After decades of effort, physicists have probed the inner working of atoms of antihydrogen—the antimatter version of hydrogen—by measuring for the first time a particular wavelength of light that they absorb. The advance opens the way to precisely comparing hydrogen and antihydrogen and, oddly, testing the special theory of relativity—Albert Einstein’s 111-year-old theory of how space and time appear to observers moving relative to one another, which, among other things, says that nothing can move faster than light. "It's a stunning result," says Alan Kostelecky, a theorist at Indiana University in Bloomington who was not involved in the work. For decades, experimenters have dreamed of measuring the spectrum of light absorbed by antihydrogen, Kostelecky says. "Here it is. They're doing it now." Just as an atom of hydrogen consists of an electron bound to a proton, antihydrogen is an antielectron (or positron) bound to an antiproton. Of course, antihydrogen doesn't occur in nature. Because matter and antimatter particles annihilate each other, antihydrogen would vanish as soon as it touched matter. So physicists must make the stuff in the lab. Still, they expect the properties of antihydrogen to exactly mirror those of hydrogen.
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy may be the most interesting website on the internet. Not because of the content—which includes fascinating entries on everything from ambiguity to zombies—but because of the site itself. 1 Its creators have solved one of the internet’s fundamental problems: How to provide authoritative, rigorously accurate knowledge, at no cost to readers. It’s something the encyclopedia, or SEP, has managed to do for two decades. The internet is an information landfill. Somewhere in it—buried under piles of opinion, speculation, and misinformation—is virtually all of human knowledge. The story of the SEP shows that it is possible to create a less trashy internet. But sorting through the trash is difficult work. Even when you have something you think is valuable, it often turns out to be a cheap knock-off. The story of how the SEP is run, and how it came to be, shows that it is possible to create a less trashy internet—or at least a less trashy corner of it. A place where actual knowledge is sorted into a neat, separate pile instead of being thrown into the landfill. Where the world can go to learn everything that we know to be true. Something that would make humans a lot smarter than the internet we have today.
10 April 2017 – United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today designated children’s rights activist and Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai as a UN Messenger of Peace with a special focus on girls’ education. “You have been to the most difficult places […] visited several refugee camps. Your foundation has schools in Lebanon, in the Beka’a Valley,” said Mr. Guterres at a ceremony in the Trusteeship Council chamber at UN Headquarters, in New York. “[You are a] symbol of perhaps the most important thing in the world, education for all,” he highlighted. Ms. Yousafzai, who was shot in 2012 by the Taliban for attending classes, is the youngest-ever UN Messenger of Peace and the first one to be designated by Secretary-General Guterres since he assumed office in January this year. Accepting the accolade, Ms. Yousafzai underscored the importance of education, especially education of girls, for advancing communities and societies.
In this video interview, filmed at the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting in Davos last year, Alibaba founder Jack Ma described the failures and triumphs that got him where he is today, blazing a trail through the global e-commerce industry. He also explains why beer is important and rejection is a blessing, and that his dexterity with the English language comes courtesy of Richard Nixon. He also explains why beer is important and rejection is a blessing, and that his dexterity with the English language comes courtesy of Richard Nixon.
As many as a third of autism cases could be explained by a scarcity of a single protein in the brain, Toronto scientists have revealed. The findings provide a unique opportunity to develop treatments for a disorder that is rooted in a motley crew of genetic faults. Researchers induced autistic-like behaviour in mice by lowering the levels of a protein called nSR100 (also known as SRRM4), which is important for normal brain development. The study, published in the December 15 issue of the journal Molecular Cell, builds on the teams' previous work which showed that the nSR100 protein was reduced in the brains of autistic people. The teams were led by Professors Benjamin Blencowe of the University of Toronto's Donnelly Centre and Sabine Cordes of the Department of Molecular Genetics and Sinai Health System's Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute.