Billion-light-year galactic wall may be largest object in cosmos
Astronomers peering into the distant universe have discovered the BOSS Great Wall, a vast superstructure of 830 galaxies that is a billion light years across
DAILY NEWS 8 March 2016
By Joshua Sokol
Here’s the latest reminder that space is really, really big. At a cool billion light years across, a distant complex of galaxy superclusters may be the largest structure yet found in the cosmos.
Individual galaxies like our own Milky Way are bound together by gravity into clusters, and these clusters clump into superclusters. These can in turn link together into long lines of galaxies called walls. On the grandest scales, the universe resembles a cosmic web of matter surrounding empty voids – and these walls are the thickest threads.
In the nearby universe, we know of the Sloan Great Wall, and in 2014, the Milky Way was found to be part of a supercluster system called Laniakea. Both are enormous. But the newly spotted BOSS Great Wall, with a total mass perhaps 10,000 times as great as the Milky Way, is two-thirds bigger again than either of them.
Heidi Lietzen of the Canary Islands Institute of Astrophysics and her team found it by looking for clumped-together galaxies in a vast area between 4.5 and 6.4 billion light years away. In all that space, one dense, giant system stood out.
“It was so much bigger than anything else in this volume,” Lietzen says. The BOSS Great Wall contains 830 galaxies we can see and probably many more that are too far away and faint to be observed by survey telescopes.
Like other galaxy walls, this one’s size is a little subjective.
“I don’t entirely understand why they are connecting all of these features together to call them a single structure,” says Allison Coil of the University of California in San Diego. “There are clearly kinks and bends in this structure that don’t exist, for example, in the Sloan Great Wall.”
Brent Tully of the University of Hawaii, who discovered the Laniakea cluster, says that deciding what constitutes a single structure depends on your definition.
A denser region of galaxies is traditional, he says, and indeed the new wall contains five times as many galaxies as an average patch of sky. But tracking whether the galaxies are moving together – impossible, given how far away they are – might give a different answer.
Galaxy superclusters also have competition for the “biggest known object” crown. Some distant light sources likequasars or gamma ray bursts seem to be clustered together in certain regions of the sky. If they are truly connected, they belong to structures so large that current cosmological theories can’t explain them.
But many astronomers aren’t sure that these objects really belong together, as they lack a physical mechanism to link them. Instead, they prefer to look for huge linkages of galaxies that sit on the cosmic web. In that arena, the new-found BOSS Great Wall is king.
Journal reference: arxiv.org/abs/1602.08498, to appear in Astronomy & Astrophysics
Using mathematics in a novel way in neuroscience, scientists demonstrate that the brain operates on many dimensions, not just the 3 dimensions that we are accustomed to
The image attempts to illustrate something that cannot be imaged -- a universe of multi-dimensional structures and spaces. On the left is a digital copy of a part of the neocortex, the most evolved part of the brain. On the right are shapes of different sizes and geometries in an attempt to represent structures ranging from 1 dimension to 7 dimensions and beyond. The "black-hole" in the middle is used to symbolize a complex of multi-dimensional spaces, or cavities. Researchers at Blue Brain Project report groups of neurons bound into such cavities provide the missing link between neural structure and function, in their new study published in Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience. Credit
Credit: Topology concept - Courtesy of Blue Brain ProjectFor most people, it is a stretch of the imagination to understand the world in four dimensions but a new study has discovered structures in the brain with up to eleven dimensions -- ground-breaking work that is beginning to reveal the brain's deepest architectural secrets.
Using algebraic topology in a way that it has never been used before in neuroscience, a team from the Blue Brain Project has uncovered a universe of multi-dimensional geometrical structures and spaces within the networks of the brain.
The research, published today in Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience, shows that these structures arise when a group of neurons forms a clique: each neuron connects to every other neuron in the group in a very specific way that generates a precise geometric object. The more neurons there are in a clique, the higher the dimension of the geometric object.
