## Monday, March 31, 2014

### The Reference Frame: BICEP is good news for string gas cosmology

The Reference Frame: BICEP is good news for string gas cosmology: Guest post by Robert Brandenberger of McGill University The indirect discovery of primordial gravitational waves on cosmological scales vi...

## Friday, March 28, 2014

### The Reference Frame: Axion monodromy inflation

The Reference Frame: Axion monodromy inflation: Guest post by Prof Eva Silverstein, string theorist and cosmologist at Stanford & SLAC Let us assume that the BICEP2 result is confirm...

First Direct Evidence of Cosmic Inflation- Harvard University Special Colloquium March 25 2014

## Thursday, March 27, 2014

### Memory, as the Glue of Society

Our memories are our lives, and a fundamental basis of our culture. Collective memoirs of the past both bind society together and shape our potential future. With our brains we can travel through time and space, calling to mind places of significance, evoking images and emotions of past experiences. It's no wonder, then, that we so desperately fear the prospect of memory loss. See: The Neuroscience of Memory - Eleanor Maguire

## Wednesday, March 26, 2014

### What is LROC?

 [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University]. LROC Northern Polar Mosaic (LNPM)
The LROC team assembled 10,581 NAC images, collected over 4 years, into a spectacular northern polar mosaic. The LROC Northern Polar Mosaic (LNPM) is likely one of the world’s largest image mosaics in existence, or at least publicly available on the web, with over 680 gigapixels of valid image data covering a region (2.54 million km2, 0.98 million miles2) slightly larger than the combined area of Alaska (1.72 million km2) and Texas (0.70 million km2) -- at a resolution of 2 meters per pixel! To create the mosaic, each LROC NAC image was map projected on a 30 m/pixel Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) derived Digital Terrain Model (DTM) using a software package called the Integrated Software for Imagers and Spectrometers (ISIS). SEE: What is LROC

***

### Pricetag on Naming Mars Craters

Recently initiatives that capitalise on the public’s interest in space and astronomy have proliferated, some putting a price tag on naming space objects and their features, such as Mars craters. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) would like to emphasise that such initiatives go against the spirit of free and equal access to space, as well as against internationally recognised standards. Hence no purchased names can ever be used on official maps and globes. The IAU encourages the public to become involved in the naming process of space objects and their features by following the officially recognised (and free) methods. See: Concerns and Considerations with the Naming of Mars Craters
***
The Outer Space Treaty of 1967

Treaty on principles governing the activities of states in the exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies.

Opened for signature at Moscow, London, and Washington on 27 January, 1967
THE STATES PARTIES. TO THIS TREATY,

INSPIRED by the great prospects opening up before mankind as a result of man's entry into outer space,

RECOGNIZING the common interest of all mankind in the progress of the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes,

BELIEVING that the exploration and use of outer space should be carried on for the benefit of all peoples irrespective of the degree of their economic or scientific development,

DESIRING to contribute to broad international co-operation in the scientific as well as the legal aspects of the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes,

BELIEVING that such co-operation will contribute to the development of mutual understanding and to the strengthening of friendly relations between States and peoples,

RECALLING resolution 1962 (XVIII), entitled "Declaration of Legal Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space", which was adopted unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly on 13 December 1963,

RECALLING resolution 1884 (XVIII), calling upon States to refrain from placing in orbit around the earth any objects carrying nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction or from installing such weapons on celestial bodies, which was adopted unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly on 17 October 1963,

TAKING account of United Nations General Assembly resolution 110 (II) of 3 November 1947, which condemned propaganda designed or likely to provoke or encourage any threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression, and considering that the aforementioned resolution is applicable to outer space,

CONVINCED that a Treaty on Principles Governing the Activitiesof States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, will further the Purposes and Principles ofthe Charter of the United Nations,

HAVE AGREED ON THE FOLLOWING:

Article I

The exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development, and shall be the province of all mankind. Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be free for exploration and use by all States without discrimination of any kind, on a basis of equality and in accordance with international law, and there shall be free access to all areas of celestial bodies. There shall be freedom of scientific investigation in outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, and States shall facilitate and encourage international co-operation in such investigation.

Article II

Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means.

Article III

States Parties to the Treaty shall carry on activities in the exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, in accordance with international law, including the Charter of the United Nations, in the interest of maintaining international peace and security and promoting international co- operation and understanding.

