Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:04 pm Post subject: Interesting Visions/Predictions of the Future
Professor Stephen Hawking warns 'the end of the world is nigh' and Earth could be engulfed in a 'ball of fire'
Esteemed physicist Professor Stephen Hawking has dramatically warned 'the end of the world is nigh'.
The Cambridge University-based genius claims we have got less than 600 years left as a species to do something before a “ball of fire” engulfs the Earth.
In a video appearance at the 2017 Tencent WE Summit in Beijing on Sunday, the world-renowned scientist warned that overcrowding and energy consumption could bring about a fiery end to the planet within 600 years.
The end would come in a “ball of fire,” he is reported to have said, according to the Cambridge News.
To save itself, mankind must take a cue from American TV series "Star Trek" and “boldly go where no one has gone before,” he said in the appearance.
Bill Gates is sounding the alarm on what could be a trillion-dollar technology.
And when Bill Gates speaks, it pays to listen.
The company he founded, Microsoft, was a critical part of the PC age. Even today, 15 years after retiring, he is worth an unimaginable $90 billion dollars.
Now he’s telling you, and anyone else who will listen, that the next tech boom could be even bigger. And if he’s right, early investors in this super-trend could become rich. Just like the lucky individuals who invested in Google, Amazon, and Microsoft in the beginning.
Bill Gates isn’t alone. Top business leaders are beginning to wake up.
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, said he thinks this new technology is the key to Amazon’s future. Even super investor Warren Buffett says that it will have a “hugely beneficial social effect.”
When so many successful people are all saying the same thing, it pays to listen.
I've laid out the full story on this incredible tech trend in a FREE report.
And you are going to want to see this report before you invest $1 on any tech company.
Psychic who foresaw Trump's win reveals predictions for 2018... including revolution in North Korea and Prince Harry's engagement
A psychic who predicted the election of Donald Trump has revealed his expectations for 2018.
Craig Hamilton-Parker's list includes a revolution in North Korea that brings down Kim Jong-un's regime, a terrorist incident on a British motorway, a chemical weapons attack by drones on a European capital and Prince Harry's engagement to Meghan Markle.
He previously forecast Brexit, Trump's victory and the Nice terror attack.
He said on his blog: "2018 will be a year of political turmoil and environmental crisis caused by dramatic and unprecedented weather."
Here are the highlights from the medium and psychic teacher's list...
Mount Vesuvius in Italy will erupt and Naples will be evacuated.
There will be an increase in seismic activity - including places that have been tremor free for 1,000 years - with one very serious earthquake in New Zealand.
The southern seas will be impassable in places due to a massive ice shelf breaking from the Antarctic.
There will be wild fires in California and Australia, as well as flooding in India and China.
There will be record hurricanes in the Caribbean.
Upsurge in big earthquakes predicted for 2018 as Earth rotation slows
Scientists have warned there could be a big increase in numbers of devastating earthquakes around the world next year. They believe variations in the speed of Earth’s rotation could trigger intense seismic activity, particularly in heavily populated tropical regions.
Although such fluctuations in rotation are small – changing the length of the day by a millisecond – they could still be implicated in the release of vast amounts of underground energy, it is argued.
The link between Earth’s rotation and seismic activity was highlighted last month in a paper by Roger Bilham of the University of Colorado in Boulder and Rebecca Bendick of the University of Montana in Missoula presented at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America.
“The correlation between Earth’s rotation and earthquake activity is strong and suggests there is going to be an increase in numbers of intense earthquakes next year,” Bilham told the Observer last week.
We asked Order of Canada members about what they think the next 50 years will hold in their areas of expertise. They shared a mix of predictions, insights, advice and personal experiences. See what they had to say as part of this series!
