Breaking science news and multimedia, heavy on astronomy and physics (and heavy on citing). New vids, pics, articles, and the occasional research post for http://researchblogging.org/

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Brain Bloggers survey

Through the Looking Glass is conducting research on "Brain Bloggers."  Step one is a basic survey.  The following provides some insight into me as a writer, as well as the history and current state of this blog.  Thanks to all of you for your readership and support.  Because of you, I can be proud of my efforts. 
They are inviting us to post the survey on our blogs, so here it goes!

Blog URL:
    http://www.astronasty.com

What do you blog about?
    Physics and Astronomy, with spatterings of other breaking news in science

 
Do you feel as if you fit into any particular community, network or genre if science blogging? (e.g. neuroscience, bad science, ex-sbling)
    As a contributor to www.ResearchBlogging.org, my technical articles on physics and astronomy receive a lot of traffic
 
If so, what does that community give you?
    Positive responses have made me feel even more welcome and inspired me to continue writing.

Are you paid to blog?
    My blog mildly promotes my music career via mp3 downloads through various online outlets.  Corresponding sales generate some income.


What do you do professionally (other than blog)?
   Currently unemployed.


How long have you been blogging at this site?
   Since mid Sept. 2010


Have/ do you blogged elsewhere? When? Where?
   No.


Would you describe yourself as a scientist, or as a member of the scientific community? Do you have any formal/ informal training in science? (if so, what area?)
    I am an amateur scientist, science-themed musician, and amateur science journalist.


Do you have any formal training in journalism, science communication, or similar?
   I have an associates degree in science.


Do you write in other platforms? (e.g. in a print magazine?)
   No.


Can you remember why you started blogging?
   I look up a large amount of science news online daily, and finally chose to share what fascinates me most.


What keeps you blogging?
  The steady increase in traffic, as well as positive comments expressing enjoyment and respect for my content.


Do you have any idea of the size or character if your audience? How?
   My traffic began in mid Sept. with 3-4 hits a day, and now has 150-400 hits a day.  www.ResearchBlogging.org has generated a lot of traffic, implying an intelligent readership.  Additionally, ads I had for a while on my site were not clicked on, which is indicative of the demeanor of my readership.  I removed the ads and left only links to my music for sale online.


What’s your attitude to/ relationship with people who comment on your blog?
  I don't get a lot of comments, but when I do, I respond always.  It's a very personal interaction and is normally intelligent banter.


What do you think are the advantages of blogging? What are its disadvantages/ limitations?
   Advantage-  The ability to change topics or style of writing on a whim is very liberating.  Frivolous and silly content, as well as jokes, can be used when and if I want to, without repercussions.   
  Disadvantage- Income difference inherent to independence

Do you tell people you know offline that you’re a blogger? (e.g. your grandmother, your boss)
  Yes.  My blog's name is easy to remember, and the vast majority of those I have told have checked into my blog and given me positive feedback.


Is there anything else you want to tell me about I haven’t asked?
   A good question not asked would be: How often do you post on your blog.  Answer: an average of 6 out of 7 days a week.


-Dj Busby
http://www.astronasty.com

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Theory of Mind is being challenged


[Edit: 12-29-2010 Neurotic Physiology Explained this experiment in much greater detail than what I had found previously.  Click Here for his insightful article.]

 Article on PhysOrg today about Theory of Mind.   Some time ago, I learned about Theory of Mind via the Vignette embedded below, which is quite well done.  Apparently new papers are being released claiming that theory of mind is displayed in the behavior of children under three years old.  This effect was previously thought to not be possible due to the developmental stages of children. 

The description of the experiment, to quote PhysOrg, quoting AAAS:
   "The experiments involved showing the test subject a series of animated videos in which a ball first rolls behind a small wall, and then either stays there, rolls out of view, or rolls away and comes back.
A cartoon character observes different intervals of this process. At the end of each video, the researchers measured how long it took the test subjects to detect the ball. (For the babies, the researchers inferred this based on how long it took the infants to look away from the screen.)
Both the adults’ and infants’ reaction times were faster when the cartoon character’s “belief” about the ball’s location matched the ball’s actual whereabouts. This was the case even when the cartoon character had left the screen by the end of the video.""




