A decade ago, a British philosopher put forth the notion that the universe we live in might in fact be a computer simulation run by our descendants. While that seems far-fetched, perhaps even incomprehensible, a team of physicists at the University of Washington has come up with a potential test to see if the idea holds water.
From Virginia to Florida, there is a prehistoric shoreline that, in some parts, rests...
All living cells have a regulatory system similar to what can be found in today's...
Now that it looks like the hunt for the Higgs boson is over, particles of dark matter are at the top of the physics "Most Wanted" list. Dozens of experiments have been searching for them, but often come up with contradictory results. Theorists from the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology believe they've come up with an algorithm that could help narrow the search for these elusive particles.
Researchers at Columbia University and Stanford University have developed a computational method that enables scientists to visualize and interpret "high-dimensional" data produced by single-cell measurement technologies such as mass cytometry. A sophisticated algorithm converts difficult-to-interpret data into visual representations similar to two-dimensional "scatter plots".
Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineers have transformed bacterial cells into living calculators that can compute logarithms, divide, and take square roots, using three or fewer genetic parts. Inspired by how analog electronic circuits function, the researchers created synthetic computation circuits by combining existing genetic “parts,” or engineered genes, in novel ways.
Many collisions occur between asteroids and other objects in our solar system, but scientists are not always able to detect or track these impacts from Earth. Space scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles have now devised a way to monitor these types of collisions in interplanetary space by using a new method to determine the mass of magnetic clouds that result from the impacts.
A research team from Aalto University has modeled the work processes and human decision making in scientific peer review with the help of statistical physics. Their study will improve understanding of how actions of reviewers and editors during the review work correlate with the decisions to publish or reject article manuscripts.
“Local realism” is a view of physics in which the properties of physical objects exist independently of whether or not they are observed by anyone—the “realism”—and in which no physical influence can propagate faster than the speed of light—the “locality”. Recent research at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics may have eliminated the last experimental loopholes that has allowed this world view to persist.
Cryogenic Ltd and the National Physical Laboratory in the U.K. have designed and developed the most accurate instrument for comparative measurements of electric current. The instrument can now be used by National Measurement Institutes and laboratories around the world, providing a more accurate standard for current ratio, and ensuring current measurement is not a limiting factor in innovation.
The American Nobel Prize Laureate for Physics Richard Feynman once described turbulence as “the most important unsolved problem of classical physics”, because a description of the phenomenon from first principles does not exist. This is still regarded as one of the six most important problems in mathematics today, but recent numerical calculations by experts in gravitational physics give an initial insight into the relativistic properties of this mysterious process
As the universe expands, it is continually subjected to energy shifts, or “quantum fluctuations,” that send out little pulses of “sound” into the fabric of spacetime. In fact, the universe is thought to have sprung from just such an energy shift. A recent physics paper reports a new mathematical tool that should allow one to use these sounds to help reveal the shape of the universe.
When a robot is moving one of its limbs through free space, its behavior is well described by a few simple equations. But as soon as it strikes something solid, those equations break down. Roboticists typically use ad hoc control strategies to negotiate collisions and then revert to their rigorous mathematical models when the robot begins to move again. Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology are hoping to change that, with a new mathematical framework that unifies the analysis of both collisions and movement through free space.
When Georgia Tech opens the doors to the Georgia Dome next month as the host institution for the 2013 Final Four, expect third-seeded Florida to walk out as the national champion. That's the prediction from Georgia Tech's Logistic Regression/Markov Chain (LRMC) college basketball ranking system, a computerized model that has chosen the men's basketball national champ in three of the last five years.
Maplesoft has announced a major new initiative to support teaching and learning. The Möbius Project is designed to help users create rich, interactive mathematical applications, share them with everyone, and grade them to assess understanding.
The Hubble constant is a fundamental quantity that measures the current rate at which our universe is expanding; it is critical for gauging the age and size of our universe. One of the largest uncertainties plaguing past measurements of the Hubble constant has involved the distance to the Large Magellanic Cloud, our nearest neighboring galaxy. A team of astronomers have now managed to improve the measurement of the distance to our nearest neighbor galaxy and, in the process, refine the calculation that helps measure the expansion of the universe.
A simple new method better assesses the risks posed by emerging zoonotic viruses Researchers show that the new tool can produce transmissibility estimates for swine flu, allowing researchers to better evaluate the possible pandemic threat posed by this virus. ntil now, estimates of transmissibility were derived from detailed outbreak investigations, which are resource intensive and subject to selection bias.
Pierre de Fermat's most vexing conjecture proved to be his last. His idea that a certain simple equation had no solutions— went unsolved for nearly 350 years until Oxford mathematician Andrew Wiles created a proof in 1995. Now, Case Western Reserve University's Colin McLarty has shown the theorem can be proved more simply.
A team of researchers in Canada has proposed a new computational model that may become the architecture for a scalable quantum computer. They say the model should use multi-particle quantum walks for universal computation. In a multi-particle quantum walk, particles live on the vertices of a graph and can move between vertices joined by an edge. Furthermore, nearby particles can interact with each other.
The University of Central Missouri said Wednesday that a group led by computer science and mathematics professor Curtis Cooper found the largest known prime number last month. The 17 million-digit number is the 48th known Mersenne prime and is the third discovered at the 11,800-student university in Warrensburg, about 50 miles east of Kansas City.
The phenomenon of liquids coating rough surfaces in the form of films or droplets is commonplace. But how can we tell in what conditions a liquid will form a continuous film or just isolated drops? Existing theories generally describe ideally smooth surfaces, which are not practically relevant. Now, for the first time, scientists have developed a general theory based on simple mathematics that provides an answer to the question of film or droplets for rough surfaces.
By showing that tiny particles injected into a liquid crystal medium adhere to existing mathematical theorems, physicists at the University of Colorado Boulder have opened the door for the creation of a host of new materials with properties that do not exist in nature.
A new Northwestern University study of professors in STEM fields at top research universities across the country shows that bias against women is ingrained in the workforce, despite a societal desire to believe workplace equality exists. The quantitative study of the complete publication records of more than 4,200 professors in seven STEM fields confirms that, for some disciplines, female faculty do publish fewer papers than male faculty but not for lack of talent or effort.
As plug-in electric vehicles become an ever-more central part of America's daily life, University of Notre Dame researchers are anticipating what that development will mean for the nation's power grid. Under funding from the National Science Foundation's Cyber-Physical Systems Program, a research group is attempting to develop mathematical algorithms to help guide the integration of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles into the power grid.
Black holes are surrounded by many mysteries, but now researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute, among others, have come up with new groundbreaking theories that can explain several of their properties. The research shows that black holes have properties that resemble the dynamics of both solids and liquids.
The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) released a report titled Doctorate Recipients from U.S. Universities: 2010 that unveils important trends in U.S. doctoral education. The report calls attention to the changing characteristics of U.S. doctorate recipients over time.
Elementary electrostatics we can calculate the force particle exert upon one another. When particles are submerged into a medium like water, however, the calculation grows more complex, and become very difficult when media become complicated. Northwestern University physicists have, after seven years of work, built a model that can predict reactions in any media.
Over the course of two weeks this fall, computer models made a startling sequence of correct and useful predictions. By running thousands of simulations on polling data, Nate Silver correctly forecasted how all 50 states would vote for president. In the case of Hurricane Sandy, meteorologists identified the potential danger to the Northeast nearly a week before the storm arrived. Computer models of many kinds have improved in recent years, and the approach is finding new, unexpected uses.