We are now on the threshold of a dramatic transformation in the field of organ transplantation, probably the biggest advance since the advent of transplantation itself: the ability to maintain organs at normal body temperature outside of the body. This will enable us to diagnose and treat organs with a personalized medicine approach, as we do for patients. Each organ will be treated in a personalized, targeted fashion to diagnose and treat specific conditions. We will have the opportunity to transplant superior organs with predictable excellent performance and longevity. The technology to repair and modify organs will enable us to build “super-organs”—organs that can be made to look like “self” so the recipient immune system will not reject the organ. Our goal is to build organs that will outlive the host recipient. A patient that has once defied death from end-stage organ failure will not have to face failure of that organ again.
Beyond transforming the technique of lung preservation, we have also begun to transform the practice of transplantation. We have introduced the concept of the organ repair centre, the first of which was established at TGH in 2008.
Devices that have only one use like calculators, alarm clocks, and digital cameras are being replaced by smartphones.Phone chargers and headphones with cords are also fading out in favor of wireless models.Paper is going digital, from magazines to maps to regular paperwork.
Technology develops at a staggeringly quick pace in today's world - even watching movies from a few years ago can provide opportunities to snicker at characters' outdated cell phones.
We're not sure what wildly innovative ideas the future will bring, but we have a pretty good sense of which devices will fall into disuse.
Here are 30 things that will probably be obsolete by 2020.
A Tarot Reader Weighs In On What's In Store For 2018
As 2017 fades into the background, most people can agree on one thing: Last year was a wild and uncomfortable ride. For those who consult the tarot, this came as no surprise. Overall, 2017 was governed by the Wheel of Fortune, tarot’s hand of fate. This meant that things were going to change for better or worse — and whether we liked it or not.
Because of this volatility, we’re approaching 2018 exhausted to the core and anxious about what’s next. Will this year be a repeat of the last? Can things get better? Or worse?
Let’s begin by finding out the general theme for 2018. You can figure that out by adding up the numbers in the year itself (2+0+1+. The result is 11, which corresponds to Justice, meaning that 2018 will be ruled by Justice.
Read on to discover what that entails, and what else the tarot has to say about 2018.
Theresa Reed as been a professional, full-time tarot reader for more than 25 years. She is the host of the popular podcast, Tarot Bytes , and the author of The Tarot Coloring Book. Theresa lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow
by Yuval Noah Harari
Yuval Noah Harari, author of the critically-acclaimed New York Times bestseller and international phenomenon Sapiens, returns with an equally original, compelling, and provocative book, turning his focus toward humanity’s future, and our quest to upgrade humans into gods.
Over the past century humankind has managed to do the impossible and rein in famine, plague, and war. This may seem hard to accept, but, as Harari explains in his trademark style—thorough, yet riveting—famine, plague and war have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges. For the first time ever, more people die from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals put together. The average American is a thousand times more likely to die from binging at McDonalds than from being blown up by Al Qaeda.
What then will replace famine, plague, and war at the top of the human agenda? As the self-made gods of planet earth, what destinies will we set ourselves, and which quests will we undertake? Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century—from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus.
With the same insight and clarity that made Sapiens an international hit and a New York Times bestseller, Harari maps out our future.
Former Google CEO predicts the internet will split in two — and one part will be led by China
Eric Schmidt, who has been the CEO of Google and executive chairman of its parent company, Alphabet, predicts that within the next decade there will be two distinct internets: one led by the U.S. and the other by China.
Schmidt shared his thoughts at a private event in San Francisco on Wednesday night convened by investment firm Village Global VC. The firm enlists tech luminaries — including Schmidt, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Diane Green — as limited partners, then invests their money into early-stage tech ventures.
Hollywood movies have envisaged a future of hoverboards and flying cars - these imaginary machines might not be too far from reality. By 2030 a quarter of shared passenger miles traveled on America's roads could be in self-driving vehicles. It's believed eight out of ten people will be using Robotaxis in cities where available by 2035. There will also be more emphasis on sharing journeys. All this could reduce the number of cars on city streets by 60 percent, emissions by 80 percent, and road accidents by 90 percent.
