The End

by Tommy on 25/08/2016

So it’s been almost but not quite two full years since I started this latest incarnation of the Blob.

Besides continually reminding myself that I’m a crackpot, I’ve come to the realization that I have no reason to continue doing this. My viewership is extremely limited, the subject matter here is arcane and bizarre, and I’ve solved most of the problems I set out to solve within my truncated intellectual and financial capabilities. The door has been opened, and it can’t be shut anymore.

So absent any external funding, it’s goodbye.

See ya on the other side.

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Novel Topological Insulator β-Bi4I4 Now Studied in Great Detail

by Tommy on 25/08/2016
β-Bi4I4

β-Bi4I4

I had blogged it earlier when it was still just an APS meeting abstract, now here it is.

http://www.nature.com/nmat/journal/v15/n2/full/nmat4543.html

A novel quasi-one-dimensional topological insulator in bismuth iodide β-Bi4I4, A novel quasi-one-dimensional topological insulator in bismuth iodide β-Bi4I4, Gabriel Autès, Anna Isaeva, Luca Moreschini, Jens C. Johannsen, Andrea Pisoni, Ryo Mori, Wentao Zhang, Taisia G. Filatova, Alexey N. Kuznetsov, László Forró, Wouter Van den Broek, Yeongkwan Kim, Keun Su Kim, Alessandra Lanzara, Jonathan D. Denlinger, Eli Rotenberg, Aaron Bostwick, Marco Grioni and Oleg V. Yazyev, Nature Materials, 15, 154–158 (14 December 2015), doi:10.1038/nmat4488

Recent progress in the field of topological states of matter has largely been initiated by the discovery of bismuth and antimony chalcogenide bulk topological insulators, followed by closely related ternary compounds and predictions of several weak TIs. However, both the conceptual richness of Z2 classification of TIs as well as their structural and compositional diversity are far from being fully exploited. Here, a new Z2 topological insulator is theoretically predicted and experimentally confirmed in the β-phase of quasi-one-dimensional bismuth iodide β-Bi4I4. The electronic structure of β-Bi4I4, characterized by Z2 invariants (1;110), is in proximity of both the weak TI phase (0;001) and the trivial insulator phase (0;000). Our angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy measurements performed on the (001) surface reveal a highly anisotropic band-crossing feature located at the M point of the surface Brillouin zone and showing no dispersion with the photon energy, thus being fully consistent with the theoretical prediction.

See also: http://www.nature.com/nmat/journal/v15/n2/full/nmat4543.html

Topological insulators: Quasi-1D topological insulators, Huaqing Huang and Wenhui Duan, Nature Materials, 15, 129–130 (22 January 2016), doi:10.1038/nmat4543

Bismuth iodide Bi4I4, composed of quasi-one-dimensional molecular chains, was theoretically predicted and now has been experimentally verified to be a novel strong topological insulator.

https://nanotheoryou.wikispaces.com/file/view/News+and+views-+Quasi-1D+topological+insulators.pdf

So it’s nice to see this subject taken to completion.

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Michael F. Siemion, Instructor, Wisconsin School of Electronics

by Tommy on 24/08/2016
Michael F. Siemion - Instructor - Wisconsin School of Electronics

Michael F. Siemion – Instructor – Wisconsin School of Electronics

I wasn’t old enough to get into the school. He tutored me privately.

Electronics and semiconductor physics – at a very early age.

http://www.ryanfuneralservice.com/notices/Michael-Siemion

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Condensed Matter Physics – Practical Cosmological Results

by Tommy on 24/08/2016

http://arxiv.org/abs/1608.06287

Surprises with Nonrelativistic Naturalness, Petr Horava, Int. J. Mod. Phys. D25, 1645007 (22 August 2016)

We explore the landscape of technical naturalness for nonrelativistic systems, finding surprises which challenge and enrich our relativistic intuition already in the simplest case of a single scalar field. While the immediate applications are expected in condensed matter and perhaps in cosmology, the study is motivated by the leading puzzles of fundamental physics involving gravity: The cosmological constant problem and the Higgs mass hierarchy problem.

Of course, nowadays, not all condensed matter physics is nonrelativistic.

That will be the game changer here.

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Cuprate Charge Density Modulations and Real Space Physics

by Tommy on 23/08/2016

http://arxiv.org/abs/1608.06180

Commensurate 4a0 period Charge Density Modulations throughout the Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8+x Pseudogap Regime, A. Mesaros, K. Fujita, S. D. Edkins, M. H. Hamidian, H. Eisaki, S. Uchida, J. C. Séamus Davis, M. J. Lawler and Eun-Ah Kim (22 August 2016)

Theories based upon strong real space (r-space) electron electron interactions have long predicted that unidirectional charge density modulations (CDM) with four unit cell (4a0) periodicity should occur in the hole doped cuprate Mott insulator (MI). Experimentally, however, increasing the hole density p is reported to cause the conventionally defined wavevector QA of the CDM to evolve continuously as if driven primarily by momentum space (k-space) effects. Here we introduce phase resolved electronic structure visualization for determination of the cuprate CDM wavevector. Remarkably, this new technique reveals a virtually doping independent locking of the local CDM wavevector at |Q0|=2π/4a0 throughout the underdoped phase diagram of the canonical cuprate Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8. These observations have significant fundamental consequences because they are orthogonal to a k-space (Fermi surface) based picture of the cuprate CDM but are consistent with strong coupling r-space based theories. Our findings imply that it is the latter that provide the intrinsic organizational principle for the cuprate CDM state.

Well it looks like we’ve come full circle again.

This is a carnival ride from hell.

