>>> context weblog
sampling new cultural context
| home | site map | about context | donate | lang >>> español - català |
friday :: august 27, 2004
primordial sounds: big bang acoustics

The Universe began not with a bang but with a low moan, building into a roar that gave way to a deafening hiss. And those sounds gave birth to the first stars. Cosmologists do not usually think in terms of sound, but this aural picture is a good way to think about the Universe's beginnings.

Contrary to its name, the big bang began in absolute silence. But the sound soon built up into a roar whose broad-peaked notes corresponded, in musical terms, to a 'majestic' major third chord, evolving slowly into a 'sadder' minor third, Whittle explained.

For those worried that you cannot have sounds in space, that is true today, but it was not so in the Universe's infancy. For perhaps its first million years, the Universe was small and dense enough that sound waves could indeed travel through it - so efficiently, in fact, that they moved at about half the speed of light.

Ironically, the Big Bang started out silent! Only with the passage of time did sound begin to grow. The second noticable feature of the sound is a dramatic transition at about 400,000 years. After this time, a hiss becomes apparent, at first almost imperceptible, but as time passes it builds to cacophonous levels and completely drowns out the earlier notes of the deep chord. This transition marks an important moment in cosmic history: the Universe suddently turns transparent. >from *Primordial Sounds: Big Bang Acoustics*. june 1, 2004

related context
big bang acoustics: movie and sound files.
> a brief history of matter.

the cosmic concerto

| permaLink

friday :: august 20, 2004
the world in an eye: corneal imaging system

We know from our experience of looking into each other's eyes that the appearance of an eye conveys important visual information. Research scientist Ko Nishino and Professor Shree K. Nayar at Columbia University have developed a novel computer algorithm for extracting detailed visual information from the appearance of an eye in an image.

In their work, Nishino and Nayar have shown that, given a picture of a person, one can determine from an eye of the person a wide-angle view of the world around the person. Even more interesting is that one can determine exactly what the person is looking at. In other words, one can obtain an estimate of the image falling on the retina of the person.

This new result has broad implications. For instance, the image of the world computed from an eye tells us the location and the details of how the picture was taken. Such information can be of great value to historians and journalists who can go back to high quality archived photographs to know more about the circumstances under which pictures of important people were captured. When the quality of the images is very high (many pixels in an eye), one may be able to use the same tools for security applications, such as determining from a picture of a sought-after individual their whereabouts.

From a technological viewpoint, the method developed by Nishino and Nayar can also lead to the development of advanced human-machine interfaces. Knowing where a person is looking and what they are looking at can make it easier to interact with a desktop PC or to teach a robot to perform complex tasks without the need for cumbersome programming. In some cases of paralysis, the only control the patient has is the motion of their eyes. In such cases, the newly developed tools can make it easier for the patient to communicate in order to use a variety of devices.

In related work, Nishino and Nayar have shown how the information within an eye can be used in computer graphics. The extracted wide-angle view of the person's environment also tells us the complex lighting conditions of the scene within which the person's picture was taken. Therefore, the eye can be used as a lighting probe. Nishino and Nayar have used lighting determined in this manner for various computer graphics applications. For instance, they have been able to take images from old movies, "recover" the lighting from the eyes of the actors in the images, and use this information about the lighting to replace the faces of the original actors with other actors, while keeping the appearances of the newly inserted actors consistent with the rest of the image.

The information produced by the new techniques of Nishino and Nayar can also be used in human affect studies, where researchers are interested in understanding the relationship between a person's reaction and what they are reacting to. The developed algorithms enable one to take a normal photograph of a person and view the world around the person from his/her point of view. Knowing what a person is looking at may bring us one step closer to understanding what the person may be feeling or thinking. >from *The World In Eyes*. COMPUTER VISION LABORATORY DEPT. OF COMPUTER SCIENCE

related context
vision and art: how artists can manipulate the human visual system. 'neuroscientist revealed some of the science behind human visual perception of art.' february 20, 2003
> eye gaze: implications for new-age technology. 'noting that the eyes have long been described as mirrors of the soul, a computer scientist is studying the effect of eye gaze on conversation and the implications for new-age technologies.' december 4, 2002

everything her eyes see

| permaLink

thursday :: august 19, 2004
LEA Special Issue : Geography of Pain

Worldwide Call for Submissions

LEA Special Issue cfp: Geography of Pain
Guest Editors: Tom Ettinger and Diane Gromala (pain (at) astn.net)

As part of Leonardo's ongoing Art and Biology project, the Leonardo Electronic Almanac (ISSN No: 1071-4391) is seeking short texts (with imagery and project URLs) by artists and scientists, or artist/scientist teams, whose work addresses pain in all its forms. Projects of interest include aesthetic works that address subjective experiences, social conditions, and cultural constructions of pain. Projects on the art of healing are of interest as well, especially multidisciplinary approaches that integrate Eastern and Western traditions. We will also consider current health science, computer science, and engineering research relevant to these topics.