"We found a world that we had never imagined," says neuroscientist Henry Markram, director of Blue Brain Project and professor at the EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland, "there are tens of millions of these objects even in a small speck of the brain, up through seven dimensions. In some networks, we even found structures with up to eleven dimensions."
Markram suggests this may explain why it has been so hard to understand the brain. "The mathematics usually applied to study networks cannot detect the high-dimensional structures and spaces that we now see clearly."
If 4D worlds stretch our imagination, worlds with 5, 6 or more dimensions are too complex for most of us to comprehend. This is where algebraic topology comes in: a branch of mathematics that can describe systems with any number of dimensions. The mathematicians who brought algebraic topology to the study of brain networks in the Blue Brain Project were Kathryn Hess from EPFL and Ran Levi from Aberdeen University.
"Algebraic topology is like a telescope and microscope at the same time. It can zoom into networks to find hidden structures -- the trees in the forest -- and see the empty spaces -- the clearings -- all at the same time," explains Hess.
In 2015, Blue Brain published the first digital copy of a piece of the neocortex -- the most evolved part of the brain and the seat of our sensations, actions, and consciousness. In this latest research, using algebraic topology, multiple tests were performed on the virtual brain tissue to show that the multi-dimensional brain structures discovered could never be produced by chance. Experiments were then performed on real brain tissue in the Blue Brain's wet lab in Lausanne confirming that the earlier discoveries in the virtual tissue are biologically relevant and also suggesting that the brain constantly rewires during development to build a network with as many high-dimensional structures as possible.
When the researchers presented the virtual brain tissue with a stimulus, cliques of progressively higher dimensions assembled momentarily to enclose high-dimensional holes, that the researchers refer to as cavities. "The appearance of high-dimensional cavities when the brain is processing information means that the neurons in the network react to stimuli in an extremely organized manner," says Levi. "It is as if the brain reacts to a stimulus by building then razing a tower of multi-dimensional blocks, starting with rods (1D), then planks (2D), then cubes (3D), and then more complex geometries with 4D, 5D, etc. The progression of activity through the brain resembles a multi-dimensional sandcastle that materializes out of the sand and then disintegrates."
The big question these researchers are asking now is whether the intricacy of tasks we can perform depends on the complexity of the multi-dimensional "sandcastles" the brain can build. Neuroscience has also been struggling to find where the brain stores its memories. "They may be 'hiding' in high-dimensional cavities," Markram speculates.
Materials provided by Frontiers. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
Is Our Universe a Fake?
Robert Lawrence Kuhn, creator and host, "Closer To Truth" | July 31, 2015 06:00pm
Robert Lawrence Kuhn is the creator, writer and host of "Closer to Truth," a public television and multimedia program that features the world's leading thinkers exploring humanity's deepest questions. Kuhn is co-editor, with John Leslie, of "The Mystery of Existence: Why Is There Anything at All?" (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013). This article is based on a "Closer to Truth" episode produced and directed by Peter Getzels. Kuhn contributed this article to Space.com's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.
I began bemused. The notion that humanity might be living in an artificial reality — a simulated universe — seemed sophomoric, at best science fiction.
But speaking with scientists and philosophers on "Closer to Truth," I realized that the notion that everything humans see and know is a gigantic computer game of sorts, the creation of supersmart hackers existing somewhere else, is not a joke. Exploring a "whole-world simulation," I discovered, is a deep probe of reality.
David Brin, sci-fi writer and space scientist, relates the Chinese parable of an emperor dreaming that he was a butterfly dreaming that he was an emperor. In contemporary versions, Brin said, it may be the year 2050 and people are living in a computer simulation of what life was like in the early 21st century — or it may be billions of years from now, and people are in a simulation of what primitive planets and people were once like.
Philosopher Nick Bostrom, director of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University, describes a fake universe as a "richly detailed software simulation of people, including their historical predecessors, by a very technologically advanced civilization."
It's like the movie "The Matrix," Bostrom said, except that "instead of having brains in vats that are fed by sensory inputs from a simulator, the brains themselves would also be part of the simulation. It would be one big computer program simulating everything, including human brains down to neurons and synapses."
