String Theory – So is it just a Thoery or could it be real ?

String Theory has been the dream of many post-Einstien scientists and theoretical physicists to try to combine Einstein’s world of the large (planets, galaxies, the universe) with the ideas of the quantum world of the small (uncertainty principle, subatomic particles) into one unifying law that can describe absolutely everything that we see and even things that we can’t see or understand yet. String Theory also inevitably yields bigger theories such as parallel universes, M-Theory An artist's impression of a Calabi-Yau manifold. Made for Nova.and even tries to explain away how the Big Band happened and what happened before it.

If you’ve ever studied physics in school, you probably remember how many times you had to learn new theories, laws, formulas, axioms and equations. Well what if you only had to learn one law that could explain away all these other things (at least as an abstract base) ? This is the goal of String Theory.

To get a more detailed understanding of what String Theory is, check out this excerpt from :

String theory is a model of fundamental physics whose building blocks are one-dimensional extended objects called strings, rather than the zero-dimensional point particles that form the basis for the Standard Model of particle physics. The phrase is often used as shorthand for Superstring theory, as well as related theories such as M-theory. String theorists are attempting to adjust the Standard Model by removing the assumption in quantum mechanics that particles are point-like. By removing this assumption and replacing the point-like particles with strings, it appears that a sensible quantum theory of gravity naturally emerges. Moreover, string theory may be able to “unify” the known natural forces (gravitational, electromagnetic, weak nuclear and strong nuclear) by describing them with the same set of equations.

A recent article on New Scientist magazine states that experiments performed at the upcoming Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva, Switzerland could possibly disprove the popular “theory of everything”. So far it’s been very difficult to prove this theory, as indirect evidence that scientists from all parts of the world have been looking for has not been found yet.

The LHC will smash protons together and could prove or maybe even disprove string theory The LHC will smash protons together and could test string theory (Illustration: LHC/FNAL) altogether. Strong evidence for string theory could come from the observation of short-lived, mini black holes at the LHC. But the chance of their appearing is extremely small, so a failure to see them would not be a death blow for the theory.

In 2006, string theorist Allan Adams of MIT and others offered a more promising check. They showed that some particle collisions could reveal whether certain fundamental assumptions underlying string theory are wrong.

Now, a team led by Jacques Distler from the University of Texas in Austin has shown that the level of energy needed to reveal such effects are achievable at the LHC.


Lockheed Martin subsidiary on the verge of sustainable fusion

Extensive computer simulation and real tests have been underway at the Sandia National Laboratories on the device called the ‘Z Machine’ which is the world largest producer of man-made X Rays and has been used to produce fusion neutrons. Rapid bursts (in the nano second range) are necessary for future generating plants to produce electrical power from sea water. This had not been thought achievable till now.

The researchers and scientists have been able to achieve successful nanosecond bursts with the invention of a new system called a linear transformer driver (LTD), which was created by researchers at the Institute of High Current Electronics in Tomsk, Russia, in collaboration with colleagues at Sandia.

The LTD technology is 50 percent more efficient than current Z machine firings, in terms of the ratio of useful energy out to energy in. Z is currently 15 percent efficient to its load (already a very high efficiency among possible fusion machines).

Funding for Z in the past has been for defense purposes. Its tests are used to generate data for simulations on supercomputers that help maintain the strength, effectiveness, and safety of the US nuclear deterrent.

Fired repeatedly, the machine could well be the fusion machine that could form the basis of an electrical generating plant only two decades away. Progress in this arena might eventually require funding from DOE’s energy arm.

The Sandia Lab has filed a patent application on a high-power pulsed-power accelerator that can use an LTD as the primary power generator.

If this technology is succesful over the next five years, we could be on the brink of a technology revolution and a safer path towards keeping our planet cleaner.

Check out pics and the full article on Sandia National Labs website


“Raise shields Scotty!” – Real Plasma Deflector Sheilds

A recent article on BBC Science News stated that British scientists presented details at the Royal Astronomical Society’s National Astronomy Meeting in Preston, UK of a plan to see whether a Start Trek-style deflector sheild could be built to protect astronauts from radiation.

If you guys think Star Trek is for nerds and geeks, you might just be avoiding the inevitable. NASA already has a tricorder like device installed on their orbitting satellite around Mars.

Now I’m waiting for Warp drive (theoretically possible), transporters (E=mc^2, so it’s possible), Replicator technology (E=mc^2, so it’s possible), and my favorite technology that will put all current virtual simulations to shame : THE HOLODECK!


5 annoying habits of startup entrepreneurs

Having started 2 startups in the last 3 years, I’ve come to benefit greatly from understanding and reading material from the venture capital realm. Even with the most brilliant of ideas to launch a new venture, no amount of planning or selling will overcome the habits that some entrepreneurs inadvertantly do in their projects. The habits in question pertain to keeping morale up in the arduous times of stress and tension that come with bootstrapping and even with seed-funded startups. The key is not to stress and ensure you can take small steps and small wins instead of looking too far ahead. For nearly everything in life it’s a good idea to consider the value of all your actions, decisions and habits and reconsider them to improve your yourself to both survive and prosper.

Enterpreneurs are faced with potentially monumental hurdles in their way such as overcoming threats from competitors and keeping the ‘bloat afloat’ when it comes to capital and operational stability. Many times startups have ended up failing within a few years due to any number of reasons. These are big risks we take as entrepreneurs, and we can’t just ignore the climate in the office or people’s morale.

An recent article on CNN Money talks about particular habit that I just recently overcame due to a suggestion from my good friend @paullyvenne. Paully hinted to me that I had an unknowing habit of saying ‘no’ in many of my responses to people’s statements, even if I was agreeing with them! I did not believe him at first, but then I noticed it.

From that point on I recognized it and did my best to avoid this habit. I suggest you read this article in case you’re worried that you have these habits. They really apply to anyone, not just for leaders or entrepreneurs.


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