In honor of the 4th of July – our nation’s 233rd birthday – I thought I would break my recent streak of highly opinionated posts and list a few examples why I love being a complete nerd.
-Stephen Hawking recently spoke about how humans have entered a new stage of evolution, one which does not focus so much on the Darwinian concept of internal genetic mutations as an “external transmission phase”, where the accumulated knowledge of our forebearers has become as important to our species’ continued growth as our phospho-linked nucleotide chains.
-If fusion takes too long to become a reality, it’s cool to know that researchers have been hard at work at equally creative yet much more tangible methods of power generation, including using the waves of the ocean as well as creating “turbine kites” that fly upwards of 30,000 feet high to capture wind energy.
-Quantum encryption is inching ever closer to becoming a commercial reality. Freaking amazing.
-While the idea of moving an object firmly anchored in spacetime faster than light is impossible, there is no property of the physical universe which prevents spacetime itself from moving at superluminal speeds (after all, it happened just after the Big Bang). This is the foundational idea behind the theory that “warp drive” may not actually be impossible to achieve. The idea rests upon the ability to move a “bubble” of spacetime – within which resides the ship to transport – faster than light through the universe. There are obviously thousands of additional questions that need answers and equations that require solutions before this moves beyond the theoretical stage, in particular this one about spacetime bubbles becoming unstable at superluminal speeds. Nonetheless, the theory is sound.
Have a wonderful 4th of July, everyone!