Francis Galton, a English Victorian progressive, polymath, psychologist, anthropologist, eugenicist, tropical explorer, geographer, inventor, meteorologist, proto-geneticist, psychometrician, and statistician, submitted a letter that was published in December 20th 1906, on how to cut a round cake with a diameter of 5 inches for two people with modest appetite based on a scientific principles to minimize contact of the cut (exposed) surface of the cake with air prolong its freshness. “CHRISTMAS suggests cakes, and these the wish on my part to describe a method of cutting them that I have recently devised to my own amusement and satisfaction. The problem to be solved was, “given a round tea-cake of some 5 inches across, and two persons of moderate appetite to eat it, in what way should it be cut so as to leave a minimum of exposed surface to become dry?” The ordinary method of cutting out a wedge is very faulty in this respect. The results to be aimed at are so to cut the cake that the remaining portions shall fit together. Consequently the chords (or the arcs) of the circumferences of these portions must be equal. The direction of the first two vertical planes of section is unimportant; they may be parallel, as in the first figure, or they may enclose a wedge. The cuts shown on the figures represent those made with the intention of letting the cake last for three days, each successive operation having removed about one-third of the area of the original disc. A common india-rubber band embraces the whole and keeps its segments together.” Published letter: http://galton.org/essays/1900-1911/galton-1906-cake.pdf
Nature abstract: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v75/n1938/abs/075173c0.html
Background: http://galton.org/ http://www.famouspsychologists.org/francis-galton/
With semesters ending/starting, some are enrolling for the first time, some are graduating and some are going for their next step in their education; good luck to all.
With that in mind, don't be among the masses that have a GhD (google search degree) or a MhD (a degree based solely on being a mother). Thinking and comprehending are powerful tools, utilize them instead of regurgitating. "The more I learn, the more I learn how little I understand" -Socrates.
Element 117 has been confirmed.
A collaboration between US and Russian scientists back in 2010 announced that they had produced the element. However, International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) requested this experiment be duplicated by at least two other groups independent of each other. The confirmation was done by an international team of scientists at the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt, Germany. Above is a Bohr model's and below it is a cartoon depiction of it. NOTE: This isn't how the element really look like; these models are to help scientists understand how they behave and work.
The 117 element has a temporarily name of Ununseptium, translating to one (un) one (un) seven (sept) or 117, its atomic number. The number of protons found in the nucleus corresponds to the atomic number, as well as, the charge of that nucleus and Z is the symbol of representation.
Scientists hit elements together hoping this process would create a new one. For Ununseptium, they used berkelium, atomic number 97, was hit with calcium ions, atomic number 20, creating element 117. Elements heavier than iron have one problem, they decay very fast, and the bigger they are, they faster they decay. Ununseptium decayed within milliseconds, just enough for scientists to take a glimpse of the four created atoms.
Essentially, these experiments bring scientists closer to what is called "Island of stability." They are an isotope of transuranium elements which is more stable than other superheavy elements closer to uranium in atomic number.
I remember hearing of this concept before starting my undergraduate studies and wanted to be on the team of researcher carrying these experiments. I took steps toward this goal by studying chemistry.
Electrical engineers at Princeton University created “solid light.” They created a “self-trapping regime” which caused light to behave like a crystal. It was achieved by creating an artificial atom, an object composed of 100 billion atoms with the ability to behave like a single unit. This artificial atom was then placed close to a superconducting wire carrying photons. The group of 100 billion atoms became entangled with the photons, which caused the photons to behave like atoms producing a single oscillating system.
At some point in the experiment, some of the photons started to leak causing the oscillations to slow down to a critical point where quantum divergent behavior start to occur. Meaning, the photons were at two different states simultaneously. Dr. Darius Sadri, co-author, said "Here we set up a situation where light effectively behaves like a particle in the sense that two photons can interact very strongly," continuing "In one mode of operation, light sloshes back and forth like a liquid; in the other, it freezes." The title of the article “Observation of a Dissipation-Induced Classical to Quantum Transition” will be linked in the references. • Quantum entanglement: A physical phenomenon that happens when pairs or groups of particles interact in ways such that the quantum state of each particle cannot be described independently—instead, a quantum state may be given for the system as a whole. • Photons: The quantum of light and all other forms of electromagnetic radiation and are elementary particles.
