StellarWindow turns your laptop into a virtual planetarium

first_img Citation: StellarWindow turns your laptop into a virtual planetarium (2008, September 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from StellarWindow consists of a USB stick containing a compass and accelerometer that can identify which celestial objects a user is pointing their computer at. Credit: Hobby Media. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. If you enjoy looking at the stars, but get a little impatient trying to figure out which way to hold your star map to identify the constellations, a new software program may make things easier. Called StellarWindow, the program gives you a real-time guided tour of the night sky wherever you’re looking. You simply insert a USB stick and CD into your laptop, tablet, or PC. The stick contains an embedded magnetic compass and accelerometers for sensing tilt. By pointing your computer at a certain area of the sky, the system automatically identifies the stars or planets in that location and displays stock photos and additional information. The concept also works in reverse: StellarWindow has a voice recognition system, so users can speak the name of a star, constellation, or planet, and the software will tell you how to point your computer in the right direction. StellarWindow is being released by Fairy Devices, Inc., a Japanese start-up company created by a group of students from Waseda University. Fairy Devices plans to release the software by the end of 2008 for about 26 Yen ($250).More information: Fairy Device Product Pagevia: Hobby Media last_img read more

WowWee Rovio WiFi Webcam A Consumer Wunderkind

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. ( — WowWee introduces the first consumer WiFi roving Webcam for being there without having to go there. The WowWee Rovio is PC/Mac compatible and measures approximately 13.5-inches x 12-inches x 14-inches and weighs only 5-pounds. Rovio’s three omni-directional wheel design allows it to roam around an office area, home or small manufacturing area maneuvering its way around pets, furniture and obstructions without tipping over. Rovio connects up to a users WiFi network via a laptop, game console or wireless cell phone. The technical requirements include Explorer 6 or higher, Mozilla FireFox 1.5 or higher, Safari 3.0 or higher, Safari Mobile or Opera Mobile. A high-speed Internet connection, 802.11b/g, a USB port and a wireless access point device. The rechargeable battery pack is included and extra charging stations are available for docking Rovio in various rooms. The WowWee Rovio may not be for people short on patience while it grows up, but Wee Willie Winkie and fun loving gadget fans will love it.© 2009 Rovio’s TrueTrack beacon guides it back home to its charger station so you never have to worry about it running out of battery life. The Rovio comes with a CD interactive set up guide, a USB cable, a charger station and an AC power adapter. Once the device is connected to the wireless network the set up guide does the rest. To set up an external network a user needs to set up a port forwarding to your router by following the steps in the written guidelines on-line. A recent firmware update may in time clear up connectivity issues cited by some reviewers. WowWee Roviocenter_img Explore further Citation: WowWee Rovio WiFi Webcam A Consumer Wunderkind (2009, January 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from SPR Therapeutics’ neuromodulation system treats phantom-limb painlast_img read more

