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Quantum Coherence Underlying Magnetoreception in Avian Species Confirmed

biophysics science news Mar 06, 2018
Birds Can See Earth's Magnetic Fields, And We Finally Know How That's Possible
By: Michelle Starr

The mystery behind how birds navigate might finally be solved: it's not the iron in their beaks providing a magnetic compass, but a newly discovered protein in their eyes that lets them "see" Earth's magnetic fields.

These findings come courtesy of two new papers - one studying robins, the other zebra finches.

The fancy eye protein is called Cry4, and it's part of a class of proteins called cryptochromes - photoreceptors sensitive to blue light, found in both plants and animals. These proteins play a role in regulating circadian rhythms.

There's also been evidence in recent years that, in birds, the cryptochromes in their eyes are responsible for their ability to orient themselves by detecting magnetic fields, a sense called magnetoreception.

We know that birds can only sense magnetic fields if certain wavelengths of light are available - specifically, studies have...

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Dark Matter ‘Missing’ in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

As reported in by Gemini Observatory, March 2018

Galaxies and dark matter go hand in hand; you typically don't find one without the other. So when researchers uncovered a galaxy, known as NGC1052-DF2, that is almost completely devoid of the stuff, they were shocked.

"Finding a galaxy without dark matter is unexpected because this invisible, mysterious substance is the most dominant aspect of any galaxy," said lead author Pieter van Dokkum of Yale University. "For decades, we thought that galaxies start their lives as blobs of dark matter. After that everything else happens: gas falls into the dark matter halos, the gas turns into stars, they slowly build up, then you end up with galaxies like the Milky Way. NGC1052-DF2 challenges the standard ideas of how we think galaxies form."

The research, published in the March 29th issue of the journal Nature, amassed data from the Gemini North and W. M. Keck Observatories, both on Maunakea, Hawai'i, the Hubble...

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Improved Accuracy on Hubble Constant Suggests New Physics

astrophysics science news Mar 02, 2018
By Resonance Science Foundation Research Team

The accuracy of the Hubble constant has been a topic of debate since its discovery in the 1920’s. When an agreement seemed to be finally on the horizon a new measuring technique showed a discrepancy and now that discrepancy has just been verified to even more accuracy.

The Hubble constant was discovered by Edwin Hubble in 1929 through his observational studies of the recession velocities of galaxies. Hubble found that the recession velocity of galaxies increased with increasing distance at a proportional rate, now known as the Hubble constant.

The Hubble constant has since been measured with varying degrees of accuracy from 500km/s/Mpc to 100 km/s/Mpc until finally agreeing on ~70 km/s/Mpc. However, the alternative method for measuring the Hubble constant – from the cosmic microwave background (CMB) – yields a slightly lower number. This discrepancy has now been confirmed with even greater accuracy by Nobel...

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Scientists Created An Acoustic Tractor Beam

It is remarkable what can be achieved with acoustic waves. During the last two decades, scientists have demonstrated photon creation with the sonoluminescence effect, acoustic levitation and sound hologram. Acoustic vortices are another interesting effect. They have been extensively studied for their ability to trap particles and recently a team achieved the stable three-dimensional trapping of Rayleigh particles (i.e., particle with a radius smaller than the wavelength a λ).

These acoustic vortices are wave fields with a screw dislocation in the phasewave front and an amplitude null on the axis pin. These helical wavefronts can be generated using various methods among which stands out the use of phased array systems because they allow to electronically control the acoustic beam by means of the application of a given delay law to the array elements.

Acoustic researchers had been frustrated by the size limit for years, so it’s satisfying to...

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Why Is Everything So Dark?

Article by Dr. Amira Val Baker, Resonance Science Foundation Research Scientist

When something seems a little mysterious or we just don’t understand what is going on we like to describe it with the adjective ‘dark’.

This is one of the reasons why the term ‘dark’ matter got coined which was first proposed to explain the anomaly observed in the rotational velocities of galaxies. That is – the observed rotational velocities of the gas and dust at the outer edges of a galaxy is rotating just as fast as the gas and dust near its center. This anomaly was first noted in 1978 by Vera Rubin and W. Kent Ford who made precise measurements utilizing a new instrument that Ford himself had designed. At first, they thought their data could be erroneous, but then their results were corroborated by subsequent observations of galactic rotational velocities, suggesting that there was indeed an anomaly between what is expected and what was observed!