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Lattice QCD Calculations Applied To Axion Cosmology

by Tommy on 22/08/2016

http://arxiv.org/abs/1606.07494

Lattice QCD for Cosmology, Sz. Borsanyi, Z. Fodor, K. H. Kampert, S. D. Katz, T. Kawanai, T. G. Kovacs, S. W. Mages, A. Pasztor, F. Pittler, J. Redondo, A. Ringwald and K. K. Szabo (27 Jun 2016)

We present a full result for the equation of state (EoS) in 2+1+1 (up/down, strange and charm quarks are present) flavour lattice QCD. We extend this analysis and give the equation of state in 2+1+1+1 flavour QCD. In order to describe the evolution of the universe from temperatures several hundreds of GeV to several tens of MeV we also include the known effects of the electroweak theory and give the effective degree of freedoms. As another application of lattice QCD we calculate the topological susceptibility (chi) up to the few GeV temperature region. These two results, EoS and chi, can be used to predict the dark matter axion’s mass in the post-inflation scenario and/or give the relationship between the axion’s mass and the universal axionic angle, which acts as a initial condition of our universe.

Finally this is getting the treatment it deserves from the experts.

Fractions of an meV puts it at liquid helium temperatures.

Or alternatively, in the realm of the CMB.

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High Tc of Cuprates Attributed to Small Local Electronic Pairs

by Tommy on 22/08/2016

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v536/n7616/full/nature19061.html

Dependence of the critical temperature in overdoped copper oxides on superfluid density, I. Božović, X. He, J. Wu and A. T. Bollinger, Nature, 536, 309–311 (18 August 2016), doi:10.1038/nature19061

The physics of underdoped copper oxide superconductors, including the pseudogap, spin and charge ordering and their relation to superconductivity is intensely debated. The overdoped copper oxides are perceived as simpler, with strongly correlated fermion physics evolving smoothly into the conventional Bardeen–Cooper–Schrieffer behaviour. Pioneering studies on a few overdoped samples indicated that the superfluid density was much lower than expected, but this was attributed to pair-breaking, disorder and phase separation. Here we report the way in which the magnetic penetration depth and the phase stiffness depend on temperature and doping by investigating the entire overdoped side of the La2−xSrxCuO4 phase diagram. We measured the absolute values of the magnetic penetration depth and the phase stiffness to an accuracy of one per cent in thousands of samples; the large statistics reveal clear trends and intrinsic properties. The films are homogeneous; variations in the critical superconducting temperature within a film are very small (less than one kelvin). At every level of doping the phase stiffness decreases linearly with temperature. The dependence of the zero-temperature phase stiffness on the critical superconducting temperature is generally linear, but with an offset; however, close to the origin this dependence becomes parabolic. This scaling law is incompatible with the standard Bardeen–Cooper–Schrieffer description.

I haven’t read the paper so I can’t comment other than to say … great.

It took them long enough.

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Composite Particle Theory and Fractional Axion Angles

by Tommy on 21/08/2016

As promised earlier, but never delivered, I finally got around to this.

http://arxiv.org/abs/1603.02696

Composite Particle Theory, Fractional Axion Angles, and Extrinsic Twist Defects in Three-Dimensional Gapped Fermionic Phases, Peng Ye, Taylor L. Hughes, Joseph Maciejko and Eduardo Fradkin (21 March 2016)

We study strongly fluctuating compact U(1) × U(1) gauge fields in a parton construction of gapped fermionic phases in three dimensions (3D). In the presence of a background electromagnetic field, the general framework of composite particle theory is proposed in analogy to Jain’s composite fermion theory of 2D fractional quantum Hall states. The resulting gapped phases are constructed by condensing two linearly independent bosonic composite particles, which consist of partons and U(1) × U(1) magnetic monopoles. Charge fractionalization is shown to result from a Debye-Huckel-like screening cloud formed by the condensed composite particles. Our general framework allows us to explore two symmetry-enrichment properties of 3D Abelian topological phases. First, we explore the time-reversal symmetry enrichment characterized by the axion angle Θ. Fractional topological insulators with Θ≠π and time-reversal symmetry are constructed in a concrete example. Second, we generalize the notion of anyonic symmetry of 2D Abelian topological phases to the notion of charge-loop excitation symmetry (Charles) in 3D Abelian topological phases. We propose that line twist defects can be utilized to realize Charles symmetry transformations. We study the non-Abelian fusion properties of such defects and the topological distinction between defect species. Several future directions are proposed.

See also: http://arxiv.org/abs/1602.02778

http://journals.aps.org/prb/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevB.93.134512

Topological superconducting phases from inversion symmetry breaking order in spin-orbit-coupled systems, Yuxuan Wang, Gil Young Cho, Taylor L. Hughes and Eduardo Fradkin (28 April 2016), doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.93.134512

We analyze the superconducting instabilities in the vicinity of the quantum-critical point of an inversion symmetry breaking order. We first show that the fluctuations of the inversion symmetry breaking order lead to two degenerate superconducting (SC) instabilities, one in the s-wave channel, and the other in a time-reversal invariant odd-parity pairing channel (the simplest case being the same as the of 3He-B phase). Remarkably, we find that unlike many well-known examples, the selection of the pairing symmetry of the condensate is independent of the momentum-space structure of the collective mode that mediates the pairing interaction. We found that this degeneracy is a result of the existence of a conserved fermionic helicity, χ, and the two degenerate channels correspond to even and odd combinations of SC order parameters with χ = ± 1. As a result, the system has an enlarged symmetry U(1) × U(1), with each U(1) × U(1) corresponding to one value of the helicity χ. Because of the enlarged symmetry, this system admits exotic topological defects such as a fractional quantum vortex, which we show has a Majorana zero mode bound at its core. We discuss how the enlarged symmetry can be lifted by small perturbations, such as the Coulomb interaction or Fermi surface splitting in the presence of broken inversion symmetry, and we show that the resulting superconducting state can be topological or trivial depending on parameters. The U(1) × U(1) symmetry is restored at the phase boundary between the topological and trivial SC states, and allows for a transition between topologically distinct SC phases without the vanishing of the order parameter. We present a global phase diagram of the superconducting states and discuss possible experimental implications.

