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Comment How about "The Housekeeper and the Professor? (Score 1) 278

I really liked "The Housekeeper and the Professor" by Yoko Ogawa. Maybe its not exactly what you were looking for since the math is pretty simple and is not the sole focus of the story, but the story itself is excellent and its hard not to read the book without being inspired by how beautiful mathematics is.

Comment This is interesting, but the title is misleading. (Score 3, Insightful) 210

The headline was a bit misleading. You still can't measure a quantum state without having its superposition collapse to what was measured. If I understand what the article is saying properly, these scientists are not able to peak into the box to measure "Schrodinger's Cat's" state of aliveness, but they can still peak to see if the cat is a tabby or a calico. If fur pattern isn't a good quantum number, then that will cause the "cat" to change its spots, but later probes can be used to nudge it back to its original state. Meanwhile, you haven't disturbed the "cat's" aliveness or deadness. The important part seems to be being able to "nudge" certain states with probes to get some information out of the system without really changing it.

Comment Re:Spent fuel stored on site? (Score 1) 369

There are a lot of intermediate isotopes from the main uranium fission reaction in the spent fuel rods and although the main reaction can not take place because the storage geometry they still produce heat from those secondary reactions. That heat is a small fraction of that from the main reaction that runs a nuclear power plant, but it still must be carried away somehow or the spent fuel rods can get extremely hot. They are put into a large amount of water in a system which has a heat exchanger for several years until these secondary reactions have become so weak that there is no risk of damaging them anymore. They are then sent to dry storage. The problem with transporting them off-site at the beginning is that you *must* have a large amount of water covering them both to dissipate heat and to block radiation. Its very difficult to transport them when they need to be in so much water during the entire transportation process. As a result they are usually stored on site. I think the reason why they are on the roof of the Fukushima Daiichi reactors is because they can then lift the spent fuel rods with a crane on the roof and move them directly to storage very quickly without the risks involved in transporting them to a location somewhere else across the plant.

Obama Sides With Bush In Spy Case 906 is one of many who writes "President Obama has publicly sided with the Bush administration on the question of whether the President should be allowed to establish warrantless wiretapping programs designed to monitor US citizens. The President has asked a federal judge to stay a ruling that would allow key evidence into the domestic spying case against the government. 'Thursday's filing by the Obama administration marked the first time it officially lodged a court document in the lawsuit asking the courts to rule on the constitutionality of the Bush administration's warrantless-eavesdropping program.'" jamie points out that Obama's views and opinions were made clear through his Senate vote and numerous public statements, but many others see this as a disappointing start to an administration promising transparency and openness.

Comment Re:The end of residential computer networks (Score 1) 331

One of UT Knoxville's solutions was to block all P2P file transfers on the university network. I have no idea of how much the software/hardware to do this cost and I hate to think how many computers on campus were comprimised by people downloading patches from untrustworthy websites when the World of Warcraft expansion came out last week (since Blizzard's official updater is excruciatingly slow when it can't use bittorrent).

Comment Abuse of the word "science". (Score 1) 683

How are unobservable "multiverses" and a theory which not only is unprovable, but can not make any predictions any more scientifically satisfying than having an intellegent creator? It seems to me that this is basically replacing one religion with another and has nothing to do with real science (which must be testable and make predictions).

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