Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences have found evidence for an unusual superconducting state in CsV3Sb5, a so-called Kagome metal that exhibits exotic electronic properties. The finding could shed new light on how superconductivity emerges in materials where phenomena such as frustrated magnetism and intertwined orders play a major role.
Kagome metals are named after a traditional Japanese basket-weaving technique that produces a lattice of interlaced symmetrical triangles. Physicists are interested in this configuration (known as a Kagome pattern) because when the atoms of a metal or other conductor are arranged in this fashion, their electrons behave in unusual ways.
An example is frustrated magnetism, which occurs when electrons are “not happy to live together”, observes Ludovic Jaubert, a condensed-matter physicist at the University of Bordeaux in France who was not involved in the present work. In frustrated materials, not all interactions between electron spins can be satisfied at the same time, which prevents the spins from ordering themselves on long length scales. This failure has significant consequences for the material’s properties: if water behaved like this, for example, it would never freeze.
Topics: Climate Change, Existentialism, Global Warming
The “Last Ice Area,” an Arctic region known for its thick ice cover, may be more vulnerable to climate change than scientists suspected, a new study has found.
This frozen zone, which lies to the north of Greenland, earned its dramatic name because even though its ice grows and shrinks seasonally, much of the sea ice here was thought to be thick enough to persist through summer’s warmth.
But during the summer of 2020, the Wandel Sea in the eastern part of the Last Ice Area lost 50% of its overlying ice, bringing coverage there to its lowest since record-keeping began. In the new study, researchers found that weather conditions were driving the decline, but climate change made that possible by gradually thinning the area’s long-standing ice year after year. This hints that global warming may threaten the region more than prior climate models suggested.
Topics: Civics, Civil Rights, Existentialism, Fascism, Human Rights
There is a strong Trump following in the military, and retired generals on the crazy train, making moot all the protestations about Bill Clinton being a “draft dodger.” Mango Mussolini has five deferments from fake bone spurs. Most of the retired generals are part of the Vietnam era, when they, returning from theater were spat on and called “baby killers,” they resented rich kids dodging service, yet they support one because of the coming preponderance of Melanin in America’s future: a future the old farts will never live to see. Most of those retired generals aren’t BIPOC (black, indigenous people of color). Many of the terrorists from January 6, 2021 are being arrested, but the jewel will be getting the seditionists that helped the insurrection getting taxpayer dollars. The seditionists in Congress don’t want a bipartisan commission because criminals don’t want a crime investigated in which they participated. They will also – on cue – complain a special committee comprised completely of Democrats is grossly partisan.
Any coup unpunished, whitewashed, or ignored becomes a rehearsal. The global economy would pivot on a dime if we suddenly became a failed state.
The highest-rated show on Fox Propaganda (AI inserts this automatically on my phone) used the legal excuse that “no one should take Tucker Carlson seriously.” Greg Abbott, after dozens of his constituents died this past winter, passed laws to let psychopaths open carry, and is continuing the grift of building the wall. Meanwhile, temperatures in the west are soaring to dangerous levels, and brownout is inevitable. Greater than one hundred degrees Fahrenheit without air conditioning is as deadly as freezing without central heating. He’d rather ban Critical Race Theory in K – 12 schools (where it’s not taught, unless kindergarteners are lawyers), and solve voter fraud (which doesn’t exist). But hey, we passed Juneteenth: we just can’t teach where it comes from, or what it meant to ex slaves, their descendants, and America. We managed to protect the Affordable Care Act, but Moscow Mitch has promised to “Merrick Garland” any Biden nominee if he gains the majority in 2022. It’s why they’re blocking votes and making it harder. It’s an admission of political impotence in a Democratic Republic: in a fair fight, they know they would lose.
