Category Archives for "Good 2Know"

Is Vision More Sensitive During Exercise?

Psychologists design an experiment to investigate whether human vision is more sensitive during physical activity.

It’s universally accepted that the benefits of exercise go well beyond fitness, from reducing the risk of disease to improving sleep and enhancing mood. Physical activity gives cognitive function a boost as well as fortifying memory and safeguarding thinking skills.

But can it enhance your vision? It appears so.

Intrigued by recent findings that neuron firing rates in the regions of mouse and fly brains associated with visual processing increase during physical activity, UC Santa Barbara psychologists Barry Giesbrecht and Tom Bullock wanted to know if the same might be true for the human brain.

To find out, they designed an experiment using behavioral measures and neuroimaging techniques to explore the ways in which brief bouts of physical exercise impact human performance and underlying neural activity. The researchers found that low-intensity exercise boosted activation in the visual cortex, the part of the cerebral cortex that plays an important role in processing visual information. Their results appear in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.

“We show that the increased activation — what we call arousal — changes how information is represented, and it’s much more selective,” said co-author Giesbrecht, a professor in UCSB’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. “That’s important to understand because how that information then gets used could potentially be different.

“There’s an interesting cross-species link that shows these effects of arousal might have similar consequences for how visual information is processed,” he continued. “That implies the evolution of something that might provide a competitive advantage in some way.”

To investigate how exercise affects different aspects of cognitive function, the investigators enlisted 18 volunteers. Each of them wore a wireless heart rate monitor and an EEG (electroencephalogram) cap containing 64 scalp electrodes. While on a stationary bicycle, participants performed a simple orientation discrimination task using high-contrast stimuli composed of alternating black and white bars presented at one of nine spatial orientations. The tasks were performed while at rest and during bouts of both low- and high-intensity exercise.

The scientists then fed the recorded brain data into a computational model that allowed them to estimate the responses of the neurons in the visual cortex activated by the visual stimuli. They analyzed the responses while participants were at rest and then during low- and high-intensity exercise.

This approach allowed them to reconstruct what large populations of neurons in the visual cortex were doing in relation to each of the different stimulus orientations. The researchers were able to generate a “tuning curve,” which estimates how well the neurons are representing the different stimulus orientations.

Image shows a man on an exercise bike.
Participants rode stationary bikes while wearing a wireless heart rate monitor and an EEG cap. NeuroscienceNews.com image is credited to UCSB.
“We found that the peak response is enhanced during low-intensity exercise relative to rest and high-intensity exercise,” said lead author Bullock, a postdoctoral researcher in UCSB’s Attention Lab. “We also found that the curve narrows in, which suggests a reduction in bandwidth. Together, the increased gain and reduced bandwidth suggest that these neurons are becoming more sensitive to the stimuli presented during the low-intensity exercise condition relative to the other conditions.”

Giesbrecht noted that they don’t know the mechanism by which this is occurring. “There are some hints that it may be driven by specific neurotransmitters that increase global cortical excitability and that can account for the change in the gain and the increase in the peak response of these tuning profiles,” he said.

From a broader perspective, this work underscores the importance of exercise. “In fact, the benefits of brief bouts of exercise might provide a better and more tractable way to influence information processing — versus, say, brain training games or meditation — and in a way that’s not tied to a particular task,” Giesbrecht concluded.

Source: http://neurosciencenews.com

The European Space Agency has revealed plans for a lunar temple

Lunar Temple To Be Out Of This Word

The European Space Agency Has Revealed Plans For A Lunar Temple

 

It could be a temple like no other – and with a view that really is out of this world.The European Space Agency has revealed plans for a lunar temple to be built alongside mankind’s first outpost on the moon.The 50m high dome, close to a planned moon base near to the moon’s south pole, would give the first settlers ‘a place of contemplation’. Artist Jorge Mañes Rubio, part of ESA’s future-oriented Advanced Concepts Team (ACT), designed the temple to be built alongside ESA’s planned moon base.

