Monday, December 11

Science

The physicist trying to create space-time from scratch using quantum entanglement
Science

The physicist trying to create space-time from scratch using quantum entanglement

Monika Schleier-Smith is hoping to create space-time from scratch in her labHarrison Truong/Stanford University SPACE-TIME may not be fundamental. Instead, according to the holographic principle, it emerges from something deeper, like a 3D hologram emerges from a flat surface. The principle says that space-time, and by extension gravity, arises from quantum entanglement. With that in mind, Monika Schleier-Smith (pictured above), a physicist at Stanford University in California, is trying to create space-time from scratch. Her approach simulates a 2D holographic boundary around a universe, which, according to the holographic principle, is enough to encode all the information that describes the universe within. This “holographic duality” says that space-time and the lowe...
Why the Earthquake in Turkey Still Matters
Science

Why the Earthquake in Turkey Still Matters

Why the Earthquake in Turkey Still Matters Eight months after the earthquakes in Turkey, people still live in tents. Photo: Jeff Schlegelmilch The following is based on observations during site visits conducted to assess earthquake recovery progress and ongoing needs in early October 2023. Driving down the mountain from Gaziantep on the road to the Hatay region, a large valley opens up with clear, checkered patterns of farms—onions ready for harvest, olive groves and other crops. Across the valley is the mountain range we will follow the rest of the way to our destination, central Hatay. The mountains sit above the East Anatolian Fault, where tectonic plates mi...
IBM’s brain-inspired chip could be the fastest at running AI yet
Science

IBM’s brain-inspired chip could be the fastest at running AI yet

The NorthPole printed circuit2023 IBM Corp. A brain-inspired computer chip can run AI-powered image recognition operations 22 times faster than comparable commercial chips, and with 25 times the energy efficiency. The IBM NorthPole chip intertwines its computational capability with associated memory blocks that store information. This allows it to bypass the so-called von Neumann bottleneck – named after computing pioneer John von Neumann – which describes how modern computers slow down while waiting on information exchanges between more separated compute and memory units. The melding of computation and memory was inspired by the way the human brain works. IBM had previously built a chip based on this idea called TrueNorth. But NorthPole transforms the technology into ...
Could nuclear weapons testing resume as global tensions rise?
Science

Could nuclear weapons testing resume as global tensions rise?

An intercontinental ballistic missile is test-fired, without a live warhead, as part of Russia’s nuclear drills on 26 October 2022Russian Defense Ministry Press O/UPI/Shutterstock Nuclear tensions have risen since the invasion of Ukraine, with Russia and other nuclear-armed powers reportedly updating long-disused weapon test sites in preparation for use once more. Now, Russian lawmakers have voted to begin the process of rolling back a treaty banning such tests. Are we about to see a return of the most destructive weapons in the world? The moratorium against nuclear testing rests on an uneasy patchwork of international treaties. The Limited Test Ban Treaty was signed by the UK, US and Soviet Union in 1963, forbidding testing of these weapons in the atmosphere, underwat...
Highlights from 2023’s Open House at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Science

Highlights from 2023’s Open House at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Highlights from 2023's Open House at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Last Saturday, October 14, almost 2,000 visitors braved the elements—pun intended—for a rainy Open House at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. It’s a yearly tradition that stretches back over half a century, and an opportunity for adults and children of all ages to learn about our planet. Lamont’s scientists share their research with the public via hands-on demonstrations, discussions and lectures, and interactive exhibits and videos. It’s a great place to get your hands dirty—and many kids did with the Oobleck-filled bathtub, sticky glacier goo, and a delicious “earth-cak...