The modern Republican Party died at the 2016 National Convention when they accepted a nonprofessional politician, a gameshow reality host playing the role of “billionaire” (only Cy Vance truly knows) as their bizarre nominee. They are now the party of conspiracists, domestic terrorists, insurrectionists, and QAnon. He plugged into an antidemocratic strain in the party that was tired of listening to talking points from conservative think tanks, and preferred ranting word salad from Archie Bunker, the racist dad brainwashed right along with them, and their shared hatred of the one-and-only African American president in 232 years of the federal republic. The former GOP have wined and dined racists, winked and nodded at “states rights” Dixiecrats since Reagan’s initial campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi. Entropy works in physics and politics: eventually, genteel racism was going to metastasize into a full-on fascist. It’s only natural the “grand old party” seeing no fortune in attracting, or being beholden to people of color became the “gang of Putin.” They thus needed no stinking platform in 2020. After decades of running on Reagan’s “aw shucks” populism, white ethnic nationalism is far more appealing. “Deconstructing the administrative state” means installing a dictator after destroying democracy.
“Chief Executive” references one of the many roles in the US Constitution for an American president. It became convoluted with “Chief Executive Officer” during the Reagan years.
Three years into the new century, and two past 9/11, a documentary called “The Corporation” aired on screens and quickly went to video, which you can watch at the link.
One hundred and fifty years ago, the corporation was a relatively insignificant entity. Today, it is a vivid, dramatic and pervasive presence in all our lives. Like the Church, the Monarchy and the Communist Party in other times and places, the corporation is today’s dominant institution. But history humbles dominant institutions. All have been crushed, belittled or absorbed into some new order. In this complex, exhaustive and highly entertaining documentary, Mark Achbar, co-director of the influential and inventive Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media, teams up with co-director Jennifer Abbott and writer Joel Bakan to examine the far-reaching repercussions of the corporation’s increasing preeminence.
Based on Bakan’s book The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power, the film is a timely, critical inquiry that invites CEOs, whistle-blowers, brokers, gurus, spies, players, pawns and pundits on a graphic and engaging quest to reveal the corporation’s inner workings, curious history, controversial impacts and possible futures. The Corporation charts the spectacular rise of an institution aimed at achieving specific economic goals as it also recounts victories against this apparently invincible force.
Case studies, anecdotes and true confessions reveal behind-the-scenes tensions and influences in several corporate and anti-corporate dramas. Among the 40 interview subjects are CEOs and top-level executives from a range of industries: oil, pharmaceutical, computer, tire, manufacturing, public relations, branding, advertising and undercover marketing. In addition, a Nobel-prize winning economist, the first management guru, a corporate spy, and a range of academics, critics, historians and thinkers are also interviewed.
In the book “The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success,” Kevin Dutton explains that there are jobs that can attract literal psychopaths – and also jobs that are least likely to do so.
So what jobs are most attractive to psychopaths? Here’s the list, originally published online by Eric Barker: 1. CEO, 2. Lawyer, 3. Media (Television/Radio), 4. Salesperson, 5. Surgeon, 6. Journalist, 7. Police officer, 8. Clergy person, 9. Chef, 10. Civil servant.
And for those looking to potentially avoid working with the least number of psychopaths, here’s the list of occupations with the lowest rates of psychopathy: 1. Care aide, 2. Nurse, 3. Therapist, 4. Craftsperson, 5. Beautician/Stylist, 6. Charity worker, 7. Teacher, 8. Creative artist, 9. Doctor, 10. Accountant.
The premise of The Corporation is, if the corporation is a person, what kind of person is it? According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual on Mental Disorders, the only “type” of person this can be is a psychopath.
So, why do we want a psychopath to have the nuclear codes? A care aide sounds more species-extending, and a lot more stable than fake billionaire gameshow hosts.
Juneteenth is my sister and my late father’s 96th birthday. I will take a break next week in celebration and remembrance.
Topics: Astrophysics, Black Holes, Cosmology, Einstein, General Relativity
Note: From comments on a previous post, maybe science writers need to work on their chosen list of metaphors?
