Daily Archives: June 27, 2021

THE OPEN DOOR: Living in a web of connections – newportri.com

Posted: June 27, 2021 at 4:36 am

Sandra Matuschka| Newport Daily News

The play Six Degrees of Separation by John Guare popularized the notion that everyone on the planet is separated at most by only six other people; the trick is knowing who they are in reaching out to them.

The concept began in the early 20th century as a game in a short story by a Hungarian author, and gradually spread into algorithms, video games, films, psychology, mathematics, research projects, and many other areas. My interest in this concept, however, is more one of a metaphysical synchronicity. I have experienced, and heard about from others, so many synchronicities of connection that I start to wonder if the substratum of the phenomenon is not in fact both a physical and a spiritual one albeit one that we have yet the ability to understand.

I wont live long enough to read all the books that would be relevant to such a concept. Such books would include not just spiritual concepts, but quantum physics, psychology, chaos theory mathematics and the new physics.

Although logic and science easily can be used to explain such synchronicities as my Philadelphia (Penn.) father meeting a relative, and another time a neighbor, in trenches in Germany in WWII, so too might psychology and metaphysics. Analytical psychologist Carl C. Jung, who first introduced the concept, said it described circumstances that appear meaningfully related, yet lack a causal connection. I suspect we all have our own criteria for what is meaningfully related, not to mention differences in what constitutes causal connection.

Someone I knew once said that experiencing synchronicity meant nothing more nor less than that you were on the right path, kind of like a cosmic pat on the shoulder and a wink as you made your way through life. It certainly could be at least that. But, in so many instances it seems to presage so much more. Inspirational speaker Iyanla Vanzant has a mantra that fits with the concept of connectedness that I particularly lean toward. She makes a note that although she uses the word God as her particular understanding of the Divine, any word that signifies your concept of oneness/omnipresence/the all, is fine: Where I am now, God is. You can emphasize a different word in the phrase each time and enrich the meaning. It kind of goes back to the God is everywhere phrase you might have heard or learned in younger years.

Many decades ago, when I was young and nave (now Im just old and nave!), I travelled alone to Greece for my first trip abroad. I was working in a hospital in Philadelphia as a medical technician at the time, and a new doctor arrived just before I left on my trip. He was Greek. On an impulse, I asked him for the address of his father/family, and I offered to stop by with greetings. He was hesitant, as his relationship with his father was not good, but reluctantly gave me the address. The ensuing misadventure is too long to write (it became a book/memoir), but the salient point is that because I had that address and got to connect with the family, I was saved from a truly disastrous mistake. All because I had a hunch to acquire an address from the new doctor.

We live in a web of connections to one another, mostly unknown; all we have to do is communicate and be aware. If nothing else, being aware of the web of connections we have to one another should help to humanize our actions and reactions, to make us realize the need to be thoughtful of and kind to our fellow humans. When we speak of the human family, its not just an expression. We truly are joined in many real and mysterious ways to one another. Communication is one of the keys to finding those connections. I think curiosity plays a part as well.

Basically, we could be moving through life in a non-three-dimensional medium about which we have little-to-no idea, but that somehow helps to shape the direction of our lives when we are moving toward our good. I like a quote from Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, a pioneer in near-death studies, which embodies this concept: There are no mistakes, no coincidences; all events are blessings given to us to learn from.

Sandra Matuschka of Tiverton is a freelance writer and columnist. Send feedback and suggestions to smatuschka@cox.net or C/O The Newport Daily News, P.O. Box 420, Newport, RI 02840.

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Carlo Rovelli: My work in physics is endlessly creative – The Guardian

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Verona was a beautiful place to grow up, but the town was close-minded and provincial. Dad, a gentle and hard-working man, ran a business. Mum was intelligent and bored a lethal combination. They encouraged my independence from a young age, which I took too far. At 14, I ran away from home and headed to France, to find like-minded, free-thinking young people.

I took my first acid in Paris aged 16, then hitchhiked across Europe. One night I slept in a small boat I found moored by a pier on the Danube. Lying down to rest underneath the immense, starry sky was the first time I felt true happiness.

Curiosity led me to the study of physics. People like to distinguish between the arts and science, but my work is endlessly creative. I read and read, converse for hours, and then sit scribbling away in my notebooks. Its just that my goal is understanding some of natures greatest secrets.

Sex was about giving, not taking, when I came of age. It was the time of hippies making love not war, and I made plenty. We did it with everyone, unperturbed by age or gender. Our utopian ideas were beautiful and gentle, although free loves reality included tears and jealousy. I believed making love as much as possible, with the largest possible number of people, was the best thing in life. I have only changed my mind about the latter.

A Canadian bear nearly ate me alive. I was 20 and hiking through the Rocky Mountains after dropping out of university. Ignoring advice, I set up camp where I shouldnt have. From inside my tent at dusk I saw a great grizzlys terrifying shadow. I thought I was done for, but thankfully the beast was content to eat the food Id hung in a tree and left me alone. I ran down to the closest village immediately.

I cried last night watching the movie The Life Ahead. Tears streamed down my face when Momo, a young boy, kidnaps Sofia Lorens character from hospital just as she wanted. Seeing that on screen moved me deeply: I did the same for a young woman, many years ago.

Ive devoted much of my life to the study of quantum gravity: the search for answers about the properties of space and time. A calculation showing that physical space is formed by finite grains is my greatest achievement so far; today my research is focused on black holes. Fascinating as all this is, most people struggle to connect it with their lives: that is why I started to write books about science.

My political outlook is as radical as it always has been. Even if I behave more respectably as I get older, tThe views I formed in adolescence remain the same. Most of the ideals paraded as noble in our society are hypocritical. The rich are only rich through plundering the poor thats true both for countries and people. One day soon those whove gone without will make the privileged pay.

People tend not to impress me much. I think Ive read too many biographies. Once youve heard the stories of Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan, ordinary people like you or me have a tough time when it comes to comparison.

I always assumed getting older would be miserable, but to my surprise life gets better and better. Once the pressure to prove yourself in youth slowly melts away, the shining sun and tweeting birds suddenly become so much more enjoyable.

