Stanford researchers in collaboration with NASA JPL and MIT have designed a robotic platform that involves a mother spacecraft deploying one or several spiked, roughly spherical rovers to the Martian moon Phobos.
Measuring about half a meter wide, each rover would hop, tumble and bound across the cratered, lopsided moon, relaying information about its origins, as well as its soil and other surface materials.
Developed by Marco Pavone, an assistant professor in Stanford’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the Phobos Surveyor, a coffee-table-sized vehicle flanked by two umbrella-shaped solar panels, would orbit around Phobos throughout the mission. The researchers have already constructed a prototype.
The Surveyor would release only one hedgehog at a time. Together, the mothership and hedgehogs would work together to determine the hedgehog’s position and orientation. Using this information, they would map a trajectory, which the mother craft would then command the hedgehog to travel.
In turn, the spiky explorers would relay scientific measurements back to the Phobos Surveyor, which would forward the data to researchers on Earth. Based on their analysis of the data, the scientists would direct the mothership to the next hedgehog deployment site.
An entire mission would last two to three years. Just flying to Phobos would take the Surveyor about two years. Then the initial reconnaissance phase, during which the Surveyor would map the terrain, would last a few months. The mothership would release each of the five or six hedgehogs several days apart, allowing scientists enough time to decide where to release the next hedgehog.
For many decisions, Pavone’s system renders human control unnecessary. “It’s the next level of autonomy in space,” he said.
The synergy between the Phobos Surveyor and the hedgehogs would also be reflected in their sharing of scientific roles. The Surveyor would take large-scale measurements, while the hedgehogs would gather more detailed data. For example, the Surveyor might use a gamma ray or neutron detector to measure the concentration of various chemical elements and compounds on the surface, while the hedgehogs might use microscopes to measure the fine crevices and fissures lining the terrain.
Although scientists could use the platform to explore any of the solar system’s smaller members, including comets and asteroids, Pavone has designed it with the Martian moon Phobos in mind.
An analysis of Phobos’ soil composition could uncover clues about the moon’s origin. Scientists have yet to agree on whether Phobos is an asteroid captured by the gravity of Mars or a piece of Mars that an asteroid impact flung into orbit. This could have deep implications for our current understanding of the origin and evolution of the solar system, Pavone said.
To confirm Phobos’ origins, Pavone’s group plans to deploy most of the hybrids near Stickney Crater. Besides providing a gravity “sweet spot” where the mother craft can stably hover between Mars and Phobos, the crater also exposes the moon’s inner layers.
A human mission to Mars presents hefty challenges, mainly associated with the planet’s high gravity, which heightens the risk of crashing during takeoffs and landings. The large amounts of fuel needed to overcome Mars’ strong pull during takeoffs could also make missions prohibitively expensive.
But Phobos’ gravity is a thousand times weaker than on Mars. If Phobos did indeed originate from the red planet, scientists could study Mars without the dangers and costs associated with its high gravity simply by sending astronauts to Phobos. They could study the moon itself or use it as a base station to operate a robot located on Mars. The moon could also serve as a site to test technologies for potential use in a human mission to the planet.
“It’s a piece of technology that’s needed before any more expensive type of exploration is considered,” Pavone said of the spacecraft-rover hybrid. “Before sampling we need to know where to land. We need to deploy rovers to acquire info about the surface.”
These probes could be precursors to a sample return mission. A promising area to dig determined beforehand would cut down on cost and wear and tear.
But these rovers could be used on their own for private industry, such as Google Maps in order to give ( and sell ) accurate virtual reality tours to Millenials who wish to sit in their livingrooms and explore Mars safely.
A true pre-Singularity technology.
Bracewell Probe – “…is an interstellar probe theorized by Ronald Bracewell in 1960 that is sent to prospective nearby solar systems to study for life, or primitive civilizations.” ( https://dad2059.wordpress.com/2010/06/08/ancient-bracewell-probe-in-solar-system/)
Black Knight Satellite – “Forbidden History Website Link and Article:
“Black Knight” Satellite
What is the “Black Knight” satellite? It is a mysterious satellite, of unknown origin, discovered in 1960 which shadowed Sputnik. It is believed to have been of extraterrestrial origin, and signaled back old radio waves from the 1920s and 1930s before it disappeared. In short wave patterns analyzed by astronomer Duncan Lunan, it revealed its origin as Epsilon Boötes (or the star system as it was 13,000 years ago).