And then there are flying cars - or more accurately - passenger drones and helicopter hybrids. Uber is investing heavily in this technology. Los Angeles, Dallas, and some states in Australia could see test flights within a couple of years - but these cross city flights will require changes to air traffic control systems, which will probably take longer to develop than the flying vehicles themselves.
Traveling across country could be far quicker too. China is leading the world in high-speed bullet trains that are capable of traveling over 400 kilometres per hour. By 2020, 80 percent of the country's major cities could be linked to the network. But for high-speed travel, the ambitious Hyperloop could leave bullet trains in the dust. It's an ambitious system in which pods move along tubes in a mere vacuum. The lack of air resistance means pods could reach speeds of over 1,000 kilometers per hour.
Virgin wants to deliver a fully operational Hyperloop system by the mid-2020s. The company claims its Hyperloop pods could travel from Los Angeles to Las Vegas in 30 minutes. But the potential dangers of travel at such great speeds, and the cost, mean the Hyperloop will not be a reality for decades.
In the air, the makers of supersonic jets are promising to slash travel times too. Arion wants to carry 12 passengers in luxury at 1.4 times the speed of sound - about 60% faster than typical aircraft today, and rival Boom hopes to be flying its supersonic airliner by 2023, carrying 55 passengers up to 2.2 times the speed of sound.
Skeptics say these ideas are impractical and expensive, with many technical challenges to overcome. Despite this, tech and engineering companies are boldly taking up the challenges of passenger transit - promising to propel us into the future
Daily Watch: mind-stretching short films throughout the working week.
The New Silk Roads
The Present and Future of the World
About The New Silk Roads
From the Sunday Times and internationally bestselling author of The Silk Roads
'Masterly mapping out of a new world order' – Evening Standard
The New Silk Roads – a brand new book by Peter Frankopan – takes a fresh look at the network of relationships being formed along the length and breadth of the Silk Roads today.
The world is changing dramatically and in an age of Brexit and Trump, the themes of isolation and fragmentation permeating the western world stand in sharp contrast to events along the Silk Roads, where ties have been strengthened and mutual cooperation established.
Following the Silk Roads eastwards from Europe through to China, by way of Russia and the Middle East, The New Silk Roads provides a timely reminder that we live in a world that is profoundly interconnected. In this prescient contemporary history, Peter Frankopan assesses the global reverberations of these continual shifts in the centre of power – all too often absent from headlines in the west.
This important – and ultimately hopeful – book asks us to reread who we are and where we are in the world, illuminating the themes on which all our lives and livelihoods depend.
The Silk Roads, a major reassessment of world history, has sold over 1 million copies worldwide.
To understand the tech lords, look to their libraries
Science fiction has left an indelible mark on some of the world’s richest people
LITERARY TYPES have long been sniffy about science fiction. Ian McEwan, a feted British novelist, has been at pains to distance his most recent book, about an intelligent android, from “sci-fi”, even though the idea is one of the most picked-over tropes in the genre. Such snobbery is misplaced. Humans are technological animals. Science fiction explores how that power might be used, what sorts of worlds might be built with it and what sublime new estrangements and transcendence may follow. It is a literature of ideas, and, as John Maynard Keynes observed (in a different context), the world is ruled by little else. To see the force of Keynes’s point, consider how the world’s richest man plans to spend his fortune.
On May 9th Jeff Bezos outlined his thoughts about the future of humanity. The founder of Amazon sells $1bn-worth of shares a year to fund his rocket company, Blue Origin, which wants to cut the cost of space flight, put tourists into space and help return humans to the moon. That is only the first part of a grander scheme to spread humanity throughout the solar system in artificial habitats. He is not alone. Elon Musk founded SpaceX with the goal of establishing a self-sufficient colony on Mars. Yuri Milner, a Russian tycoon, has promised $100m to send a robot to Alpha Centauri, the closest star system to the sun.
