The Tree of Life image that appeared in Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection, 1859. There is only one figure in On the Origin of Species, and that is a tree diagram. As Darwin’s model for the theory of evolution, he used the Tree of Life (TOL) to clearly and visually explain the interrelatedness of all living things, implying that from one common ancestor (the root) sprung branches, which produced smaller offshoots as genetic progeny, etc. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Scientists say Darwin’s ‘Tree of Life’ not the theory of everything (2007, March 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-03-scientists-darwin-tree-life-theory.html While such diverse methods might appear to obviously point to a more complex nonhierarchical evolutionary scheme, Doolittle and Bapteste explain that the TOL thinking persists due to confusion between the roles of “process” and “pattern.” The above methods are processes and are widely accepted by modern evolutionists, whereas the TOL is a pattern that, as Doolittle and Bapteste explain, has been ingrained in biologists’ minds from early education as a single, unifying model. As the researchers explain of the current biology scene, “We may be process pluralists, but we remain pattern monists.” If this combination of thinking seems to clash, Doolittle and Bapteste suggest that the Western philosophical tradition of thinking in universal patterns has caused biologists to cling to classification without realizing it. The authors point out that many algorithms used to study evolutionary hierarchies impose or extract the TOL structure due to their intrinsic design. TOL is a paradigm that has stuck. But Doolittle sees ways to alter this mentality.“Sure we can [re-train Western thinking]. That’s what ‘postmodernism’ is about,” he said. “I would agree that the need to classify might be built in, but the coupling of this practice to a specific theory about what classifications are ‘natural’ is surely not.As an alternative to the TOL, the scientists suggest that relationships among life forms may be represented by whatever model fits for a certain purpose, a certain taxonomic group, or a certain scale. In contrast to pattern monism, they call this belief “pattern pluralism.” While parts of evolution certainly are tree-like, other parts may be nets or webs or other complex models. Most importantly, however, there seems to be no “theory of everything” in evolution, no metanarrative to unify all life forms. “In 2006, our understanding of evolution at the molecular, population genetic, and ecological levels is rich and pluralistic in character,” the scientists conclude, “and does not require (or justify) a monistic view of the phylogenetic pattern.”As for any blow to Darwin’s ego, the scientists point out that he never wrote about reconstructing the tree in an attempt to relate every living thing, but rather used the model as a general guide. “I’d like to think he would adjust,” Doolittle said about Darwin. “After all, his theory was developed before there was any understanding of genetics and when bacteria were still believed to be spontaneously generated.”Citation: Doolittle, W. Ford, and Bapteste, Eric. “Pattern pluralism and the Tree of Life hypothesis.” PNAS, February 13, 2007, vol. 104, no. 7, 2043-2049.Copyright 2007 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. In this model, similarities between species reveal a common ancestor, and differences result from (and explain) Darwin’s main catalysts: competition and natural selection, which generate improvement in future generations. As a simile, the TOL served a vital purpose for introducing the theory of evolution to the community in an understandable way. Although there is no external evidence to support the idea that evolution is inclusively hierarchical, many evolutionists believe the TOL provides an accurate general representation of the history of life, which could potentially be completely reconstructed by knowing the relevant data. In recent times, however, a minority of biologists and evolutionists have questioned the accuracy of the TOL hypothesis, including W. Ford Doolittle and Eric Bapteste. In a recent paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, “Pattern Pluralism and the Tree of Life Hypothesis,” the scientists investigate the shortcomings of the TOL, as well as propose alternative models that would better explain how to classify the history of evolving life forms. Much of the initial concern over TOL was provoked by biologists studying the complex relationships among prokaryotes, the most primitive life forms that include bacteria and archaea. Prokaryotes have a much simpler DNA structure than eukaryotes (all other life forms). Because of this, prokaryotes often transfer their DNA via processes such as lateral gene transfer as opposed to vertical gene transfer (direct transmission form parent to progeny) which is the basis for the “phylogenetic” (evolutionary relatedness) TOL scheme. “Surely a tree is the right model for most multi-cellular animals and plants,” Doolittle explained to PhysOrg.com. “Thus the TOL is great for fossils and museums and dinosaurs and most of visible life, over the last billion years. But unicellular eukaryotes and prokaryotes represent the bulk of the biomass and diversity of life on earth, as well as the first two-thirds of its history.”In their paper, Doolittle and Bapteste highlight research that shows other causes of genetic modification, suggesting that evolutionary history is more complex than described by the TOL. For example, recombination, gene loss, duplication, and gene creation are a few of the processes whereby genes can be transferred within and between species, causing variation that’s not due to vertical transfer. These transfer methods give results that don’t fit on the TOL, including species that cannot be traced to a common ancestor.
