The Neuroscience of Genius, Creativity, and Improvisation, with Heather Berlin
What do originality and invention look like in the brain? In this interview with New York Times columnist Carl Zimmer as part of Big Think’s partnership with 92Y’s Seven Days of Genius series, neuroscientist Heather Berlin explains current research into creative “flow states”, examining what happens in the brain when rappers and jazz musicians improvise.
By: Big Think.
March 15, 2015
Japanese scientists have made a breakthrough: researchers with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have found a way to transmit energy wirelessly, a discovery that could completely change how energy is harvested in the future.
Scientists have long salivated at the idea of capturing solar energy in space, but had no way to do it until the researchers discovered they could use microwaves to deliver 10 kilowatts across a gap of 1,640 feet with pinpoint accuracy, according to a UPI report.
A small receiver captured the energy, which powered an LED light.
It wasn’t a big gap the energy traveled over, especially when you consider just how much space is between the surface of our planet and low-Earth orbit, and the energy transmitted wasn’t a lot — but it does show that it can be done.
Today, we depend on cables to conventionally transmit electricity from one place to…
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Quantum mechanics is weird. The theory, which describes the workings of tiny particles and forces, notoriously made Albert Einstein so uneasy that in 1935 he and his colleagues claimed that it must be incomplete—it was too “spooky” to be real.
The trouble is that quantum physics seems to defy the common-sense notions of causality, locality and realism. For example, you know that the moon exists even when you’re not looking at it—that’s realism. Causality tells us that if you flick a light switch, the bulb will illuminate. And thanks to a hard limit on the speed of light, if you flick a switch now, the related effect could not occur instantly a million light-years away according to locality. However, these principles break down in the quantum realm. Perhaps the most famous example is quantum entanglement, which says that particles on opposite sides of the universe can be intrinsically linked so that…
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Seminar Department of Quantum Nanoscience by Ronald Hanson
Technical University Delft 14-1-2015
Of all the implications of today’s quantum theory, quantum entanglement might be one of the weirdest. The basic idea of quantum entanglement is that it is possible that two particles are in some way linked, without being close to each other. This implies that it is theoretically possible to have, for example, two electrons entangled, while holding them light-years apart from each other. The important and extremely weird feature of this entanglement is, that if you then measure the state of only one of the electrons, the state of the entangled electron is automatically determined. Using this, you could “send” information to the other end of the universe, in fact you could actually teleport information instantaneously through space! A physicist familiar with the concept of special relativity might now be concerned that Einstein’s second postulate* is violated, but…
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(Judy Wajcman is professor of sociology at the London School of Economics. Her latest book is Pressed for Time: The Acceleration of Life in Digital Capitalism (2014).)
For all the smart tech, we still feel pressed for time. Are digital services the problem, or are we humans to blame?
More than 40 years ago, as a young woman in Melbourne, Australia, I had a pen friend in Papua New Guinea. She lived in a coastal village, an hour’s slow boat trip from the city of Lae. I went to visit her. The abundant tropical fruit, vegetables such as taro and sweet potato, and fish fresh from the sea made up for the mosquitoes that plagued me. No one was in a rush to do anything.
We spent an entire day making coconut milk. I suggested a different way to squeeze the coconut…
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