Bostrum is not saying that humanity is living in such a simulation. Rather, his "Simulation Argument" seeks to show that one of three possible scenarios must be true (assuming there are other intelligent civilizations):
As technology visionary Ray Kurzweil put it, "maybe our whole universe is a science experiment of some junior high school student in another universe." (Given how things are going, he jokes, she may not get a good grade.)
Click on "Read More" button to finish article. . .
By Alex Chavers March 13, 2015
3-D printing started with a wrench. Today, scientists are making molecules.A team of chemists at the University of Illinois have built a machine that builds complex small molecules with a mouse click. It’s a 3-D printer at the molecular level.
3-D printing made certain engineering tasks fast and flexible. This machine could do the same for developing new drugs that use small molecules. Most medicines used today are small molecules.
Other technologies that use small molecules, such as solar cells and LEDs, could also benefit from this chemical 3-D printer.
“We wanted to take a very complex process, chemical synthesis, and make it simple,” said Martin D. Burke, a chemistry professor at the University of Illinois. “Simplicity enables automation, which, in turn, can broadly enable discovery and bring the substantial power of making molecules to nonspecialists.”
Building small molecules in a lab setting is hard and time-consuming. The best chemists spend years making each one. That’s what Burke and his team wanted to address.
“Up to now, the bottleneck has been synthesis,” Burke said. “There are many areas where progress is being slowed, and many molecules that pharmaceutical companies aren’t even working on, because the barrier to synthesis is so high.”
The challenge was how to take a complex task and make it simple?
Burke’s team decided they had to go smaller. Break the complex molecules into smaller building blocks. These building blocks can easily be reassembled since they all have the same basic connector piece.
The press release explains what the chemists did next.
To automate the building-block assembly, Burke’s group devised a simple catch-and-release method that adds one building block at a time, rinsing the excess away before adding the next one. They demonstrated that their machine could build 14 different classes of small molecules, including ones with difficult-to-manufacture ring structures, all using the same automated building-block assembly.
Miles Fabian, of the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences (they funded part of the research), said, “it is exciting to think about the impact that continued advances in these directions will have on synthetic chemistry and life science research.”
“Perhaps most exciting, this work has opened up an actionable roadmap to a general and automated way to make most small molecules. If that goal can be realized, it will help shift the bottleneck from synthesis to function and bring the power of making small molecules to nonspecialists,” Burke adds. Check out the paper here.
The future is now. The next 15 years are going to blow our minds. Just imagine where we were 15 years ago. . . I didn’t even have high speed internet until 10 years ago.
Is the universe a 2D hologram? Scientists decode via Fermilab experiment
by James Kent - Aug 27, 2014
Are we living in a 2-D hologram? Well, a new and unique experiment by the scientists at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy may answer many of the mind-blogging questions about the universe and our existence in it.
The experiment, which has been named ‘Holometer’, has already started collecting crucial data that will answer many of our universe related queries including whether we live in a 2-D hologram world.
“We want to find out whether space time is a quantum system just like matter is. If we see something, it will completely change ideas about space we’ve used for thousands of years,” said Craig Hogan, director of Fermilab’s Center for Particle Astrophysics and the developer of the holographic noise theory.
According to the researchers, as the television characters don’t know that their apparent 3- D world exists only on a 2- D TV screen, there is huge possibility that we are unaware of our world. They say our 3-D space may be just an illusion and every detail about our universe could just be encoded in tiny packets in 2-D space.
Scientists discover Earth’s ‘Star Trek’-style invisible shield
By James Rogers Published November 26, 2014 FoxNews.com
A team of scientists led by the University of Colorado Boulder has discovered an invisible “Star Trek”-style shield that blocks so-called “killer electrons” 7,200 miles above Earth.
The electrons, which travel at near light-speed, are capable of damaging space electronics and can put astronauts in danger.
