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Thijs Versloot

A Groundbreaking Idea About Why Life Exists - 1 views

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    Jeremy England, a 31-year-old assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has derived a mathematical formula that he believes explains this capacity. The formula, based on established physics, indicates that when a group of atoms is driven by an external source of energy (like the sun or chemical fuel) and surrounded by a heat bath (like the ocean or atmosphere), it will often gradually restructure itself in order to dissipate increasingly more energy. This could mean that under certain conditions, matter inexorably acquires the key physical attribute associated with life.

    The simulation results made me think of Jojo's attempts to make a self-assembling space structure. Seems he may have been on the right track, just not thinking big enough
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    :-P Thanks Thijs...
    I do not agree with the premise of the article that a possible correlation of energy dissipation in living systems and their fitness means that one is the cause for the other - it may just be that both go hand-in-hand because of the nature of the world that we live in. Maybe there is such a drive for pre-biotic systems (like crystals and amino acids), but once life as we know it exists (i.e., heredity + mutation) it is hard to see the need for an amendment of Darwin's principles. The following just misses the essence of Darwin: "If England's approach stands up to more testing, it could further liberate biologists from seeking a Darwinian explanation for every adaptation and allow them to think more generally in terms of dissipation-driven organization. They might find, for example, that "the reason that an organism shows characteristic X rather than Y may not be because X is more fit than Y, but because physical constraints make it easier for X to evolve than for Y to evolve." Darwin's principle in its simplest expression just says that if a genome is more effective at reproducing it is more likely to dominate the next generation. The beauty of it is that there is NO need for a steering mechanism (like maximize energy dissipation) any random set of mutations will still lead to an increase of reproductive effectiveness.
    BTW: what does "better at dissipating energy" even mean? If I run around all the time I will have more babies?
    Most species that prove to be very successful end up being very good at conserving energy: trees, turtles, worms.
    Even complexity of an organism is not a recipe for evolutionary success: jellyfish have been successful for hundreds of millions of years while polar bears are seem to be on the way out.
LeopoldS

First proof that infinitely many prime numbers come in pairs : Nature News & Comment - 2 views

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    did you see this?
LeopoldS

Physicists twist water into knots : Nature News & Comment - 3 views

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    More than a century after the idea was first floated, physicists have finally figured out how to tie water in knots in the laboratory. The gnarly feat, described today in Nature Physics1, paves the way for scientists to experimentally study twists and turns in a range of phenomena - ionized gases like that of the Sun's outer atmosphere, superconductive materials, liquid crystals and quantum fields that describe elementary particles.

    Lord Kelvin proposed that atoms were knotted "vortex rings" - which are essentially like tornado bent into closed loops and knotted around themselves, as Daniel Lathrop and Barbara Brawn-Cinani write in an accompanying commentary. In Kelvin's vision, the fluid was the theoretical 'aether' then thought to pervade all of space. Each type of atom would be represented by a different knot.

    Related stories
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    Electron microscopy gets twisted
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    More related stories
    Kelvin's interpretation of the periodic table never went anywhere, but his ideas led to the blossoming of the mathematical theory of knots, part of the field of topology. Meanwhile, scientists also have come to realize that knots have a key role in a host of physical processes.
LeopoldS

Should business be allowed to patent mathematics? - opinion - 18 March 2013 - New Scien... - 1 views

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    ridiculous next frontier for patenting ... mathematics!!!!!
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    Creating jobs in the 21st century. Banks and insurance companies are firing mathematicians because they follow logic's rules when calculating product costs and rates. However, this work is being shifted since years to the marketing departments. Didn't you know that marketing experts are able to perform complex calculations as well, even improving the equations by adding market developments?

