Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Kasparov, Short To Play 2-Day Match In St. Louis

At the end of the month GM Garry Kasparov will be playing chess again. His opponent will be GM Nigel Short, in a two-day exhibition match of rapid and blitz chess in St. Louis.
Hosted by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL), the match will consist of two rapid games and four blitz games, played April 25-26.
On each day, one rapid game and four blitz games will be played. The time control for the rapid games is 25 minutes, with a 10-second delay; the blitz will be played at 5 minutes, with a 3-second delay.
The games won't be rated for FIDE rapid or blitz ratings, and there will no tiebreaks in case of a drawn match.
The entire event will be broadcast live on, and so the chess fans can expect live commentary and analysis at the usual high level, known from the Sinquefield Cup and the U.S. Championship that is currently under way in St. Louis.
“Rapid and blitz chess are — as the name suggests, fast and furious. The smallest mistake can ruin a strategy quickly,” Kasparov was quoted in the press release. “It’s not often that I get to play Nigel and relive that moment on the chess world stage in 1993.”
Garry Kasparov, soon back behind the chess board.
Kasparov defeated Short 12.5-7.5 in a controversial world championship match in 1993, after splitting from FIDE and creating the Professional Chess Association. 
Kasparov and Short have played several quickplay matches before, for instance in 1987 and 1993 in London. The last time they met at the board was three-and-a-half years ago.
The YourNextMove blitz match, held on October 9, 2011 in Leuven, Belgium, was won 4.5-3.5 by Kasparov who had a 2-point lead after five games. Short then leveled the score with two consecutive wins, but Kasparov then won the last game, and the match.
Below is the video registration of that match, with commentary by GM Genna Sosonko.
“We’re honored to host two of the chess greats for this exhibition match,” said Tony Rich, Executive Director of the CCSCSL. “Our work at the club is focused on raising awareness of chess and we can’t think of a more distinguished match-up to do just that than Garry Kasparov and Nigel Short.” 
The event is described as “the first Battle of the Legends exhibition match” in the press release, suggesting similar matches will be held in the future.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Eric Rolf "La Medicina del Alma"

La Medicina del Alma

The truth behind the strange phenomena that caused 2 men to sue the world’s largest particle lab

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large hadron collider
(CERN)The world's largest, most powerful particle accelerator — the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) — is scheduled to turn back on in the next few days, according to a report in Nature on March 31.
Although this event is highly-anticipated around the world, there are two men who have remained silent: now-retired nuclear safety office, Walter Wagner, and Spanish journalist, Luis Sancho.
They have a history with the LHC.
Months before the particle collider was scheduled to turn on for the first time in 2008, Wagner and Sancho filed a lawsuit against the organizations behind the monster machine. The plaintiffs were:
  • U.S. Department of Energy
  • Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
  • National Science Foundation
  • European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).
Needless to say, it takes a lot of guts, and perhaps a little insanity, to try and sue any one of those organizations, which are brimming with some of humanity's brightest intellectuals, let alone all of them. Especially right before they finished a $6 billion, 30-year project. In the two men's defense,Wagner and Sancho were trying to save the world from, what they thought, was almost-certain annihilation.
Among their concerns was that the LHC had the power to produce a mini black hole that would, quite literally, swallow Earth. In their lawsuit they state:
"Eventually, all of Earth would fall into such growing micro-black-hole, converting Earth into a medium-sized black hole, around which would continue to orbit the moon, satellites, the ISS, etc."
Ultimately, the lawsuit was dismissed because the men failed to prove a "credible threat to harm." While the men's fears were clearly misguided — Earth is still here after the LHC has run for multiple consecutive years — it's important to understand why using the LHC for science is safe.
Below are the three concerns Wagner and Sachos proposed in their lawsuit and why none of these should worry you.

