Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×
Math

String Theory Predicts Behavior of Superfluids 348

schrodingers_rabbit writes "Despite formidable odds, condensed matter physicists have made a breakthrough most thought impossible — finding a practical use for string theory. The initial breakthrough was made by physicist and cosmologist Juan Maldacena. His theory states that the known universe is only a 2D construct in anti-de-Sitter space, projected into 3 dimensions. This theory manages to model black holes and quantum theory congruently, a feat that has eluded scientists for decades; but it fails to correspond to the shape of space-time in the known universe. However, it does predict thermodynamic properties of black holes, including higher-dimensional viscosity — the equations for which elegantly and almost exactly calculate the behavior of quark-gluon plasma and other superfluids. According to Jan Zaanen at the University of Leiden, 'The theory is calculating precisely what we are seeing in experiments.' Unfortunately, the correspondence cannot prove or disprove string theory, although it is a positive step." Not an easy path to follow: one condensed matter theorist said, "It took two years and two 1000-page books of dense mathematics, but I learned string theory and got kind of enchanted by it. [When the string-theory related] thing began to... make predictions about high-temperature superconductors, my traditional mainstay, I was one of the few condensed matter physicists with the preparation to take it up."
Media

CoS Bigwig Likens Wikipedia Ban to Nazis' Yellow Star Decree 567

We mentioned on Thursday that Wikipedia has banned edits originating from certain IP addresses belonging to the Church of Scientology; reader newtley writes now that Scientology leader (CEO and Chairman of the Board of the linked, but legally separate, Religious Technology Center) David Miscavige calls the ban "a 'despicable hate crime,' and asks, 'What's next, will Scientologists have to wear yellow, six-pointed stars on our clothing?' During World War II, Hitler forced Jewish men, women and children to wear a a yellow cloth star bearing the word Jude to brand them in the streets of Europe, and in the Nazi death camps."
Space

Submission + - Telescope Network Will Locate Sagittarius A* (newscientist.com)

schrodingers_rabbit writes: "Despite physicist's increasing focus on the small, a recently created network of microwave telescopes could soon quite literally shed light on relativity's elephant in the room- the black hole. According to New Scientist magazine, a network of microwave telescopes with enough power to view the black hole in the center of our galaxy, Sagittarius A*, could be completed in mere months. Although the network is not yet complete, a team led by Shep Doeleman at MIT's Haystack Observatory has recorded hazy, incomplete images very close to the quality required to prove the existence of the black hole. The existence of the black hole would further validate general relativity, which predicts a supermassive black hole or similarly enormous object at the center of the galaxy."

Slashdot Top Deals

The tree of research must from time to time be refreshed with the blood of bean counters. -- Alan Kay

Working...