New explanation for Hawaiian hot spot

first_imgHawaii Volcanoes National Park. Image: Hawaii’s volcanoes have puzzled scientists for decades because the islands lie in the middle of a tectonic plate rather than at the edge, where volcanic activity would be expected. Until now the prevailing theory has been the mantle plume theory, which suggested the volcanism was fed by a hot plume rising from the Earth’s mantle, but so far efforts to detect a hot plume seismically have remained inconclusive.The mantle plume theory was developed by US scientist Jason Morgan in 1971 and suggests the tectonic plate is sliding above a stationary plume of molten rock lying deep within the mantle, with upwellings of lava forming undersea volcanoes that eventually grew upwards to become islands. As the tectonic plate continued to move the volcanoes were extinguished and some of the islands eroded and dropped below sea level. The result was the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain, which stretches from the Aleutian Trench in the northwest to the present-day Hawaiian islands in the southeast.The new research, by a team led by seismologist Dr Robert van der Hilst of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) imaged the scattering of seismic waves from discontinuities in the mantle to try to identify plumes and other subterranean structures. Discontinuities are formed when the rocks in the mantle are squeezed together at such high pressures that they abruptly reorganize themselves. They included data from almost 170,000 reflected seismic signals along with seismic data from around 4,800 earthquakes in the Pacific region.The next step in the research was to use computer models of the behavior of a variety of minerals at different temperatures and pressures to predict the temperature of the regions beneath the Earth’s surface that reflect the seismic waves. The results suggested a shallow 800-to 2,000-kilometer-wide “thermal anomaly” exists near the top of the lower mantle around 720 kilometers beneath the surface to the west of Hawaii. This suggests that the mantle plume theory might be wrong, since the findings do not support hot material rising as a narrow vertical plume.According to van der Hilst, the current volcanic activity might be fuelled instead by molten rocks bubbling upwards from the eastern edge of the pool of trapped materials “like a lava lamp” rather than a mantle plume. Other scientists have some misgivings, with Thorne Lay of the University of California pointing out that some of the data selected for the analysis were not clean enough since 170,000 good quality waveforms do not exist, and using noisy data could have introduced errors.Dr van der Hilst agreed the team used data other seismologists could discard as too noisy, but said they were able to “exploit the noise reduction of very large data sets.” He also said that carefully selecting data could produce bias in the results.The paper was published in the journal Science on May 27. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. New Technology Allows Geophysicist To Test Theory About Formation of Hawaii (w/ Podcast) ( — Scientists in the US have suggested that volcanic activity in Hawaii could be fed by a giant hot rock pool 1,000 kilometers west of the islands and in the Earth’s mantle, rather than being fed by a hot plume of magma as previously thought. More information: Seismic Imaging of Transition Zone Discontinuities Suggests Hot Mantle West of Hawaii, Science 27 May 2011: Vol. 332 no. 6033 pp. 1068-1071 DOI: 10.1126/science.1202731ABSTRACTThe Hawaiian hotspot is often attributed to hot material rising from depth in the mantle, but efforts to detect a thermal plume seismically have been inconclusive. To investigate pertinent thermal anomalies, we imaged with inverse scattering of SS waves the depths to seismic discontinuities below the Central Pacific, which we explain with olivine and garnet transitions in a pyrolitic mantle. The presence of an 800- to 2000-kilometer-wide thermal anomaly (ΔTmax ~300 to 400 kelvin) deep in the transition zone west of Hawaii suggests that hot material does not rise from the lower mantle through a narrow vertical plume but accumulates near the base of the transition zone before being entrained in flow toward Hawaii and, perhaps, other islands. This implies that geochemical trends in Hawaiian lavas cannot constrain lower mantle domains directly. Explore further Citation: New explanation for Hawaiian hot spot (2011, May 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2010 PhysOrg.comlast_img read more

Charlotte robot tells the world where its not going

first_img( —A resourceful thinker who likes to learn as he goes, Kevin Ochs started out on a project with the intention of brushing up skills in C++ programming. He has come up with something quite interesting as a result. He has a six-legged robot that talks about its progress while navigating obstacles. “This robot project was a mental exercise for me,” he said, on “My Raspberry Pi Robot Called Charlotte,” his Web page. “It had been several years since I had done anything with C++ and I needed to shore up that skill set.” The distinctive edge to Charlotte is that it not only can avoid obstacles by moving out and away from them but can talk about its navigations with the added twist of an open source speech synthesizer, eSpeak. According to the eSpeak site, this is a compact software speech synthesizer for Linux or Windows, which uses a “formant synthesis” method. This allows many languages to be provided in a small size. The speech is clear, but has limitation in that it is not as natural or smooth as larger synthesizers based on human speech recordings. © 2013 Explore further The Ochs creation, Charlotte, moves about and talks, a design making use of a kit then custom-fashioned by Ochs. First, he turned to the robot shop Trossen Robotics, a business with an ample variety of robot kits and parts. Ochs chose a hexapod robot kit. “I found a robot kit sold by Trossen Robotics that visually seemed interesting and was powered by a Arduino-based controller. I purchased the kit and began learning how it was controlled with the stock code they provided.” He then proceeded to make modifications. Mainly, he gave it a “brain” in the form of an overclocked Raspberry Pi computer. (“To note the Rpi is overclocked to 1000Mhz,” Ochs said.) The Raspberry Pi resides in between the Trossen-supplied body. Ochs also applied custom C++ coding with the aid of the Raspberry Pi, his own code based on or inspired by what was done in Phoenix code. He also used openNI (defined as the standard framework for 3-D sensing) and openCV to develop a heads up display and collision detection; openCV stands for Open Source computer vision. It provides a computer vision and machine learning software library, with over 2500 optimized algorithms. Citation: Charlotte robot tells the world where it’s not going (2013, June 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from More information: This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Kondo Robot releases a hexapod robot kit (w/ video)last_img read more

