In this one hour Google TechTalk, psychologist Barry Schwartz takes aim at one of the central dogmas in our modern civilisation: freedom of choice. He argues that, contrary to intuition, more choice does not make you freer but more paralysed, more choice does not make you happier but actually more dissatisfied.
Although this view of ten dimensions is not the like the 10-(or even 26-)dimensional spacetime is viewed in string theory, this video nicely shows the concept of higher-dimensionality, understandable to even the non-scientifically inclined.
This is not an easy task. Every anti-atom must be made in a particle accelerator, making it probably the most expensive substance one could buy (estimated $300 billion per milligram). But the real problem is containing the neutral (non-charged) antimatter, since as soon as matter hits antimatter, they annihilate each other and turn into energy. Using charged anti-protons for this would solve the container problem, but since the electromagnetic force is many times stronger than gravity, the effects of gravity on the antimatter would not be observable.
If antimatter were to behave opposite to matter regarding gravity, that could explain the missing antimatter in our universe, since it would not be attracted but repelled by the observable matter.
Applying Maxwell’s equations in four dimensions, one cannot distinguish an anti-proton from a proton moving backwards in time. So you could say that the creation of an anti-particle in an accelerator, from the anti-particle’s perspective it’s its destruction, and the seeming annihilation with a particle was its creation.
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Jehane Noujaim, writer and director of Control Room won the TED Prize in 2006, an award granted annually at the TED Conference. She was granted a wish to change the world and $100,000. Her wish was to create a day in which the world came together through film. Pangea Day is her wish coming true. See her acceptance speech below.
Starting at 18:00 GMT on May 10, 2008, locations in Cairo, Kigali, London, Los Angeles, Mumbai, and Rio de Janeiro will be linked for a live program of powerful films, live music, and visionary speakers. The entire program will be broadcast – in seven languages – to millions of people worldwide through the internet, television, and mobile phones.
The 24 short films to be featured have been selected from an international competition that generated more than 2,500 submissions from over one hundred countries. The films were chosen based on their ability to inspire, transform, and allow us see the world through another person’s eyes.
A440 is the 440 Hz tone that serves as the standard for musical pitch. A440 is the musical note A above middle C (A4).
Every time you double the frequency, the pitch goes one octave up. Starting from the note A at 440Hz, doubling the frequency six times, you hear five different As until the sound becomes ultrasonic and inaudible. Another 36 octaves up and the frequency is the same as that of visible light, in our case from A440 you get a frequency of 484THz, which is a wavelength of 619nm, which is red.
The frequency spectrum of visible light is a bit less than one octave. This can actually be seen, in that on one end of the spectrum is red and the other end is moving back from blue to red, giving violet. (more…)
Scientists from the Cardiff Centre for Astrobiology collected particles from the stratosphere up to 41 km up using a specially designed and cleaned device attached to a balloon. They found hundreds of particles in their filters, among them living cells. Due to the nature of our atmosphere it is highly unlikely that any of those cells found their way up from the earth by themselves, implying that at least some must have come from somewhere else.
Theories of panspermia are rapidly coming into vogue, with the possibility of the transfer of viable bacterial cells from one planetary abode to another being generally accepted as inevitable. The panspermia models of Hoyle and Wickramasinghe require the transfer of viable bacterial cells from interstellar dust to comets and back into interplanetary and interstellar space. In such a cycle a viable fraction of as little as 10-18 at the inception of a newly formed comet/planet system suffices for cometary panspermia to dominate over competing processes for the origin and transfer of life. The well-attested survival attributes of microbes under extreme conditions, which have recently been discovered, gives credence to the panspermia hypothesis. The prediction of the theory that comets bring microbes onto the Earth at the present time is testable if aseptic collections of stratospheric air above the tropopause can be obtained. We describe a recent collection of this kind and report microbiological analysis that shows the existence of viable cells at 41km, falling to Earth at the rate of a few tonnes per day over the entire globe. Some of these cells have been cultured in the laboratory and found to include microorganisms that are not too different from related species on the Earth. This is in fact what the Hoyle-Wickramasinghe theory predicts. The weight of evidence goes against the more conservative explanation that organisms are being lofted to the high atmosphere from the ground.