Another week gone by, another week of great stories. What would you actually see if you could see gravitational waves? Memory from the first computer in space; a destroyed star raining onto a black hole; chasing Schrödinger’s cat; the largest astronomical image of all time; and discovering that God does not play dice are all among our top stories.
God Does Not Play Dice: Testing Einstein’s Principle of Local Realism
Random number generators have played a critical role in an historic experiment that gives the strongest refutation to date of Albert Einstein’s principle of “local realism,” which says that the universe obeys laws, not chance, and that there is no communication faster than light. An experiment first “entangled” two electrons trapped inside two different diamond crystals, and then measured the electrons’ orientations.
46-billion-pixel Photo is Largest Astronomical Image of All Time
With 46 billion pixels, a 194 gigabyte file size and numerous stars, a massive new Milky Way photo has been assembled from astronomical observation data gathered over a five-year period. Using an online tool, any interested person can view the complete ribbon of the Milky Way at a glance, zoom in and inspect specific areas, and use an input window, which provides the position of the displayed section, to search for specific objects.
Physicists Prove Quantum Spookiness, Start Chasing Schrödinger’s Cat
Quantum mechanics is weird. Far apart objects can influence each other in what Einstein called “spooky action at a distance,” and cats can potentially be dead and alive at the same time. Researchers have proven the link between particles at a distance reflects how the universe behaves. Others have set out to show a living creature can be in two different quantum states at the same time — just like Schrödinger’s cat.
Daily Views of Earth Available on New NASA Site
NASA launched a new website so the world can see images of the full, sunlit side of the Earth every day. The images are taken by a NASA camera one million miles away on the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), a partnership between NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Air Force. Once a day NASA will post at least a dozen new color images of Earth acquired from 12 to 36 hours earlier
Destroyed Star Rains onto Black Hole, Winds Blow it Back
New details about what happens when a black hole tears apart a star have been gathered by a trio of orbiting X-ray telescopes, giving scientists an extraordinary opportunity to understand the extreme environment around a black hole. When a star comes too close to a black hole, the intense gravity of the black hole results in tidal forces that can rip the star apart. In these events, some of the stellar debris is flung outward …
Algorithm Improves Sound Quality of Amateur Recordings
Sound quality on phones, video recorders and dictaphones is often poor; distorted or noisy with garbled speech or indistinct music. Acoustic scientists at have developed an algorithm to improve user-generated recordings, after tests revealed the extent to which consumers are struggling to control quality. The algorithm, which makes it possible to tag content and quality, has already been applied to an app for assessing wind noise.
Up for Auction: Memory from the First Computer in Space
A piece of memory from the “first machine in orbit” is up for auction. Heritage Auctions is accepting bids for the 4.25-inch computer chip that orbited earth during the Gemini 3 mission on March 23, 1965, part of the first computer ever flown on a U.S.-manned space mission. The initial price of the memory plane is set at $1,200. The live auction, which includes an online component, is scheduled to take place on November 6.
If Our Eyes could see Gravitational Waves
Picture the scene: two gigantic black holes, each one a good fraction of the size of our Solar System spiraling around each other. Closer and closer they draw until they touch and merge into a single, even more gigantic gravitational prison. But what would you actually see if our eyes could see gravitational waves? This computer simulation shows what the merger of two black holes would look like.