States Parties to the Treaty undertake not to place in orbit around the earth any objects carrying nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction, install such weapons on celestial bodies, or station such weapons in outer space in any other manner.
> The moon and other celestial bodies shall be used by all States Parties to the Treaty exclusively for peaceful purposes. The establishment of military bases, installations and fortifications, the testing of any type of weapons and the conduct of military manoeuvres on celestial bodies shall be forbidden. The use of military personnel for scientific research or for any other peaceful purposes shall not be prohibited. The use of any equipment or facility necessary for peaceful exploration of the moon and other celestial bodies shall also not be prohibited.

Article V

States Parties to the Treaty shall regard astronauts as envoys of mankind in outer space and shall render to them all possible assistance in the event of accident, distress, or emergency landing on the territory of another State Party or on the high seas. When astronauts make such a landing, they shall be safely and promptly returned In carrying on activities in outer space and on celestial bodies, the astronauts of one State Party shall render all possible assistance to the astronauts of other States Parties. States Parties to the Treaty shall immediately inform the other States Parties to the Treaty or the Secretary-General of the United Nations of any phenomena they discover in outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, which could constitute a danger to the life or health of astronauts.

Article VI

States Parties to the Treaty shall bear international responsibility for national activities in outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, whether such activities are carried on by governmental agencies or by non-governmental entities, and for assuring that national activities are carried out in conformity with the provisions set forth in the present Treaty. The activities of non- governmental entities in outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall require authorization and continuing supervision by the appropriate State Party to the Treaty. When activities are carried on in outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, by an international organization, responsibility for compliance with this Treaty shall be borne both by the international organization and by the States Parties to the Treaty participating in such organization.

Article VII

Each State Party to the Treaty that launches or procures the launching of an object into outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, and each State Party from whose territory or facility an object is launched, is internationally liable for damage to another State Party to the Treaty or to its natural or juridical persons by such object or its component parts on the Earth, in air space or in outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies.

Article VIII

A State Party to the Treaty on whose registry an object launched into outer space is carried shall retain jurisdiction and control over such object, and over any personnel thereof, while in outer space or on a celestial body. Ownership of objects launched into outer space, including objects landed or constructed on a celestial body, and of their component parts, is not affected by their presence in outer space or on a celestial body or by their return to the Earth. Such objects or component parts found beyond the limits of the State Party of the Treaty on whose registry they are carried shall be returned to that State Party, which shall, upon request, furnish identifying data prior to their return.

Article IX

In the exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, States Parties to the Treaty shall be guided by the principle of co-operation and mutual assistance and shall conduct all their activities in outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, with due regard to the corresponding interests of all other States Parties to the Treaty. States Parties to the Treaty shall pursue studies of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, and conduct exploration of them so as to avoid their harmful contamination and also adverse changes in the environment of the Earth resulting from the introduction of extraterrestrial matter and, where necessary, shall adopt appropriate measures for this purpose. If a State Party to the Treaty has reason to believe that an activity or experiment planned by it or its nationals in outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, would cause potentially harmful interference with activities of other States Parties in the peaceful exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, it shall undertake appropriate international consultations before proceeding with any such activity or experiment. A State Party to the Treaty which has reason to believe that an activity or experiment planned by another State Party in outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, would cause potentially harmful interference with activities in the peaceful exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, may request consultation concerning the activity or experiment.

Article X

In order to promote international co-operation in the exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, in conformity with the purposes of this Treaty, the States Parties to the Treaty shall consider on a basis of equality any requests by other States Parties to the Treaty to be afforded an opportunity to observe the flight of space objects launched by those States.
The nature of such an opportunity for observation and the conditions under which it could be afforded shall be determined by agreement between the States concerned.

Article XI

In order to promote international co-operation in the peaceful exploration a
nd use of outer space, States Parties to the Treaty conducting activities in outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, agree to inform the Secretary-General of the United Nations as well as the public and the international scientific community, to the greatest extent feasible and practicable, of the nature, conduct, locations and results of such activities. On receiving the said information, the Secretary-General of the United Nations should be prepared to disseminate it immediately and effectively.

Article XII

All stations, installations, equipment and space vehicles on the moon and other celestial bodies shall be open to representatives of other States Parties to the Treaty on a basis of reciprocity. Such representatives shall give reasonable advance notice of a projected visit, in order that appropriate consultations may be held and that maximum precautions may be taken to assure safety and to avoid interference with normal operations in the facility to be visited.

Article XIII

The provisions of this Treaty shall apply to the activities of States Parties to the Treaty in the exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, whether such activities are carried on by a single State Party to the Treaty or jointly with other States, including cases where they are carried on within the framework of international inter-governmental organizations. Any practical questions arising in connexion with activities carried on by international inter-governmental organizations in the exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be resolved by the States Parties to the Treaty either with the appropriate international organization or with one or more States members of that international organization, which are Parties to this Treaty.