I’ve been having all sorts of discussions with my ACT colleagues, including speculating on the likely needs of future lunar settlers,’ said Jorge.’What kind of social interactions will they share, what cultural activities and rituals will they have, and what sort of art and artifacts will they be producing?’Humans have been creating art for at least 30, 000 years, so I have no doubt this will continue in space and on the Moon.

 The temple would be built on the sunlit rim of Shackleton Crater, which is bathed much of the time in sunlight while overlooking a 4.2 km-deep interior mired in perpetual shadow.The lunar poles have previously been identified as promising locations for future settlement because craters kept shaded by the lowness of the Sun in the local sky are thought to serve as ‘cold traps’ to preserve water ice, potentially a vital source of water, air or rocket fuel.

The 50 m-high domed structure would be built using 3D printing of lunar soil.’The result might resemble ‘abode’ architecture, an ancient method of building that is still made use to this day,’ adds Jorge.’This was a big source of inspiration for me, along with 18th century Utopian architects such as Étienne-Louis de Boullée and Claude Nicolas Ledoux, who designed massive structures too large to be feasibly built on Earth – but practical in the Moon’s one-sixth gravity.’The ‘Moon Temple’ is intended as a symbol of unity for humankind, reflecting the pull that our natural satellite has always had on the human imagination, ESA says.’Lunar settlement represents a perfect chance for a fresh start, a place where there are no social conventions, no nations and no religion, somewhere where these concepts will need to be rethought from scratch. 

‘Humans have brought flags to the Moon, but they’ve been bleached white by sunlight since then – almost as if the Moon is protecting itself from such terrestrial concepts.So this Temple is intended as a mythic and universal structure that can hopefully bring people together in this new environment in novel ways.’ Jorge selected Shackleton over nearby Malapert Crater because Earth is perpetually visible from Malapert, while from Shackleton it will only be seen for two weeks at a time, inspiring more independent thinking.One opening in the dome will look Earthwards, while another at the top will peer out into deep space. 

 

 

SOURCE…www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech

Your life really does flash before your eyes when you die,

Your Life Does Flash Before Your Eyes Before You Die

Your life really does flash before your eyes when you die,

 

 

A study suggests – with the parts of the brain that store memories last to be affected as other functions fail. Research on those who have had “near death” experiences suggests that the phenomenon rarely involves flashbacks in chronological order, as happens in Hollywood films. Participants said that there was rarely any order to their life memories and that they seemed to come at random, and sometimes simultaneously. 

Participants said that there was rarely any order to their life memories and that they seemed to come at random, and sometimes simultaneously. Often, the mind played tricks – with people reliving their own experiences from the point of view of others who had been involved. The study found that many of the flashbacks involved intensely emotional moments. Researchers from Hadassah University in Jerusalem analyzed seven accounts of such experiences, obtained from in-depth interviews. 

These were to devise a questionnaire which was sent out to 264 other people who gave detailed responses of their experiences. The idea that life flashes in front of a person has  featured in countless works of literature and film. But there  has been limited research to explain what the phenomenon involves. Researchers said  the new  study shines a light on “a most intriguing mental phenomenon that fascinated humans from time immemorial” – which they coined “life review  experience” (LRE). Those involved in  the study said they lost all sense  of time, with memories flying  back at them from all periods of their life.  One wrote:  “There is not a linear progression, there is lack of time limits… It was like being there for centuries. I was not in time/space so this question also feels impossible to answer.

“A moment, and a thousand years… both and neither. It all happened at once, or some experiences within my near-death experience were going on at the same time as others, though my human mind separates them into different events”.  Individually go into each person and I could feel the pain that they had in their life… “I was allowed to see that part of them and feel for myself what they felt”.Another said: ‘I was seeing, feeling these things about him (my father), and he was sharing with me the things of his early childhood and how things were difficult for him’. Every person in the study said they were left with a new perspective  on their  life  events and on significant people in their lives.  

