-and-rarify, making anything from a loud “bang” for a single pulse to a consistent tone for repeating patterns. In space, where there are so few particles that any such signals die away, even solar flares, supernovae, black hole mergers, and other cosmic catastrophes go silent before they’re ever heard. But there’s another type of compression-and-rarefaction that doesn’t require anything other than the fabric of space itself to travel through: gravitational waves. Thanks to the first positive detection results from LIGO, we’re hearing the Universe for the very first time.

Two merging black holes. The inspiral results in the black holes coming together, while gravitational waves carry the excess energy away. The background spacetime is distorted as a result.

Two merging black holes. The inspiral results in the black holes coming together, while gravitational waves carry the excess energy away. The background spacetime is distorted as a result.

Gravitational waves were something that needed to exist for our theory of gravity to be consistent, according to General Relativity. Unlike in Newton’s gravity, where any two masses orbiting one another would remain in that configuration forever, Einstein’s theory predicted that over long enough times, gravitational orbits would decay. For something like the Earth orbiting the Sun, you’d never live to experience it: it would take 10^150 years for Earth to spiral into the Sun. But for more extreme systems, like two neutron stars orbiting one another, we could actually see the orbits decaying over time. In order to conserve energy, Einstein’s theory of gravity predicted that energy must be carried away in the form of gravitational waves.

As two neutron stars orbit each other, Einstein's theory of general relativity predicts orbital decay, and the emission of gravitational radiation.

As two neutron stars orbit each other, Einstein’s theory of General Relativity predicts orbital decay, and the emission of gravitational radiation. The former has been observed very precisely for many years, as evidenced by how the points and the line (GR prediction) match up so very well.

These waves are maddeningly weak, and their effects on the objects in spacetime are stupendously tiny. But if you know how to listen for them — just as the components of a radio know how to listen for those long-frequency light waves — you can detect these signals and hear them just as you’d hear any other sound. With an amplitude and a frequency, they’re no different from any other wave. General Relativity makes explicit predictions for what these waves should sound like, with the largest wave-generating signals being the easiest ones to detect. The largest amplitude sounds all? It’s the inspiral and merging “chirp” of two black holes that spiral into one another.

In September of 2015, just days after advanced LIGO began collecting data for the first time, a large, unusual signal was spotted. It surprised everyone, because it would have carried so much energy in just a short, 200 millisecond burst, that it would have outshone all the stars in the observable Universe combined. Yet that signal turned out to be robust, and the energy from that burst came from two black holes — of 36 and 29 solar masses — merging into a single 62 solar mass one. Those missing three solar masses? They were converted into pure energy: gravitational waves rippling through the fabric of space. That was the first event LIGO ever detected.

The signal from LIGO of the first robust detection of gravitational waves. The waveform is not just a visualization; it's representative of what you'd actually hear if you listened properly.

The signal from LIGO of the first robust detection of gravitational waves. The waveform is not just a visualization; it’s representative of what you’d actually hear if you listened properly.

Now it’s over a year later, and LIGO is presently on its second run. Not only have other black hole-black hole mergers been detected, but the future of gravitational wave astronomy is bright, as new detectors will open up our ears to new types of sounds. Space interferometers, like LISA, will have longer baselines and will hear lower frequency sounds: sounds like neutron star mergers, feasting supermassive black holes, and mergers with highly unequal masses. Pulsar timing arrays can measure even lower frequencies, like orbits that take years to complete, such as the supermassive black hole pair: OJ 287. And combinations of new techniques will look for the oldest gravitational waves of all, the relic waves predicted by cosmic inflation, all the way back at the beginning of our Universe.

Gravitational waves generated by cosmic inflation are the farthest signal back in time humanity can conceive of potentially detecting. Collaborations like BICEP2 and NANOgrav may indirectly do this in the coming decades.

Gravitational waves generated by cosmic inflation are the farthest signal back in time humanity can conceive of potentially detecting. Collaborations like BICEP2 and NANOgrav may indirectly do this in the coming decades.

There’s so much to hear, and we’ve only just started listening for the first time. Thankfully, astrophysicist Janna Levin — author of the fantastic book, Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space — is poised to give the public lecture at Perimeter Institute tonight, May 3rd, at 7 PM Eastern / 4 PM Pacific, and it will be live-streamed here and live-blogged by me in real time! Join us then for even more about this incredible topic, and I can’t wait to hear her talk.

 

The Universe is out there, waiting for you to discover it

Ethan SiegelEthan Siegel, Contributor

Merging black holes are one class of objects that creates gravitational waves of certain frequencies and amplitudes. Thanks to detectors like LIGO, we can 'hear' these sounds as they occur.

Merging black holes are one class of objects that creates gravitational waves of certain frequencies and amplitudes. Thanks to detectors like LIGO, we can ‘hear’ these sounds as they occur.

It’s long been said that there’s no sound in space, and that’s true, to a point. Conventional sound requires a medium to travel through, and is created when particles compress-and-rarify, making anything from a loud “bang” for a single pulse to a consistent tone for repeating patterns. In space, where there are so few particles that any such signals die away, even solar flares, supernovae, black hole mergers, and other cosmic catastrophes go silent before they’re ever heard. But there’s another type of compression-and-rarefaction that doesn’t require anything other than the fabric of space itself to travel through: gravitational waves. Thanks to the first positive detection results from LIGO, we’re hearing the Universe for the very first time.

Two merging black holes. The inspiral results in the black holes coming together, while gravitational waves carry the excess energy away. The background spacetime is distorted as a result.

Two merging black holes. The inspiral results in the black holes coming together, while gravitational waves carry the excess energy away. The background spacetime is distorted as a result.