LEA encourages international artists / academics / researchers / students to submit their proposals for consideration. We particularly encourage authors outside North America and Europe to send proposals for articles/gallery/artists statements.

This LEA Special is part of a new collaborative initiative on pain management, founded by:
Julian Gresser, Chairman, Alliances for Discovery
Tom Ettinger, Yale University, and interim Executive Director, Art & Science Collaborations, Inc.
Diane Gromala, Georgia Institute of Technology
Roger Malina, Chairman and Editor, Leonardo

Interested authors should send:
- A brief description of proposed text (100 to 300 words)
- A brief author biography
- Any related URLs
- Contact details

In the subject heading of the email message, please use: Name of Artist/Project
Title: LEA Pain Management - Date Submitted.

Deadline for proposals: 30 Sept 2004

Please send proposals or queries to:
Tom Ettinger and Diane Gromala
pain (at) astn.net


Nisar Keshvani
LEA Editor-in-Chief
lea (at) mitpress.mit.edu

>follow up
Diane, Roger: The Wellcome Trust just ran a Pain exhibition with an infotaining web site: http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/en/pain/exhibition.html


Elaine Scarry, Harvard, known for her book The Body in Pain.
Drew Leder, Loyola College, esp. for his book The Absent Body.
Both are good on the phenomenology of pain. Doug Vakoch

| permaLink

friday :: august 13, 2004
quantum computing in silicon transistors

The UCLA team succeeded in flipping a single electron spin upside down in an ordinary commercial transistor chip, and detected that the current changes when the electron flips.

Scientists had manipulated millions of electron spins in a transistor before. "We have gone from millions to just one." "We have measured a single electron spin in an ordinary transistor; this means that conventional silicon technology is adaptable enough, and powerful enough, to accommodate the future electronic requirements of new technologies like quantum computing, which will depend on spin."

"We've manipulated one spin," Yablonovitch said. "A year from now, manipulating a single spin might be all in a day's work, and in 10 years, perhaps it will have a commercial role."

Jiang and Xiao succeeded in working with the transistor at low temperatures: minus more than 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Jiang and Yablonovitch have ideas for operating in the future at room temperature, which would be much more practical commercially.

Jiang and Xiao's method for controlling the electron was to shine a microwave radio frequency to flip the spin of the electron. Two other research groups, one from IBM and one from the Netherlands, also are reporting the detection of a single electron spin. The groups used different methods to measure a single electron spin.

How powerful can quantum computing be? "With 100 transistors, each containing one of these electrons, you could have the implicit information storage that corresponds to all of the hard disks made in the world this year, multiplied by the number of years the universe has been around," Yablonovitch said. "And why stop with 100 transistors?" A next step is to demonstrate the "entanglement" of two spins, where the orientation of one electron determines the orientation of the other. >from *Quantum Computing, Secure Communications Closer to Reality; UCLA Scientists Control a Single Electron's Spin*. july 23, 2004

related context
quantum universe: the revolution in 21st-century physics. 'what is the nature of the universe and what is it made of? what are matter, energy, space and time? how did we get here and where are we going?.' june 11, 2004
> 7-qubit quantum computer: first demonstration of shor's factoring algorithm. january 3, 2002
> magnetic semiconductor: spintronics advance. 'in the long term, advances in spintronics may usher in vastly more powerful quantum computing.' november 13, 2001
> 5-qubit quantum computer. 'XXX.' august 15, 2000

flip electron spin in silicon for quantum world !

| permaLink


> context weblog archive
december 2006
november 2006
october 2006
september 2006
august 2006
july 2006
june 2006
may 2006
april 2006
march 2006
february 2006
january 2006
december 2005
november 2005
october 2005
september 2005
august 2005
july 2005
june 2005
may 2005
april 2005
march 2005
february 2005
january 2005
december 2004
november 2004
october 2004
september 2004
august 2004
july 2004
june 2004
may 2004
april 2004
march 2004
february 2004
january 2004
december 2003
november 2003
october 2003
june 2003
may 2003
april 2003
march 2003
february 2003
january 2003
december 2002
november 2002
october 2002
july 2002
june 2002
may 2002
april 2002
march 2002
february 2002
january 2002
countdown 2002
december 2001
november 2001
october 2001
september 2001
august 2001

more news in
> sitemap


context archives all www
   "active, informed citizen participation is the key to shaping the network society. a new 'public sphere' is required." seattle statement
| home | site map | about context | donate | lang >>> español - català |
03 http://straddle3.net/context/03/en/2004_08.html