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Archive for the ‘mathematics’ category: Page 8

Jul 16, 2018

Heat Making You Lethargic? Research Shows It Can Slow Your Brain, Too

Posted by in categories: health, mathematics, neuroscience

Summer Heat Waves Can Slow Our Thinking : Shots — Health News Hot weather can influence cognitive performance, according to new research. Young adults living in non-air-conditioned dorms during a heat wave performed worse on math and attention tests.

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Jul 3, 2018

Why Particle Physicists Are Excited About This Mysterious Inconsistency

Posted by in categories: mathematics, particle physics

Scientists haven’t conclusively spotted any new particles since the Higgs boson, and that’s got some people worried—there are a ton of other physics puzzles remaining, many of which would require the presence of a new particle to resolve. But recently, there have been some tantalizing clues of new physics, perhaps a new particle, that many scientists are excited about.

There’s a discrepancy between theoretical and experimental calculations of the “muon magnetic moment,” or how strongly the electron’s heavier cousin behaves in a magnetic field. A newer mathematical calculation has made things even more interesting, and some particle physicists are eagerly awaiting the new results from an experiment here in the United States.

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Jun 30, 2018

Human Civilization is our Second Womb for Birthing Transhumans

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, food, genetics, mathematics, sustainability, transhumanism

A being that can consciously alter its own DNA via technological intervention (i.e. cybernetic means) is what our Second Womb has been nurturing. We have used civilization to protect ourselves while we crack the code of our biological being. We started in the womb of the cave. Then moved on to the womb of the hut. Then the village, the city, and the state. All thew hile, we have been tinkering with our own DNA and the DNA of other species. To me, this is the real posthuman or transhuman — it is the creature that is actively editing its own biological blueprint through tech. This is what we’ve been doing since we started augmenting our bodies with clothing and animal skins. We’ve been modifying our ability to endure the slings and arrows of the cosmos.


What is human civilization? It is difficult to assert that other animals do not create their own civilizations — termites for instance meet some criteria for being categorized as cyborgs (building temperature-controlled mega structures). Animals communicate, express feelings, and have personalities. Octopi arrange furniture for would-be mates. Others engage in mating rituals. Some mourn the dead. Birds can solve simple math. Critters scheme, enterprise, forge bonds, and even produce art. What do we do that animals do not?

To our credit, we are the only animals that record, share, and develop history upon structures and materials outside of our bodies. We harness energy for massive projects. We farm, but again, so do leaf-cutter ants. But we create genetically novel vegetables and animals. We alter the global climate. Our enterprises are global, and given time and opportunity, our projects will eventually become exostellar. We do all this rather ferociously. Human history is a rather short explosion of civilization-building activities, and yet it might already have irrevocably altered the future of all life on this planet. No other creature has created a circumstance quite like that of human beings and our anthropocene project. For instance, unless we clean up the environment, the next few generations of plant and animal life are going to have be extremely resilient to radiation, Styrofoam, plastics, and other run-offs squeezed out from the human project. That is just a fact of life now on earth.

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Jun 23, 2018

Built for speed: DNA nanomachines take a (rapid) step forward

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, mathematics, nanotechnology, robotics/AI

The smallest Imperial Walker to ever attack the rebel alliance.


When it comes to matching simplicity with staggering creative potential, DNA may hold the prize. Built from an alphabet of just four nucleic acids, DNA provides the floorplan from which all earthly life is constructed.

But DNA’s remarkable versatility doesn’t end there. Researchers have managed to coax segments of DNA into performing a host of useful tricks. DNA sequences can form logical circuits for nanoelectronic applications. They have been used to perform sophisticated mathematical computations, like finding the optimal path between multiple cities. And DNA is the basis for a new breed of tiny robots and nanomachines. Measuring thousands of times smaller than a bacterium, such devices can carry out a multitude of tasks.

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Jun 12, 2018

In her short life, mathematician Emmy Noether changed the face of physics

Posted by in categories: mathematics, physics

A century after she published a groundbreaking mathematical theory, Emmy Noether gets her due.