Article XIV

1. This Treaty shall be open to all States for signature. Any State which does not sign this Treaty before its entry into force in accordance with paragraph 3 of this Article may accede to it at any time.
2. This Treaty shall be subject to ratification by signatory States. Instruments of ratification and instruments of accession shall be deposited with the Governments of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States of America, which are hereby designated the Depositary Governments.
3. This Treaty shall enter into force upon the deposit of instruments of ratification by five Governments including the Governments designated as Depositary Governments under this Treaty.
4. For States whose instruments of ratification or accession are deposited subsequent to the entry into force of this Treaty, it shall enter into force on the date of the deposit of their instruments of ratification or accession.
5. The Depositary Governments shall promptly inform all signatory and acceding States of the date of each signature, the date of deposit of each instrument of ratification of and accession to this Treaty, the date of its entry into force and other notices.
6. This Treaty shall be registered by the Depositary Governments pursuant to Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations.

Article XV

Any State Party to the Treaty may propose amendments to this Treaty. Amendments shall enter into force for each State Party to the Treaty accepting the amendments upon their acceptance by a majority of the States Parties to the Treaty and thereafter for each remaining State Party to the Treaty on the date of acceptance by it.

Article XVI

Any State Party to the Treaty may give notice of its withdrawal from the Treaty one year after its entry into force by written notification to the Depositary Governments. Such withdrawal shall take effect one year from the date of receipt of this notification.

Article XVII

This Treaty, of which the Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited in the archives of the Depositary Governments. Duly certified copies of this Treaty shall be transmitted by the Depositary Governments to the Governments of the signatory and acceding States.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned, duly authorised, have signed this Treaty.

DONE in triplicate, at the cities of London, Moscow and Washington, the twenty-seventh day of January, one thousand nine hundred and sixty-seven.

***

## Tuesday, March 25, 2014

### Where Is Your Next Home

See: Outerplaces.com

## Sunday, March 23, 2014

### Are Artifacts of CMB Right Next to Me?

Looking back seems strange to me and that if one is to take such a position then evidence must exist in this very moment?

 Models of Earlier Events

This may seem like a stupid question to some, but for me it is really about looking at where I exist in the universe and what exists right next to us in the same space. I am not sure if that makes any sense but hopefully somebody out there can help me focus better.

 ESA and the Planck Collaboration
The mission's main goal is to study the cosmic microwave background – the relic radiation left over from the Big Bang – across the whole sky at greater sensitivity and resolution than ever before.
The cosmic microwave background (CMB) is the furthest back in time we can explore using light.
The cosmic microwave background (CMB) is detected in all directions of the sky and appears to microwave telescopes as an almost uniform background. Planck’s predecessors (NASA's COBE and WMAP missions) measured the temperature of the CMB to be 2.726 Kelvin (approximately -270 degrees Celsius) almost everywhere on the sky.
So with parsing some of these points from the link associated above with picture, I am not sure if my question has been properly asked.

A discussion about the definition of nothing.

For me then too, I would always wonder about "what nothing is" as that to relates to the question about what can exist right next to me. It was meant to be logical and not metaphysical question, so as to be reduced to those first moments.

***

If BICEP2′s recent result is correct:

” -as big as a large fraction of a percent of the Planck temperature (where the universe would have been hot enough to make black holes just from its own heat) or

– as small as the temperature corresponding to about the energy of the Large Hadron Collider (where it would barely have been hot enough to make Higgs particles)”

History of the Universe
“not of the whole universe but rather just the part of the universe (called, on this website, “the observable patch of the universe“) that we can observe today,”

Why is this “observable patch” important and where in the CMB map is this located? As strange a question as this might be, can this “observable patch” be right next to us?

So I am constructing a method here to help us see the universe as if I am on a location within this CMB map.

"The cosmic microwave background (CMB) is detected in all directions of the sky and appears to microwave telescopes as an almost uniform background. " -See: ESA and Planck Collaboration

So of course you look at the map,  and for me,  I wonder where we are located on that map. So with regard to that particular patch what does the background look like?-

"The contents point to a Euclidean flat geometry, with curvature (\Omega_{k}) of −0.0027+0.0039 −0.0038. The WMAP measurements also support the cosmic inflation paradigm in several ways, including the flatness measurement."- WMAP

So such a illustration and my question about our location and where we are in that "all sky map(CoBE, WMAP, and PLanck)" tells us something about the region we are in? Right next to us,  in this map while seeking our placement, I am curious as to what this region looks like in relation to say another point on that map.

