Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Scientific American on Rob Bryanton

This summer I was completely swamped with my company's work designing the software for some kiosks for Create Your Mayo Clinic Health Experience, a new installation at the Mall of America. But during that time, I was also interviewed by Ben Good, a blogger who writes for Scientific American, and the resulting article was called "Has Science Gone Viral?". Here's a few paragraphs to whet your appetite, please follow the link for the whole article.

Wikipedia defines a virus as “a small infectious agent that can replicate only inside the living cells of organisms”. The use of viral terminology to describe the movement and sharing of online content is very apt. However, whilst science has given the phenomenon its name, the question persist as to whether or not it has truly ‘gone viral’ in online video.

As a source of media YouTube is a titanic entity. With 3 billion videos watched per day it is the most popular place to try and create an online visual phenomenon. Science does form a proportion of the millions of hours of video on the site. But, according to Kevin Allocca, YouTube Trends Manager, “there is a huge opportunity [for science] that we haven’t quite seen taken advantage of yet”.

Whilst it may not have gained the view counts of Justin Beiber, or people getting hit in the face or kittens, there are people out there who are producing high quality science content. One such individual is Rob Bryanton, whose physics videos have had over 6 million views, with his ‘Imagining the 10th Dimension‘ video receiving particular praise and attention. “The project was born from a personal obsession I have had since I came up with this idea in the early 1980′s. I imagined a way to be able to visualise the extra spatial dimensions. And when I then discovered that with string theory there were ten spatial dimensions, I created this video so I could give people a way to visualise it, that was launched in July 2006 and it immediately took off…” he said.
Rob’s videos demonstrate the medium being used as an engaging way of explaining complex scientific ideas.
Thank you so much for your support, Ben, and also to Tom Ridgewell, the hugely popular youtuber whose TomSka channel is currently at almost 150 million views (edit: as of the end of June 2012 he's now up around 250 million!). It was Tom who recommended to Ben Good that he take a look at my project.  Thanks Tom! Near the end of his article, Ben returns to the discussion of my videos, and offers this:
While the respect for professional scientists is important and understandable, it shouldn’t be at the expense of amateur scientists and enthusiasts... YouTube began life as a place for amateur film makers to show their wares, it would be a shame if in its rise to becoming a media dominant force it lost the considered lay people like Rob.
Well said, Ben!. Next time, we're going to take a look back at 2011 and list some of the other exciting things that have happened with Imagining the Tenth Dimension this year. Till then, enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton

Monday, December 26, 2011

Top Ten Tenth Dimension Blogs - December Report

Previous lists:
. April 08 . May 08 . June 08 . July 08 . August 08
. September 08 . October 08 . November 08 . December 08 .
. Top 100 Blog Entries of 2008 . May 09 . June 09 . July 09
. August 09 . September 09 . October 09 . November 09 .
. December 09 . Top 100 Blog Entries of 2009 .
. January 10 . February 10 . March 10 . April 10 . May 10 .
. June 10 . July 10 . August 10 . September 10 . October 10 .
. November 10 . December 10 . Top 100 Entries of 2010 .
. January 11 . February 11 . March 11 . April 11 . May 11 .
. June 11 . July 11 . August 11 . September 11 . October 11 .
. November 11 . December 11 . Top 100 Entries of 2011

Based upon number of views, here are the top blogs for the last thirty days.

1. Poll 80 - What is "Now"?
2. New video - The Pencil Visualization
3. Imagining the Seventh Dimension
4. Imagining the Eight Dimension
5. Poll 83 - Is Energy Not Conserved?
6. Imagining the Ninth Dimension
7. New video - Poll 80 to 82 - Right Angles and Reality
8. Wrapping it Up in the Tenth Dimension
9. Why Only Ten?
10. New video - Poll 83 - Is Energy Not Conserved?

And as of December 28th, 2011, here are the twenty-six Imagining the Tenth Dimension blog entries that have attracted the most visits of all time. Items marked in bold are new or have risen since last month.