Carlo Rovellis latest book, Helgoland, is published by Allen Lane at 20. Buy it for 17.40 at guardianbookshop.com

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Exotic Superconductors: The Secret That Was Never There – SciTechDaily

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Experiments in the lab at TU Wien. Credit: TU Wien

How reproducible are measurements in solid-state physics? New measurements show: An allegedly sensational effect does not exist at all.

A single measurement result is not a proof this has been shown again and again in science. We can only really rely on a research result when it has been measured several times, preferably by different research teams, in slightly different ways. In this way, errors can usually be detected sooner or later.

However, a new study by Prof. Andrej Pustogow from the Institute of Solid State Physics at TU Wien together with other international research teams shows that this can sometimes take quite a long time. The investigation of strontium ruthenate, a material that plays an important role in unconventional superconductivity, has now disproved an experiment that gained fame in the 1990s: it was believed that a novel form of superconductivity had been discovered. As it now turns out, however, the material behaves very similarly to other well-known high-temperature superconductors. Nevertheless, this is an important step forward for research.

Superconductivity is one of the great mysteries of solid-state physics: certain materials lose their electrical resistance completely at low temperatures. This effect is still not fully understood. What is certain, however, is that so-called Cooper pairs play a central role in superconductivity.

Pyramid shaped crystal in a coil. Credit: TU Wien

In a normal metal, electric current consists of individual electrons that collide with each other and with the metal atoms. In a superconductor, the electrons move in pairs. This changes the situation dramatically, explains Andrej Pustogow. Its similar to the difference between a crowd in a busy shopping street and the seemingly effortless motion of a dancing couple on the dance floor. When electrons are bound in Cooper pairs, they do not lose energy through scattering and move through the material without any disturbance. The crucial question is: Which conditions lead to this formation of Cooper pairs?

From a quantum physics point of view, the important thing is the spin of these two electrons, says Andrej Pustogow. The spin is the magnetic moment of an electron and can point either up or down. In Cooper pairs, however, a coupling occurs: in a singlet state, the spin of one electron points upwards and that of the other electron points downwards. The magnetic moments cancel each other out and the total spin of the pair is always zero.

However, this rule, which almost all superconductors follow, seemed to be broken by the Cooper pairs in strontium ruthenate (Sr2RuO4). In 1998, results were published that indicated Cooper pairs in which the spins of both electrons point in the same direction (then it is a so-called spin triplet). This would enable completely new applications, explains Andrej Pustogow. Such triplet Cooper pairs would then no longer have a total spin of zero. This would allow them to be manipulated with magnetic fields and used to transport information without loss, which would be interesting for spintronics and possible quantum computers.

This caused quite a stir, not least because strontium ruthenate was also considered a particularly important material for superconductivity research for other reasons: its crystal structure is identical to that of cuprates, which exhibit high-temperature superconductivity. While the latter are deliberately doped with impurities to make superconductivity possible, Sr2RuO4is already superconducting in its pure form.

Actually, we studied this material for a completely different reason, says Andrej Pustogow. But in the process, we realized that these old measurements could not be correct. In 2019, the international team was able to show that the supposedly exotic spin effect was just a measurement artefact: the measured temperature did not match the actual temperature of the sample studied; in fact, the sample studied at the time was not superconducting at all. With this realization in mind, the superconductivity of the material was now re-examined with great precision. The new results clearly show that strontium ruthenate is not a triplet superconductor. Rather, the properties correspond to what is already known from cuprates.

However, Andrej Pustogow does not find this disappointing: It is a result that brings our understanding of high-temperature superconductivity in these materials another step forward. The finding that strontium ruthenate shows similar behavior to cuprates means two things: On the one hand, it shows that we are not dealing with an exotic, new phenomenon, and on the other hand it also means that we have a new material at our disposal, in which we can investigate already known phenomena. Ultra-pure strontium ruthenate is better suited for this than previously known materials. It offers a much cleaner test field than cuprates.

In addition, one also learns something about the reliability of old, generally accepted publications: Actually, one might think that results in solid-state physics can hardly be wrong, says Pustogow. While in medicine you might have to be satisfied with a few laboratory mice or a sample of a thousand test subjects, we examine billions of billions (about 10 to the power of 19) electrons in a single crystal. This increases the reliability of our results. But that does not mean that every result is completely correct. As everywhere in science, reproducing previous results is indispensable in our field and so is falsifying them.


Evidence for even parity unconventional superconductivity in Sr2RuO4 by Aaron Chronister, Andrej Pustogow, Naoki Kikugawa, Dmitry A. Sokolov, Fabian Jerzembeck, Clifford W. Hicks, Andrew P. Mackenzie, Eric D. Bauer, and Stuart E. Brown, 22 June 2021, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2025313118

Constraints on the superconducting order parameter in Sr2RuO4 from oxygen-17 nuclear magnetic resonance by A. Pustogow, Yongkang Luo, A. Chronister, Y.-S. Su, D. A. Sokolov, F. Jerzembeck, A. P. Mackenzie, C. W. Hicks, N. Kikugawa, S. Raghu, E. D. Bauer and S. E. Brown, 23 September 2019, Nature.DOI: 10.1038/s41586-019-1596-2

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TNIAAM recommends: Which books are you reading right now? – Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician

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Welcome back to a space where we dont necessarily talk about Syracuse Orange sports, but instead, discuss what were doing without Syracuse sports on at all. Perhaps with the extra time on your hands lately, youve been spending more time with your family and/or spending more time outside. But if not, were here with recommendations.

During some Fridays this summer, the TNIAAM crew will come together to recommend things for you to enjoy and you can choose to ignore those if you wish. First up this year: Which books are you reading right now?

John: Hit Makers by Derek Thompson

This is far from the first Ive got the secret to this book, but Id argue its a far more interesting read than the sort of anecdotal preponderances that figurehead of that genre, Malcolm Gladwell, has put out. In Hit Makers, Thompson looks at what drives popularity, viral moments and buying decisions and relates it to a lot of things youre well familiar with. You may even find some clues as to why you continue to root for the Orange in there. Admittedly, I may be more predisposed to enjoying this sort of book because of my line of work(s). But I dont think you need a communications background to be intrigued.