So, what is going...

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Panpsychism: Theories That Consciousness is Integral to Cosmos at the Most Fundamental Level Gaining Credibility

Article by William Brown, Resonance Science Foundation Research Scientist

Conventionally consciousness is explained as emerging from electrochemical computational activity of cells in complex neural networks. Prima facie, this is a logical theory as sensory inputs can be de-constructed into data / information—computations are what sorts and processes data—and thus the computational activity of the brain produces phenomenal experiences from sensory data. The only problem is that it is not at all clear how a series of computations can produce phenomenal experience, that aspect of consciousness that is the observer—the experiencer of sensations and mental qualia. Undoubtedly, neuromorphic computations can result in machine learning, and this is most likely an integral aspect of the process of synaptic remodeling (plasticity) that occurs in the brain as one learns.

However, the ability to process data input, execute a response, and optimize that response...

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Unified Origin of High-Energy Cosmic Particles Could Be Black Hole Jets

Article by Dr. Amira Val Baker, Astrophysicist, Resonance Science Foundation Research Scientist

Cosmic rays can mean any high energy from the cosmos and were only referred to as rays for historical reasons – in that they thought cosmic rays were electromagnetic radiation. However generally cosmic rays refer to high energy particles with mass whereas high energy in the form of gamma rays and/or X-rays are photons. These cosmic particles were discovered in 1912 by Victor Hess when he ascended to 5300 meters above sea level in a hot air balloon and detected significantly increased levels of ionization in the atmosphere.

Ultra-High Energy Cosmic Rays (UHECRs) are extremely energetic sub-atomic particles with energies of the order 100 PeV (that is 100,000 trillion electron volts). Their origin has long remained a mystery. However, an intriguing coincidence in the energy generation rates of UHECRs, cosmic neutrinos and gamma rays are comparable – indicating a unified picture....

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Egyptian Stone Predates the Sun

By Dr. Amira Val Baker, Resonance Science Foundation Astrophysicist

Recent analysis of a stone found in the Libyan Desert Glass area of southwest Egypt, has sparked debate and a rethink of the current consensus on the formation of the solar system.

In a study, due to be published next month, a team of international researchers announced the resulting analysis of a stone that was subsequently named Hypatia after the ancient female astronomer of Alexandria.

Utilizing techniques from electron scanning microscopy, to proton induce X-ray emission and micro-Raman spectroscopy – the results revealed compounds not found anywhere on our planet, solar system or any known meteorite. As well, a lack of silicates was found which sets it apart from interplanetary dust particles and all known cometary material. Previous analysis of noble gas and nitrogen isotope studies suggest an extraterrestrial origin, which along with these new results strongly suggests a pre-solar origin and could...

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Invention of an Essential Component Part for Quantum Computers

Article by Dr. Olivier Alirol, Physicist, Resonance Science Foundation Research Scientist

One difficulty of making quantum systems is because the qubits have to be maintained coherent during the whole process. Thus, due to the current technology, the qubits must be very close to each other, about 10 to 20 nm apart, in order to communicate. This leaves little room to place the electronics needed to make a quantum computer work. And one of these essential part to make a functional circuit is the circulator.

The circulator, like the insular, is crucial to communication systems for the manipulation of signals. For example, in the case of a RF signal, the isolator can be used to protect other RF components from excessive signal reflection. On the other hand, the RF circulator is usually used to control the direction of the signal flow in a circuit. These devices are essential to give a strict direction to processing signals and avoid any parasitic backward movement. The control of such...

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Breaking electron waves provide new clues to high-temperature superconductivity

Superconductivity is a sought-after effect, but unfortunately it only enters this state at extremely low temperatures. Normal conductors are wasteful and inefficient so the desire to understand superconductivity and replicate the effects at higher temperatures is paramount.

A team of scientists now believe they may just be on the edge of these important insights. In an experiment conducted at Brookhaven National Laboratory, the team led by Hu Miao utilized a technique called resonant inelastic x-ray scattering (RIXS) to track position and charge of the electrons.

What they found is that at high temperatures when superconductivity vanishes powerful waves of electrons begin to uncouple and behave independently. Studying these waves allows a new way of exploring the relationship between spin and charge – which seems to be affected when transitioning from the hottest temperatures allowable for superconductivity...

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