Quantum fingerprinting surpasses classical limit

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Ever since quantum fingerprinting was first proposed in 2001, it has for the most part remained an interesting theoretical concept, with only a handful of protocols having managed to experimentally demonstrate the idea. Now in a new study, researchers have experimentally demonstrated a quantum fingerprinting protocol and shown that it can surpass the classical limit for solving communication complexity problems. In these problems, two parties each have a message, and they both share some of their message with a referee, who has to decide whether the two messages are the same or not. The classical limit requires that a minimum amount of information must be transmitted between each party and the referee in order for the referee to make this decision.So far, the best communication complexity protocols have required transmitting an amount of data that is two orders of magnitude larger than the classical limit.Now in the new study, the scientists showed that quantum fingerprinting can transmit less information than that required by the classical limit, in some cases up to 84% less, by transmitting only the tiny amount of information that is contained in a quantum fingerprint. The results set a new record for transmitting the smallest amount of information for any type of communication complexity protocol. “For the first time, we have demonstrated the quantum advantage over classic information processing in communication complexity,” coauthor Qiang Zhang, a physicist at the University of Science and Technology of China and the Jinan Institute of Quantum Technology, told (—As the saying goes, no two fingerprints are alike, and the same is true for quantum fingerprints. Just as a human fingerprint is only a fraction of the size of a person, yet can be used to distinguish between any two people (at least in theory), quantum fingerprints are exponentially smaller than the string of information they represent, yet they can be used to distinguish between any two strings. The achievement could lead to a wide variety of applications in quantum communications, in particular the potential for the development of “green” (low-energy) communication methods. The results could also lead to new tests of the foundations of quantum physics, since quantum fingerprinting involves quantum phenomena such as nonlocality, which is related to quantum entanglement. Demonstrating the potential for applications, the researchers used the new protocol to transmit 2-Gbit video files over a 20-km fiber. By transmitting only the information contained in the files’ quantum fingerprints, this task requires transmitting only about 1300 photons, which is 14% less information than that required by the classical limit.However, the researchers note that the new protocol cannot be used for any real-world application—including sending video files—in its current form, since it still needs improvement in several areas. One drawback is that the new protocol takes more time to run than classical protocols, even though it uses less energy overall. Also, the number of transmitted photons required increases as the channel distance increases, so the quantum advantage diminishes over longer distances. The researchers plan to address these drawbacks in future work.”Although our setup utilizes less information compared to the classical limit, it takes more time and more channel resources,” Zhang said. “So we cannot find its application in its current status. We may try to improve the transmission time by using multiplexing. But we do not whether it will be useful.” The key to experimentally realizing the quantum fingerprinting protocol is the ability to distinguish between any two strings of quantum information just by knowing their quantum fingerprints. To do this, the researchers transmitted the quantum fingerprints in the form of single-photon pulses to two detectors. If the two fingerprints/pulses are different, both detectors click; if they’re identical, only one of the detectors clicks. Journal information: Physical Review Letters More information: Jian-Yu Guan et al. “Observation of Quantum Fingerprinting Beating the Classical Limit.” Physical Review Letters. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.240502 Citation: Quantum fingerprinting surpasses classical limit (2016, July 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2016 (Left) Comparison of the amount of information transmitted by the best classical protocol, the quantum fingerprinting protocol (black points represent experimental results at 0 km, red points at 20 km), and the classical limit. For large messages, the quantum fingerprinting protocol surpasses the classical limit. (Right) This graph shows that, as distance decreases and data size increases, the advantage of quantum fingerprinting increases. The maximum advantage is 84% less information than the classical limit. Credit: Guan et al. ©2016 American Physical Society Illustration of the quantum fingerprinting protocol, which can transmit less information than the minimum required by the classical limit for solving a communication complexity problem. Credit: Guan et al. ©2016 American Physical Society Russian scientists make teleportation a ‘two-way road’ using the same quantum resourcelast_img read more

