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形形色色(2)  

2009-09-30 19:26:31|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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1、Planck卫星

今年五月14号Planck卫星和Herschel卫星一同发射。最近,Planck卫星已经有了第一批数据,我今天才写已经是旧闻了。

Planck卫星从8月13号开始巡天观测,做了两周,得到第一批图,例如:

Planck的“first light”

first_light_survey_l.jpg

Planck的公众网上是这么介绍的

The ‘first light’ survey, which began on 13 August, was a two-week period during which Planck surveyed the sky continuously. It was carried out to verify the stability of the instruments and the ability to calibrate them over long periods to the exquisite accuracy needed.

This survey was completed on 27 August, yielding maps of a strip of the sky, one for each of Planck’s nine frequencies. Each map is a ring, about 15° wide, stretching across the full sky. Preliminary analysis indicates that the quality of the data is excellent.

Routine operations started as soon as the first light survey was completed, and surveying will now continue for at least 15 months without a break. In approximately 6 months, the first all-sky map will be assembled.

Within its allotted operational life of 15 months, Planck will gather data for two complete sky maps. To fully exploit the high sensitivity of Planck, the data will require delicate adjustments and careful analysis. It promises to return a treasure trove that will keep both cosmologists and astrophysicists busy for decades to come.

对于研究宇宙学的人来说,没有比这条新闻更令人兴奋的。

2、天才与疯子

这个话题真不新鲜,梵高、海子、伽罗华……

原来还真有基因学上的原因。

Scientific blogging 上说,neuregulin 1与神经元之间的交流活动有关,也与精神疾病有关。下面摘录一段

In the study, the researchers recruited volunteers who considered themselves to be very creative and accomplished. They underwent a battery of tests, including assessments for intelligence and creativity.

To measure creativity, the volunteers were asked to respond to a series of unusual questions (for example, “Just suppose clouds had strings attached to them which hang down to earth. What would happen?”) and were scored based on the originality and flexibility of their answers. They also completed a questionnaire regarding their lifetime creative achievements before the researchers took blood samples.

They say the results showed a clear link between neuregulin 1 and creativity: Volunteers with the specific variant of this gene were more likely to have higher scores on the creativity assessment and also greater lifetime creative achievements than volunteers with a different form of the gene.

Kéri notes that this is the first study to show that a genetic variant associated with psychosis may have some beneficial functions. He observes that “molecular factors that are loosely associated with severe mental disorders but are present in many healthy people may have an advantage enabling us to think more creatively.”

原文

3、09年诺奖

今年诺奖将在我们的十一长假中完成,物理学奖将在十月六号发布,具体是

Physiology or Medicine - Monday, October 5, 11:30 a.m. CET at the earliest
Physics - Tuesday, October 6, 11:45 a.m. CET at the earliest
Chemistry - Wednesday, October 7, 11:45 a.m. CET at the earliest
Peace - Friday, October 9, 11:00 a.m. CET

我很早就做了物理学奖的胡乱预言:09年诺贝尔物理学奖预测

Thomson Scientific预言了三组人,其中一组居然和隐形电磁斗篷有关。另一组里含Zoller同学,他将在理论所做报告,如果他得,也许将在中国得到诺奖 委员会的通知。Motl做了一堆预测,其中也提到了Thomson的预测。因为要翻墙才能看到Motl的博客,我将原文拷贝如下。

2009 physics Nobel prize: speculations

Next week, Scandinavia will tell us about their choice of Nobel prizes for 2009. The physics Nobel prize will be announced on Tuesday, October 6th, at 11:45 a.m., Swedish time.

Who is going to win the physics award that has preserved its exceptional status because the prize has never been flagrantly misdirected, unlike the peace Nobel prize, so far?

First, let us summarize the winners since October 2004 when this blog was born:

* 2004: Gross, Wilczek, Politzer
* 2005: Glauber, Hall, H?nsch
* 2006: Mather, Smoot
* 2007: Fert, Grünberg
* 2008: Kobayashi, Maskawa, Nambu

Now, it may be fun to recall some predictions made in the previous years:

* 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008

Very soon, I will review some older scenarios which may still be possible in 2009. Meanwhile, Thomson Scientific offered their own, new predictions based on their algorithm analyzing the network of citations. They managed to accurately guess the 2007 winners - Fert, Grünberg - although they did so already in 2006 and F+G were not their top choice.

Besides Gross, Wilczek, and Politzer whom your humble correspondent has been guessing and recommending for a decade, The Reference Frame has also correctly guessed Kobayashi and Maskawa in 2005 - who won in 2008 (but with Nambu, an unexpected but justifiable twist).

In 2009, Thomson Scientific offer the following new candidates:

* Yakir Aharonov, Sir Michael Berry (an original combination of two “phase” people)
* Juan Ignacio Cirac, Peter Zoller (quantum information with cold trapped ions)
* John Pendry, Sheldon Schultz, David R. Smith (optics, negative refractive index, invisibility)

I hope that I managed to combine them into the right teams. The following is an assorted list of possible candidates we have mentioned in the past:

* Alan Guth, Andrei Linde, and maybe Paul Steinhardt: cosmic inflation
* Vera Rubin alone or et al.: dark matter
* Martin Rees: origin of CMB or galaxy formation
* Edward Lorenz: chaos theory and attractors
* Andre Geim, Kostya Novoselov: graphene
* Sumio Ijima: carbon nanotubes
* Roger Penrose, Dan Schechtman: quasicrystals
* Shuji Nakamura: colorful LASERs and LEDs
* Arthur McDonald: neutrino physics
* Yoshinori Tokura: new superconductors and giant magnetoresonance
* Peter Higgs, Jeffrey Goldstone, Philip Anderson: spontaneous symmetry breaking (Nambu has already been given one; Cabibbo is probably out because of the same reason)
* Sheldon Glashow (again), John Iliopoulos, Luciano Maiani: GIM mechanism and charm quark
* Stephen Adler and Roman Jackiw: anomaly cancellation in gauge theory (John Bell died)
* Leonard Susskind: the discoverer of string theory, technicolor, Hamiltonian lattice QCD, quark confinement, scaling violations in deep inelastic electroproduction, 1/2 of holography, 1/4 of Matrix theory, black hole complementarity, quantum tautology
* Michael Green, John Schwarz, Edward Witten (an early stringy prize: a long shot but a previous guess by Thomson Scientific)
* Lene Hau: nonlinear optics and slow light
* Bertrand Halperin, David Nelson: anti-ferromagnets, two-dimensional phase transitions
* Emmanuel Desurvire, Masatake Nakazawa, David Payne: fiber optics
* James Bjorken: scaling in QCD

If you want to hear a truly provocative proposal, be aware that a blog (probably jokingly) suggests James Hansen. That may sound as a good joke but remotely comparable crazy things have occurred in the past. As soon as such a prize would be announced, the idea would no longer be a joke and Sweden would transform itself into a legitimate target of nuclear attacks by all civilized countries.

You know, with his deluded “predictions”, James Hansen is not just a generic crackpot focusing on an inferior discipline of physics. He is a crackpot who is threatening the future wealth of the human civilization.

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