Sticks & Stones

Posted by admin in None on Sep 04, 2020

Isn't it funny how people seem inclined to believe almost anything they hear or see on the web? It's amazing how gullible some people are. Apparently confirming facts or information is not a concern; it should be!

The web has become a place where fantasy can seem like reality and you must be careful to do your best to distinguish between the two. Sometimes it's easy but most of the time it's very hard.

So what's the answer? Use common sense! Become a detective and try to confirm what you see and hear on the web; don't take everything at face value. Wikipedias are a good and mostly reliable source of information. Also make sure that a variety of Search Engines become your friends!

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Misfits

Posted by admin in General on Sep 09, 2020

It isn't easy being a loner --- someone who resists the pull of the crowd, who marches to their own drummer.

But loners exist across the natural world, and they might just serve a purpose, said Corina Tarnita, an associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology. She ticked off examples of loners who sit out their species--- collective actions: the small herd that skips the great wildebeest migration, the locusts that peel off from the swarm and revert to calm grasshopper behaviors, the handful of bamboo that flower a few days before or after the rest of the species, and the slime molds that hang back from forming the swaying towers studied by Princeton luminary John Bonner.

Now that we're starting to look for it, we realize that a whole lot of systems are not perfectly synchronized --- and it's tantalizing to think that that there may be something to this imperfect synchronization, --- Tarnita said. --- Individuals that are out-of-sync with the majority of a population exist in humans, too. We call them misfits or geniuses, contrarians or visionaries, very much depending on how the rest of the society feels about their behavior, but they certainly exist.

Credit: Science Daily
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A Question of Reality

Posted by admin in Science on Sep 27, 2020

John Stewart Bell's eponymous theorem and inequalities set out, mathematically, the contrast between quantum mechanical theories and local realism. They are used in quantum information, which has evolving applications in security, cryptography and quantum computing.

The distinguished quantum physicist John Stewart Bell (1928-1990) is best known for the eponymous theorem that proved current understanding of quantum mechanics to be incompatible with local hidden variable theories. Thirty years after his death, his long-standing collaborator Reinhold Bertlmann of the University of Vienna, Austria, has reviewed his thinking in a paper for EPJ H, 'Real or Not Real: That is the question'. In this historical and personal account, Bertlmann aims to introduce his readers to Bell's concepts of reality and contrast them with some of his own ideas of virtuality.

Bell spent most of his working life at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, and Bertlmann first met him when he took up a short-term fellowship there in 1978. Bell had first presented his theorem in a seminal paper published in 1964, but this was largely neglected until the 1980s and the introduction of quantum information.

Bertlmann discusses the concept of Bell inequalities, which arise through thought experiments in which a pair of spin-- particles propagate in opposite directions and are measured by independent observers, Alice and Bob. The Bell inequality distinguishes between local realism -- the 'common sense' view in which Alice's observations do not depend on Bob's, and vice versa -- and quantum mechanics, or, specifically, quantum entanglement. Two quantum particles, such as those in the Alice-Bob situation, are entangled when the state measured by one observer instantaneously influences that of the other. This theory is the basis of quantum information.

And quantum information is no longer just an abstruse theory. It is finding applications in fields as diverse as security protocols, cryptography and quantum computing. "Bell's scientific legacy can be seen in these, as well as in his contributions to quantum field theory," concludes Bertlmann. "And he will also be remembered for his critical thought, honesty, modesty and support for the underprivileged."

Credit: Science Daily
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