News Update 10
(Phys.org) —Russian physicists Alex Gurevich and Anatoly Karashtin claim, in a paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, they have found more evidence to support their idea that lightning is caused by cosmic rays. The notion was first proposed by Gurevich back in 1992, and has been a source of debate ever since.
In first head-to-head speed test with conventional computing, quantum computer wins
(Phys.org) —A computer science professor at Amherst College who recently devised and conducted experiments to test the speed of a quantum computing system against conventional computing methods will soon be presenting a paper with her verdict: quantum computing is, “in some cases, really, really fast.”
Greenhouse gas level highest in two million years, NOAA reports (Update 2)
Worldwide levels of the greenhouse gas that plays the biggest role in global warming have reached their highest level in almost 2 million years—an amount never before encountered by humans, U.S. scientists said Friday.
Los Alamos reveals it’s been running quantum network for two and a half years
(Phys.org) —In a recent paper available on arXiv, a team of researchers at New Mexico’s Los Alamos National Laboratory has revealed they’ve been running a quantum network for 2 1/2 years. The network is hub-and-spoke based, the team reports, and allows for perfectly secure messaging except at the hub.
Exotic atoms hold clues to unsolved physics puzzle at the dawn of the universe
An international team of physicists has found the first direct evidence of pear shaped nuclei in exotic atoms. The findings could advance the search for a new fundamental force in nature that could explain why the Big Bang created more matter than antimatter—-a pivotal imbalance in the history of everything.
Did the universe evolve to make black holes?
(Phys.org) —The maths underpinning Darwin’s theory of natural selection could explain how the universe may be ‘designed’ to make black holes.
Study finds semiclassical gravity counterintuitive, but on the horizon of testability
(Phys.org) —One of the more controversial theories of quantum gravity, which attempts to unify quantum mechanics and general relativity, is semiclassical gravity, which was proposed in the 1960s. As its name suggests, semiclassical gravity involves a combination of quantum and classical components. Specifically, matter obeys the rules of quantum mechanics while gravity and the spacetime structure obey classical laws. Many physicists think that integrating quantum and classical systems in this way creates physical contradictions and mathematical inconsistencies. However, in a new paper, physicists have closely analyzed exactly how classical gravity might affect the quantum properties of macroscopic objects, and found that the effects of semiclassical gravity may be experimentally detectable with state-of-the-art technology.
Building a digital life form: OpenWorm, Open Source
(Phys.org) —The worm Caenorhabditis elegans is one of the most widely studied creatures. Scientists consider the worm a model organism for exploring animal development including neural development. The reasons are basic; it has one of the most simple nervous systems, and is convenient for genetic analysis. Never mind that, in turn, there is already an enormous amount of biological data about the C. elegans; scientists are still seeking more answers about the worm. Now there is a novel information path, The OpenWorm Project. They are working up an artificial life form, computationally created, a digital life form as no other.
Boosting ‘cellular garbage disposal’ can delay the aging process, research shows
(Medical Xpress)—UCLA life scientists have identified a gene previously implicated in Parkinson’s disease that can delay the onset of aging and extend the healthy life span of fruit flies. The research, they say, could have important implications for aging and disease in humans.
Plants ‘talk’ to plants to help them grow
Having a neighborly chat improves seed germination, finds research in BioMed Central’s open access journal BMC Ecology. Even when other known means of communication, such as contact, chemical and light-mediated signals, are blocked chilli seeds grow better when grown with basil plants. This suggests that plants are talking via nanomechanical vibrations.
Genes show one big European family
From Ireland to the Balkans, Europeans are basically one big family, closely related to one another for the past thousand years, according to a new study of the DNA of people from across the continent.