From the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Electronic and Mechanical Properties of Single, Bilayer and Multilayer Bismuthene Studied

by Tommy on 21/08/2016

http://journals.aps.org/prb/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevB.94.014115

Single and bilayer bismuthene: Stability at high temperature and mechanical and electronic properties, E. Aktürk, O. Üzengi Aktürk, and S. Ciraci, Phys. Rev. B 94, 014115 (20 July 2016), doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.94.014115

Based on first-principles phonon and finite temperature molecular dynamics calculations including spin-orbit coupling, we showed that free-standing single-layer phases of bismuth, namely buckled honeycomb and asymmetric washboard structures named as bismuthene, are stable at high temperature. We studied the atomic structure, mechanical, and electronic properties of these single-layer bismuthene phases and their bilayers. The spin-orbit coupling is found to be crucial in determining lattice constants, phonon frequencies, band gaps, and cohesion. In particular, phonons of 3D hexagonal crystal, as well as those of single-layer bismuthene phases, are softened with spin orbit coupling. By going from 3D hexagonal crystal to free-standing single-layer structures, 2D hexagonal lattice is compressed and semimetal is transformed to semiconductor as a result of confinement effect. On the contrary, by going from single-layer to bilayer bismuthenes, the lattice is slightly expanded and fundamental band gaps are narrowed. Our results reveals that interlayer coupling in multilayer and 3D Bi crystal is crucial for topologically trivial to nontrivial and semimetal to semiconductor transitions.

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Dark Matter Axion Landscape Potential Modeled and Explored

by Tommy on 20/08/2016

http://arxiv.org/abs/1608.04092

Dark Matter in Axion Landscape, Ryuji Daido, Takeshi Kobayashi and Fuminobu Takahashi (14 August 2016)

If there are a plethora of axions in nature, they may have a complicated potential and create an axion landscape. We study a possibility that one of the axions is so light that it is cosmologically stable, explaining the observed dark matter density. In particular we focus on a case in which two (or more) shift-symmetry breaking terms conspire to make the axion sufficiently light at the potential minimum. In this case the axion has a flat-bottomed potential. In contrast to the case in which a single cosine term dominates the potential, the axion abundance as well as its isocurvature perturbations are significantly suppressed. This allows an axion with a rather large mass to serve as dark matter without fine-tuning of the initial misalignment, and further makes higher-scale inflation to be consistent with the scenario.

Ok so here we go. I am now officially in over my head in axions and cosmogenesis.

Hey, that’s a new word! I like it already.

Update: Nope, I just looked it up, not only is it a word, it’s a nutty book and an album already!

There is hope, though, it’s not a feature length 3D film yet, available in virtual holography.

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The United States US Drug Enforcement Agency DEA has been Reclassified as a Domestic American Terrorist Organization

by Tommy on 16/08/2016

The US United States DEA Drug Enforcement Agency – A Domestic Terrorist Organization.

US Citizens know how to handle home grown American fascists and terrorists once exposed.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/08/10/dea-travel-record-airport-seizures/88474282/

The DEA has been exposed. It’s time to put these American terrorists out of business for good.

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The Graviton Condensation PhD Thesis of Sophia Zielinski

by Tommy on 14/08/2016

https://edoc.ub.uni-muenchen.de/19350/

Spacetime geometry from graviton condensation: a new perspective on black holes, Sophia Zielinski, PhD Dissertation, Ludwig Maximilian University of München (Munich), Stefan Hofmann, Advisor (21 April 2016)

In this thesis we introduce a novel approach viewing spacetime geometry as an emergent phenomenon based on the condensation of a large number of quanta on a distinguished flat background. We advertise this idea with regard to investigations of spacetime singularities within a quantum field theoretical framework and semiclassical considerations of black holes. Given that in any physical theory apart from General Relativity the metric background is determined in advance, singularities are only associated with observables and can either be removed by renormalization techniques or are otherwise regarded as unphysical. The appearance of singularities in the spacetime structure itself, however, is pathological. The prediction of said singularities in the sense of geodesic incompleteness culminated in the famous singularity theorems established by Hawking and Penrose. Though these theorems are based on rather general assumptions we argue their physical relevance. Using the example of a black hole we show that any classical detector theory breaks down far before geodesic incompleteness can set in. Apart from that, we point out that the employment of point particles as diagnostic tools for spacetime anomalies is an oversimplification that is no longer valid in high curvature regimes. In view of these results the question arises to what extent quantum objects are affected by spacetime singularities. Based on the definition of geodesic incompleteness customized for quantum mechanical test particles we collect ideas for completeness concepts in dynamical spacetimes. As it turns out, a further development of these ideas has shown that Schwarzschild black holes, in particular, allow for a evolution of quantum probes that is well-defined all over. This fact, however, must not distract from such semiclassical considerations being accompanied by many so far unresolved paradoxes. We are therefore compelled to take steps towards a full quantum resolution of geometrical backgrounds. First steps towards such a microscopic description are made by means of a non-relativistic scalar toy model mimicking properties of General Relativity. In particular, we model black holes as quantum bound states of a large number N of soft quanta subject to a strong collective potential. Operating at the verge of a quantum phase transition perturbation theory naturally breaks down and a numerical analysis of the model becomes inevitable. Though indicating 1/N corrections as advertised in the underlying so-called Quantum-N portrait relevant for a possible purification of Hawking radiation and henceforth a resolution of the long-standing information paradox we recognize that such a non-relativistic model is simply not capable of capturing all relevant requirements of a proper black hole treatment. We therefore seek a relativistic framework mapping spacetime geometry to large-N quantum bound states. Given a non-trivial vacuum structure supporting graviton condensation this is achieved via in-medium modifications that can be linked to a collective binding potential. Viewing Minkowski spacetime as fundamental, the classical notion of any other spacetime geometry is recovered in the limit of an infinite constituent number of the corresponding bound state living on Minkowski. This construction works in analogy to the description of hadrons in quantum chromodynamics and, in particular, also uses non-perturbative methods like the auxiliary current description and the operator product expansion. Concentrating on black holes we develop a bound state description in accordance with the isometries of Schwarzschild spacetime. Subsequently, expressions for the constituent number density and the energy density are reviewed. With their help, it can be concluded that the mass of a black hole at parton level is proportional to its constituent number. Going beyond this level we then consider the scattering of a massless scalar particle off a black hole. Using previous results we can explicitly show that the constituent distribution represents an observable and therefore might ultimately be measured in experiments to confirm our approach. We furthermore suggest how the formation of black holes or Hawking radiation can be understood within this framework. After all, the gained insights, capable of depriving their mysteries, highlights the dubiety of treating black holes by means of classical tools. Since our setup allows to view other, non-black-hole geometries, as bound states as well, we point out that our formalism could also shed light on the cosmological constant problem by computing the vacuum energy in a de Sitter state. In addition, we point our that even quantum chromodynamics, and, in fact, any theory comprising bound states, can profit from our formalism. Apart from this, we discuss an alternative proposal describing classical solutions in terms of coherent states in the limit of an infinite occupation number of so-called corpuscles. Here, we will focus on the coherent state description of Anti-de Sitter spacetime. Since most parts of this thesis are directed to find a constituent description of black holes we will exclude this corpuscular description from the main part and introduce it in the appendix.