1. Jumping Jesus (1)
2. What's Around the Corner? (2)
3. Mandelbulbs (3)
4. The 5th-Dimensional Camera Project (4)  
5. Is Reality an Illusion? (7)
6. An Expanding 4D Sphere (5)
7. Just Six Things: The I Ching (6)
8. Gravity and Love (10)
9. Bees and the LHC (12) 
10. Light Has No Speed (9) 
11. Vibrations and Fractals (8)
12. Roger Ebert on Quantum Reincarnation (11)
13. Time Travel Paradoxes (13)
14. Changing Your Brain (14)
15. 10-10-10 Look Before You Leap (16)  
16. Our Universe Within the Omniverse (15)
17. The Pencil Visualization (new)
18. Magnets and Morality (18)
19. How to Time Travel (17)
20. Dancing on the Timeline (20)
21. Creativity and the Quantum Universe (19)
22. Simultaneous Inspiration (21)
23. Complexity from Simplicity (23)  
24. Monkeys Love Metallica (22)
25. Polls Archive 54 - Is Time Moving Faster? (24) 
26. What is Reality? (26)

Which means that this worthy entry is leaving our top 26 of all time list this month.

 Consciousness in Frames per Second (25) 

By the way, if you're new to this project, you might want to check out the Tenth Dimension FAQ, as it provides a road map to a lot of the discussions and different materials that have been created for this project. If you are interested in the 26 songs attached to this project, this blog shows a video for each of the songs and provides more links with lyrics and discussion. The Annotated Tenth Dimension Video provides another cornucopia of discussion topics to be connected to over at YouTube. Also, a lot of people are enjoying discussing these ideas with me on my facebook page: facebook.com/rob.bryanton .

Enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton

Next - Scientific American on Rob Bryanton

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New Video - Imagining the Sixth Dimension

A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdnhKE95AqM

Next: Scientific American on Rob Bryanton

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Quantum Weirdness and Water

Here's a link to a great article that was published last month in New Scientist magazine: Quantum Weirdness Makes Life Possible. Written by Lisa Goodman, here's the opening paragraphs:
WATER'S life-giving properties exist on a knife-edge. It turns out that life as we know it relies on a fortuitous, but incredibly delicate, balance of quantum forces.
Water is one of the planet's weirdest liquids, and many of its most bizarre features make it life-giving. For example, its higher density as a liquid than as a solid means ice floats on water, allowing fish to survive under partially frozen rivers and lakes. And unlike many liquids, it takes a lot of heat to warm water up even a little, a quality that allows mammals to regulate their body temperature.
But computer simulations show that quantum mechanics nearly robbed water of these life-giving features. Most of them arise due to weak hydrogen bonds that hold H2O molecules together in a networked structure. For example, it is hydrogen bonds that hold ice molecules in a more open structure than in liquid water, leading to a lower density. By contrast, without hydrogen bonds, liquid molecules move freely and take up more space than in rigid solid structures.
Yet in simulations that include quantum effects, hydrogen bond lengths keep changing thanks to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, which says no molecule can have a definite position with respect to the others. This destabilises the network, removing many of water's special properties. "It breaks down big time," says Philip Salmon of the University of Bath in the UK.
How water continues to exist as a network of hydrogen bonds, in the face of these destabilising quantum effects, was a mystery.

Please read the whole article to learn about the delicately balanced role of the quantum world in water and its unique properties.

My song Change and Renewal helps to show how important I believe water is to the whole mystery of life, consciousness, and the patterns that exist across the extra dimensions that allow the universe we are witnessing right this moment to spring into existence. Likewise, with entries like The Big Bang and the Big O, and Creativity and the Quantum Universe, we've talked about water and its fascinating role in life and reality, and also how it ties to the burgeoning field of quantum biology. In Holograms and Quanta and We Are All Quanta, we looked at a number of the new discoveries that relate to this field. But now with the new information provided in the above article, it behooves us again to marvel at the complex series of events that have caused our universe to be selected from an omniverse of possible patterns. And it's moments like these that make me Thankful for the amazing, beautiful, and unlikely world we see around us every day.