Researchers said that the phenomenon could be caused by the parts of the brain that store autobiographical memories like the prefrontal, medial temporal, and parietal cortices.Those parts of the brain are not susceptible to oxygen and blood loss during serious injuries, meaning they are one of the last brain functions to suffer. The study, published in the journal Consciousness and Cognition, concludes: “Re-experiencing one’s own life-events, so-called LRE, is a phenomenon with well-defined characteristics, and its sub-components may be also evident in healthy people.”This suggests that a representation of life-events as a continuum exists in the cognitive system, and may be further expressed in extreme conditions of psychological and physiological stress“.Previous studies have suggested that the phenomenon is more common among those with a high concentration of carbon dioxide in the breath and arteries following a cardiac arrest.

SOURCE…www.telegraph.co.uk

https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/Kon1OmEOk7ibQPZ0Q_Tm4g--/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjtzbT0xO3c9NDUwO2g9MzEx/http://media.zenfs.com/en_us/News/Reuters/2017-01-26T160446Z_3_LYNXMPED0P13A_RTROPTP_2_HEALTH-BIRDFLU-RISKS.JPG

Bird Flu Pandemic Could Cost Pandemic

 The global spread of bird flu and the number of viral strains currently circulating and causing infections have reached unprecedented levels, raising the risk of a potential human outbreak, according to disease experts.Multiple outbreaks have been reported in poultry farms and wild flocks across Europe, Africa and Asia in the past three months. While most involve strains that are currently low risk for human health. The sheer number of different types, their presence in so many parts of the world at the same time, increases the risk of viruses mixing and mutating . Thus possibly jumping to people.

“This is a fundamental change in the natural history of influenza viruses,” Michael Osterholm, an infectious disease specialist at University of Minnesota, said .The proliferation of bird flu in terms of geography and strains –  is a situation he described as “unprecedented”.Global health officials are worried another strain could make a jump into humans, like H5N1 did in the late 1990s. It has since caused hundreds of human infections and deaths, but has not acquired the ability to transmit easily from person to person.

The greatest fear is that a deadly strain of avian flu could then mutate into a pandemic form that can be passed easily between people… Something that has not yet been seen. While avian flu has been a prominent public health issue since the 1990s, ongoing outbreaks have never been so widely spread around the world. Infectious disease experts put down to greater resilience of strains currently circulating, rather than improved detection or reporting.While there would normally be around two or three bird flu strains recorded in birds at any one time, now there are at least half a dozen. Including H5N1, H5N2, H5N8 and H7N8.”

The Organization for Animal Health (OIE) says the concurrent outbreaks in birds in recent months are “a global public health concern”.  the World Health Organization’s director-general warned this week the world “cannot afford to miss the early signals” of a possible human flu pandemic. The precise reasons for the unusually large number and sustained nature of bird outbreaks in recent months, and the proliferation of strains, is unclear . Although such developments compound the global spreading process.

Bird flu is usually spread through flocks through direct contact with an infected bird. But Osterholm said wild birds could be “shedding” more of the virus in droppings and other secretions, increasing infection risks. He added that there now appears to be “aerosol transmission from one infected barn to others, in some cases many miles away”.Ian MacKay, a virologist at Australia’s University of Queensland, said the current proliferation of strains means that “by definition, there is an increased risk” to humans.”You’ve got more exposures, to more farmers, more often, and in greater numbers, in more parts of the world”. “There has to be an increased risk of spillover human cases,” he told Reuters.

BRITAIN TO BANGLADESH

 Nearly 40 countries have reported new outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in poultry or wild birds since November . In China, H7N9 strains of bird flu have been infecting both birds and people, with the of human cases rising in recent weeks due to the peak of the flu season there. According to the WHO, more than 900 people have been infected with H7N9 bird flu since it emerged in early 2013.