Kevin: Off-Mike by Doc Emrick and Kevin Allen

Im wrapped up in Stanley Cup Playoffs fever right now as my Habs make their longest run in forever and I do miss that Mike Doc Emricks not on the call. This book takes you through his journey to becoming the voice of the NHL and its a nice look at the relationships he built with on-air partners Bill Clement and Eddie Olczyk. Above all though its the story of Doc and his wife Joyce and the challenge of chasing a career in sports without losing out on relationships and what truly matters.

Steve: Breakfast with Einstein by Chad Orzel and Priest by Matthew Colville

Two diametrically opposed offerings. A book on translating theoretical physics into the every day occurrences around you and the start of a fantasy series. Thats what Ive been reading. Orzel, who happens to also be my old physics professor at Union, has a way with taking concepts of quantum physics that start past where you are thinking and explains how they apply to things you do on the daily. Priest is just a really good world building novel that Ive been reading and seemed like a good plug.


What are you reading right now? Share your own selections below.

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Emmy Noether | Mathematician who proved Noether’s theorem – New Scientist

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By Richard Webb

Emmy Noether was a mathematician who discovered perhaps the most profound idea in contemporary physics. Noethers theorem, which she formulated in 1915, says that symmetries in the universe give rise to mathematical conservation laws. This statement is a crucial underpinning of physical laws, from those that govern the rotation of a wheel or the orbits of planets around stars, to the intricate mathematical frameworks ofgeneral relativity, quantum physics andparticle physics.

Noether was born in the small German town of Erlangen, near Nuremberg, in 1882. Despite the fact that her father, Max Noether, was a professor at the University of Erlangen, she was initially forbidden from enrolling there because of her gender.

Such discrimination dogged Noethers career. Although she eventually gained both an undergraduate degree and a PhD, no university would hire her for a permanent faculty position. She eventually became one of the worlds foremost experts in the fields of abstract algebra, algebraic topology and the mathematics of symmetry, working at the University of Erlangen and subsequently the University of Gttingen.

But for over a decade, she was without appointment, pay or formal title, despite the championing of her work by many of the most prominent mathematicians of the age, chief among them David Hilbert and Felix Klein. That only changed in 1919, when the end of the first world war and the replacement of the German Reich by the liberal Weimar Republic brought a sea change in attitudes towards womens education.

Noethers eponymous theorem was inspired by Albert Einsteins work on relativity in the early years of the 20th century,culminating in his general theory of relativity in 1915. It formalised an idea that was implicit but unstated in the general theory of relativity and many other theories of physics: that symmetries hold the key to new theories that describe the workings of nature.

Mathematician Hermann Weyl, a contemporary of Noether who was greatly influenced by her work, once described a very simple way of thinking about symmetry. A thing is symmetrical if there is something you can do to it so that after you have finished doing it, it looks the same as before, he wrote. Noethers central insight was that every symmetry you can observe is connected with a mathematical conservation law.

Translational symmetry, for example the idea that physics remains broadly the same if you move a little to the left or right, or backwards or forwards is nothing other than the law of conservation of momentum. The symmetry of moving around in a circle amounts to the law of conservation of angular momentum. Symmetry in time that is, physics remaining the same when translated forwards or backwards in time amounts to the conservation of energy.

Noethers theorem adds up to a practical prescription for making progress in physics: identify a symmetry in the worlds workings, and the associated conservation law will allow you to start making a meaningful calculation.Much of physics since its discovery has been a search for these symmetries or, in the case of the development of thestandard model of particle physics, broken symmetries in how quantum fields work that point to where symmetries existed at higher energies when the universe was young.

A broken symmetry in the first split second of the universe, for example, allowed matter to win out against its symmetrical twin,antimatter, creating thematter-dominated universe we live in today. Another broken symmetry, associated with the existence of the Higgs boson, caused theelectromagnetic andweak nuclear forces to have the very different strengths that they now possess.

So, as ideas in physics go, they dont come any more fundamental than Noethers theorem. Sadly, Noethers life after discovering the theorem wasnt a happy one. She came from a Jewish family, and on the accession of the Nazis to power in Germany in 1933, her hard-won right to teach at the University of Gttingen was revoked. She emigrated to the US and taught at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, but died of complications from cancer surgery two years later.

The reverence that many of Noethers colleagues felt for her was only increased by her calm spirit and support for others in the face of the Nazis oppression. Weyl, whose wife was Jewish and who also emigrated to the US, later wrote that Emmy Noether her courage, her frankness, her unconcern about her own fate, her conciliatory spirit was in the midst of all the hatred and meanness, despair and sorrow surrounding us, a moral solace.

But it is her seminal work that is most celebrated, although perhaps not as much as it should be as is the case with manypioneering female mathematicians and scientists. AsAlbert Einstein wrote in The New York Times, Frulein Noether was the most significant creative mathematical genius thus far produced since the higher education of women began. Others might suggest that the last seven words of that sentence are superfluous.

Full name: Amalie Emmy Noether

Born: 23 March 1882, Erlangen, Germany

Died: 14 April 1935 (aged 53), Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, United States

Emmy Noether is famous for her work in mathematical physics, especially Noethers theorem, which says that symmetries in the universe give rise to mathematical conservation laws.

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Exploring the universe: Texas Tech astrophysicist receives share of grant for gravitational wave research – LubbockOnline.com

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Special to the Avalanche-Journal| Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Since the beginning of time, humans have hoped to one day unlock the secrets of the universe. With ongoing research funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the expertise of people likeTexas Tech's Joseph D. Romano, they are now closer than ever.

Romano, a professor in theDepartment of Physics & Astronomy, conducts research in gravitational-wave data analysis, specializing in searches for weak gravitational-wave signals coming from the very early universe. As such, his work fits in perfectly with that of theNorth American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves(NANOGrav).

