Did you know …

Canary. Photo by 4028mdk09.

Did you know that scientists have defied the second law of thermodynamics linear arrow of time?

Theoretically speaking that is. On an IBM quantum computer. That may be, probably is (according to MIT eggheads) more hype than reality, but in the meantime, it is their story and they are sticking to it.

Time goes in one direction: forward. Little boys become old men but not vice versa; teacups shatter but never spontaneously reassemble. This cruel and immutable property of the universe, called the “arrow of time,” is fundamentally a consequence of the second law of thermodynamics, which dictates that systems will always tend to become more disordered over time. But recently, researchers from the U.S. and Russia have bent that arrow just a bit — at least for subatomic particles.

Live Science
Published 13 March 2019

“In an experiment involving a quantum computer, researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology witnessed time reversal by returning 3 qubits back to their state from a fraction of a second prior.”

If you are confused by quantum, don’t worry, you are getting it.

TED Talks
Published 1 February 2019

“A quantum computer isn’t just a more powerful version of the computers we use today; it’s something else entirely, based on emerging scientific understanding — and more than a bit of uncertainty. Enter the quantum wonderland with TED Fellow Shohini Ghose and learn how this technology holds the potential to transform medicine, create unbreakable encryption and even teleport information.”

Did you know NASA is building nuclear power reactors for use on the Moon and Mars for outposts?

Solar System exploration research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) – “Researchers at NASA and the Department of Energy recently tested key technologies for developing a nuclear fission reactor that could power a human outpost on the moon or Mars. The tests prove that the agencies could build a “safe, reliable, and efficient” system by 2020, the year NASA plans to return humans to the moon.”

A fission reactor works by splitting atoms and releasing energy in the form of heat, which is converted into electricity. The idea for using nuclear power in space dates back to the late 1950s, when they were considered for providing propulsion through Project Orion. In the 1960s a series of compact, experimental space nuclear reactors were developed by NASA under the Systems Nuclear Auxiliary Power program. But public safety concerns and an international treaty banning nuclear power in space stopped development.

Now nuclear power is being considered for lunar and Mars missions because, unlike alternatives such as solar power, it can provide constant energy, a necessity for human life-support systems, recharging rovers, and mining for resources. Solar power systems would also require the use of energy storage devices like batteries or fuel cells, adding unwanted mass to the system. Solar power is further limited because the moon is dark for up to 14 days at a time and has deep craters that can obscure the sun. Mars is farther away from the sun than either the Earth or the moon, so less solar power can be harvested there.

The new nuclear power system is part of a NASA project started in 2006, called Fission Surface Power, that is examining small reactors designed for use on other planets. While nuclear power remains controversial, the researchers say that the reactor would be designed to be completely safe and would be buried a safe distance from the astronauts to shield them from any radiation it would generate.

The recent tests examined technologies that would see a nuclear reactor coupled with a Stirling engine capable of producing 40 kilowatts of energy–enough to power a future lunar or Mars outpost.


Did you know it could pay to read that contract to the very end. Literally, it could pay.

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