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Science

LHCb Confirms Existence of Exotic Hadrons 99

Posted by Soulskill
from the pushing-back-the-boundaries-of-physics dept.
An anonymous reader sends this news from CERN: "The Large Hadron Collider beauty (LHCb) collaboration today announced results that confirm the existence of exotic hadrons – a type of matter that cannot be classified within the traditional quark model. Hadrons are subatomic particles that can take part in the strong interaction – the force that binds protons inside the nuclei of atoms. Physicists have theorized since the 1960s, and ample experimental evidence since has confirmed, that hadrons are made up of quarks and antiquarks that determine their properties. A subset of hadrons, called mesons, is formed from quark-antiquark pairs, while the rest – baryons – are made up of three quarks. ... The Belle Collaboration reported the first evidence for the Z(4430) in 2008. They found a tantalizing peak in the mass distribution of particles that result from the decays of B mesons. Belle later confirmed the existence of the Z(4430) with a significance of 5.2 sigma on the scale that particle physicists use to describe the certainty of a result. LHCb reports a more detailed measurement of the Z(4430) that confirms that it is unambiguously a particle, and a long-sought exotic hadron at that. They analyzed more than 25,000 decays of B mesons selected from data from 180 trillion (180x10^12) proton-proton collisions in the Large Hadron Collider."

Comment: Re:I don't get it (Score 3, Interesting) 306

The summary is quite clear.
Blender produced the video, Sintel, and publish it to Youtube under the creative commons license.
Sony reuses the video as part of their 4k marketing material.
Sony provides youtube with a "reference" copy of their marketing material, and tells youtube to find copies of the material and to exercise Sony's rights over it.
Youtube finds the original Sintel video and matches it to a "reference" copyrighted work (Sony's marketing material).
Youtube arranges for forced commercial licensing of the Blender video with proceeds going to Sony.

Comment: Re:Stop using Youtube (Score 1) 306

Which is more or less exactly what happens with the DMCA.

The accuser sends a notice to the hosting company saying they believe they are publishing infringing material.
Hosting company informs customer, and will remove content if no reply is received within 24 hours.
Customer responds, that they own the copyright, and once done hosting company restores the content, if removed, or does not remove it if the time period has not elapsed.

Once that stage is reached, the accuser must pay all costs and the video stays up until the case is closed.

The issue is that most providers will remove the material fist, and ask questions later - even though, they are permitted to leave the material for 24 hours to allow the accused to respond.
The other issue is that there is no penalty or cost for an accuser to make false claims under the DMCA. A malicious accuser can easily cause huge administrative headaches for hosting companies and content creators, and face no penalty or cost for it. Things get a lot more expensive and risky for the accuser at the 2nd phase once, and the number of copyright cases that progress after a DMCA counter-claim is very small indeed.

Comment: Re:Why not use GNU/Linux? (Score 2) 341

There may not be a satisfactory alternative.

I was last month negotiating over the purchase of a results reporting and communication system. I spoke to one of the biggest suppliers and asked what platforms they supported: "We support Windows 7 with IE 8." "We're increasing moving to mobile devices, what support do you have for Windows 8, IE9, Mac OS, Android, iOS and other browsers such as Safari, Chrome and firefox". "We will be adding Windows 8 support in our next annual update, which will be available for the standard version upgrade fee. There are no plans to support any other browsers or OSs".

There are a variety of other products in this field, but they all have widely different features, integration capability (can it integrate with neighbouring hospitals systems, or primary care physician systems), etc.

If the only product which can provide your "core specification" is restricted like this, then you can't just go elsewhere.

Comment: Re:Proprietary (Score 1) 341

Actually, they often do care about open-source, but in the wrong way.

I was recently purchasing some specialist medical software, and one of the key terms in the contract specified by senior management, was "the software should not contain any open-source components, except where no close-source alternative exists, and the vendor must ensure that appropriate restrictions over access to the source code are maintained at all times during the duration of the contract".

I managed to get that one negotiated to something less unrealistic (i.e. open source 3rd party libraries permitted), as the only realistic product choice made heavy use of technologies such as xuggler, libpng, openjpeg, etc.

The reason for this, "security". The management were adamant that "open source" was a catastrophic security risk, because "it exposed vulnerabilities in the software". They could/would not be educated on this matter.

Comment: Re:Why not use GNU/Linux? (Score 5, Interesting) 341

This is exactly it. I know one hospital that recently "refreshed" their hardware to new Quad core 4th generation i5 desktops. The OS - Windows XP SP1. Why?

