Archives for Physics

Is the Universe a Computer? New Evidence Emerges.

I haven’t posted in a while, but this is blog-worthy material. I’ve recently become familiar with the thinking of University of Maryland physicist, James Gates Jr. Dr. Gates is working on a branch of physics called supersymmetry. In the process of his work he’s discovered the presence of what appear to resemble a form of computer code, called error correcting codes, embedded within, or resulting from, the equations of supersymmetry that describe fundamental particles.…

Video: My Talk on the Evolution of the Global Brain at the Singularity Summit

If you are interested in collective intelligence, consciousness, the global brain and the evolution of artificial intelligence and superhuman intelligence, you may want to see my talk at the 2008 Singularity Summit. The videos from the Summit have just come online.…

New Photon Thruster: Get to Mars in 1 Week!

An interesting new patent pending design for a photon thruster appears to be the real deal. Check out the article and who is behind it. (A fellow SRI alumnus!). Getting to Mars in a week means getting to the moon, as well as other nearby planets would be quite fast as well.…

Russian Scientists Discover Radiation Absorbing Mineral

Russian
scientists in the Khibinsky Mountains in the Arctic Circle have made an
important scientific discovery. They’ve found a new mineral which
absorbs radiation.

    It does not yet have an official name and is known only as number 27-4.

Burning Salt Water — A New Form of Fuel

Inventor, John Kanzius, has figured out a way to burn salt water. This could provide a clean, naturally available alternative fuel source. Salt water is one of the most abundant natural resources on our planet. Here’s a video.

Speed of Light Broken?

Let’s hope this is true. That would be seriously exciting!

From this source

A pair of German physicists claim to have broken the
speed of light – an achievement that would undermine our entire
understanding of space and time.

 
Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921

According
to Einstein’s special theory of relativity, it would require an
infinite amount of energy to propel an object at more than 186,000
miles per second.

Scientists Engineer New Levitation Technology

Recent research has found a way to reverse the Casimir force, which causes objects to stick together at nanoscales. This enables nanoscale levitation — among other things it could dramatically reduce friction in nanodevices. It could also enable new kinds of nanodevices in which for example rotating parts are levitated and held in place using the reverse Casimir force rather than by nanoscale axles or housings.…

Steorn Set to Demo "Free Energy" Device Tomorrow

Steorn, the Irish company that claims to have invented a mechanical device that generates unlimited free energy with no fuel, is scheduled to demonstrate their device publicly for the first time in London tomorrow. A panel of 22 independent world experts has been recruited to study the device.…

Roswell Officer's Deathbed Confession: UFO's Are Real

This just in. Lieutenant Walter Haut was the public relations officer at the Roswell Air Force base in 1947 when aliens or a weather balloon allegedly crash landed on a nearby ranch.

Lieutenant Walter Haut was the public relations officer at the base
in 1947, and was the man who issued the original and subsequent press
releases after the crash on the orders of the base commander, Colonel
William Blanchard.

A Modern Day Da Vinci?

My brother pointed me to this video of some incredible kinetic sculptures by a man who appears to be a modern-day Da Vinci. Watch the video to see what I mean.

WiTricity Coming Soon

Another interesting article on the move towards wireless power, or what some are calling "WiTricity." I’ve written about this previously. The team at MIT is making some good headway. Check out the article for a diagram of how their wireless power beaming system works.…

Very Cool Laser Graffitti Technology

Josh sent me this link. It’s a video of a new technology for doing laser graffitti on the sides of buildings at night. Josh and I have been discussing how to do this for years. You could also project onto clouds.…

Intelligence is in the Connections

Google’s Larry Page recently gave a talk to the AAAS about how Google is looking towards a future in which they hope to implement AI on a massive scale. Larry’s idea is that intelligence is a function of massive computation, not of “fancy whiteboard algorithms.” In other words, in his conception the brain doesn’t do anything very sophisticated, it just does a lot of massively parallel number crunching.…

First Quantum Computer to be Announced Next Week

D-Wave, a company making quantum computers, claims the first quantum computer will be unveiled next week. If this really happens it could be big. Quantum computing can theoretically enable a massive increase in computing power. The question is what will it cost?…

Brilliant New Optical Imaging Technique — Single Photon Imaging

Some very interesting research out of University of Rochester. Researchers there have found a way to record and later retrieve an image using only a single photon. This is cool enough — but wait, there’s more — they did this by leveraging the famous "double slit" experiment of quantum mechanics in a really smart way.…

Must-Know Terms for the 21st Century Intellectual

Read this fun article that lists and defines some of the key concepts that every post-singularity transhumanist meta-intellectual should know! (via Kurzweil)

New Wireless Power Technology — No More Wires!

