Tag: mathematics

CHANGING THE WORLD FROM INSIDE OUT ~ SHIVRAEL LUMINANCE RIVER 8-9-2016

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Astrophysicists Can Now Make Weather Forecasts For Distant Planets


Exoplanet day/night cycle
Cloudy mornings and scorching hot afternoons: the Kepler space telescope has provided weather forecasts for some distant exoplanets.


Excerpt from techtimes.com

A telescope observing distant planets has found evidence of weather patterns, allowing astrophysicists to "forecast" their conditions.

Analyzing data from NASA's Kepler space telescope, a team of astrophysicists at universities in Canada and Great Britain has identified signs of daily weather variations on six exoplanets.
They observed phase variations as different parts of the planets reflected light from their host stars, in much the same way that our moon cycles though different phases.

"We determined the weather on these alien worlds by measuring changes as the planets circle their host stars, and identifying the day-night cycle," said Lisa Esteves from the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Toronto.

"We traced each of them going through a cycle of phases in which different portions of the planet are illuminated by its star, from fully lit to completely dark," added Esteves, who the led the team on the study.

The scientists have offered up "forecasts" of cloudy mornings for four of the planets, and clear but scorching hot afternoons on two others.

They based their predictions on the planets' rotations, which produce an eastward motion of their atmospheric winds. That would blow clouds that formed over the cooler side of one of the planets around to its morning side — thus producing the "cloudy" morning forecast.

"As the winds continue to transport the clouds to the day side, they heat up and dissipate, leaving the afternoon sky cloud-free," said Esteves. "These winds also push the hot air eastward from the meridian, where it is the middle of the day, resulting in higher temperatures in the afternoon."

The Kepler telescope has proven to be the ideal instrument for studying phase variations on distant exoplanets, according to the researchers.

The massive amounts of data and the extremely precise measurements that the telescope is capable of permits them to detect even tiny, subtle signals coming from the distant world, and to separate them from the almost overwhelming light coming from their host stars.

"The detection of light from these planets hundreds to thousands of light years away is on its own remarkable," said co-author Ernst de Mooij from the Astrophysics Research Centre from the School of Mathematics and Physics at Queen's University, Belfast.
"But when we consider that phase cycle variations can be up to 100,000 times fainter than the host star, these detections become truly astonishing."

There may come a day when a weather report for a distant planet is a common and unremarkable event, the researchers added.
"Someday soon we hope to be talking about weather reports for alien worlds not much bigger than Earth, and to be making comparisons with our home planet," said Ray Jayawardhana of York University in England.

This study was published in The Astrophysical Journal.

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Hypatia, Ancient Alexandria’s Great Female Scholar

An avowed paganist in a time of religious strife, Hypatia was also one of the first women to study math, astronomy and philosophy On the streets of Alexandria, Egypt, a mob led by Peter the Lector brutally murdered Hypatia, one of the last great thinkers of ancient Alexandria. (Mary Evans Picture Library / Alamy) By Sarah Zielinskismithsonian.com One day on the streets of Alexandria, Egypt, in the year 415 or 416, a mob of Christian zealots led by Peter the Lector accosted a wom [...]

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How Would the World Change If We Found Alien Life?







Excerpt from space.com
By by Elizabeth Howell

In 1938, Orson Welles narrated a radio broadcast of "War of the Worlds" as a series of simulated radio bulletins of what was happening in real time as Martians arrived on our home planet. The broadcast is widely remembered for creating public panic, although to what extent is hotly debated today.

Still, the incident serves as an illustration of what could happen when the first life beyond Earth is discovered. While scientists might be excited by the prospect, introducing the public, politicians and interest groups to the idea could take some time.

How extraterrestrial life would change our world view is a research interest of Steven Dick, who just completed a term as the Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress Chair of Astrobiology. The chair is jointly sponsored by the NASA Astrobiology Program and the John W. Kluge Center, at the Library of Congress. 