Gravitational waves were something that needed to exist for our theory of gravity to be consistent, according to General Relativity. Unlike in Newton’s gravity, where any two masses orbiting one another would remain in that configuration forever, Einstein’s theory predicted that over long enough times, gravitational orbits would decay. For something like the Earth orbiting the Sun, you’d never live to experience it: it would take 10^150 years for Earth to spiral into the Sun. But for more extreme systems, like two neutron stars orbiting one another, we could actually see the orbits decaying over time. In order to conserve energy, Einstein’s theory of gravity predicted that energy must be carried away in the form of gravitational waves.

As two neutron stars orbit each other, Einstein's theory of general relativity predicts orbital decay, and the emission of gravitational radiation.

As two neutron stars orbit each other, Einstein’s theory of General Relativity predicts orbital decay, and the emission of gravitational radiation. The former has been observed very precisely for many years, as evidenced by how the points and the line (GR prediction) match up so very well.

These waves are maddeningly weak, and their effects on the objects in spacetime are stupendously tiny. But if you know how to listen for them — just as the components of a radio know how to listen for those long-frequency light waves — you can detect these signals and hear them just as you’d hear any other sound. With an amplitude and a frequency, they’re no different from any other wave. General Relativity makes explicit predictions for what these waves should sound like, with the largest wave-generating signals being the easiest ones to detect. The largest amplitude sounds all? It’s the inspiral and merging “chirp” of two black holes that spiral into one another.

In September of 2015, just days after advanced LIGO began collecting data for the first time, a large, unusual signal was spotted. It surprised everyone, because it would have carried so much energy in just a short, 200 millisecond burst, that it would have outshone all the stars in the observable Universe combined. Yet that signal turned out to be robust, and the energy from that burst came from two black holes — of 36 and 29 solar masses — merging into a single 62 solar mass one. Those missing three solar masses? They were converted into pure energy: gravitational waves rippling through the fabric of space. That was the first event LIGO ever detected.

The signal from LIGO of the first robust detection of gravitational waves. The waveform is not just a visualization; it's representative of what you'd actually hear if you listened properly.

The signal from LIGO of the first robust detection of gravitational waves. The waveform is not just a visualization; it’s representative of what you’d actually hear if you listened properly.

Now it’s over a year later, and LIGO is presently on its second run. Not only have other black hole-black hole mergers been detected, but the future of gravitational wave astronomy is bright, as new detectors will open up our ears to new types of sounds. Space interferometers, like LISA, will have longer baselines and will hear lower frequency sounds: sounds like neutron star mergers, feasting supermassive black holes, and mergers with highly unequal masses. Pulsar timing arrays can measure even lower frequencies, like orbits that take years to complete, such as the supermassive black hole pair: OJ 287. And combinations of new techniques will look for the oldest gravitational waves of all, the relic waves predicted by cosmic inflation, all the way back at the beginning of our Universe.

Gravitational waves generated by cosmic inflation are the farthest signal back in time humanity can conceive of potentially detecting. Collaborations like BICEP2 and NANOgrav may indirectly do this in the coming decades.

Gravitational waves generated by cosmic inflation are the farthest signal back in time humanity can conceive of potentially detecting. Collaborations like BICEP2 and NANOgrav may indirectly do this in the coming decades.

There’s so much to hear, and we’ve only just started listening for the first time. Thankfully, astrophysicist Janna Levin — author of the fantastic book, Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space — is poised to give the public lecture at Perimeter Institute tonight, May 3rd, at 7 PM Eastern / 4 PM Pacific, and it will be live-streamed here and live-blogged by me in real time! Join us then for even more about this incredible topic, and I can’t wait to hear her talk.


The live blog will begin a few minutes prior to 4:00 PM Pacific; join us here and follow along!

The warping of spacetime, in the General Relativistic picture, by gravitational masses.

The warping of spacetime, in the General Relativistic picture, by gravitational masses.

3:50 PM: It’s ten minutes until showtime, and to celebrate, here are ten fun facts (or as many as we can get in) about gravity and gravitational waves.

1.) Instead of “action at a distance,” where an invisible force is exerted between masses, general relativity says that matter and energy warp the fabric of spacetime, and that warped spacetime is what manifests itself as gravitation.

2.) Instead of traveling at infinite speed, gravitation only travels at the speed of light.

3.) This is important, because it means that if any changes occur to a massive object’s position, configuration, motion, etc., the ensuing gravitational changes only propagate at the speed of light.

Computer simulation of two merging black holes producing gravitational waves.

Computer simulation of two merging black holes producing gravitational waves.

3:54 PM: 4.) This means that gravitational waves, for example, can only propagate at the speed of light. When we “detect” a gravitational wave, we’re detecting the signal from when that mass configuration changed.

5.) The first signal detected by LIGO occurred at a distance of approximately 1.3 billion light years. The Universe was about 10% younger than it is today when that merger occurred.

Ripples in spacetime are what gravitational waves are.

Ripples in spacetime are what gravitational waves are.

6.) If gravitation traveled at infinite speed, planetary orbits would be completely unstable. The fact that planets move in ellipses around the Sun mandates that if General Relativity is correct, the speed of gravity must equal the speed of light to an accuracy of about 1%.

3:57 PM: 7.) There are many, many more gravitational wave signals than what LIGO has seen so far; we’ve only detected the easiest signal there is to detect.

8.) What makes a signal “easy” to see is a combination of its amplitude, which is to say, how much it can deform a path-length, or a distance in space, as well as its frequency.

A simplified illustration of LIGO's laser interferometer system.

A simplified illustration of LIGO’s laser interferometer system.

9.) Because LIGO’s arms are only 4 kilometers long, and the mirrors reflect the light thousands of times (but no more), that means LIGO can only detect frequencies of 1 Hz or faster.