The D65U series includes the LC-52D65U 52-inch class that measures 52 1/32″ diagonal, LC-46D65U 46-inch class measures 45 63/64″ diagonal and LC-42D65U 42-inch class measures 42 1/64″ diagonal. The D65U series models are Energy Star compliant with very low power consumption. A new Power Saving Mode is available through the TV´s on-screen display menu; which enables active contrast and active backlight to reduce the energy consumption of the television while in use.The D65U AQUOS series provides a superior Full HD 1080p picture with outstanding performance, utilizing Sharp´s proprietary Advanced Super View (ASV) / Black TFT Panel with multi-pixel technology. The ASV/Black TFT Panel with Spectral Contrast Engine UD (Ultra Dark) provides high Dynamic Contrast Ratio and a pixel response time of 6 ms.The D65U series comes equipped with 5- HDMI inputs, 2- composite video inputs, 1- S-video, and a dedicated PC input with RS-232C for system control. The HDMI inputs feature version 1.3 with deep color, which adds compatibility with many high-end features such as enhanced colors and audio. They are also compatible with AQUOS Link, which enables convenient control of compatible devices.The D85U series offers the same superior quality picture in a 52, 46, and 42-inch package. The D85U series is also Energy Star compliant with very low power consumption, but utilizes 120Hz Fine Motion Enhanced technology. Other features include a 4ms response time, 10-bit Advanced Super View (ASV) / Black TFT Panel with Spectral Contrast Engine UD (Ultra Dark), 176-degree viewing angles, and five HDMI inputs.Sharp’s LC-42D65U is available now for $1,600. The LC-46D65U priced at $1,900 and LC-52D65U priced at $2,400 will be available in October. The LC-52D85U priced at $2,600 and LC-46D85U priced at $2,200 will be available in October. The LC-42D85U which is priced at $1,900 will be available a month later.Via: Electronic House and Engadget Sharp, a worldwide leader in flat panel LCD’s, expands their widescreen, full HD 1080p line of AQUOS LCD TVs with the attractive D65U and D85U series. Both the D65U and D85U feature a slim design and breathtaking realistic picture quality. This line of AQUOS LCD TV’s provides the ultimate home entertainment experience. Citation: Sharp Adds the D65U and D85U Series to Their AQUOS Line (2008, September 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-09-sharp-d65u-d85u-series-aquos.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Image courtesy of Electronic House
(PhysOrg.com) — For more than two decades, scientists have been “watching” electrons in atoms make the jump between energy levels in real time. “Atoms have energy levels, and when electrons ‘jump’ from one level to another, you can detect this optically. You can encode information in real atoms to make a quantum bit, or qubit,” Irfan Siddiqi tells PhysOrg.com. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. While the formation of a qubit from real atoms has the advantage of long coherence times, Siddiqi points out that by the same token single atoms are difficult to couple to each other and have fixed parameters. Qubits made from ‘artificial atoms’ have the advantage of tunability and can, in principle, be produced en masse. The use of superconducting electrical circuits, engineered to have discrete energy levels, is a way to develop artificial atoms.“These artificial atoms make use of circuitry so that we can control the parameters. We are able to realize analogues of experiments performed with real atoms, and are even able to access different parameter regimes but at the expense of short-lived quantum coherence,” Siddiqi says. “A problem with these superconducting circuits, though, is that it has not been possible to continuously monitor their state with high fidelity,” he continues. This lack of measurement sensitivity has limited the possibility of real time quantum feedback. Until now.Siddiqi, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, along with Dr. Rajamani Vijay and Daniel Slichter, created an experiment that allowed them to watch the quantum state of a superconducting qubit acting as an artificial atom. Their work is described in Physical Review Letters: “Observation of Quantum Jumps in a Superconducting Artificial Atom.”“In real atoms, the jump between energy levels typically happens on the timescale of seconds and changes another optical process which can be readily detected,” Siddiqi points out. “Artificial atoms typically undergo jumps in less than a microsecond. Furthermore, they are typically probed with weak microwave frequency signals and are much harder to detect.”In order to get around this problem, the team constructed a superconducting amplifier of their own design, made with thin aluminum films and Josephson junctions. The qubit was also constructed from the same basic building blocks and cooled down to 30 mK inside a cryogenic dilution refrigerator. “When the jump is made, it modifies the resonant frequency of an adjacent circuit which we continuously probe with on average a few microwave photons,” Siddiqi explains. “The emission is spontaneous, so you don’t know when it will happen. We now had the ability to detect an individual jump. By tallying the jump times, we reproduced the average ensemble behavior that we were all familiar with..” Hopefully, this will lead us one step closer to realizing a quantum computer. “In order to correct errors which will occur in any realistic quantum computer, we need to detect them quickly and efficiently,” Siddiqi points out. “Now that we have shown that it is possible to track changes in the quantum state in real time, it should be possible to apply this functionality to quantum information processing.”Next, Siddiqi and his group want to work on error correction. “It should be possible now that we have this ability. Implementing this would be a major step for solid-state quantum computing.” More information: R. Vijay, D.H. Slichter, and I. Siddiqi, “Observation of Quantum Jumps in a Superconducting Artiﬁcial Atom,” Physical Review Letters (2011). Available online: link.aps.org/doi/10.1103/PhysRevLett.106.110502 Citation: Scientists view a quantum jump in real time (2011, April 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-04-scientists-view-quantum-real.html Copyright 2010 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Fast tunable coupler could lead to better quantum computing models
More information: Amiel JJ, Tingley R, Shine R (2011) Smart Moves: Effects of Relative Brain Size on Establishment Success of Invasive Amphibians and Reptiles. PLoS ONE 6(4): e18277. