A Corbeled Gallery work

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Teleporting (cont.)

LONDON, England (Reuters) -- Beaming people in "Star Trek" fashion is still in the realms of science fiction, but physicists in Denmark have teleported information from light to matter bringing quantum communication and computing closer to reality.

Until now scientists have teleported similar objects such as light or single atoms over short distances from one spot to another in a split second.

But Professor Eugene Polzik and his team at the Niels Bohr Institute at Copenhagen University in Denmark have made a breakthrough by using both light and matter.

"It is one step further because for the first time it involves teleportation between light and matter, two different objects. One is the carrier of information and the other one is the storage medium," Polzik explained in an interview on Wednesday.

The experiment involved for the first time a macroscopic atomic object containing thousands of billions of atoms. They also teleported the information a distance of half a meter but believe it can be extended further.

"Teleportation between two single atoms had been done two years ago by two teams, but this was done at a distance of a fraction of a millimeter," Polzik, of the Danish National Research Foundation Center for Quantum Optics, explained.

"Our method allows teleportation to be taken over longer distances because it involves light as the carrier of entanglement," he added.

Quantum entanglement involves entwining two or more particles without physical contact.
Although teleportation is associated with the science-fiction series "Star Trek," no one is likely to be beamed anywhere soon.

But the achievement of Polzik's team, in collaboration with the theorist Ignacio Cirac of the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching, Germany, marks an advancement in the field of quantum information and computers, which could transmit and process information in a way that was impossible before.

"It is really about teleporting information from one site to another site. Quantum information is different from classical information in the sense that it cannot be measured. It has much higher information capacity and it cannot be eavesdropped on. The transmission of quantum information can be made unconditionally secure," said Polzik whose research is reported in the journal Nature.

Quantum computing requires manipulation of information contained in the quantum states, which include physical properties such as energy, motion and magnetic field, of the atoms.
"Creating entanglement is a very important step, but there are two more steps at least to perform teleportation. We have succeeded in making all three steps -- that is entanglement, quantum measurement and quantum feedback," he added.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Biodigital Cloning

In 1998, physicists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), along with two European groups, turned the IBM ideas into reality by successfully teleporting a photon, a particle of energy that carries light. The Caltech group was able to read the atomic structure of a photon, send this information across 1 meter (3.28 feet) of coaxial cable and create a replica of the photon. As predicted, the original photon no longer existed once the replica was made.

In performing the experiment, the Caltech group was able to get around the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, the main barrier for teleportation of objects larger than a photon. This principle states that you cannot simultaneously know the location and the speed of a particle. But if you can't know the position of a particle, then how can you teleport it? In order to teleport a photon without violating the Heisenberg Principle, the Caltech physicists used a phenomenon known as entanglement. In entanglement, at least three photons are needed to achieve quantum teleportation:

Photon A: The photon to be teleported
Photon B: The transporting photon
Photon C: The photon that is entangled with photon B

If researchers tried to look too closely at photon A without entanglement, they would bump it, and thereby change it. By entangling photons B and C, researchers can extract some information about photon A, and the remaining information would be passed on to B by way of entanglement, and then on to photon C. When researchers apply the information from photon A to photon C, they can create an exact replica of photon A. However, photon A no longer exists as it did before the information was sent to photon C.

In other words, when Captain Kirk beams down to an alien planet, an analysis of his atomic structure is passed through the transporter room to his desired location, where a replica of Kirk is created and the original is destroyed.

A more recent teleportation success was achieved at the Australian National University, when researchers successfully teleported a laser beam.

For a person to be transported, a machine would have to be built that can pinpoint and analyze all of the 10^28 atoms that make up the human body. That's more than a trillion trillion atoms. This machine would then have to send this information to another location, where the person's body would be reconstructed with exact precision. Molecules couldn't be even a millimeter out of place, lest the person arrive with some severe neurological or physiological defect.

If such a machine were possible, it's unlikely that the person being transported would actually be "transported." It would work more like a fax machine -- a duplicate of the person would be made at the receiving end, but with much greater precision than a fax machine. But what would happen to the original? One theory suggests that teleportation would combine genetic cloning with digitization.

In this biodigital cloning, tele-travelers would have to die, in a sense. Their original mind and body would no longer exist. Instead, their atomic structure would be recreated in another location, and digitization would recreate the travelers' memories, emotions, hopes and dreams. So the travelers would still exist, but they would do so in a new body, of the same atomic structure as the original body, programmed with the same information.

For theologists, this means that the new body wouldn't have the original soul

Friday, May 26, 2006

Plan for cloaking device unveiled

Professor Sir John Pendry says a simple demonstration model that could work for radar might be possible within 18 months' time. The concept? Special materials could make light "flow" around an object like water.

Two separate teams, including Professor Pendry's, have outlined ways to cloak objects in the journal Science.

These research papers present the maths required to verify that the concept could work. But developing an invisibility cloak is likely to pose significant challenges.

Both groups propose methods using the unusual properties of so-called "metamaterials" to build a cloak.

These metamaterials can be designed to induce a desired change in the direction of electromagnetic waves, such as light. This is done by tinkering with the nano-scale structure of the metamaterial, not by altering its chemistry.

