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A Momentary Flow

Evolving Worldviews

Time’s Arrow Traced to Quantum Source
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Coffee cools, buildings crumble, eggs break and stars fizzle out in a universe that seems destined to degrade into a state of uniform drabness known as thermal equilibrium. The astronomer-philosopher Sir Arthur Eddington in 1927 cited the gradual dispersal of energy as evidence of an irreversible “arrow of time.” But to the bafflement of generations of physicists, the arrow of time does not seem to follow from the underlying laws of physics, which work the same going forward in time as in reverse. By those laws, it seemed that if someone knew the paths of all the particles in the universe and flipped them around, energy would accumulate rather than disperse: Tepid coffee would spontaneously heat up, buildings would rise from their rubble and sunlight would slink back into the sun. “In classical physics, we were struggling,” said Sandu Popescu, a professor of physics at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. “If I knew more, could I reverse the event, put together all the molecules of the egg that broke? Why am I relevant?” Surely, he said, time’s arrow is not steered by human ignorance. And yet, since the birth of thermodynamics in the 1850s, the only known approach for calculating the spread of energy was to formulate statistical distributions of the unknown trajectories of particles, and show that, over time, the ignorance smeared things out. Now, physicists are unmasking a more fundamental source for the arrow of time: Energy disperses and objects equilibrate, they say, because of the way elementary particles become intertwined when they interact — a strange effect called “quantum entanglement.” “Finally, we can understand why a cup of coffee equilibrates in a room,” said Tony Short, a quantum physicist at Bristol. “Entanglement builds up between the state of the coffee cup and the state of the room.” (via Quantum Entanglement Drives the Arrow of Time, Scientists Say | Simons Foundation)

Time’s Arrow Traced to Quantum Source
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Coffee cools, buildings crumble, eggs break and stars fizzle out in a universe that seems destined to degrade into a state of uniform drabness known as thermal equilibrium. The astronomer-philosopher Sir Arthur Eddington in 1927 cited the gradual dispersal of energy as evidence of an irreversible “arrow of time.” But to the bafflement of generations of physicists, the arrow of time does not seem to follow from the underlying laws of physics, which work the same going forward in time as in reverse. By those laws, it seemed that if someone knew the paths of all the particles in the universe and flipped them around, energy would accumulate rather than disperse: Tepid coffee would spontaneously heat up, buildings would rise from their rubble and sunlight would slink back into the sun. “In classical physics, we were struggling,” said Sandu Popescu, a professor of physics at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. “If I knew more, could I reverse the event, put together all the molecules of the egg that broke? Why am I relevant?” Surely, he said, time’s arrow is not steered by human ignorance. And yet, since the birth of thermodynamics in the 1850s, the only known approach for calculating the spread of energy was to formulate statistical distributions of the unknown trajectories of particles, and show that, over time, the ignorance smeared things out. Now, physicists are unmasking a more fundamental source for the arrow of time: Energy disperses and objects equilibrate, they say, because of the way elementary particles become intertwined when they interact — a strange effect called “quantum entanglement.” “Finally, we can understand why a cup of coffee equilibrates in a room,” said Tony Short, a quantum physicist at Bristol. “Entanglement builds up between the state of the coffee cup and the state of the room.” (via Quantum Entanglement Drives the Arrow of Time, Scientists Say | Simons Foundation)

Listen Up! Hearable Computing Is the Next Big Thing! - Datamation

See on Scoop.it - Cyborg Lives
Desktop. Mobile. Wearable. What’s next?

In the movie “Her” (starring Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams), the lead character falls in love with a Siri-like virtual assistant.

The only difference between Siri and “Her” is that the movie version is simply more advanced — as advanced as such assistances will inevitably get. It’s only a matter of time before Siri, Google Now, Cortana and others can all pass the Turing test.

In the movie, Joaquin Phoenix’s character develops what he believes is a satisfying relationship with the virtual assistant entirely through a Bluetooth earpiece that fits almost entirely into his ear. He puts it in his ear and forgets about it. He talks, the assistant listens. The assistant talks, he listens. They have conversations.

If you can imagine sufficiently advanced A.I., you can imagine that this interface to the world of computers and the Internet is just about all you would need. Think about what you do with computers — browse the Internet, do social networking, make calls, buy things, schedule meetings, maintain contacts, create business reports — it could and I believe will be handled almost entirely by talking to a virtual assistant.