In “Disneyland of the Gods”, by John Keel, he reports in depth on this satellite:
“In February 1960 the US detected an unknown object in polar orbit, a feat that neither they or the USSR had been able to accomplish. As if that wasn’t enough, it apparently was several sizes larger than anything either country would have been able to get off the ground.
And then, the oddness began. HAM operators began to receive strange coded messages. One person in particular said he managed to decode one of the transmissions, and it corresponded to a star chart. A star chart which would have been plotted from earth 13,000 years ago, and focused on the Epsilon Bostes star system.
On September 3, 1960, seven months after the satellite was first detected by radar, a tracking camera at Grumman Aircraft Corporation’s Long Island factory took a photograph of it. People on the ground had been occasionally seeing it for about two weeks at that point. Viewers would make it out as a red glowing object moving in an east-to-west orbit. Most satellites of the time, according to what little material I’ve been able to find on the black knight satellite, moved from west-to-east. It’s speed was also about three times normal. A committee was formed to examine it, but nothing more was ever made public.
Three years later, Gordon Cooper was launched into space for a 22 orbit mission. On his final orbit, he reported seeing a glowing green shape ahead of his capsule, and heading in his direction. It’s said that the Muchea tracking station, in Australia, which Cooper reported this too was also able to pick it up on radar traveling in an east-to-west orbit. This event was reported by NBC, but reporters were forbidden to ask Cooper about the event on his landing. The official explanation is that an electrical malfunction in the capsule had caused high levels of carbon dioxide, which induced hallucinations.”
Now, I [webmaster] haven’t been able to find reports on this satellite from any news source, but given the recently discovered photos from Russian satellite footage and the stories regarding unknown objects that the early US astronauts saw, I’m inclined to believe this satellite existed. However, the question is its origin- was it a secret US military project, an artifact from earlier in history, or extraterrestrial? The evidence is insufficient to determine the answer.” (http://www.alienscientist.com/forum/showthread.php?2424-The-Black-Knight-Satellite-What-is-it-Where-did-it-come-from)
[…]Horselover Fat believes his visions expose hidden facts about the reality of life on Earth, and a group of others join him in researching these matters. One of their theories is that there is some kind of alien space probe in orbit around Earth, and that it is aiding them in their quest. It also aided the United States in disclosing the Watergate scandal and the resignation of Richard Nixon in 1974. There is a filmed account of an alternate universe Nixon, “Ferris Freemont” and his fall, engineered by a fictionalised Valis, which leads them to an estate owned by the Lamptons, popular musicians. Valis (the fictional film) contains obvious references to identical revelations to those that Horselover Fat has experienced. They decide the goal that they have been led toward is Sophia, who is two years old and the Messiah or incarnation of Holy Wisdom anticipated by some variants of Gnostic Christianity. She tells them that their conclusions are correct, but dies after a laser accident. Undeterred, Fat goes on a global search for the next incarnation of Sophia. Dick also offers a rationalist explanation of his apparent “theophany”, acknowledging that it might have been visual and auditory hallucinations from either schizophrenia or drug addiction sequelae.”
Now what does the above have to do with future NASA machines that will be tele-operated from the orbit of the Earth, Moon and a moon of Mars?
That the end product of the future NASA machines will be intelligent, whether they be pure robotic intelligences, uploaded minds or a combination of both.
Let’s study the possible alien Black Knight/VALIS Bracewell probe first:
Originally posted by Esoterica a member of ATS Post ID 292902
Thread – http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread292902/pg1
I was in a bookstore and was just flipping through a bargain book of weird happenings. One entry, only a couple of paragraphs long, caught my interest because I had never heard of it before.
The basic blurb was that in 1957, an unknown satellite was detected shadowing the Sputnik I craft. It was in a polar orbit, something that neither the Americans or Soviets were capable of at the time. There was a statement that ham radio operaters pickd up radio transmissions that were “decoded” (whatever that means) as being a star map that indicated the craft originated from Epsilon Bootes 13,000 years before. This object was dubbed “The Black Knight.”
Also in this blurb, there was mention that science fiction author Philip K. Dick believed that he was in contact with this object, which he wrote several novels about, and gave it various names (VALIS, Zebra).
So obviously intrigued, I did some searching on ATS and found no mention of it. Google had a few returns which indicated this story was first written about in John Keel’s “Disneyland of the Gods.” The effort is hampered because there are several legit satellite projects codenamed “Black Knight.”