It’s always something. It’s never nothing.

Update: Clearly some new approaches are needed in the post LHC deserted universe, and this is one of them. Not too bad. I myself would recast this idea in momentum space. Clearly motion is dissipationless, right? Except when those leptons and baryons and guage bosons get in the way. Collisions and interactions are always unfortunate, you never know what might happen in an energetic long lived stable universe. You could accidentally produce assholes. Or politicians.

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Bismuthene Comes of Age

by Tommy on 11/08/2016

http://arxiv.org/abs/1608.00812

Bismuthene on a SiC Substrate: A Candidate for a New High-Temperature Quantum Spin Hall Paradigm, F. Reis, G. Li, L. Dudy, M. Bauernfeind, S. Glass, W. Hanke, R. Thomale, J. Schäfer and R. Claessen (2 August 2016)

Quantum spin Hall (QSH) materials promise revolutionary device applications based on dissipationless propagation of spin currents. They are two-dimensional (2D) representatives of the family of topological insulators, which exhibit conduction channels at their edges inherently protected against scattering. Initially predicted for graphene, and eventually realized in HgTe quantum wells, in the QSH systems realized so far, the decisive bottleneck preventing applications is the small bulk energy gap of less than 30 meV, requiring cryogenic operation temperatures in order to suppress detrimental bulk contributions to the edge conductance. Room-temperature functionalities, however, require much larger gaps. Here we show how this can be achieved by making use of a new QSH paradigm based on substrate-supported atomic monolayers of a high-Z element. Experimentally, the material is synthesized as honeycomb lattice of bismuth atoms, forming “bismuthene”, on top of the wide-gap substrate SiC(0001). Consistent with the theoretical expectations, the spectroscopic signatures in experiment display a huge gap of ~0.8 eV in bismuthene, as well as conductive edge states. The analysis of the layer-substrate orbitals arrives at a QSH phase, whose topological gap – as a hallmark mechanism – is driven directly by the atomic spin-orbit coupling (SOC). Our results demonstrate how strained artificial lattices of heavy atoms, in contact with an insulating substrate, can be utilized to evoke a novel topological wide-gap scenario, where the chemical potential is located well within the global system gap, ensuring pure edge state conductance. We anticipate future experiments on topological signatures, such as transport measurements that probe the QSH effect via quantized universal conductance, notably at room temperature.

All Hail The Probe!

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K-Theory Classification of Fermi Surfaces and Anomaly Inflows

by Tommy on 11/08/2016

http://arxiv.org/abs/1509.01635

Topology of Fermi Surfaces and Anomaly Inflows, Alejandro Adem, Omar Antolín Camarena, Gordon W. Semenoff and Daniel Sheinbaum (8 August 2016)

We derive a rigorous classification of topologically stable Fermi surfaces of non-interacting, discrete translation-invariant systems from electronic band theory, adiabatic evolution and their topological interpretations. For systems with Born-von Karman boundary conditions it is shown that there can only be topologically unstable Fermi surfaces. For systems on a half-space and with a gapped bulk, our derivation naturally yields a K-theory classification. Given the d−1-dimensional surface Brillouin zone Xs of a d-dimensional half-space, our result implies that different classes of globally stable Fermi surfaces belong in K−1(Xs) for systems with only discrete translation-invariance. This result has a chiral anomaly inflow interpretation, as it reduces to the spectral flow for d=2. Through equivariant homotopy methods we extend these results for symmetry classes AI, AII, C and D and discuss their corresponding anomaly inflow interpretation.

This works for me. I’m glad now I studied this stuff when I was younger.

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CERN LHC Large Hadron Collider – ATLAS and CMS Results

by Tommy on 5/08/2016

ATLAS and CMS show no beyond standard model BSM physics. No pseudo particles. Nothing.

Condensed matter physicists are thrilled. There are no accessible WIMPS, no SUSY and string theory is forever trapped in the spacetime foam of the black hole. What is happening is that the cosmic QCD axions and the Higgs field are remnants from the inflationary period where the complex topology of the spacetime singularity was transformed into a hot stable expanding universe filled with topological remnants, bosons and fermions, and widely spaced black holes.

Mostly widely spaced. Fortunately now we can observe them colliding. Axion Higgs physics to quantum critical black hole collapse, and a running cosmological constant coupled to axion excitation. Or something like that. At least that’s what condensed matter physics is telling me.