In the far reaches of the Universe, a supermassive black hole is throwing a tantrum.
It’s blowing a tremendous wind into intergalactic space, and we’re seeing the storm light from 13.1 billion years ago when the Universe was less than 10 percent of its current age. It’s the most distant such tempest we’ve ever identified, and its discovery is a clue that could help astronomers unravel the history of galaxy formation.
“The question is when did galactic winds come into existence in the Universe?” said astronomer Takuma Izumi of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ).
“This is an important question because it is related to an important problem in astronomy: How did galaxies and supermassive black holes coevolve?”
Physicists have taken a step towards realizing the smallest-ever solid-state laser by generating an exotic quantum state known as a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) in quasiparticles consisting of both matter and light. Although the effect has so far only been observed at ultracold temperatures in atomically thin crystals of molybdenum diselenide (MoSe2), it might also be produced at room temperature in other materials.
When particles are cooled down to temperatures just above absolute zero, they form a BEC – a state of matter in which all the particles occupy the same quantum state and thus act in unison, like a superfluid. A BEC made up of tens of thousands of particles therefore behaves as if it were just one single giant quantum particle.
“Devices that can control these novel light-matter states hold the promise of a technological leap in comparison with current electronic circuits,” explains Anton-Solanas, who is in the quantum materials group at Oldenburg’s Institute of Physics. “Such optoelectronic circuits, which operate using light instead of electric current, could be better and faster at processing information than today’s processors.”
Anton-Solanas, Schneider and colleagues studied crystals of MoSe2 that were just a single atomic layer thick. MoSe2belongs to a family of materials known as transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs). In their bulk form, these materials act as indirect band-gap semiconductors, but when scaled down to a monolayer thickness, they behave as direct band-gap semiconductors, capable of efficiently absorbing and emitting light.
In their experiments, the researchers assembled sheets of MoSe2 less than a nanometer thick and sandwiched them between alternating layers of silicon dioxide and titanium dioxide (SiO2/TiO2), which reflect light like a mirror. The resulting structure is known as a microcavity and acts like a cage for light. “It’s like trapping the light-emitting material in a room filled with mirrors and mirrors only,” Tongay tells Physics World. “The light gets reflected these mirrors and is absorbed by the material back and forth.”
Topics: Climate Change, Existentialism, Global Warming
Antarctica’s monster Pine Island Glacier—one of the fastest melting glaciers on the continent—is giving climate scientists new reasons to worry.
The trouble has to do with its ice shelf, a frozen ledge at the edge of the Pine Island Glacier. The ice shelf helps stabilize and contain the vast flow of ice behind it.
But now it’s crumbling into pieces.
In the last five years alone, more than a fifth of the ice shelf has broken away in the form of gigantic icebergs, which fall into the ocean and drift away.
At the same time, the glacier has begun losing ice at a faster rate. Since 2017, the speed of the ice flowing from the glacier into the sea has accelerated by 12%.
These losses are summarized in a new study, published Friday in the journal Science Advances.
The big question is what will happen next, according to lead study author Ian Joughin, a glaciologist at the University of Washington. There’s a chance the ice shelf may stabilize and the flow of ice will slow down, or at least stop speeding up.
Then again, “the other scenario is this process will continue and the shelf will fall apart far more quickly than we expected,” he told E&E News.
In a major scientific leap, University of Queensland researchers have created a quantum microscope that can reveal biological structures that would otherwise be impossible to see.
This paves the way for applications in biotechnology, and could extend far beyond this into areas ranging from navigation to medical imaging.
The microscope is powered by the science of quantum entanglement, an effect Einstein described as “spooky interactions at a distance.”
Professor Warwick Bowen, from UQ’s Quantum Optics Lab and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems (EQUS), said it was the first entanglement-based sensor with performance beyond the best possible existing technology.
“This breakthrough will spark all sorts of new technologies — from better navigation systems to better MRI machines, you name it,” Professor Bowen said.