Mr Bezos is open about his influences. He grew up reading Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein, with their stories of rebellious lunar colonies, idiot-savant robots and societies founded on “psychohistory”, an amalgam of economics, history and what is now called big data. “Star Trek”, with its humane, liberal and internationalist re-imagining of the American frontier spirit, was another favourite. Decades later, Mr Bezos is using his money to help bring such a future about, rather as Heinlein’s D D Harriman did in “The Man Who Sold the Moon”.
Scratch a Silicon Valley nerd and chances are you will find similar influences, and similar ideas about how the future should look. One of the tech industry’s favourite writers is Iain M Banks, a Scottish socialist whose knockabout space operas were set in and around “the Culture”, a spacefaring utopia. Amid worries about superintelligent computers and robots taking jobs, they are a tonic. In Mr Banks’s society robots have indeed taken all the jobs, but the result is inexhaustible material abundance. Sentient beings, organic or artificial, are free to flourish. Everything is run by nigh-omnipotent and mostly benevolent AI philosopher-kings.
Bill Gates predicts the next 10 world-changing breakthroughs
Take a look into the future
The MIT Technology Review couldn't have asked for a more on the money seer to compile its latest list of 10 Breakthrough Technologies. Computer pioneer-turned-mega-philanthropist Bill Gates has long had a knack for making spookily accurate predictions, having foreseen everything from social media and smartphones to price comparison sites. We peer into the future via the Microsoft cofounder's crystal ball and reveal the 10 technologies he believes will soon change the world and when we might expect them.
While each of the industrial revolutions were significant in their own right, Industry 4.0 is seen as more profoundly impacting human life, blurring the lines between physical, digital, and biological.
It’s become an oft repeated cliché that we live in times of exponential change, driven by disruptive technologies, shifting global politics, changing human behaviour, and newly emerging social norms. And yet, as we enter the era of the fourth industrial revolution, we may be witnessing the greatest amount of change ever seen in a single human lifetime.
Some of us may have heard of the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ or ‘Industry 4.0’. But what is it exactly, and why does it truly matter?
The history of industrial revolutions can be classified into four broad waves:
Industry 1.0: Driven by steam power and mechanisation in the late 18th / early 19th century, this was the ‘railroad’ era and a time when the rise of factories led to a production boom.
Industry 2.0: The late 19th / early 20th century was the era when pioneers like Henry Ford inspired mass-produced automobiles, and electricity started changing our lives.
Industry 3.0: Since the 1960s, the development of radio technology acquired industrial scale and later grew into the world wide web and mobile technologies. This in turn, led to an electronics boom, the shrinking of time and distance, and creating a ‘Global Village’. The 3.0 era soon expanded beyond information, communication and technology (ICT) to encompass almost every aspect of our life - from how we consume media to how we shop or search for goods and services, and even how we connect with friends. And all this happened in approximately 25 years.
Industry 4.0: As ICT becomes near pervasive, with 70 percent Internet penetration and 60 percent mobile coverage, we are now entering what experts call the Industry 4.0 era, powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and tech users.
While each of the industrial revolutions were significant in their own right, Industry 4.0 is seen as more profoundly impacting human life, blurring the lines between physical, digital, and biological.
If the first three waves were about augmented physical strength (horses vs. steam engines/automobiles, machines vs human held tools) or organic enablers (electricity vs oil lamps), Industry 4.0 is supplementing our brains themselves via human-machine systems and AI. Thus the term ‘cognitive computing.’
The zenith of this wave, as outlined by futurists, is the eventual ‘singularity,’ where human and cyber systems are expected to be so intricately and inextricably linked that it will be almost impossible to distinguish one from the other. While full singularity is still some time away (futurists such as Peter Diamandis and Ray Kurzweil have predicted it by 2045), several intermediate breakthroughs will continue to change the way we learn, earn, engage, and live life itself.
