My picks, 2015-6

These are the latest articles and videos I found most interesting.

  1. Extraordinary mimicking skills of a budgie
  2. World’s Hardest Climb Goal of Yosemite Wall Climber
  3. The Human Brain Project
  4. ISS: A step closer to deep space – How Boeing is helping NASA prepare for a #JourneyToMars
  5. Superstrings
  6. Quantum Entanglement & Spooky Action at a Distance
  7. GUTs and TOEs
  8. Memristor research at HP Labs
  9. Rocket science – how hard can it be?

Extraordinary mimicking skills of a budgie

BBC

When budgies mimic their owners they are simply doing what they would do in the wild. They learn their names from their parents and also the distinct calls of their family.


World’s Hardest Climb Goal of Yosemite Wall Climber

YouTube

Prior to getting on the Dawn Wall in Yosemite National Park, the most difficult “big wall” objective in the world, Kevin Jorgeson had a very different climbing focus and style. It all changed when he was approached by Tommy Caldwell to partner up and take on the impossible.


The Human Brain Project

Dr Sean Hill

What I cannot create, I do not understand.

‒ Richard Feynman

Dr Sean Hill, co-Director of Neuroinformatics in the European Union funded Human Brain Project (HBP), gave a distinguished invited talk for Imperial’s Data Science Institute.



ISS: A step closer to deep space – How Boeing is helping NASA prepare for a #JourneyToMars

Boeing

The International Space Station is a lab like no other. There NASA researches new technologies and methods of maintaining life in space so that astronauts can safely explore Mars and beyond. Boeing is the prime contractor for the ISS.


Superstrings

Fermi lab

The quest to find the ultimate building blocks of nature is one of the oldest in all of physics. While we are far from knowing the answer to that question, one intriguing proposed answer is that all matter is composed of tiny “strings.” The known particles are simply different vibrational patterns of these strings. In this video, Fermilab’s Dr. Don Lincoln explains this idea, using interesting and accessible examples of real-world vibrations.


Quantum Entanglement & Spooky Action at a Distance

Veritasium

Does hidden information (called hidden variables by physicists) exist? If it does, the experiment violating Bell inequalities indicates that hidden variables must update faster than light – they would be considered ‘non-local’. On the other hand if you don’t consider the spins before you make the measurement then you could simply say hidden variables don’t exist and whenever you measure spins in the same direction you always get opposite results, which makes sense since angular momentum must be conserved in the universe.

Everyone agrees that quantum entanglement does not allow information to be transmitted faster that light. There is no action either detector operator could take to signal the other one – regardless of the choice of measurement direction, the measured spins are random with 50/50 probability of up/down.


GUTs and TOEs

Fermi lab

Albert Einstein said that what he wanted to know was “God’s thoughts,” which is a metaphor for the ultimate and most basic rules of the universe. Once known, all other phenomena would then be a consequence of these simple rules. While modern science is far from that goal, we have some thoughts on how this inquiry might unfold. In this video, Fermilab’s Dr. Don Lincoln tells what we know about GUTs (grand unified theories) and TOEs (theories of everything).


Memristor research at HP Labs

HP

Meet HP Labs Research Scientist John Paul Strachan and hear him talk about how memristors work, demonstrate them in action and their performance.


Rocket science – how hard can it be?

David Madlener

In this lecture we will review the basics of space flight, discuss common problems and pitfalls encountered by a practitioner on the way to orbit, and report on the state of our sounding rocket program.

We are the Forschungsgemeinschaft Alternative Raumfahrt e. V. (Research Community on Alternative Space Travel) or FAR for short, and have been working on feasible ways into space since our foundation in August 2003. After extensive experimentation with solid and hybrid propulsion systems on the ground, we developed the sounding rocket family “Arguna”. Since 2005 four different versions have been designed, built, and flown with different payloads. After a short review of basic rocket science and an outline of common propulsion technologies, we will report on the results of performed flights and experiments, especially of our latest sounding rocket Arguna IV.

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