Earlier this year, LIGO announced the first-ever direct detection of gravitational waves. By building a gravitational wave observatory in space, we may be able to reach the sensitivities necessary to detect a deliberate alien signal.

Earlier this year, LIGO announced the first-ever direct detection of gravitational waves. By building a gravitational wave observatory in space, we may be able to reach the sensitivities necessary to detect a deliberate alien signal.

10.) For slower signals, we need longer lever-arms and greater sensitivities, and that will mean going to space. That’s the future of gravitational wave astronomy!

4:01 PM: We made it! Time to begin and introduce Janna Levin! (Pronounce “JAN-na”, not “YON-na”, if you were wondering.)

The inspiral and merger of the first pair of black holes ever directly observed.

The inspiral and merger of the first pair of black holes ever directly observed.

4:05 PM: Here’s the big announcement/shot: the first direct recording of the first gravitational wave. It took 100 years after Einstein first put forth general relativity, and she’s playing a recording! Make sure you go and listen! What does it mean to “hear” a sound in space, after all, and why is this a sound? That’s the purpose, she says, of her talk.

The galaxies Maffei 1 and Maffei 2, in the plane of the Milky Way, can only be revealed by seeing through the Milky Way's dust. Despite being some of the closest large galaxies of all, they were not discovered until the mid-20th century.

The galaxies Maffei 1 and Maffei 2, in the plane of the Milky Way, can only be revealed by seeing through the Milky Way’s dust. Despite being some of the closest large galaxies of all, they were not discovered until the mid-20th century.

4:08 PM: If you consider what’s out there in the Universe, we had no way of knowing any of this at the time of Galileo. We were thinking about sunspots, Saturn, etc., and were completely unable to conceive of the great cosmic scales or distances. Forget about “conceiving of other galaxies,” we hadn’t conceived of any of this!

 

4:10 PM: Janna is showing one of my favorite videos (that I recognize) from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey! They took a survey of 400,000 of the nearest galaxies and mapped them in three dimensions. This is what our (nearby) Universe looks like, and as you can see, it really is mostly empty space!

The (modern) Morgan–Keenan spectral classification system, with the temperature range of each star class shown above it, in kelvin.

The (modern) Morgan–Keenan spectral classification system, with the temperature range of each star class shown above it, in kelvin.

4:12 PM: She makes a really great point that she totally glosses over: only about 1-in-1000 stars will ever become a black hole. There are over 400 stars within 30 light years of us, and zero of them are O or B stars, and zero of them have become black holes. These bluest, most massive and shortest-lived stars are the only ones that will grow into black holes.

The identical behavior of a ball falling to the floor in an accelerated rocket (left) and on Earth (right) is a demonstration of Einstein's equivalence principle.

The identical behavior of a ball falling to the floor in an accelerated rocket (left) and on Earth (right) is a demonstration of Einstein’s equivalence principle.

4:15 PM: When you consider “where did Einstein’s theory come from,” Janna makes a great point: the idea of the equivalence principle. If you have gravity, you might consider that you feel “heavy” in your chair, for example. But this reaction that you have is the exact same reaction you’d feel if you were accelerating, rather than gravitating. It’s not the gravity that you feel, it’s the effects of the matter around you!

4:17 PM: The band OKGO did a video flying in the vomit comet. Janna can’t show the whole thing, with audio, for copyright reasons, and highly recommends it. Luckily for you, thanks to the internet… here it is! Enjoy at your leisure!

To travel once around Earth's orbit in a path around the Sun is a journey of 940 million kilometers.

To travel once around Earth’s orbit in a path around the Sun is a journey of 940 million kilometers.

4:19 PM: There’s another huge revelation for gravity: the way we understand how things work comes from watching how things fall. The Moon is “falling” around the Earth; Newton realized that. But the Earth is falling around the Sun; the Sun is “falling” around the galaxy; and atoms “fall” here on Earth. But the same rule applies to them all, so long as they’re all in free-fall. Amazing!

Black holes are something the Universe wasn't born with, but has grown to acquire over time. They now dominate the Universe's entropy.

Black holes are something the Universe wasn’t born with, but has grown to acquire over time. They now dominate the Universe’s entropy.

4:21 PM: Here’s a fun revelation: stop thinking of a black hole as collapsed, crushed matter, even though that might be how it originated. Instead, think about it as simply a region of empty space with strong gravitational properties. In fact, if all you did was assign “mass” to this region of space, that would perfectly define a Schwarzschild (non-charged, non-rotating) black hole.

The supermassive black hole (Sgr A*) at the center of our galaxy is shrouded in a dusty, gaseous environment. X-rays and infrared observations can partially see through it, but radio waves might finally be able to resolve it directly.

The supermassive black hole (Sgr A*) at the center of our galaxy is shrouded in a dusty, gaseous environment. X-rays and infrared observations can partially see through it, but radio waves might finally be able to resolve it directly.

4:23 PM: If you were to fall into a black hole the mass of the Sun, you’d have about a microsecond, from crossing the event horizon (according to Janna) until you were crushed to death at the singularity. This is consistent with what I once calculated, where, for the black hole at the center of the Milky Way, we’d have about 10 seconds. Since the Milky Way’s black hole is 4,000,000 times as massive as our Sun, the math kind of works out!

Joseph Weber with his early-stage gravitational wave detector, known as a Weber bar.

Joseph Weber with his early-stage gravitational wave detector, known as a Weber bar.

4:26 PM: How would you detect a gravitational wave? Honestly, it would be like being on the surface of the ocean; you’d bob up and down along the surface of space, and there was a big argument in the community as to whether these waves were real or not. It wasn’t until Joe Weber came along and decided to try and measure these gravitational waves, using a phenomenal device — an aluminum bar — that would vibrate if a rippling wave “plucked” the bar very slightly.

