Stuck inside on a rainy, dreary day in France, two physicists and an engineer stumbled on a television program about whirling dervishes. The film caused them to discuss structures with conical symmetry, or rotating flexible structures with a conical shape. Their thoughts have become the basis for a recent technical paper, which uses understandings of Coriolis force to develop simple explanatory equations.
Computer scientists have developed a technique...
A city car under development at Ohio State Univ....
Scientists at The Univ. of Texas at Austin have...
A famous math problem that has vexed mathematicians for decades has met an elegant solution by researchers at Cornell Univ. Graduate student Yash Lodha, working with Justin Moore, professor of mathematics, has described a geometric solution for the von Neumann-Day problem, first described by mathematician John von Neumann in 1929.
Researchers at Rice Univ., Baylor College of Medicine and the Univ. of Texas at Austin are working together to create new statistical tools that can find clues about cancer that are hidden like needles in enormous haystacks of raw data.
Space is vast, but it may not be so lonely after all: A study finds the Milky Way is teeming with billions of planets that are about the size of Earth, orbit stars just like our sun, and are not too hot or cold for life. For the first time, NASA scientists have calculated, not estimated, what percent of stars that are just like our sun have planets similar to Earth: 22%, with a margin of error of plus or minus 8 percentage points.
As transistors get smaller, they also become less reliable. So far, computer-chip designers have been able to work around that problem, but in the future, it could mean that computers stop improving at the rate we’ve come to expect. A third possibility, which some researchers have begun to float, is that we could simply let our computers make more mistakes.
Scientists in Germany have developed a mathematical model for a type of microscopic test lab that could provide new and deeper insight into the world of quantum particles. The new test system will enable the simultaneous study of one hundred light quanta, or photons, and their quantum entanglements. This is a far greater number than was previously possible.
Of all the standard units currently in use around the world, the kilogram is the only one that still relies on a physical object for its definition. But revising this outdated definition will require precise vacuum-based measurements that researchers are not yet able to make. A new system is in development that would allow a direct comparison of an object being weighed in a vacuum to one outside a vacuum.
A new study set out to use numerical simulations to validate previous theoretical predictions describing materials exhibiting so-called antiferromagneting characteristics. A recently discovered theory shows that the ordering temperature depends on two factors—namely the spin-wave velocity and the staggered magnetization. The simulations match these theoretical predictions.
Around 3% of all plants use an advanced form of photosynthesis, which allows them to capture more carbon dioxide, use less water, and grow more rapidly. This phenomenon had been a mystery, but researchers have used a mathematical analysis to uncover a number of tiny changes in the plants' physiology that allow them to grow more quickly, using a third as much water as other plants and capturing around 13 times more carbon dioxide.
Scientists at the Univ. of Southern California have created a mathematical model that explains and predicts the biological process that creates antibody diversity, the phenomenon that keeps us healthy by generating robust immune systems through hypermutation.
A tag team of two bacteria, one of them genetically modified, has a good chance to reduce or even eliminate the deadly disease African trypanosomiasis, or sleeping sickness, researchers at Oregon State Univ. conclude in a recent mathematical modeling study. African trypanosomiasis, caused by a parasite carried by the tsetse fly, infects 30,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa each year and is almost always fatal without treatment.
Maplesoft recently announced the next phase of The Möbius Project, a major initiative to support teaching and learning. The goal of The Möbius Project is to provide innovative new tools to engage students and deepen their comprehension of mathematical concepts. It is also intended to improve assessment by providing a new way for instructors to measure students’ understanding.
Professor Jim Geelen of the Univ. of Waterloo, Ontario, and his colleagues in The Netherlands and New Zealand have, after almost 15 years of work, solved a mathematical problem posed by the famous mathematician and philosopher Gian-Carlo Rota in 1970. The problem, called Rota’s Conjecture, relates to a specialized area of mathematics known as matroid theory, a modern form of geometry.
This week, Thermo Fisher Scientific announced that it would allocate nearly $700,000 per year to support science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) scholarships at some of the world’s most prestigious universities. The company has established a competitive program to provide financial assistance to students who are pursuing an undergraduate degree or equivalent in a STEM field.
A simple pendulum has two equilibrium points, “down” and “up”. The “up”, or inverted, position is dynamically unstable, but it has been known that an inverted pendulum can be stabilized by vibrating the pivot point. This non-intuitive phenomenon is known as dynamic stabilization, and researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have utilized the phenomenon to steady an unstable quantum system by applying bursts of microwave radiation.
All living things must obey the laws of physics, including the second law of thermodynamics. Highly ordered cells and organisms appear to contradict this principle, but they actually do conform because they generate heat that increases the universe’s overall entropy. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology physicist mathematically modeled the replication of E. coli bacteria and found that the process is nearly as efficient as possible.
Astronomers have found a clever new way to slice and dice the flickering light from a distant star in a way that reveals the strength of gravity at its surface. The method could be used to significantly improve estimates of the sizes of the hundreds of exoplanets that have been discovered in the last 20 years.
A three-year-old discovery made using x-ray spectroscopy has lead to the development of a new tool that enables scientists to get a “fingerprint” of the interactions on the atomic scale. The finding is based on observations of the disappearance of photons at a specific photon energy. This creates a fingerprint that can be interpreted and linked to specific chemical interactions.
The world’s most expensive coffee can cost $80 a cup, and scientists now are reporting development of the first way to verify authenticity of this crème de la crème, the beans of which come from the feces of a Southeast Asian animal called a palm civet.
Researchers at Aalto Univ. and the Univ. of Tokyo have succeeded for the first time in experimentally measuring a probability distribution for entropy production of electrons. Entropy production means an increase in disorder when electrons are moved individually between two microscopic conductors of differing temperatures.
For 65 years, most information-theoretic analyses of cryptographic systems have made a mathematical assumption that turns out to be wrong. A team of researchers has shown that, as a consequence, the wireless card readers used in many keyless-entry systems may not be as secure as previously thought.
Physicists have, for the first time, built a theoretical construct of beams made of twisted atoms. The concept for twisted atom beams stems from a similar approach with twisted photon beams, which are currently used as optical tweezers. Atom beams could find use in quantum communication as well as in atomic and nuclear processes.
Many of today’s semiconductor technologies hinge upon the absorption of light. Absorption is critical for nano-sized structures at the interface between two energy barriers called quantum wells, in which the movement of charge carriers is confined to two dimensions. Working with the semiconductor indium arsenide, a team of researchers has discovered a quantum unit of photon absorption that should be general to all 2-D semiconductors.
A team of researchers at the Univ. of California, Los Angeles have designed a system to encrypt software so that it only allows someone to use a program as intended while preventing any deciphering of the code behind it. This is known in computer science as "software obfuscation," and it is the first time it has been accomplished.
A superfluid, like liquid helium, moves like a completely frictionless liquid. Physicists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have applied a method called holographic duality to mathematically describe the complex behavior of superfluids—in particular, the turbulent flows within superfluids. Their approach, which generated a model similar to the behavior of cigarette smoke, involved translating the physics of black holes.
A new mathematical theory from the Univ. of Bath is challenging one of the most basic ideas of biology—that the concept of a ‘species’ applies to all creatures. The new results suggest that classifying very small creatures from extremely large populations into species may actually be impossible. This is because for large populations, the gradual build-up over time of random genetic mutations leads to an overwhelming amount of diversity.
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