Fun with Qubits -
If you look at a cylindrical block from the bottom, you see a circle. If you look at it from the side you see a square.
Imagine a cylindrical block that is spinning around amazingly fast. When you look at it, it stops spinning and snaps into either a circle or a square.
This is similar to how a qubit will behave. Whereas a normal bit has a value of either one or zero. A qubit is both. A qubit has some amount of one and some amount of zero, however when you measure it the qubit will always snap into a one or zero. These measurements are probabilistic and will not be the same each time.
Temporary tattoos could make electronic telepathy and telekinesis possible
Temporary electronic tattoos could soon help people fly drones with only thought and talk seemingly telepathically without speech over smartphones, researchers say. Electrical engineer Todd Coleman at the University of California at San Diego is devising noninvasive means of controlling machines via the mind, techniques virtually everyone might be able to use.
Full Story: Io9
This is the world’s smallest snowman - at 10 micrometres across, it’s only 1/5th the width of a human hair. The tiny guy was made from two tin beads used to calibrate electron microscope astigmatism. The eyes and smile were milled using a focused ion beam, and the nose, which is under 1 µm wide (or 0.001 mm), is ion beam deposited platinum.
All of this hurricane talk has put me in the mood to talk about global warming…
(Source: jimharris.com, via ikenbot)
What are the practical complications of turning energy into matter? -
Lets just say I had practically inifinte energy. How do I go about turning this into a stream of protons? Dont hold back on the quantum field theory. Smashing existing particles together & filtering out what we want(protons) is not a good enough answer.
The first practical complication is that you cannot (as far as we know) create matter without also creating an equal amount of anti matter. Of course the fact that the observable universe is mostly regular matter indicates that there is some lopsidedness to this summitry and so it may be possible to find conditions that at least create slightly more matter then antimatter. Still, this is a problem that you would need to be overcome to get your pure stream of regular matter protons.
Another problem is the fact that to create particles we simply amass a very large amount of energy in a very small space and see what pops out. We have no way to command that only certain particles be created. For example, even if I amass enough energy to allow for the spontaneous creation of a pair of protons (the proton and its anti matter partner) i have no way to know if the protons are what is going to be created, or other particles whose combined mass and energy add up to the mass of the proton pair. We can only predict the frequency that certain particles will be created.
Finally, although the transformation of energy into matter and matter into energy is a common occurrence in nature, and an entire industry (the nuclear power industry) has been made possible by our understanding of the transition we still aren’t anywhere close to having a mass-energy conversion machine.
I can try and explain the conversion machine and our current methods of conversion if you want, but I think its off the topic of your question, and it looks like I’ve mad an ugly wall of text already.
If any of you reading this see something that I’ve got wrong, or want to explain in more detail please do! This is a topic I’ve been curious about for years.
Edit: I saw your post in r/physics. No, we can’t do better then smash particles together and see what comes out. Think of it this way. We don’t create matter, we simply create the conditions that allow matter to be created. The conditions that are needed are a very high concentration of energy, and the only way we have to achieve those conditions are particle collides. Unfortunately if we have enough energy to allow for the creation of a proton, then we have also allowed for the creation of many smaller particles that will need to be filtered out. So I’m sorry if smashing existing particles together & filtering out what we want is not a good enough answer, because right now its the only answer.
Our everyday experience of interstellar travel usually comes in the shape of the U.S.S. Enterprise zooming around the galaxy at warp speed. Unfortunately, the warp drive is primarily used as a tool by scriptwriters to condense the extreme interstellar distances into hour-long episodes. But there’s a growing field of study that actually attaches some physics — albeit rather “exotic” physics — to superluminal (a.k.a. faster-than-light) travel.
Earlier this month, scientists and engineers were able to discuss their warp drive concepts at the 100 Year Starship Symposium in Houston, Texas, and there was some good news for sci-fi fans everywhere: the warp drive might not be as energy hungry as previous studies suggested.
Sonny White of NASA’s Johnson Space Center presented his calculations on the energies required to travel faster than Einstein’s famous speed limit: the speed of light. By White’s reckoning, his design of starship — that is “adjusted into more of a rounded doughnut, as opposed to a flat ring” and oscillates the warp intensity — could be powered by the approximate mass-energy of the Voyager 1 space probe.
Although “the mass-energy of the Voyager 1 space probe” may not sound like much, if you convert the 722 kilogram Voyager mass into raw energy (using Einstein’s famous mass-energy equivalence equation: E=mc2), White’s warp drive would require 6.5x1019Joules (65 exajoules) to create a warp bubble. That’s nearly theentire annual energy consumption of the United States.
Clearly, this monstrous energy requirement isn’t practical, but it’s one heck of an improvement over previous estimates.
Eternal Clock Could Keep Time After Universe Dies
The idea for an eternal clock that would continue to keep time even after the universe ceased to exist has intrigued physicists. However, no one has figured out how one might be built, until now.
Researchers have now proposed an experimental design for a “space-time crystal” that would be able to keep time forever. This four-dimensional crystal would be similar to conventional 3D crystals, which are structures, like snowflakes and diamonds, whose atoms are arranged in repeating patterns. Whereas a diamond has a periodic structure in three dimensions, the space-time crystal would be periodic in time as well as space.
The idea of a 4D space-time crystal was first proposed earlier this year by MIT physicist Frank Wilczek, though the concept was purely theoretical. Now a team of researchers led by Xiang Zhang of California’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has conceived of how to make one a reality.
“The idea of creating a crystal with dimensions higher than that of conventional 3D crystals is an important conceptual breakthrough in physics, and it is very exciting for us to be the first to devise a way to realize a space-time crystal,” Berkeley Lab physicist Tongcang Li, a member of the research group, said in a statement.
Zhang and his colleagues suggest that a space-time crystal could be constructed using an electric field to trap charged atoms (called ions), and taking advantage of the natural repulsion between two like-charged particles (positive and positive, or negative and negative), which is called Coulomb repulsion.
Image: This proposed space-time crystal shows (a) periodic structures in both space and time with (b) ultracold ions rotating in one direction even at the lowest energy state. Credit: Courtesy of Xiang Zhang group