Randomness Improves Computation, No Really
Backreaction
by Sabine Hossenfelder
11h ago
It sounds weird, but randomness can actually improve computer calculations, in certain circumstances. After some digging into the reasons why, I’ve uncovered three different ways this can happen. The first one is noisy computation, then there’s stochastic computation, and then there’s probabilistic computation. What exactly are the differences and how do they help computation? Let’s have a look ..read more
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Electric Highways: A good idea?
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by Sabine Hossenfelder
1d ago
Several European countries have done trials for electric highways , some of which have now been concluded. The results have been unexpectedly controversial. What are electric highways? Why are the results controversial? Could this be the answer to transitioning away from fossil fuels? Let’s have a look ..read more
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Climate Change Slows Rotation of Earth, New Study Finds
Backreaction
by Sabine Hossenfelder
3d ago
Climate change has had some pretty weird consequences - beers are tasting worse, goats are shrinking, and flights are bumpier. Another unexpected outcome is that the rotation of the earth has slowed, making days longer. How does that work? Let’s have a look ..read more
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New Superconductor Scandal: What We Know So Far
Backreaction
by Sabine Hossenfelder
4d ago
Last year, Ranga Dias from the University of Rochester in New York claimed he had found a material that was superconducting at room temperature. He has now been accused of research misconduct. This is a summary of what we know so far ..read more
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Are wildfires good?
Backreaction
by Sabine Hossenfelder
5d ago
Wildfires have made a lot of headlines recently. Climate change, they say, has made them worse. But some ecologists now say that suppressing wildfires is a bad idea and will just make things worse. You read that right, they say we should just let it burn -- so long as no people are in danger. Does that mean small wildfires are actually good? Let’s have a look ..read more
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My first total eclipse: What I am looking forward to
Backreaction
by Sabine Hossenfelder
6d ago
On April 8th, a total solar eclipse will cast its shadow across Mexico, the United States and Canada. This solar eclipse is quite special for a number of reasons. Let’s have a look at why this solar eclipse is so special and some things you should be on the lookout for ..read more
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This Self-Heating Concrete Melts Snow – No Power Needed
Backreaction
by Sabine Hossenfelder
1w ago
Material scientists at Drexel University in Philadelphia have developed a self-heating concrete that warms up on its own when temperatures drop below zero. No power needed. How does this new “smart material” work? Will we see it on our streets soon? Let’s have a look ..read more
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How I fell out of love with academia
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by Sabine Hossenfelder
1w ago
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How AI could kill us -- or save us
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by Sabine Hossenfelder
1w ago
Artificial intelligence will likely eventually exceed human intelligence, which could turn out to be very dangerous. In this video I have collected how things could go wrong and what the terms that you should know when discussing this topic. And because that got rather depressing, I have added my most optimistic forecast, too. Let’s have a look ..read more
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Search for Quantum Foam Begins at South Pole
Backreaction
by Sabine Hossenfelder
1w ago
Physicists will soon begin an experiment at the South Pole to test if space has quantum fluctuations. Their new approach looks for decoherence in neutrinos oscillations that are sensitive to what has been dubbed "quantum foam" that could even contain tiny black holes. If successful, this experiment could uncover something that will combine Einstein’s theory of gravity and quantum physics? Let’s ..read more
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