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0018277AbstractBrain size relative to body size varies considerably among animals, but the ecological consequences of that variation remain poorly understood. Plausibly, larger brains confer increased behavioural flexibility, and an ability to respond to novel challenges. In keeping with that hypothesis, successful invasive species of birds and mammals that flourish after translocation to a new area tend to have larger brains than do unsuccessful invaders. We found the same pattern in ectothermic terrestrial vertebrates. Brain size relative to body size was larger in species of amphibians and reptiles reported to be successful invaders, compared to species that failed to thrive after translocation to new sites. This pattern was found in six of seven global biogeographic realms; the exception (where relatively larger brains did not facilitate invasion success) was Australasia. Establishment success was also higher in amphibian and reptile families with larger relative brain sizes. Future work could usefully explore whether invasion success is differentially associated with enlargement of specific parts of the brain (as predicted by the functional role of the forebrain in promoting behavioural flexibility), or with a general size increase (suggesting that invasion success is facilitated by enhanced perceptual and motor skills, as well as cognitive ability).via Nature Citation: Researchers find animals with bigger brains less prone to extinction (2012, July 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-07-animals-bigger-brains-prone-extinction.html Explore further (Phys.org) — Biological scientist Eric Abelson of Stanford University has been studying the link between survivability of a species over time and brain size relative to body mass, and has found that as a general rule, it appears that small mammals that have relatively large brains tend to be more likely to survive over long periods of time than those with smaller brains. He has presented his findings to a recent meeting of conservation scientists. Meanwhile, in an unrelated study, Joshua J. Amiel, Reid Tingley and Richard Shine of the University of Sydney, have found that amphibians, birds and reptiles with larger brains relative to body size released into a new environment tend to fare better than do those with smaller brains. They have had their paper on the topic published in the journal PLoS One. © 2012 Phys.org Journal information: PLoS ONE Big-brained birds survive better in nature Both studies are part of the overall body of research initiatives looking into the factors that contribute to the success of a species or conversely, which lead to their ultimate demise. Such studies help scientists better understand which species are most at risk in the modern era as more and more animals lose their natural habitat to human encroachment. Information gleaned from such research may help conservationists better determine where resources are best allocated.It would seem likely that the smartest species of animals would be the most likely to survive when the environment changes, and Abelson’s research has borne that out, but only in some circumstances. He looked at two groups of mammals, a small subset of mammals that lived from 40 million years ago on up to the present, and another small subset of those from the so-called modern age. Half of the first group eventually went extinct. In comparing brain to body size of all of those studied, he found that small mammals with relatively large brains were more likely to have survived from “palaeo” times up till now and those of the modern age were less likely to appear on the endangered list; but only if they were relatively small animals overall, i.e. less than 10 kg. For larger mammals it didn’t appear that larger brain sizes relative to their bodies helped them survive, likely due to other factors such as longer gestation periods, fewer offspring, and the need for more food.In the second study, the research team looked at a host of different reptiles, birds and amphibians that have been relocated over the years to save them from certain death as their natural environment changed. They found that those with large brain to body ratios sizes tended to be more likely to survive in their new homes.Such research is likely to become even more important in the years ahead as global warming causes unpredictable changes to environments all over the planet. More information about how animals respond should help conservation scientists figure out which of them at risk might best be helped. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
© 2013 Phys.org MC10, whose motto is “reshaping electronics,” from the outset wanted to provide an alternative to bulky medical devices, asking instead, “What if electronics were soft and pliable? What if electronics conformed to us, instead of us conforming to them?” They have been on a course of reshaping electronics into products that bend, stretch, and flex. They developed the arm tattoo for the skin in the form of a patch can be placed on the skin. Motorola intends to work with them on an electronic tattoo for authentication.Dugan, who formerly was director at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), is among technology thought leaders who believe it’s high time for thinking up better methods for authentication. She said at the conference that authentication was irritating. “After 40 years of advances in computation, we’re still authenticating basically the same way we did years ago.”Yet another idea that captures Motorola’s interest, she said, belongs in the category of ingestible sensor technology: a pill from Redwood City, California based Proteus Digital Health. The latter has developed a way to make a sensor-embedded pill that you can swallow and which is then powered by the acid in your stomach—and Motorola is interested in that pill as a means for authentication. In that concept, the pill creates an 18-bit signal in your body—and your body becomes one walking authentication token. A user would authenticate identity just by touching a phone, computer or car. Citation: Motorola on authentication: We’re talking tattoos and pills (2013, June 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-06-motorola-authentication-tattoos-pills.html Credit: MC10 Explore further (Phys.org) —Motorola’s CEO Dennis Woodside along with the company’s senior vice present for advanced technology took to the All Things Digital stage this week to reveal what they think about the future of passwords—namely, authentication by way of arm tattoos and pills. Regina Dugan, senior vice president for advanced technology and projects, first revealed the company’s interest in exploring an electronic tattoo for use as a wearable password. This electronic tattoo, behaving as a kind of barcode, works with sensors and antennas able to recognize the user’s smartphone. The tattoo concept belongs to MC10, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based firm. Their tattoos, known as biostamps, were designed to track a person’s health; Motorola sees the arm stamps as feasible for use as authentication. Google coming out with two new Android phones This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Physicist Brian La Cour and electrical engineer Granville Ott at Applied Research Laboratories, The University of Texas at Austin (ARL:UT), have published a paper on the classical emulation of a quantum computer in a recent issue of The New Journal of Physics. Besides having fundamental interest, using classical systems to emulate quantum computers could have practical advantages, since such quantum emulation devices would be easier to build and more robust to decoherence compared with true quantum computers.”We hope that this work removes some of the mystery and ‘weirdness’ associated with quantum computing by providing a concrete, classical analog,” La Cour told Phys.org. “The insights gained should help develop exciting new technology in both classical analog computing and true quantum computing.”As La Cour and Ott explain, quantum computers have been simulated in the past using software on a classical computer, but these simulations are merely numerical representations of the quantum computer’s operations. In contrast, emulating a quantum computer involves physically representing the qubit structure and displaying actual quantum behavior. One key quantum behavior that can be emulated, but not simulated, is parallelism. Parallelism allows for multiple operations on the data to be performed simultaneously—a trait that arises from quantum superposition and entanglement, and enables quantum computers to operate at very fast speeds.To emulate a quantum computer, the physicists’ approach uses electronic signals