Taking statistics to the quantum domain

first_img More information: Gael Sentís et al. “Quantum Change Point.” Physical Review Letters. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.150502 Also at arXiv:1605.01916 [quant-ph] Although the local measurement method sounds appealing because it can potentially detect the change point as soon as it occurs without waiting for all of the particles to be emitted, the researchers found that global measurements outperform even the best local measurement strategies.The “catch” is that global measurements are more difficult to experimentally realize and require a quantum memory to store the quantum states as they arrive at the detector one by one. The local measurement methods don’t require a quantum memory, and instead can be implemented using much simpler devices in sequence. Since global detection requires a quantum memory, the results show that change point detection is another of the many problems for which quantum methods outperform all classical ones.”We expected that global measurements would help, as coherent quantum operations tend to exploit genuinely quantum resources and generally outperform local operations in many information processing tasks,” Sentis said. “However, this is a case-dependent advantage, and sometimes sophisticated and clever local strategies are enough to cover the gap. The fact that here there is a finite performance gap says something fundamental about change point detection in quantum scenarios.”The results have potential applications in any situation that involves analyzing data collected over time. Change point detection is also often used to divide a data sample into subsamples that can then be analyzed individually. “The ability to accurately detect quantum change points has immediate impact on any process that requires careful control of quantum information,” Sentis said. “It can be considered a quality testing device for any information processing task that requires (or produces) a sequence of identical quantum states. Applications may range from probing quantum optical fibers to boundary detection in solid state systems.”In the future, the researchers plan on exploring the many applications of quantum change point detection.”We plan on extending our theoretical methods to deal with more realistic scenarios,” Sentis said. “The possibilities are countless. A few examples of generalizations we are exploring are multiple change points, noisy quantum states, and detection of change points in optical setups.” Journal information: Physical Review Letters Physicists retrieve ‘lost’ information from quantum measurements In the quantum change point problem, a quantum source emits particles that are received by a detector. At some unknown point, a change occurs in the state of the particles being emitted. Physicists have found that global measurement methods, which use quantum repeaters, outperform all classical measurement methods for accurately identifying when the change occurred. Credit: Sentis et al. ©2016 American Physical Society Now in a new paper published in Physical Review Letters, physicists Gael Sentís et al. have taken the change point problem to the quantum domain. “Our work sets an important landmark in quantum information theory by porting a fundamental tool of classical statistical analysis into a fully quantum setup,” Sentis, at the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao, Spain, told “With an ever-growing number of promising applications of quantum technologies in all sorts of data processing, building a quantum statistical toolbox capable of dealing with real-world practical issues, of which change point detection is a prominent example, will be crucial. In our paper, we demonstrate the working principles of quantum change point detection and facilitate the grounds for further research on change points in applied scenarios.”Although change point problems can deal with very complex situations, they can also be understood with the simple example of playing a game of Heads or Tails. This game begins with a fair coin, but at some unknown point in the game the coin is switched with a biased one. By statistically analyzing the results of each coin toss from the beginning, it’s possible to determine the most likely point at which the coin was switched.Extending this problem to the quantum realm, the physicists looked at a quantum device that emits particles in a certain state, but at some unknown point the source begins to emit particles in a different state. Here the quantum change point problem can be understood as a problem of quantum state discrimination, since determining when the change in the source occurred is the same as distinguishing among all possible sequences of quantum states of the emitted particles.Physicists can determine the change point in this situation in two different ways: either by measuring the state of each particle as soon as it arrives at the detector (a “local measurement”), or by waiting until all of the particles have reached the detector and making a measurement at the very end (a “global measurement”). (—The change point problem is a concept in statistics that pops up in a wide variety of real-world situations, from stock markets to protein folding. The idea is to detect the exact point at which a sudden change has occurred, which could indicate, for example, the trigger of a financial crisis or a misfolded protein step. Explore further Citation: Taking statistics to the quantum domain (2016, November 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2016 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Physicists experimentally verify 40yearold fluid equations