The information of Dick’s experiences and writings indicated he received visions, and seemed to interperet the experience and object in somewhat Christian religious terms, in addition to strange communications and diagrams he couldn’t interperet. He eventually became paranoid Russian scientists were attempting to control the satellite. A science fiction writer infamous for his heavy drug use eventually living out a sci-fi story… seems to me just as likely that it was just his lifestyle catching up to him than any ET communication. But who knows.
In my searching, I also discovered a very close story from 1927, 30 years earlier. It involves the phenomena of Long Delayed Echoes. Essentially, these are radio transmissions that are reflected back, apparently from space, seconds to minutes after they are first sent. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to it. It could be atmospheric effects just making it appear as if the transmissions are coming from space, or it could ben an alien craft attempting to communicate with us. Logically, it would send back transmissions it recieved from Earth because it could be almost positive that we could receive it. Anyway, the story is that Norwegian scientists received strange radio “echoes” in 1927-28. In the 1970’s Scottish astronomer Duncan Lunan interpereted the delayed transmission as a star map… of Epsilon Bootis. Whether these are two instances of the same stragne transmissions, or one story is a retelling of the other is unknown to me. It wouldn’t be the first time the same ideas were repackaged and attempted to be passed off as a “new” anomalous story.
Anyway, I made this thread just to get the story out there, and to ask if anybody has any additional information regarding it. Below are links to everything pertinent I could find on the internet, and most are just retellings of the same story in different forms.
- The Black Knight from Space – Inspiration for the title and a good overview.
- Mystery of the Alien Satellite – The 1927 story.
- Alien Artifacts in the Solar System – Article detaling several strange incidents, including the one above. Also discusses theoretical Bracewell Probes.
- ASTRA and SETI – Introduction by Duncan Lunan, as far as I can tell originator of the Epsilon Bootis inteperetation.
- ET Radio Signals – More info on the 1927-28 events.
- Phildickian Gnosticism – Overview of Philip K. Dick’s involvement in the affair.
I have a theory; One billion years ago intelligent life and eventually civilization arose on the second planet of Epsilon Bootes. I have no idea what form these beings had, but they had the ability to manipulate their environment to the point where they built a highly technical civilization. They built space probes to explore their solar system and telescopes to spy upon the stars closest to them and out into the Universe.
Then they observed a small G2 star about 200 light-years from them and with eventually more powerful telescopes, they spied a small, green world dead center of the star’s habitable zone.
They studied and they studied. Their viewing apparatuses evolved to the point where they can see the surface of the green world. They studied the flora and fauna more as time went by. In the meantime however, their own star evolved. The star, which is a K-type, burns hotter and is prone to fierce magnetic storms and flares. And it was due for a slight expansion.
The beings on the second world knew their planet was going to be razed by the expansion and there was no safe haven close by. They had to move their civilization lock, stock and barrel to a safe distance. And the safest distance was out to the seventh world in their solar system. But the planet wasn’t suitable to their form of life. And it was too late to change the planet into one in which they could survive in their present form on it’s surface.
But it wasn’t too late to change themselves.
The change didn’t take long, being real close to a Technological Singularity, their civilization transformed itself into a cyborg/machine culture in which they uploaded their minds into indestructible materials. The original race perished, but their children survived and thrived on the seventh planet.
In the meanwhile, their studies of Sol 3 didn’t stop. By the time the original Epsilon Bootes 2 civilization evolved into the Epsilon Bootes 7 civilization, a creature arose on the green world that caught the collective eye of the Booteans.
And the creature showed the promise of the one trait the Booteans held in high esteem; Intelligence.
Knowing full well they dodged a major extinction event, the Booteans decided they needed to nurture possible intelligence wherever it is found in the Universe, for in their observations Intelligence seemed to be rare, despite the fact that life itself wasn’t.
And they couldn’t believe their incredible good luck in discovering a proto-intelligent species relatively close-by to their own solar system.
So they decide to construct an intelligent probe to send to the planet in order to “help” the creatures along on the evolutionary path to reach their full potential. The probe was outfitted with all kinds of communication devices which are electromagnetic, digital, radio, quantum and what could be described as “telepathic.”
The rest is history. The Bootean probe has been in the L2 zone of the Moon’s orbit for what I guess to be about 7 million years, a relatively short amount of time in the Universe scheme of things, the evolution of intelligent beings and their close proximity to each other in Time and Space.
