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Submission + - Some physical properties are undecidable (nature.com)

wheelbarrio writes: In a paper titled "Undecidability of the spectral gap" published last week in Nature, three theoretical computer scientists demonstrate that at least one important characteristic of a physical system is axiomatically unprovable. Specifically, the presence or absence of a non-zero spectral gap — the difference in energy between the ground state and first excited state of a quantum system — cannot derived from first principles. The proof involves constructing a correspondence between the calculation of the spectral gap and the Turing machine halting problem. Unless a loophole is found this is a profoundly distressing result for physicists, and it means that the sixth Clay Millennium Prize problem (Yang-Mills mass gap) is insoluble.

Submission + - Huge Jupiter-Like Storm Rages On Cool 'Failed Star' (discovery.com)

astroengine writes: Jupiter’s Big Red Spot is the largest example of a long-lived storm in the solar system, but now it has some pretty stiff competition in another star system. However, this “exo-storm” hasn’t been spied on another gas giant, it’s been spotted in the uppermost layers of a cool, small "failed star" or brown dwarf. Using 3 NASA space telescopes, new research published in The Astrophysical Journal has found that this spot isn't a starspot, but a bona fide storm that has more in common with Jupiter's famous cyclone. So is this REALLY a failed star? Or is is an "overachieving planet"?

Submission + - NASA spies Earth-sized exoplanet orbiting Sun-like star

An anonymous reader writes: NASA has announced that a new Earth like planet has been discovered that may be the closest thing yet to a first true "Earth twin". Kepler 452b, is located 1,000 light years away, is 60% larger than Earth, and orbits Kepler 452 at a distance similar to that between Earth and the Sun. “It is the first terrestrial planet in the habitable zone around a star very similar to the Sun,” says Douglas Caldwell, an astronomer at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California.

Submission + - How pentaquarks may lead to the discovery of new fundamental physics

StartsWithABang writes: Over 100 years ago, Rutherford's gold foil experiment discovered the atomic nucleus. At higher energies, we can split that nucleus apart into protons and neutrons, and at still higher ones, into individual quarks and gluons. But these quarks and gluons can combine in amazing ways: not just into mesons and baryons, but into exotic states like tetraquarks, pentaquarks and even glueballs. As the LHC brings these states from theory to reality, here's what we're poised to learn, and probe, by pushing the limits of quantum chromodynamics.

Submission + - Congress Seeks to Quash Patent Trolls (scientificamerican.com)

walterbyrd writes: The process is moving quickly. The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to vote on the bill by the end of the month, readying it for a final Senate vote this summer, and the House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee is likely to vote this week on a similar measure. That gives observers optimism that Congress will finally enact patent-troll legislation after a failed effort last year. “The Senate version really does seem to be hitting some sort of sweet spot,” says Arti Rai, co-director of the Duke Law Center for Innovation Policy in Durham, North Carolina.

Submission + - Neural implants let paralyzed man take a drink (foxnews.com)

mpicpp writes: Erik Sorto was shot in the back 13 years ago and paralyzed from the neck down. Yet recently the father of two lifted a bottle of beer to his lips and gave himself a drink, even though he can’t move his arms or legs.

Mr. Sorto, 34, picked up his drink with a robotic arm controlled by his thoughts. Two silicon chips in his brain read his intentions and channeled them via wires to the prosthetic arm on a nearby table. The team that developed the experimental implant, led by researchers at the California Institute of Technology, reported their work Thursday in the journal Science.

“That was amazing,” Mr. Sorto said. “I was waiting for that for 13 years, to drink a beer by myself.”

Mr. Sorto’s neural implant is the latest in a series of prosthetic devices that promise one day to restore smooth, almost natural movement to those who have lost the use of their limbs through disease or injury, by tapping directly into the signals generated by the brain.

For years, laboratories at Brown University, Duke University and Caltech, among others, have experimented with brain-controlled prosthetics. Those devices include wireless implants able to relay rudimentary mental commands, mind-controlled robotic leg braces, and sensors that add a sense of touch to robotic hands. In 2012, University of Pittsburgh researchers demonstrated a brain implant that allowed a paralyzed woman to feed herself a chocolate bar using a robot arm.