Weber saw many such signals that he identified with gravitational waves, but these, unfortunately, were never reproduced or verified. He was, for all of his cleverness, not a very careful experimenter.

4:29 PM: There’s a good question from Jon Groubert on twitter: “I have a question about something she said – there is something inside a black hole, isn’t there? Like a heavy neutron star.” There should be a singularity, which is either point-like (for a non-rotating singularity) or a one-dimensional ring (for a rotating one), but not condensed, collapsed, three-dimensional matter.

Why not?

Because in order to remain as a structure, a force needs to propagate and be transmitted between particles. But particles can only transmit forces at the speed of light. But nothing, not even light, can move “outward” towards the exit of a black hole; everything moves towards the singularity. And so nothing can hold itself up, and everything collapses into the singularity. Sad, but the physics makes this inevitable.

From left to right: the two LIGO detectors (in Hanford and Livingston, US) and the Virgo detector (Cascina, Italie).

From left to right: the two LIGO detectors (in Hanford and Livingston, US) and the Virgo detector (Cascina, Italie).

4:32 PM: After Weber’s failures (and fall from fame), the idea of LIGO came along by Rai Weiss in the 1970s. It took more than 40 years for LIGO to come to fruition (and over 1,000 people to make it happen), but the most fantastic thing was that it was experimentally possible. By making two very long lever-arms, you could see the effect of a passing gravitational wave.

 

 

4:34 PM: This is my favorite video illustrating what a gravitational wave does. It moves space itself (and everything in it) back and forth by a tiny amount. If you have a laser interferometer set up (like LIGO), it can detect these vibrations. But if you were close enough and your ears were sensitive enough, you could feel this motion in your eardrum!

4:35 PM: I’ve got some really good headphones, Perimeter, but unfortunately I can’t hear the different gravitational wave model signals that Janna is playing!

The LIGO Hanford Observatory for detecting gravitational waves in Washington State, USA.

The LIGO Hanford Observatory for detecting gravitational waves in Washington State, USA.

4:38 PM: It’s funny to think that this is the world’s most advanced vacuum, inside the LIGO detectors. Yet birds, rats, mice, etc., are all under there, and they chew their way into almost the vacuum chamber that the light travels through. But if the vacuum had been broken (it’s been constant since 1998), the experiment would have been over. In Louisiana, hunters shot at the LIGO tunnels. It’s horrifying how sensitive and expensive this equipment is, but yet how fragile it all is, too.

4:41 PM: Janna is doing a really great job telling this story in a suspenseful but very human way. We only saw the final few orbits of two orbiting black holes, drastically slowed down in the above movie. They were only a few hundred kilometers apart, those final four orbits took 200 millisecond, and that’s the entirety of the signal that LIGO saw.

 

4:43 PM: If you’re having trouble listening/hearing the events in the talk, listen to this video (above), in both natural pitch and increased pitch. The smaller black holes (roughly 8 and 13 solar masses) from December 26, 2015, are both quieter and higher pitched than the larger ones (29 and 36 solar masses) from September 14th in the same year.

4:46 PM: Just a little correction: Janna says this was the most powerful event ever detected since the Big Bang. And that’s only technically true, because of the limits of our detection.

When we get any black hole mergers, approximately 10% of the mass of the least massive black hole in a merger pair gets converted into pure energy via Einstein’s E = mc2. 29 solar masses is a lot, but there are going to be black holes of hundreds of millions or even billions of solar masses that have merged together. And we have proof.

The most massive black hole binary signal ever seen: OJ 287.

The most massive black hole binary signal ever seen: OJ 287.

4:49 PM: This is OJ 287, where a 150 million solar mass black hole orbits an ~18 billion solar mass black hole. It takes 11 years for a complete orbit to occur, and General Relativity predicts a precession of 270 degrees per orbit here, compared to 43 arc seconds per century for Mercury.

4:51 PM: Janna did an incredible job ending on time here; I’ve never seen an hour talk actually end after 50 minutes at a Perimeter public lecture. Wow!

The Earth as viewed from a composite of NASA satellite images from space in the early 2000s.

The Earth as viewed from a composite of NASA satellite images from space in the early 2000s.

4:52 PM: What would happen if Earth got sucked up into a black hole? (Q&A question from Max.) Although Janna’s giving a great answer, I’d like to point out that, from a gravitational wave point of view, Earth would be shredded apart, and we’d get a “smeared out” wave signal, that would be a much noisier, static-y signal. Once Earth got swallowed, the event horizon would grow just a tiny bit, as an extra three millionths of a solar mass increased the black hole’s radius by just that tiny, corresponding amount.

4:55 PM: What a fun talk, a great and snappy Q&A session, and a great experience overall. Enjoy it again and again, because the video of the talk is now embedded as a permalink. And thanks for tuning in!

Time Travel Simulation Resolves “Grandfather Paradox”

Scientific American

 

What would happen to you if you went back in time and killed your grandfather? A model using photons reveals that quantum mechanics can solve the quandary—and even foil quantum cryptography

Wormhole Created in Lab Makes Invisible Magnetic Field: Amazing!

magnetic wormhole

A new device can cloak a magnetic field so that it invisible from the outside. Here, a picture of how the wormhole would work.
Credit: ordi Prat-Camps and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Ripped from the pages of a sci-fi novel, physicists have crafted a wormhole that tunnels a magnetic field through space.

“This device can transmit the magnetic field from one point in space to another point, through a path that is magnetically invisible,” said study co-author Jordi Prat-Camps, a doctoral candidate in physics at the Autonomous University of Barcelona in Spain. “From a magnetic point of view, this device acts like a wormhole, as if the magnetic field was transferred through an extra special dimension.”