Could the U.S. military have the probe in its possession and has been trying to access it’s memory for decades? Is the UFO phenomenon all mental hallucinations created by the Probe in order to get us ready to accept the existence of K1, 2 or 3 civilizations?
If we turn our telescopes to Epsilon Bootes, will we find a thriving post-Singularity culture there, or Ascension Fossils?
And will our own NASA probes eventually evolve into intelligent machines that explores our Solar System and nearby stars?
Maybe I’ll get my mind uploaded in a couple of decades and find out for myself!
Freeman Dyson hypothesized the vast structures over fifty years ago that could ring or completely enclose their parent star. Such structures, the work of a Kardashev Type II civilization — one capable of drawing on the entire energy output of its star — would power the most power-hungry society and offer up reserves of energy that would support its continuing expansion into the cosmos, if it so chose.
Marcy’s plan is to look at a thousand Kepler systems for telltale evidence of such structures by examining changes in light levels around the parent star.
Interestingly, the grant of $200,000 goes beyond the Dyson sphere search to look into possible laser traffic among extraterrestrial civilizations. Says Marcy:
Technological civilizations may communicate with their space probes located throughout the galaxy by using laser beams, either in visible light or infrared light. Laser light is detectable from other civilizations because the power is concentrated into a narrow beam and the light is all at one specific color or frequency. The lasers outshine the host star at the color of the laser.
The topic of Dyson spheres calls Richard Carrigan to mind. The retired Fermilab physicist has studied data from the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) to identify objects that radiate waste heat in ways that imply a star completely enclosed by a Dyson sphere. This is unconventional SETI in that it presumes no beacons deliberately announcing themselves to the cosmos, but instead looks for signs of civilization that are the natural consequences of physics.
Carrigan has estimated that a star like the Sun, if enclosed with a shell at the radius of the Earth, would re-radiate its energies at approximately 300 Kelvin. Marcy will turn some of the thinking behind what Carrigan calls ‘cosmic archaeology’ toward stellar systems we now know to have planets, thanks to the work of Kepler. Ultimately, Carrigan’s ‘archaeology’ could extend to planetary atmospheres possibly marked by industrial activity, or perhaps forms of large-scale engineering other than Dyson spheres that may be acquired through astronomical surveys and remain waiting in our data to be discovered. All this reminds us once again how the model for SETI is changing.
For more, see two Richard Carrigan papers: “IRAS-based Whole-Sky Upper Limit on Dyson Spheres,” Journal of Astrophysics 698 (2009), pp. 2075-2086 (preprint), and “Starry Messages: Searching for Signatures of Interstellar Archaeology,” JBIS 63 (2010), p. 90 (preprint). Also see James Annis, “Placing a limit on star-fed Kardashev type III civilisations,” JBIS 52, pp.33-36 (1999).
The Dyson Sphere Hypothesis is an extrapolation of 1950s technologies and theories that claim that advanced societies will need more and more energy, spouting radiation and radio waves all over the place. Dyson theorized that civilizations as they grew should be detectable in the infrared radiation range, the waste heat being the thing that is the signature of a Kardashev II civilization.
Little did we realize then that as our technology advanced, it required less and less energy to supply it, and that’s not counting digital technology that doesn’t broadcast out into the Cosmos!
So is looking for Dyson Spheres/Swarms a waste of time? I don’t think so. Simply because of the fact that aliens by large might not think like humans and some might prefer a brute force approach of providing their civilizations the energy they require.
Plus stellar archaeology is cool!
As I was trolling across the Innertubes this morning, I came across a story that was almost like one of my St. John Lamont short stories.
Only instead of waking up to Lucifer, imagine waking up to lawyers.
Almost the same thing I guess.
A science fiction story about what you see when you die. Or: the Singularity, ruined by lawyers.
If you liked this, you may also enjoy two novels that provided inspiration for it: Jim Munroe’s Everyone in Silico, where I first found the idea of a corporate-sponsored afterlife; Rudy Rucker’s trippy Postsingular, which introduced me to the horrifying idea of consciousness slums.
I have read Rucker’s Postsingular, it is one of the most quintessential stories of the Technological Singularity I ever read. Definitely worth the time to peruse.
Thanks to Red Ice Creations.
Last week I showed a couple of points against a technological singularity happening, but today I’ll show how a Singularity is being actively pursued by governments and corporations via the Internet.