to represent qubits, in which a qubit’s state is encoded in the amplitudes and frequencies of the signals in a complex mathematical way. Although the scientists use electronic signals, they explain that any kind of signal, such as acoustic and electromagnetic waves, would also work.Even though this classical system emulates quantum phenomena and behaves like a quantum computer, the scientists emphasize that it is still considered to be classical and not quantum. (Phys.org)—Quantum computers are inherently different from their classical counterparts because they involve quantum phenomena, such as superposition and entanglement, which do not exist in classical digital computers. But in a new paper, physicists have shown that a classical analog computer can be used to emulate a quantum computer, along with quantum superposition and entanglement, with the result that the fully classical system behaves like a true quantum computer. © 2015 Phys.org Explore further Emulation of quantum superpositions using classical signals. Credit: Applied Research Laboratories, The University of Texas at Austin “This is an important point,” La Cour explained. “Superposition is a property of waves adding coherently, a phenomenon that is exhibited by many classical systems, including ours. Citation: Quantum computer emulated by a classical system (2015, May 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-05-quantum-emulated-classical.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Journal information: New Journal of Physics Drs. Granville Ott (left) and Brian La Cour (center) with student Michael Starkey (right) beside their prototype quantum emulation device. Credit Applied Research Laboratories, The University of Texas at Austin More information: Brian R. La Cour and Granville E. Ott. “Signal-based classical emulation of a universal quantum computer.” New Journal of Physics. DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/17/5/053017 “Entanglement is a more subtle issue,” he continued, describing entanglement as a “purely mathematical property of waves.” “Since our classical signals are described by the same mathematics as a true quantum system, they can exhibit these same properties.”He added that this kind of entanglement does not violate Bell’s inequality, which is a widely used way to test for entanglement. “Entanglement as a statistical phenomenon, as exhibited by such things as violations of Bell’s inequality, is rather a different beast,” La Cour explained. “We believe that, by adding an emulation of quantum noise to the signal, our device would be capable of exhibiting this type of entanglement as well, as described in another recent publication.”In the current paper, La Cour and Ott describe how their system can be constructed using basic analog electronic components, and that the biggest challenge is to fit a large number of these components on a single integrated circuit in order to represent as many qubits as possible. Considering that today’s best semiconductor technology can fit more than a billion transistors on an integrated circuit, the scientists estimate that this transistor density corresponds to about 30 qubits. An increase in transistor density of a factor of 1000, which according to Moore’s law may be achieved in the next 20 to 30 years, would correspond to 40 qubits.This 40-qubit limit is also enforced by a second, more fundamental restriction, which arises from the bandwidth of the signal. The scientists estimate that a signal duration of a reasonable 10 seconds can accommodate 40 qubits; increasing the duration to 10 hours would only increase this to 50 qubits, and a one-year duration would only accommodate 60 qubits. Due to this scaling behavior, the physicists even calculated that a signal duration of the approximate age of the universe (13.77 billion years) could accommodate about 95 qubits, while that of the Planck time scale (10-43 seconds) would correspond to 176 qubits.Considering that thousands of qubits are needed for some complex quantum computing tasks, such as certain encryption techniques, this scheme clearly faces some insurmountable limits. Nevertheless, the scientists note that 40 qubits is still sufficient for some low-qubit applications, such as quantum simulations. Because the quantum emulation device offers practical advantages over quantum computers and performance advantages over most classical computers, it could one day prove very useful. For now, the next step will be building the device.”Efforts are currently underway to build a two-qubit prototype device capable of demonstrating entanglement,” La Cour said. “The enclosed photo [see above] shows the current quantum emulation device as a lovely assortment of breadboarded electronics put together by one of my students, Mr. Michael Starkey. We are hoping to get future funding to support the development of an actual chip. Leveraging quantum parallelism, we believe that a coprocessor with as few as 10 qubits could rival the performance of a modern Intel Core at certain computational tasks. Fault tolerance is another important issue that we studying. Due to the similarities in mathematical structure, we believe the same quantum error correction algorithms used to make quantum computers fault tolerant could be used for our quantum emulation device as well.” Protocol corrects virtually all errors in quantum memory, but requires little measure of quantum states
Actual photograph of Somerton Beach on the day the body was found. For Abbott, the biggest motivating factor in identifying the Somerton Man is somewhat of a moral human principle: even when a person has lost everything, including their life, they should still have their name. (Top) Actual scrap of paper found in the Somerton Man’s pocket. The phrase means “finished” or “ended” and was ripped from a book of poems called The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám. Credit: Derek Abbott, University of Adelaide. (Bottom) The “code,” consisting of 5 lines of letters written in the back of the copy of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám from which the words “Tamán shud” were torn. Explore further New research indicates homosexuality prevalent in early Christian Rome (Phys.org)—As one of Australia’s most infamous cold case mysteries, the enigma of the Somerton Man deals with a haunting situation: a man is found dead on a beach, and no one steps forward to identify him. While it’s common for people to go missing and never be found, this case is the opposite: a person’s body is found, but no one seems to have missed him. Citation: After years of forensic investigation, Somerton Man’s identity remains a mystery (Part 1: History and Code) (2015, June 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-06-years-forensic-somerton-identity-mystery.html Reconstruction of the two horseback riders on Somerton Beach discovering the body. Credit: Australian Broadcasting Corporation This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. “Governments today sponsor DNA identification of WWI and WWII unmarked graves in order to bring closure to families,” Abbott said. “Our individual identities are fundamental to being human, and this is why we are all given names at birth. Civilized societies always strive to preserve the identities of the dead, whether it be the result of accident, crime, war, or natural disaster. Thus there is the social imperative to improve our forensic methods, and apply modern science, to mitigate the ultimate dehumanization: identity loss.” Tamám shudPerhaps the most unique piece of evidence in the Somerton Man case is a tiny piece of paper found in the man’s pocket containing the printed words “Tamám shud,” which means “finished” or “ended” in Persian. Sometimes the case is even called the “Tamám shud case.” A journalist at the time named Frank Kennedy quickly recognized the paper to be torn from the last page of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, a book of collected poems by Omar Khayyám, an 11th century Persian poet, mathematician and astronomer. In July 1949, weeks after the inquest ended, a man brought in the exact copy of the book from which the paper was torn, saying that the book had been tossed into his open car window while parked on the street, around the time the corpse was found.In the back of this book are five lines of letters that appear to be some kind of code. Although many people have tried to decipher it, no one has figured out what the code means, or even proven that it is for sure a code at all. But the fact that this mysterious string of letters exists suggests that the circumstances of the Somerton Man’s life may be at least as perplexing as those of his death.In an attempt to find some answers, Abbott has approached the “code” from many angles, though so far with minimal results. First, to test the hypothesis that the letters are just random jottings, he had a group of students write letters as they randomly came to mind (first sober, then after alcohol), but the results were the same: the letters in the book seem to bear a structure, as they aren’t statistically distributed in the way that humans would produce random letters.Then Abbott and his students tried to see if the letters matched any of the ciphers that were known during World War II. Two of Abbott’s students, Stephen Maxwell and Patrick Johnson, won a prestigious award—Australia’s 2011 Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) Surveillance Systems Undergraduate Prize—for eliminating more than 20 types of ciphers. Great investigative work, but disappointing results.To see if they could statistically match the letters to a language, Abbott and his students compared them to the letters in the Declaration of Human Rights, as it is a large document that has been translated into every extant language in the world. Using an automated approach in software, they found no match to any language. However, when running the test again and limiting it to only the first letters of words, English turned up as the closest match. More information: More information on the Somerton Man:Reddit thread discussion with Prof. Abbott on the Somerton Man case Crowdsourcing campaign for research funds, to go toward more sophisticated DNA tests and to pay research assistants to process DNA and isotope data. (The project has so far been done without external funding.)Change.org petition for the exhumation of the Somerton Man to assist in his identificationThe Unknown Man by Gerry Feltus”The Somerton Man: An Unsolved History” paper by Ruth Balint Taman Shud: The Somerton Man Mystery by Kerry Greenwood At this point, the team is investigating two possibilities: that the letters are either a kind of one-time pad code that exploits initial letters, or that they are simply the first letters of a phrase of English words. If the letters are a one-time pad code, the code could be deciphered only by knowing the secret key, or “pad.” The obvious one-time pad would be something in The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam. In the coming months, the researchers plan to use systematic computer searches to check this hypothesis. However, if the one-time pad comes from another book, then it would be all but impossible to ever decipher the code.To investigate the second possibility, that the code consists of the first letters of a phrase, the researchers built their own search engine that can use “wildcards”—symbols that represent any letter—to search for phrases that begin with these letters. Unfortunately, Google does not offer this wildcard capability. However, the researchers quickly realized that their homemade search engine greatly lagged behind Google in speed.”Trawling the web with one PC takes an eternity,” Abbott explained. “Google has a server farm, and they then index the web, so your searches are on a post-trawled web index. Because you don’t actually trawl, your search is blindingly fast.”To give you an example of how dumb we were, after making a search engine that could use wildcards, we trawled the web looking for any phrases that began with these letters from the code: MLIAB. For just that one short sequence, it took 18 hours just to get one hit. It came up with the phrase ‘my love is a butterfly.’ We obviously weren’t going to try that again, however, interesting that the first hit we got was something of a romantic genre.”Abbott then inquired with Google for permission to access their web index directly, but to no avail. Now the researchers plan to use Google’s publicly available N-gram data—vast numbers of phrases that contain up to five words—to further their search. While this approach can never reliably reconstruct the original message, it might deliver clues to the general nature of the message by finding unique phrases that fit the letter sequences.”Part 2: DNA, isotopes, and autopsy” is here: http://phys.org/news/2015-06-years-forensic-somerton-identity-mystery_1.html. © 2015 Phys.org Who was the Somerton Man, and where did he come from? Many people have been trying to answer these questions for a long time with little success. Recently, investigators have applied the latest forensics science techniques to the case in hopes of finding some answers, although the mystery is still far from being solved.Over the past few years, one of the principle scientific investigators of the case has been Derek Abbott, a professor of Electrical & Electronic Engineering at the University of Adelaide in Adelaide, Australia, the city in which the incident occurred. December 1, 1948At around 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 1, 1948, two horseback riders on Adelaide’s Somerton Beach were the first to notice a man’s body lying in the sand, his head propped up against the retaining wall near the stairs, and inspect closely enough to confirm that he was indeed dead. The evening before, a few people reported seeing a man “sleeping” in the same location, but suspected that he was drunk. The man had a bus ticket in his pocket that he had bought earlier that day, suggesting that he had arrived at the beach no earlier than that afternoon.An autopsy revealed that the man was in his early 40s, was physically fit, and had a healthy heart. It found no signs of violence and no poison (cyanides, alkaloids, barbiturates, or carbolic acid) in his system. However, his organs were filled with blood, and his spleen was three times its normal size. Although heart failure was determined to be the immediate cause of death, the cause leading up to heart failure was unknown, and the death was deemed unnatural. The case received prominent media coverage at the time, and over the next six months, dozens of people came to look at the embalmed body in search of missing friends and relatives, but no one could accurately identify him. The following June, an inquest concluded that both the cause of death and the man’s identity were unknown. The body was buried in a graveyard in Adelaide, with a tombstone that reads “Here lies the Unknown Man, who was found at Somerton Beach, 1 Dec. 1948.”Although the case is still considered open by the South Australian Major Crime Task Force, it has largely been forgotten until the past few years when Abbott and other investigators have taken a renewed interest in it, hoping that a combination of modern forensics techniques, old-fashioned detective work, and a little luck may shed some light on the mystery.
