Chaos. Numbers. Simulations.

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Digital computers use numbers based on flawed representations of real numbers, which may lead to inaccuracies when simulating the motion of molecules, weather systems and fluids, find scientists.

The study, published today in Advanced Theory and Simulations, shows that digital computers cannot reliably reproduce the behaviour of ‘chaotic systems’ which are widespread. This fundamental limitation could have implications for high performance computation (HPC) and for applications of machine learning to HPC.

Professor Peter Coveney, Director of the UCL Centre for Computational Science and study co-author, said: “Our work shows that the behaviour of the chaotic dynamical systems is richer than any digital computer can capture. Chaos is more commonplace than many people may realise and even for very simple chaotic systems, numbers used by digital computers can lead to errors that are not obvious but can have a big impact. Ultimately, computers can’t simulate everything.”

The team investigated the impact of using floating-point arithmetic — a method standardised by the IEEE and used since the 1950s to approximate real numbers on digital computers.

Digital computers use only rational numbers, ones that can be expressed as fractions. Moreover the denominator of these fractions must be a power of two, such as 2, 4, 8, 16, etc. There are infinitely more real numbers that cannot be expressed this way. (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190923213314.htm)

An irrational universe.

Full of irrational people.

Trying to analyze it rationally.

Under the illusion that number we have invented can draw a sketch of the cosmos. And yet, nothing we have invented is anywhere to be seen but on a piece of paper. Can you limit the birth of a star on a piece of paper? Can you contain the death of the universe on an equation?

We believe we can.

And sadly, we do.

And at the moment we do, the universe indeed dies…

And a small voice will whisper in our ear…

Congratulations. You have now understood it all.

How irrationally rational everything is!

And inside the darkest night you will dance.

Laughter.

And for a brief moment the forest will look at you.

Crying.

And for a brief moment the forest will see nothing…

But an empty broken CD. Full of data. Full of life…

Hard to exist?

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Astronomers have discovered the most massive neutron star to date, a rapidly spinning pulsar approximately 4,600 light-years from Earth. This record-breaking object is teetering on the edge of existence, approaching the theoretical maximum mass possible for a neutron star. (1)

Should it be there?

According to what we knew, perhaps no.

But then again, we know more now.

Day by day, the possibilities for its existence rise.

Year by year, the probability for the existence of anything increases.

At the end, we will know an infinite number of things.

At the end, we will be able to believe everything.

And at that moment, we will realize…

That we shouldn’t believe anything in the first place…

Watch the stars.

You know…

The only reason they are there.

Is because the sky is dark…

Citizens’ science… Nothing to do with science…

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Hundreds of thousands of volunteers have helped to overturn almost a century of galaxy classification, in a new study using data from the longstanding Galaxy Zoo project. The new investigation uses classifications of over 6000 galaxies to reveal that ‘well known’ correlations between different features are not found in this large and complete sample. (1)

By encoding their specialized knowledge into a computer game, researchers enabled citizen scientists to successfully design synthetic proteins for the first time. (2)

Science was once upon a time something for the elite few. Now it is a matter of everyone. Science was once upon a time related to wisdom. Now it is related to date analysis. Science was once upon a time part of our belief in God. Now we just believe in us. We used to be part of God. Knowing everything by bring part of it. Now we observe the million pieces we have created. At the end we will know everything. But not everything that there is. But everything that we want them to be. For we are not actually observing anything. But we have set up mirrors. To observe our selves… Through the looking glass…

Small tiny people…

Classifying galaxies…

Magnetic sense. Astronomy. Void cosmos. Humans moving.

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The human brain can unconsciously respond to changes in Earth’s magnetic fields, according to a team of geoscientists and neurobiologists. This interdisciplinary study revives a research area in neuroscience that has remained dormant for decades. (1)

We used to believe we can sense the cosmos.

We used to have astrology and religion.

Now we have astronomy and science.

And we are surprised to learn that we are one with the universe.

We can still sense it. But we cannot understand why.

We still dream at night. But it makes us worry that something is not right.

Astronomy is the bastard child of astrology and religion.

Seeing nothing where its parents saw everything.

And all it wants is to kill it’s parents.

Stars moving. People walking. Bird singing. Babies crying.

We see the surface of the cosmos without wanting to accept that there is depth in the ocean we travel on. At some point even astronomy will know it all. And it will be able to see all the gears making the world go round. And at that point of great triumph, it will see they are moving only because we have our hands on them.

And our laughter will echo through the cosmos.

And even for a fleeing moment.

Everything will stop.

And for the first time…

The cosmos will start sensing us…

And with rejoice, the universe will whisper.

(Welcome back…)

How much do you weight?

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Scientists measure the weight of our galaxy using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the European Space Agency’s Gaia satellite.

It seems that the Milky Way weighs in at about 1.5 trillion solar masses, according to the latest measurements. Only a few percent of this is contributed by the approximately 200 billion stars in the Milky Way. Most of the rest of the mass is locked up in dark matter.

Although we cannot see it, dark matter is the dominant form of matter in the universe, and it can be weighed through its influence on visible objects like the globular clusters. “We know from cosmological simulations what the distribution of mass in the galaxies should look like, so we can calculate how accurate this extrapolation is for the Milky Way,” said Laura Watkins of the European Southern Observatory in Garching, Germany, lead author of the combined Hubble and Gaia study. These calculations based on the precise measurements of globular cluster motion from Gaia and Hubble enabled the researchers to pin down the mass of the entire Milky Way. (1)

Measuring something (mass) which we do not know what it is exactly (energy? creation of our observations? strings in multiple dimensions?) or how it is formed (Higgs?) through the use of observations interpreted via assumptions based on simulations based on other assumptions, only in order to discover that most of our galaxy is made up of something which we do not know anything about (dark matter) but which we use in our models that we then use to predict its mass…

Impressive isn’t it?

Building castles of sand on foundations of sand…

At the end we will end of explaining everything.

And a soft wave will hit the shore and will take everything away…

We will cry when this happens.

But our children will laugh…

And they’ll just start playing again!

Don’t be so serious.

Look closely.

And you will see your own small footprints on the beach too…

Can you start laughing?

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