Submission + - Army develops blast-proof wallpaper (thestack.com)

An anonymous reader writes: U.S. army engineers are developing a new blast-proof wallpaper prototype that they claim could help protect soldiers from the impact of an explosion and flying debris. The lightweight adhesive fabric is lined with ballistic Kevlar fibers embedded in flexible polymer film. Nick Boone, a research mechanical engineer at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said that the rolls of paper could be easily transported by military troops and used to quickly line the walls in temporary buildings. Without the wallpaper, a wall that is hit will “rubblize,” said Boone, hurling shards of rock and mortar at the soldiers inside. However when the blast occurs with the wallpaper installed, he explained that the fabric acts as a “catcher's net,” and is able to contain the flying rubble and prevent debris from injuring soldiers.

Submission + - NASA gives away over 1000 of its tool to the public (nextgov.com)

ganjadude writes: Once again NASA is giving back to the people. They just recently released over 1000 of the tools that it uses to the people in its second annual Software Catalog.
From the article :

The program tools are organized into 15 separate categories, which range in scope from aeronautics and propulsion, to system testing and handling, according to the catalog.
For example, the Vehicle Sketch Pad, or OpenVSP, is a tool NASA uses to design aircrafts by way of geometry modeling.

so go have a look and see what kind of use you can get from these tools

Submission + - Microsoft Graph Engine 1.0 Preview Released

Yatao Li writes: We are very pleased to announce that the Graph Engine 1.0 preview has finally been released to the public. Graph Engine, previously known as Trinity, is a distributed, in-memory, large graph processing engine.

Submission + - World's Smallest Beamsplitter Paves Way Toward Computing at the Speed of Light (gizmag.com)

Zothecula writes: Silicon photonics is an emerging technology that incorporates electronic circuits using photons of laser light rather than electrons to transmit, receive, and manipulate information. As such, a silicon photonic CPU could potentially process information at the speed of light – millions of times faster than computers available today. In a step towards this goal, engineers working at the University of Utah have developed an ultra-compact photonic beam-splitter so small that millions of these devices could fit on a single silicon chip.

Submission + - Is Lily a Drone? Or Is It a Camera? (ieee.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Antoine Balaresque and Henry Bradlow have developed an autonomous flying video camera for use in filming action sports on land and water, capturing scenery while hiking and sightseeing, and covering family events (so everyone gets in the picture). They think they’ve made it simple enough that a parent could just toss it in the air and forget about it while coaxing a child to take her first steps. They have enough seed money ($1 million in investment) to get the prototype they’ve been developing for the past year into production. The technology is coming along nicely; they’ve been able to hire the experts in computer vision, controls, and industrial design that they need, and they’re on track to ship in February 2016.

But they have a problem. Their product looks an awful lot like a drone—and they don’t want to be a drone company, they want to be a camera company. Has drone technology evolved to the point that it's not a drone--in the same way a smart coffeemaker is not a computer--and they really can call this a camera, not a drone?

Submission + - Dissolvable Electronic Stent Can Monitor Blocked Arteries (acs.org)

ckwu writes: To restore blood flow in a narrowed or blocked artery, doctors can implant a metal stent to hold open the vessel. But over time, stents can cause inflammation and turbulent blood flow that lead to new blockages. Now, researchers have designed a stent carrying a suite of onboard electronic blood-flow and temperature sensors, drug delivery particles, data storage, and communication capabilities to detect and overcome these problems. The entire device is designed to dissolve as the artery heals. Medical device companies and cardiologists could look at this electronic stent as a kind of menu from which they can pick whatever components are most promising for treating certain kinds of cardiovascular disease, the researchers say.

Submission + - MIT Algorithm Banishes Window Reflections In Photos (itworld.com)

itwbennett writes: Researchers at MIT and Google Research have developed a method to automatically remove reflections that appear when shooting photos through glass. The technique finds glass reflections in photos by using the fact that they're usually made up of two reflections, one slightly offset from the other. Since the second reflection is a set distance from the first, the researchers used an algorithm to distinguish the reflections from all the other data in the image.

Submission + - One of the Strongest, Lightest Metals Ever Made Is Less Dense Than Water

Jason Koebler writes: A new class of magnesium-alloy syntactic foam, which is made out of hollow particles to lower its weight and density is one of the strongest metals for its weight and density ever developed, which makes it ideal for use in boats.
Developed by Nikhil Gupta at NYU Polytechnic University, the alloy is 44 percent stronger than similar, aluminum-based foams, and each individual sphere within the foam can withstand pressure of more than 25,000 pounds per square inch before breaking, which is roughly 100 times the pressure exerted by water coming out of a firehose. Gupta's foams are currently used by the Navy and he suspects this one will be ready for use in warships within three years.

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