In birds, latest data from the OIE should that outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian flu have been detected in Britain, Italy, Kuwait and Bangladesh in the last few days alone.Russia’s agriculture watchdog issued a statement describing the situation as “extremely tense” as it reported H5N8 flu outbreaks in another four regions. Hungarian farmers have had to cull 3 million birds, mostly geese and ducks.These come on top of epidemics across Europe and Asia which have been ongoing since late last year, leading to mass culling of poultry in many countries.Strains currently documented as circulating in birds include H5N8 in many parts of Europe as well as in Kuwait, Egypt and elsewhere, and H5N1 in Bangladesh and India.

In Africa – which experts say is especially vulnerable to missing flu outbreak warning signs due to limited local government capacities and weak animal and human health services – H5N1 outbreaks have been reported in birds in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria and Togo. H5N8 has been detected in Tunisia and Egypt, and H7N1 in Algeria.The United States has, so far this year, largely escaped bird flu, but is on high alert after outbreaks of H5N2, a highly pathogenic bird flu, hit farms in 15 states in 2015 and led to the culling of more than 43 million poultry.

David Nabarro, a former senior WHO official who has also served as U.N. system senior coordinator for avian and human influenza, says the situation is worrying. “For me the threat from avian influenza is the most serious (to public health), because you never know when,” he told Reuters in Geneva.

HIGHLY PATHOGENIC H5N1

H5N1 is under close surveillance by health authorities around the world. It has long been seen as one to watch, feared by infectious disease experts because of its pandemic potential if it were to mutate an acquire human-to-human transmission capability.

A highly pathogenic virus, it jumped into humans in Hong Kong in 1997 and then re-emerged in 2003/2004, spreading from Asia to Europe and Africa. It has caused hundreds of infections and deaths in people and prompted the culling of hundreds of millions of poultry. Some currently circulating H5 strains – including distant relatives of H5N1 – are showing significant capabilities for sustaining their spread between wild flocks and poultry, from region to region and farm to farm.

“What we’re learning about H5 is, that whether its H5N6, H5N8, H5N2 or H5N5, this is a very dangerous bird virus.”Against that background, global health authorities and infectious disease experts want awareness, surveillance and vigilance stepped up. Wherever wild birds are found to be infected,  wherever there are farms or smallholdings with affected poultry or aquatic bird flocks, regular, repeated and consistent testing of everyone and anyone who comes into contact is vital.

“Influenza is a very tough beast because it changes all the time.  The ones we’re tracking may not include one that suddenly emerges and takes hold,” said MacKay.”Right now, it’s hard to say whether we’re doing enough (to keep on top of the threat). I guess that while it isn’t taking off, we seem to be doing enough.”

SOURCE..www.yahoo.com/news/proliferation-bird-flu

Nepal Scientist Measure Everest True Height

Doubt Over Everest’s True Height Spurs Fresh Expedition

If I were to ask you what the worlds tallest mountain peak was what would you guess? ” What is Mt. Everest for 500″ (Jeopardy adage ). Well you’d be correct with that statement. But what if I told you that the exact height of this mammoth mount was in ques ion following the mega quake that recently took place in Nepal ?India’s top surveyor Nepal scientist  to measure Everest’s  true height . This team of scientists would be sent to neighboring Nepal to measure Everest in the hope of putting to rest a debate about the true height of the towering mountain.A deadly 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal in 2015, killing thousands and altering the landscape across the Himalayan nation.

Satellite data at the time suggested the impact of the quake reduced Everest’s peak—which officially stands at 8,848 meters (29,029 feet) above sea level—by anywhere between a few millimeters and an inch.But lingering doubt among the has prompted a fresh expedition to size up the peak, said India’s surveyor general Swarna Subba Rao.”We will remeasure it,” Rao was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency, adding the team would set off in two months.”Two years have passed since the major Nepal earthquake and there’s doubt in the scientific community that it did in fact shrink.”