Light flow

When light hits the surface of a metal such as silver, as well as a reflection, another form of light is excited at the surface. This light, bound to the surface as a small mixture of light and electrons, is called a surface plasmon, its behaviour likened to waves on the surface of a 'sea' of electrons. For many years a curiosity, the properties of plasmons have only recently been fully explored.

In their paper this week, the theorists show that holes perforating a surface can spoof the creation of these plasmons, and they suggest that the effect could be harnessed to channel light at tiny scales, overcoming one of the constraints facing designers of the first optical computer.

John Pendry's team suggest that by enveloping an object in a metamaterial cloak, light waves can be made to flow around the object in the same way that water would do so.

"Water behaves a little differently to light. If you put a pencil in water that's moving, the water naturally flows around the pencil. When it gets to the other side, the water closes up," Professor Pendry told the BBC.

"A little way downstream, you'd never know that you'd put a pencil in the water - it's flowing smoothly again.

"Light doesn't do that of course, it hits the pencil and scatters. So you want to put a coating around the pencil that allows light to flow around it like water, in a nice, curved way."

The work provides a mathematical "recipe" for bending light waves in such a way as to achieve a desired cloaking effect.

John Pendry, along with colleagues David Smith and David Schurig at Duke University in North Carolina, US, have been testing suitable metamaterials for the device they plan to build.

This, Sir John explained, would consist of a sphere or cylinder wrapped in a sheath of metamaterial which could cloak it from radio waves.

"It's not tremendously fancy, but that for us would be quite an achievement," he told the BBC News website.

Professor Ulf Leonhardt, author of another cloaking paper in Science, described the effect for light as a "mirage".

"What you're trying to do is guide light around an object, but the art is to bend it such that it leaves the object in precisely the same way that it initially hits it. You have the illusion that there is nothing there," he told the BBC's Science in Action programme.

The work could have uses in military stealth technology - but engineers have not yet created the materials that could be used to cloak an aircraft or a tank, John Pendry explains. Professor Pendry's research has been supported by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa).

Several other scientific teams have proposed ideas for cloaking devices. One theoretical paper proposed using a material known as a superlens to cancel out light being scattered from an object.

Professor Pendry is well known for his work on the structure of surfaces and their interaction with electrons and photons. He has published over 200 scientific papers. He has published on subjects such as surface plasmons and negative refractive index materials. From 1975-1981 he worked at the Daresbury Laboratory, Cheshire. He has worked at Imperial College of Science and Technology, London since he was appointed professor in 1981. He was head of the department of physics (1998-2001) and principal of the faculty of physical sciences (2001-2002). He is an honorary fellow of Downing College, Cambridge and an IEEE fellow.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Make your own genetic warrior horde

When making a genetic warrior horde, it is important to keep several things in mind. For instance, you'll want your horde to be fearless and love to take orders.

A Rutgers University geneticist has found that turning off a specific gene for the protein stathmin makes mice fearless. The story speculates that this research might improve treatment for phobias. It does not mention obvious military applications for the discovery.

Couple this with manipulating the gene that manages fatigue, you've got yourself a soldier that won't stop until something's dead.

As noted in this Naval Officer's guide for managing fatigue, the use of amphetamines to stay alert, followed by sedatives to sleep, has a long tradition. Genetic treatments may offer an alternative to pharmaceuticals.

Next, there is a brain cell that assigns values to different items. There neurons play a role in how a person selects different items from a set. How does this help your genetic warrior horde? Dr Camillo Padaoa-Schioppa and John Assad, an associate professor of neurobiology, found neurons involved in assigning values that help people to make choices. Eliminate the desire to make choices, and you have yourself a fine instrument of bidding.

"The neurons we have identified encode the value individuals assign to the available items when they make choices based on subjective preferences, a behavior called economic choice," Padoa-Schioppa said in a statement.

The scientists, who reported the findings in the journal Nature, located the neurons in an area of the brain known as the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) while studying macaque monkeys which had to choose between different flavors and quantities of juices.

They correlated the animals' choices with the activity of neurons in the OFC with the valued assigned to the different types of juices. Some neurons would be highly active when the monkeys selected three drops of grape juice, for example, or 10 drops of apple juice.

Earlier research involving the OFC showed that lesions in the area seem to have an association with eating disorders, compulsive gambling and unusual social behavior, which is key for a mindless geneticlly manipulated warrior.

The new findings show an association between the activity of the OFC and the mental valuation process underlying choice behavior, according to the scientists.

"A concrete possibility is that various choice deficits may result from an impaired or dysfunctional activity of this population (of neurons), though this hypothesis remains to be tested," Padoa-Schioppa.

Lastly, when composing your warrior cookie cutter, you want to make sure it is low mantinence. Researchers have genetically engineered mice with the ability to heal wounds at an accelerated pace. The research started with analysis of genes linked to blood vessel formation and inadvertently created a breed of mouse with significantly thickened skin, swollen ears, noses and eyelids. With this mutation, tests showed these mice also had the ability to rapidly heal wounds - two millimeter-wide holes created in the mice's ears closed completely within 28 days.

