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Submission + - Writing and Deletion of Single Skyrmions Could Yield Far Smaller Storage Devices

An anonymous reader writes: Scientists from the University of Hamburg say they have found a way to create and annihilate single skyrmions — small magnetic vortices that occur in a variety of materials — in a manner that corresponds with the writing and deletion of information from a storage device.

Comment Prelude to extradition request (Score 1) 616

Russia is also a party to the European Convention on Human Rights, so the Strasbourg court can prevent it from extraditing Snowden if he can face the death punishment (less certain about torture, since Russia failed to ratify the relevant protocol). Holder is simply preparing his extradition request to Moscow.
The Military

Submission + - Fighter jets armed with lasers

doru writes: "The Pentagon is interested in mounting 150 kW lasers aboard military aircraft, for defense against rockets and surface-to-air missiles but also for attacking ground targets. These devices are less powerful (but also much lighter) than the 1 MW laser tested in the cancelled Airborne Laser Test Bed program. Tests should begin in 2014."

Submission + - Gun-related deaths and inequality

doru writes: Each new mass shooting revives the discussion of gun control and raises the point of the relation between gun possession and gun-related deaths. However, the situation is presumably much more complex. For instance, the number of deaths by firearm is also strongly correlated with the inequality (as quantified by the GINI coefficient). What other parameters might be relevant?

Comment It has been reproduced (Score 2) 186

The data obtained by two independent experiments (CMS and ATLAS, both at the LHC) is in excellent agreement for the mass of the particle. The results are also coherent with those obtained by two experiments (CDF and D0) based at the Fermilab. Something has been found, with a very high statistical relevance (five sigma level, so there is only a chance in a few million that this is a fluctuation). Whether this something is indeed the Higgs boson as predicted depends on its detailed behaviour, so it will take more time to find out. It does however look like it, or a close relative...

Comment Re:Exhaustive search... (Score 2) 170

Notice that no computers where involved in the proof — this is classical mathematical proof involving logical deductions rather than exhaustive search.

Computers were involved to some extent. From Tao's blog:

The first refinement, which is only available in the five primes case, is to take advantage of the numerical verification of the even Goldbach conjecture up to some large {N_0} (we take {N_0=4\times 10^{14}}, using a verification of Richstein [...])

. See the paper by Richstein:

Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success. -- Christopher Lascl