Dick is a former astronomer and historian at the United States Naval Observatory, a past chief historian for NASA, and has published several books concerning the discovery of life beyond Earth. To Dick, even the discovery of microbes would be a profound shift for science.

"If we found microbes, it would have an effect on science, especially biology, by universalizing biology," he said. "We only have one case of biology on Earth. It's all related. It's all DNA-based. If we found an independent example on Mars or Europa, we have a chance of forming a universal biology."

Dick points out that even the possibilities of extraterrestrial fossils could change our viewpoints, such as the ongoing discussion of ALH84001, a Martian meteorite found in Antarctica that erupted into public consciousness in 1996 after a Science article said structures inside of it could be linked to biological activity. The conclusion, which is still debated today, led to congressional hearings.

"I've done a book about discovery in astronomy, and it's an extended process," Dick pointed out. "It's not like you point your telescope and say, 'Oh, I made a discovery.' It's always an extended process: You have to detect something, you have to interpret it, and it takes a long time to understand it. As for extraterrestrial life, the Mars rock showed it could take an extended period of years to understand it."


ALH84001 Meteorite
The ALH84001 meteorite, which in a 1996 Science publication was speculated to be host to what could be ancient Martian fossils. That finding is still under dispute today.

Mayan decipherments

In his year at the Library of Congress, Dick spent time searching for historical examples (as well as historical analogies) of how humanity might deal with first contact with an extraterrestrial civilization. History shows that contact with new cultures can go in vastly different directions.

Hernan Cortes' treatment of the Aztecs is often cited as an example of how wrong first contact can go. But there were other efforts that were a little more mutually beneficial, although the outcomes were never perfect. Fur traders in Canada in the 1800s worked closely with Native Americans, for example, and the Chinese treasure fleet of the 15th Century successfully brought its home culture far beyond its borders, perhaps even to East Africa.

Even when both sides were trying hard to make communication work, there were barriers, noted Dick.

"The Jesuits had contact with Native Americans," he pointed out. "Certain concepts were difficult, like when they tried to get across the ideas of the soul and immortality."



A second look by the Mars Global Surveyor at the so-called Viking “Face on Mars” in Cydonia revealed a more ordinary-looking hill, showing that science is an extended process of discovery.


Indirect contact by way of radio communications through the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), also illustrates the challenges of transmitting information across cultures. There is historical precedence for this, such as when Greek knowledge passed west through Arab translators in the 12th Century. This shows that it is possible for ideas to be revived, even from dead cultures, he said.

It's also quite possible that the language we receive across these indirect communications would be foreign to us. Even though mathematics is often cited as a universal language, Dick said there are actually two schools of thought. One theory is that there is, indeed, one kind of mathematics that is based on a Platonic idea, and the other theory is that mathematics is a construction of the culture that you are in. 

"There will be a decipherment process. It might be more like the Mayan decipherments," Dick said.


The ethics of contact

As Dick came to a greater understanding about the potential c impact of extraterrestrial intelligence, he invited other scholars to present their findings along with him. Dick chaired a two-day NASA/Library of Congress Astrobiology Symposium called "Preparing for Discovery," which was intended to address the impact of finding any kind of life beyond Earth, whether microbial or some kind of intelligent, multicellular life form.

The symposium participants discussed how to move beyond human-centered views of defining life, how to understand the philosophical and theological problems a discovery would bring, and how to help the public understand the implications of a discovery.

"There is also the question of what I call astro-ethics," Dick said. "How do you treat alien life? How do you treat it differently, ranging from microbes to intelligence? So we had a philosopher at our symposium talking about the moral status of non-human organisms, talking in relation to animals on Earth and what their status is in relation to us."

Dick plans to collect the lectures in a book for publication next year, but he also spent his time at the library gathering materials for a second book about how discovering life beyond Earth will revolutionize our thinking.

"It's very farsighted for NASA to fund a position like this," Dick added. "They have all their programs in astrobiology, they fund the scientists, but here they fund somebody to think about what the implications might be. It's a good idea to do this, to foresee what might happen before it occurs."