Cosmological parameters from 2013 Planck results[23][24][25]
Parameter Age of the universe (Gy) Hubble's constant
( kmMpc·s )
Physical baryon density Physical cold dark matter density Dark energy density Density fluctuations at 8h−1 Mpc Scalar spectral index Reionization optical depth
Symbol $t_0$ $H_0$ $\Omega_b h^2$ $\Omega_c h^2$ $\Omega_\Lambda$ $\sigma_8$ $n_s$ $\tau$
Planck
Best fit
13.819 67.11 0.022068 0.12029 0.6825 0.8344 0.9624 0.0925
Planck
68% limits
13.813±0.058 67.4±1.4 0.02207±0.00033 0.1196±0.0031 0.686±0.020 0.834±0.027 0.9616±0.0094 0.097±0.038
Planck+lensing
Best fit
13.784 68.14 0.022242 0.11805 0.6964 0.8285 0.9675 0.0949
Planck+lensing
68% limits
13.796±0.058 67.9±1.5 0.02217±0.00033 0.1186±0.0031 0.693±0.019 0.823±0.018 0.9635±0.0094 0.089±0.032
Planck+WP
Best fit
13.8242 67.04 0.022032 0.12038 0.6817 0.8347 0.9619 0.0925
Planck+WP
68% limits
13.817±0.048 67.3±1.2 0.02205±0.00028 0.1199±0.0027 0.685+0.018
−0.016
0.829±0.012 0.9603±0.0073 0.089+0.012
−0.014
Planck+WP
+HighL
Best fit
13.8170 67.15 0.022069 0.12025 0.6830 0.8322 0.9582 0.0927
Planck+WP
+HighL
68% limits
13.813±0.047 67.3±1.2 0.02207±0.00027 0.1198±0.0026 0.685+0.017
−0.016
0.828±0.012 0.9585±0.0070 0.091+0.013
−0.014
Planck+lensing
+WP+highL
Best fit
13.7914 67.94 0.022199 0.11847 0.6939 0.8271 0.9624 0.0943
Planck+lensing
+WP+highL
68% limits
13.794±0.044 67.9±1.0 0.02218±0.00026 0.1186±0.0022 0.693±0.013 0.8233±0.0097 0.9614±0.0063 0.090+0.013
−0.014
Planck+WP
+highL+BAO
Best fit
13.7965 67.77 0.022161 0.11889 0.6914 0.8288 0.9611 0.0952
Planck+WP
+highL+BAO
68% limits
13.798±0.037 67.80±0.77 0.02214±0.00024 0.1187±0.0017 0.692±0.010 0.826±0.012 0.9608±0.0054 0.092±0.013

So as we look at this map much is told to us about the Cosmological Parameters and what can be defined in this location we occupy.

Parameter Value Description
Ωtot $1.0023^{+0.0056}_{-0.0054}$ Total density
w $-0.980\pm0.053$ Equation of state of dark energy
r $<0.24$, k0 = 0.002Mpc−1 (2σ) Tensor-to-scalar ratio
d ns / d ln k $-0.022\pm0.020$, k0 = 0.002Mpc−1 Running of the spectral index
Ωvh2 $< 0.0062$ Physical neutrino density
Σmν $<0.58$ eV (2σ) Sum of three neutrino masses

See:
***

## Friday, March 21, 2014

### BICEP2 Press Conference

***
Lubos Motl is officially "link king." :)

## Monday, March 17, 2014

### We've Come a Long Way

In 2003 the WMAP craft measured the very small fluctuations – about one part in 100,000 – in the temperature of the cosmic background radiation (coloured regions). These fluctuations, which are in excellent agreement with the predictions of Big Bang theory, originated during inflation and evolved under the influence of both gravity and the pressure of the matter–radiation plasma before particles in the plasma recombined to form hydrogen atoms. Buried in this pattern might also be fluctuations from primordial gravitational waves, but to tease out their signature researchers have to map in detail the polarization of the photons as well as their temperature (white lines represent the electric polarization vector). Since gravitational waves produce a quadrupolar anisotropy and therefore induce polarization without an associated temperature fluctuation, they (and only they) are able to generate a polarization pattern that cannot be expressed as the gradient of a scalar. Source: NASA. See: Sounding out the Big Bang

### BICEP2 Observatory in Antarctica

 Cosmic searches at the South Pole. The BICEP-2 Telescope is the up-facing dish at right. The larger white dish is the South Pole Telescope (SPT), and the building is the Dark Sector Laboratory. Both experiments observe in the millimeter-submillimeter part of the spectrum, mapping polarization patterns in the cosmic background radiation.