From Red Ice Creations:
This is an interesting commercial for BBC’s “Superpower” about “The Extraordinary Power Of The Internet”. Showing how humanity is being turned into “Aliens”? It’s just one more tidbit of “Alien” entertainment that we’ve been getting lately.
Watch out they are Waging Peace!
It has been rumored the Internet started turning “self-aware” or attained consciousness 2-3 years ago and the very first thing it did was to camouflage itself from its main predator.
Which would make sense. Because if we can create it, we are the only ones to destroy it.
But that’s not the goal of the powers that be.
Definition of Technological Singularity from Wikipedia: “A technological singularity is a hypothetical event occurring when technological progress becomes so extremely rapid, due in most accounts to the technological creation of smarter-than-human intelligences, that it makes the future after the singularity qualitatively different and harder to predict. It has been suggested that a singularity will occur during the 21st century, and there are several mechanisms by which a singularity could occur.”
Lately however, there have been some voices decrying the validity of a technological singularity occurring. In fact, there have been singularity technologies coming into existence since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
Many scientifically-minded people believe the Singularity is a time in the future when human civilization will be completely transformed by technologies, specifically A.I. and machines that can control matter at an atomic level (for a full definition of what I mean by the Singularity, read my backgrounder on it). The problem with this idea is that it’s a completely unrealistic view of how technology changes everyday life.
Case in point: Penicillin. Discovered because of advances in biology, and refined through advances in biotechnology, this drug cured many diseases that had been killing people for centuries. It was in every sense of the term a Singularity-level technology. And yet in the long term, it wound up leaving us just as vulnerable to disease. Bacteria mutated, creating nastier infections than we’ve ever seen before. Now we’re turning to pro-biotics rather than anti-biotics; we’re investigating gene therapies to surmount the troubles we’ve created by massively deploying penicillin and its derivatives.
hat is how Singularity-level technologies work in real life. They solve dire problems, sure. They save lives. But they also create problems we’d never imagined – problems that might have been inconceivable before that Singularity tech was invented.
What I’m saying is that the potato chip won’t taste better after the Singularity because the future isn’t the present on steroids. The future is a mutated bacteria that you never saw coming.
In Heaven, everything is fine. In the future, not so much.
After the Singularity, humans will supposedly live for a very long time, if not forever. And we will build spaceships using nanobots that assemble it from carbon atoms on up. I am always suspicious of predictions that sound like religious myths. I’m not opposed to religion – it’s fine with me if you want to believe in God or dharma – but I am opposed to basing visions of tomorrow on fantasies from the past rather than what we can glean from factual accounts of history.
For previous generations, the machines of industrial mass production and the huge dynamos that generated electricity were Singularity-level technology. Humans could accomplish tasks that were simply impossible a hundred years before. Throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, pamphlets were full of predictions about how humans had entered a new age of leisure, and things were only going to get more leisurely from there. Sort of the way potato chips are only going to get tastier.
No one can doubt that our lives are infinitely better than the regular worker in the 17th, 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries.
Diseases like typhoid, diphtheria, tuberculosis, measles and small pox no longer kill people due to the wondrous singularity tech drug penicillin.
Only now to be plagued by super bugs that require genetic engineering to kill.
The post’s author makes a valid point in that in spite of all of the wondrous technological advancements we make, there will always be problems to replace the old ones. Such is the state of the human condition.
As for myself, I’ll take every singularity tech advancement in the medical field that comes my way, for the simple fact that singularity tech keeps me alive.
That’s why I consider myself a transhuman. Or an early version of one and only one of many.
A world of the transhuman condition?
It won’t be any different than this one.
The science of quantum physics is like trying to read a back of a cereal box.
Only it’s written in a combination of Chinese and Cyrillic Russian.
If you’re not born to it, or have spent many years studying it, it’s all Greek to you! LOL!
Okay, okay, all language teasing aside, the point here is that if you put quantum physics in the context of language, an everyday person might understand it a little bit better, right?
Well, how about if it’s put into the context of a computer language?
I am always amazed at how such bright physicists discuss scientific anomalies, like quantum entanglement, pronounce that “that’s just the way it is” and never seriously consider an obvious answer and solution to all such anomalies – namely that perhaps our reality is under programmed control.