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Robots Can Learn to Perform Tasks by “Watching” YouTube Videos


https://i1.wp.com/www.darpa.mil/uploadedImages/Content/NewsEvents/Releases/2015/MSEEresearchers.png?resize=640%2C428
University of Maryland computer scientist Yiannis Aloimonos (center) is developing robotic systems able to visually recognize objects and generate new behavior based on those observations. DARPA is funding this research through its Mathematics of Sensing, Exploitation and Execution (MSEE) program. (University of Maryland Photo)

From darpa.mil

January 29, 2015

DARPA program advances robots’ ability to sense visual information and turn it into action  

Robots can learn to recognize objects and patterns fairly well, but to interpret and be able to act on visual input is much more difficult.  Researchers at the University of Maryland, funded by DARPA’s Mathematics of Sensing, Exploitation and Execution (MSEE) program, recently developed a system that enabled robots to process visual data from a series of “how to” cooking videos on YouTube. Based on what was shown on a video, robots were able to recognize, grab and manipulate the correct kitchen utensil or object and perform the demonstrated task with high accuracy—without additional human input or programming.  

“The MSEE program initially focused on sensing, which involves perception and understanding of what’s happening in a visual scene, not simply recognizing and identifying objects,” said Reza Ghanadan, program manager in DARPA’s Defense Sciences Offices. “We’ve now taken the next step to execution, where a robot processes visual cues through a manipulation action-grammar module and translates them into actions.”

Another significant advance to come out of the research is the robots’ ability to accumulate and share knowledge with others. Current sensor systems typically view the world anew in each moment, without the ability to apply prior knowledge.

“This system allows robots to continuously build on previous learning—such as types of objects and grasps associated with them—which could have a huge impact on teaching and training,” Ghanadan said. “Instead of the long and expensive process of programming code to teach robots to do tasks, this research opens the potential for robots to learn much faster, at much lower cost and, to the extent they are authorized to do so, share that knowledge with other robots. This learning-based approach is a significant step towards developing technologies that could have benefits in areas such as military repair and logistics.”

The DARPA-funded researchers presented their work today at the 29th meeting of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. The University of Maryland paper is available here: http://ow.ly/I30im

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A Physicist’s Explanation of Why the Soul May Exist







By Tara Maclsaac
Excerpt from
theepochtimes.com
 Henry Stapp is a theoretical physicist at the University of California's Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, specializing in the mathematical and logical foundations of quantum mechanics. - See more at: http://www.nourfoundation.com/speakers/henry-p-stapp-phd.html#sthash.ZJS7Zrm3.dpuf
Dr. Henry Stapp is a theoretical physicist at the University of California's Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, specializing in the mathematical and logical foundations of quantum mechanics. - See more at: http://www.nourfoundation.com/speakers/henry-p-stapp-phd.html#sthash.ZJS7Zrm3.dpuf



Henry P. Stapp is a theoretical physicist at the University of California–Berkeley who worked with some of the founding fathers of quantum mechanics. He does not seek to prove that the soul exists, but he does say that the existence of the soul fits within the laws of physics.

He does not seek to prove that the soul exists, but he does say that the existence of the soul fits within the laws of physics.

It is not true to say belief in the soul is unscientific, according to Stapp. Here the word “soul” refers to a personality independent of the brain or the rest of the human body that can survive beyond death.  In his paper, “Compatibility of Contemporary Physical Theory With Personality Survival,” he wrote: “Strong doubts about personality survival based solely on the belief that postmortem survival is incompatible with the laws of physics are unfounded.”
He works with the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics—more or less the interpretation used by some of the founders of quantum mechanics, Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg. Even Bohr and Heisenberg had some disagreements on how quantum mechanics works, and understandings of the theory since that time have also been diverse. Stapp’s paper on the Copenhagen interpretation has been influential. It was written in the 1970s and Heisenberg wrote an appendix for it. 

Stapp noted of his own concepts: “There has been no hint in my previous descriptions (or conception) of this orthodox quantum mechanics of any notion of personality survival.”