The idea of a wormhole comes from Albert Einstein’s theories. In 1935, Einstein and colleague Nathan Rosen realized that the general theory of relativity allowed for the existence of bridges that could link two different points in space-time. Theoretically these Einstein-Rosen bridges, or wormholes, could allow something to tunnel instantly between great distances (though the tunnels in this theory are extremely tiny, so ordinarily wouldn’t fit a space traveler). So far, no one has found evidence that space-time wormholes actually exist. [Science Fact or Fiction? The Plausibility of 10 Sci-Fi Concepts]

The new wormhole isn’t a space-time wormhole per se, but is instead a realization of a futuristic “invisibility cloak” first proposed in 2007 in the journal Physical Review Letters. This type of wormhole would hide electromagnetic waves from view from the outside. The trouble was, to make the method work for light required materials that are extremely impractical and difficult to work with, Prat said.

Magnetic wormhole

But it turned out the materials to make a magnetic wormhole already exist and are much simpler to come by. In particular, superconductors, which can carry high levels of current, or charged particles, expel magnetic field lines from their interiors, essentially bending or distorting these lines. This essentially allows the magnetic field to do something different from its surrounding 3D environment, which is the first step in concealing the disturbance in a magnetic field.

So the team designed a three-layer object, consisting of two concentric spheres with an interior spiral-cylinder. The interior layer essentially transmitted a magnetic field from one end to the other, while the other two layers acted to conceal the field’s existence.

The inner cylinder was made of a ferromagnetic mu-metal. Ferromagnetic materials exhibit the strongest form of magnetism, while mu-metals are highly permeable and are often used for shielding electronic devices.

A thin shell made up of a high-temperature superconducting material called yttrium barium copper oxide lined the inner cylinder, bending the magnetic field that traveled through the interior.

magnetic wormhole device
A new device has created a magnetic wormhole, in which a magnetic field enters one end and seems to pop out of nowhere on the other side.
Credit: Jordi Prat-Camps and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

The final shell was made of another mu-metal, but composed of 150 pieces cut and placed to perfectly cancel out the bending of the magnetic field by the superconducting shell. The whole device was placed in a liquid-nitrogen bath (high-temperature superconductors require the low temperatures of liquid nitrogen to work).

Normally, magnetic field lines radiate out from a certain location and decay over time, but the presence of the magnetic field should be detectable from points all around it. However, the new magnetic wormhole funnels the magnetic field from one side of the cylinder to another so that it is “invisible” while in transit, seeming to pop out of nowhere on the exit side of the tube, the researchers report today (Aug. 20) in the journal Scientific Reports.

“From a magnetic point of view, you have the magnetic field from the magnet disappearing at one end of the wormhole and appearing again at the other end of the wormhole,” Prat told Live Science.

Broader applications

There’s no way to know if similar magneticwormholes lurk in space, but the technology could have applications on Earth, Prat said. For instance, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines use a giant magnet and require people to be in a tightly enclosed central tube for diagnostic imaging.

But if a device could funnel a magnetic field from one spot to the other, it would be possible to take pictures of the body with the strong magnet placed far away, freeing people from the claustrophobic environment of an MRI machine, Prat said.

To do that, the researchers would need to modify the shape of their magnetic wormhole device. A sphere is the simplest shape to model, but a cylindrical outer shell would be the most useful, Prat said.

“If you want to apply this to medical techniques or medical equipment, for sure you will be interested in directing toward any given direction,” Prat said. “A spherical shape is not the most practical geometry.”

Mother Earth weeps as Arctic Circle ice cap slides into the sea | Don’t believe in global warming? Watch!

Image credit:Jason Roberts, BBC-Cracked surface: The largest ice cap in the Eurasian Arctic – Austfonna in Svalbard -

The Austfonna ice cap is located in northeastern Svalbard within the arctic circle north of Scandinavia. “Roughly  28% of the ice cap bed lies below sea level and over 200 km of its southern and eastern margin terminates in the ocean [Dowdeswell, 1986; Dowdeswell et al., 2008], with parts resting on a retrograde slope.”

Like most glaciers that terminate at the sea, warm water from the Atlantic is making its way north to the Arctic ocean (including Berants sea) where the warmth helps to melt the underside of the glacier which in turn causes thinning resulting in rapid retreat. This process is also exacerbated by melt water and bedrock warming.  This is changing the flow dynamics of the glacier.

The Earth Story describes the dynamic change as follows:

This glacier appears to have come ungrounded, flowing out to sea at a rapid pace and draining ice from the ice cap in the process. The ice cap is now thinning by an average of 25 meters per year.

 The waters of the Arctic Ocean have warmed at a rapid pace relative to the rest of the world over recent years, and 2012 in particular was a year of exceptional melting and warmth in the arctic due to some extreme storms. The sudden movement in this glacier suggests that this pulse of heat has helped destabilize glaciers in the surrounding territory and it is happening at an exceptionally rapid pace.

The technical study concludes:

To date, the observed dynamical imbalance has propagated 50 km inland to within 8 km of the ice cap summit, producing widespread ice loss to the ocean. Currently, the glacier terminus rests on a broadly undulating bed; however, farther inland the bed deepens, providing the potential for future instability if further ungrounding occurs [Schoof, 2007]. The imbalance could have been triggered by a number of processes, including an internally generated surge, increased meltwater availability at the bed [Dunse et al., 2014], or enhanced ocean- or atmosphere-driven melting at the terminus; indeed, a combination of factors may have contributed [Nick et al., 2009; Jenkins, 2011]. Across Austfonna, however, there is a coherent pattern of ice margin thinning at all marine-based sectors, which is not apparent at land-terminating basins (Figure 1). This may suggest either a common ocean forcing or the influence of bed conditions specific to marine settings. Additional evidence of anomalously warm waters offshore [Polyakov et al., 2005, 2013] and insignificantly increased atmospheric melting in recent years leads us to favor the former mechanism, rather than one linked to increased melt water delivery to the bed, although a definitive link would require dynamical modeling and measurements at the calving front. Until then, it is unclear whether the moderate rates of thinning of other marine ice sectors are a prelude to similar widespread mass loss in these areas, or whether the large dynamical imbalance at basin 3 will be sustained over time. Nonetheless, the behavior recorded here demonstrates that slow-flowing ice caps can enter states of significant imbalance over very short timescales and highlights their capacity for increased ice loss in the future.

