Science & Technology
China has launched the world's first satellite dedicated to testing the fundamentals of quantum communication in space. The $100m Quantum Experiments at Space Scale (QUESS) mission was launched today from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northern China at 01:40 local time. For the next two years, the craft – also named "Micius" after the ancient Chinese philosopher – will demonstrate the feasibility of quantum communication between Earth and space, and test quantum entanglement over unprecedented distances.
History will note that the guy who discovered liquid water on Mars was an undergraduate at the University of Arizona, a 20-year-old who played guitar in a death-metal band and worked in a planetary science lab. One day, while comparing different satellite images of a single Martian crater taken at various times of year, he noticed something odd: a set of dark streaks in the soil that grew in the Martian summer and shrank in the winter. They seemed to flow down the crater’s slope, like a spill.
Toward the end of last year, the people behind the Large Hadron Collider announced that they might have found signs of a new particle. Their evidence came from an analysis of the first high-energy data obtained after the LHC's two general-purpose detectors underwent an extensive upgrade. While the possible new particle didn't produce a signal that reached statistical significance, it did show up in both detectors, raising the hope that the LHC was finally on to some new physics.
On Friday evening, inside a small castle on the southwest coast of England, a Welsh mezzo-soprano performed a duet with a quantum computer.
The quantum computer wasn’t actually there. It was 5,300 miles away in a lab on the outskirts of Los Angeles. But this is the modern age. We don’t just have quantum computers. They can perform over the Internet.
The ornate, pinecone-shaped towers of Angkor Wat in Cambodia float above a vast temple complex of shrines, pools, houses, and a perfectly square moat. Today, only a small number of monks remain within the temple walls. The remaining structures have been reclaimed by trees whose roots wind around the stone like cellulose tentacles. Archaeologists have long wondered what life was like here when Angkor was the cosmopolitan heart of the Khmer Empire in the 12th and 13th centuries. Why did so many people abandon this place in the 15th century, never to return?
Your taste in music is weird. Maybe you just can’t stop listening to that power ballad, or you’ve wondered about your bewildering weakness for yodeling. And maybe, just maybe, nobody understands your all-consuming obsession with Steely Dan, the greatest band of all time.
Scots experts have discovered the brain’s “rhythmic fingerprints”, which could be used to diagnose and treat conditions ranging from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to dementia.
Brain oscillations – often known as brain waves – caused by electrical waves pulsing through grey matter have puzzled experts since their discovery by German psychiatrist Hans Berger in 1924.
Neuroscientists from Glasgow University have now found that each area of the brain has its own characteristic mix of rhythms, which could be read like a fingerprint using magnetic waves.
Physicists have confirmed the existence of a new form of atomic nuclei, and the fact that it’s not symmetrical challenges the fundamental theories of physics that explain our Universe.
But that's not as bad as it sounds, because the discovery could help scientists solve one of the biggest mysteries in theoretical physics - where is all the dark matter? - and could also explain why travelling backwards in time might actually be impossible.
In the last few years, several groups have announced that their facial recognition systems have achieved near-perfect accuracy rates, performing better than humans at picking the same face out of the crowd.
But those tests were performed on a dataset with only 13,000 images—fewer people than attend an average professional U.S. soccer game. What happens to their performance as those crowds grow to the size of a major U.S. city?
The US Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved the first human trial of an experimental Zika vaccine, according to a joint announcement by the two companies behind the new therapy.
The companies, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc., based in Pennsylvania, and GeneOne Life Science, Inc., based in South Korea, said that their DNA-based vaccine candidate, dubbed GLS-5700, will be given to 40 people in a phase I trail. The trial will start “in the next weeks,” the companies said, and could yield results later this year.