The shield, which forms a barrier to particle motion, was found in the Van Allen radiation belts, according to Distinguished Professor Daniel Baker, director of CU-Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, who led the study. The radiation belts, which are held in place by Earth’s magnetic field, are two doughnut-shaped rings that are packed with high-energy electrons and protons.
“It’s almost like these electrons are running into a glass wall in space,” said Baker, in a statement. “Somewhat like the shields created by force fields on Star Trek that were used to repel alien weapons, we are seeing an invisible shield blocking these electrons. It’s an extremely puzzling phenomenon.”
The scientists discovered an “extremely sharp” boundary at the inner edge of the outer radiation belt, which appears to block electrons from breaking through the shield and moving towards Earth’s atmosphere.
The CU-Boulder team previously thought that the electrons drifted into Earth’s upper atmosphere, where they would be wiped out by air molecules.
Scientists have gained insight into the Van Allen belts in recent years. In 2012, for example, two NASA probes found that the belts alter more rapidly than previously thought, with particles in the areas undergoing swift changes in energy, time and spatial distribution.
Last year a team led by Daniel Baker used the probes to discover a third, transient “storage ring” between the inner and outer Van Allen belts. The third ring appears to come and go, depending on space weather.
The radiation belts are named after celebrated University of Iowa physicist James Van Allen, who discovered them in 1958. Van Allen, who is widely regarded as a pioneer in magnetospheric space research, died in 2006 at the age of 91.
A paper on UC-Boulder’s research will be published Nov.27 in the journal Nature.
Microsoft recently released a RoomAlive proof-of-concept video, which shows players shooting creatures and dodging obstacles within a medium-sized living room.
On the basis of quantum physics theories is Michael König in his speech before the vivid models of elementary particles with which their physical and mental qualities describe. The electromagnetic interaction plays a special role. Elementary conscious processes, such as information storage, can be already at the level of certain elementary particles - the electrons and positrons - locate. In order to confirm the results of the biophysical basis of modern science, namely that coherent electromagnetic fields - Biophotons - control the biological metabolism. Michael König supports his theories with experimental results and also introduced new technological applications that are used to increase our vitality, which currently leads to the development of novel products in the areas of wellness, treatment and preventive medicine. The speaker completes his speech with a philosophical digression in which he points out the potential consequences of the presented models of explanation of quantum physics for the humanities, in particular, exert their impact on the consciousness research, psychology and theology.
By: Melody Crombie September 5, 2014
My son just brought home a cute box turtle that he found while out on his walk. It reminds me of my first memorable encounter with a turtle. It happened years ago in a small, nicely manicured, suburban backyard. The 'pet' was fished out of a pond with a rake and set on the grass several feet in front of me. Up to this point I was sitting placidly on a nearby lawn chair. I assumed that when my beloved let go of the reptile it would slowly amble around the grass, after it sat for a long time hiding inside its shell.
Boy, was I in for the surprise of my life! The turtle turned out to be a common snapping turtle with a very angry disposition. He puffed himself up and immediately charged toward me faster than most dogs can run. I was so shocked I screamed and knocked my chair over backwards in my fright to get away from this menacing animal.
I realized that my limited knowledge of 'Testudines' resulted from a brief exposure to a box turtle and baby water turtles that I'd seen growing up. Stories like the childhood fable, “The Tortoise and the Hare,” couldn't have adequately prepared me for meeting 'The Snapper' that afternoon.
I'd like to point out that if your only exposure and knowledge of the God of the Bible is limited to Children's Bible stories like, “Noah's Ark” or baby Jesus at Christmas, you are sure to be in for a rude awakening when you come face-to-face with THE GREAT I AM after you pass from this life to the next.
Get to know the REAL GOD today by reading the Bible, repenting of your transgressions and inviting the Holy Spirit into your life so you can run TO HIM when you come into his presence. He is very near, “God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people." ' 2 Corinthians 6:16.