For the quantum entanglement anomaly, I think you will see what I mean. Imagine that our world is like a video game. As with existing commercial games, which use “physics engines”, the players (us) are subject to the rules of physics, as are subatomic particles. However, suppose there is a rule in the engine that says that when two particles interact, their behavior is synchronized going forward. Simple to program. The pseudocode would look something like:
for all particles (i)
for all particles (j)
if distance(particle.i, particle.j) < EntanglementThreshold then
After that event, at each cycle through the main program loop, whatever one particle does, its synchronized counterparts also do. Since the program operates outside of the artificial laws of physics, those particles can be placed anywhere in the program’s reality space and they will always stay synchronized. Yet their motion and other interactions may be subject to the usual physics engine. This is very easy to program, and, coupled with all of the other evidence that our reality is under programmed control (the programmer is the intelligent creator), offers a perfect explanation. More and more scientists are considering these ideas (e.g. Craig Hogan, Brian Whitworth, Andrei Linde) although the thought center is more in the fields of philosophy, computer science, and artificial intelligence. I wonder if the reason more physicists haven’t caught on is that they fear that such concepts might make them obsolete.
They needn’t worry. Their jobs are still to probe the workings of the “cosmic program.”
The author of the post neglects to mention Nick Bostrum, one of the leading proponents of ‘living in a computer simulation’ theory. But I think it was just an oversight.
Now to me, the living in a computer simulation theory is a big cop-out, just a variant of a religion to haggle and fight over in a modern day setting. This usually involves some sort of Singularity Event in which it could be our non-human descendents (gods) are running ancestor programs and we are the side show!
It could be possible I guess. Then again, anything could be possible!
As for me, I’m holding out for the resolution of the Fermi Paradox. If we made contact with true aliens, all bets are off!
When it comes to the discussion of quantum entanglement, you might as well be speaking Mandarin Chinese to myself and most folks (not a bad language to learn right now IMHO). The concept is alien and is far from the classical Newtonian physics we understand on a daily basis as the distance from Earth to the edge of the known Universe.
And as far as quantum teleportation is concerned, well, this is considered fringe sci-fi sh*t that almost nobody outside of academia understands.
Now scientists are considering useful work for the concept of ‘quantum teleportation.’ And that idea is for the transmission of energy across great distances.
First, they teleported photons, then atoms and ions. Now one physicist has worked out how to do it with energy, a technique that has profound implications for the future of physics.
In 1993, Charlie Bennett at IBM’s Watson Research Center in New York State and a few pals showed how to transmit quantum information from one point in space to another without traversing the intervening space.
The technique relies on the strange quantum phenomenon called entanglement, in which two particles share the same existence. This deep connection means that a measurement on one particle immediately influences the other, even though they are light-years apart. Bennett and company worked out how to exploit this to send information. (The influence between the particles may be immediate, but the process does not violate relativity because some informatiom has to be sent classically at the speed of light.) They called the technique teleportation.
That’s not really an overstatement of its potential. Since quantum particles are indistinguishable but for the information they carry, there is no need to transmit them themselves. A much simpler idea is to send the information they contain instead and ensure that there is a ready supply of particles at the other end to take on their identity. Since then, physicists have used these ideas to actually teleport photons, atoms, and ions. And it’s not too hard to imagine that molecules and perhaps even viruses could be teleported in the not-too-distant future.
But Masahiro Hotta at Tohoku University in Japan has come up with a much more exotic idea. Why not use the same quantum principles to teleport energy?
Today, building on a number of papers published in the last year, Hotta outlines his idea and its implications. The process of teleportation involves making a measurement on each one an entangled pair of particles. He points out that the measurement on the first particle injects quantum energy into the system. He then shows that by carefully choosing the measurement to do on the second particle, it is possible to extract the original energy.
All this is possible because there are always quantum fluctuations in the energy of any particle. The teleportation process allows you to inject quantum energy at one point in the universe and then exploit quantum energy fluctuations to extract it from another point. Of course, the energy of the system as whole is unchanged.
He gives the example of a string of entangled ions oscillating back and forth in an electric field trap, a bit like Newton’s balls. Measuring the state of the first ion injects energy into the system in the form of a phonon, a quantum of oscillation. Hotta says that performing the right kind of measurement on the last ion extracts this energy. Since this can be done at the speed of light (in principle), the phonon doesn’t travel across the intermediate ions so there is no heating of these ions. The energy has been transmitted without traveling across the intervening space. That’s teleportation.
Just how we might exploit the ability to teleport energy isn’t clear yet. Post your suggestions in the comments section if you have any.