This video is from Chasing Ice where Adam LeWinter and Director Jeff Orlowski filmed a historic breakup at the Ilulissat Glacier in Western Greenland. Though not Austfonna, we get the idea of what is happening to our glaciers worldwide.

Christian group to schools: Stop filling kids’ heads with dinosaurs

Technically Incorrect: Insisting that dinosaurs are a 19th century invention and caused one child to become ‘bestially-minded,’ Christians Against Dinosaurs posts its displeasure on a popular parenting site. But surely this is satire.

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Is the Ark To Salvation self-steering? I do hope so

There are few things more amusing than prehistoric views about prehistory.

I have been woken several times over the last couple of days with rumblings and tremblings about a group that has publicly questioned the very existence of dinosaurs and railed against the bestialization of our children by teaching them dinosaur lore in schools.

The group in question is called Christians Against Dinosaurs. Those of a coarsely waggish nature might suggest that Christians ought not be against dinosaurs, given some of the archaic beings that run certain of the Christian branches.

I cannot begin to debate that, as I’m too busy giggling at some of this group’s postings on the popular parenting site Mumsnet.

These people are for real! Can you believe it?!?

A classic was headlined: “I’m getting sick and tired of dinosaurs being forced on our children.” Its author, claiming to represent the Christians Against Dinosaurs Ministry, exclaimed: “I for one do not want my children being taught lies. Did you know that nobody had even heard of dinosaurs before the 1800s, when they were invented by curio-hungry Victorians?”

The poster goes on to explain that Darwin’s Theory of Evolution “entirely disproved dinosaurs.” Worse that that, though: “Dinosaurs are a very bad example for children. At my children’s school, several children were left in tears after one of their classmates (who had evidently been exposed to dinosaurs), became bestially-minded and ran around the classroom roaring and pretending to be a dinosaur. Then he bit three children on the face.”

This caused a furor. The Huffington Post revealed that the poster had been thrown off Mumsnet for this scientific heresy.

Being of sanguine mind and chilly heart, I tried to investigate this group further. It has a Facebook page, where more than 8,000 claim to be members. It has a Twitter feed, with a mere 194 followers.

And then there are the YouTube videos. The most pulsating is one in which a presenter attempts to convince the world that the first fossil ever found was much later than when the first “idea” of a dinosaur was conceived. She insisted that paleontologists were just tools of a system.

To many ears, this may seem like bilge, but bilge designed to entertain. To my eyes, the woman presenting her argument could barely keep a straight face.

So I contacted the Christians Against Dinosaurs Twitter feed and asked who was its leader and was this all a joke. I received this reply: “We do not have a leader, we are a collective.” I was told this is most definitely not a joke.

Unlike many Christian groups, this one doesn’t seem to talk about God very much. At least not in its video.

I was informed by the group, however, that its aim to “respect Jesus and see through the various dinosaur deceptions.” The woman presenting the video is Kristen Auclair, whose Facebook page claims that she lived in Southbridge, Mass.

A LinkedIn profile for the same name, city and similar profile picture says she’s a commercial insurance account executive. It makes no mention of her antipathy toward dinosaurs. So she’ll insure any old CEO, then.

I was encouraged to join the group to see what it was all about. I made a request, which was approved by someone called Kate (she asked me to withhold her last name.) She told me she is an actor in the UK.

I could not find her among Auclair’s list of Facebook friends. I did, however, find Brontosaurus Rex (seriously).

We all know this? How do we all know this? I wasn’t aware that all of us knew anything at all. That’s just one of the amusements of life.

Still, the group’s welcome message concludes that it’s “a nice group to celebrate Gods wisdom in denying the existing of dinosaurs!”

This nice group says it plans a protest at Ken Ham’s Creation Museum in Kentucky. The date is as yet undetermined. The announcement of the protest was made by Amy Pavlovich, whose Facebook pageclaims that “hearts are for sissies.” And Happy Valentine’s Day to you, madam.

I contacted both Kate and Auclair to ask for further details of their involvement in what to some might seem a joke (of one kind) and to others a joke (of another kind).

“I assure you we are serious about our beliefs,” Kate explained. “The core members all follow Jesus’ teachings but, as I’m sure you’ve seen, since the recent publicity we have been swamped by a larger than usual number of ‘trolling, and people who seem to have joined just to mock.”

How, though, did she get involved in all this? She told me: “I got involved through a family member who worked in the palaeontological field and, as they rose up the ranks and more and more dodgy goings on were revealed their suspicions were aroused and further research ensued.”

She claimed she is still learning. However, one thing she has learned is that “the Museum Industry Complex are ruthless.” But can she change minds? “We already have,” she said.

Auclair confirmed that she had a child and was in insurance sales. She told me that not too many people in Massachusetts share her beliefs.

About the group, she said: “I only hope that it serves as an outlet for others too afraid to speak out about their doubts in the field of paleontology. It is healthy to question the world around us and not just take the word of science as gospel.”

She added: “I personally think that the reaction thus far has been a little crazy. Lol. An influx of Reddit people has made the group a little tougher to handle. I know I’m just trying to get my bearings together to handle the onslaught of berating messages and absolute vitriol flying from these people.”