Here's the abstract from the actual Paper by Ágnes Melinda Kovács, Ernő Téglás, and Ansgar Denis Endress
"Human social interactions crucially depend on the ability to represent other agents’ beliefs even when these contradict our own beliefs, leading to the potentially complex problem of simultaneously holding two conflicting representations in mind. Here, we show that adults and 7-month-olds automatically encode others’ beliefs, and that, surprisingly, others’ beliefs have similar effects as the participants’ own beliefs. In a visual object detection task, participants’ beliefs and the beliefs of an agent (whose beliefs were irrelevant to performing the task) both modulated adults’ reaction times and infants’ looking times. Moreover, the agent’s beliefs influenced participants’ behavior even after the agent had left the scene, suggesting that participants computed the agent’s beliefs online and sustained them, possibly for future predictions about the agent’s behavior. Hence, the mere presence of an agent automatically triggers powerful processes of belief computation that may be part of a “social sense” crucial to human societies."

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Monday, December 20, 2010

The Search For Hidden Dimensions

"Brian Greene: The Search For Hidden Dimensions" Absolutely fascinating!  Toward the end he explains the worth of learning when the theory in question might not turn out to be fact.  He says that studying itself still pays off.  Interesting!



Video Credit: RFD Productions

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

News Today of Amelia Earhart is a TRICK!!

Amelia Earhart's bones are being analyzed, and news outlets are abuzz!  This is just some of a ton of evidence we all we have already had for a long, long time.  Amelia Earhart's "mystery" is hardly a mystery at all. 


This has been covered before.  A lot. The titles and first paragraphs of articles involving this seem to trend toward the misleading, and may make people infer that these same remains were a recent discovery, over and over.

Misleading news titles abound.  ABC News's Article Title today: "Found Bones May Solve Ameila Earhart Mystery" Video Article on ABC News, only slightly better, due to an interview.

As if we have never found the site of her crash before?  HA!

Feeding the buzz of popularity, this mystery has been propagated for some time.

Dec 2, 1998, NPR's Article's title, "Bones, Shoes May Have Been Amelia Earhart's," Misleading title in regard to timeline.  First paragraph within is misleading in regard to timeline.  And this was 1998.

Lets go back to freakin' 1940


TIGHAR, The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, has pretty much handled this "mystery," but that doesn't prevent a hubbub.  Their research on her started in 1988 and continues to now.  Check them out in more depth if you're interested in the research.  Refer to bottom of post for further reading by TIGHAR team member, Ric Gillespie.


In 1940 her bones were found, as well as many tantalizing artifacts. The first I ever first heard of this was on Cracked.com, which provides an awesome, irreverent History of the information we have gathered since her death.  But Cracked.com is far far far from a reputable source!  However, their information, with a bit of digging, adds up. It's funny, so I'll quote their hilarity:

"Remarkably, we've pretty much had the Earhart mystery solved ever since partial remains were found on an island... in 1940. That's right, 70 years ago. Only four years after she vanished.
  To be fair, half of the bones were carried away by giant crabs, and the rest have since been lost because nobody thought it was important or even curious that a skeleton should turn up on an island just southeast of where Amelia freaking Earhart was going. Neither did it strike a chord that the remains turned out to be those of a white woman with Earhart's measurements, or that they were found alongside a pocket knife, a broken cosmetics jar, a piece of glass from an airplane windshield and the same exact type of navigational system Earhart had been using. It's inconclusive, dammit!"
As you can see, they reference a Discovery News Article, corroborating their case.

A bit of digging:
Hosted on About.com, an Article, written by one of the researchers on the TIGHAR team, has a section concisely mentioning TIGHAR's analysis of the situation, documented in the late 80's, and published soon after in multiple books.  Quoting About.com

"In the late 1980s, a tiny non-profit group in Wilmington, Delaware—The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery or TIGHAR (pronounced “tiger”)—entered the fray. Organized by the dynamic husband-wife team of Ric Gillespie and Pat Thrasher, who continue to oversee its operations today, one of TIGHAR’s purposes is to apply scientific techniques to investigating aviation historical mysteries."  

Part of About.com, the Ameliapedia gives a super-quick breakdown of TIGHAR and Amelia Earhart.  

AP was misleading about the ol' Amelia Earhart "breaking news" story.
Via Google's AP feed, I quote:
"NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — The three bone fragments turned up on a deserted South Pacific island that lay along the course Amelia Earhart was following when she vanished. Nearby were several tantalizing artifacts: some old makeup, some glass bottles and shells that had been cut open."

The AP article here has been auto-injected into many news streams, including Yahoo News and Fox News. 

