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It was a slow day. Went to the library and browsed through back issues of Science. That's the official publication of the American Advancement for the Association of Science, or AAAS. It's pretty hard core, but the "Perspective" section gives little synopses of science news at the level I can understand.

Here's what I read. I'm writing this list and addressing it to the future me. You probably don't care about this list. I just want to write it down to read this in ten years' time to see which science mysteries have been solved, which remain impenetrable, and which are hard, but are beginning to yield up secrets.

  1. √ Lincoln D. Carr, "Negative Temperatures?," Science, Vol 339, 4 January 2013, pp. 42-43
  2. Julija Bagdonaite et al, "A Stringent Limit on a Drifting Proton-to-Electron Mass Ratio from Alcohol in the Early Universe," Science, Vol 339, 4 January 2013, pp. 46-48
  3. Jonathan McKinney, Alexander Tchekhovsoy, and Roger D. Blandford, "Alignment of Magnetized Accretion Disks and Relativistic Jets with Spinning Black Holes," Science, Vol 339, 4 January 2013, pp. 49-51
  4. √ S. Braun et al, "Negative Absolute Temperature for Motional Degrees of Freedom", Science, Vol 339, 4 January 2013, pp. 52-55. This article... I have to tell you... (fans self). Whew. If you have a very very very smart girlfriend, or boyfriend, read this and see if they don't jump all over you for hot science-primed monkey love. I'm not kidding.
  5. Alexander Ako Khajetoorians et al, "Current-Driven Spin Dynamics of Artificially Constructed Quantum Magnets", Science, Vol 339, 4 January 2013, pp. 55-59
  6. √ Peter Pesic, "What the Romans Really Knew", Science, Vol 339, 18 January 2013, pp. 273-274
  7. √ Brie Finegold, "From Simple Rules Repeated", Science, Vol 339, 18 January 2013, p. 274 A book review - Benoit Mandelbrot's autobiography
  8. √ Helen S. Margolis, "How Big is the Proton?", Science, Vol 339, 25 January 2013, pp. 405-406
  9. xxx, "", Science, Vol 339, 8 February 2013, pp.
  10. K. Selvanajuo and M. Tomita, "Physical Laws Shape Biology", Science, Vol 339, 8 February 2013, pp. 646
  11. √ O. Hess and K.L. Tsakmakidis, "Metamaterials with Quantum Gain", Science, Vol 339, 8 February 2013, pp. 654-655
  12. √ Nathanial Comfort, " 'Novel Features of Considerable Interest'," a review of J.D. Watson, A. Gann, and J. Witkowski, "The Annotated and Illustrated Double Helix" (book review),Science, Vol 339, 8 February 2013, pp. 648-649
  13. M.T. Zuber, et al, "Gravity Field of the Moon from the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) Mission", Science, Vol 339, 8 February 2013, pp. 668-670
  14. M.A. Wieczorek, et al, "The Crust of the moon as Seen by GRAIL", Science, Vol 339, 8 February 2013, pp. 671-674
  15. J.C. Andrews-Hanna, et al, "Ancient Igneous Intrusions and Early Expansion of the Moon Revealed by GRAIL Gravity Gradiometry", Science, Vol 339, 8 February 2013, pp. 675-677
  16. xxx, "Mr. Bayes Goes to Washington", Science, Vol 339, 15 February 2013, pp.
  17. A.M. Childs, et al, "Universal Computation by Multiparticle Quantum Walk," Science, Vol 339, 15 February 2013, pp. 791-793
  18. M.A. Broome, et al, "Photonic Boson Sampling in a Tunable Circuit", Science, Vol 339, 15 February 2013, pp. 794-797
  19. J.B. Spring, et al, "Boson Sampling on a Photonic Chip", Science, Vol 339, 15 February 2013, pp. 798-800
  20. Christian Schönenberger, "Two Indistinguishable Electrons Interfere in an Electronic Device", Science, Vol 339, 1 March 2013, pp. 1041-1042
  21. E. Bocquillon, et al, "Coherence and Indistinguishability of Single Electrons Emitted by Independent Sources", Science, Vol 339, 1 March 2013, pp. 1054-1056
  22. Robert M. Ziff, "Getting the Jump on Explosive Percolation", Science, Vol 339, 8 March 2013, pp. 1159-1160
  23. K. Cho, et all, "Avoiding a Spanning Cluster in Percolation Models", Science, Vol 339, 8 March 2013, pp. 1185-1187
  24. Yinnon Glickman, et all, "Emergence of a Measurement Basis in Atom-Photon Scattering", Science, Vol 339, 8 March 2013, pp. 1187-1191
  25. xxx, "", Science, Vol 340, 22 March 2013, pp.
  26. xxx, "", Science, Vol 340, 5 April 2013, pp. 42-43

Cool new words/phrases learned:

  1. nanoplasmonics
  2. "the exotic negative refractive index regime"
  3. anti-trap
  4. bright solitons
  5. prethermalization
  6. Fock states
  7. Feshbach resonance
  8. First Brillouin zone

Exciting statements.

  1. "Ultracold quantum gases... cooled to less than a microdegree above absolute zero... are the coldest known material in the known universe." (L. Carr, "Negative Tempertures?")
  2. "Attractive quantum gases in two or three dimensions can implode, rather spectacularly. This tendency to implode is called negative pressure." (ibid)
  3. "There is a special class of dynamical systems, called integrable, that never truly develop a temperature because their properties are different from those of a system in equilibrium with a thermal environment. Classically, integrability is opposed to chaos, chaotic dynamcal systems thermalize and become thermodynamic. The borderline between integrability and chaos is described by a famous and beautiful theory, called Kolmogorov-Arnold-Moser (KAM) theory. To date we do not know whether there is a KAM theory for quantum mechanics. It is now believed that a whole new concept is needed to deal with near-integrable quantum systems, casually called prethermalization, in which physical quantities after relaxation are described by the fancy name 'generalized Gibbs ensemble'." (ibid)
  4. "Computations reveal that at these zero-group velocity points, full lasing operations can be reached in completely uniform (minimalistic) structures that do not require a cavity to confine light (by reflection or Bragg scattering) because successive light pulses can be stopped or strongly localized." (O. Hess, "Metamaterials with Quantum Gain")
  5. "... relaxes toward a thermal distribution during lattice ramp-down." (Braun, "Negative Absolute Temperature...")
  6. Correcting for Quantum Collapse "The predicament faced by Schrödinger's cat is, perhaps a broadly known if not wholly understood example of quantum mechanics that illustrates the weirdness of the quantum world and the kinds of barriers faced by those now trying to control and manipulate it. The rules of quantum mechanics dictate that the mere measurement of a quantum system, describable mathematically in terms of a wavefunction, results in the irreversible collapse of that wavefunction and forces a definitive answer - the cat being either dead or alive. In quantum computing, wavefunction collapse presents a real issue because errors induced by unavoidable interactions with its environment look very much like measurements and can lead to a breakdown of the very quantum state you are trying to do a computation with. Methods have been introduced to correct these errors, which are then fed back into the system to keep the quantum state functional. Schindler et al shows that such error correction strategies can be used to undo a quantum measurement. Using a system of cold atoms and a series of laser pulses, they distributed some of the knowledge they had of the quantum state of the atom of interest across the whole system. In doing so, they have chosen that the state of a particular atom can be measured, but that it can be returned to the same superposition state (being both alive and dead) that it was in before the measurement. Such manipulations should lead to Schrödinger's cat with more than nine lives and, perhaps, simpler architectures for quantum processors." (A summary of a Physical Reviews Letter)

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