Welcome to the Web, Kristen.

So remember, kids, fossils are just fossils. They’re not bits of old dinosaurs. Unless, oh, they are. Either way children, please don’t be beastly.

Laser pulse shooting through a bottle and visualized at a trillion frames per second | Amazing!

<a href="/channel/UC9ub18cYyrwIZ0kYTFOcFKQ" class=" yt-uix-sessionlink     spf-link  g-hovercard" data-name="" data-sessionlink="ei=0iepVKWyKYrpctb9ghg" data-ytid="UC9ub18cYyrwIZ0kYTFOcFKQ">cameraculturegroup</a>

And here is how it is done!

We have built an imaging solution that allows us to visualize propagation of light at an effective rate of one trillion frames per second. Direct recording of light at such a frame rate with sufficient brightness is nearly impossible. We use an indirect ‘stroboscopic’ method that combines millions of repeated measurements by careful scanning in time and viewpoints.

The device has been developed by the MIT Media Lab’s Camera Culture group in collaboration with Bawendi Lab in the Department of Chemistry at MIT. A laser pulse that lasts less than one trillionth of a second is used as a flash and the light returning from the scene is collected by a camera at a rate equivalent to roughly 1 trillion frames per second. However, due to very short exposure times (roughly one trillionth of a second) and a narrow field of view of the camera, the video is captured over several minutes by repeated and periodic sampling.

For more info visit http://raskar.info/trillionfps
http://femtophoto.info
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/13/sci…
http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2011/tr…
http://cornar.info
http://www.slideshare.net/cameracultu…

Music: “Rising” by Kevin MacLeod (http://music.incompetech.com/royaltyf…)

In 1911, Albert Einstein Told Marie Curie To Ignore The Trolls:One smart Dude, Einstein!

In 1911, Albert Einstein Told Marie Curie To Ignore The Trolls

On Friday, a digitized trove of Albert Einstein’s writings and correspondence was made available online. While perusing the collection, astrobiologist David Grinspoon found a letter addressed from Einstein to famed physicist, chemist, and two-time Nobel-Laureate, Marie Curie. That letter’s gist? Ignore the trolls.

The translated letter, originally dated November 23, 1911, appears below:

In 1911, Albert Einstein Told Marie Curie To Ignore The Trolls

Moon’s molten, churning core likely once generated a dynamo

Moon’s molten, churning core likely once generated a dynamo

New magnetic measurements of lunar rocks have demonstrated that the ancient moon generated a dynamo magnetic field in its liquid metallic core (innermost red shell). This dynamo may have been driven by convection, possibly powered by …more

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-12-moon-molten-churning-core-dynamo.html#jCp

When the Apollo astronauts returned to Earth, they brought with them some souvenirs: rocks, pebbles, and dust from the moon’s surface. These lunar samples have since been analyzed for clues to the moon’s past. One outstanding question has been whether the moon was once a complex, layered, and differentiated body, like the Earth is today, or an unheated relic of the early solar system, like most asteroids.

Ben Weiss, a professor of planetary sciences in MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, and members of his laboratory have found remnants of magnetization in some lunar rocks, suggesting that the moon once emitted a substantial magnetic field, much like the Earth does today. The discovery has opened a new set of questions: How long did this magnetic field last? How strong was its pull? And what sparked and sustained it?

Weiss and former MIT student Sonia Tikoo have written a review, published today inScience, in which they explore the possibility of a lunar dynamo—a molten, churning core at the center of the moon that may have powered an for at least 1 billion years. Weiss spoke with MIT News about the moon’s hidden history.

Q. How would a lunar dynamo have worked? What might have been going on in the moon, and in the , to sustain this dynamo for a billion years?

A. Planetary dynamos are generated by the process of induction, in which the energy of turbulent, conducting fluids is transformed into a magnetic field. Magnetic fields are one of the very few outward manifestations of the extremely energetic fluid motions that can occur in advecting planetary cores.

The motion of Earth’s liquid core is powered by the cooling of the planet, which stirs up buoyant fluid from the surrounding liquid—similar to what happens in a lava lamp. We have recently argued from magnetic studies of Apollo samples that the moon also generated a dynamo in its molten metal core.

Our data suggest that, despite the moon’s tiny size—only 1 percent of the Earth’s mass—its dynamo was surprisingly intense (stronger than Earth’s field today) and long-lived, persisting from at least 4.2 billion years ago until at least 3.56 billion years ago. This period, which overlaps the early epoch of intense solar system-wide meteoroid bombardment and coincides with the oldest known records of life on Earth, comes just before our earliest evidence of the Earth’s dynamo.

Q. Why is it so surprising that a lunar dynamo may have been so intense and long-lived?

A. Both the strong intensity and long duration of lunar fields are surprising because of the moon’s small size. Convection, which is thought to power all known dynamos in the solar system today, is predicted to produce surface magnetic fields on the moon at least 10 times weaker than what we observe recorded in ancient .

Nevertheless, a convective dynamo powered by crystallization of an inner core could potentially sustain a lunar for billions of years. An exotic dynamo mechanism that could explain the moon’s strong field intensity is that the core was stirred by motion of the solid overlying mantle, analogous to a blender. The moon’s mantle was moving because its spin axis is precessing, or wobbling, and such motion was more vigorous billions of years ago, when the moon was closer to the Earth. Such mechanical dynamos are not known for any other planetary body, making the moon a fascinating natural physics laboratory.

Q. What questions will the next phase of lunar dynamo research seek to address?

A. We know that the moon’s field declined precipitously between 3.56 billion years ago and 3.3 billion years ago, but we still do not know when the dynamo actually ceased. Establishing this will be a key goal of the next phase of lunar magnetic studies.