1) Scientific publication: https://journals.aps.org/prx/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevX.4.031043
2) Einstein A, Podolsky B, Rosen N; Podolsky; Rosen (1935). "Can Quantum-Mechanical Description of Physical Reality Be Considered Complete?". Phys. Rev. 47 (10): 777–780.
3) Lee, K. C.; Sprague, M. R.; Sussman, B. J.; Nunn, J.; Langford, N. K.; Jin, X.- M.; Champion, T.; Michelberger, P.; Reim, K. F.; England, D.; Jaksch, D.; Walmsley, I. A. (2 December 2011). "Entangling macroscopic diamonds at room temperature". Science 334 (6060): 1253–1256.
I have been waiting a year to write this post ^_^. I noticed this account has been reduced to collection of birthdays and remembrance of scientists. I'll look into posting some science in my free time.
Today May 26th on 1951 is the birthday of Sally Ride, an American physicist and astronaut. She made her space debut on June 18, 1983, and was third to female to make it into space after Valentina Tereshkova (first one) and Svetlana Savitskaya (second one) as astronauts. She obtained a BS in Physics and BA in English as an undergraduate, a MS in Physics and finally a Ph.D., studying the theoretical behaviour of free electrons in a magnetic field, in Physics all from Stanford University.
In 1987 she was chosen from 8000 people that responded to an ad for the space program in the Stanford newspaper. She aided as the ground-based capsule communicator for the second and third space shuttle flights, STS-2 and STS-3, and assisted develop the space shuttle's robot arm. On June 18, 1983 she flew to space in a five-person crew on the STS-7 mission and she was the first to use the robotic arm in space to recover the satellite. Her second mission was the STS-41-G a year later. Roger Boisjoly, a mechanical engineer, fluid dynamicist, and an aerodynamicist, said that Ride was one of the few, if not the only one, that showed her support to the engineer that went public about electrical problems concerning the Challenger spaceship. She received many awards such: Von Braun Award, the Lindbergh Eagle, and the Astronaut Hall of Fame
Ride passed away on July 23, 2012 due to pancreatic cancer.
Today, March 23rd, in 1882 marks the birth date of German mathematician Emmy Noether. She had groundbreaking contribution to abstract algebra and theoretical physics. She was referred to as “the most important woman in the history of mathematics” by the likes of Albert Einstein, Pavel Alexandrov, Jean Dieudonné, Hermann Weyl, and many more. Her work in abstract algebra was on topology (mathematical study of shapes and topological spaces) where she changed the theories of rings, fields, and algebras. Her work can be broken down into three categories: (1) Period of relative dependence 1907–1919. (2) Investigations around the general theory of ideals 1920–1926. (3) Study of the non-commutative algebras, their representations by linear transformations, and their application to the study of commutative number fields and their arithmetics.
Her work in algebraic invariant theory (the expressions that remain constant under a group of transformations); if inflexible yardstick is rotated, the coordinates (x1, y1, z1) and (x2, y2, z2) of its endpoints change, but its length L given by the formula L^2 = Δx^2 + Δy^2 + Δz^2 remains the same. Example, archetypal example of an invariant is the discriminant B^2 − 4AC of a binary quadratic form Ax^2 + Bxy + Cy^2; was named an invariant because it is unchanged by linear substitutions x→ax + by, y→cx + dy with determinant ad − bc = 1. Noether also worked on Galois Theory which is the transformations of number fields that permute the roots of an equation. She developed new systems of mathematical definitions that would be used by future mathematicians (Ascending and descending chain conditions), she also improved on elimination theory and the algebraic varieties. Noether's theorem was some of her work in theoretical physics (differentiable symmetry of the action of a physical system has a corresponding conservation law) which was developed to help solve the paradox of conservation of energy seemed to be violated in general relativity, due to the fact that gravitational energy could itself gravitate.
In April 14th, 1935, she died during ovarian cyst removal surgery.
Today marks the birth of Galileo Galilei. The Italian physicist, mathematician, engineer, astronomer, and philosopher was born on 15 February 1564. Galileo is most famously known for his work on telescopes and his fight argument/debate with the Catholic Church regarding whether the Sun orbited the Earth or vice versa. He is also one of the giants accredited with the scientific revolution during the 18th century. He also contributed work to kinematics and astronomy, dubbed as the “father of modern astronomy.” He confirmed the phases of Venus using a telescope, and have Jupiter’s moon named after him as an honor for his work; and improving military compass.