The NSF announced recently that it has renewed its support of NANOGrav with a $17 million grant over five years to operate the NANOGrav Physics Frontiers Center (PFC). The NANOGrav PFC will address a transformational challenge in astrophysics: the detection and characterization of low-frequency gravitational waves. The most promising sources of low-frequency gravitational waves are supermassive binary black holes that form via the mergers of massive galaxies. Additional low-frequency gravitational-wave sources include cosmic strings, inflation and other early universe processes.

Astrophysicists now detect low-frequency gravitational waves using millisecond pulsars rapidly spinning, superdense remains of massive stars that have exploded as supernovas. These ultra-stable stars are natures most precise celestial clocks, appearing to tick every time their beamed emissions sweep past the Earth, like the beacon on a lighthouse. Gravitational waves may be detected in the small but perceptible fluctuations a few dozen nanoseconds over 10 or more years they cause in the measured arrival times at Earth of radio pulses from these millisecond pulsars.

The goal is to detect the presence of low-frequency gravitational waves in an effort to better understand how supermassive black holes and galaxies form, Romano said.

The precision required in these measurements makes Romanos work especially important. You see, he helps develop the data analysis algorithms that identify the presence of gravitational waves. For his role in the NANOGrav PFC collaboration, Romano will receive $298,366 over the next five years.

When it was founded in 2007, NANOGrav consisted of 17 members in the U.S. and Canada. With support from the NSF in the form of a Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) award in 2010 and a PFC in 2015, NANOGrav has grown tremendously. It is now a truly global collaboration with around 200 students and scientists at about 40 institutions around the world. Over the past few years, NANOGrav PFC students, postdoctoral researchers and senior personnel have pushed the frontiers ofmulti-messenger astrophysics, achieved an unprecedented sensitivity to low-frequency gravitational waves and enabled a transition into an astrophysically interesting territory: NANOGrav is now poised to detect low-frequency gravitational waves and use them to study the universe in a completely new way.

NANOGravs five-year program will make use of the unique capabilities and sensitivity of the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in Green Bank, West Virginia. The GBT is located in the National Radio Quiet Zone, which protects the incredibly sensitive telescope from unwanted radio interference, enabling it to study pulsars and other astronomical objects. The program also uses data from the Very Large Array (VLA) in New Mexico and the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) in Canada. In addition, NANOGrav will use legacy Arecibo Observatory data, which will anchor combined future data sets and greatly increase sensitivity.

The NANOGrav PFC has made significant progress over the last five years, remaining at the frontier of fundamental physics research, said Jim Shank, the program director for NSFs PFC program. The center now seems close to making a breakthrough discovery in gravitational waves and the way we perceive the universe.

Xavier Siemens, a physicist at Oregon State University, is the principal investigator (PI) for the project and will serve as co-director of the center. Maura McLaughlin, an astronomer at West Virginia University and co-investigator of the project, will serve as co-director.

NSF currently supports 10 other PFCs, which range in research areas from theoretical biological physics and the physics of living cells to quantum information and nuclear astrophysics. By bringing together astronomers and physicists from across the U.S. and Canada to search for the telltale signature of gravitational waves buried in the incredibly steady ticking of distant pulsars, the NANOGrav PFC will advance the mission to foster research at the intellectual frontiers of physics and to enable transformational advances in the most promising research areas.

In addition to his membership in the NANOGrav collaboration, Romano is a member of theLaser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) Scientific Collaborationand theLaser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) Consortium, both of which are international collaborations of scientists searching for gravitational waves. Romanos prior research experience involved investigations into the relationship between gravitational physics and quantum mechanics.

Romano was co-chair of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration Stochastic Sources Analysis Group from 2000-2006 and 2018-2020. He is a member of Texas TechsSTEM Center for Outreach, Research & Education, a member of the American Physical Society and was associate editor of the American Journal of Physics.

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Lars Jaeger: Quantum Computers Have Reached the Mainstream – finews.com

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The discussion about quantum computers has reached the mainstream including investors. This is one of the numerous examples that such technological development is happening much faster today than 50 years ago, Lars Jaeger writes on finews.first.

This article is published on finews.first, a forum for authors specialized in economic and financial topics.

A word that is becoming more and more popular, but still sounds like science fiction, is the term quantum computer. Only 10 to 15 years ago, the construction of such a computer as a future technology seemed impossible within any reasonable time frame.

Thus, the discussion about it was limited to a small team of experts or just material for science fiction. Just as transistor effect or von Neumann processors were not even remotely familiar terms to non-physicists in the 1940s, the same was true for the term quantum computer until recently.

The discussion about quantum computers has even reached the mainstream including investors. And this could become one of the numerous examples that such technological development is happening much faster today than 50 years ago.

The quantum world offers even more

However, most people are still completely unaware of what a quantum computer actually is, as in principle all computers today are still entirely based on classical physics, on the so-called von Neumann architecture from the 1940s.

In it, the individual computing steps are processed sequentially bit by bit. The smallest possible unit of information (a so-called binary digits, or bit for short) thereby always takes a well-defined state of either 1 or 0. In contrast, quantum computers use the properties of quantum systems that are not reducible to classical bits but are based on quantum bits, or qubits for short.

These can assume the different states of bits, i.e. 0 and 1 and all values in between simultaneously. So, they can be half 1 and half 0 as well as in any other possible combination of them. This possibility is beyond our classical (everyday) imagination, according to which a state is either one or the other, tertium non datur, but is very typical for quantum systems. Physicists call such mixed quantum states superpositions.

Quantum computers are supposed to be the crowning achievement

But the quantum world offers even more: Different quantum particles can be in so-called entangled states. This is another property that does not exist in our classical world. It is as if the qubits are coupled to each other with an invisible spring. They are then all in direct contact with each other, without any explicit acting force. Each quantum bit knows so to say over any distance what the others are doing. Such entanglement was the subject of a heated debate in early quantum physics. Albert Einstein, for example, considered entanglement to be physically impossible and derisively called it a spooky action-at-a-distance.

