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If you are aware of an interesting new academic paper (that has been published in a peer-reviewed journal or has appeared on the arXiv), a conference talk (at an official professional scientific meeting), an external blog post (by a professional scientist) or a news item (in the mainstream news media), which you think might make an interesting topic for an FQXi blog post, then please contact us at forums@fqxi.org with a link to the original source and a sentence about why you think that the work is worthy of discussion. Please note that we receive many such suggestions and while we endeavour to respond to them, we may not be able to reply to all suggestions.

Please also note that we do not accept unsolicited posts and we cannot review, or open new threads for, unsolicited articles or papers. Requests to review or post such materials will not be answered. If you have your own novel physics theory or model, which you would like to post for further discussion among then FQXi community, then please add them directly to the "Alternative Models of Reality" thread, or to the "Alternative Models of Cosmology" thread. Thank you.

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RECENT FORUM POSTS

Zeeya Merali: "Viviana Fafone is a member of the VIRGO collaboration that detects..." in Micro and macro-physics...

Zeeya Merali: "Antonino Cataldo describes the how to synthesize bio-nanotechnologies to..." in Bionanotechnologies and...

Zeeya Merali: "What is the scientific approach? Matteo Martini talks about the..." in The 21st Century News...

Zeeya Merali: "in this introductory lecture, Frederick Van Der Veken discusses physics at..." in Big Machines, High...

Zeeya Merali: "FQXi's Catalina Curceanu discusses how particle physics experiments at the..." in Strangeness in Neutron...

Zeeya Merali: "Leader of the NEXT group, Stefano Bellucci, discusses applications of..." in Nanomaterials for...

Zeeya Merali: "FQXi's Lorenzo Maccone delves into the one of the deepest question in..." in What is Time? by Lorenzo...

Fabio SCIARRINO: "An introductory lecture on how developments in quantum physics over the..." in The Second Quantum...


RECENT ARTICLES
click titles to read articles

Building Agency in the Biology Lab
Physicists are using optogenetics techniques to make a rudimentary agent, from cellular components, which can convert measurements into actions using light.

Think Quantum to Build Better AI
Investigating how quantum memory storage could aid machine learning and how quantum interactions with the environment may have played a role in evolution.

Outside the Box
A proposed quantum set-up that could predict your game-playing strategy resurrects Newcomb’s classic quiz show paradox.

The Quantum Agent
Investigating how the quantum measurement process might be related to the emergence of intelligence, agency and free will.

First Things First: The Physics of Causality
Why do we remember the past and not the future? Untangling the connections between cause and effect, choice, and entropy.


FQXi BLOGS
May 31, 2020

New Blog Entries
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Irreversibility and Dissipation by Juan Parrondo
By ZEEYA MERALI • May. 30, 2020 @ 16:15 GMT

Abstract:

We learn in undergraduate courses the intimate relationship between entropy and irreversibility: an irreversible process is characterized by an increase of entropy. In the last years and using concepts from information theory, we have been able to quantify irreversibility and relate this measure of irreversibility to the entropy produced along a process. More recently, we have applied these ideas to estimate the entropy production in biophysical processes. Entropy production is closely related to relevant quantities in biophysics which are hard to measure., such as the ATP consumption. Out technique allows one to estimate the entropy production even in the absence of currents and flows, where the standard methods from irreversible thermodynamics fail. We can in principle detect if a system is far from equilibrium in the absence of currents. In biophysics, this is equivalent to discern if a process is active or passive, valuable information to find out the physical mechanisms behind molecular motors and other systems.

Keywords: #QuarantineThermo #InformationAsFuel #quantumthermodynamics #entropy #biophysics #molecularmotors


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Electromechanics for thermodynamics at the nano-scale by Natalia Ares
By NATALIA ARES • May. 30, 2020 @ 15:57 GMT

FQXI's Natalia Ares describes how quantum physicists are seeking to better understand how thermodynamics operates at small scales. Here, fluctuations are significant and quantum behaviour arises. This may reveal possibilities for entirely novel technologies.

We can explore thermodynamics in this limit by combining exquisite control over mechanical degrees of freedom and the quantum states of confined electrons. Ares describes how to detect the displacement of a carbon nanotube approaching the standard quantum limit near the phonon ground state [1-2]. With quantum dots embedded in a carbon nanotube, her team has been able to explore the impact of electron tunnelling in the nanotube’s mechanical energy, evidenced by the excitation of coherent self oscillations [3]. Ares discusses the potential of these findings to pave the way for experiments on quantum thermodynamics, in particular, for direct measurements of work exchange.

References

[1] N. Ares et al. Physical Review Letters 117, 170801 (2016)

[2] Y. Wen et al. Applied Physics Letters 113, 153101 (2018)

[3] Y. Wen et al. Nature Physics 16, 75 (2020)

Keywords: QuarantineThermo InformationAsFuel nanotechnology carbonnanotubes quantumdots


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Micro and macro-physics with gravitational waves in the next decades by Viviana Fafone
By ZEEYA MERALI • May. 30, 2020 @ 15:36 GMT

Viviana Fafone is a member of the VIRGO collaboration that detects gravitational waves. She describes hopes for using gravitational waves for the coming decades.

Keywords: INSPYRE students gravitationalwaves astrophysics cosmology VIRGO


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Bionanotechnologies and other applications by Antonino Cataldo
By ZEEYA MERALI • May. 30, 2020 @ 15:33 GMT

Antonino Cataldo describes the how to synthesize bio-nanotechnologies to make devices for medical applications.

Keywords: INSPYRE schools biophysics medicine nanotechnology


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The 21st Century News Jungle by Matteo Martini
By ZEEYA MERALI • May. 30, 2020 @ 15:29 GMT

What is the scientific approach? Matteo Martini talks about the transferable skills you will learn as a scientist and how you may use them in everyday life. This is important for distinguishing between real and fake news and debunking myths.

Keywords: INSPYRE student media skills fakenews debunkingmyths


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Recent Blog Entries

Big Machines, High Energies, Tiny Particles by...
By ZEEYA MERALI
in this introductory lecture, Frederick Van Der Veken discusses physics at the femtoscale.

Keywords: INSPYRE schools CERN accelerator Higgs