Further down in AP's article, they redeem themselves slightly, via a quote on the sensationalism of the topic:
"You only have to say you have a bone that may be human and may be linked to Earhart and people get excited. But it is true that, if they can get DNA, and if they can match it to Amelia Earhart's DNA, that's pretty good."
Too bad most people don't read down that far in articles.  Sigh.

So I'm here to rain on everyone's parade, and to remind you all that the media wants to sell advertising!  

BAH HUMBUG! 

For further reading on TIGHAR's work, team member Ric Gillespie's book 
Finding Amelia: The True Story of the Earhart Disappearance




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Friday, December 17, 2010

Under Pressure!

(Right now imagine Billy Joel's song "Pressure" playing while you read this) 

College students are deep into finals right now, and the pressure has been building.  Talk abounds on loss of sleep and giddiness under stress.

(Crossfade the music into "Under Pressure" by Queen and David Bowie)
In honor of our students handling this round of academic chaos, take a break, watch this informative and entertaining video! by Sixty Symbols:
Symbol: Pa (Pascal) | Video Title: Vacuum Cannon




The Pascal, 1 neuton per square meter, is the SI measurement of pressure.  However on a scale of 1 to steam out of your ears, my student friends are approaching tea kettle status.  Good luck guys! It's almost over!!




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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Today's Overflow: Breaking Science Links, Dec. 15, 2010

"Submerging your feet in alcohol will not get you drunk" Article on PhysOrg | Come on, Brits, seriously?  All I have to say is, One step for science...

NASA just announced that new crewmembers will soon be aboard the ISS.  Also, they provided some brand new options available for the public to connect with them.  http://www.facebook.com/ISS and http://twitter.com/Astro_Cady , for twitter news that will be updated by ISS crewmember Coleman, specifically covering Expedition 26/27.  NASA's PR is incredibly good at social media outreach.  Their actions should and will be mimicked.

Discover Blogs: 80 Beats Reports the background behind the hype of a story, "Man Cured of Aids," floating around the internet right now.  It turns out this is an old story, not breaking news by any means.  A recent journal published a status update, that's all.  It's awesome, no doubt, but it's not breaking, like some outlets would have you think.

"Positive Mood Allows Human Brain to Think More Creatively" Article on ScienceDaily

"'Aha' Effect: New Hypothesis Seeks to Explain the Pleasures of Insight" Article on ScienceDaily


"Atomic Weights of 10 Elements on Periodic Table About to Make an Historic Change" Article on ScienceDaily


FOLLOW UPS:

PhysOrg has an update on the controversy and aftermath behind the "Arsenic Bacteria" story.  Hidden in the explanation is this gem I didn't know.
To quote,
  "The journal's editors have "received about 20 technical comments and letters responding to the article," the magazine said in a statement sent to AFP on Tuesday."


Symmetry Mag, whose tweets are some of THE best in my opinion, tweeted a link to a NY Times article released today, covering inconclusive controversy of the "Cyclic Universe" story, aka the "Many Big Bangs" story, aka the "Rings in CMB" story.  End result?  Evidence isn't solid, don't make a big deal of anything yet, guys!  Sheesh!  And kudos to NY Times for their correction at the bottom of their article.


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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Celebrating my 100th Post!

Woohoo!  You heard right, it's my 100th post since I started up this blog in mid September, 2010.  For me, it's incredible; as of right now there have been 4,812 views in total.  Things started out with 3 or 4 hits a day at the beginning.  Although still modest in the larger scheme, I'm thrilled that my passion and efforts have translated into something I can be very proud of!

Thank you, all of you, for your support and readership!

"Be humble, for you are made of earth,
Be noble, for you are made of stars."    
--Serbian Proverb


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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Adorable Pygmy Three Toed Sloth

I'm calling it now, this video will become viral on the web!  Labeled as one of the decade's top 10 discovered new species, the Pygmy Three Toed Sloth is absolutely awesome. These gentle and adorable creatures are a wonderful new example of evolution in action around us.  Plus... I just absolutely love sloths.  Video Article on BBC.  "They just chill out!"

[edit 1-15-12] Now thankfully on YouTube, these two amazing segments of Animal Planet's Decade of Discovery:








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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Biomimicry: Borrow From Nature! Mother Earth Forgets To Patent

Lately I've noticed a decent amount of technological innovation resulting from biomimicry.  Aeronautics traditionally seems to reap the most benefit from this process, but that field is by no means the only one benefiting.  We often come up with designs inspired by nature, but how often is our end result superior than our inspiration?  Seriously studying the chemicals in a butterfly's wing pigmentation, the physics and fluid dynamics behind insects that walk on water, and the aerodynamic specifics of a peregrine falcon's dive-bomb, our eyes widen in reverence and wonder.  Nature's pretty smart, after all.  The awesome power of millions of years of evolution will most often yield an engineering design more efficient than the product of one of our humble engineers, no matter how many pots of Starbucks coffee are available.