The exercise will require a month for observation and roughly another fortnight for the data to be officially declared.Another official told AFP that a five-member team would depart for the expedition at winter’s end, and would take measurements using instruments on the ground to gauge the peak’s real height. The , Nepal’s deadliest disaster in more than 80 years, is also believed to have shifted the earth beneath the capital Kathmandu several meters to the south. With the scientific expedition set to take  place at the very top of the world, perhaps one day they  

 

SOURCE…m.phys.org

Life and Consciousness Are the Keys to Understanding the Nature of the Universe

Quantum Theory Proves Consciousness Moves To Another Universe After Death

Consciousness Key Understanding Nature Universe

 

1. BEYOND TIME AND SPACE

Lanza is an expert in regenerative medicine and scientific director of Advanced Cell Technology Company. Before he has been known for his extensive research which dealt with stem cells, he was also famous for several successful experiments on cloning endangered animal species.

But not so long ago, the scientist became involved with physics, quantum mechanics and astrophysics. This explosive mixture has given birth to the new theory of biocentrism, which the professor has been preaching ever since. Biocentrism teaches that life and consciousness are fundamental to the universe. It is consciousness that creates the material universe, not the other way around.

Lanza points to the structure of the universe itself, and that the laws, forces, and constants of the universe appear to be fine-tuned for life, implying intelligence existed prior to matter. He also claims that space and time are not objects or things, but rather tools of our animal understanding. Lanza says that we carry space and time around with us “like turtles with shells.” meaning that when the shell comes off (space and time), we still exist.

The theory implies that death of consciousness simply does not exist. It only exists as a thought because people identify themselves with their body. They believe that the body is going to perish, sooner or later, thinking their consciousness will disappear too. If the body generates consciousness, then consciousness dies when the body dies. But if the body receives consciousness in the same way that a cable box receives satellite signals, then of course consciousness does not end at the death of the physical vehicle. In fact, consciousness exists outside of constraints of time and space. It is able to be anywhere: in the human body and outside of it. In other words, it is non-local in the same sense that quantum objects are non-local.

Lanza also believes that multiple universes can exist simultaneously. In one universe, the body can be dead. And in another it continues to exist, absorbing consciousness which migrated into this universe. This means that a dead person while traveling through the same tunnel ends up not in hell or in heaven, but in a similar world he or she once inhabited, but this time alive. And so on, infinitely. It’s almost like a cosmic Russian doll afterlife effect.

2. MULTIPLE WORLDS

This hope-instilling, but extremely controversial theory by Lanza has many unwitting supporters, not just mere mortals who want to live forever, but also some well-known scientists. These are the physicists and astrophysicists who tend to agree with existence of parallel worlds and who suggest the possibility of multiple universes. Multiverse (multi-universe)is a so-called scientific concept, which they defend. They believe that no physical laws exist which would prohibit the existence of parallel worlds.

The first one was a science fiction writer H.G. Wells who proclaimed in 1895 in his story “The Door in the Wall”. And after 62 years, this idea was developed by Dr. Hugh Everett in his graduate thesis at the Princeton University. It basically posits that at any given moment the universe divides into countless similar instances. And the next moment, these “newborn” universes split in a similar fashion. In some of these worlds you may be present: reading this article in one universe, or watching TV in another.

The triggering factor for these multiplyingworlds is our actions, explained Everett. If we make some choices, instantly one universe splits into two with different versions of outcomes.

In the 1980s, Andrei Linde, scientist from the Lebedev’s Institute of physics, developed the theory of multiple universes. He is now a professor at Stanford University. Linde explained: Space consists of many inflating spheres, which give rise to similar spheres, and those, in turn, produce spheres in even greater numbers, and so on to infinity. In the universe, they are spaced apart. They are not aware of each other’s existence. But they represent parts of the same physical universe.

The fact that our universe is not alone is supported by data received from the Planck space telescope. Using the data, scientists have created the most accurate map of the microwave background, the so-called cosmic relic background radiation, which has remained since the inception of our universe. They also found that the universe has a lot of dark recesses represented by some holes and extensive gaps.