Laniakea:The Milky Way's Very First Address
By Rebekah Marcarelli email@example.com | Sep 03, 2014 02:31 PM EDT
Researchers determined our Milky Way is part of a supercluster of galaxies which has been dubbed "Laniakea," meaning "immense heaven" in Hawaiian.
The discovery clarifies the boundaries of the universe and gives our own galaxy an address for the first time, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory reported.
"We have finally established the contours that define the supercluster of galaxies we can call home," said lead researcher R. Brent Tully, an astronomer at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. "This is not unlike finding out for the first time that your hometown is actually part of much larger country that borders other nations."
Superclusters are sone of the largest structured in the universe. The superclusters contains massive clusters encompassing hundreds of galaxies and Local Groups encompassing only a few dozen; all of these galaxies are connected through a web of filaments.
The researchers proposed a new way to map out these poorly defined clusters by examining their impact on the motion of the galaxy. A galaxy between structures will be caught in a sort of gravitational "tug of war." The team made their finding using the National Science Foundation's Green Bank Telescope (GBT).
"Green Bank Telescope observations have played a significant role in the research leading to this new understanding of the limits and relationships among a number of superclusters," Tully said.
The Milky Way was found to be located in the outskirts of the Laniakea Supercluste, which is 500 million light-years in diameter and contains mass of one hundred million billion Suns spread across 100,000 galaxies.
The findings helped researchers gain insight into the Great Attractor, which is a gravitational "focal point" of intergalactic space that has a pull on our Local Group.
The findings will be the cover story of the Sept. 4 issue of the journal Nature.
How Your Brain Is Wired For God
Research shows that belief may well be part our design.
By Mike McHargue July 1, 2014
When I was a kid, my Sunday School teachers told me that one day Jesus would knock on the door of my heart. When that happened, I could open the door and Jesus would move in. As an adult in the church, I often hear references to a "God-shaped hole in our hearts." The idea is that all people have an innate longing for a relationship with God.
Of course, we're speaking poetically when we talk about our hearts—our hearts are really just pumps at the center of our circulatory system. The real seat of our thoughts, dreams and feelings is our brains. So is there scientific merit to this idea of our ingrained desire to commune with a higher being? Are our brains wired for God?
Researchers at the University of Oxford decided to test the idea. They conducted a massive series of experiments across cultures and continents to see if humans are inherently dualistic. Dualism is the belief that there are unseen, immaterial forces at work in the material reality we see every day.
These experiments found that children believe both their mothers and God to be all knowing. Mom loses her omniscience as a child's brain develops, but God does not. This is true even for Children raised in non-religious households, and in less religious cultures.
This predisposition doesn't end with childhood. Adults across cultures overwhelmingly believe in some form of life after death. This is true in eastern and western cultures, developed and developing nations, and in religious and secular societies. Most people across cultures have a predisposition toward belief in an all-knowing God and life after death.
Since Jesus Came Into My Anterior Cingulate Cortex
Scientists have been looking for a spot in the brain that corresponds with God. After all, there's a place in your brain responsible for vision, language, memory and anger. Couldn't there be a neurological God spot?
Trees of Life and Knowledge
February 9, 2013 by Deborah Cassell
There are two trees in our garden of Eden.. two ways of looking at life. A choice we make every day, in every situation. One is the “Tree of Knowledge”, representing the earthly point of view and the other is the “Tree of Life” representing the spiritual view. Since the fall of Adam, we have been born under the tree of knowledge. Each passing year our knowledge seems to grow exponentially and we wonder how we would survive without this tree. We experience and learn the “facts” of our physical world and believe these as truth.. and many worship this tree of knowledge.
However, the other choice is the “Tree of Life”… God’s point of view. The real spiritual truth of every situation. Consider these examples- Think of Mary pregnant with Jesus. Those under the tree of knowledge saw an unmarried young woman to be scorned. Those under the Tree of Life knew she carried the savior of the world. Those with knowledge saw a mere boy with a slingshot walk before an armored giant and sneered. Those under the tree of life danced as David sneered back. From the tree of knowledge, sickness is a fact of life to be treated with our current barrage of medicines. From the tree of life, it is an attack of our enemy to be handled with spiritual authority.