Ladies and gentlemen pick up your pencils and start designing your gonkulators. May the best quantum critical gravitational singularity simulating axion-Higgs gonkulator win. Hurry now!

http://lifeform.net/archimedes/Cosmic_Evolution.pdf

Humanity needs you! And Mars Needs Women!

Update: The shit storm resulting from this has started, I see. The first crackpot to take the bait was Robert L. Oldershaw of Amherst College, of the infinite fractal universe infamy. He seems to think Hawking has all the answers. Zillions of MACHOs that we can’t see or detect, uh-huh.

Lubos Motl is in tatters of course. Sabine Hossenfelder isn’t taking it lying down. Ethan Siegal still thinks he has all the answers, and that will never change. He even looks like a Republican.

Meanwhile, the obvious seems to elude almost everyone except myself and John Baez.

Update 2: Peter Woit seems as calm as ever. Mathematicians are like that.

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James Cameron Wants More Babies and More Children

by Tommy on 29/07/2016

Guide me O’ Billionaire Film Director and Important Celebrity Personalities!

James Cameron is not living in reality.

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Autobiogenesis and the Origin of Life – Hydrothermal Vents and Hot Springs

by Tommy on 28/07/2016

http://www.nature.com/articles/nmicrobiol2016116

The physiology and habitat of the last universal common ancestor, Madeline C. Weiss, Filipa L. Sousa, Natalia Mrnjavac, Sinje Neukirchen, Mayo Roettger, Shijulal Nelson-Sathi and William F. Martin, Nature Microbiology 1, Article number: 16116 (25 July 2016), doi:10.1038/nmicrobiol.2016.116

The concept of a last universal common ancestor of all cells (LUCA, or the progenote) is central to the study of early evolution and life’s origin, yet information about how and where LUCA lived is lacking. We investigated all clusters and phylogenetic trees for 6.1 million protein coding genes from sequenced prokaryotic genomes in order to reconstruct the microbial ecology of LUCA. Among 286,514 protein clusters, we identified 355 protein families (∼0.1%) that trace to LUCA by phylogenetic criteria. Because these proteins are not universally distributed, they can shed light on LUCA’s physiology. Their functions, properties and prosthetic groups depict LUCA as anaerobic, CO2-fixing, H2-dependent with a Wood–Ljungdahl pathway, N2-fixing and thermophilic. LUCA’s biochemistry was replete with FeS clusters and radical reaction mechanisms. Its cofactors reveal dependence upon transition metals, flavins, S-adenosyl methionine, coenzyme A, ferredoxin, molybdopterin, corrins and selenium. Its genetic code required nucleoside modifications and S-adenosyl methionine-dependent methylations. The 355 phylogenies identify clostridia and methanogens, whose modern lifestyles resemble that of LUCA, as basal among their respective domains. LUCA inhabited a geochemically active environment rich in H2, CO2 and iron. The data support the theory of an autotrophic origin of life involving the Wood–Ljungdahl pathway in a hydrothermal setting.

http://lifeform.net/archimedes/Cosmic_Evolution.pdf

The Cosmic Evolution of Autobiogenesis

That’s a really hot cup of tea.

Godzillions of them.

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Halide Decorated Plumbene Monolayer is a Giant Gap Quantum Spin Hall Insulator

by Tommy on 23/07/2016

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4735859/

Unexpected Giant-Gap Quantum Spin Hall Insulator in Chemically Decorated Plumrbene Monolayer. Hui Zhao, Chang-wen Zhang, Wei-xiao Ji, Run-wu Zhang, Sheng-shi Li, Shi-shen Yan, Bao-min Zhang, Ping Li, and Pei-ji Wang, Sci Rep. 2016; 6: 20152 (2 February 2016), doi:10.1038/srep20152

Quantum spin Hall (QSH) effect of two-dimensional (2D) materials features edge states that are topologically protected from backscattering by time-reversal symmetry. However, the major obstacles to the application for QSH effect are the lack of suitable QSH insulators with a large bulk gap. Here, we predict a novel class of 2D QSH insulators in X-decorated plumbene monolayers (PbX; X = H, F, Cl, Br, I) with extraordinarily giant bulk gaps from 1.03 eV to a record value of 1.34 eV. The topological characteristic of PbX mainly originates from spx,y band inversion related to the lattice symmetry, while the effect of spin-orbital coupling (SOC) is only to open up a giant gap. Their QSH states are identified by nontrivial topological invariant Z2 = 1, as well as a single pair of topologically protected helical edge states locating inside the bulk gap. Noticeably, the QSH gaps of PbX are tunable and robust via external strain. We also propose high-dielectric-constant BN as an ideal substrate for the experimental realization of PbX, maintaining its nontrivial topology. These novel QSH insulators with giant gaps are a promising platform to enrich topological phenomena and expand potential applications at high temperature.

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The Witten Effect in Topological Superconductors

by Tommy on 22/07/2016

http://arxiv.org/abs/1607.04150

Josephson currents induced by the Witten effect, Flavio S. Nogueira, Zohar Nussinov and Jeroen van den Brink (14 July 2016)

We reveal the existence of a new type of topological Josephson effect involving type II superconductors and three-dimensional topological insulators as tunnel junctions. We predict that vortex lines induce an electromagnetic variant of the Witten effect that is the consequence of the axion electromagnetic response of the topological insulator. If an external magnetic field is applied perpendicular to the junction, the Witten effect induces an AC Josephson effect in absence of any external voltage. We derive a number of further experimental consequences and propose potential setups where these {quantized, flux induced, Witten} effects may be observed.