In the meantime, however, this controversial quantum property is already being exploited in many technical applications. Quantum computers are supposed to be the crowning achievement here. They could open completely new, fantastic possibilities in at least five fields:

Some physicists even believe that a quantum computer could be used to calculate and thus solve any problem in nature, from the behavior of black holes, the development of the very early universe, the collisions of high-energy elementary particles, to the phenomenon of superconductivity as well as the modeling of the 100 billion neurons and the thousand times larger number of their connections in our brain. Quantum computers could therefore represent a revolution in science as well as in the technology world.

Some even spoke of a Sputnik moment in information technology

Less than two years ago, Google announced that its engineers had succeeded in building a quantum computer that for the first time was able to solve a problem that any conventional computer could not. The corresponding computer chip Sycamore needed just 200 seconds for a special computing task that would have taken the worlds best supercomputer 10,000 years.

It had been Google itself that some years earlier had christened such an ability of a quantum computer to be superior to any existing classical computer in accomplishing certain tasks with quantum supremacy. The moment of such quantum supremacy seemed to have finally come. Some even spoke of a Sputnik moment in information technology.

However, this was more a symbolic milestone, since the problem solved by Sycamore was still a very special and purely academic one. But there is no doubt that it represented a significant step forward (which, however, was also called into question in some cases: IBM even doubted the quantum nature of this computing machine).

Jiuzhang was also controversial as a quantum computer

Then, in December 2020, a team-based mainly at the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei communicated in the journal Science that a new quantum computer they had developed and which they had named Jiuzhang, was up to 10 billion times faster than Googles Sycamore.

That this news came from China was not quite as surprising as it might have been to those with little familiarity with today's Chinese science. Partly still seen as a developing country and thus technologically behind, China has meanwhile invested heavily in potential quantum computing and other quantum processes as well as artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, and a bunch of other cutting-edge technologies. Communist General Secretary Xi Jinpings government is spending $10 billion over several years on the countrys National Laboratory for Quantum Information Sciences.

Jiuzhang was also controversial as a quantum computer. But if both Sycamore and Jiuzhang could indeed solve their (still very specific) problems incomparably fast with quantum technologies and this can no longer be easily dismissed there would already be two quantum computers that have achieved the desired quantum superiority.

Just these days, there was another (money-big) announcement

From here, we could then expect numerous further versions quite soon, which can solve more and more problems faster and faster. A few weeks ago, Google announced that they want to have built a powerful quantum computer that can be used on a very broad scale (no longer limited to exotic peripheral problems) by 2029. To this end, they want to bring together one million physical qubits that work together in an error-correcting quantum computer (in todays quantum computers this number still stands at less than 100 qubits).

In addition to Google and the Chinese research center in Hefei, there are countless other quantum computer development sites. And they are increasingly supported by governments. Germany, for example, announced in 2020 that the country will invest billions into quantum computing technology.

The new entity could become another global leader

And just these days, there was another (money-big) announcement: Cambridge Quantum Computing, a British company founded in 2014, announced that it will partner with the quantum solutions division of U.S. industrial giant Honeywell to build a new quantum computer. This deal brings together Honeywells expertise in (quantum) hardware with the one of Cambridge Quantum in software and algorithms.

The new entity could become another global leader (along with Google, IBM, and the Chinese) in developing quantum computers. Without the belief that initial breakthroughs in quantum computing have already been achieved, it is unlikely that so much money would be flowing into the industry already.

These sums are likely to multiply again as further progress is made. One might feel transported back to the early 1970s before commercial computers existed. Only this time, everything will probably happen even much faster.

Lars Jaeger is a Swiss-German author and investment manager. He writes on the history and philosophy of science and technology and has in the past been an author on hedge funds, quantitative investing, and risk management.