Theoretical physicist Laura Mersini-Houghton from the North Carolina University with her colleagues argue: the anomalies of the microwave background exist due to the fact that our universe is influenced by other universes existing nearby. And holes and gaps are a direct result of attacks on us by neighboring universes.

3. SOUL

So, there is abundance of places or other universes where our soul could migrate after death, according to the theory of neo-biocentrism. But does the soul exist? Is there any scientific theory of consciousness that could accommodate such a claim? According to Dr. Stuart Hameroff, a near-death experience happens when the quantum information that inhabits the nervous system leaves the body and dissipates into the universe. Contrary to materialistic accounts of consciousness, Dr. Hameroff offers an alternative explanation of consciousness that can perhaps appeal to both the rational scientific mind and personal intuitions.

Consciousness resides, according to Stuart and British physicist Sir Roger Penrose, in the microtubules of the brain cells, which are the primary sites of quantum processing. Upon death, this information is released from your body, meaning that your consciousness goes with it. They have argued that our experience of consciousness is the result of quantum gravity effects in these microtubules, a theory which they dubbed orchestrated objective reduction (Orch-OR).

Consciousness, or at least proto-consciousness is theorized by them to be a fundamental property of the universe, present even at the first moment of the universe during the Big Bang. “In one such scheme proto-conscious experience is a basic property of physical reality accessible to a quantum process associated with brain activity.”

Our souls are in fact constructed from the very fabric of the universe – and may have existed since the beginning of time. Our brains are just receivers and amplifiers for the proto-consciousness that is intrinsic to the fabric of space-time. So is there really a part of your consciousness that is non-material and will live on after the death of your physical body?

Dr Hameroff told the Science Channel’s Through the Wormhole documentary: “Let’s say the heart stops beating, the blood stops flowing, the microtubules lose their quantum state. The quantum information within the microtubules is not destroyed, it can’t be destroyed, it just distributes and dissipates to the universe at large”. Robert Lanza would add here that not only does it exist in the universe, it exists perhaps in another universe. If the patient is resuscitated, revived, this quantum information can go back into the microtubules and the patient says “I had a near death experience”

He adds: “If they’re not revived, and the patient dies, it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body, perhaps indefinitely, as a soul.”

This account of quantum consciousness explains things like near-death experiences, astral projection, out of body experiences, and even reincarnation without needing to appeal to religious ideology. The energy of your consciousness potentially gets recycled back into a different body at some point, and in the mean time it exists outside of the physical body on some other level of reality, and possibly in another universe.

 
 
 
Scientists claim equation proves existancce God

Shock!!! Scientists Claim To Have Proof Of God

 The debate of whether  science trumps intelligent design or God exist,  has been the subject of heated debate. After all There is a deep meaning of life …right?? Or maybe   we were a cosmic accident created from the primordial ooze all by a lucky long shot ? Well finally science has added fuel to the fire as  s cientists Claim To Have Proof Of God.

The Science 

Two computer scientists say they proved that there is a holy supreme force after confirming the equations. In 1978, mathematician Kurt Gödel died and left behind a long and complex theory based on modal logic. Dr Gödel’s model uses  extremely complicated mathematical equations  .  In  essence it states  is that no greater power than God can be conceived. If God  is believed as a concept then he or she can exist in reality.

 Dr Gödel  equations:

“Ax. 1. {P(φ)∧◻∀x[φ(x)→ψ(x)]} →P(ψ)Ax. 2.P(¬φ)↔¬P(φ)Th. 1.P(φ)→◊∃x[φ(x)]Df. 1.G(x)⟺∀φ[P(φ)→φ(x)]Ax. 3.P(G)Th.  

2.◊∃xG(x)Df. 2.φ ess x⟺φ(x)∧∀ψ{ψ(x)→◻∀y[φ(y)→ψ(y)]}Ax. 4.P(φ)→◻P(φ)Th.

