From the existence of the self to the nature of free will, many philosophers have dedicated their lives to the problems of the mind. But now some neuroscientists claim to have settled these raging debates. See: Neuroscience vs.Philosophy
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Thursday, July 24, 2014
|24 July 2014 - Mission Day: 6810 - DOY: 205|
"Courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams."
Spun and Confused
Published on Jul 21, 2014A long arch of plasma (called a prominence) was pulled this way and that by magnetic forces for a week before it finally dissipated (July 10-16, 2014). This close up was captured in extreme ultraviolet light. The Earth scale in the lower left corner gives one a sense of the length of the prominence. This one held itself together for quite a long time, as these things go. Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory/NASA.
Friday, July 11, 2014
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Image Credit: NASA/Ames
Orbital Sciences Corporation's Cygnus spacecraft will carry 3,293 pounds (1,493.8 kg) of cargo on its upcoming commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station, including crew supplies, nanosatellites, student research and this prototype free-flying space robot equipped with a smartphone, known as Smart SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient Experimental Satellites).
NASA has been testing SPHERES on the space station since 2011. This summer, astronauts will upgrade these existing space robots to use Google’s "Project Tango" smartphone, which features a custom 3-D sensor and multiple cameras. NASA will then use the Smart SPHERES to test free-flying 3-D mapping and navigation inside the space station. NASA is developing the Smart SPHERES to perform work on the space station that requires mobile sensing, such as environmental surveys to monitor levels of radiation, lighting and air quality. They also will be used to monitor inventory and conduct experiments. The development and testing of Smart SPHERES is funded by the Space Technology Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
Prototype Robot With Smartphone to Test 3-D Mapping, Navigation Inside Space Station | NASA
Alvar Saenz Otero, Ph.D., associate director and SPHERES lead scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Space Systems Laboratory, presents an overview of the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) used for multiple robotics research investigations aboard the International Space Station. The SPHERES help researchers learn how to control bowling-ball sized satellites in a microgravity environment. Specifically, the research team is looking at how to control multiple satellites so that they work together. Planned uses for SPHERES include in space robotic assembly and refurbishing and repairing existing satellites in orbit. SEE:
The ISS SPHERES Facility
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
What is color? It seems like a simple question at first, but when you think about it, the reality of what we're seeing is a pretty complex situation. Our human eyes sift through a small piece of the vast electromagnetic spectrum and translate it into every color of the rainbow. But there are other animals that see these same wavelengths in different ways, or even see colors beyond what we can perceive! And not all color is dependent on wavelengths of light: the brains of certain people, called synesthetes, work in ways that let them see colors tied to music, words, or other stimuli. Watch as host Alan Alda takes you on a surreal, scientific tour of the spectrum with the help of vision researcher Jay Neitz, along with neuroscientists David Eagleman, Kaitlyn Hova, and Bevil Conway.
See Also: “What Is Color?”
An international team of astronomers has developed a 3D model of a giant cloud ejected by the massive binary system Eta Carinae during its 19th century outburst. Eta Carinae lies about 7,500 light-years away in the southern constellation of Carina and is one of the most massive binary systems astronomers can study in detail. The smaller star is about 30 times the mass of the sun and may be as much as a million times more luminous. The primary star contains about 90 solar masses and emits 5 million times the sun's energy output. Both stars are fated to end their lives in spectacular supernova explosions.
NASA Goddard (inset: NASA, ESA, Hubble SM4 ERO Team)
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
A first course in Algebraic Topology, with emphasis on visualization, geometric intuition and simplified computations. Given by Assoc Prof N J Wildberger at UNSW. The really important aspect of a course in Algebraic Topology is that it introduces us to a wide range of novel objects: the sphere, torus, projective plane, knots, Klein bottle, the circle, polytopes, curves in a way that disregards many of the unessential features, and only retains the essence of the shapes of spaces. What does this exactly mean? That is a key question... The course has some novel features, including Conway's ZIP proof of the classification of surfaces, a rational form of turn angles and curvature, an emphasis on the importance of the rational line as the model of the continuum, and a healthy desire to keep things simple and physical. We try to use pictures and models to guide our understanding.
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
Inflation—the hypothesis that the Universe underwent a phase of superluminal expansion in a brief period following the big bang—has the potential of explaining, from first principles, why the Universe has the structure we see today. It could also solve outstanding puzzles of standard big-bang cosmology, such as why the Universe is, to a very good approximation, flat and isotropic (i.e., it looks the same in all directions). Yet we do not yet have a compelling model, based on fundamental particle physics principles, that explains inflation. And despite its explanatory power and a great deal of suggestive evidence, we still lack an unambiguous and direct probe of inflation. Theorists have developed different models for inflation, which all share a common, robust prediction: Inflation would have created a background of gravitational waves that could have an observable effect. These waves would cause subtle, characteristic distortions of the cosmic microwave background (CMB)—the oldest light in the Universe, released when photons decoupled from matter and the Universe became transparent to radiation. Viewpoint: Peering Back to the Beginning of Time
|First Direct Evidence of Cosmic Inflation|
Almost 14 billion years ago, the universe we inhabit burst into existence in an extraordinary event that initiated the Big Bang. In the first fleeting fraction of a second, the universe expanded exponentially, stretching far beyond the view of our best telescopes. All this, of course, was just theory.
LSC Congratulates BICEP2 Colleagues
18 March 2014 - The BICEP2 Collaboration result, if confirmed, is a landmark discovery in cosmology, allowing us for the first time to peer back almost to the moment of the Big Bang through the observation of the imprint of primordial gravitational waves on the cosmic microwave background. The LIGO Scientific Collaboration congratulates our BICEP colleagues on their accomplishment and will further follow discoveries and implications of these observations with great interest. - See more at: http://www.ligo.org/news/bicep-result.php#sthash.mJlemItG.dpuf
- The Inverse Problem. Sorry, we don’t have experimental evidence for quantum gravity.
- Detection of B-Mode Polarization at Degree Angular Scales by BICEP2
- BICEP2′s Cosmic Polarization: Published, Reduced in Strength(Lawrence M. Krauss,)
Published June 19, 2014 | Physics 7, 64 (2014) | DOI: 10.1103/Physics.7.64