Previous contributions: Rudi Bogni, Peter Kurer, Rolf Banz, Dieter Ruloff, Werner Vogt, Walter Wittmann, Alfred Mettler, Robert Holzach, Craig Murray, David Zollinger, Arthur Bolliger, Beat Kappeler, Chris Rowe, Stefan Gerlach, Marc Lussy, Nuno Fernandes, Richard Egger, Maurice Pedergnana, Marco Bargel, Steve Hanke, Urs Schoettli, Ursula Finsterwald, Stefan Kreuzkamp, Oliver Bussmann, Michael Benz, Albert Steck, Martin Dahinden, Thomas Fedier, Alfred Mettler,Brigitte Strebel, Mirjam Staub-Bisang, Nicolas Roth, Thorsten Polleit, Kim Iskyan, Stephen Dover, Denise Kenyon-Rouvinez, Christian Dreyer, Kinan Khadam-Al-Jame, Robert Hemmi,Anton Affentranger,Yves Mirabaud, Katharina Bart, Frdric Papp, Hans-Martin Kraus, Gerard Guerdat, MarioBassi, Stephen Thariyan, Dan Steinbock, Rino Borini,Bert Flossbach, Michael Hasenstab, Guido Schilling, Werner E. Rutsch,Dorte Bech Vizard, Adriano B. Lucatelli, Katharina Bart, Maya Bhandari, Jean Tirole, Hans Jakob Roth,Marco Martinelli, Thomas Sutter,Tom King,Werner Peyer, Thomas Kupfer, Peter Kurer,Arturo Bris,Frederic Papp,James Syme, DennisLarsen, Bernd Kramer, Ralph Ebert, Armin Jans,Nicolas Roth, Hans Ulrich Jost, Patrick Hunger, Fabrizio Quirighetti,Claire Shaw, Peter Fanconi,Alex Wolf, Dan Steinbock, Patrick Scheurle, Sandro Occhilupo, Will Ballard, Nicholas Yeo, Claude-Alain Margelisch, Jean-Franois Hirschel, Jens Pongratz, Samuel Gerber, Philipp Weckherlin, Anne Richards, Antoni Trenchev, Benoit Barbereau, Pascal R. Bersier, Shaul Lifshitz, Klaus Breiner, Ana Botn, Martin Gilbert, Jesper Koll, Ingo Rauser, Carlo Capaul, Claude Baumann, Markus Winkler, Konrad Hummler, Thomas Steinemann, Christina Boeck, Guillaume Compeyron, Miro Zivkovic, Alexander F. Wagner, Eric Heymann, Christoph Sax, Felix Brem, Jochen Moebert, Jacques-Aurlien Marcireau, Ursula Finsterwald, Claudia Kraaz, Michel Longhini, Stefan Blum, Zsolt Kohalmi, Karin M. Klossek, Nicolas Ramelet, Sren Bjnness, Lamara von Albertini, Andreas Britt, Gilles Prince, Darren Willams, Salman Ahmed, Stephane Monier, and Peter van der Welle, Ken Orchard, Christian Gast, Jeffrey Bohn, Juergen Braunstein, Jeff Voegeli, Fiona Frick, Stefan Schneider, Matthias Hunn, Andreas Vetsch, Fabiana Fedeli, Marionna Wegenstein, Kim Fournais, Carole Millet, Ralph Ebert, Swetha Ramachandran, Brigitte Kaps, Thomas Stucki, Neil Shearing, Claude Baumann, Tom Naratil, Oliver Berger, Robert Sharps, Tobias Mueller, Florian Wicki, Jean Keller, Niels Lan Doky, Karin M. Klossek, Ralph Ebert, Johnny El Hachem, Judith Basad, Katharina Bart, Thorsten Polleit, Bernardo Brunschwiler, Peter Schmid, Karam Hinduja, Zsolt Kohalmi, Raphal Surber, Santosh Brivio, Grard Piasko, Mark Urquhart, Olivier Kessler, Bruno Capone, Peter Hody, Lars Jaeger, Andrew Isbester, Florin Baeriswyl, and Michael Bornhaeusser, Agnieszka Walorska, Thomas Mueller, Ebrahim Attarzadeh, Marcel Hostettler,Hui Zhang, Michael Bornhaeusser, Reto Jauch, Angela Agostini, Guy de Blonay, Tatjana Greil Castro, Jean-Baptiste Berthon, Marc Saint John Webb, Dietrich Goenemeyer, Mobeen Tahir, Didier Saint-Georges, Serge Tabachnik, Rolando Grandi, Vega Ibanez, Beat Wittmann, Carina Schaurte, and David Folkerts-Landau, Andreas Ita, Teodoro Cocca, Michael Welti, Mihkel Vitsur, Fabrizio Pagani, Roman Balzan, Todd Saligman, Christian Kaelin, Stuart Dunbar, and Fernando Fernndez.

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From Corporate Leader to Change-Maker, Motivational Speaker Offers Hope, Possibility, and the Power to Change on Amazon Prime – PRNewswire

Posted: at 4:36 am

AUSTIN, Texas, June 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ --Shenal Arimilli reveals her signature approach as a featured motivational speaker on the new Season 3 of SpeakUP, now streaming live on Amazon Prime Video. Arimilli is a highly sought after global transformational leader in the rapidly growing space of personal, professional and spiritual development. In Episode 2, Shenal masterfully merges the power of science with the age-old wisdom of spirituality and consciousness to create quantum leaps in transforming lives and businesses worldwide.

Just a handful of speakers across the world are showcased in each season of SpeakUP. In this TEDx-style show, Shenal reveals her personal story of healing through cancer and its recurrences, while weaving in the depth of her understanding of quantum physics, neuroscience, human physiology, and psychology in a relatable way. She empowers the live audience to take life's challenges and opportunities and turn them into miracles.

Arimilli says, "The invitation to share my story, my message and my life's work on the second largest streaming platform in the world was a dream come true. I have learned that miracles just don't happen by chance for the lucky few. They are co-created by us! We are at the cutting-edge, exploring the physical and spiritual laws of the Universe that govern our potential as creators of our lives. We are powerful beyond measure. I am passionate about sharing this message and process with as many people on this planet as I can!"

Shenal's episode of Season 3 of SpeakUP is a must-watch show as it powerfully takes you from the emotional vulnerability of challenge and hardship to the expert delivery of how to navigate change and turn your life or business around.To watch Shenal's life-changing episode live on Amazon Prime Video within the US and UK, click here.To enjoy her episode on SpeakUP Season 3, Episode 2, outside of the USA and UK, click here.

As a transformational leader, motivational speaker, intuitive life mentor, author, and workshop facilitator in life transformation, Shenal Arimilli teaches powerful techniques that allow for life-changing shifts in love, health, wealth, and consciousness globally. She is a thought leader and visionary, pushing the envelope for change and leading people to become powerful co-creators of their miracles.

Her awards include Exceptional Woman of Excellence at the International Women's Economic Forum and Shenal's life-changing work has been featured on international stages, radio shows, podcasts, and in BW Business World Magazine. Her upcoming book, Cracking the Rich Code, co-authored with world-renowned success coach, Jim Britt, and Shark Tank's, Kevin Harrington, and endorsed by Tony Robbins, is slated for release summer 2021! Shenal articulates her book knowledge, divine wisdom, and evidence-based experience in her latest ebook, Elevate Your Life: 7 Keys to Unlock the Power Within You. For a complimentary copy of Arimilli's May 2021 released ebook, click here.

Media ContactShenal Arimilli Team[emailprotected]925-575-7699

Subscribe to Shenal's YouTube Channel here.Connect with Shenal on LinkedIn here.Follow Shenal on Facebook here.Follow Shenal on Instagram here.


SOURCE Shenal Arimilli


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Measure of time – The Times of India Blog

Posted: at 4:36 am

Time is omnipresent. It is the essence without which reality has no meaning. It is inseparably woven in the fabric of the universe, chronicling its history every moment: inflation of universe since beginning, formation of galaxies from cosmic dust, creation of elements in the nuclear furnace of stars, origin of organic life from these elements on a miniscule planet, evolution of complex organisms which now ruminate on the nature of the phenomenon of time.

The movement of cosmic bodies in our vicinity gives us the measure of time: rotation of Earth on its axis, its revolution around the Sun, Moons revolution around the earth. We are born with a biological clock which is aligned to this astronomical clock. It regulates physiological processes and behavioural patterns. Though these two clocks are synchronized, the biological clock keeps ticking independently of the external clock. This explains the jet-lag after a long intercontinental flight across many longitudes.