I was first caught up in the wonder of biomimicry (or biomimetics) when I read this story: "Fly Eyes Used For Solar Cells" (July 28th 2010 Article on Discovery News)  Solar power is a prime example of us trying to harness nature, but we stopped short, overlooking some important geometry.  The shape and amount of surface area is the key.  Solar panels in the shape of fly's eyes allow much more light to be captured than the simplistic model of light hitting a flat surface.  The original Penn University article is here if you'd like to read more about their project.  See below for the paper involving the process.

Pulsifer, D., Lakhtakia, A., Martín-Palma, R., & Pantano, C. (2010). Mass fabrication technique for polymeric replicas of arrays of insect corneas Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, 5 (3) DOI: 10.1088/1748-3182/5/3/036001



Scientists tend to have a reverence for nature, and rightly so.  Science, at its heart, is the study of nature after all.  Bioevolutionary science in particular can give us some huge benefits and insight.  Millions of years of evolution are the best damned Alpha and Beta phases any project team could ask for.  Dr. Richard Dawkins said, in his recent lecture at Duke University:
  "Survival itself is all it takes to determine the non-random survival of genes that made the desireable characteristic."
So we take the desirable characteristic and we make stuff like this:
The DLR Smartfish, an experimental German airplane,

Bat inspired spy planes [Article,]
Visit the non-profit organization http://www.biomimicry.net/ These guys live and breathe this concept.



For further reading:
 
"You May Soon Be Wearing Chemical Detectors Modeled After Butterfly Wings" Article on CrunchGear

"Seabird's morphing wings inspire design for robots that can both fly and swim" Article on PhysOrg


Flying drones based off of prehistoric flying reptiles. Article on ScienceDaily

"Robots Modeled After Nature" Article on Carnegie Mellon University

"Air force flight control improvements may result from flying insect research" Article on PhysOrg

"Hummingbird Wing: The Future of Flight" Article w/Video on Reuters.  Embedded below




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ResearchBlogging.org

Today's Overflow: Science links for Dec. 8, 2010

Update and Uh-Oh...  There are 2 arXiv papers now released refuting the recent so called evidence (from the CMB) of our universe being one of many big bangs.  Circles supposedly found in the cosmic microwave background were inferred to be linked to the collision of huge black holes dating before the Big Bang.  Discovery News gives us the skinny on the debunking, with nice juicy links.  I ran this story along with tons of other people.  Excuse me while I go make an addendum to my old post about evidence for a possible cyclic universe.


"Viable Female and Male Mice from Two Fathers" Article on ScienceDaily

"Feeling chills in response to music" Article on PhysOrg

"How to make graphene with a pencil and sticky tape" Article w/Video on PhysOrg

"Genetic test can scan fetus through mom's blood" Article on Yahoo Health

A fascinating article showing size perspective of events that have happened in the news, superimposed over pictures or maps of scale that we are already familiar with.  Regular readers of my blog know that I have a real fascination with just how small (and just how large) we are.  Article on Krulwich Wonders

And the BIG Uh Oh...
A new Article over at Discover Blogs: The Loom does us all a favor and compiles significant complaints by scientists that make up the backlash from NASA's "Arsenic Life" press conference.  Many, including myself, seem to think it was a publicity stunt.  Regardless, scientists are saying the experiment was just plain bad science.



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Monday, December 6, 2010

Half the world's population is infected by cats!

Toxoplasmosis...

Could these cute cuddly things really be infecting half the human population of earth?  Of course!

2 to 3 billion people, about half the world's population, have a brain parasite called Toxoplasma gondii, which causes a disease called toxoplasmosis.  A vaccine is being developed and is showing great potential thus far.

The parasite's main host are cats, but infects many warm blooded animals.  Cats get it from ingestion of infected meat, contamination of food infected with (or direct ingestion of) cat feces, or passed down from mother to unborn offspring.  Humans in contact with cats often get infected via slip ups in sanitation at home, or even a cat's unclean claws scratching its owner.

