The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is currently undergoing upgrades that will allow it to finally reach its intended top energy of 14TeV. When it comes back online, researchers will use it to probe the properties of the Higgs boson it discovered and to continue the search for particles beyond those described by the Standard Model. But no matter how many Higgs particles pop out of the machine, there’s a limit to how much we can discover there.
That’s because the hadrons it uses create messy collisions that are hard to characterize. The solution to this is to switch to leptons, a class of particles that includes the familiar electron. Leptons present their own challenges but allow for clean collisions at precise energies, allowing the machine to produce little beyond the intended particles. So now, the international physics community is putting agreements in place that will see a new lepton collider start construction before the decade is out, most likely in Japan.
Via The International Linear Collider will be a Higgs factory | Ars Technica.
Knowledge gained from this study is expected to result in new ways to design LEDs that will have significantly higher light emission efficiencies. LEDs have enormous potential for providing long-lived high quality efficient sources of lighting for residential and commercial applications. The U.S. Department of Energy recently estimated that the widespread replacement of incandescent and fluorescent lights by LEDs in the U.S. could save electricity equal to the total output of fifty 1GW power plants.
As life has evolved, its complexity has increased exponentially, just like Moore’s law. Now geneticists have extrapolated this trend backwards and found that by this measure, life is older than the Earth itself.
Via Moore’s Law and the Origin of Life | MIT Technology Review.
There are a variety of ways scientists create the conditions needed to achieve superposition as well as a second quantum state known as entanglement, which are both necessary for quantum computing. Researchers have suspended ions in magnetic fields, trapped photons or manipulated phosphorus atoms in silicon.
The D-Wave computer that Lockheed has bought uses a different mathematical approach than competing efforts. In the D-Wave system, a quantum computing processor, made from a lattice of tiny superconducting wires, is chilled close to absolute zero. It is then programmed by loading a set of mathematical equations into the lattice.
Via Lockheed Martin Harnesses Quantum Technology – NYTimes.com.
If the only traffic you cared about was your YouTube connection, this wouldnt be a big deal. But it normally isnt. Normally youll leave that tediously slow upload to churn away in one tab while continuing to look at cat pictures in another tab. Heres where the problem bites you: each request you send for a new cat picture will get in the same buffer, at the back. It will have to wait for the megabyte of traffic in front of it to be uploaded before it can finally get onto the Internet and retrieve the latest Maru. Which means it has to wait eight seconds. Eight seconds in which your browser can do nothing bit twiddle its thumbs.
Via Video buffering or slow downloads? Blame the speed of light | Ars Technica.
A new X-ray observation of the region surrounding the supermassive black hole in the Great Barred Spiral Galaxy may have answered one of the big questions. G. Risaliti and colleagues found the distinct signature of X-rays reflecting off gas orbiting the black hole at nearly the speed of light. The detailed information the astronomers gleaned allowed them to rule out some explanations for the bright X-ray emission, bringing us closer to an understanding of the extreme environment near these gravitational engines.
Via X-rays spotted bouncing off relativistic matter spiraling into black hole | Ars Technica.