See also: http://arxiv.org/abs/1601.03382

Duality of a compact topological superconductor model and the Witten effect. Flavio S. Nogueira, Zohar Nussinovand Jeroen van den Brink (21 July 2016)

We consider a compact abelian Higgs model in 3+1 dimensions with a topological axion term and construct its dual theories for both bulk and boundary at strong coupling. The model may be viewed as describing a superconductor with magnetic monopoles, which can also be interpreted as a field theory of a topological Mott insulator. We show that this model is dual to a non-compact topological field theory of particles and vortices. It has exactly the same form of a model for superconducting cosmic strings with an axion term. We consider the duality of the boundary field theory at strong coupling and show that in this case θ is quantized as −8πn/m where n and m are the quantum numbers associated to electric and magnetic charges. These topological states lack a non-interacting equivalent.

Finally something that looks like it might work in practice.

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Probing Photonic Lattices and Artificial Quantum Materials – Hamiltonian Tomography

by Tommy on 21/07/2016

http://arxiv.org/abs/1607.05180

Hamiltonian Tomography of Photonic Lattices, Ruichao Ma, Clai Owens, Aman LaChapelle, David I. Schuster, Jonathan Simon (18 July 2016)

In this letter we introduce a novel approach to Hamiltonian tomography of non-interacting tight-binding photonic lattices. To begin with, we prove that the matrix element of the low-energy effective Hamiltonian between sites i and j may be obtained directly from Sij(ω), the (suitably normalized) two-port measurement between sites i and j at frequency ω. This general result enables complete characterization of both on-site energies and tunneling matrix elements in arbitrary lattice networks by spectroscopy, and suggests that coupling between lattice sites is actually a topological property of the two-port spectrum. We further provide extensions of this technique for measurement of band-projectors in finite, disordered systems with good flatness ratios, and apply the tool to direct real-space measurement of the Chern number. Our approach demonstrates the extraordinary potential of microwave quantum circuits for exploration of exotic synthetic materials, providing a clear path to characterization and control of single-particle properties of Jaynes-Cummings-Hubbard lattices. More broadly, we provide a robust, unified method of spectroscopic characterization of linear networks from photonic crystals to microwave lattices and everything in-between.

Another great result from the University of Chicago.

I wonder if anyone at the ICHEP will figure it out?

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Psychotic Corrupt NASA Veterans Plead For More Pork

by Tommy on 15/07/2016

NASA at a Crossroads: Reasserting American Leadership in Space Exploration

http://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/hearings?ID=52A2354F-37D5-467A-9FEA-8D44BDBD82A6

After 15 years of NASA bullshit this is all getting a little old. With nothing at all to show for it.

Fuck NASA. This is going to be an ugly scene and great fun to watch.

Not the hearing, the indictments. I didn’t watch the hearing.

I don’t watch them anymore. What’s the point?

It’s just more murder confessions.

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Lattice Gauge Theory Computational QCD Axion Cosmology

by Tommy on 14/07/2016

http://arxiv.org/abs/1606.03145

The topological susceptibility in finite temperature QCD and axion cosmology, Peter Petreczky, Hans-Peter Schadler and Sayantan Sharma (9 June 2016)

We study the topological susceptibility in 2+1 flavor QCD above the chiral crossover transition temperature using Highly Improved Staggered Quark action and several lattice spacings, corresponding to temporal extent of the lattice, Nτ = 6, 8, 10 and 12. We observe very distinct temperature dependencies of the topological susceptibility in the ranges above and below 250 MeV. While for temperatures above 250 MeV, the dependence is found to be consistent with dilute instanton gas approximation, at lower temperatures the fall-off of topological susceptibility is milder. We discuss the consequence of our results for cosmology wherein we estimate the bounds on the axion decay constant and the oscillation temperature if indeed the QCD axion is a possible dark matter candidate.

This is some followup exploratory work in this field that I blogged earlier.

It shouldn’t be too long now.

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The Younger Dryas Glacial Lake Agassiz Meltwater Discharge Masters Thesis of David J. Leydet at Oregon State University

by Tommy on 14/07/2016

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/handle/1957/58815

Eastward Routing of Glacial Lake Agassiz Runoff caused the Younger Dryas Cold Event, David J. Leydet, Masters Thesis, College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Anders E. Carlson, Advisor, Oregon State University (3 May 2016)

The purpose of this thesis is to analyze an abrupt case of climate change in the past as a means to understand the mechanisms that force climate change. By looking to past analogs of climate change, we hopefully will gain an understanding of these events, which could be used to further our understanding of future climate change. In this light, I analyze the case of the Younger Dryas (YD), an abrupt cooling event that occurred from ~ 12.9 ka to ~ 11.7 ka. We investigate several hypotheses regarding the cause of the YD and attempt to determine the forcing mechanism for this abrupt cooling event. I use 10Be surface exposure dating as our method for dating retreat of the Laurentide Ice Sheet from the eastern outlets of glacial Lake Agassiz, a large pro-glacial lake that formed during the last deglaciation whose drainage into the North Atlantic is hypothesized to have caused the YD via a slowing of ocean overturning circulation. I find that the eastern outlets of glacial Lake Agassiz begin to deglaciate at 14.0 ± 0.3 ka with ice retreating from the key Lake Kaministikwia outlet at 13.0 ± 0.3 ka, concurrent with the onset of the YD. I also date retreat from the Steep Rock moraine at 13.8 ± 0.2 ka and retreat from the Marks moraine by 11.0 ± 0.4 ka. I use our chronology along with other terrestrial and marine proxies to reconstruct the meltwater routing history of Lake Agassiz. Specifically, the Gulf of St. Lawrence isotopic record indicates meltwater routing through Eastern Outlets, peaking at ~ 12.6 ka. Subsequently, the isotopic record of the Arctic Ocean near the mouth of the Mackenzie River indicates meltwater routing beginning at ~ 12.4 ka and peaking at 12.2 ka.

I argue that the timing of these meltwater pathways support the hypotheses that the YD was caused by freshwater forcing, weakening the Atlantic Meriodional Overturning Circulation, and thus cooling the climate of the Northern Hemisphere. The results demonstrate the importance of meltwater routing on the climate system and will be important in understanding the implications of future ice sheet-oceanclimate interactions in a climatically changing world.