So, what will be the guiding principles of this fourth industrial revolution? Here are four areas:
Increasing Decentralisation and democratisation: As opposed to a time when the power was in the hands of a few industrial giants, developments like 3D printers are democratising manufacturing. The most profound development has been digital currencies, which don’t need to be issued by a central bank, but instead, are created, distributed, and governed by complex algorithms on the Internet.
Increasing Demonetisation: Things are becoming more convenient as we move from ownership to a sharing model. Examples of these include ride-sharing (Uber, Grab, Ola), bike sharing, home sharing (Airbnb), used product sharing (Shopee), etc.
Increasing Digitisation: If the Internet was driven by connected computers and mobile devices, the next wave will be powered by 50 billion connected devices, enabled by 5G networks. Homes will become ‘smart,’ automobiles will become driverless autonomous vehicles (AVs) and everything physical - our homes, cities, offices, transport, etc. will become hyper connected. Artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and augmented reality will further change the way we all live.
Increasing Disintermediation: Driven by the above forces, we may see exponential disintermediation, where the role of the ‘middleman’- from service providers to central banks to distributors - will radically change and gradually disappear.
The above four trends could have profound consequences, and impact every aspect of our lives. Policy makers will have to prepare for workforce up-skilling and overhauling education systems. Everything from privacy to relationships to the very definition of ‘morality’ may have to adapt to this era.
And what do these dramatic changes mean for the Jamat worldwide? How can we try and stay ahead of the curve? Here are some simple, actionable suggestions:
Read, research, explore: Today, formal education isn’t enough. Younger members of the Jamat are encouraged to proactively read industry blogs, journals, and articles which discuss current trends and various aspects of Industry 4.0 as it evolves. Ongoing education is key. For decades, Mawlana Hazar Imam has been encouraging the Jamat to engage in the practice of lifelong learning.
Today, more than ever, understanding global trends is important, since changes reach all corners of the globe rapidly. Attending seminars, conferences, and webinars for individual up-skilling is becoming essential.
Finally, we need to help each other out, in the spirit of Islam and its message of brotherhood and sisterhood. Mawlana Hazar Imam has often spoken about working together, forming partnerships and alliances. Whatever we try and do, many will be impacted. So we need to open our hearts, minds, networks, and knowledge-base for more vulnerable sections of society, and help others where we can.
This is what Elon Musk and Jack Ma believe is the biggest problem the world will face
When it comes to the future of humanity, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Alibaba founder Jack Ma disagree on whether people should be scared by the potential of artificial intelligence. Ma is optimistic about AI, while Musk is more apocalyptic. But the two billionaire businessmen do agree on the biggest problem the world will face in the future: not enough people.
“Most people think we have too many people on the planet, but actually, this is an outdated view,” Musk said while on stage with Ma at at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai on Wednesday. “Assuming there is a benevolent future with AI, I think the biggest problem the world will face in 20 years is population collapse.”
“The biggest issue in 20 years will be population collapse. Not explosion. Collapse.”
“I absolutely agree with that,” Ma said. “The population problem is going to be facing huge challenge. 1.4 billion people in China sounds a lot, but I think next 20 years, we will see this thing will bring big trouble to China. And … the speed of population decrease is going to speed up. You called it a ‘collapse,’” he said to Musk. “I agree with you.”
“Yeah, accelerating collapse,” Musk said.
Fears of overpopulation due to immigration are short-sighted, according to Musk. “The common rebuttal is like, ‘Well what about immigration?’ I’m like, ‘From where?’”
For the first time in modern history, the world’s population is expected to virtually stop growing by the end of this century, due in large part to falling global fertility rates. https://pewrsr.ch/2wY6vu3 World population growth is expected to nearly stop by 2100For the first time in modern history, the world’s population is expected to virtually stop growing by the end of this century.pewresearch.org9510:27 AM – Jul 19, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy77 people are talking about this
Musk and Ma may be aggressive with their time frame, but by 2070, the global fertility rate is expected to fall below the global replacement fertility rate — that’s the average number of children each woman needs to give birth to for the population to replace itself from one generation to the next — according to a recent analysis of United Nations global population data from the Pew Research Center. The current global replacement rate is 2.1 births. The current global fertility rate is 2.5, but is expected to fall to 1.9 by 2100.