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Jun 4, 2018

There Are No Laws of Physics. There’s Only the Landscape

Posted by in categories: mathematics, physics

Scientists seek a single description of reality. But modern physics allows for many different descriptions, many equivalent to one another, connected through a vast landscape of mathematical possibility.

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May 24, 2018

Using the K computer, scientists predict exotic “di-Omega” particle

Posted by in categories: computing, cosmology, mathematics, particle physics, quantum physics

Based on complex simulations of quantum chromodynamics performed using the K computer, one of the most powerful computers in the world, the HAL QCD Collaboration, made up of scientists from the RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-based Science and the RIKEN Interdisciplinary Theoretical and Mathematical Sciences (iTHEMS) program, together with colleagues from a number of universities, have predicted a new type of “dibaryon”—a particle that contains six quarks instead of the usual three. Studying how these elements form could help scientists understand the interactions among elementary particles in extreme environments such as the interiors of neutron stars or the early universe moments after the Big Bang.

Particles known as “baryons”—principally protons and neutrons—are composed of three quarks bound tightly together, with their charge depending on the “color” of the quarks that make them up. A dibaryon is essentially a system with two baryons. There is one known dibaryon in nature—deuteron, a deuterium (or heavy-hydrogen) nucleus that contains a proton and a that are very lightly bound. Scientists have long wondered whether there could be other types of dibaryons. Despite searches, no other dibaryon has been found.

The group, in work published in Physical Review Letters, has now used powerful theoretical and computational tools to predict the existence of a “most strange” dibaryon, made up of two “Omega baryons” that contain three strange quarks each. They named it “di-Omega”. The group also suggested a way to look for these strange through experiments with heavy ion collisions planned in Europe and Japan.

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May 17, 2018

This physicist’s ideas of time will blow your mind

Posted by in categories: information science, mathematics, quantum physics

Time feels real to people. But it doesn’t even exist, according to quantum physics. “There is no time variable in the fundamental equations that describe the world,” theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli tells Quartz.

If you met him socially, Rovelli wouldn’t assault you with abstractions and math to prove this point. He’d “rather not ruin a party with physics,” he says. We don’t have to understand the mechanics of the universe to go about our daily lives. But it’s good to take a step back every once in a while.

“Time is a fascinating topic because it touches our deepest emotions. Time opens up life and takes everything away. Wondering about time is wondering about the very sense of our life. This is [why] I have spent my life studying time,” Rovelli explains.

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May 16, 2018

Maria Agnesi, the Greatest Female Mathematician You’ve Never Heard of

Posted by in category: mathematics

Born 300 years ago this month, Agnesi was the first woman to write a mathematics textbook and to be appointed to a university chair in math.

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May 9, 2018

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is Here!

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, education, employment, government, information science, law, mathematics, robotics/AI

So much talk about AI and robots taking our jobs. Well, guess what, it’s already happening and the rate of change will only increase. I estimate that about 5% of jobs have been automated — both blue collar manufacturing jobs, as well as, this time, low-level white collar jobs — think back office, paralegals, etc. There’s a thing called RPA, or Robot Process Automation, which is hollowing out back office jobs at an alarming rate, using rules based algorithms and expert systems. This will rapidly change with the introduction of deep learning algorithms into these “robot automation” systems, making them intelligent, capable of making intuitive decisions and therefore replacing more highly skilled and creative jobs. So if we’re on an exponential curve, and we’ve managed to automate around 5% of jobs in the past six years, say, and the doubling is every two years, that means by 2030, almost all jobs will be automated. Remember, the exponential math means 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 100%, with the doubling every two years.

We are definitely going to need a basic income to prevent people (doctors, lawyers, drivers, teachers, scientists, manufacturers, craftsmen) from going homeless once their jobs are automated away. This will need to be worked out at the government level — the sooner the better, because exponentials have a habit of creeping up on people and then surprising society with the intensity and rapidity of the disruptive change they bring. I’m confident that humanity can and will rise to the challenges ahead, and it is well to remember that economics is driven by technology, not the other way around. Education, as usual, is definitely the key to meeting these challenges head on and in a fully informed way. My only concern is when governments will actually start taking this situation seriously enough to start taking bold action. There certainly is no time like the present.

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