There are some interesting behavior changes that are caused by the disease.  Infected rats are less afraid of cats.  They also, when infected, are attracted to cat urine.  Correlations between infected humans and their changed behavior are (taken from wikipedia)
    *Decreased novelty seeking behaviour
    * Slower reactions
    * Lower rule-consciousness and greater jealousy (in men)
    * Promiscuity and greater conscientiousness (in women)
What's interesting here is that the promiscuity in women and jealousy in men actually assists the spread of the parasite through it's effects on our social behavior.

To quote "Effects of Toxoplasma on Human Behavior"
"Consistent and significant differences in Cattell's personality factors were found between Toxoplasma-infected and -uninfected subjects in 9 of 11 studies, and these differences were not the same for men and women. After using the Bonferroni correction for multiple tests, the personality of infected men showed lower superego strength (rule consciousness) and higher vigilance (factors G and L on Cattell's 16PF). Thus, the men were more likely to disregard rules and were more expedient, suspicious, jealous, and dogmatic. The personality of infected women, by contrast, showed higher warmth and higher superego strength (factors A and G on Cattell's 16PF), suggesting that they were more warm hearted, outgoing, conscientious, persistent, and moralistic. Both men and women had significantly higher apprehension (factor O) compared with the uninfected controls."

Flegr J (2007). Effects of toxoplasma on human behavior. Schizophrenia bulletin, 33 (3), 757-60 PMID: 17218612


Next time you see someone with these symptoms (or notice them in your own behavior), take a second to wonder if it might just be the result of a parasite that has infected half the human race.


  Article on University of Chicago Medical Center, this is the breaking news about the vaccine

  Article on Wikipedia

Older, Entertaining Article on ABC News

ResearchBlogging.org

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Today's Overflow Dec. 6, 2010

Imitating someone's accent will allow you to understand them better!  It seems to make sense intuitively (which is a response you can't trust,) but I'd never considered that before.  Article on PhysOrg 

There was a hype a while ago for a study on dogs "catching" the yawns of their human owners.  NeuroDojo calls out the twisting of information in headlines, and points out the follow-up research that could NOT replicate any of the results whatsoever.  Article on NeuroDojo

CERN discovers some wacky new asymmetrical fission.  The isotope Mercury-180 splits into krypton-80 and ruthenium-100 rather than the expected 2x zirconium-90.  They had a hypothesis, then it made a complete (mercury)180.   /guffaw... Article on PhysOrg


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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Quantum Teleportation: Science Fiction? NOPE! It's been here, is real, is documented, here's the proof, and here's how it works!

Did you know that teleportation has been discovered already?  Quantum Teleportation has been experimentally tested, peer reviewed, and retested.  The phenomena is possible in my forthcoming example because of something called Quantum Entanglement in a system allowing almost instant transfer of information using 2 massless entangled particles, photons, over huge distances.  This transfer happens at the speed of light, the top speed of movement Universally.  Mass does not blip out of existance and pop up elsewhere, like you'd see in the movies.  What can be exploited is the intimate connection these brother-sister particles that is maintained over massive spaces. 

IT'S NOT BS!  HERE'S THE PROOF: (to take my word for it, skip paragraph)
Nature, a prestigious journal of science, published on Dec. 11th, 1997 the results of the first Quantum Teleportation experiment (Article in Nature.) Another prestigious journal, Physical Review Letters, published on Feb 9th, 1998 (Article, In Phys. Review Letters) the review this work.  In between, an experiment involving Quantum Teleportation across the Danube river was published on August 18th, 2004 (Article in Nature.)  The subject's Wikipedia Article's Citation Section allows for a dozen or so other avenues in which you can retrieve scholarly information for further technical reading.

The most exciting work has been by Chinese scientists, in May of this year (2010,) documenting Quantum Teleportation at a distance of 10 miles with 89% accuracy. (Article on PhysOrg | Article on Nature Photonics) This is AWESOME, most notably because this range would potentially allow communication to or from orbit.

Here's how it works:

QUANTUM ENTANGLEMENT
There's an amazing phenomenon called Quantum Entanglement, where two photons, (in this case last mentioned, generated using a semiconductor, a blue laser beam, and a crystal of beta-barium borate) connected at birth  maintain the connection regardless of spacial separation.

QUANTUM SPIN
What is this connection?  Photons, as well as other quantum particles, have a describable aspect to them which is referred to as Spin.  This is a measurement in integers or half integers, of angular momentum.  Momentum, as you might remember, is Mass times Velocity.  Photons have no mass, but they do have momentum, oddly enough.  It's not as crazy as you'd think, when you might look at the counterintuitive unit of measurement of the mass of other quantum particles, the electron volt. The ability to measure quantum momentum isn't as straightforward as you'd think because of...