“Entanglement is thought to lie at the heart of a quantum revolution. We’ve finally demonstrated that sensors that use it can supersede existing, non-quantum technology.
“This is exciting — it’s the first proof of the paradigm-changing potential of entanglement for sensing.”
Topics: Civics, Civil Rights, Existentialism, History, Human Rights
Note: This post meant for Friday was delayed by a crashing hard drive. I now have a brand NEW solid state version thanks to Best Buy and the Geek Squad (shameless plug). I now have the dubious and quaint job of finding all of my files on this newer, faster drive.
At a time when statues that honor our past often whitewash that history or honor traitors, Paine’s is a legacy all Americans can be proud of today and which our nation should honor. Paine was a thinker far ahead of his time. Almost uniquely among the Founding Fathers he opposed slavery and favored abolition, called for a progressive income tax to pay for universal education (including for both sexes), a welfare system for poor relief, pensions, women’s rights, and more. He was an eloquent advocate for equality and representative government, writing, “The true and only true basis of representative government is equality of rights.” He added, “the danger arises from exclusions.”
Thomas Paine was one the greatest political writers and philosophers of his time; his best-selling works, Common Sense, The American Crisis, Rights of Man, and The Age of Reason fundamentally altered the political and social landscape of the 18th and 19th centuries and helped forge the United States of America.
Thomas Paine embodies the American Dream in a selfless way, rising from humble origins and penury to become a foremost political figure of his time, a friend to humanity and a foe to tyrants. He never sought personal power or wealth; instead, he championed the rights of the “common” people and believed emphatically in the dignity and rights of humans, which drove him to challenge the traditional authority of kings and dogmas of established churches, forever changing the course of human history.
Thomas Paine helped create America. It’s time America honored his legacy.
We saw to our horror a modern insurrection on January 6, 2021. As the battle ensign of Robert E. Lee’s North Virginia Regiment paraded the halls of the Capitol during the siege, we discovered later the number of confederate figures venerated at the “Temple of Democracy” as well as state Capitols and cities that were guilty of the first insurrection.
Thomas Paine was as much a Founding Father to the United States of America as any other whose histories have been whitewashed, and mythologized to the point of unrealistic apotheosis. He apparently named the United States (lately, an oxymoron), and penned the lines you’ve probably heard in one form, or another:
“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. When we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price on its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.”
He was a scientist, poet, philosopher, scholar, and best-selling author. He was a deist, as were most of the Founding Fathers, meaning they believed in a God, just not a sovereign one intimately tied into, or interested in human affairs. There is such a thing as the Jeffersonian Bible, where Thomas Jefferson took scissors to every miraculous occurrence in the tome. Yet like the Tulsa Massacre and other vile atrocities masked by state propaganda, Paine’s history is deliberately hidden: unknown except to atheists, agnostics, freethinking societies, historians and theologians who study him, and humanists who revere him.
Despite the artistic flow of his prose that inspired a revolution against the British Empire and birth of its American analogue, there are no statues of him at our Capitol, the seat of our power. It is ironic the vitriol against the District of Columbia becoming the 51st state, existing as the last visible example of literal taxation without representation. “It would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.”
History is best defined as a study of past events, particularly human events, to learn important lessons from them. History gains insights from the past; science make hypotheses, design experiments, looking for patterns to make predictions that can hopefully improve our futures, extend our lives, and maybe, our civilization.
Thomas Paine, and the Tulsa Massacre: both are sins of omission, both leave a citizenry of a federal republic uninformed. Uninformed citizens don’t make decisions using faculties of critical thinking skills, since that part of the brain is unused, if not atrophied. Uninformed citizens cannot manage the responsibilities of a democratic republic. Uninformed citizens are anathema to a democracy. Such citizens are open to conspiracy theories, as nature abhors a vacuum. What would our country be if we faced our past, and planned logically for our futures? Gaslighting history and ignoring science is a disastrous combination that limits our survival runway as a species. Without global cooperation, management of resources, addressing income inequality that exacerbated our response to the pandemic, systemic racism that impoverishes not just BIPOC, but nations, we will crumble, as other empires have. The Mayas sacrificed fellow tribesmen and women to a water god to eliminate drought. New flash: it didn’t work out too well for them.
Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. When we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value.
It is not the time to tire. We must defeat this evil, or witness the death of democracy.
Our next actions will either save, or doom the republic.
Our next actions will be guided either by apathy, or common sense.
The Kardashev Scale is a discussion, and ranking of civilizations based on energy output:
Type I: able to marshal energy resources for communications on a planet-wide scale, equivalent to the entire present power consumption of the human race, or about 1016 watts. Here, Carl Sagan begged to differ, due to power gradation, we’re more like (on his measure) a 0.7 civilization, or 7 x 1015 watts. We have pockets of deployed resources, but definitely not “planet-wide,” else there would be no economic distinctions: east/south side to west side; 1st and 3rd worlds. Perhaps we could edge up our score with renewable alternatives? Type II: surpasses this by a factor of approximately ten billion, making available 1026 watts, by exploiting the total energy output of its central star, using a Dyson sphere. Type III: evolved enough to tap the energy resources of an entire galaxy, ~ 1036 watts. Type IV and V here.
Professor John D. Barrow is an astrophysicist and mathematician at Cambridge. His take is going not from the aspect of starships, instead of from ever-shrinking technology to make advanced control of energy, and technology possible.
On the Barrow Scale, we’re clearly in the Barrow Three minus or nanotechnology. Arthur C. Clarke said “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” and kind of gives a runway that is the impossible-to-design Trek technobabble.
Could we go further?
Well, that depends on whether the purveyors of this technological node haven’t blown ourselves to smithereens, [climate] changed ourselves to death, or ignored another zoonotic virus and comforted ourselves with throwing caution to the winds, taking vitamins, and jogging to the self-made apocalypse. Sorry for being cynical.
Also, each technological node is driven by industry, and at the top of that are apex predators also known as CEOs/billionaires who have a propensity to not share the resources they plunder. Also after seeing the Netflix documentary: “The Social Dilemma,” I wonder what an AI-enabled-Planck-technology Internet, or economy would LOOK like, and who would it ultimately favor? Billionaires don’t occur naturally, and trillionaires, quadrillion, or quintillion-empowered varieties would likely be tyrannical, and obscene.
Though this tech through-line is ambitious, bold, imaginative, it has a Pollyannaish feel to it, dependent on the benevolence of our fellow human beings, and a shared vision of humanity’s progress.
Then, there are those apex predators that won’t pay taxes, give a damn, or build starships so they can first ride on for their three minutes of narcissistic pleasure. Star Trek and a United Federation of Planets post-scarcity is still a Gene Roddenberry dream.
No probe has gotten a good view of Jupiter’s largest moon since 2000, when NASA’s Galileo spacecraft swung past the strange world, which is the largest moon in the whole solar system. But on Monday (June 7), at 1:35 p.m. EDT (1735 GMT), NASA’s Juno spacecraft will skim just 645 miles (1,038 kilometers) above Ganymede’s surface, gathering a host of observations as it does so.
“Juno carries a suite of sensitive instruments capable of seeing Ganymede in ways never before possible,” principal investigator Scott Bolton, a space scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, said in a NASA statement. “By flying so close, we will bring the exploration of Ganymede into the 21st century.”
Ganymede is a fascinating world for scientists. Despite its status as a moon, it’s larger than the tiny planet Mercury and is the only moon to sport a magnetic field, a bubble of charged particles dubbed a magnetosphere. Until now, the only spacecraft to get a good look at Ganymede were NASA’s twin Voyager probes in 1979 and the Galileo spacecraft, which flew past the moon in 2000.