Why Quantum Theory Could Hint at Life After Death

Stapp explains that the founders of quantum theory required scientists to essentially cut the world into two parts. Above the cut, classical mathematics could describe the physical processes empirically experienced. Below the cut, quantum mathematics describes a realm “which does not entail complete physical determinism.”

Of this realm below the cut, Stapp wrote: “One generally finds that the evolved state of the system below the cut cannot be matched to any conceivable classical description of the properties visible to observers.”

So how do scientists observe the invisible? They choose particular properties of the quantum system and set up apparatus to view their effects on the physical processes “above the cut.”

The key is the experimenter’s choice. When working with the quantum system, the observer’s choice has been shown to physically impact what manifests and can be observed above the cut. 

Stapp cited Bohr’s analogy for this interaction between a scientist and his experiment results: “[It's like] a blind man with a cane: when the cane is held loosely, the boundary between the person and the external world is the divide between hand and cane; but when held tightly the cane becomes part of the probing self: the person feels that he himself extends to the tip of the cane.”

The physical and mental are connected in a dynamic way. In terms of the relationship between mind and brain, it seems the observer can hold in place a chosen brain activity that would otherwise be fleeting. This is a choice similar to the choice a scientist makes when deciding which properties of the quantum system to study. 

The quantum explanation of how the mind and brain can be separate or different, yet connected by the laws of physics “is a welcome revelation,” wrote Stapp. “It solves a problem that has plagued both science and philosophy for centuries—the imagined science-mandated need either to equate mind with brain, or to make the brain dynamically independent of the mind.”

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Black holes do NOT exist and the Big Bang Theory is wrong, claims scientist – and she has the maths to prove it




dailymail.co.uk

By Jonathan O’Callaghan

  • Scientist claims she has mathematical proof black holes cannot exist
  • She said it is impossible for stars to collapse and form a singularity
  • Professor Laura Mersini-Houghton said she is still in 'shock' from the find
  • Previously, scientists thought stars much larger than the sun collapsed under their own gravity and formed black holes when they died
  • During this process they release a type of radiation called Hawking radiation
  • But new research claims the star would lose too much mass and wouldn't be able to form a black hole
  • If true, the theory that the universe began as a singularity, followed by the Big Bang, could also be wrong

  • When a huge star many times the mass of the sun comes to the end of its life it collapses in on itself and forms a singularity – creating a black hole where gravity is so strong that not even light itself can escape.
    At least, that’s what we thought.
    A scientist has sensationally said that it is impossible for black holes to exist – and she even has mathematical proof to back up her claims.
    If true, her research could force physicists to scrap their theories of how the universe began.
    A scientist from University of North Carolina states she has mathematical proof that black holes (illustrated) can't exist. She said it is impossible for stars to collapse and form a singularity. Previously, scientists thought stars  larger than the sun collapsed under their own gravity and formed black holes as they died

    A scientist from University of North Carolina states she has mathematical proof that black holes (illustrated) can’t exist. She said it is impossible for stars to collapse and form a singularity. Previously, scientists thought stars larger than the sun collapsed under their own gravity and formed black holes as they died
    The research was conducted by Professor Laura Mersini-Houghton from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the College of Arts and Scientists.

    She claims that as a star dies, it releases a type of radiation known as Hawking radiation – predicted by Professor Stephen Hawking.