He backed the work of Nicolaus Copernicus and Johannes Kepler regarding heliocentrism (Earth and planets revolve around the Sun). After the Roman Inquisition concluded heliocentrism was false and contradicted the scripture in 1615, Galileo defended heliocentrism in his book “Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems” in 1632; which placed the Pope, being one of his supporters, against him. He was tried and found guilty of heresy, forcefully recanted his idea and was placed under house arrest. For the next 9 years during his house arrest he wrote one of his finest works, “Two New Sciences,” summarizing his work on kinematics and strength of materials.
At the age of 77, Galileo passed away on 8th January 1642 and was buried in a small room next to the novices' chapel.
Emilio Segrè was born on the 1st of February 1905 in Tivoli, Italy. He was a physicist accredited with the discovery of technetium, astatine and antiproton; with collaboration with Owen Chamberlain, won the 1959 Nobel Prize in Physics for their discovery of antiproton. Segrè started off as an engineering student at University of Rome La Sapienza, which then was switched with physics at the Fermi and Rasetti laboratory in Rome. Segrè studies under the supervision of Enrico Fermi (father of the atomic bomb and many other things). Segrè was part of the Manhattan Project at the Los Alamos Laboratory.
Antiprotons are the antiparticle of protons. They have short-lives but are stable. Dirac was predicted the existence of it, however in 1955 it was confirmed experimentally by Emilio Segrè while at University of California, Berkeley. Technetium (Tc), is the first element that had radioactive isotopes. The discovery was in 1936 in Sicily’s University of Palermo by, surprise, Emilio Segrè. Astatine, another radio active element discovered by Segrè along with Corson and MacKenzie. Astatine (At) can occur as a radioactive decay of specific heavier elements; and its isotops have short half-life (8 or so hours). At the age of 84, Emilio Segrè died of a heart attack while out for a walk on April 22 1989. He was a photographer, and many his photographs were donated by his wife, Rosa, to the American Institute of Physics and the archive is named “Emilio Segrè Visual Archives.”
This is a snipet from a documentary called "The Pleasure of Finding Things Out" featuring professor Richard Feynman. "You see, one thing is, I can live with doubt, and uncertainty, and not knowing. I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of certainty about different things. But I'm not absolutely sure of anything, and there are many things I don't know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we're here, and what the question might mean. I might think about it a little bit; if I can't figure it out, then I go onto something else. But I don't have to know an answer. I don't feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in the mysterious universe without having any purpose, which is the way it really is, as far as I can tell -- possibly. It doesn't frighten me. [smiles]." PS: This will be my last submission for quite some time, if not my last. Haven't decided whether to keep the account up or to remove it as of yet.
Today, January 8th 1942, Stephen Hawking, an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist was born. Hawking is probably amongst the most famous scientists of this century. He is the first to use general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics to explain cosmology. He is also famous for his theoretical work on black holes. Hawking’s most famous book “A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes.” The book tries to explain different subjects in the field of Cosmology ranging from big bang to black holes and things in between. The book contains some complex mathematics to explain these topics, which science authors tend to shy away from because it intimidates the general readers.
Hawking started his graduate work under Dennis William Sciama, which he wasn’t happy with considering he was hoping to be taken under the wings of Fred Hoyle. His health started to worsen during his graduate career. It is no surprise he is wheelchair bound and communicates through a computer, and that’s due to suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). His dissertation "Singularities and the Geometry of Space-Time," was based on the idea of spacetime singularity by Roger Penrose. Some of the awards he achieved are: Adams Prize 1966, Maxwell Medal and Prize 1976, Albert Einstein Award 1978, Dirac Medal 1987, Wolf Prize 1988 and many more.
Perhaps the latest announcement by Hawking about black holes is the nonexistence of black holes. He wasn’t denying their existence; he proposed an explanation to one of the most puzzling problems in theoretical physics. How can black holes exist when they seem to break two fundamental laws of physics — Einstein’s laws of relativity and quantum mechanics? Instead of an event horizon, there is something else he calls an “apparent horizon.” In this apparent horizon, matter and energy is temporarily suspended, but then released. If this is true, it changes black holes, as we know them. “The absence of event horizons means that there are no black holes — in the sense of regimes from which light can’t escape to infinity,” Hawking said. Only time, advancement of science and experimental design will show how close these predictions are.
On the 23rd of June 1912, Alan Mathison Turing was born in London, England. He was a mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, computer scientist and philosopher. He is commonly referred to as the father of Theoretical Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence. He was a code-breaker during World War II.
