Stephen Hawking, One of the World’s Brilliant Minds, has died.

ARTICLE VIA BBC NEWS 

World renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76.

He died peacefully at his home in Cambridge in the early hours of Wednesday, his family said.

The British scientist was famed for his work with black holes and relativity, and wrote several popular science books including A Brief History of Time.

At the age of 22 Prof Hawking was given only a few years to live after being diagnosed with a rare form of motor neurone disease.

The illness left him in a wheelchair and largely unable to speak except through a voice synthesiser.

In a statement his children, Lucy, Robert and Tim, said: “We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today.

“He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years.”

They praised his “courage and persistence” and said his “brilliance and humour” inspired people across the world.

“He once said, ‘It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.’ We will miss him forever.”

A book of condolence has been opened at Gonville and Caius College in Cambridge, where Prof Hawking was a fellow.

MORE…

Advertisements

Is the ‘origin’ of Life a Natural Consequence of Physics?

Following on from his appearance in Dan Brown’s latest novel ‘Origin’, Jeremy English publishes more research on his hypothesis that ‘life’ is a natural consequence of the laws of physics. Original post via The Space Academy.

A few years back, a remarkable new hypothesis made its way into the scientific zeitgeist – namely, that life is an inevitable consequence of physics. The author of this concept, an associate professor of biophysics at MIT named Jeremy England, has now published the first major papers testing out this idea, and it’s looking like he might be right on the money.

England’s hypothesis is a key bridge between physics and biology. Although it’s not yet conclusively proven, it potentially holds the key to answering one of the greatest questions of all: Where did we come from?

Here’s what his work is arguing. Thanks to the second law of thermodynamics, the universe is heading towards a state of complete structural disorder. It’s tumbling towards a state where everything is essentially the same no matter how the constituent parts are arranged. READ MORE…

Could the Future be Influencing the Past?

Original article via Science Alert

One of the weirder aspects of quantum mechanics could be explained by an equally weird idea – that causation can run backwards in time as well as forwards.

What Einstein called “spooky” action at a distance could theoretically be evidence of retrocausality, which is the particle equivalent of you getting a stomach ache today thanks to tomorrow’s bad lunch.

Read More…

Feature image Mikhail Leonov/Shuterstock

Time Crystals: A New state of Matter

Sorry it’s been quiet here for a while. Exam season slows us down a little.

Original article via Science Alert

It’s official: time crystals are a new state of matter, and now we can create them – ScienceAlert:

Earlier this year, physicists had put together a blueprint for how to make and measure time crystals – a bizarre state of matter with an atomic structure that repeats not just in space, but in time, allowing them to maintain constant oscillation without energy.

Two separate research teams managed to create what looked an awful lot like time crystals back in January, and now both experiments have successfully passed peer-review for the first time, putting the ‘impossible’ phenomenon squarely in the realm of reality. More… 

Image: Pete LinForth/Pixabay

Time Crystals

Original article on Phys.org

Normal crystals, likes diamond, are an atomic lattice that repeats in space, but physicists recently suggested making materials that repeat in time. Last year, UC Berkeley’s Norman Yao sketched out the phases surrounding a time crystal and what to measure in order to confirm that this new material is actually a stable phase of matter. This stimulated two teams to build a time crystal, the first examples of a non-equilibrium form of matter.

To most people, crystals mean diamond bling, semiprecious gems or perhaps the jagged amethyst or beloved by collectors.

To Norman Yao, these inert crystals are the tip of the iceberg.

If crystals have an atomic structure that repeats in space, like the carbon lattice of a diamond, why can’t crystals also have a structure that repeats in time? That is, a time crystal?

In a paper published online last week in the journal Physical Review Letters, the University of California, Berkeley assistant professor of physics describes exactly how to make and measure the properties of such a crystal, and even predicts what the various phases surrounding the time crystal should be—akin to the liquid and gas phases of ice.
Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-01-physicists-unveil-mattertime-crystals.html#jCp

 

Thermodynamics constrains interpretations of quantum mechanics

Pilot Wave Theory

The latest PBS Digital video discusses quantum realism via the Pilot Wave Theory. A theory yet to be given the credibility of the Copenhagen interpretation because it doesn’t allow for relativity.

We’ve been discussing here recently how relativity can possibly be independent of time if time itself is quantum. I’ve spoken about this before in relation to dark energy and will probably write an update soon.