    THE BLACK HOLE INFORMATION PARADOX

    One of the biggest unanswered questions about black holes is the so-called information paradox.
    Under current theories for black holes it is thought that nothing can escape from the event horizon around a black hole – not even light itself.
    Inside the black hole is thought to be a singularity where matter is crushed to an infinitesimally small point as predicted by Einstein’s theory of gravity.
    However, a fundamental law of quantum theory states that no information from the universe can ever disappear.
    This creates a paradox; how can a black hole make matter and information ‘disappear’?
    Professor Mersini-Houghton’s new theory manages to explain why this might be so – namely because black holes as we know them cannot exist.
    However in this process, Professor Mersini-Houghton believes the star also sheds mass, so much so that it no longer has the density to become a black hole.
    Before the black hole can form, she said, the dying star swells and explodes.
    The singularity as predicted never forms, and neither does the event horizon – the boundary of the black hole where not even light can escape.
    ‘I’m still not over the shock,’ said Professor Mersini-Houghton.
    ‘We’ve been studying this problem for a more than 50 years and this solution gives us a lot to think about.’
    Experimental evidence may one day provide physical proof as to whether or not black holes exist in the universe.
    But for now, Mersini-Houghton says the mathematics are conclusive.
    What’s more, the research could apparently even call into question the veracity of the Big Bang theory.
    Most physicists think the universe originated from a singularity that began expanding with the Big Bang about 13.8 billion years ago.
    If it is impossible for singularities to exist, however, as partially predicted by Professor Mersini-Houghton, then that theory would also be brought into question.

    THIS is what a black hole looks like – simulation shows disc…
    During the collapse process stars release a type of radiation called Hawking radiation (shown). But Professor Mersini-Houghton claims this process means the star loses too much mass and can't form a black hole. And this also apparently means the Big Bang theory, that the universe began as a singularity, may not be correct
    During the collapse process stars release a type of radiation called Hawking radiation (shown). But Professor Mersini-Houghton claims this process means the star loses too much mass and can’t form a black hole. And this also apparently means the Big Bang theory, that the universe began as a singularity, may not be correct

    THERE ARE NO BLACK HOLES, ONLY GREY HOLES, CLAIMS HAWKING

    Earlier this year Professor Stephen Hawking shocked physicists by saying ‘there are no black holes’.
    In a paper published online, Professor Hawking instead argues there are ‘grey holes’
    ‘The absence of event horizons means that there are no black holes – in the sense of regimes from which light can’t escape to infinity,’ he says in the paper, called Information Preservation and Weather Forecasting For Black Holes.
    He says that the idea of an event horizon, from which light cannot escape, is flawed.
    He suggests that instead light rays attempting to rush away from the black hole’s core will be held as though stuck on a treadmill and that they can slowly shrink by spewing out radiation.
    One of the reasons black holes are so bizarre is that they pit two fundamental theories of the universe against each other.
    Namely, Einstein’s theory of gravity predicts the formation of black holes. But a fundamental law of quantum theory states that no information from the universe can ever disappear.
    Efforts to combine these two theories proved problematic, and has become known as the black hole information paradox – how can matter permanently disappear in a black hole as predicted?
    Professor Mersini-Houghton’s new theory does manage to mathematically combine the two fundamental theories, but with unwanted effects for people expecting black holes to exist.
    ‘Physicists have been trying to merge these two theories – Einstein’s theory of gravity and quantum mechanics – for decades, but this scenario brings these two theories together, into harmony,’ said Professor Mersini-Houghton.
    ‘And that’s a big deal.’

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Do human bodies contain mega-ancient interstellar water?


This image shows water through time in the formation of the solar system, as scientists have revealed that water filling the Earth's oceans pre-date the formation of the sun

upi.com 
"Our findings show that a significant fraction of our Solar System’s water, the most-fundamental ingredient to fostering life, is older than the Sun," said Conel Alexander.

WASHINGTON, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- If you took a dip at the beach this summer, chances are you bumped up against some truly ancient water molecules -- water older than the sun. In fact, there's probably interstellar water hanging out inside all of us -- we are 60 percent water, after all.

A new study suggests as much as a third of Earth's ocean water was likely formed prior to the birth of the sun and sourced from deep space ice.

Like all planets in our solar system, most of the Earth and much of its water was formed from the debris floating around our young sun -- a hot cloud of gas and other cosmic material known as the solar nebula. Included in this nebula were ices, but we know there are also ices floating in interstellar space -- as evidenced by meteorite samples.