The specialist medical applications that they run are too expensive to upgrade, and the version they run doesn't support XP SP2. Medical software is not cheap - something like a "results reporting system" which aggregates test results from multiple departments (e.g. blood chemistry, hematology, MRI, ultrasound, physiology, cardiology, etc.) and presents them to a physician - can cost $1million for the license. For a PACS (X-ray viewing and archiving) software, the license could easily cost $10 million for a large hospital (or group of hospitals).

If it would cost you $2 million to replace a specialist app, then you may be stuck with having to use an older OS - especially, if the app developer has gone out of business and you no longer have any support (very, very common in the medical industry).

Some of the more forward thinking IT departments have started rolling out Windows 7, and using some sort of virtualization service, to run the specialist apps under the appropriate OS/IE version/Java runtime/.NET runtime that each one needs. The difficulty with this, is that you essentially have not just your Win7 environment to manage, but also all the individual virtualized run time environments. The administrative burden that this requires can be substantial.

Comment: Re:Smelling more fishy every day. (Score 1) 227

by ChumpusRex2003 (#46547855) Attached to: MtGox Finds 200,000 Bitcoins In Old Wallet

Yes. It is practical, and if you have a bitcoin client (with knowledge of your public key) running, it will show your balance in real time.

This type of setup is often called a "watch wallet" and a number of bitcoin exchanges have these set up as a method of auditing their transactions against their deposit/withdrawal database (to detect intrusions, database bugs, and to detect insider thefts).

Comment: Re:What does "stealing" bitcoins mean anyway? (Score 1) 227

by ChumpusRex2003 (#46547769) Attached to: MtGox Finds 200,000 Bitcoins In Old Wallet

That is correct. There is no such thing as "a bitcoin" - instead, all you have are balances in a distributed public ledger.

Each balance has an associated public key pair. A payment instruction in bitcoin simply consists of a digitally signed message effectively saying "1Alice56789 pays 1.234 BTC to 1Bob12345 ". This message propagates around the network, and if Alice has sufficent funds to cover the transaction, and the signature is genuine, then the network will, in due course, add it to the ledger. If Alice doesn't have sufficient funds or the signature is invalid, then it will not be added to the ledger and the transaction will fail.

If you possess the private key associated with a particular "account", then you effectively control its spending power. All you need is the private key to the relevant "address" to control all the bitcoin held in it, or that may arrive in it, for all time.

It is not possible to transfer BTC without someone knowing. As soon as the transfer is confirmed, it appears in the public ledger. Similarly, because the ledger is public, if you know who holds the private key to a particular address, you know how many BTC they control.

In fact, on the day that Mt Gox claimed to have lost all their BTC, the general public knew that this was BS. Mt Gox had a couple of years ago, revealed the identity of some of their "cold" addresses. On the day of their bankruptcy, the bitcoin community had identified 200k BTC still held within these addresses, hence why the announcement was widely disbelieved. A competeing hypothesis to "transaction malleability theft" was that Mt Gox had simply lost their private keys to the BTC effectively resulting the in those BTC being forever lost. The fact that Mt Gox had started reorganising and moving these BTC to new addresses a couple of weeks ago, also had not gone unnoticed.

Comment: Re:There must be a very good reason... (Score 5, Informative) 579

by ChumpusRex2003 (#45791239) Attached to: Utilities Fight Back Against Solar Energy

Because it is exceedingly expensive to do so.

The issue is that of voltage tolerance. The grid is designed to supply power form central to peripheral. The central voltage is held higher than peripheral, so that the expected voltage drop through supply impedance will result in a voltage at the customer premises which is within tolerance.

If current flow is reversed through the high impedance "last mile", then you can get severe voltage elevation at the point of connection of the generation. This can result in equipment damage (usually the customers) and legal problems for the electricity network operator.

The only way to deal with this problem is to increase the "prospective fault current" of the customer circuit by reducing the system impedance. This isn't something simple like replacing transformers, it is extremely expensive and requires repalcement of cabling with heavier gauge wire, upgrade of safety equipment to withstand the higher fault currents, and may require uprating of transformers and switchgear to handle the magnetic and thermal forces of a fault on the now upgraded circuit.

There are other issues too. Grid transformers are often not designed to operate in reverse power - the tappings are designed for voltage drop in the direction of HV to LV. Under reverse power, there may be insufficient tap range to get satisfactory voltages. Only way around this is to replace the transformer.

Finally, there are second order effects, such as reduced efficiency of transformers when operated in reverse power, due to higher levels of flux leakage from the secondary (primary windings usually go nearest the core, so that stray flux cuts through the secondary and transfers power).