3.G(x)→G ess xDf. 3.E(x)⟺∀φ[φ ess x→◻∃yφ(y)]Ax. 5.P(E)Th.

4.◻∃xG(x)”.

You get it, right? Two computer scientists have used computers to run such complicated equations  which they say confirms that the equation does indeed add up. The point of the researchers’ argument was that they were not directly trying to prove the existence of God.  The experiment was done  to showcase the power of computers.

 Christoph Benzmüller of Berlin’s Free University, told Spiegel Online: “It’s  amazing that from this argument led by Gödel, all these things can be proven automatically in a few seconds or even less on a standard notebook. “I didn’t know it would create such a huge public interest but [Gödel’s ontological proof] was definitely a better example than something inaccessible in mathematics or artificial intelligence… “It’s a very small, crisp thing, we are just dealing with six axioms in a little theorem.“There might be other things that use similar logic.”

  SOURCE…www.express.co.uk

a true energy revolutionNuclear fusion, the process that powers our sun

Limitless Clean Energy For The World

 
In a world struggling to kick its addiction to fossil fuels and feed its growing appetite for energy, there’s one technology which is a true energy revolution  in development that almost sounds too good to be true: nuclear fusion

If it works, fusion power offers vast amounts of clean energy with a near limitless fuel source and virtually zero carbon emissions. That’s if it works. In February last year a new chapter of fusion energy research commenced with the formal opening of Wendelstein 7-X. This is an experimental €1 billion (A$1.4bn) fusion reactor built in Greifswald, Germany, to test a reactor design called a stellarator.It is planned that by around 2021 it will be able to operate for up to 30 minutes duration. Which would be a record for a fusion reactor. This is an important step en-route to demonstrating an essential feature of a future fusion power plant: continuous operation.

But the W-7X isn’t the only fusion game in town. In southern France  a $US20 billion (A$26.7bn) experimental fusion reactor ITER is being built. This machine  uses a different design called a tokamak. However, even though the W-7X and ITER employ different designs. The two projects complement each other, and innovations in one are likely to translate to an eventual working nuclear fusion power plant.

Twists and turns

Fusion energy seeks to replicate the reaction that powers our Sun. The resulting fused atom ends up slightly lighter than the original two atoms. The difference in mass is then  converted to energy according to Einstein’s formula E=mc².  The difficulty comes in encouraging the two atoms to fuse,  requiring them to be heated to millions of degrees Celsius. What makes the W-7X particularly interesting is its stellarator design. It comprises a vacuum chamber embedded in a magnetic bottle created by a system of 70 superconducting magnet coils. In these experiments a strong toroidal (or ring) magnetic field creates a magnetic bottle to confine the plasma.

However, in order for the plasma to have good confinement in the doughnut-shaped chamber, the magnetic field needs to have a twist. In a tokamak, such as in the ITER reactor, a large current flows in the plasma to generate the required twisted path. However, the large current can drive “kink” instabilities. In a stellarator, the twist in the magnetic field is obtained by twisting the entire machine itself. This removes the large toroidal current, and makes the plasma intrinsically more stable. The cost comes in the engineering complexity of the field coils and reduced confinement thus  the plasma is less easily contained within the magnetic bubble.

Come together

While the W7-X and ITER use different approaches, most of the underlying technology is identical. They are both toroidal superconducting machines, and both use external heating systems such as radio frequency and neutral beam injection to heat the plasma, and much of the plasma diagnostic technology is in common. In a power plant, heavy isotopes of hydrogen (deuterium and tritium) fuse to form helium along with an energetic neutron. The neutron is has a neutral electric charge, and shoots off into the “blanket” surrounding the plasma. The helium  generates electricity.