But the really exciting stuff is the implications this has for the foundations of physics. Hotta says that his approach gives physicists a way of exploring the relationship between quantum information and quantum energy for the first time.
There is a growing sense that the properties of the universe are best described not by the laws that govern matter but by the laws that govern information. This appears to be true for the quantum world, is certainly true for special relativity, and is currently being explored for general relativity. Having a way to handle energy on the same footing may help to draw these diverse strands together.
Interesting stuff. There’s no telling where this kind of thinking might lead.
Hmm..sounds good in theory.
In fact, it might be easier to suck the energy out of the entangled energy state than the transmission of matter.
Believe it or not, that’s fast becoming a fact, not a mere hypothesis anymore.
In 100 years, the transportation of people and goods across this planet, and others, will be as common as cars and trucks on the interstate highways.
Duck your head!
Astronomers say it may be space junk or it could be a tiny asteroid, too small to cause damage even if it hit. It’s 33 to 50 feet wide at most.
Hmm..makes a good case for the Flexible Path asteroid missions, eh?
From the wonderful world(s) of the multiverse and quantum entanglement:
For the first time, physicists have convincingly demonstrated that physically separated particles in solid-state devices can be quantum-mechanically entangled. The achievement is analogous to the quantum entanglement of light, except that it involves particles in circuitry instead of photons in optical systems. Both optical and solid-state entanglement offer potential routes toquantum computing and secure communications, but solid-state versions may ultimately be easier to incorporate into electronic devices.
The experiment is reported in an upcoming issue of Physical Review Lettersand highlighted with a Viewpoint in the January 11 issue of Physics.
In optical entanglement experiments, a pair of entangled photons may be separated via a beam splitter. Despite their physical separation, the entangled photons continue to act as a single quantum object. A team of physicists from France, Germany and Spain has now performed a solid-state entanglement experiment that uses electrons in a superconductor in place of photons in an optical system.
As conventional superconducting materials are cooled, the electrons they conduct entangle to form what are known as Cooper pairs. In the new experiment, Cooper pairs flow through a superconducting bridge until they reach a carbon nanotube that acts as the electronic equivalent of a beam splitter. Occasionally, the electrons part ways and are directed to separatequantum dots — but remain entangled. Although the quantum dots are only a micron or so apart, the distance is large enough to demonstrate entanglement comparable to that seen in optical systems.
In addition to the possibility of using entangled electrons in solid-state devices for computing and secure communications, the breakthrough opens a whole new vista on the study of quantum mechanically entangled systems in solid materials.
Optical connections not needed? Solid state devices can utilize quantum configurations?
This is huge. Maybe Kurzweil can get his mechanical AI sooner than thought?
Speaking of Ray Kurzweil, the Guru of the Technological Singularity grants an interview with the Transhumanist ezine H+:
RAY KURZWEIL: One area I commented on was the question of a possible link between quantum computing and the brain. Do we need quantum computing to create human level AI? My conclusion is no, mainly because we don‘t see any quantum computing in the brain. Roger Penrose‘s conjecture that there was quantum computing in tubules does not seem to have been verified by any experimental evidence.
Quantum computing is a specialized form of computing where you examine in parallel every possible combination of qubits. So it‘s very good at certain kinds of problems, the classical one being cracking encryption codes by factoring large numbers. But the types of problems that would be vastly accelerated by quantum computing are not things that the human brain is very good at. When it comes to the kinds of problems I just mentioned, the human brain isn‘t even as good as classical computing. So in terms of what we can do with our brains there‘s no indication that it involves quantum computing. Do we need quantum computing for consciousness? The only justification for that conjecture from Roger Penrose and Stuart Hameroff is that consciousness is mysterious and quantum mechanics is mysterious, so there must be a link between the two.
I get very excited about discussions about the true nature of consciousness, because I‘ve been thinking about this issue for literally 50 years, going back to junior high school. And it‘s a very difficult subject. When some article purports to present the neurological basis of consciousness… I read it. And the articles usually start out, “Well, we think that consciousness is caused by…” You know, fill in the blank. And then it goes on with a big extensive examination of that phenomenon. And at the end of the article, I inevitably find myself thinking… where is the link to consciousness? Where is any justification for believing that this phenomenon should cause consciousness? Why would it cause consciousness?
Kurzweil takes his reputation as the Guru of the Singularity in stride. He feels pretty confident in its eventual arrival.