A group of physicists at MIT have come up with a new model for beaming wireless power to mobile devices, such as computers or cell phones. It promises to do for power, what wireless ethernet hubs do for network connectivity.…

British Ministry of Defense Chief Resigns; Cites Concerns About UFO's

Ok, here’s a very unusual news item:

During his time as head of the Ministry of Defence UFO project, Nick
Pope was persuaded into believing that other lifeforms may visit Earth
and, more specifically, Britain.

His concern is that "highly credible" sightings are simply dismissed.

Is There Room for The Soul? – Good Article on Cognitive Science

This is a surprisingly good article on the nature of consciousness — providing a survey of the current state-of-the-art in cognitive science research. It covers the question from a number of perspectives and interviews many of the leading current researchers.

Why Machines Will Never be Conscious

Below is the text of my bet on Long Bets. Go there to vote.

“By 2050 no synthetic computer nor machine intelligence will have become truly self-aware (ie. will become conscious).”

Spivack’s Argument:

(This summary includes my argument, a method for judging the outcomeof this bet and some other thoughts on how to measure awareness…)

A.…

Zooming Out in Time

For an interesting read — download this wonderful presentation on zooming out in time as a way to predict the future. It’s from a talk given at the Long Now Foundation. Nice visual slides illustrate how the world changes over vast timescales.…

Visualizing the Tenth Dimension

One of my readers commented that they were looking for this really cool flash presentation that I blogged about a while back — it helps you visualize higher-dimensions all the way to 10-dimensions. Check it out! After this your brain will need a rest, and possibly a hard reboot — but worth it.…

How to Build a Landspeeder

So as a kid you watched Star Wars and since then you’ve wanted your very own Landspeeder. The problem is, how to make things hover without using fans, magnets, or special effects? Well, a maverick UK scientist may have invented a way to do it.…

What Was Before the Big Bang?

An article in my new favorite magazine, Seed Magazine, by cosmologist Sean Carrol, proposes an interesting new theory about the nature of time and the evolution of baby universes. In this approach, baby universes can suddenly come into being from empty space when random quantum vacuum fluctuations fall into place in just the right way.…

The Hidden Structure of Quantum Mechanics and The Prime Numbers Turns Out to Be 42 After All

This is a wonderful article about how a chance encounter led to the discovery of a connection between physics and number theory that may help explain everything from quantum mechanics to the prime numbers….and the most incredible thing is that the answer may actually really be "42" after all.…

New Discovery: Enzymes Capable of Quantum Tunneling

Drug discovery meets quantum mechanics in this article about recent evidence for quantum tunneling in enzymes:

SYDNEY, 25 August 2006: British scientists have found that enzymes
cheat time and space by quantum tunnelling – a much faster way of
travelling than the classical way – but whether or not perplexing
quantum theories can be applied to the biological world is still hotly
debated.

Scientist Raises Possibility of Silicon-Based Life

Just read an interesting article on the possibility of "intraterrestrial" silicon-based life on Earth:

SETI spends enormous amounts of money
and resources looking for life outside of Earth’s realm, but life forms
so alien that scientists may simply not have recognized evidence of
their existence could inhabit the Earth, according to a leading
scientist.

Good Article on Loop Quantum Gravity — New Approach to Physics

The New Scientist published a nice overview of the emerging theory of Loop Quantum Gravity. I’ve been following this for a number of years, ever since my friend Bram turned me onto it. It’s related in some ways to other models of discrete space-time, such as cellular automata and digital physics.…

Neurons and Universes

This is a cool pair of images showing a striking similarity between the structure of neurons and that of our universe. I’ve often wondered whether the entire universe isn’t some kind of a mind or a brain in which we are like subatomic particles.…

Physicists Plan to Create New Universe in Lab

Ok, this will be pretty interesting… as long as nothing unexpected happens, like for example, our universe starting to drain out through the wormhole they are making…that would suck…

PHYSICISTS IN JAPAN PLAN TO CREATE NEW UNIVERSE IN LAB
 USING THE HIGGS FIELD, SCIENTISTS THEORIZE IT IS POSSIBLE TO CAUSE A ‘BABY UNIVERSE’ TO BREAK OFF FROM OUR OWN, SAFELY
2 August 2006

A
radical new project could permit human beings to create a "baby
universe" in a laboratory in Japan.

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