What scientists haven't been sure of, however, is exactly how much of our water is made of interstellar ice, and how much was formed locally in the solar nebula. To solve that quandary, a team of scientists led by L. Ilsedore Cleeves from the University of Michigan built a model to predict the answer. The model was based on the scientists' understanding of the chemical circumstances that enable the formation of "heavy" water molecules -- a molecule with a deuterium atom instead of a hydrogen atom.

About 1 in every 3,000 water molecules has a deuterium atom. The scientists' model, part chemistry part mathematics, showed that the solar nebula wasn't capable of forming all of Earth's heavy water on its own, and thus suggested roughly a third of Earth's water is really alien water.

"Our findings show that a significant fraction of our Solar System's water, the most-fundamental ingredient to fostering life, is older than the Sun, which indicates that abundant, organic-rich interstellar ices should probably be found in all young planetary systems," said Conel Alexander, a researcher at Carnegie Science institute in Washington.

As Alexander explained, the revelation suggests the materials necessary for life are probably not as rare as scientists previously thought.

"If water in the early Solar System was primarily inherited as ice from interstellar space, then it is likely that similar ices, along with the prebiotic organic matter that they contain, are abundant in most or all protoplanetary disks around forming stars," Alexander added.
The study was published this week in the journal Science.

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This Continuum Is Closed Exit Laughing

This Continuum Is Closed Exit LaughingEpisode IIwww.themasterteacher.tv

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Move Over Sheldon Cooper ~ For the first time ever, a woman wins highest mathematics’ honor

Maryam Mirzakhani (CNN) - For the first time in history, a woman has received the highest honor in mathematics, often nicknamed the Nobel Prize of mathematics.Since it was established in 1936, the Fields Medal had gone only to men, until Wednesday, ...

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Euler’s 18th Century Formula to Explain God’s Existence


Euler's Formula to Explain God's Existence (18th century)

oddee.com


Leonhard Euler (April 15,1707 - September 18, 1783) was a pioneering Swiss mathematician and physicist who made important discoveries in fields as diverse as infinitesimal calculus and graph theory. Euler also introduced much of the modern mathematical terminology and notation, particularly for mathematical analysis, such as the notion of a mathematical function, and he is renowned for his work in mechanics, fluid dynamics, optics, and astronomy. He spent most of his adult life in St. Petersburg, Russia and in Berlin, Prussia.

Much of what is known of Euler's religious beliefs can be deduced from his Letters to a German Princess and an earlier work, Rettung der Göttlichen Offenbahrung Gegen die Einwürfe der Freygeister (Defense of the Divine Revelation against the Objections of the Freethinkers). These works show that Euler was a devout Christian who believed the Bible to be inspired; the Rettung was primarily an argument for the divine inspiration of scripture.

There is a famous legend inspired by Euler's arguments with secular philosophers over religion, which is set during Euler's second stint at the St. Petersburg academy. The French philosopher Denis Diderot was visiting Russia on Catherine the Great's invitation. However, the Empress was alarmed that the philosopher's arguments for atheism were influencing members of her court, so Euler was asked to confront the Frenchman. Diderot was informed that a learned mathematician had produced a proof of the existence of God; he agreed to view the proof as it was presented in court. Euler appeared, advanced toward Diderot, and in a tone of perfect conviction announced the following non-sequitur: "Sir, frac{a+b^n}{n}=x, hence God exists—reply!" Diderot, to whom (says the story) all mathematics was gibberish, stood dumbstruck as peals of laughter erupted from the court. Embarrassed, he asked to leave Russia, a request that was graciously granted by the Empress. However amusing the anecdote may be, it is apocryphal, given that Diderot himself did research in mathematics.

Euler was featured on the sixth series of the Swiss 10-franc banknote and on numerous Swiss, German, and Russian postage stamps. The 2002 asteroid Euler was named in his honor. He is also commemorated by the Lutheran Church on their Calendar of Saints on May 24, since he was a devout Christian (and believer in biblical inerrancy) who wrote apologetics and argued forcefully against the prominent atheists of his time. On April 15, 2013, Euler's 306th birthday was celebrated with a Google Doodle.

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