See on datamation.com
Tigers need diverse gene pool to surviveStanford University Original Study
 New research shows that increasing genetic diversity among the 3,000 or so tigers left on the planet, though interbreeding and other methods, may be the key to their survival as a species. Iconic symbols of power and beauty, wild tigers may roam only in stories someday soon. Their historical range has been reduced by more than 90 percent. But conservation plans that focus only on increasing numbers and preserving distinct subspecies ignore genetic diversity, according to the study. In fact, following that approach, the tiger could vanish entirely. “Numbers don’t tell the entire story,” says Elizabeth Hadly, professor in environmental biology at Stanford University and senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. She is a coauthor of the study, which appears in the Journal of Heredity. That research shows that the more gene flow there is among tiger populations, the more genetic diversity is maintained and the higher the chances of species survival become. In fact, it might be possible to maintain tiger populations that preserve about 90 percent of genetic diversity. (via Tigers need diverse gene pool to survive | Futurity)

Tigers need diverse gene pool to survive
Stanford University Original Study


New research shows that increasing genetic diversity among the 3,000 or so tigers left on the planet, though interbreeding and other methods, may be the key to their survival as a species. Iconic symbols of power and beauty, wild tigers may roam only in stories someday soon. Their historical range has been reduced by more than 90 percent. But conservation plans that focus only on increasing numbers and preserving distinct subspecies ignore genetic diversity, according to the study. In fact, following that approach, the tiger could vanish entirely. “Numbers don’t tell the entire story,” says Elizabeth Hadly, professor in environmental biology at Stanford University and senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. She is a coauthor of the study, which appears in the Journal of Heredity.
That research shows that the more gene flow there is among tiger populations, the more genetic diversity is maintained and the higher the chances of species survival become. In fact, it might be possible to maintain tiger populations that preserve about 90 percent of genetic diversity. (via Tigers need diverse gene pool to survive | Futurity)

Adidas’ metallic Climachill apparel cools athletes in hot conditions
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The sports apparel market has no shortage of solutions for cold weather, with waterproof-breathable materials, advanced natural and synthetic insulations, and battery powered heat among them. But athletes have fewer options in hot, humid weather: take off clothing, get a cold headband/cloth, or stop exercising and find an air conditioner or pool. Adidas offers one more. Its new Climachill fabric combines several cooling elements to keep athletes more comfortable during hot summer sessions. Adidas claims that Climachill fabric is able to deliver an instant cooling effect with its mix of titanium-blended yarn and 3D aluminum cooling spheres. The 3D spheres are mapped to correspond with the body’s hot zones, keeping those areas cooler. Meanwhile, the use of the titanium “SubZero” flat yarn delivers a claimed 36 percent increase in cooling capacity over Adidas’ older Climacool fabric. In order to find the “ultimate Climachill fabric,” Adidas tested fabric blends in its “Clima” chamber, cranking the heat up to 122ºF (50ºC). It then zeroed in on what was most effective. (via Adidas’ metallic Climachill apparel cools athletes in hot conditions)

Scientists discover brain’s anti-distraction system

See on Scoop.it - The future of medicine and health

(Medical Xpress)—Two Simon Fraser University psychologists have made a brain-related discovery that could revolutionize doctors’ perception and treatment of attention-deficit disorders.

This discovery opens up the possibility that environmental and/or genetic factors may hinder or suppress a specific brain activity that the researchers have identified as helping us prevent distraction.

The Journal of Neuroscience has just published a paper about the discovery by John McDonald, an associate professor of psychology and his doctoral student John Gaspar, who made the discovery during his master’s thesis research.

This is the first study to reveal our brains rely on an active suppression mechanism to avoid being distracted by salient irrelevant information when we want to focus on a particular item or task.

McDonald, a Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience, and other scientists first discovered the existence of the specific neural index of suppression in his lab in 2009. But, until now, little was known about how it helps us ignore visual distractions.

"This is an important discovery for neuroscientists and psychologists because most contemporary ideas of attention highlight brain processes that are involved in picking out relevant objects from the visual field. It’s like finding Waldo in a Where’s Waldo illustration," says Gaspar, the study’s lead author.


See on medicalxpress.com