Comment: Re:Or, maybe (Score 1) 151

by ChumpusRex2003 (#45548739) Attached to: Online Shopping: Hazardous To Junk Food's Health

Actually, as cereals/grains make up a large part of the modern diet, the fact that they are poor sources of certain vitamins becomes relevant. For example, breakfast cereal commonly has folic acid added, not because it was lost during process (although some is), but because it is an important public health measure. Same for flour for bread making.

Additionally, some nutrients will be lost from processing - usually cooking, as most breakfast cereals are baked. Many vitamins are heat unstable and are therefore added back by the manufacturers.

Comment: Re:Ethanol is a crock nobody wants (Score 4, Informative) 330

by ChumpusRex2003 (#45444375) Attached to: Can the US Be Weaned Off Ethanol?

Ethanol can be a big problem with certain modern cars.

Toyota and its luxury devision, Lexus, have this problem with models up to 2008. For example, the 2008 Lexus IS (built during calendar year 2007) is not E10 compatible. In areas where E10 fuel was legally mandated, lexus noticed a high rate of warranty replacements of the fuel injection pump and fuel injector failure, as well as fuel leaks from the fuel injection manifold. This was found to be ethanol induced corrosion of the metal alloys used in the injection pump and manifolds. Oxidation and debris from the corrosion would also clog injectors or cause them to leak.

These cars were recalled in the US, but were not recalled outside of the US. Customers with these cars who are now out of warranty are potentially SOL, if they live in an area where E10 is expected to be mandated shortly.

It's not just recent Japanese cars that have problems with E10. Recent european cars also have major problems with E10. Mercedes-Benz vehicles built between 2002 and 2005 are not E10 compatible, as are numerous post 2000 Fiat vehicles, Audi/Volkswagen/Seat/Skoda vehicles with direct injection systems built before 2006, etc. The list of non-compatible cars is very long.

Comment: Re:How many people will die because of this? (Score 1) 372

by ChumpusRex2003 (#45239449) Attached to: NYC's 250,000 Street Lights To Be Replaced With LEDs By 2017

I sense some exaggeration here. In the US CFLs never got that cheap in any size that I've ever seen, even at the mass discount stores. That must have been some massive government subsidy.

Not an exaggeration. Many stores would sell subsidised CFLs for about that price. Same with other energy saving products (I'd seen rolls of thermal insulation material - 10 yards, 6" thick on the shelves at hardware stores for about $2-3 each; but there were big warnings on the shelves which read something similar to the followion - warning! for personal domestic use only. Commercial use of this product is illegal. By purchasing this product, you certify that it will not be resold, used in the course of business or in the construction of a new building)

In fact, the energy suppliers had "energy reduction" targets to meet, and huge fines were levied if they didn't spend $x per year on assisting customers to use less energy. A common way for the energy companies to do this, was to buy massively cheap CFLs from China, claim the cost as a "green expense" and then just mail out unsolicited boxes full of CFLs to every customer. That really did happen, and the bulbs were the lowest possible grade available. The best bit, was that the energy companies could claim the cost of the CFLs as a "green expense", and the government would fund them. Where did the govt get the money from, it came from a surcharge on energy bills. It was even better for the energy company, if they could get a kick-back from the CFL vendor as part of a big order at list-price.

The cost of these "green projects" added to domestic energy bills comes to about $250 per household per year, accounting for about 15% of the total cost.

Comment: Re:Cue the Unintended Consequences (Score 1) 372

by ChumpusRex2003 (#45239303) Attached to: NYC's 250,000 Street Lights To Be Replaced With LEDs By 2017

I've had the same LED light interference problem. At work, at the exit to the car park, they have flashing warning lights. They recently switched from incandescent to LED. Now when you drive past, you lose FM reception when the lights are in the on phase.

Maybe it's a bad batch of lights, but the flashing isn't synchronised between all the bulbs, and you can hear different interference sounds on the radio and work out which bulb they relate to.

I've also had CFLs do the same thing, but those were super cheap junk ones.

That said, incandescents can also produce RF interference that in certain instances can be troublesome. I've certainly seen an incandescent bulb with a failing filament produce enough RF to render an MRI scanner unusable (this is actually a common fault found on MRI scanners with an "excessive image noise" service call). The mechanism is that a tiny develops at a weak point in the filament, but strikes an arc between filament ends. It is the arc (disturbed by vibrations in the filament, convection currents, etc.) that modulates the current in the MHz range.

"There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a vacuum." --Arthur C. Clarke

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