Monday, April 25, 2011

Beam Me Up, Scotty: Teleportation, Schrődinger’s Cat and Quantum Entanglement

What do the terms squeezing, photon subtraction, entanglement and homodyne detection have in common? Together, they represent the quantum manipulation that researchers used to achieve the first documented case of successful teleportation of quantum light.

In the journal Science last Friday, researchers reported that they had successfully transferred quantum information from one place to another without having to physically move it. It was destroyed in one place and instantly resurrected in another, “alive” again and unchanged. A notion exploited in the film Prestige, based on a teleportation invention by Nikola Tesla. It’s also pretty much what happens in the SF show Star Trek in which an object is “destroyed” atom by atom in one place then built or "beamed" back with the same pattern elsewhere.

Monday, April 18, 2011

What is Your Avatar?

Have you seen James Cameron’s recent blockbuster fantasy, Avatar?

I first watched this visually stunning motion picture in the theatre with some close family friends. What first blew me away about Avatar was how beautifully and thoughtfully the jungle planet and its people were portrayed. I'm an ecologist and I recognized great expertise and detailed effort in the complex designs of the planet’s ecosystems. Upon further reflection, I realized how the simple theme of connectivity and respect was reverently and elegantly portrayed in a fractal relationship from environment to culture to story and from the opening frame of story promise to its eventual story fulfillment at the end. This was no simple action fantasy based on the simple plot of being at one with nature.

The choice of movie title and planet name, Pandora (see Pandora myth below) all figured into the subtle fractal-layered messages buried beneath the obvious tale,

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bruce DePalma and Spinning Fields

The precise application of Newton’s laws … have to be restricted to non-rotating mechanical objects in field-free space. In a gravitational field, the possibility of extraction of greater energy by a new mechanical dimension [rotation] opens up the possibility of an anti-gravitational interaction—Bruce DePalma, March, 1977

Some consider Bruce DePalma a 20th Century “Galileo”; in a single experiment involving rotation and spinning fields, he refuted Newton’s idea of inertia and Einstein’s theories of gravitation. But like many gifted, intuitive and visionary scientists before him, DePalma’s work was met with skepticism and censure by the traditional scientific community. Despite his recognized brilliance and MIT/Harvard background, DePalma’s exotic physics is considered subversive by his mainstream peers and has been ridiculed. It didn’t help that he led an equally exotic life that included experimenting with psycho-active drugs and that he harbored a rather volatile temper. DePalma’s work was applauded by the free energy community; however, he died unexpectedly in his early 60s in 1997 and his theories have remained unverified.

Was DePalma another misguided scientist or a misunderstood visionary? It took twenty years for Lynn Margulis to vindicate her theories and it took over 200 years for Lamarck’s work on soft inheritance to rise victorious from the darkness of scornful condemnation.

DePalma’s experiment with steel balls in 1972 showed that certain physical properties of an object are radically altered—both its mass and inertia—if it is rotated. According to DePalma, rotation produces a force field, specifically around the main axis of the rotating object, that he measured and called a torsion field or spin field. Time-lapse stroboscopic photographs revealed that the steel ball rotating at ~27,000 rpm flew higher and fell faster than the companion ball that was not rotating. DePalma had since conducted experiments on “bodies in rotation” including massive objects (e.g., over 30 lbs), spinning at very high velocities (~7600 revolutions/minute).