Death by black hole

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Black Hole
(NASA)Artist's view of a radiating black hole.Black holes are extremely dense compact objects with a mass range anywhere between 4 to 170 million times the mass of our sun. While black holes are generally huge, it's completely possible, at least in theory, that a small amount of matter, on the order of tens of micrograms, could be packed densely enough to make a black hole. This would be an example a microscopic black hole.
So far, no one has made or observed a microscopic black hole — not even the LHC. But before it was turned on for the first time in 2008, Wagner and Sancho feared that by accelerating subatomic particles to 99.99% the speed of light and then smashing them together, it would create a particle mash-up so dense as to spawn a black hole.
The physicists at CERN report that Einstein's theory of relativity predicts that it's impossible for the LHC to produce such exotic phenomena. But, Wagner and Sancho argued, what if Einstein was wrong?
Even so, another theory, developed by world-renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, predicts that even if a a microscopic black hole formed inside of the LHC , it would instantly disintegrate, posing no threat to Earth's existence.
In 1974, Hawking predicted that black holes don't just gobble stuff up, they also spit it out in the form of extremely high-energy radiation, now known as Hawking radiation. According to the theory, the smaller the black hole, the more Hawking radiation it expels into space, eventually wasting away to nothing. Therefore, a microscopic black hole, being the smallest kind, would disappear before it could wreak havoc and destruction. This could also by why we've never seen a micro black hole.

Death by strange matter

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dark matter
(NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center)The foggy haze is astronomer's interpretation of where dark matter is located in this galaxy cluster.Strange matter is made up of individual, hypothetical particles, called strangelets, which are different from the normal matter that make up everything we see around us.
Wagner and Sancho worried that this strange matter could fuse with normal matter "eventually converting all of Earth into a single large 'strangelet' of huge size," they write in their lawsuit.
However, the precise behavior of strange matter, or even a single strangelet, is unclear, which is partly why these particles have been suggested as candidates for the mysterious material called dark matter the permeates the universe.
To support that theory, physicists at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York, have been trying to create a strangelet particle with Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider since the turn of the century. So far, nothing that resembles a strangelet has popped up. And because of the energies and types of particles that the LHC collides, Brookhaven has a better chance of making this strange matter.
If it succeeded, the concern is that the strangelets would bind with normal matter in a runaway reaction that would transform you, me, and everything on Earth into a clump of strange matter. Whether we would survive such a transformation and how that would change things is anyone's guess. But that unknown is scary enough.
Physicists at CERN, however, say that if Brookhaven succeeded in making a strangelet, its chances of interacting and binding with normal matter are slim:
"It is difficult for strange matter to stick together in the high temperatures produced by such colliders, rather as ice does not form in hot water," they explain on their website.

Death by magnetic monopoles

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magnetic monopole
(Heikka Valja)Artistic illustration of the synthetic magnetic monopole.In nature, magnets come with two ends — a north pole and a south pole. But in the late 19th Century physicist Pierre Curie, husband to Marie Curie, predicted that there's no reason why a particle with just one magnetic pole could not exist.
More than a century later, however, this particle, called a magnetic monopole, has never been made in the lab or observed in nature. So, it's purely hypothetical. But that didn't stop Wagner from suggesting that a powerful machine like the LHC could make history by creating the first ever magnetic monopole that could destroy Earth.
"Such particle might have the ability to catalyze the decay of protons and atoms, causing them to convert into other types of matter in a runaway reaction," he and Sancho wrote.
The theory that a monopole could destroy protons — the subatomic building blocks of all matter in the universe — is speculative at best, CERN physicists explain. But let's say that theory is right. Well, these theories also predict that such a particle would have a certain mass, which happens to be too heavy for anything the LHC would create.
So, suffice it say: We're safe.
"The continued existence of the Earth and other astronomical bodies therefore rules out dangerous proton-eating magnetic monopoles light enough to be produced at the LHC," CERN physicists explain.
Once the LHC is turned back on, physicists will spend the next few months ramping it up to maximum power, which will be about twice the energy it had during its first run. That's not going to change the fact that the chances of the LHC cooking up Earth-destroying mini black holes, strangelets, or magnetic monopoles are next-to-nothing.
If you're still not convinced, or the slightest bit worried, check out CERN's website regarding "The Safety of the LHC" where experts in astrophysics, cosmology, general relativity, mathematics, particle physics, and risk analysis have expressed their opinions on the machine's safety.

PBS NOVA & Roman Catacomb Mystery & Full Documentary