Futuristic science: Electronics that melt away
By Lauren Blanchard Published June 02, 2014 FoxNews.com
Ames, IA – Imagine tossing your old phone in the toilet, watching it dissolve and then flushing it down, instead of having it wind up in a landfill.
Scientists are working on just that: electronic devices that can be triggered to disappear when they are no longer needed.
The technology is years away, but Assistant Professor Reza Montazami and his research team in the mechanical engineering labs at Iowa State University have published a report that shows progress is being made. In the two years they've been working on the project, they have created a fully dissolvable and working antenna.
The electronics, made with special "transient materials," could have far-ranging possibilities. The military could design information-gathering gadgets that could complete their mission and dissolve without leaving a trace. Credit cards and passports could be made to dissolve if they are lost or stolen.
"You can actually send a signal to your passport via satellite that causes the passport to physically degrade, so no one can use it," Montazami said.
Charles Goldman, a surgeon at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa, believes transient materials could become an important tool for doctors.
He said dissolvable electronics could be used for localizing treatment and delivering vaccines inside the body. They also could eliminate extra surgeries to remove temporarily implanted devices.
"It's all very exciting. I think it's going to change the notion of taking pills and giving IV infusions in the future," Goldman said.
So far the dissolvable electronics work only in liquids, such as water, saliva and urine. But Montazami and his team are working on a way to to remotely trigger a heat reaction that would dissolve a device made of transient materials.
Lauren Blanchard is part of the Junior Reporter program at Fox News. Get more information on the program here and follow them on Twitter: @FNCJrReporters
"The morning stars sang together" Job 38:7
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. ~Proverbs 19:1-4
Sun's Atmosphere Sings
by Jeanna Bryner, Staff Writer | April 18, 2007 07:58pm ET
Astronomers have recorded heavenly music bellowed out by the Sun's atmosphere.
Snagging orchestra seats for this solar symphony would be fruitless, however, as the frequency of the sound waves is below the human hearing threshold. While humans can make out sounds between 20 and 20,000 hertz, the solar sound waves are on the order of milli-hertz--a thousandth of a hertz.
The study, presented this week at the Royal Astronomical Society's National Astronomy Meeting in Lancashire, England, reveals that the looping magnetic fields along the Sun's outer regions, called the corona, carry magnetic sound waves in a similar manner to musical instruments such as guitars or pipe organs.
'Quantum Teleportation' Could Lead To Ultra-Secure Internet
By Rebekah Marcarelli firstname.lastname@example.org | May 30, 2014 12:28 PM EDT
Researchers have successfully teleported information using quantum mechanics.
A research team transferred information contained in a quantum bit to separate bit located three meters away, a Delft University of Technology news release reported.
The technique could allow quantum computers to communicate with each other in a "quantum internet."
This type of internet could allow for ultra-secure data transfer.
To accomplish the feat researchers used a concept called "entanglement."
"Entanglement is arguably the strangest and most intriguing consequence of the laws of quantum mechanics," head of the research project, Prof. Ronald Hanson, said in the news release. "When two particles become entangled, their identities merge: their collective state is precisely determined but the individual identity of each of the particles has disappeared. The entangled particles behave as one, even when separated by a large distance. The distance in our tests was three [meters], but in theory the particles could be on either side of the universe. Einstein didn't believe in this prediction and called it 'spooky action at a distance'. Numerous experiments, on the other hand, agree with the existence of entanglement."
The team is the first to successfully transfer information between quibits; they used electrons found in diamonds to produce these quibits.
"We use diamonds because 'mini prisons' for electrons are formed in this material whenever a nitrogen atom is located in the position of one of the carbon atoms. The fact that we're able to view these miniature prisons individually makes it possible for us to study and verify an individual electron and even a single atomic nucleus," Hanson said.
In the future the team hopes to achieve the same thing at a distance of 1,300 meters.
