Ascension Earth 2012
- Consciousness Does Not Compute (and Never Will), Says Korean Scientist
- Listen To These Eerie 'X-Files' Sounds Recorded in Earth's Stratosphere
- Astronomers Giddy Over What They Call A Cosmic 'Dinosaur Egg' About To Hatch
- Mercury's Mysterious Magnetic Past Goes Back 4 Billion Years
- Peter Diamandis: Keep Your Eye on Virtual Reality in 2015
- Stories of the Strange & Unexplained on Coast To Coast Radio with George Noory
- What Is Our Moon's Real Name?
- Does This Discovery Prove There’s Another Universe?
- 10 Mythical Creatures That Turned Out To Be Real
Posted: 09 May 2015 05:12 PM PDT
Excerpt from prnewswire.com
Within some circles in the scientific community, debate rages about whether computers will achieve technological singularity (TS) or strong artificial intelligence (AI)--in other words, self-recognition or human consciousness within a computer--within the next few decades. Now, however, a Korean quantum physicist has shown that computers will never be able to duplicate human consciousness or be programmed to do so, because they lack the fundamental . . . well, humanity. And his research may finally answer questions that have long stymied brain science researchers.
In his paper, "Non-computability of Consciousness," Daegene Song proves human consciousness cannot be computed. Song arrived at his conclusion through quantum computer research in which he showed there is a unique mechanism in human consciousness that no computing device can simulate.
"Among conscious activities, the unique characteristic of self-observation cannot exist in any type of machine," Song explained. "Human thought has a mechanism that computers cannot compute or be programmed to do."
And therein lies the kernel of truth that could resolve two problems researchers have until now been unable to resolve: First, that no approach to brain research had ever been able to precisely represent consciousness; and second, that no one actually understood how a network of neurons, also known as the human brain, could somehow give rise to consciousness.
"Non-computability of Consciousness" documents Song's quantum computer research into TS. Song was able to show that in certain situations, a conscious state can be precisely and fully represented in mathematical terms, in much the same manner as an atom or electron can be fully described mathematically. That's important, because the neurobiological and computational approaches to brain research have only ever been able to provide approximations at best. In representing consciousness mathematically, Song shows that consciousness is not compatible with a machine.
Song's work also shows consciousness is not like other physical systems like neurons, atoms or galaxies. "If consciousness cannot be represented in the same way all other physical systems are represented, it may not be something that arises out of a physical system like the brain," said Song. "The brain and consciousness are linked together, but the brain does not produce consciousness.
Consciousness is something altogether different and separate. The math doesn't lie."
About Daegene Song
Daegene Song obtained his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Oxford and now works at Chungbuk National University in Korea as an assistant professor. To learn more about Song's research, see his published work: D. Song, Non-computability of Consciousness, NeuroQuantology, Volume 5, pages 382~391 (2007). http://arxiv.org/abs/0705.1617
Posted: 09 May 2015 05:04 PM PDT
Excerpt from huffingtonpost.com
What does the edge of space sound like? Pretty darn strange. Just have a listen to these acoustic signals recorded in the stratosphere some 22 miles above Earth's surface (above).
At frequencies below 20 hertz, these so-called "infrasounds" are too low for the human ear to hear. But sped up by a factor of 1,000, they sound "kind of like 'The X-Files,'" Daniel Bowman, a graduate student in geophysics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the leader of the recording effort, told Live Science.
Up, up, and away. For the research, conducted as part of NASA's High Altitude Student Platform program, Bowman attached microphones to a helium balloon and then sent it on a 9-hour flight above New Mexico and Arizona, according to Live Science. The flight took place on Aug. 9, 2014.
It's not the first time recordings of atmospheric infrasound have been made. But in many previous efforts, the recordings were made on the ground -- and extraneous noise was a problem.
"I decided to try putting microphones on balloons to reduce the wind noise (the balloon moves at the same speed as the wind) and to see if I could find sounds that don't make it down to Earth," Bowman told The Huffington Post in an email.
Decoding the mystery. As for what the new stratospheric sounds could be, Bowman and his colleagues are still working to interpret them -- though they do have some guesses.
"We think that they are probably a combination of thing happening far away (commercial aircraft, waves in the Atlantic ocean, air turbulence, even air conditioners in buildings) and things happening nearby (cables vibrating on the balloon and cosmic rays hitting the sensor)," he said in the email.
If you were hoping the signals might be evidence of aliens, you're out of luck.