This seems moderately definitive. I wonder how long it will last?

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Archimedes Space Architecture – Tsiolkovsky Launch Vehicle

by Tommy on 8/07/2016

These will be wrap up papers.

Archimedes Space Architecture

http://lifeform.net/tsiolkovsky/Archimedes.pdf (fixed)

Tsiolkovsky Reusable Launch Vehicles

http://lifeform.net/archimedes/Tsiolkovsky.pdf

Hopefully finished before September.

Yes, that’s a wrap, folks.

Update: I fixed the URL. This has taken so long I now need reading glasses.

I’m beginning to wonder if I will ever get to fly.

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Tabletop Simulation of Universe Cosmic Inflation Proposed

by Tommy on 8/07/2016

http://arxiv.org/abs/1607.01460

The universe on a table top: engineering quantum decay of a relativistic scalar field from a metastable vacuum, Oleksandr Fialko, Bogdan Opanchuk, Andrei I. Sidorov, Peter D. Drummond and Joachim Brand (6 July 2016)

The quantum decay of a relativistic scalar field from a metastable state (“false vacuum decay”) is a fundamental idea in quantum field theory and cosmology. This occurs via local formation of bubbles of true vacuum with their subsequent rapid expansion. It can be considered as a relativistic analog of a first-order phase transition in condensed matter. We propose an experimental test of false vacuum decay using an ultra-cold spinor Bose gas. A false vacuum for the relative phase of two spin components, serving as the unstable scalar field, is generated by means of a modulated linear coupling of the spin components. We analyze the system theoretically using the functional integral approach and show that various microscopic degrees of freedom in the system, albeit leading to dissipation in the relative phase sector, will not hamper the observation of the false vacuum decay in the laboratory. This is substantiated by numerical simulations, which demonstrate the spontaneous formation of true vacuum bubbles with realistic parameters and time-scales.

See also: http://arxiv.org/abs/1408.1163

http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1209/0295-5075/110/56001/meta;jsessionid=43414320EA9AE3930B8BBD6CDED67DC4.c1.iopscience.cld.iop.org

Fate of the false vacuum: towards realization with ultra-cold atoms, O. Fialko, B. Opanchuk, A. I. Sidorov, P. D. Drummond and J. Brand, Europhys. Lett., 110, 56001 (22 June 2015), doi:10.1209/0295-5075/110/56001

Quantum decay of a relativistic scalar field from a false vacuum is a fundamental idea in quantum field theory. It is relevant to models of the early Universe, where the nucleation of bubbles gives rise to an inflationary universe and the creation of matter. Here we propose a laboratory test using an experimental model of an ultra-cold spinor Bose gas. A false vacuum for the relative phase of two spin components, serving as the unstable scalar field, is generated by means of a modulated radio-frequency coupling of the spin components. Numerical simulations demonstrate the spontaneous formation of true vacuum bubbles with realistic parameters and time-scales.

This sounds like a good start.

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Cuprate Thin Film Reveals a Nodeless High-Tc Pairing Gap

by Tommy on 8/07/2016

http://arxiv.org/abs/1607.01852

Nodeless pairing in superconducting copper-oxide monolayer films on Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8+δ, Yong Zhong, Yang Wang, Sha Han, Yan-Feng Lv, Wen-Lin Wang, Ding Zhang, Hao Ding, Yi-Min Zhang, Lili Wang, Ke He, Ruidan Zhong, John A. Schneeloch, Gen-Da Gu, Can-Li Song, Xu-Cun Ma and Qi-Kun Xue (7 July 2016)

The pairing mechanism of high-temperature superconductivity in cuprates remains the biggest unresolved mystery in condensed matter physics. To solve the problem, one of the most effective approaches is to investigate directly the superconducting CuO2 layers. Here, by growing CuO2 monolayer films on Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8+δ substrates, we identify two distinct and spatially separated energy gaps centered at the Fermi energy, a smaller U-like gap and a larger V-like gap on the films, and study their interactions with alien atoms by low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy. The newly discovered U-like gap exhibits strong phase coherence and is immune to scattering by K, Cs and Ag atoms, suggesting its nature as a nodeless superconducting gap in the CuO2 layers, whereas the V-like gap agrees with the well-known pseudogap state in the underdoped regime. Our results support an s-wave superconductivity in Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8+δ, which, we propose, originates from the modulation-doping resultant two-dimensional hole liquid confined in the CuO2 layers.

Ok. Rodger Dodger. I read you fine. That’s affirmative. Over.

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Axion Higgs Quantum Critical Gravitational Black Hole Collapse

by Tommy on 2/07/2016
CERN LHC Cosmic Wormhole Portal Higher Dimensions

CERN LHC Cosmic Wormhole Portal

http://lifeform.net/archimedes/Cosmic_Evolution.pdf

Or rather it’s the graviton – axion – Higgs. It doesn’t seem to be gravitons – Higgs – axions.

One would have to calculate when quantum critical black hole collapse would occur, using results from tabletop axion – Higgs simulators and cold atom modelling, and a thorough analysis of cosmological parameters. Certainly LIGOs are going to be super helpful here.

Offhand I would say under 100 TeV. Probably 1000 TeV would be doable.

Given the costs, guidance will be helpful.

Tread lightly my friends.

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Dawn To Possibly Maybe Fly By Asteroid 145 Adeona

by Tommy on 1/07/2016

145 Adeona – a big average yukky carbonaceous rock dirt blob.

Happy Post Asteroid Day!

Update: I guess not.