HEISENBERG'S UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE
This describes a weird limit to what we can observe.  The more precisely we observe the momentum of a quantum particle, the less precisely we can determine the location of said particle.  Same deal, vice versa.  (Wikipedia Article)

Lately this behavior has been linked mathematically to another observable Quantum phenomenon, Quantum Nonlocality... Which brings us full circle back to Quantum Teleportation.  For background of this recent breakthrough, refer to my Post, Nov 19th 2010 "Quantum Breakthrough."  Within, my post references the Article on PhysOrg, explaining how nonlocality and Heisenberg's uncertainty principle are connected.

Nonlocality occurs when particles interact with each other when they're not next to each other.  This phenomenon of nonlocality is what makes Quantum Teleportation possible!

NOW WE HAVE THE NATURAL TOOLSET.  
LET ME SHOW YOU THE ENCODING PROCESS


+ and - are my designation for spin in this example.

PITCHER:
RcS=Random photon, recorded as data and also sent, SE=Sent (entangled photon)

RcS SE               
1-     -
2-    +
3+  +
4-    +
5+  +

CATCHER:
Pairs of unidentifiably recieved couples come in, spins are jotted down.  One is entangled one isn't.  Which is which?  This is the same information as just shown, but mixed up.
sX=slot X, sY=slot Y, bpE = Back Pocket (other entangled photon that we have to begin with)

 sX sY                                                        sX sY bpE 
1-  -  Back Pocket (entangled) is +  that = -   -   +
2-  +  Back Pocket (entangled) is -  that = -   +   -
3+  + Back Pocket (entangled) is - that = +  +  -
4+  -  Back Pocket (entangled) is -  that = +   -   -
5+  +  Back Pocket (entangled) is - that = +  +  -

Compute sX sY and bpE by CATCHER (imagine these as charges and your goal is to get to 0 charge)
This yields:
1=+
2=+
3=-
4=+
5=-
You've just recieved the exact opposite of the original information because the entangled photon was just that, the opposite.  So flip this and what do you get?
1=-
2=-
3=+
4=-
5=+
If you scoll up, that's exactly the values for the original non-entangled photon.
This value for the non-entangled photon is what we can change at a whim to encode some actual information.  Simply by normalizing A)+-+++-+-++ (arbitrairily) to a flat B)---------- with subnotes jotted down to interpret the differing values between the two with the notation "FLIP", you are given the ability to make your binary code readable.  Because this decoding sequence is on the PITCHER's side, not the CATCHER's, the CATCHER is, in this scenario, a super-efficient data storage system.  You'd have to also send the notation of the decoding sequence in order to decode and use the data from the CATCHER's side.

The entangled pair is what makes it all happen.  This is a basic process that is trying to be incorporated into the holy grail of computers, quantum computers.


There's an arXiv Paper that recently came out, covering an amazing amount of Quantum Theory.  I noticed a section about teleportation in the Table of Contents in this 40page paper.  Here's the math behind this section.   Click for a larger view.


Wow, I learned a lot today!  I hope you did too!



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Friday, December 3, 2010

"Blacker Than Black" Carbon Nanotube Paint, 10x Better, To Be Used On Telescopes

"NASA engineers develop 'blacker than black' nanotubes (w/ Video)" Article w/Video on PhysOrg

This paint, made out of lab grown nanotubes, is 10x blacker than the black paint used on our current telescopes to block out light and prevent reflection.  Right now, with the old black paint, 40% of the data we receive is tainted and unusable due to minor reflection of light on these black surfaces.  This new paint will have an enormous effect optically on our telescopic equipment.  I'm looking forward to the pictures we'll get with this new technology.  NASA's pumped up about it, because they'll be throwing away way less than 40% of their data from now on. 





Video Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
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Thursday, December 2, 2010

NASA successfully creates a huge buzz and gets the public more interested in science! SCORE!

Arsenic Based Life, Check it out on:
Press Release on NASA's site
Article on BBC News
Article w/Video on Universe Today
Article on Science News

And you might find it REALLY INTERESTING that...
this Article on Space Ref was printed Aug 16, 2008...  hurm...

Universe Today's accurate forecasting of what NASA was going to say, before NASA said it.  Article, Calm Down: NASA Hasn’t Found any Aliens on Universe Today, posted Nov 30th.


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