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OMG. I think I finally understand quantum mechanics!

Genius!
melikes. Brown Sharpie, Cyanide and Happiness, EXTRA ORDINARY, the Perry Bible Fellowship, POPSTRIP, Spiked Math, WE THE ROBOTS, xkcd · Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative ...
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UK may test new "fast" reactor that gets rid of plutonium--the "element from hell" that can be used to make bombs.
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DISAPPOINTING NEWS FLASH: Neutrinos travel at speed of light
Science | We all knew that when the OPERA experiment announced preliminary evidence that neutrinos were traveling faster than the speed of light, the result was so hard t
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Is there life after Quantum Mechanics?
Vaguely redolent of the question I posed yesterday "Was Heisenberg right?", today our good friend Vlatko Vedral ponders whether there's much more to the world than Quantum Mechanics.

No surprises. The weirdness of Quantum Mechanics has been tested so thoroughly that any theory that would replace it would likely be even more bizarre in its implications. But that's no reason not to keep looking.
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How To Teach Relativity To Your Dog
Years before Yuri Gagarin became the first person journey into space, the first sentient beings to explore this final frontier were, in fact, dogs. And yet, they know surprisingly little about physics. Chad Orzel, professor of physics at Union College in upstate New York, hopes to redress this. In his book, How To Teach Relativity To Your Dog, Orzel describes conversations he's had with his best friend, Emmy, on the nature of time and space, the Big Bang, the properties of black holes, and the ultimate fate of the Universe.

On tonight's Big Science, we ask what lessons such canine discourses have for the the rest of us. That's tonight at 9pm London time, on Resonance 104.4 FM.

To listen live over the internet, see http://bigscience.fm/listen/
 
I'll be on the Big Science radio program(me) in the UK tonight, talking by phone about relativity, dogs, and whatever else. Tune in, or check it out on the Internet. I might even do the silly dog voice, we'll see.
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Schrodinger's cat — wanted dead or alive... but not BOTH!
Niels Bohr once remarked that those who aren't shocked when they first come across quantum theory cannot possibly have understood it. This didn't stop the Copenhagen school of quantum mechanics asserting that until the certain characteristics of an object, such as its speed and it's position in space, are measured, those characteristics don't meaningfully exist.

As nuts as this sounds, most physicists have no problem with this interpretation. Or at least have become numb to just how weird its implications are. But what does all this actually mean? Is it possible for a cat to be simultaneously dead AND alive, as the Copenhagen interpretation suggests?

Our guests this week, physicists Terry Rudolph and Matt Pusey, have some ideas. Prepare to be shocked. Or possibly not.
That's tonight at 9pm (London time) on Resonance 104.4 FM. To listen live, go to http://bigscience.fm/listen/
Niels Bohr once remarked that those who aren't shocked when they first come across quantum theory cannot possibly have understood it. This didn't stop the Copenhagen school of quantum mechanic...
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Yup! This one's in queue at the moment. Will podcast soon.
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Better living through SCIENCE!
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Racism treated with heart drugs?
Firstly, a statistics of small numbers warning. This study from the University of Oxford is based on 36 patients, half given the heart medication propranolol and the other half given a placebo. This is far too small to say anything definitive, yet.

But, I love the poetry in the idea that heart drugs might treat racism!
Findings from an Oxford University team suggest that taking a heart disease medication may also help mute subconscious racist attitudes in individ...
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How to generate light 1,000,000x more intense than the Sun
The answer is delicious!
 
This is totally brilliant, (via +Elements)
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Tune in, turn on, get on the wagon
There are anecdotes from the 50s that suggest that in the right context, a single dose of LSD could cure alcoholism. Unfortunately, as far as I'm aware, this was before evidence-based medicine became the rage. So, to date the clinical case had been rather less than firm. But it now seems that there is enough data out there to suggest that the effect could be real.

I did a +Big Science FM show on this with +Mo Costandi late last year, but hadn't yet got around to editing and putting it out as a podcast. I think it may be time.

For more on the clinical use of psychedelics, the best place to start is a piece +Noah Gray posted on his Nature Network blog, Nothing's Shocking: http://blogs.nature.com/noah/2010/08/30/blog-focus-hallucinigenic-drugs?WT.mc_id=GPL_NaturePhysics
Retrospective analysis shows hallucinogenic drug helped problem drinkers.
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Several years after proving the inherent incompleteness of all but the most trivial formal systems, Kurt Gödel proved that the US constitution made the US government vulnerable to a legal transition to fascist dictatorship.

Gödel's character referees, Albert Einstein and Oskar Morgenstern, suggested he should avoid mentioning this to the Examiner who was assessing his application for US citizenship.

Gödel didn't listen.

U.S. Naturalization Examiner: "Now, Mr. Gödel, where do you come from?"
Gödel: "Where I come from? Austria."
Examiner: "What kind of givernment did you have in Austria?"
Gödel: "It was a republic, but the constitution was such that is finally was changed into a dictatorship."
Examiner: "Oh! This is very bad. This could not happen in this country."
Gödel: "Oh, yes it could, I can prove it!"
 
When Hitler took over Austria, the famous logician Kurt Gödel fled to the US. When he became a US citizen, he took two friends to the naturalization hearing: Albert Einstein and Oskar Morgenstern, one of the inventors of game theory! In preparing for the event, Gödel claimed to have found a flaw in the US Constitution that would allow a dictator to take control in a completely legal way. It was up to Einstein and Morgenstern to keep Gödel from talking about this and derailing the hearing.

There have been rumors about this for years, but in 2006 this typed letter from Morgenstern reappeared, which tells the tale first-hand. There's a scrawled cover note by his wife. It's pretty funny. It turns out Einstein mainly played the role of an irresponsible joker throughout the whole affair.

For more, see:

http://morgenstern.jeffreykegler.com/
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A stochastic romp through the big ideas that make the Universe tick
Introduction
BigScience.FM began as an experiment borne of a belief that the fundamental ideas that govern the Universe are simple. Fantastical, astonishing, often unbelievable, but ultimately simple.

Every Wednesday at 9pm on Resonance 104.4FM explore the big ideas that make the Universe work.

Listen live or subscribe to the Big Science podcast on iTunes or RSS.