...... will announce a “major discovery” about B-modes in the cosmic microwave background See: Who should get the Nobel Prize for cosmic inflation?

UPDATE
Closing thoughts -
BICEP2: Primordial Gravitational Waves!
The BICEP result, if correct, is a spectacular and historic discovery.  In terms of impact on fundamental physics, particularly as a tool for testing ideas about quantum gravity, the detection of primordial gravitational waves is completely unprecedented.  Inflation evidently occurred just two orders of magnitude below the Planck scale, and we have now seen the quantum fluctuations of the graviton.  For those who want to understand how the universe began, and also for those who want to understand quantum gravity, it just doesn't get any better than this.
In fact, it all seems far too good to be true.  And perhaps it is: check back after another experimental team is able to check the BICEP findings, and then we can really break out the champagne.

This should be really interesting.

***

Stanford Professor Andrei Linde celebrates physics breakthrough

***

## Wednesday, March 12, 2014

### World Wide Web 25th Anniversary

 The first web server, used by Tim Berners-Lee. Photo via Wikipedia
On the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web, we’re pleased to share this guest post from Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the web. In this post he reflects on the past, present and future of the web—and encourages the rest of us to fight to keep it free and open. -Ed.
See:

## Friday, March 07, 2014

### The State of String Theory by Brian Greene

See: Brian Greene

***

## Monday, March 03, 2014

### Laminar Flow

If symmetry is to have ever existed,  and,  you return to the original state, problems enter the picture because you are introducing "some thing" to the system? For example, you can only back up so far. The question is what does this fifth dimensional perspective allow you? You know Gravity and light have been joined?

Yes, when you change visual perspective, what does a line look like, as in viewing a cylindrical system, with such a viscosity?

You cannot show where droplets were injected, and to go beyond that point of submersion, an example of what begin in rotation would on reversibility, happen same. So, something is missing?

My question is: could you ever learn the answer to an otherwise-intractable computational problem by jumping into a black hole?

Entanglement,  is not an option in such a system ? As is FTL, medium dependent? Changing viscosity rates show speed of light variance?

I want to discuss today reflect a different perspective: one that regards computation as no more “arbitrary” than other central concepts of mathematics, and indeed, as something that shows up even in contexts that seem incredibly remote from it, from the AdS/CFT correspondence to turbulent fluid flow. See:Recent papers by Susskind and Tao illustrate the long reach of computation
***

 Fluid Velocity Profile
Visualization above,  has specific destination in relation to specificity of drop,  as to show distance from center?

Kaluza-Klein theory is a model which unifies classical gravity and electromagnetism. It was discovered by the mathematician Theodor Kaluza that if general relativity is extended to a five-dimensional spacetime, the equations can be separated out into ordinary four-dimensional gravitation plus an extra set, which is equivalent to Maxwell's equations for the electromagnetic field, plus an extra scalar field known as the "dilaton". Oskar Klein proposed that the fourth spatial dimension is curled up with a very small radius, i.e. that a particle moving a short distance along that axis would return to where it began. The distance a particle can travel before reaching its initial position is said to be the size of the dimension. This, in fact, also gives rise to quantization of charge, as waves directed along a finite axis can only occupy discrete frequencies.

Kaluza-Klein theory can be extended to cover the other fundamental forces - namely, the weak and strong nuclear forces - but a straightforward approach, if done using an odd dimensional manifold runs into difficulties involving chirality. The problem is that all neutrinos appear to be left-handed, meaning that they are spinning in the direction of the fingers of the left hand when they are moving in the direction of the thumb. All anti-neutrinos appear to be right-handed. Somehow particle reactions are asymmetric when it comes to spin and it is not straightforward to build this into a Kaluza-Klein theory since the extra dimensions of physical space are symmetric with respect to left-hand spinning and r-hand spinning particles.
Also to further speculate.....

Oskar Klein proposed that the fourth spatial dimension is curled up in a circle of very small radius, i.e. that a particle moving a short distance along that axis would return to where it began. The distance a particle can travel before reaching its initial position is said to be the size of the dimension. This, in fact, also gives rise to quantization of charge, as waves directed along a finite axis can only occupy discrete frequencies. (This occurs because electromagnetism is a U(1) symmetry theory and U(1) is simply the group of rotations around a circle).

Placing comment here until approved  or not approved.

Instituting a experimental argument is necessary, when t comes to symmetry in the realtor of viscosity and entanglement? Light in Ftl is medium dependent?

This sets up analogue example of the question of firewalls as to imply Black holes and information?

Layman wondering.

***