Will it? Check out this interview!
What is Transhumanism?
The term itself has many definitions, depending on who you ask.
The stock meaning is that transhumanism is a step toward being ‘posthuman’, and that term is subject to many iterations also.
One definition of being transhuman is using advanced technology to increase or preserve the quality of life of an individual. And that is the interpretation I use for myself , of which I have mentioned many times on this blog (I’ve made no secret of my heart condition).
That is just one interpretation however. According to Michael Garfield, transhumanism has many meanings:
Mention the word “transhumanism” to most of my friends, and they will assume you mean uploading people into a computer. Transcendence typically connotes an escape from the trappings of this world — from the frailty of our bodies, the evolutionary wiring of our primate psychologies, and our necessary adherence to physical law.
However, the more I learn about the creative flux of our universe, the more the evolutionary process appears to be not about withdrawal, but engagement — not escape, but embrace — not arriving at a final solution, but opening the scope of our questions. Any valid map of history is fractal — ever more complex, always shifting to expose unexplored terrain.
This is why I find it is laughable when we try to arrive at a common vision of the future. For the most part, we still operate on “either/or” software, but we live in a “both/and” universe that seems willing to try anything at least once. “Transhuman” and “posthuman” are less specific classifications than catch-alls for whatever we deem beyond what we are now … and that is a lot.
So when I am in the mood for some armchair futurism, I like to remember the old Chinese adage: “Let a hundred flowers bloom.” Why do we think it will be one way or the other? The future arrives by many roads. Courtesy of some of science fiction’s finest speculative minds, here are a few of my favorites:
By Elective Surgery & Genetic Engineering
In Greg Egan’s novel Distress, a journalist surveying the gray areas of bioethics interviews an elective autistic — a man who opted to have regions of his brain removed in order to tune out of the emotional spectrum and into the deep synesthetic-associative brilliance of savants. Certainly, most people consider choice a core trait of humanity… but when a person chooses to remove that which many consider indispensable human hardware, is he now more “pre-” than “post-?” Even today, we augment ourselves with artificial limbs and organs (while hastily amputating entire regions of a complex and poorly-understood bio-electric system); and extend our senses and memories with distributed electronic networks (thus increasing our dependence on external infrastructure for what many scientists argue are universal, if mysterious, capacities of “wild-type” Homo sapiens). It all raises the question: are our modifications rendering us more or less than human? Or will this distinction lose its meaning, in a world that challenges our ability to define what “human” even means?
Just a few pages later in Distress, the billionaire owner of a global biotech firm replaces all of his nucleotides with synthetic base pairs as a defense against all known pathogens. Looks human, smells human…but he has spliced himself out of the Kingdom Animalia entirely, forming an unprecedented genetic lineage.
In both cases, we seem bound to shuffle sideways — six of one, half a dozen of the other.
By Involutionary Implosion
In the 1980s, Greg Bear explored an early version of “computronium” — matter optimized for information-processing — in Blood Music, the story of a biologist who hacks individual human lymphocytes to compute as fast as an entire brain. When he becomes contaminated by the experiment, his own body transforms into a city of sentient beings, each as smart as himself. Eventually, they download his whole self into one of their own — paradoxically running a copy of the entire organism on one of its constituent parts. From there things only get stranger, as the lymphocytes turn to investigate levels of reality too small for macro-humans to observe.
Scenarios such as this are natural extrapolations of Moore’s Law, that now-famous bit about computers regularly halving in size and price. And Moore’s Law is just one example of a larger evolutionary trend: for example, functions once distributed between every member of primitive tribes (the regulatory processes of the social ego, or the formation of a moral code) are now typically internalized and processed by every adult in the modern city. Just as we now recognize the Greek Gods as embodied archetypes correlated with neural subroutines, the redistributive gathering of intelligence from environment to “individual” seems likely to transform the body into a much smarter three cubic feet of flesh than the one we are accustomed to.
Greg Egan is the consumate trans/posthuman author and I have been a reader and fan of his for ten years. He is stunningly accurate and it amazes me how fertile his imagination must be.
Could he be getting quantum information from the future?
And I think I’ve read almost all of Greg Bear’s work over the past twenty years, including his Foundation works. His nanotech fiction is astonishingly prescient. Is he tapping into the quantum information highway too?
Like the author of this post speculates, maybe it’s just a few of the hundred flowers of the future.