Plants and animals too, it would seem, have an innate sense of time. Plants measure the changing length of the day for flowering. As do birds for breeding and migration.

Palolo worms live in coral reefs in the South Pacific. In the early morning of two particular days during the last quarter of the moon in October and November, the rear ends of all the worms break off and swim to the surface for breeding.

A bee on finding a source of food returns to the hive and performs a dance in the hive. Movements of dance, inform its mates about the location of food relative to suns direction. Outside the hive suns direction changes with the advancing day. Bee alters the motions of the dance to keep them aligned with Sun without venturing out. This is an incredible example of the precision of biological clocks.

One would expect that a feature thus entangled in the architecture of the universe and life on earth would be unequivocally understood. But time remains the most intriguing aspect of our reality. Like human consciousness, it is readily felt but defies simple explanation.

This ambiguity about times nature is reflected in our language. None can win over time, though we kill it often. Time is the universal constituent of our reality yet it is priceless. Time slips through our fingers like sand but some are able to save it judiciously. Time is invisible but it often weighs heavy on the mind. Poets can hear its chime. Some see footprints of their dear ones in its sands.

The astronomical time I spoke about is on a scale experienced in our world, on our tiny little planet, an insignificant collection of dust, revolving around a middling star. This measure changes in the boundless universe. The Sun rotates on its axis in about twenty-seven terrestrial days. It also revolves around the centre of our galaxy. This revolution takes about 225 million years and is called the Cosmic year. When last we were in the position we are today in our galaxy, Dinosaurs had begun to arise. Only 58 cosmic years have elapsed since the origin of the universe but about 14000,000,000,000 terrestrial years. Our brain cannot even begin to fathom this number. It did not evolve to understand Cosmic time, a concept that is useless in its struggle for survival. But neither did the universe evolve to bring about intelligent life on one of its planets. Its truth thus may follow a logic that is counterintuitive to human reason.

Science only makes the riddle of time murkier. Newton in the seventeenth century postulated the eternally inviolable absolute Time and Space. The universality of the time was unquestionable. Planets in space and life on earth moved on a rhythm set by a cosmic clock. This irrefutable sanctity afforded time a divine status and doubts about its nature could not be entertained.

Einstein upended this cosmic balance with his theory of Special Relativity in 1905 and General Relativity in 1915. The bottom dropped from the universe of Time and Space. The truth was more bizarre than the wildest of imagination. Each planet, each star, every moving body, carries its own time. No time is universal. Time fell from its high pedestal. It became a humble fourth dimension of the Spacetime.

The flow of time is its universal attribute but most difficult to explain. Are we the mute bystanders on the banks of the river of Time as it flows by us? Or are we flowing in this current? We know the direction of the flow of time instinctively. We see eggs splatter on the floor, windshields smashed on roads. Never do splattered eggs coalesce into whole or glass-bits gather into a windshield.

Science tells us that the flow of time is an illusion. All equations of physics, Newtonian or Einsteinian, are time invariant. They are true in both directions of time, present to future and present to past. Einstein believed that for us believing physicists the distinction between past, present, and future only has the meaning of an illusion, though a persistent one. This is not only counterintuitive, but seems to negate the basic laws of life. We feel the truth of our past in our very bones, but cannot remember a single facet of our future.

Relativity explains that the future of one planet can be anothers past, when two are astronomical distances apart and are moving at speeds comparable to lights. It would then appear that the past, present, and future of every particle in the universe are frozen forever in the spacetime matrix. Each body weaves its own past, present, and future as it moves across this medium.

However meaningless may be the concept of flow of time for science, it is the lynchpin of our lives. Time is the thread on which are strung beads of our experience that make our life stories. Without it we are but a haphazard collection of moments.

Quantum physics with its bizarre theories of matter but uncannily accurate predictions of phenomena in real world, is most inaccessible to the human mind. In this esoteric branch of physics, past, present, and future are mere possibilities. Observer purveying time and space influences which possibility will crystalise into reality of the moment. An event carries in it all the innumerable histories that it could have had. Richard Feynman, the maverick genius and perhaps the most celebrated theoretical physicist of the second half of twentieth century, worked out a method to predict the contribution of various histories in shaping an event. He called this phenomenonThe Sum Over Histories.Uncannier is the assertion of Quantum science that the future influences the past. This has been proved unequivocally in theDelayed Choiceexperiments. One can roam in this outlandish world of strange happenings only with the aid of mathematics. Any attempt to picture the reality of the Quantum world in our mind will always be doomed. Anyone who claims to understand Quantum theory is either lying or crazy, was Feynmans opinion.

Our brains evolved to enable our genes survive and proliferate in a world where genes of millions of other species were fighting for the same resources. Mind constructs a reality of our physical world which most adequately serves this purpose. Any understanding beyond this is a spill over, not the intended objective of Evolution. (I speak of Evolution as if it has a purpose. I cannot emphasise more strongly that evolution is a blind process working on a few simple laws). World may have many dimensions, but we can only conceive three. These suffice us to negotiate space on our planet in all facets of living. An ant, if it had a mind, would probably have seen only two in the same world. Is time then a dimension, which the human mind has not evolved to understand? Mind perhaps constructs an image of it which makes us feel the flow of the river of time from eternity to eternity.

Science has unraveled many mysteries of the human mind. Artificial intelligence accomplishes many tasks which were earlier the sole domain of mind. But no algorithm can make a computer understand simple notions like goodness, cruelty, morality and beauty; Concepts which the human mind knows instinctively. Is time also one such abstraction, beyond the reach of extant science, but within easy grasp of the human mind?

Whatever be the true nature of time, this understanding, when it dawns, will not change the way human mind perceives time. Winds from the future will eternally blow ephemeral moments in our present and embed them forever in our past. We will continue to yearn and rue our past, suffer and rejoice in the present and will always look towards the future with hope and foreboding.

Views expressed above are the author's own.