A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIfN1RM9X6I

Sing along, and enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton

Next: New Video - Imagining the Sixth Dimension

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Gravity and Light from the Vacuum

My friend Lee Price recently sent me two interesting articles that have appeared at physorg.com over the last couple of weeks, here's the links:

The above graphic comes from the first article, which was published November 17, 2011. Here's a few paragraphs:
Scientists at Chalmers University of Technology have succeeded in creating light from vacuum – observing an effect first predicted over 40 years ago. The results will be published tomorrow (Wednesday) in the journal Nature. In an innovative experiment, the scientists have managed to capture some of the photons that are constantly appearing and disappearing in the vacuum.

The experiment is based on one of the most counterintuitive, yet, one of the most important principles in quantum mechanics: that a vacuum is by no means empty nothingness. In fact, the vacuum is full of various particles that are continuously fluctuating in and out of existence. They appear, exist for a brief moment and then disappear again. Since their existence is so fleeting, they are usually referred to as virtual particles.

Chalmers scientist, Christopher Wilson and his co-workers have succeeded in getting photons to leave their virtual state and become real photons, i.e. measurable light. The physicist Moore predicted way back in 1970 that this should happen if the virtual photons are allowed to bounce off a mirror that is moving at a speed that is almost as high as the speed of light. The phenomenon, known as the dynamical Casimir effect, has now been observed for the first time in a brilliant experiment conducted by the Chalmers scientists.

“Since it’s not possible to get a mirror to move fast enough, we’ve developed another method for achieving the same effect,” explains Per Delsing, Professor of Experimental Physics at Chalmers. “Instead of varying the physical distance to a mirror, we've varied the electrical distance to an electrical short circuit that acts as a mirror for microwaves.
Please read the whole article for an explanation of the above graphic and a description of the process they used to make these photons appear. The other article, written by Lisa Zyga and published November 28th at PhysOrg, looks at a theory which is only just beginning to be developed, which suggests that the gravitational effects of dark matter could be coming from the quantum vacuum as well. Here's the opening paragraph:
Earlier this year, PhysOrg reported on a new idea that suggested that gravitational charges in the quantum vacuum could provide an alternative to dark matter. The idea rests on the hypothesis that particles and antiparticles have gravitational charges of opposite sign. As a consequence, virtual particle-antiparticle pairs in the quantum vacuum form gravitational dipoles (having both a positive and negative gravitational charge) that can interact with baryonic matter to produce phenomena usually attributed to dark matter. Although CERN physicist Dragan Slavkov Hajdukovic, who proposed the idea, mathematically demonstrated that these gravitational dipoles could explain the observed rotational curves of galaxies without dark matter in his initial study, he noted that much more work needed to be done.
Gevin Giorbran, of course, author of the brilliant Everything Forever, loved theories like this which point to the underlying symmetry state from which our universe or any other springs. This same idea of there being an underlying sea of potential information which can be thought of as a point of indeterminate size, a perfectly balanced "outside the system" where Everything Fits Together, is central to my project as well.  Most recently, in Imagining the Ninth Dimension, and earlier in entries like Elvis and the Electrons and Imagining the Omniverse, we've talked about the idea proposed by John Wheeler, that there is a quantum foam in the supposedly empty vacuum: a churning mass of particles which appear and disappear. Last week, we looked at a project called the "Thrive Movement" which advances the cherished notion that there is free energy there for the taking within this underlying indeterminate quantum structure of our reality. How crazy is that idea? If gravity and light come from this vacuum, why not energy as well?

Enjoy the journey,

Rob Bryanton

Next: Quantum Weirdness and Water

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