More information: Rui Zhang et al. Synthesis of a distinct water dimer inside fullerene C70, Nature Chemistry (2016). DOI: 10.1038/nchem.2464AbstractThe water dimer is an ideal chemical species with which to study hydrogen bonds. Owing to the equilibrium between the monomer and oligomer structure, however, selective generation and separation of a genuine water dimer has not yet been achieved. Here, we report a synthetic strategy that leads to the successful encapsulation of one or two water molecules inside fullerene C70. These endohedral C70 compounds offer the opportunity to study the intrinsic properties of a single water molecule without any hydrogen bonding, as well as an isolated water dimer with a single hydrogen bond between the two molecules. The unambiguously determined off-centre position of water in (H2O)2@C70 by X-ray diffraction provides insights into the formation of (H2O)2@C70. Subsequently, the 1H NMR spectroscopic measurements for (H2O)2@C70 confirmed the formation of a single hydrogen bond rapidly interchanging between the encapsulated water dimer. Our theoretical calculations revealed a peculiar cis-linear conformation of the dimer resulting from confinement effects inside C70. Water has some rather unique properties. For example, water has an exceptionally high melting and boiling point thanks to its intermolecular hydrogen bonding network. It is this bonding network that makes isolating two water molecules very difficult. Investigating a water dimer would allow researchers to gain further insight into water’s intermolecular bonding network. Furthermore, water dimers have been observed in atmospheric water vapor.Prior studies have successfully isolated a single water molecule within a fullerene-C60. Fullerenes are hollow carbon spheres whose interior is isolated from the surrounding environment. Researchers have isolated highly reactive species within a fullerene such as metals or a nitrogen atom. The interior cavity of the fullerene-C60 is 3.7Å in diameter, which is too small to house a water dimer so Rui Zhang, Michihisa Murata, Tomoko Aharen, Atsushi Wakamiya, Takafumi Shimoaka, Takeshi Hasegawa, and Yasujiro Murata from Kyoto University focused on fullerene-C70, which has an ellipsoid shape with a long diameter of 4.6 Å.Zhang, et al. used a technique, known as molecular surgery, to insert one and two water molecules into a fullerene-C70. The molecular surgical method involves making a “hole” in a fullerene-C70 via a chemical reaction, inserting the target molecules under extreme conditions, and then closing the hole to reform the C70 sphere. Zhang, et al. developed a novel way to open the fullerene-C70 cage.There are two reactive sites on the surface of a fullerene-C70, α and β bonds that are good candidates for alkene addition. While α bonds are more reactive, focusing the addition reaction on the β bonds yielded a larger pore size. Once Zhang, et al. achieved a sufficiently large pore size through sequential C=C cleavage, they then forced water into the fullerene cavity under high pressure (9,000 atm) and heat (120oC). They were able to restore the fullerene’s cage using a two-step process and isolated fullerene-C70 with a single water molecule from empty fullerene using HPLC. Proton NMR and atmospheric pressure chemical ionization mass spectrometry confirmed the presence of a single water molecule within the fullerene. X-ray diffraction studies indicated that the water molecule is off-center within the cage and that there is still pore space available for the possibility of an additional water molecule.Indeed, Zhang, et al. found a trace product that they isolated using HPLC. Mass spectrometry and NMR studies provided compelling evidence that this was a water dimer encapsulated by fullerene-C70. The dimer has a single hydrogen bond between and the two molecules adopted a different conformation (cis-linear) from water’s normal conformation (trans-linear). Additionally, infrared studies clearly distinguished the empty C70 from the C70 containing one water molecule and the C70 containing two water molecules, providing further insight into the differences between the three species. This research provides an excellent opportunity for further studies to understand this water’s unique conformation in a confined space, as well as the nature of the single hydrogen bond. Scientists build world’s smallest ‘water bottle’ Explore further Journal information: Nature Chemistry © 2016 Phys.org Structures of fullerene C60, C70. Credit: (c) Nature Chemistry (2016). DOI: 10.1038/nchem.2464 Citation: Water dimer captured inside a fullerene-C70 (2016, March 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-03-dimer-captured-fullerene-c70.html (Phys.org)—Researchers from Kyoto University have, for the first time, isolated a water dimer. Using a technique known as molecular surgery, they encapsulated the dimer within a fullerene-C70 molecule. Their work appears in the recent issue of Nature Chemistry. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
(A) Qubit state swap via the acoustic channel, with control pulses shown on the left. (B) Acoustic entanglement. With Q1 initially in |e⟩, a control signal applied to G1 releases half a phonon to the channel, captured later by Q2. In (A) and (B), circles and squares are Q1 and Q2 excited-state populations measured simultaneously after a time t. (C and D) Expectation values of two-qubit Pauli operators (C) for the reconstructed Bell state density matrix (D) at t = 0.65 μs. In (C) and (D), solid lines indicate values expected for the ideal Bell state |Ψ⟩=(|eg⟩+|ge⟩)/2–√. In (A) to (D), dashed lines are simulation results including a finite transfer efficiency and qubit imperfections. Credit: Science, doi: 10.1126/science.aaw8415 Citation: Phonon-mediated quantum state transfer and remote qubit entanglement (2019, May 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-phonon-mediated-quantum-state-remote-qubit.html , Physical Review Letters More information: A. Bienfait et al. Phonon-mediated quantum state transfer and remote qubit entanglement, Science (2019). DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw8415 Yu Chen et al. Qubit Architecture with High Coherence and Fast Tunable Coupling, Physical Review Letters (2014). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.113.220502 K. J. Satzinger et al. Quantum control of surface acoustic-wave phonons, Nature (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0719-5 Journal information: Science LEFT: Simplified circuit diagram, with the gray box indicating elements on the flipped lithium niobate chip. RIGHT: (A-B) Scanning electron micrographs detailing the IDT and Bragg mirrors. (C) Extracted qubit decay rate measured at maximum coupling. Decay is dominated by phonon emission from the IDT. Blue circles are extracted from an exponential decay fit; red dashed line is the predicted circuit model. Credit: Science, doi: 10.1126/science.aaw8415 Thereafter, the scientists demonstrated the interferometric nature of the one-qubit phonon emission and capture process. Since it is challenging to monitor the scheme for quantum entangling and mechanical superposition during quantum decoherence (quantum decay or loss of quantum behavior of particles), Bienfait et al prepared Q1 in a transition state to emit a half-phonon and captured it again with Q1 after one transit. The scientists defined capture as the time reversal of emission and predicted that the two half quanta will either interfere destructively to cause re-excitation of the qubit, or constructively for its total emission in the experimental setup. As predicted, they showed that when the reflected half phonon interfered constructively with the emitted half phonon stored in Q1—the total energy transferred in to the SAW resonator, whereas destructive interference resulted in qubit re-excitation. The scientists used a simulation to include channel loss and qubit dephasing, to replicate experimental observations and credited any mismatch of the simulation to imperfections in the system. In this way, Bienfait et al used the experimental acoustic communication channel to transfer quantum states and generate remote entanglement between the two qubits. For example, surface-acoustic wave (SAW) phonons are proposed as a universal medium to couple remote quantum systems. These phonons can also efficiently convert between microwave and optical frequencies, linking microwave qubits to optical photons. As a result, many proposals have followed experiments to show the coherent emission and detection of traveling SAW phonons by a superconducting qubit, with sound taking on the role of light. Scientists have used traveling SAW phonons to transfer electrons between quantum dots to shuttle transport single electrons, coupled to nitrogen-vacancy centers and even drive silicon carbide spins. In previous work, researchers had also engineered standing-wave SAW phonons coherently coupled to superconducting qubits for the on-demand creation, detection and control of quantum acoustic states. © 2019 Science X Network , Nature The scientists next experimentally showed the emission and capture of a traveling phonon employing a one-qubit, single-phonon “ping-pong” experiment using qubit Q1. In the experiment, they set coupler G1 to a maximum while turning the G2 coupler off to monitor the excited-state population (Pe) of Q1. They showed the emission took about 150 ns, after which Pe remained near zero during phonon transit in the experimental setup. After approximately 0.5 µs, Bienfait et al. were able to recapture the returning phonons with a capture efficiency of 67 percent. During successive transits, the scientists observed a geometric decrease in the capture efficiency, which they credited to losses within the acoustic channel. They then conducted quantum process tomography of the one-qubit release-and-catch operation by reconstructing the process matrix with time. The quantum process tomography technique is the most appropriate and efficient scheme to analyze quantum systems when two-body interactions are not naturally available. Explore further The researchers also demonstrated quantum swap between the two qubits, Q1 and Q2, using the setup. This was possible since the scientists could sequentially store up to three traveling phonons in the SAW resonator. The process had a high fidelity rate, and the scientists credited any deviations to acoustic losses. As before, they used the acoustic channel to generate remote quantum entanglement between Q1 and Q2 to create a Bell state. In this way, Bienfait et al. experimentally showed clear and compelling results for the controlled release and capture of travelling phonons into a confined Fabry-Pérot resonator, primarily limited by acoustic losses. They demonstrated that the emission and capture processes were not determined by the length of the resonator, so the same processes were applicable to a non-resonant acoustic device. In total, the scientists detailed processes to experimentally generate high fidelity entanglement between two qubits. These results will form a step forward to realize fundamental quantum communication protocols with phonons. Scientists connect quantum bits with sound over record distances Experimental device. (A to C) Micrograph of flip-chip assembled device (A), with two superconducting qubits (Q1 and Q2, blue), connected to two tunable couplers (G1 and G2, purple), fabricated on sapphire (B). These are connected via two overlaid inductors (green) to a SAW resonator (C), fabricated on lithium niobate. The SAW resonator comprises two Bragg mirrors (orange), spaced by 2 mm, defining a Fabry-Pérot acoustic cavity probed by an interdigitated transducer (red). The red and blue outlines in (A) represent the locations of (B) and (C), respectively. (D) Simplified circuit diagram, with the gray box indicating elements on the flipped lithium niobate chip. (E) Excited-state population Pe for qubit Q1, with coupler G1 set to maximum and G2 turned off. Q1 is prepared in |e⟩ using a π pulse, its frequency set to ωQ1 (vertical scale) for a time t (horizontal scale), before dispersive readout of its excited population Pe (28). Q1 relaxes owing to phonon emission via the IDT, and if its frequency is within the mirror stop band from 3.91 to 4.03 GHz, the emitted phonon is reflected and generates qubit excitation revivals at times τ (orange line) and 2τ. The inset shows the pulse sequence. (F) Measured qubit energy decay time T1 for ωQ,i/2π=3.95 GHz as a function of the coupler Josephson junction phase δi, showing the qubit emission can be considerably faster than the phonon transit time (orange line), for both Q1 (circles) and Q2 (squares). Credit: Science, doi: 10.1126/science.aaw8415 (A) Calibrated control pulses (inset) ensure the release of a time-symmetric phonon and its efficient capture. Circles represent the measured excited-state population of Q1 when interrupting the sequence after a time t. (B) Measured excited-state population of Q1 while sweeping the delay between the emission and capture control pulses, evidencing a population geometrically decreasing with the number of transits (gray line). (C) Quantum process tomography at the maximum efficiency point of (B), with a process fidelity F1=0.83±0.002. (I) stands for the identity operator and X, Y, and Z for the Pauli operators. In (A) to (C), dashed lines indicate the results of a master equation simulation including a finite transfer efficiency and qubit imperfections. Credit: Science, doi: 10.1126/science.aaw8415 , Science Advances The scientists facilitated phonon transfer from one superconducting qubit (artificial atom) to another and observed the quantum entanglement (quantum state of each particle that cannot be described independently of