Imaginary Numbers May Be Essential for Describing Reality

Imaginary Numbers May Be Essential for Describing Reality

Provided that quantum mechanics is correct—an assumption few would quibble with—the team’s argument essentially guarantees that complex numbers are an unavoidable part of our description of the physical universe.“These complex numbers, usually they’re just a convenient tool, but here it turns out that they really have some physical meaning,” said Tamás Vértesi, a physicist at the Institute for Nuclear Research at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences who, years ago, argued the opposite.

American Cities Are Way Underreporting Their Carbon Footprints

American Cities Are Way Underreporting Their Carbon Footprints

City officials build what’s called self-reported inventories, or SRIs, to get an idea of local emission levels.According to Gurney, officials there were incorporating retail sales from gas stations in the city’s SRI calculation, which is usually a perfectly reasonable way to estimate emissions from local vehicles.

Watch a Robot Dog Learn How to Deftly Fend Off a Human

Watch a Robot Dog Learn How to Deftly Fend Off a Human

It’s a dramatic departure from how a hardware developer like Boston Dynamics goes about teaching a robot how to move , using decades of human experience to hard code, line by line, the way a robot is supposed to react to stimuli like, um, a person’s foot.

Want to Fight the Zombie Fire Apocalypse? Weaponize Math

Want to Fight the Zombie Fire Apocalypse? Weaponize Math

“The magic of cellular automata is that by aggregating very simple rules in a space, it actually is able to capture what is called an ‘emergent behavior,’ which is a behavior that is extremely complex,” says Imperial College London engineer Guillermo Rein, coauthor of a new paper describing the work in the journal Proceedings of the Combustion Institute.

The Left and the Right Speak Different Languages—Literally

The Left and the Right Speak Different Languages—Literally

In the study, the Carnegie Mellon researchers used a technique that has spurred big improvements in automated translation of words and phrases between different languages.

FIFA 21 Is Limping Toward Retirement

FIFA 21 Is Limping Toward Retirement

As always, some routes to goal seem particularly overpowered—the deft chip seems to be a dangerous weapon this year (or maybe I’m just too eager to bring the keeper out), for instance, and the developers have tried to make headed goals a thing again after they were almost impossible to score from in the last edition.

The Sly Psychology Behind Magicians' Card Tricks

The Sly Psychology Behind Magicians' Card Tricks

Brown uses mental priming and forcing techniques (among other tools) involving verbal and visual cues in his performances—prompting someone, for instance, to think of the three of diamonds card.

Don't Talk About Covid-19's 'Waves'—This Isn't the Spanish Flu

Don't Talk About Covid-19's 'Waves'—This Isn't the Spanish Flu

“One of the reasons that some low-income countries have had relatively lower cases is because they followed the advice better,” says Banerjee.

All the Ways Facebook Tracks You—and How to Limit It

All the Ways Facebook Tracks You—and How to Limit It

The social network behemoth says it uses your data to show relevant ads and keep you safe; if someone signs into your account from a country you're not usually in, for instance, Facebook can flag the activity as suspicious.The best way to limit Facebook's tracking is to quit all three apps for good.

Climate Change Is Brutal for Everyone, But Worse for Women

Climate Change Is Brutal for Everyone, But Worse for Women

“We've been looking for more technical solutions, whether in terms of better varieties of seeds or breeds of cattle, but we're not really looking at the way social institutions are affecting people's abilities to adapt,” says University of East Anglia gender analyst Nitya Rao, lead author on the study.

Why Republicans Storming a SCIF Puts National Security at Risk

Why Republicans Storming a SCIF Puts National Security at Risk

But that's exactly what a group of Republican congressmen proudly did Wednesday morning.“BREAKING,” representative Matt Gaetz (R–Florida) tweeted at 11:32 am, “I led over 30 of my colleagues into the SCIF where Adam Schiff is holding secret impeachment depositions.” Schiff is the head of the House Intelligence Committee, who has led the recent inquiry into President Trump’s Ukraine imbroglio .

The Riddle, and Controversy, of All That Missing Plastic

The Riddle, and Controversy, of All That Missing Plastic

To complement these findings, Ocean Cleanup used data on winds and currents to show that when pieces of plastic come out of, say, rivers, they tend to stick around the coastline.Ocean Cleanup reckons that in total, just .06 percent of plastics from the shore and coastline make their way into gyres.

Climate Change Is Very Real. But So Much of It Is Uncertain

Climate Change Is Very Real. But So Much of It Is Uncertain

But today in the journal Nature , researchers are proposing a new framework that aims to bring clarity to this kind of work, first by reconciling differences in carbon budgets and second by reducing uncertainty going forward.

More Data on Content Moderation Won't Silence Facebook’s Critics

More Data on Content Moderation Won't Silence Facebook’s Critics

In its third Content Standards Enforcement Report, Facebook laid out the sheer amount of prohibited content that appears on its platform, including fake accounts, spam, terrorist propaganda, child sexual exploitation, hate speech, bullying, nudity, violence, and the sale of regulated goods.

AI Could Predict Death. But What If the Algorithm Is Biased?

AI Could Predict Death. But What If the Algorithm Is Biased?

Earlier this month the University of Nottingham published a study in PloSOne about a new artificial intelligence model that uses machine learning to predict the risk of premature death, using banked health data (on age and lifestyle factors) from Brits aged 40 to 69.

Clues to Our Unknown Ancestors Are Hiding in Our Genome

Clues to Our Unknown Ancestors Are Hiding in Our Genome

“We could use an infinite amount of data to train the deep learning engine, because we were using simulations.” The researchers generated tens of thousands of simulated evolutionary histories based on differing combinations of demographic details: the number of ancestral human populations, their sizes, when they diverged from one another, their rates of intermixing and so on.

Facebook Messenger Lets You Unsend Now. Why Doesn't Every App?

Facebook Messenger Lets You Unsend Now. Why Doesn't Every App?

(Also note that Facebook apparently did not bother asking those questions when giving the power to Zuckerberg and other company executives.) “With a feature like Remove Message, we wanted to carefully balance flexibility and control with protecting our users from abuse of the feature,” says a Facebook spokesperson.

A Robot Teaches Itself to Play Jenga. But This Is No Game

A Robot Teaches Itself to Play Jenga. But This Is No Game

“It knows what the blocks look like and where they are, but it doesn't really understand how they interact with each other,” says MIT roboticist Nima Fazeli, lead author on the new paper.

Investing in resource efficiency – the economics and politics of financing the resource transition

Investing in resource efficiency – the economics and politics of financing the resource transition

This transition can contribute to sustainable economic growth that generates welfare, while limiting harmful impacts on the environment and hence future generations.” Ángel Gurría, Secretary General, OECD (from Preface, Flachenecker & Rentschler, 2018 ) The need for more resource efficient and circular economies High and volatile resource prices, uncertain supply prospects, rising demand, and environmental impacts – various factors are putting increasing pressure on policy makers, researchers, firms, and investors to explore pathways towards sustainable and efficient resource management.

Facebook Cracks Down on Networks of Fake Pages and Groups

Facebook Cracks Down on Networks of Fake Pages and Groups

If a troll runs two fake news pages but only one of them violates Facebook’s policies, the company can’t take down the other until it breaks the rules as well.

How Supercomputers Can Help Fix Our Wildfire Problem

How Supercomputers Can Help Fix Our Wildfire Problem

Thus the fire sucks in surface winds.Researchers are using supercomputers and lookout stations like this to model the dynamics of wildfires in real time. At Los Alamos National Laboratory, atmospheric scientist Alexandra Jonko is using a supercomputer and a system called FIRETEC to model fires in extreme detail.