first_imgFor decades, researchers have been using equations derived in the mid-1970s for a variety of fluid applications involving inks, foams, and bubbles, among other uses. These fundamental fluid equations describe how much force is required to pull a solid particle from a liquid surface. Although these equations have been experimentally confirmed for millimeter-sized particles, experimental confirmation in the micrometer regime has been lacking. Change in contact angle when detaching a microparticle from a liquid surface. Credit: Schellenberget et al. ©2018 American Physical Society Journal information: Physical Review Letters © 2018 Aiming to fill this gap, researchers in a new study have, for the first time, simultaneously measured the capillary force on a single microparticle while imaging the shape of the liquid meniscus that forms underneath the particle, which tries to pull the particle back to the liquid. Their results experimentally verify the 1970s fluid equations for microparticles.The researchers, led by Hans-Jürgen Butt at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, have published a paper on their experimental results in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters.Particle behavior on liquid surfaces has many applications, and has been widely studied, at least for particles down to about 0.3 millimeters in diameter. As one of these macroparticles is pulled out of the liquid, a meniscus forms between the particle and liquid surface, creating a capillary force that tries to pull the particle back to the surface. At macroscopic scales, gravity also plays a significant role in pulling a particle back down to the liquid surface. Experiments have also shown that, as a macroparticle is being pulled up from the surface, it can slide around on the surface with the meniscus sliding underneath.Things are different, however, at the microscale, where gravity is usually negligible compared to capillary forces. Since there have not been as many experiments with microparticles, many questions remain unanswered. Some of these open questions include determining how the capillary force and the shape of the meniscus are related, as well as whether microparticles can slide on the surface like macroscopic particles can.In their experiments, the researchers glued a glass microparticle to the end of a cantilever on a microscope, and then slowly immersed the cantilever with the microparticle into a container of glycerol. Using advanced microscope techniques, the researchers simultaneously measured the capillary force and the contact angle between the microparticle and the meniscus as the microparticle was slowly lifted out of the fluid. While the experimental results verified the fundamental fluid equations for microparticles in general, they also revealed some surprises. For instance, unlike for macroscopic particles, the contact line between a microparticle and the liquid surface is pinned down for most of the detaching process. Only in the final moments when the microparticle is about to detach does the particle slide around on the surface.The researchers expect that the results will be useful for the many applications that involve capillary forces of microparticles at liquid surfaces, such as mineral flotation and the deinking of paper. More information: Frank Schellenberger et al. “Detaching Microparticles from a Liquid Surface.” Physical Review Letters. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.048002center_img Explore further Citation: Physicists experimentally verify 40-year-old fluid equations (2018, August 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Aboard the ISS, researchers investigate complex dust behavior in plasmas This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more