Among his work, probably the more famous, is the “Turing Test,” in which, he tries to the identify perimeter of artificial intelligence. He proposed in his paper, instead of constructing a program to imitate the adult mind, it would be better to create a simpler one to simulate a child's mind and then to subject it to a course of education. The CAPTCHA test is intended to determine whether the user is a human or a computer, and it is a reverse form of Turing test. The Association for Computing Machinery started giving away the Turing Award in 1966 to technical or theoretical contributions to the computing community, which is like the Nobel Prize in the computing world.
He died on June 7th, 1954 in Wilmslow, Cheshire, England due to cyanide poisoning. Some claim it was an accident, and some say it was due to the chemical castration he went due to him being a homosexual, which was a crime at the time. On September 10th 2009 the Prime Mister of Gordon Brown issued an apology for the way Alan Turing was treated, and on December 24th 2013, The Queen granted him a posthumous pardon.
A super computer passed the Turing Test. The program “Eugene Goostman” was able to convince 33 percent of the judges that it was human during a text-based conversation. Turing Test required a computer to pass a threshold of 30 percent of humans to be duped, which would consider it to be “thinking.” Russian-born Vladimir Veselov, living in the United States, and Ukrainian Eugene Demchenko livin Russia created the machine. This milestone happened on the 60th anniversary of Alan Turing’s death.
2) Newman, M. H. A. (1955). "Alan Mathison Turing. 1912–1954". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 1: 253–226.
This is what space sound like. Sound moves in waves like light or heat does in mediums like water and atmosphere for example. In space however, sound travels by getting molecules to vibrate. This clips is of a recorded electromagnetic vibrations that naturally occur in the vacuum of space.
These are the sounds of dense plasma or ionized gas vibrations captured by the plasma wave instrument on the Voyager 1. The intensity of the sound indicates the density of the plasma. The left Y-axis is the frequency in kHz and the right Y-axis is the density in cm^3 and the X-axis is the time in months.
The clip is sent from NASA’s Voyager 1 after passing from the heliosphere and into the interstellar medium. The following link contains recordings sent back by The Voyager I & II from Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune: http://www.nasa.gov/vision/universe/features/halloween_sounds.html
"Pi is an infinite, non-repeating decimal - meaning that every possible number combination exists somewhere in pi. Converted into ASCII text, somewhere in that infinite string of digits is the name of every person you will ever love, the date, time, and manner of your death, and the answers to all the great questions of the universe. Converted into a bitmap, somewhere in that infinite string of digits is a pixel-perfect representation of the first thing you saw on this earth, the last thing you will see before your life leaves you, and all the moments, momentous and mundane, that will occur between those two points.
All information that has ever existed or will ever exist, the DNA of every being in the universe, everything: all contained in the ratio of a circumference and a diameter."
Enjoy Pi day. P.S. This is lemon pie. Best kind of pie.
A paper by CDF was published in 2010 generated controversy because it showed anomaly in the data, and not only that, it had grown larger. It started when W + jet events Cumulative Distribution Function (CDF) showed "high" (because it is a relative term) amount of events in the dijet mass distribution in association with W- fell smoothly.
The cause of the Dijet Anomaly: The distortion in the dijet mass spectrum was caused by the different jet energy scale of quark and gluon jets. The figure above shows the distribution of the dijet mass after the corrections.
Dijet_event: Subatomic particles colliding to produces two particle jets.
Particle jet: Hadronization of a quark or gluon producing narrow cone of hadrons.
Scientific publication: http://arxiv.org/abs/1402.7044
A letter from Richard Feynman to his deceased wife:
I adore you, sweetheart.
I know how much you like to hear that — but I don’t only write it because you like it — I write it because it makes me warm all over inside to write it to you.
It is such a terribly long time since I last wrote to you — almost two years but I know you’ll excuse me because you understand how I am, stubborn and realistic; and I thought there was no sense to writing.
But now I know my darling wife that it is right to do what I have delayed in doing, and that I have done so much in the past. I want to tell you I love you. I want to love you. I always will love you.
I find it hard to understand in my mind what it means to love you after you are dead — but I still want to comfort and take care of you — and I want you to love me and care for me. I want to have problems to discuss with you — I want to do little projects with you. I never thought until just now that we can do that. What should we do. We started to learn to make clothes together — or learn Chinese — or getting a movie projector. Can’t I do something now? No. I am alone without you and you were the “idea-woman” and general instigator of all our wild adventures..."