We also do not know the absolute direction of the lunar field, since all of our samples were unoriented rocks from the regolith—the fragmental layer produced by impacts on the lunar surface. If we could find a sample whose original orientation is known, we could determine the absolute direction of the lunar field relative to the planetary surface. This transformative measurement would then allow us to test ideas that the‘s spin pole wandered in time across the planetary surface, possibly due to large impacts.

Creationist Fail: Michigan State scientists and philosophers refuse to engage creationists

A student-sponsored conference, on Creationism has failed, Why? Read on. We at Notoriously White believe, the best way to deal with Creationists, and the way they try and argue their way threw science, is just not to meet them, that is not to say that we are afraid to debate them, but it is just better to leave these nut cases alone, with there own people, people who are somehow incapable of understanding the truth about science! Thanks to The Richard Dawkins Foundation for this article.

This is a good example of how scientists and science-lovers should deal with creationists. And that is not to deal with them, at least in debates and meetings.

A while back, religious students at Michigan State University announced that they would hold a one-day “Origin Summit,” a meeting about creationism at a public university. That was legal because the summit was actually organized by a student religious group (The Baptist Collegiate Ministry), which has the right to book rooms on campus for its own activities. According to a piece by Mark Joseph Stern in Slate, though, the students didn’t have much to do with the conference, which was organized by Outside Influences. (Could it be. . . . Satan?)

Here we see the speakers, and the workshops they were involved in.

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The Origin Summit“‘s speakers and program are shown below; note the distinguished lineup. Sadly, I have never heard of any of these scientists or science educators.

That’s a rather pugnacious program, and includes attacks on the Big Bang (really?) and on Rich Lenski’s well-known experiments on bacterial evolution. They also played the Hitler Card, i.e., Hitler’s genocides were strongly influenced by Darwin’s theory of evolution. (For the definitive refutation of that ridiculous canard, see my colleague Bob Richards’s essay, “Was Hitler a Darwinian?“, free online. Hint: the answer is “no.”)

What the creationists really wanted was a debate, in particular a debate with MSU philosophy professor Rob Pennock, a well-known opponent of intelligent design and author of what I think is the best anti-ID book,Tower of Babel. Pennock also testified for the prosecution in the famous Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District et al. case, a case in which ID was resoundingly trounced as “not science.”

Pennock wouldn’t bite, and good for him. As Slate reports:

The summit’s website asks whether Pennock’s arguments can “withstand the scrutiny of debate” and suggests that he’s too cowardly to stand up for evolution.

The summit had one thing right: Pennock refused to respond to its request. But it wasn’t out of timorousness.

“Scientists have already shown that there is no substance worth debating in these old creationist challenges to evolution,” he told me. Evolution is fact, creation is fiction, and there’s just no point in pretending like there’s a real scientific debate between reality and fantasy. I asked Pennock whether he was alarmed by the conference.

“It’s a sign of how desperate creationists have become,” he said. “[T]hey have to make schoolyard bully taunts, blame evolution for Hitler, and raffle a free iPad (‘Must be present to win’) to try to create a controversy and draw an audience.”

The rest of the Michigan State scientists also refused to engage, though of course they were peeved that such a stupid event could take place on a respectable campus. But it’s the Baptists, Jake!

Thwarted in their attempt to validate the conference with a debate, the summit leaders might at least have hoped for an attention-grabbing outcry among scientists at the school. There, too, they were foiled. Once MSU’s science professors caught wind of the event, they collectively decided to ignore the conference and refuse requests for comment. (Indeed, no professor would speak to me until I promised not to publish a story before the summit occurred.) The summit leaders were counting on the school’s scientists to criticize the conference and give them free publicity. So the scientists kept their mouths shut.

Kudos to my colleagues at MSU! The only pushback by Team Science was a pro-evolution table at the conference organized by some students.  But faculty resolutely refused to either engage or attend. In the end, it wasn’t much of a win for the creationists:

The summit’s leaders were expecting an uproar, but MSU’s scientists, unlike Bill Nye, refused to take the bait. To debate creationism and evolution, they realized, was to imply that evolution is plausibly disputable. To ignore creationist calls for debate, on the other hand, relegates the theory to lowest rung of evangelical pseudoscience, where it so obviously belongs.

Ultimately, thanks to the university’s emphatic silence, the conference drew fewer than 100 attendees, according to Baskett—only about one-third of whom appeared to be younger than 30. There were no debates or shouting matches, and the creationists were, by all accounts, gracious and civil. A handful of MSU students sat in out of pure curiosity, Pennock told me, including a resolutely pro-science graduate student who studies evolutionary microbiology. At the end of the event, the student won the iPad raffle.

“Chance?” Pennock asked, “or a sign from above? You be the judge.”

My advice to all, and that included Bill Nye, who I think erred in debating Ken Ham, is to not engage creationists on a public platform, and that means in conferences or debates. Issues like the worthlessness of creationism are not decided by rhetoric, but by thoughtful contemplation. I fight creationism not by talking to its advocates in public, which only gives them credibility, but by criticizing their ideas in articles and book reviews, which can be read at leisure. But I do this as little as possible, and only when they’ve said something that, I think, needs rebutting. My strongest critique of creationism was not in fact a critique, but an exposition of the massive and irrefutable evidence for evolution, laid out in WEIT.

As this country becomes more secular, creationism will disappear of its own accord, for its umbilical cord is religion. There are virtually no creationists who aren’t motivated by religious origin tales, and when those tales lose credibility (granted, it will take a long time), creationism will no longer be with us. The IDers and creation-mongers know this, so they try to pump life into their movement by seeking the credibility and visibility of debates with scientists.

Don’t engage them, at least in person.

 

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