the state of the other) of the two qubits in an acoustic channel during the study. Bienfait et al. provided a new route to couple hybrid quantum solid-state systems using surface acoustic waves as ‘good vibrations’ in quantum communication for future phononic applications. Phonons, or more specifically, surface acoustic wave phonons, are proposed as a method to coherently couple distant solid-state quantum systems. For instance, individual phonons in a resonant structure can be controlled and detected using superconducting qubits (described as macroscopic, lithographically defined artificial atoms) to generate and measure complex, stationary phonon states coherently. In the present work, Bienfait et al. reported the deterministic emission and capture of traveling surface acoustic wave phonons to allow quantum entanglement of two superconducting qubits in an experimental setup. They used a 2 mm-long acoustic quantum communication channel in the experiments, which allowed an approximately 500-nanosecond delay line, to demonstrate the emission and recapture of phonons. The scientists observed quantum state transfer between the two superconducting qubits with an efficiency of 67 percent and using partial transfer of a phonon, they generated an entangled Bell pair with a fidelity of 84 percent. Electromagnetic waves have played a singular role as carriers of quantum information between distant quantum nodes for distributed quantum information processing. Previous quantum experiments have used microwave photons to demonstrate deterministic and probabilistic remote entanglement generation between superconducting qubits to reach entanglement fidelities ranging from 60 to 95 percent. For some solid-state quantum systems, such as electrostatically defined quantum dots or electronic spins, a quantum property of electrons (also known as spintronics), strong interactions with the host material have made acoustic vibrations (or phonons) a superior alternative compared to the photon candidates. Quantum information platforms are based on qubits that talk to each other and photons (optical and microwave) are the carrier of choice—to date, to transfer quantum states between qubits. However, in some solid-state systems, acoustic vibrational properties of the material themselves known as phonons can be advantageous. In a recent study published on Science Advances, B. Bienfait and colleagues at the interdisciplinary departments of Molecular Engineering, Physics and Materials Science in the U.S. described the deterministic emission and capture of travelling (itinerant) phonons through an acoustic communication channel, to allow phonon-based coherent transfer of quantum states. With Q1 initially prepared in |e⟩, a control signal on G1 releases and subsequently recaptures half a phonon to the resonator. Simultaneously, a 20-MHz detuning pulse of varying duration is applied to Q1 to change its phase by ∆ϕ. (A) Measured Q1 excited-state population when interrupting the sequence after a time t, with a phase difference ∆ϕ = 0 (squares) or π (circles). The inset shows the control sequence. (B) Q1 final state Pe(t=tf) for tf=0.65 μs as a function of the phase difference ∆ϕ between the half-photon and half-phonon. Circles are experimental points. Dashed lines are simulations based on an input-output theory model. Credit: Science, doi: 10.1126/science.aaw8415 Therefore, in the present work, Bienfait et al. used traveling (itinerant) SAW phonons to realize the transfer of quantum states between two superconducting qubits experimentally. In the acoustic part of the device, they used a SAW resonator with an effective Fabry-Pérot mirror spacing 2 mm, to generate a single-pass traveling phonon with a travel time of about 0.5 microseconds (µs). By design, coupling between the qubit and Fabry-Pérot mode in the system allowed the phonon to be completely injected into the acoustic channel. Bienfait et al. then coupled the resonator to two frequency-tunable superconducting “Xmon” qubits, Q1 and Q2 (where ‘Xmon qubits’ were first introduced by Barends et al), while controlling their coupling electronically using two other tunable couplers, G1 and G2. The scientists could switch each coupler from maximum coupling to off in a few nanoseconds to isolate the qubits. The scientists engineered the tunable couplers, qubits and their respective control and readout lines on a sapphire substrate while constructing the SAW resonator on a separate lithium niobate substrate. For the SAW resonator, they used two acoustic mirrors with two Bragg mirrors (dielectric mirrors) on each side of the central acoustic emitter-receiver setup. For the acoustic emitter, they used an interdigital transducer (IDT) connected to a common electrical port. The scientists applied an electric pulse to the IDT to form two symmetric SAW pulses, which traveled in opposite directions, reflecting off the mirrors to complete a round trip in 508 nanoseconds. Bienfait et al controlled the coupling of qubits to IDT, to facilitate time-domain shaped emission of traveling phonons in to the resonator. To characterize emission in the experiments, they excited the qubit first and monitored its excited-state population before taking the decaying state of excitation into account as a product of phonon emission. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Quartet of European Delights, which is a part of the ongoing V4 Festival, had a cultural evening with European performers Csillagszemuek (Starry-Eyed) Dance Ensemble. The foot-tapping dances, the colourful attires and the music was a complete European treat as one could go back in time when folk music dominated central Europe.The festival brought together traditional culinary recipes, menus, lively central European music and a photo exhibition at the same event. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The Hungarian group, Csillagszemuek (Starry-Eyed) Dance Ensemble, a group of 24 young people performed the vibrant and lively folk dances from Hungary and Europe. It was a visual as well as a musical treat as the boys tapped their foot to the beat.Chefs from Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia were flown down to India for a special European food and breweries spread. At the bar there were nine different beer brands from the European country. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix’I cooked the duck like they do in Poland and there is chicken on the platter and some beetroot stock,’ said the chef from Poland who had come to India specially for the event. Hungarian cuisines like Goulosh were also prepared. With more guests turning up than expected, the food was quickly savoured with wine and beer.The nine varieties of beer which were served had distinct flavours.And if you thought you missed it, there’s another chance as a special Hungarian Cuisine Day will be hosted at the Eros Hotel on 4 November.