The experiment could meet the criteria of the "loophole-free Bell test" and could disprove Einstein's rejection of entanglement once and for all.
Copyright @ Headlines & Global News.
Researchers find weird magic ingredient for quantum computing Wednesday, June 11, 2014
A form of quantum weirdness is a key ingredient for building quantum computers according to new research from a team at the University of Waterloo’s Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC).
In a new study published in the journal Nature today researchers have shown that a weird aspect of quantum theory called contextuality is a necessary resource to achieve the so-called magic required for universal quantum computation.
One major hurdle in harnessing the power of a universal quantum computer is finding practical ways to control fragile quantum states. Working towards this goal, IQC researchers Joseph Emerson, Mark Howard and Joel Wallman have confirmed theoretically that contextuality is a necessary resource required for achieving the advantages of quantum computation.
“Before these results, we didn’t necessarily know what resources were needed for a physical device to achieve the advantage of quantum information. Now we know one,” said Mark Howard, a postdoctoral fellow at IQC and the lead author of the paper. “As researchers work to build a universal quantum computer, understanding the minimum physical resources required is an important step to finding ways to harness the power of the quantum world.”
Quantum devices are extremely difficult to build because they must operate in an environment that is noise-resistant. The term magic refers to a particular approach to building noise-resistant quantum computers known as magic-state distillation. So-called magic states act as a crucial, but difficult to achieve and maintain, extra ingredient that boosts the power of a quantum device to achieve the improved processing power of a universal quantum computer.
By: Melody Crombie May 29, 2014
The story of Queen Esther can be viewed on a much broader scale when we transpose God and all of humanity in place of the king and queen, and Haman for Satan. When Esther was warned of the evil plot Haman had devised to destroy all the Jews, she asked that all her people fast and pray with her before she courageously sought an audience with the king.
Queen Esther was completely aware that she had replaced her predecessor (the deposed Queen Vashti) because of disobedience. Yet Esther chose to defy a potential death sentence, knowing she was not authorized to talk to King Xerxes unless she was personally summoned.
Similarly, we will never be granted permission to come boldly before the throne of God to plead for forgiveness from our wrongdoing and the ultimate death sentence that accompanies it, without first acknowledging (and accepting) the work of Jesus on the cross. Because of Jesus' propitiation for our sinful life, God freely extends His scepter of grace to all who ask, enthusiastically welcoming us into His presence. The Bible makes it clear that we cannot come into God's presence alone. We need the atoning work of Jesus Christ to be able to stand before a Holy God, in order to gain access to His mercy.
By: Melody Crombie May 26, 2014
Our washing machine decided to take a spin for the worse right before a major holiday, so I found myself in the laundromat on Memorial Day waiting for my clothes to finish washing. A young couple with two small children came in, walked around the tall wall of washers and started their laundry. Their children came past a couple of times; the boy walking behind his sister, holding both her hands as she toddled around. Later on, the smiling, laughing baby girl walked past with her arms out, unassisted on her own. I sat smiling and the laundromat attendant was telling her what a great job she was doing. She was obviously very pleased with herself.
It reminded me of the baby steps God allows us to take in life. Like the big brother, the Holy Spirit is with us, helping us when we strike out on our own. When we first start, we may feel abandoned by God and our loved ones. It's important to remember God said he would, “Never leave us or forsake us.” Just like the baby in the laundromat who had a rapt audience, God often places the seen (mature, loving people all around us) and the unseen (angels) to help encourage and lift us up on our journey.
By: Ryan Lawler May 25, 2014
Here’s an idea crazy enough that it just might work: Pave the streets with solar-powered panels that have their own built-in heat and LED lights. That’s what Scott and Julie Brusaw hope to accomplish with their ongoing Solar Roadways project, which they just funded through a hugely popular crowdfunding campaign.
The husband-and-wife team has spent the better part of the last decade developing solar-powered modular panels that could be installed in roadways and parking lots, and would be able to collect power from the sun. Those panels could also keep streets clear of snow and ice, while illuminating them with LEDs.