A common feature across fusion power is the need to develop materials that can withstand y the fusion reaction. The first wall of a fusion reactor has to withstand a massive bombardment from high energy particles throughout its lifetime. At this stage, it’s too early to tell whether the tokamak design used by ITER or the stellarator used by W-7X will be better suited for a commercial fusion power plant. But the commencement of research operation of W-7X will not only help decide which technology might be best to pursue. Without a  doubt will contribute valuable knowledge to any future fusion experiments, and perhaps one day a true energy revolution.

 

SOURCE…http://www.ibtimes.co.uk

 

Study … People With Potty Mouths The Most Honest

Temperate language has traditionally been considered a social virtue, but new research suggests that people who refrain from swearing are often the most devious and dishonest.Those fond of effing and blinding, by contrast, are likely to be the most honest in any given group, according to academics at the University of Cambridge.The study describes how 276 participants were asked to list their favorite swear words in order to gauge how fond they were of turning the air blue. They were then given a survey asking them to agree or disagree with statements such as “I never lie” and “all my habits are good” to assess their propensity for dishonesty.The researchers found that the most honest in the group were also the biggest swearers. 

Dr David Still well, one of the study’s authors, said the correlation may stem from the constraints imposed by social convention.“If you’re trying to follow the social norms rather than saying what you think, you are saying what people want to hear,” he said.“In that respect you are not being very honest.“We did not look at extreme dishonesty such as fraud, so from that experiment it’s an open question as to whether there would be a link.”However, he said the findings corroborate research in the US which links states with a high level of swearing to low levels of honesty-related crime.States such as New Jersey, where a lot of people use bad language, were found to rank highly on the State Integrity Index, whereas Utah and other places where bad language is a relative rarity saw higher levels of fraud or similar offences.

“At least people who swear are telling you what they really think,” said Dr Stillwell.“Although if people said what they think all the time, would that really be a good thing?”The researchers also examined the Facebook postings of 75,000 people, where a similar correlation was observed.People who regularly posted short, simple messages were the least likely to swear.Dr Sillwell said simple statements are already known to be associated with dishonesty, because liars find it hard to make up complicated sentences.However, more nuanced language, evidenced by words such as “but” and “however”, as well as use of pronouns which associate the speaker with his or her statement, are commonly agreed to indicate honesty.In the Facebook analysis, people who spoke in this style were also more likely to swear.

 

 

SOURCE…www.telegraph.co.uk

China to develop prototype super, super computer in 2017 – Yahoo Singapore Finance

China plans to develop a prototype exascale computer by the end of the year, state media said Tuesday, as it seeks to win a global race to be the first to build a machine capable of a billion, billion calculations per second. If successful, the achievement would cement its place as a leading power in the world of super computing. The Asian giant built the world’s fastest supercomputer, the Sunway Taihu Light machine, in June last year, which was twice as fast as the previous number one.It used only locally made microchips, making it the first time a country has taken the top spot without using US technology.

Exascale computers are even more powerful, and can execute at least one Quintilian (a billion billion) calculations per second.Though a prototype was in the pipeline, a complete version of such a machine would take a few more years to complete, Xinhua news agency cited Zhang Ting, application engineer at the National Supercomputer Center in the port city of Tianjin, as saying.

“A complete computing system of the exascale supercomputer and its applications can only be expected in 2020, and will be 200 times more powerful than the country’s first petaflop computer Tianhe-1, recognised as the world’s fastest in 2010,” said Zhang.The exascale computer could have applications in big data and cloud computing work, he added, noting that its prototype would lead the world in data transmission efficiency as well as calculation speed.

As of last June, China for the first time had more top-ranked supercomputers than the US, with 167 compared to 165, according to a survey by supercomputer tracking website Top500.org. Of the top 10 fastest computers, two are in China and five in the US as of November, the ranking said. Others are in Japan and Switzerland.China has poured money into big-ticket science and technology projects as it seeks to become a high-tech leader.But despite some gains the country’s scientific output still lags behind, and its universities generally fare poorly in global rankings.

 

SOURCE…sg.finance.yahoo.com

1 2 3 8