"There is no evidence to suggest that these signals are from extraterrestrial sources," Bowman said. "Sound cannot travel through space, so whatever is generating it must be located within about 140 km (approximately 90 miles) of the Earth's surface."
The research was presented in Pasadena, Calif. on April 23 at the annual meeting of the Seismological Society of America.
Posted: 09 May 2015 04:52 PM PDT
Excerpt from huffingtonpost.com
A dense cloud of gas 50 million light-years away has astronomers buzzing, and they're using all sorts of strange metaphors to get the rest of us to pay attention.
They've discovered what they think may be a globular cluster -- a big ball of up to one million stars -- on the verge of being born.
“This remarkable object looks like it was plucked straight out of the very early universe," Dr. Kelsey Johnson, an astronomer at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and lead author on a paper about the research, said in a written statement. "To discover something that has all the characteristics of a globular cluster, yet has not begun making stars, is like finding a dinosaur egg that’s about to hatch.”
ALMA image of dense cores of molecular gas in the Antennae galaxies. The round yellow object near the center may be the first prenatal example of a globular cluster ever identified. It is surrounded by a giant molecular cloud.
Johnson and her colleagues spotted the bizarre object, which they call the "Firecracker," using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in the Atacama desert in Chile. It's located inside a pair of interacting galaxies known to scientists as NGC 4038/NGC 4039, or The Antennae Galaxies.
The Firecracker has a mass that's 50 times that of our sun, and is under an enormous amount of pressure -- roughly 10,000 times greater than the average pressure in interstellar space. According to the researchers, this makes it a good candidate for collapsing into a globular cluster within the next million years.
What do other scientists make of the discovery? Dr. Alison Peck, ALMA scientist at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, who was not involved in the new research, called it "important" and said she was "really excited to hear about these results."
She told The Huffington Post in an email:
"One of the things that we all yearn to understand is how our surroundings formed, how our galaxy and our solar system came to be. To do this, since we can’t actually watch things change over time, (it just takes too long), we need to find similar objects at different stages of development and compare them. What Dr. Johnson’s team have found here is an analog of an object that we look for in the very early universe, but they’ve found it so close by that we’ll be able to make extremely detailed observations and find out much more about the physical conditions in this exciting region."The research is set to be published in the Astrophysical Journal.
Posted: 09 May 2015 04:45 PM PDT
Excerpt from sci-tech-today.com
Examining rocks on Mercury's surface, scientists using data from NASA's Messenger spacecraft have revealed that the planet probably had a much stronger magnetic field nearly 4 billion years ago.
The findings, published in the journal Science, offer insight into the field's power source: the liquid dynamo in the planet's outer core.
Scientists have known that tiny Mercury boasts a magnetic field ever since NASA's Mariner 10 spacecraft detected it during flybys in the 1970s. But it has been unclear whether the field was a short-lived or long-term phenomenon.
Messenger, which in 2011 became the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury, sought to answer such questions about the sun-seared planet. Even though Messenger crash-landed on Mercury just last week, the data from its four years in orbit are still turning up a trove of fresh information. And before it ran out of fuel, the scientists used the spacecraft's last reserves to swoop down to extremely low altitudes to better examine some of the features on Mercury's scarred surface.
For most of Messenger's mission, the closest the spacecraft's elliptical orbit took it to the surface was about 200 kilometers, or 120 miles. But during the last month or so, the Messenger team took the spacecraft to within 15 kilometers, or less than 10 miles, of the planet's surface, getting an unprecedented close-up.
"It's quite a risky thing to do because if you get it wrong, you wind up in the planet a little too early," said study lead author Catherine Johnson, a geophysicist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.
Using its magnetometer, which sits at the end of a long boom to avoid interference from the spacecraft, Messenger measured the magnetic field's strength and direction at two sites on the planet's surface, particularly one called Suisei Planitia, a large basin whose name comes from the Japanese word for Mercury.
The scientists found that the smooth plains on Mercury -- which are believed to have locked in their magnetic field characteristics when the molten rock solidified about 3.7 billion to 3.9 billion years ago -- probably mark what the study calls the "lower bound on the average age of magnetization." In other words, the magnetic field is at least 3.7 billion to 3.9 billion years old.
If that time window is accurate, it would raise questions about the evolution of Mercury's core, the researchers said.
"One of the puzzles these observations leave open is: How would you have driven that early dynamo?" Johnson said.
The churning dynamo could have been powered by super-fast cooling in the core -- except that that's thought to have ended 3.9 billion years ago, before those smooth plains finally set. It could have been powered by the solidifying of the inner core -- but that's thought to have started well after 3.7 billion years ago.
