Ideas of New Scientist writers, by Theme

[British, fl. 2013, Weekly British science magazine (with many authors)]

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7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 6. Reason for Existence
Current physics says matter and antimatter should have reduced to light at the big bang
CP violation shows a decay imbalance in matter and antimatter, leading to matter's dominance
14. Science / A. Basis of Science / 4. Prediction
A system can infer the structure of the world by making predictions about it
15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 3. Abstraction by mind
Neural networks can extract the car-ness of a car, or the chair-ness of a chair
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 6. Rationality
No one has yet devised a rationality test
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 7. Intelligence
People can be highly intelligent, yet very stupid
About a third of variation in human intelligence is environmental
18. Thought / B. Mechanics of Thought / 1. Psychology
Psychologists measure personality along five dimensions
27. Natural Reality / A. Classical Physics / 1. Mechanics / d. Gravity
Gravity is unusual, in that it always attracts and never repels
27. Natural Reality / A. Classical Physics / 2. Thermodynamics / d. Entropy
Entropy is the only time-asymmetric law, so time may be linked to entropy
27. Natural Reality / B. Modern Physics / 1. Relativity / b. General relativity
In the Big Band general relativity fails, because gravity is too powerful
27. Natural Reality / B. Modern Physics / 2. Electrodynamics / a. Electrodynamics
Light moves at a constant space-time speed, but its direction is in neither space nor time
Photons have zero rest mass, so virtual photons have infinite range
Quantum electrodynamics incorporates special relativity and quantum mechanics
27. Natural Reality / B. Modern Physics / 2. Electrodynamics / b. Fields
In the standard model all the fundamental force fields merge at extremely high energies
27. Natural Reality / B. Modern Physics / 2. Electrodynamics / c. Electrons
Electrons move fast, so are subject to special relativity
27. Natural Reality / B. Modern Physics / 2. Electrodynamics / d. Quantum mechanics
The Schrödinger equation describes the evolution of an object's wave function in Hilbert space
Quantum states are measured by external time, of unknown origin
27. Natural Reality / B. Modern Physics / 3. Chromodynamics / a. Chromodynamics
The strong force is repulsive at short distances, strong at medium, and fades at long
The strong force binds quarks tight, and the nucleus more weakly
Gluons, the particles carrying the strong force, interact because of their colour charge
27. Natural Reality / B. Modern Physics / 3. Chromodynamics / b. Quarks
Three different colours of quark (as in the proton) can cancel out to give no colour
Quarks in threes can build hadrons with spin ½ or with spin 3/2
Classifying hadrons revealed two symmetry patterns, produced by three basic elements
27. Natural Reality / B. Modern Physics / 4. Standard Model / b. Standard model
Three particles enable the weak force: W+ and W- are charged, and Z° is not
The weak force particles are heavy, so the force has a short range
Why do the charges of the very different proton and electron perfectly match up?
The Standard Model cannot explain dark energy, survival of matter, gravity, or force strength
The four fundamental forces (gravity, electromagnetism, weak and strong) are the effects of particles
The weak force explains beta decay, and the change of type by quarks and leptons
27. Natural Reality / B. Modern Physics / 4. Standard Model / c. Particle properties
Spin is a built-in ration of angular momentum
Fermions, with spin ½, are antisocial, and cannot share quantum states
Spin is akin to rotation, and is easily measured in a magnetic field
Quarks have red, green or blue colour charge (akin to electric charge)
Particles are spread out, with wave-like properties, and higher energy shortens the wavelength
27. Natural Reality / B. Modern Physics / 4. Standard Model / d. Mass
The mass of protons and neutrinos is mostly binding energy, not the quarks
Gravitional mass turns out to be the same as inertial mass
27. Natural Reality / B. Modern Physics / 4. Standard Model / e. Protons
Neutrons are slightly heavier than protons, and decay into them by emitting an electron
Top, bottom, charm and strange quarks quickly decay into up and down
27. Natural Reality / B. Modern Physics / 4. Standard Model / f. Neutrinos
Neutrinos were proposed as the missing energy in neutron beta decay
Only neutrinos spin anticlockwise
27. Natural Reality / B. Modern Physics / 4. Standard Model / g. Anti-matter
Standard antineutrinos have opposite spin and opposite lepton number
27. Natural Reality / B. Modern Physics / 5. Unified Models / a. Electro-weak unity
The symmetry of unified electromagnetic and weak forces was broken by the Higgs field
27. Natural Reality / B. Modern Physics / 5. Unified Models / b. String theory
String theory needs at least 10 space-time dimensions
In string theory space-time has a grainy indivisible substructure
It is impossible for find a model of actuality among the innumerable models in string theory
String theory might be tested by colliding strings to make bigger 'stringballs'
String theory offers a quantum theory of gravity, by describing the graviton
String theory is now part of 11-dimensional M-Theory, involving p-branes
Supersymmetric string theory can be expressed using loop quantum gravity
27. Natural Reality / B. Modern Physics / 5. Unified Models / c. Supersymmetry
Supersymmetry has extra heavy bosons and heavy fermions
Only supersymmetry offers to incorporate gravity into the scheme
The evidence for supersymmetry keeps failing to appear
Supersymmetry says particles and superpartners were unities, but then split
27. Natural Reality / C. Space-Time / 1. Space / b. Space
Hilbert Space is an abstraction representing all possible states of a quantum system
27. Natural Reality / C. Space-Time / 1. Space / d. Substantival space
The Higgs field means even low energy space is not empty
27. Natural Reality / C. Space-Time / 2. Time / e. Existence of time
Entropy is puzzling, so we may need to build new laws which include time directionality
Quantum theory relies on a clock outside the system - but where is it located?
27. Natural Reality / C. Space-Time / 3. Space-Time
Space-time may be a geometrical manifestation of quantum entanglement
Relativity makes time and space jointly basic; quantum theory splits them, and prioritises time
Einstein's merging of time with space has left us confused about the nature of time
27. Natural Reality / D. Cosmology / 7. Black Holes
Black holes have entropy, but general relativity says they are unstructured, and lack entropy
General relativity predicts black holes, as former massive stars, and as galaxy centres
27. Natural Reality / D. Cosmology / 8. Dark Matter
84.5 percent of the universe is made of dark matter
Dark matter must have mass, to produce gravity, and no electric charge, to not reflect light
27. Natural Reality / E. Chemistry / 1. Chemistry
We are halfway to synthesising any molecule we want
27. Natural Reality / E. Chemistry / 3. Periodic Table
Chemistry just needs the periodic table, and protons, electrons and neutrinos