Fertility rates vary widely, but Africa is the only global region expected to have “strong population growth” through 2100. Populations in Europe and Latin America are projected to be declining by 2100. Asia’s population is projected to increase though 2055 and then begin to decline, according to Pew.
Coronavirus will change the world. It might also lead to a better future
Thomas Homer-Dixon holds a University Research Chair in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo and is executive director of the soon-to-be announced Cascade Institute at Royal Roads University. His new book, Commanding Hope: The Power We Have to Renew a World in Peril, will be published in August.
What a difference seven days make. Shopping for groceries at a big box store near Victoria during the last week of February, I found nothing amiss. Shelves were well-stocked, people’s carts contained the regular assortment of necessities and goodies, and everyone seemed to be happily going about their daily lives.
A week later, I stood in front of the same shelves, expecting to find them filled with the usual staples – flour, pulses, sugar and the like. But they’d been stripped bare. Now, shopping carts were groaning under giant bags of potatoes, stacks of packages of frozen chicken and large jugs of water. People kept their distance from each other in the aisles. No one was smiling.
Four days earlier, news had broken that the novel coronavirus had been spreading undetected for six weeks in King County in Washington State, just spitting distance across the water from Vancouver Island. Suddenly, what had seemed to be a remote problem was right in our back yard. And people rushed to prepare.
The coronavirus emergency is going to manifest itself in these kinds of micro-details in our day-to-day lives – in bare shelves, anxious conversation with friends, and the trials of juggling life’s essential tasks and making ends meet when workplaces and schools are closed. But we should also take some time to see the larger picture, because this global health crisis is revealing critical vulnerabilities in humanity’s planet-spanning economic, social and technological systems.
This larger picture is mostly painted in dark hues, but there are also some surprising silver linings around the coronavirus clouds swirling on our horizon.
What’s happening in response to the worldwide spread of the SARS CoV-2 virus (and COVID-19, the disease it causes) is a vivid example of a global “tipping event,” in which multiple social systems flip simultaneously to a distinctly new state.
The most recent event of this kind was the 2008-09 financial crisis. It marked an abrupt shift in the world economy from a state of relatively high growth and modest inflation to a state of much lower growth flirting with deflation. The world economy has never returned to its pre-2008 state.
The relatively new science of complex systems shows that such tipping events are made more likely by the unprecedented connectivity in the networks that humanity has laid down in a dense web across Earth’s surface – air traffic, financial, energy, manufacturing, food distribution, shipping and communication networks, to name just a few.
This science also shows that until we manage this connectivity better – which could mean, among other changes, reducing our international travel, simplifying global supply chains and bringing some production processes closer to home – we’re likely to experience more frequent tipping events of ever-higher destructive force.
The pandemic could shape the world, much as World War II and the Great Depression did.
It’s 2022, and the coronavirus has at long last been defeated. After a miserable year-and-a-half, alternating between lockdowns and new outbreaks, life can finally begin returning to normal.
But it will not be the old normal. It will be a new world, with a reshaped economy, much as war and depression reordered life for previous generations.
Thousands of stores and companies that were vulnerable before the virus arrived have disappeared. Dozens of colleges are shutting down, in the first wave of closures in the history of American higher education. People have also changed long-held patterns of behavior: Outdoor socializing is in, business trips are out.
And American politics — while still divided in many of the same ways it was before the virus — has entered a new era.
All of this, obviously, is conjecture. The future is unknowable. But the pandemic increasingly looks like one of the defining events of our time. The best-case scenarios are now out of reach, and the United States is suffering through a new virus surge that’s worse than in any other country.
