Monday, September 01, 2014

Interstellar: Traversing the Wormhole

The story has a premise with which to share an idea and if it is intriguing to the average mind, then how much more so when a scientist entertains it? He or she might even propose a way in which to use measure with regard to the subject of a black hole?:)
But later I found out more about wormholes, and learned about “topological censorship.” It turns out that if energy is nonnegative, Einstein’s gravitational field equations prevent you from traversing a wormhole — the throat always pinches off (or becomes infinitely long) before you get to the other side. It has sometimes been suggested that quantum effects might help to hold the throat open (which sounds like a good idea for a movie), but today we’ll assume that wormholes are never traversable no matter what you do. SEE: Entanglement = Wormholes

A group of explorers make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage. Interstellar

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Extra Dimensions

The weakness of gravity compared to the other subatomic forces is a real mystery. While nobody knows the answer, one credible solution is that gravity has access to more spatial dimensions than the other three known forces. In this video, Fermilab's Dr. Don Lincoln describes this idea, with the help of some very urbane characters. See: Big Mysteries: The Extra Dimensions


The extra dimensions of string theory which were originally viewed as a source of embarrassment for the theory, have proven to be instrumental in resolving a number of puzzles associated with 3+1 dimensional physics. I discuss examples of this in the context of black holes, gauge theory and particle phenomenology. See: Strings and the Magic of Extra Dimensions - Cumrun Vafa


Savas Dimopoulos
(link now dead)Here’s an analogy to understand this: imagine that our universe is a two-dimensional pool table, which you look down on from the third spatial dimension. When the billiard balls collide on the table, they scatter into new trajectories across the surface. But we also hear the click of sound as they impact: that’s collision energy being radiated into a third dimension above and beyond the surface. In this picture, the billiard balls are like protons and neutrons, and the sound wave behaves like the graviton.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Neural Oscillations in Gamma

EEG in Gamma-A gamma wave is a pattern of neural oscillation in humans with a frequency between 25 and 100 Hz,[1] though 40 Hz is typical.[2]
Here exists a measure with which consciousness can be associated, then,  by such neural oscillations it would have some effect in demonstrating that matter would/could correlate to such frequencies?
A mouse endowed with an astrocyte signalling switch may prove useful in future experiments—and may enable the researchers to continue to explore how gamma waves enable recognition of what’s new and different, a cognitive task equally essential for humans to make their way in the world. See: The Brainwave That Lets You Recognize What’s New in the World

In "we create reality" listed in blog post below, a simple suggestion it seems makes thinking in this range somewhat appealing? I mean,  is it really that easy that what we choose to do with our thinking can actually produce physiological implications in the thinking brain so as to suggest we can actually create these states?

Frederick Travis, PhD, director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness and Cognition, explains that the concept "We create our reality" is more than a philosophical statement. It is a physical reality driven by neural plasticity—every experience changes the brain. Therefore, choose transcendental experiences and higher states of consciousness naturally unfold. See: We Create Our Reality (underlined for emphasis by me).

Isolated Astrocyte shown with confocal microscopy. Image: Nathan S. Ivey and Andrew G. MacLean

 Research since the mid-1990s has shown that astrocytes propagate intercellular Ca2+ waves over long distances in response to stimulation, and, similar to neurons, release transmitters (called gliotransmitters) in a Ca2+-dependent manner. Data suggest that astrocytes also signal to neurons through Ca2+-dependent release of glutamate.[1] Such discoveries have made astrocytes an important area of research within the field of neuroscience.

Calcium Waves-Astrocytes are linked by gap junctions, creating an electrically coupled (functional) syncytium.[25] Because of this ability of astrocytes to communicate with their neighbors, changes in the activity of one astrocyte can have repercussions on the activities of others that are quite distant from the original astrocyte.

An influx of Ca2+ ions into astrocytes is the essential change that ultimately generates calcium waves. Because this influx is directly caused by an increase in blood flow to the brain, calcium waves are said to be a kind of hemodynamic response function. An increase in intracellular calcium concentration can propagate outwards through this functional syncytium. Mechanisms of calcium wave propagation include diffusion of calcium ions and IP3 through gap junctions and extracellular ATP signalling.[26] Calcium elevations are the primary known axis of activation in astrocytes, and are necessary and sufficient for some types of astrocytic glutamate release.

See Also:

Thursday, August 07, 2014

We Create Our Reality

Frederick Travis, PhD, director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness and Cognition, explains that the concept "We create our reality" is more than a philosophical statement. It is a physical reality driven by neural plasticity—every experience changes the brain. Therefore, choose transcendental experiences and higher states of consciousness naturally unfold.See: We Create Our Reality

Rosetta's arrival at comet 67P/C-G

Highlights from ESA's mission control centre during Rosetta's arrival at comet 67P/C-G on 6 August 2014. Includes live updates from the Rosetta flight control team, confirmation of orbit entry and presentation of latest images and science results.See: Rosetta arrival highlights

See Also: Rosetta Rendezvous with a Comet

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

New Source of Gamma Rays Revealed by NASA's Fermi Space Telescope

These images show Fermi data centered on each of the four gamma-ray novae observed by the LAT. Colors indicate the number of detected gamma rays with energies greater than 100 million electron volts (blue indicates lowest, yellow highest).
Image Credit: 
NASA/DOE/Fermi LAT Collaboration
One explanation for the gamma-ray emission is that the blast creates multiple shock waves that expand into space at slightly different speeds. Faster shocks could interact with slower ones, accelerating particles to near the speed of light. These particles ultimately could produce gamma rays. See NASA's Fermi Space Telescope Reveals New Source of Gamma Rays


Credit: Weiqun Zhang and Stan Woosley
This image is from a computer simulation of the beginning of a gamma-ray burst. Here we see the jet 9 seconds after its creation at the center of a Wolf Rayet star by the newly formed, accreting black hole within. The jet is now just erupting through the surface of the Wolf Rayet star, which has a radius comparable to that of the sun. Blue represents regions of low mass concentration, red is denser, and yellow denser still. Note the blue and red striations behind the head of the jet. These are bounded by internal shocks. See: "ROSETTA STONE" FOUND TO DECODE THE MYSTERY OF GAMMA RAY BURSTS

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Neuroscience vs. Philosophy

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

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Sun

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, 2014
A 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.