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Symmetry Protected Bosonic Thermal Heat Currents Explored

by Tommy on 30/06/2016

http://arxiv.org/abs/1606.07651

Topological Heat Transport and Symmetry-Protected Boson Currents, Ángel Rivas and Miguel A. Martin-Delgado (24 June 2016)

The study of non-equilibrium properties in topological systems is of practical and fundamental importance. Here, we analyze the stationary properties of a two-dimensional boson topological insulator coupled to two thermal baths in the quantum open-system formalism. Novel phenomena appear like chiral edge heat currents that are the out-of-equilibrium counterparts of the zero-temperature edge currents. We find the new set of discrete symmetries that protect these topological heat currents, differing from the zero-temperature limit. Remarkably, one of these currents flows opposite to the decreasing external temperature gradient. As the starting point, we consider the case of a single external reservoir showing prominent results like thermal erasure effects and topological thermal currents. Our results are experimentally accessible with platforms like photonics systems and optical lattices.

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Topological Phononics and Phonon Diodes Proposed

by Tommy on 28/06/2016

http://arxiv.org/abs/1606.08013

Topological Phononics and Phonon Diode, Yizhou Liu, Yong Xu, Shou-Cheng Zhang abd Wenhui Duan (26 June 2016)

Generalizing the concept of topology from electrons to phonons could bring in an intriguing emerging field of “topological phononics”. For this purpose we propose a Schr\”odinger-like equation of phonons where topology-related quantities, time reversal symmetry (TRS) and its breaking can be naturally introduced. A Haldane model of phonons for a two-dimensional honeycomb lattice is then developed to describe the interplay of symmetry and quantum (anomalous) Hall-like phonon states. The nontrivial topological phase supports one-way gapless edge states within the bulk gap, which can conduct phonons without dissipation. Moreover, breaking inversion symmetry and TRS simultaneously is suggested to open a route for valley phononics and phonon diode. The findings could help design unprecedented new phononic devices.

This is exactly what I needed to complete the design of the ZT = 4 thermoelectric device.

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Topological Lifshitz Transitions By Grigory G. E. Volovik

by Tommy on 28/06/2016

http://arxiv.org/abs/1606.08318

Topological Lifshitz Transitions, G.E. Volovik (27 June 2016)

Different types of Lifshitz transitions are governed by topology in momentum space. They involve the topological transitions with the change of topology of Fermi surfaces, Weyl and Dirac points, nodal ines, and also the transitions between the fully gapped states.

The future has most definitely arrived.

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A Basic Review of the Quantum Hall Effect

by Tommy on 23/06/2016

http://arxiv.org/abs/1606.06687

Lectures on the Quantum Hall Effect, David Tong (21 June 2016)

The purpose of these lectures is to describe the basic theoretical structures underlying the rich and beautiful physics of the quantum Hall effect. The focus is on the interplay between microscopic wavefunctions, long-distance effective Chern-Simons theories, and the modes which live on the boundary. The notes are aimed at graduate students in any discipline where ℏ = 1. A working knowledge of quantum field theory is assumed.

Contents:

1. The Basics (Landau levels and Berry phase).
2. The Integer Quantum Hall Effect.
3. The Fractional Quantum Hall Effect.
4. Non-Abelian Quantum Hall States.
5. Chern-Simons Theories.
6. Edge Modes.

These lectures were given at TIFR, Mumbai. Individual chapters can be downloaded from this http URL. The notes on the course webpage will be updated more frequently than those on the arXiv.

David Tong: Lectures on the Quantum Hall Effect (With Web and ArXiv References)

http://www.damtp.cam.ac.uk/user/tong/qhe.html

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Abram Steiner – The Universal Hydroponic Nutrient Solution

by Tommy on 23/06/2016
Abram Steiner Hydroponics

Abram Steiner Hydroponics

http://www.hydroponics.com.au/vale/

Vale, Bram Steiner, Soilless culture pioneer Abram Steiner, 1920-2016

Rock Donnan, Practical Hydroponics and Greenhouses, No. 166 (April 2016)

This was the first real science project that I did, besides the mathematics. I had hit the ground running (hobbling in crutches as I recall) in 1978, after finally making the move to the farm, and was easily doing these calculations in first year first semester general chemistry class, By 1979 I had it all worked out, and quickly verified it all by flame photospectroscopy. It soon went awry.

I only recently reviewed the idea in this short little essay.

http://lifeform.net/tsiolkovsky/Earth_Space.pdf

Which led directly to the GroX.

Mars GroX will be lighter.

http://grok.lifeform.org (fixed)

cdn.intechopen.com/pdfs/33765.pdf

Nutrient Solutions for Hydroponic Systems, Libia I. Trejo-Téllez and Fernando C. Gómez-Merino, Hydroponics – A Standard Methodology for Plant Biological Researches, Dr. Toshiki Asao (Ed.) (23 March 2012)

Finally it’s all back on track.

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CERN LHC ATLAS CMS Rumor – 750 GeV Bump Not Seen

by Tommy on 22/06/2016

http://cosmic.lifeform.org/quantum-cosmology-axion-higgs-topogravitoelectromagnetism/

I can only assess these rumors a rumor credibility index of one unit Motl. It doesn’t look good.

That’s ok with me, as I originally stated that I don’t need this pseudo particle for what I propose.

http://lifeform.net/archimedes/Cosmic_Evolution.pdf

This is already a done deal. Up next for me?

I am open to job offers.

D.C., Seattle, Denver.

California.

Florida.

Texas.

In that order.

Anywhere but Wisconsin.

Update: Get your job offers in before I sign Kermit the Frog’s rich and famous contract!

Update 2: Miss Piggy has been leaving a lot of messages on my voice mail, so hurry up!

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Large Nearby Resonant Quasi Satellite Asteroid Near Earth

by Tommy on 17/06/2016
Asteroid Earth Quasi Satellite 2016 HO3

Asteroid Earth Quasi Satellite 2016 HO3

http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/nhats?sstr=2016%20HO3&dv=12&dur=450&stay=8&launch=2015-2040

2016 HO3. As large as 100 meters in diameter. As close as 9 million miles. Perfect.

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