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New Time Travel Simulation May Resolve ‘Grandfather Paradox’

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On June 28, 2009, the world-famous physicist Stephen Hawking threw a party at the University of Cambridge, complete with balloons, hors d’oeuvres and iced champagne. Everyone was invited but no one showed up. Hawking had expected as much, because he only sent out invitations after his party had concluded. It was, he said, “a welcome reception for future time travelers,” a tongue-in-cheek experiment to reinforce his 1992 conjecture that travel into the past is effectively impossible.

But Hawking may be on the wrong side of history. Recent experiments offer tentative support for time travel’s feasibility—at least from a mathematical perspective. The study cuts to the core of our understanding of the universe, and the resolution of the possibility of time travel, far from being a topic worthy only of science fiction, would have profound implications for fundamental physics as well as for practical applications such as quantum cryptography and computing.

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GRANDFATHER PARADOX

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Black Holes May Explode Into ‘White Holes’ And Pour All Their Matter Into Space, Physicists Say

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Black holes might end their lives by transforming into their exact opposite — ‘white holes’ that explosively pour all the material they ever swallowed into space, say two physicists. The suggestion, based on a speculative quantum theory of gravity, could solve a long-standing conundrum about whether black holes destroy information.

The theory suggests that the transition from black hole to white hole would take place right after the initial formation of the black hole, but because gravity dilates time, outside observers would see the black hole lasting billions or trillions of years or more, depending on its size. If the authors are correct, tiny black holes that formed during the very early history of the Universe would now be ready to pop off like firecrackers and might be detected as high-energy cosmic rays or other radiation. In fact, they say, their work could imply that some of the dramatic flares commonly considered to be supernova explosions could in fact be the dying throes of tiny black holes that formed shortly after the Big Bang.

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Artist’s conception of a black hole. | MARK GARLICK via Getty Images
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If The Earth Stopped Spinning, Some Really Bad Things Would Happen

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Sometimes it's easy to forget that the Earth and everything on it are rotating. But it's a good thing that our planet keeps spinning, because if it suddenly stopped it would unleash a torrent of catastrophes.

Just listen to what Michael Stevens has to say in this new installment of his Vsauce YouTube series.

"First of all, you would gain weight," Stevens says, a reference to the fact the Earth's rotation slightly offsets the effect of gravity. "But that would be the least of your worries."

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Big Bang Discovery May Bring ‘Theory Of Everything’ Closer To Reality

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The discovery that the universe really did expand at many times the speed of light immediately after the Big Bang should bring physicists slightly closer to their ultimate goal — the long-sought “Theory of Everything.”

On Monday (March 17), researchers announced that they had detected the signature of gravitational waves in the cosmic microwave background, the ancient light that began pervading the universe 380,000 years after the Big Bang.

If it holds up, the landmark find confirms the theory of inflation, which posits that the cosmos exploded from mere quantum fluctuations into something of macroscopic size just a few tiny fractions of a second after its birth. [How Inflation Gave the Universe the Ultimate Kickstart (Infographic)]

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theory of everything

The bottom part of this illustration shows the scale of the universe versus time. Specific events are shown such as the formation of neutral Hydrogen at 380 000 years after the big bang. Prior to this time, the constant interaction between matter (electrons) and light (photons) made the universe opaque. After this time, the photons we now call the CMB started streaming freely.

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Why Revive ‘Cosmos?’ Neil DeGrasse Tyson Says Just About Everything We Know Has Changed

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Things are looking up for Neil deGrasse Tyson–way up. As the director of the Hayden Planetarium and the author of several popular books on space, Tyson is already one of the nation’s best-known scientists. And now his already-high profile is set for a big boost with the March 9 launch of “Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey,” a new documentary television series that he hosts.

Tyson calls the 13-part series a continuation of “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage,” a 1980 PBS series narrated by Carl Sagan that is acclaimed as one of the most significant science-themed programs in television history.

In anticipation of the new series’ debut, Tyson, 55, sat down with HuffPost Science for a wide-ranging and surprisingly frank interview. What follows is a condensed and edited version of the discussion, which took place in the astrophysicist’s New York City office

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Neil deGrasse Tyson | Fox
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Scientists Look In Chicken’s Eye And Discover Weird New State Of Matter

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Gaze deeply into the eye of a chicken, and what do you see? Some see terrifying stupidity. But researchers at Princeton University and Washington University in St. Louis say they see in the bird’s eye the first known biological occurrence of a strange state of matter known as “disordered hyperuniformity.”

The potentially new state of matter is the result of the way five photoreceptor cells of different sizes are packed into the retina, the light-sensitive layer at the back of chickens’ eyes, according to a written statement describing the research.

In other animals, these “cone” cells are often arranged in a regular pattern, according to LiveScience. Insect cones, for example, are arranged in a hexagonal grid.

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Chicken eye | Nacivet via Getty Images
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