In other words, the magnetic field seems to fall into a temporal doughnut hole during which its power source cannot be explained.
The researchers hope to get to the bottom of this mystery using Messenger's trove of data, gleaning further clues from the composition of the rocks and signs of past volcanic activity.
Earth also has a liquid outer core that powers its magnetic field -- which is roughly 100 times stronger than Mercury's -- so teasing apart the story of Mercury's magnetic field could help shed more light on our own, Johnson said.
"These kinds of things are interesting problems for Earth too," she said.
Posted: 09 May 2015 04:40 PM PDT
MAY 9, 2015: USGS map shows the location of the 4.5 quake (large blue dot in Ka'u) among the many smaller quakes that occurred on the Big Island over the last two weeks.
MAY 9, 2015: USGS map shows the location of the 4.5 quake (large blue dot in Ka'u) among the many smaller quakes that occurred on the Big Island over the last two weeks. - See more at: http://www.bigislandvideonews.
Magnitude-4.5 earthquake shakes Big Island of Hawaii; people around isle report light shakingNAʻALEHU – A magnitude-4.5 earthquake located in the Kaʻū District shook the Island of Hawaii on Saturday, May 9, at 2:18 a.m., HST. The quake was centered 5 miles north of Naʻalehu at a depth of 6 miles, according to Wes Thelen, the Seismic Network Manager for the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. There were three aftershocks (magnitudes 1.6, 1.5, 1.4) of the earthquake were recorded as of 3:30 a.m., HST. Scientists say additional aftershocks are possible and could be felt. Over 70 reports claimed to feel the earthquake within an hour of the event. Light shaking has been reported across the island. At these shaking intensities (Intensity IV), damage to buildings or structures is not expected, scientists said. Over the past 30 years, the area north of Nāʻālehu has experienced 6 earthquakes, including today’s event, with magnitudes greater than 4.0 and at depths of 5–13 km (3.1–8.1 mi). This area of Kaʻū is a seismically active region where a magnitude-6.2 earthquake occurred in 1919. Areas adjacent to this morning’s event experienced earthquakes of magnitudes 6.0, 7.1, and 7.9 in 1868. The depth, location, and recorded seismic waves of today’s earthquake suggest a source on the large fault plane between the old ocean floor and overlying volcanic crust, a common source for earthquakes in this area. USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory The earthquake caused no detectable changes in Kīlauea Volcano’s ongoing eruptions, on Mauna Loa, or at other active volcanoes on the Island of Hawaiʻi, says USGS. A magnitude-3.1 earthquake that occurred in Kīlauea Caldera about one minute before the magnitude-4.5 earthquake was unrelated to the Naʻalehu event. The Big Island has been experiencing elevated seismicity beneath Kīlauea’s summit and upper East and Southwest Rift Zones the past few weeks.
NAʻALEHU – A magnitude-4.5 earthquake located in the Kaʻū District shook the Island of Hawaii on Saturday, May 9, at 2:18 a.m., HST.
The quake was centered 5 miles north of Naʻalehu at a depth of 6 miles, according to Wes Thelen, the Seismic Network Manager for the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. There were three aftershocks (magnitudes 1.6, 1.5, 1.4) of the earthquake were recorded as of 3:30 a.m., HST. Scientists say additional aftershocks are possible and could be felt.
Over 70 reports claimed to feel the earthquake within an hour of the event. Light shaking has been reported across the island. At these shaking intensities (Intensity IV), damage to buildings or structures is not expected, scientists said.
Over the past 30 years, the area north of Nāʻālehu has experienced 6 earthquakes, including today’s event, with magnitudes greater than 4.0 and at depths of 5–13 km (3.1–8.1 mi). This area of Kaʻū is a seismically active region where a magnitude-6.2 earthquake occurred in 1919. Areas adjacent to this morning’s event experienced earthquakes of magnitudes 6.0, 7.1, and 7.9 in 1868.The earthquake caused no detectable changes in Kīlauea Volcano’s ongoing eruptions, on Mauna Loa, or at other active volcanoes on the Island of Hawaiʻi, says USGS. A magnitude-3.1 earthquake that occurred in Kīlauea Caldera about one minute before the magnitude-4.5 earthquake was unrelated to the Naʻalehu event.
The Big Island has been experiencing elevated seismicity beneath Kīlauea’s summit and upper East and Southwest Rift Zones the past few weeks.
- See more at: http://www.bigislandvideonews.
Posted: 09 May 2015 04:29 PM PDT
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