“Time crystals” latest quantum weirdness

PIXABAY

US scientists have fashioned crystals that seem to defy the laws of physics. Richard A Lovett reports.

by RICHARD A. LOVETT  is a Portland, Oregon-based science writer and science fiction author. He is a frequent contributor to COSMOS.

Two American teams of scientists have independently created the world’s first “time crystals”, but don’t order up a trip on the TARDIS anytime soon, because the crystals in question have nothing to do with time travel.

Both sets of research have been published in Nature.

“I’m not responsible for its name,” laughs Mikhail Lukin, a physicist at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, lead author on one of the papers.

Chetan Nayak, principal researcher at Microsoft’s Station Q and a professor of physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, puts it more simply. “What they observed is a new state of matter,” he says.

Nayak is responsible for a third paper in the journal, explaining the significance of the discovery.

What’s unique about the crystals, Lukin says, is that they have properties that repeat over time in a manner analogous to the way the atoms in crystal lattices repeat over space.

Repeating phenomena, of course, aren’t a big deal. “Every year we have spring, summer, and fall,” Lukin notes.

But most repeating phenomena are easily altered. An AC electrical current, for example, can be changed by altering the spin rate of the dynamo that produces it. The length of the Earth’s seasons would change if, heaven forbid, a giant asteroid hit us, altering our orbit.

To understand time crystals, we need to start by considering liquids and gases. In these, Lukin says, molecules are uniformly distributed in a way that makes one point in the liquid or gas basically the same as all other points.

But in crystals, atoms are arranged in repeating patterns that mean that once you know the position of one atom, you can pinpoint the locations of all the others. Furthermore, crystals are rigid. If you bash on one, you aren’t going to see one atom move one way, while another moves a different way, as would happen if you sloshed a tub of water or let the air out of a balloon.

Crystals are common to our normal understanding of nature. Time crystals aren’t. In fact, it was only recently that anyone even hypothesized they might exist.

Their atoms operate in a sort of time-array, as opposed to a physical array. The time crystal created by Lukin’s team was a synthetic black diamond, meaning that it was a diamond with a million or so “nitrogen vacancy” impurities — so many they made it appear black.

The electrons in these impurities have spins: they can react to electromagnetic pulses by flipping 180 degrees, analogous to what happens to nuclei in the human body during magnetic resonance imaging.

Normally, you would expect the spins to flip back and forth in synchronisation with the pulse. But that is not what happened. Instead, when Lukin’s team tried it with their black diamond, the spins flipped only once for every two or three pulses.

Shivaji Sondhi, a theoretical physicist at Princeton University in New Jersey, who was part of the team that in 2015 first theorised that such crystals might be possible, compares the effect to repeatedly squeezing on a sponge.

“When you release the sponge, you expect it to resume its shape,” he says. “Imagine that it only resumes its shape every second squeeze, even though you are applying the same force each time.”

In the second study, a team lead by the Christopher Monroe, physicist at the University of Maryland, used a chain of 14 charged ytterbium ions, but got essentially the same result.

Furthermore, the scientists found, varying the incoming electromagnetic pulse didn’t particularly alter the response. In other words, the time crystal’s response was stable, not strongly affected by variances that would normally scramble it and rapidly lead to disorder.

Applications are up in the air. “It’s very early days,” says Nayak. “I think applications will become more clear as we expand the contexts in which we can create time crystals.”

One possibility is that this might be used in futuristic quantum computers. “What a time crystal is doing is manipulating quantum information in a period manner,” says Nayak. “That’s potentially useful for quantum information processing.”

Lukin says that another potential application is in developing sensing instruments capable of working on very small scales. These instruments could be designed with numerous tiny time crystals, tightly packed.

The crystals would react to electrical or magnetic impulses in their local environment, but would not be easily perturbed by whatever is going on nearby. “We believe these will enable new approaches for [what are] basically quantum sensors,” Lukin says.

https://cosmosmagazine.com/physics/time-crystals-latest-quantum-weirdness

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16 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Live In California

 

San Francisco Skyline - Public Domain

By Michael Snyder

It has been said that “as California goes, so goes the nation”.  That is why it is such a shame what is happening to that once great state.  At one time, California seemed to be the epicenter of the American Dream.  Featuring some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the entire world, the gorgeous weather and booming economy of the state inspired people from all over the world to move to the state.  But now people are moving out of the state by the millions, because life in California has literally become a nightmare for so many people.

I certainly don’t have anything against the state personally.  My brother and sister were both born there, and I spent a number of my childhood years in stunning northern California.  When I was younger I would sometimes dream of getting a place on the coast eventually, but for reasons I will discuss below I no longer think that would be advisable.

In fact, if I was living in California today I would be immediately looking for a way to move out of the state unless I specifically felt called to stay.  The following are 16 reasons why you shouldn’t live in California…

#1 The entire California coastline is part of the “Ring of Fire” seismic zone that roughly encircles the Pacific Ocean.  The San Andreas Fault has been described as a “time bomb“, and at some point there will be a catastrophic earthquake that absolutely devastates the entire region.  In fact, a study that was just released says that a “major earthquake” on the San Andreas Fault “is way overdue”

A recently published study reveals new evidence that a major earthquake is way overdue on a 100 mile stretch of the San Andreas Fault from the Antelope Valley to the Tejon Pass and beyond.

Researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey released the results of the years-long study warning a major earthquake could strike soon.

#2 Out of all 50 states, the state of California has been ranked as the worst state for business for 12 years in a row

In what is sounding like a broken record, California once again ranked dead last in Chief Executive magazine’s annual Best and Worst States for Business survey of CEOs – as it has all 12 years the survey has been conducted. Texas, meanwhile, earned the top spot for the 12th straight year.

Among the survey’s subcategories, the 513 CEOs from across the nation ranked California 50th in taxation and regulation, 35th in workforce quality and 26th in living environment, which includes cost of living, the education system and state and local attitudes toward business. Notably, California placed worst among the nine states in the Western region in all three categories.

#3 California has the highest state income tax rates in the entire nation.  For many Americans, the difference between what you would have to pay if you lived in California and what you would have to pay if you lived in Texas could literally buy a car every single year.

#4 The state government in Sacramento seems to go a little bit more insane with each passing session.  This time around, they are talking about going to a single-payer healthcare system for the entire state that would cost California taxpayers 40 billion dollars a year

On Friday, State Senator Ricardo Lara introduced legislation that would transition California’s healthcare into a single-payer system. (RELATED: Read what a retired colonel said about the real purpose of Obamacare). The system would be very similar to the healthcare system currently in place in Canada and would cost California taxpayers roughly $40 billion for the first year alone. Given the poor economic climate California has already created for itself, this will no doubt be just one more burden on the people of California, and one step closer towards total bankruptcy.

Micah Weinberg, the president of the Economic Institute at the Bay Area Council, raised concerns over the financial consequences of the proposed legislation. “Where are they going to come up with the $40 billion?” he asked. He went on to suggest that adopting a state level single-payer system is “just not feasible to do as a state.”

#5 The traffic in the major cities just keeps getting worse and worse.  According to USA Today, Los Angeles now has the worst traffic in the entire world, and San Francisco is not far behind.

#6 A lot of money is being made in Silicon Valley these days (at least for now), but poverty is also exploding in the state.  In desperation, homeless people are banding together to create large tent cities all over the state, and the L.A. City Council recently asked Governor Jerry Brown “to declare homelessness a statewide emergency“.

#7 Thanks to unchecked illegal immigration, crime is on the rise in many California cities.  The drug war that has been raging for years in Mexico is increasingly spilling over the border, and many families have moved out of the state for this reason alone.

#8 California is one of the most litigious states in the entire nation.  According to the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, the “lawsuit climate” in California is ranked 47th out of all 50 states.

#9 Every year wildfires and mudslides wreak havoc in the state.  Erosion is particularly bad along the coast, and I have previously written about how some portions of the California coastline are literally falling into the ocean.

#10 California has some of the most ridiculous housing prices in the entire country.  Due to a lack of affordable housing rents have soared to wild extremes in San Francisco, where one poor engineer was actually paying $1,400 a month to live in a closet

more…

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/16-reasons-why-you-shouldnt-live-in-california

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Dumbing You Down with Ridiculous Television Commercials

by Sigmund Fraud, Staff Writer,Waking Times

At the heart of the social insanity, mindless acquiescence to authority, and automatic compliance with any and every new government rule or regulation, is a deliberate effort to dumb down the population. It takes place in the halls of our educational institutions, and it comes home with us at night to our television screens.

According to educational whistleblower and author of The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America, Charlotte Iserbyt:

“…over a thirty- to fifty-year period-what must surely amount to tons of materials containing irrefutable proof, in the education change agents’ own words, of deliberate, malicious intent to achieve behavioral changes in students/parents/society which have nothing to do with commonly understood educational objectives.”

We know the education system is designed to produce drones, but today I’d like to bring your attention to the role television commercials play in engineering our society toward entropy, division, conformity and decay.

Consider at once this ridiculous advertisement from Australia, where a wine company is hoping you’ll drink more of their booze after watching a computer generated kangaroo liven up the party while getting the attention of supermodels. They overtly twist their brand name, Yellowtail, into crude sexual innuendo, appealing to your most base desires.

Young children learn primarily by observation of what other people do. If adults do stupid things, kids do stupid things. So it is as well with the so-called mature adults among us, who imitate each other in order to fit with each other.

When the templates for acceptable social behavior are pounded into our heads from television, humans emulate the celebrities, actors and beauties on the screen. And commercials are the worst, as their rapid, attention deficit generating format are repeated again and again so as to become implanted in our minds.

 

Couple this with the fact that we are technologically isolated (while highly connected) in today’s society, and as such, mass media serves as a kind of common language, a way of relating to one another, and of establishing the broadcast-level reality. Now you have a world of people who take cues from advertisers, which are adopted by others, eventually snowballing into a real-life Idiocracy.

Here, Devour frozen foods has altogether given up on subtlety, turning the experience of eating processed foods laden with preservatives, colorants and other chemicals, into an orgasm.