    Anyway, thousands of mathematicians need a job now, why not in the patent offices?
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    Who finds the irony can keep it.
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    should I take these as an indication of news from the bankers concerning your business case?
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    this would trigger innovation, and kill mathematics! The world is crazy...
    imagine a mathematician that will have to pay to use a demonstration for his own demonstration... haha. And the interviewed guy in the article say that this would benefit mathematicians !!! what a joke !
    And all the schools that will have to pay billions to Euclid's heirs !
    This would kill physics too, and all domains that use mathematics as a tool !
LeopoldS

Three-body Gallery - 2 views

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    loads of new solution classes to the three body problem found by Bulgarians ... Francesco and Sante, you will love these
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    ups, should have looked at diigo before ... Luis was faster again
LeopoldS

Thinking In Network Terms | Conversation | Edge - 0 views

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    For the Barabasi fans ...
LeopoldS

Erdős-Bacon number - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - 2 views

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    ever heard of the Erdős-Bacon number? :-)
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    There is a tool (http://www.ams.org/mathscinet/collaborationDistance.html) which computes your Erdös number.

    But who cares about Kevin Bacon?
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    and actors probably ask who cares about Erdős :)

    The network of actors who co-star in movies is a famous one among networks people.
    Kevin Bacon became famous in that network because of fans of his who could from memory trace the paths of a large number of actors back to him :)
    see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Degrees_of_Kevin_Bacon#History

    If you have you publications in http://academic.research.microsoft.com/, it gives you a nice tool to visualize your graph up to Erdős. Apparently I have a path of length 4, and several of length 5: http://academic.research.microsoft.com/VisualExplorer#36695545&1112639
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    and for the actors http://oracleofbacon.org/
Luís F. Simões

Polynomial Time Code For 3-SAT Released, P==NP - Slashdot - 0 views

  • "Vladimir Romanov has released what he claims is a polynomial-time algorithm for solving 3-SAT. Because 3-SAT is NP-complete, this would imply that P==NP. While there's still good reason to be skeptical that this is, in fact, true, he's made source code available and appears decidedly more serious than most of the people attempting to prove that P==NP or P!=NP. Even though this is probably wrong, just based on the sheer number of prior failures, it seems more likely to lead to new discoveries than most. Note that there are already algorithms to solve 3-SAT, including one that runs in time (4/3)^n and succeeds with high probability. Incidentally, this wouldn't necessarily imply that encryption is worthless: it may still be too slow to be practical."
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    here we go again...
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    slashdot: "Russian computer scientist Vladimir Romanov has conceded that his previously published solution to the '3 SAT' problem of boolean algebra does not work."
Luzi Bergamin

International Congress of Mathematicians 2010, Hyderabad » Prize Winners 2010 - 0 views

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    This years winners of the fields medal. Some about mathematical physics but NOT string theory. Hey, I didn't even know that this still exists... :-)
Joris _

Gravity-defying ramps take illusion prize : Nature News - 6 views

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    excellent !
Luzi Bergamin

Finnish Centre of Excellence in ANALYSIS AND DYNAMICS RESEARCH - 2 views

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    In case you are lacking some catchy ideas, here is the Finnish version of research that Leo certainly likes.
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    but at the end is Navier Stokes and turbulence and a few papers on fractals...... catchy?
LeopoldS

SpringerLink - Buchkapitel - 1 views

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    the wave-based control Gianluigi was speaking about today ....
LeopoldS

THEORY OF GAMES AND ECONOMIC MISBEHAVIOR Edge 295 - 0 views

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    very nice article - though a bit long but I am sure that you will also enjoy reading it ....
LeopoldS

Traders Profit With Computers Set at High Speed - NYTimes.com - 0 views

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    following Francesco's post from Slatdot, this is now the original article from the NYT ... enjoy
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    completely crazy these high speed transactions... they should rather put their efforts in science...!
LeopoldS

Edge 285 - videos of a conference combining mathematicians, physicists and economists o... - 0 views

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    have not looked at them yet but the tiltle sounded intriguing ...
nikolas smyrlakis

New Pattern Found in Prime Numbers - 0 views

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    wow - how comes that after so many years there are still some hidden "patterns" in primes? does however not seem to help for predicting where to discover new higher prime numbers, correct?
ESA ACT

Baby birds can do arithmetic - 0 views

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    Chicks' ability to add and subtract objects as they were moved behind two screens.
ESA ACT

The Mathematics Genealogy Project - 0 views

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    find your scientific ancestors !
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