The genetically modified mice produced large amounts of a protein called Angiopoietin-related Growth Factor, or AGF, in a type of thickened skin cell called epidermal keratinocytes. The resulting transgenic mice showed an increased number of blood vessels in the dermis, implying that AGF does indeed promote blood vessel formation.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Telephone Telepathy?

There probably isn't anything substantial to this, but I thought I would post it anyway

NORWICH (Reuters) - Many people have experienced the phenomenon of receiving a telephone call from someone shortly after thinking about them -- now a scientist says he has proof of what he calls telephone telepathy.

Rupert Sheldrake, whose research is funded by the respected Trinity College, Cambridge, said on Tuesday he had conducted experiments that proved that such precognition existed for telephone calls and even e-mails.

Each person in the trials was asked to give researchers names and phone numbers of four relatives or friends. These were then called at random and told to ring the subject who had to identify the caller before answering the phone.

"The hit rate was 45 percent, well above the 25 percent you would have expected," he told the annual meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. "The odds against this being a chance effect are 1,000 billion to one."

He said he found the same result with people being asked to name one of four people sending them an e-mail before it had landed.

However, his sample was small on both trials -- just 63 people for the controlled telephone experiment and 50 for the email -- and only four subjects were actually filmed in the phone study and five in the email, prompting some scepticism.

Undeterred, Sheldrake -- who believes in the interconnectedness of all minds within a social grouping -- said that he was extending his experiments to see if the phenomenon also worked for mobile phone text messages.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Quantum Weapons (Part VI) Biological Defenses

With any weapon system, is the counter-weapon. Just like an antidote for an ailment. The antidote for a sword is a shield, the antidote for a bullet is ballistic armor. But there may be a new form of shielding from weaponry, and it is the body.

Researchers have genetically engineered mice with the ability to heal wounds at an accelerated pace. The research started with analysis of genes linked to blood vessel formation and inadvertently created a breed of mouse with significantly thickened skin, swollen ears, noses and eyelids. With this mutation, tests showed these mice also had the ability to rapidly heal wounds - two millimeter-wide holes created in the mice's ears closed completely within 28 days.

Yuichi Oike of the Keio University in Tokyo said, "This finding is very interesting and could lead to novel therapies for skin diseases such as psoriasis, allergies or wound healing."

The genetically modified mice produced large amounts of a protein called Angiopoietin-related Growth Factor, or AGF, in a type of thickened skin cell called epidermal keratinocytes. The resulting transgenic mice showed an increased number of blood vessels in the dermis, suggesting that AGF does indeed promote blood vessel formation.

Further experiments revealed that AGF was also found in particularly high concentrations at the site of wounds. This suggests that the protein also plays a role in wound healing by increasing skin cell formation and improving blood flow to the area.

"AGF could prove hopeful in treating ischemic diseases, where an organ receives insufficient blood supply, heart disease and blood vessel disorders," Oike told New Scientist. However he warns that further work is required for a full understanding of the function of AGF.

The research path quickly changed from blood vessel formation to creating knock-out mice that lack the AGF gene to help further ascertain the protein's role in the body. After figuring out such information, a gene could be added to the human genome sequence to accelerate wound repair.

Imagine a soldier being shot who's wound self-cauderizing before the solder got to the infirmary. Or imagine simple cuts being healed as quickly in a 60 year old as they are in three year olds. If the best offense is a good defense, then this would be a powerful weapon.

More quantum theory weapons:
Part V, Atmospheric Vortex Engine
Part IV, Atmospheric Vortex Engine
Part III, Ionospheric Heaters
Part II, Woodpecker Grid
Part I, Scalar Howitzer

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Dark Energy theory reverses

Contrary to all expectations, the mysterious dark energy that is pushing the Universe apart may be changing with time.

In cosmology, dark energy is a hypothetical form of energy which permeates all of space and has strong negative pressure. According to the theory of relativity, the effect of such a negative pressure is qualitatively similar to a force acting in opposition to gravity at large scales. Invoking such an effect is currently the most popular method for explaining recent observations that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate, as well as accounting for a significant portion of the missing mass in the universe.

During the late 1990s, observations of type Ia supernovae ("one a") suggested that the expansion of the universe is accelerating. These observations have been corroborated by several independent sources since then: the cosmic microwave background, gravitational lensing, large scale structure as well as improved measurements of the supernovae. All these elements are consistent with the concordance Lambda-CDM model.

By observing distant, powerful bursts of gamma rays (-rays), Brad Schaefer says he has preliminary evidence that the strength of dark energy is different today from when the Universe was very young. Schaefer, an astronomer at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, presented his results at an American Astronomical Society meeting in Washington DC.

Just minutes after the data were presented in a late afternoon session, some astronomers were already calling the bold claim into question.

An idea that arose in the late 90s, dark energy seems to act over very large distances, pushing the Universe apart at an ever increasing speed. At the moment, many researchers believe that dark energy may be a foam of quantum particles that exists throughout the vacuum of space. Under that scenario, dark energy would be a constant and unchanging force, according to Michael Turner, a cosmologist from the University of Chicago, Illinois.

Schaefer's findings, if they are true, would turn that idea on its head.