And in this creepy version, again for Devour processed foods, a drone-like office employee is so dumb, and so sexually confused, that he talks dirty to his plastic dish of synthetic garbage.

The corporate-controlled consumer matrix, which now guides the development of our cities and social lives, became a cultural imperative with the help of the scientific development of product marketing. Also known as corporate propaganda, it was pioneered mid-twentieth century by author of the book Propaganda, Edward Bernays, who himself best explains the engineered scheme at play in pop-culture:

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of…in almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires that control the public mind.” ~Edward Bernays

He would know. His ideas were heavily influenced by the work of his uncle, Sigmund Freud, the so-called father of modern psychology, who developed theories which still govern much our understanding of the human psyche. He’s most recognized for the idea that humans are motivated first and foremost by the drive to fornicate. Bernays’ contribution was linking products to sex, with marketing that jars the perception of reality.

In this classic piece of commercial art, Axe Body Spray does a splendid version of  the time-honored marketing illusion that the purchase of a product will bring sex with beautiful women.

A major purpose of this type of marketing is to suspend disbel ief, which is a visual procedure which leads to the acceptance of outlandish claims. Commercials are the perfect open format for messing with people’s heads, where superstar, perfect people present conflicting, senseless ideas…

more…

About the Author
Sigmund Fraud is a survivor of modern psychiatry and a dedicated mental activist. He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com where he indulges in the possibility of a massive shift towards a more psychologically aware future for humankind. Follow Sigmund on Facebook here.
This article (Dumbing You Down with Ridiculous Television Commercials) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Sigmund Fraud and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/03/14/dumbing-television-commercials/

 

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Sex Addiction: Still Not a Real Thing

Illustration by Carly Jean Andrews

Scott Disick’s the latest to cop to the fake disease

by Tracy Moore

Sex addiction is the zombie of faux ailments: In spite of numerous assertions from researchers and experts that it isn’t real, it refuses to die as a go-to explanation for being very bad at relationships and fidelity. To wit: Sex (and love) addiction is a major plot point of the just-launched Season 2 of Love, the Judd Apatow-produced dissection of an unfolding romance between an ornery hot mess of a woman, Mickey (Gillian Jacobs), who can’t seem to stay out of a relationship with Gus (Paul Rust) in spite of her insistence on being alone for a year. And the new teaser trailer for season 13 of Keeping Up With the Kardashians reveals that haunted specter Scott Disick is a sex addict, at least if it gets him out of trouble for all his cheating on Kourtney

In January of last year, psychologist and neuroscience prof Jim Pfaus explained for MEL that in spite of the sex addict’s insistence otherwise, being a hypersexual porn fiend and serial cheater produces nothing in the brain on the level of cocaine or alcohol abuse, and that’s why these “obsessions” don’t make it into the bible of disorders, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Pfaus writes:

Here’s why: addicts withdraw. When you lock a dope fiend in a room without any dope, the lack of drugs will cause an immediate physiological response — some of which is visible, some of which we can only track from within the body. During withdrawal, the brains of addicts create junctions between nerve cells containing the neurotransmitter GABA. This process more or less inhibits the brain systems usually excited by drug-related cues — something we never see in the brains of so-called sex and porn addicts. A sex addict without sex is much more like a teenager without their smartphone.

That doesn’t mean the behavior isn’t troubling or doesn’t feel addictive to the person experiencing it, but psychologists have a different word for that behavior: Compulsive. “But there’s a difference between compulsion and addiction,” Pfaus writes. “Addiction can’t be stopped without major consequence, including new brain activity. Compulsive behavior can be stopped; it’s just difficult to do so. In other words, being ‘out of control’ isn’t a universal symptom of addiction.”

MEL also spoke to psychologist David Ley, who wrote the 2012 book The Myth of Sex Addiction. Ley explained that many of the men with so-called sex addiction actually have personality disorders, and sex is just the symptom. “It’s often a result of their own moral or religious conflict or an indicator of a personality disorder,” he told MEL. “Again and again, these men who self-identify as sex addicts come from moral or religious backgrounds and are ashamed of their sexuality. In most cases, they’re not having as much sex, masturbating as frequently or watching as much porn as other people who don’t identify as sex addicts.”

He also explains the perfect storm of influence that led to sex addiction as an explanation for bad male behavior in the first place:

There were a number of things going on when sex addiction was born. One of those things was the shift in our society that was brought about by feminism. For millennia, our society has excused male sexual privilege and allowed powerful, wealthy men to have harems and mistresses. But in the 1970s and 1980s that began to change; men were no longer allowed different rules than women. A good example of this is Bill Clinton versus John F. Kennedy. Kennedy had more sex than Clinton in the White House, but nobody ever called him a sex addict. Clinton, though, got a famous blowjob and former President Gerald Ford called him a sex addict, along with other people working in media. Why? Because society was no longer willing to allow powerful men to just kind of get away with their sexual infidelity.

Ley also mentions a study that found that more than half the so-called sex addicts in treatment were white men making more than $85,000 a year…

more…

https://melmagazine.com/sex-addiction-still-not-a-real-thing-65e136550b8#.ve906zfq2

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