With help from economists, politicians and business executives, I have tried to imagine what a post-Covid economy may look like. One message I heard is that the course of the virus itself will play the biggest role in the medium term. If scientific breakthroughs come quickly and the virus is largely defeated this year, there may not be many permanent changes to everyday life.
On the other hand, if a vaccine remains out of reach for years, the long-term changes could be truly profound. Any industry that depends on close human contact would be at risk.
Large swaths of the cruise-ship and theme-park industries might go away. So could many movie theaters and minor-league baseball teams. The long-predicted demise of the traditional department store would finally come to pass. Thousands of restaurants would be wiped out (even if they would eventually be replaced by different restaurants).
A Universe Never Reveals Its True Age, So We Will
Popular MechanicsJuly 16, 2020, 4:57 PM
Photo credit: Sellwell - Getty Images
Photo credit: Sellwell - Getty Images
From Popular Mechanics
Dozens of scientists have worked on new research confirming the age of the universe.
The cosmology community wobbled last year with news of a rogue estimate, but new evidence confirms the previous number.
Researchers used telescope data to corroborate information about cosmic background radiation.
New research confirms the “standard” age of the universe: about 13.8 billion years. Pretty old!
The new revelation follows a 2019 swerve by researchers who insisted the real age is hundreds of millions of years lower. A team of scientists has uploaded a series of papers to arXiv, ahead of any later publication, detailing findings from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) in Chile’s Atacama Desert.
“The ACT research team is an international collaboration of scientists from 41 institutions in seven countries,” participating Stony Brook University said in a statement. All of the scientists collaborate in huge groups on papers released using ACT data, including, just this year, a handful of papers ranging from studies of ambient microwaves to high-resolution mapping to measurements of light itself.
In the new paper Stony Brook highlights, led by theoretical cosmologist and physicist Neelima Sehgal, scientists use the light racing across the universe to wind back the clock, tracing the age of the light and backforming an image of the incipient universe. Like approaching absolute zero, scientists chip away at the Big Bang by extremely tiny increments that move closer and closer to their asymptote-like goal.
In this case, using ACT to examine the cosmic microwave background (CMB), an age-old ambient radiation that fills the entire universe, can help scientists fill in that original picture. And in this particular analysis, the scientists used ACT’s powerful observation to screen and assemble a new dataset to study CMB.
To do that, they used complex mathematics to filter out an extraordinary amount of cosmic noise. And all of it was enabled by the sheer power of the ACT in the first place.
Within cosmological research communities, scientists who especially study the CMB have disagreed over what the best metric is to extract CMB data. The researchers explain:
“Here and in A20 we present a significant step toward addressing the tensions with a new precise measurement with much of the weight of the parameter determination coming from the CMB’s polarization and its correlation with temperature as opposed to its temperature anisotropy.”
With a larger and more precise observational tool, they can tune a finer and more precise metric that relies less on anisotropy—the way CMB changes along axes of observation—and more on temperature and polarization.
Photo credit: getty
Photo credit: getty
Polarization, as a studied phenomenon with CMB, dates back to just 2002 and doesn’t replace so much as it supplements the study of anisotropy within the universe. Polarization, scientists believe, is a symptom of the universe inflation that also explains anisotropy.
In that sense, shifting from a model that relies on anisotropy measures to one that also examines polarization means the whole measurement can get closer to the source.
This is a realization of one of ACT’s major goals, in fact. ACT’s position in Chile gives it a clear view of half the sky, and the observatory accumulates data every day. Now, that enormous pool of data can be compared to that of a major CMB-mapping satellite, Planck, launched by the European Space Agency in 2009.
“[ACT’s] primary goal is to make maps of the CMB temperature anisotropy and polarization at angular scales and sensitivities that complement those of the WMAP and Planck satellites,” the researchers explain. And, it turns out, they’re in broad agreement—with a lot more to continue to study.
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