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Cool Illusions and tricks, enthralling!

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New Time Travel Simulation May Resolve ‘Grandfather Paradox’

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On June 28, 2009, the world-famous physicist Stephen Hawking threw a party at the University of Cambridge, complete with balloons, hors d’oeuvres and iced champagne. Everyone was invited but no one showed up. Hawking had expected as much, because he only sent out invitations after his party had concluded. It was, he said, “a welcome reception for future time travelers,” a tongue-in-cheek experiment to reinforce his 1992 conjecture that travel into the past is effectively impossible.

But Hawking may be on the wrong side of history. Recent experiments offer tentative support for time travel’s feasibility—at least from a mathematical perspective. The study cuts to the core of our understanding of the universe, and the resolution of the possibility of time travel, far from being a topic worthy only of science fiction, would have profound implications for fundamental physics as well as for practical applications such as quantum cryptography and computing.

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GRANDFATHER PARADOX

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Black Holes May Explode Into ‘White Holes’ And Pour All Their Matter Into Space, Physicists Say

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Black holes might end their lives by transforming into their exact opposite — ‘white holes’ that explosively pour all the material they ever swallowed into space, say two physicists. The suggestion, based on a speculative quantum theory of gravity, could solve a long-standing conundrum about whether black holes destroy information.

The theory suggests that the transition from black hole to white hole would take place right after the initial formation of the black hole, but because gravity dilates time, outside observers would see the black hole lasting billions or trillions of years or more, depending on its size. If the authors are correct, tiny black holes that formed during the very early history of the Universe would now be ready to pop off like firecrackers and might be detected as high-energy cosmic rays or other radiation. In fact, they say, their work could imply that some of the dramatic flares commonly considered to be supernova explosions could in fact be the dying throes of tiny black holes that formed shortly after the Big Bang.

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Artist’s conception of a black hole. | MARK GARLICK via Getty Images
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If The Earth Stopped Spinning, Some Really Bad Things Would Happen

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Big Bang Discovery May Bring ‘Theory Of Everything’ Closer To Reality

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The discovery that the universe really did expand at many times the speed of light immediately after the Big Bang should bring physicists slightly closer to their ultimate goal — the long-sought “Theory of Everything.”

On Monday (March 17), researchers announced that they had detected the signature of gravitational waves in the cosmic microwave background, the ancient light that began pervading the universe 380,000 years after the Big Bang.

If it holds up, the landmark find confirms the theory of inflation, which posits that the cosmos exploded from mere quantum fluctuations into something of macroscopic size just a few tiny fractions of a second after its birth. [How Inflation Gave the Universe the Ultimate Kickstart (Infographic)]

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theory of everything

The bottom part of this illustration shows the scale of the universe versus time. Specific events are shown such as the formation of neutral Hydrogen at 380 000 years after the big bang. Prior to this time, the constant interaction between matter (electrons) and light (photons) made the universe opaque. After this time, the photons we now call the CMB started streaming freely.

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Why Revive ‘Cosmos?’ Neil DeGrasse Tyson Says Just About Everything We Know Has Changed

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Things are looking up for Neil deGrasse Tyson–way up. As the director of the Hayden Planetarium and the author of several popular books on space, Tyson is already one of the nation’s best-known scientists. And now his already-high profile is set for a big boost with the March 9 launch of “Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey,” a new documentary television series that he hosts.

Tyson calls the 13-part series a continuation of “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage,” a 1980 PBS series narrated by Carl Sagan that is acclaimed as one of the most significant science-themed programs in television history.

In anticipation of the new series’ debut, Tyson, 55, sat down with HuffPost Science for a wide-ranging and surprisingly frank interview. What follows is a condensed and edited version of the discussion, which took place in the astrophysicist’s New York City office

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Neil deGrasse Tyson | Fox
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Scientists Look In Chicken’s Eye And Discover Weird New State Of Matter

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Gaze deeply into the eye of a chicken, and what do you see? Some see terrifying stupidity. But researchers at Princeton University and Washington University in St. Louis say they see in the bird’s eye the first known biological occurrence of a strange state of matter known as “disordered hyperuniformity.”

The potentially new state of matter is the result of the way five photoreceptor cells of different sizes are packed into the retina, the light-sensitive layer at the back of chickens’ eyes, according to a written statement describing the research.

In other animals, these “cone” cells are often arranged in a regular pattern, according to LiveScience. Insect cones, for example, are arranged in a hexagonal grid.

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Chicken eye | Nacivet via Getty Images
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Quantum Computer Technology May Advance Using Rare Holmium Atoms, Scientists Say

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Quantum computers could crack codes and run more complex simulations than current machines, but actually building one is hard to do. The bits that store this complex data don’t last long, because they are made of single atoms that get knocked around by stray electrons and photons in the environment.

Enter a team of physicists at Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. They found a way to get the bits to last long enough to do computations with, using the magnetic properties of a rare earth element called holmium and the symmetry of platinum. The experiment, detailed in tomorrow’s (Nov. 14) issue of the journal Nature, is an important step in creating quantum computers and making quantum memory useful.

What makes quantum computers powerful is the nature of the bit. Ordinary computers have bits that are 1 or 0, stored in the current in a circuit or the alignment of magnetic fields on a disk. Due to the weirdness of quantum physics, quantum bits, called qubits, can be both 0 and 1 at the same time. That means a quantum computer can do certain kinds of calculations much, much faster.

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quantum computer

Quantum computers can process information much faster than current machines. This image depicts “ion trap” technology developed for quantum computing in a similar, unrelated study at Oxford. | Jeff Sherman | Flickr
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Stephen Hawking’s ‘Big Ideas’ Explained In Cartoon Form (VIDEO)

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What’s at the center of a black hole? And what happens at the edge of a black hole?

Stephen Hawking has some big ideas that answer these big questions. Called one of the most influential physicists of our time, you might assume that his theories are too complicated for the layperson to wrap his or her mind around.

But in some ways, his ideas are easier to understand than you might think. Through animation and narration, The Guardian’s science correspondent Alok Jha explains them all in a two-and-half-minute cartoon in a way that everyone can easily grasp. Check it out above.

And why give Hawking’s theories the cartoon treatment?

“I suppose the incredible thing is that he came up with all these profound, provocative insights without the convenience of being able to write anything down,” Jha says in the video. Hawking, who authored A Brief History of Time, is paralyzed as a result of motor neuron disease.

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Space-Time Curvature Simulated On Microchip For First Time Ever

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It took two major expeditions charting the solar eclipse of 1919 to verify Albert Einstein’s weird prediction about gravity — that it distorts the path of light waves around stars and other astronomical bodies, distorting objects in the background. Now, researchers have created the first precise analogue of that effect on a microchip.

Any large mass distorts the geometry of space around it, for instance making parallel light rays diverge or converge. One consequence, described by Einstein’s general theory of relativity, is that objects behind a body such as the Sun may look magnified or distorted as the optical path of light goes through the region of warped space.

Metamaterials scientist Hui Liu of Nanjing University in China and his colleagues mimicked this ‘gravitational lensing’ — which affects light in the vacuum of space — by making light travel through solid materials instead. Different transparent media have different indexes of refraction, causing light to bend. One example is at the interface between water and air, a familiar effect that makes a pencil look broken when it is half-dipped in water. But if a medium has an index of refraction that varies gradually rather than abruptly, it will make the the paths of light rays curve as they travel through it.

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space time

The warping of the empty space around a massive star means that the shortest path of light around a star is a ‘curved’ one — but the bending of light rays in a medium can mimic the same effect. | Nature Photonics
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