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Cryonics During the Pandemic – The New York Times

Posted: at 4:35 am

When an 87-year-old Californian man was wheeled into an operating room just outside Phoenix last year, the pandemic was at its height and medical protocols were being upended across the country.

A case like his would normally have required 14 or more bags of fluids to be pumped into him, but now that posed a problem.

Had he been infected with the coronavirus, tiny aerosol droplets could have escaped and infected staff, so the operating team had adopted new procedures that reduced the effectiveness of the treatment but used fewer liquids.

It was an elaborate workaround, especially considering the patient had been declared legally dead more than a day earlier.

He had arrived in the operating room of Alcor Life Extension Foundation located in an industrial park near the airport in Scottsdale, Ariz. packed in dry ice and ready to be cryopreserved, or stored at deep-freeze temperatures, in the hope that one day, perhaps decades or centuries from now, he could be brought back to life.

As it turns out, the pandemic that has affected billions of lives around the world has also had an impact on the nonliving.

From Moscow to Phoenix and from China to rural Australia, the major players in the business of preserving bodies at extremely low temperatures say the pandemic has brought new stresses to an industry that has long faced skepticism or outright hostility from medical and legal establishments that have dismissed it as quack science or fraud.

In some cases, Covid-19 precautions have limited the parts of the body that can be pumped full of protective chemicals to curb the damage caused by freezing.

Alcor, which has been in business since 1972, adopted new rules in its operating room last year that restricted the application of its medical-grade antifreeze solution to only the patients brain, leaving everything below the neck unprotected.

In the case of the Californian man, things were even worse because he had died without completing the normal legal and financial arrangements with Alcor, so no standby team had been on hand for his death. By the time he arrived at Alcors facility, too much time had elapsed for the team to be able to successfully circulate the protective chemicals, even to the brain.

That meant that when the patient was eventually sealed into a sleeping bag and stored in a large thermos-like aluminum vat filled with liquid nitrogen that cooled it to minus 320 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 196 Celsius), ice crystals formed between the cells of his body, poking countless holes in cell membranes.

Max More, the 57-year-old former president of Alcor, said that the damage caused by this patients straight freeze could probably still be repaired by future scientists, especially if there was only limited damage to the brain, which is often removed and stored alone in what is known in the trade as a neuro preservation.

I have always been signed up for a neuro myself, Mr. More said. I dont really understand why people want to take their broken-down old body with them. In the future itll probably be easier to start from scratch and just regenerate the body anyway.

The important stuff is up here as far as I am concerned, he said, pointing to his sandy-blond crop of hair in a Zoom call. That is where my personality lives and my memories are all the rest is replaceable.

Supporters of cryonics insist that death is a process of deterioration rather than simply the moment when the heart stops, and that rapid intervention can act as a freeze frame on life, allowing super-chilled preservation to serve as an ambulance to the future.

They usually concede there is no guarantee that future science will ever be able to repair and reanimate the body but even a long shot, they argue, is better than the odds of revival zero if the body is turned to dust or ashes. If you are starting out dead, they say, you have nothing to lose.

During the pandemic, a heightened awareness of mortality seems to have led to more interest in signing up for cryopreservation procedures that can cost north of $200,000.

Perhaps the coronavirus made them realize their life is the most important thing they have and made them want to invest in their own future, said Valeriya Udalova, 61, the chief executive of KrioRus, which has been operating in Moscow since 2006. Both KrioRus and Alcor said they had received a record number of inquiries in recent months.

Jim Yount, who has been a member of the American Cryonics Society for 49 years, said he has often seen health crises or the death of a loved one bring cryonics to the front of peoples minds.

Something like Covid brings home the fact that they are not immortal, said Mr. Yount, 78, during a recent stint working in the organizations office in Silicon Valley.

The American Cryonics Society has been offering support services since 1969 but stores its 30 cryopreserved members at another organization, the Cryonics Institute, near Detroit.

Alcor, the most expensive and best-known cryonics company in the United States, said the pandemic forced it to cancel public tours of its Scottsdale operation. It has also been harder to reach clients quickly, both because of travel restrictions and limitations on hospital access.

Usually we like to get to the hospital beforehand if we have advance notice that the patient is terminal so we can talk to the staff, get to know the layout and how we are going to get the patient out of there as quickly as possible, said Mr. More, who is now a spokesman for Alcor.

The company stocked up on chemicals at the start of the pandemic, he said, but actually we dodged a bullet for our members because fortunately we have had very few deaths.

After averaging about one cryopreservation a month in the 18 months before the pandemic, Alcor has dealt with just six since January 2020, perhaps through a combination of luck and clients heeding the companys plea to avoid risky activities during the pandemic.

KrioRus, the only operator with cryostorage facilities in Europe, was busier than ever and performed nine cryopreservations during the pandemic, according to Ms. Udalova, with some of the deaths caused indirectly by Covid.

Visa and quarantine rules threatened delays of up to four weeks to reach their bodies, and the company often had to rely on small local associates to deal with its clients, who died in South Korea, France, Ukraine and Russia.

Different problems have emerged in Australia, which has had some of the worlds most restrictive Covid border controls.

Southern Cryonics, a start-up, was unable to fly in foreign experts to train its staff, forcing it to delay by a year the planned opening of a facility capable of storing 40 bodies.

In China, the newest major player in cryonics, the Yinfeng Life Science Research Institute had to stop public visits to its facility in Jinan, the capital of Shandong province, which has made it difficult to recruit clients.

More than 50 years after the first cryopreservations, there are now about 500 people stored in vats around the world, the great majority of them in the United States.

The Cryonics Institute, for instance, holds 206 bodies while Alcor has 182 bodies or neuros of people aged 2 to 101. KrioRus has 80, and there are a handful of others held by smaller operations.

The Chinese performed their first cryopreservation in 2017, and Yinfengs storage vats hold only a dozen clients. But Aaron Drake, the clinical director of the company, who moved to China after seven years as head of Alcors medical response team, noted that it took Alcor more than three times as long to reach that number of preserved bodies.

Yinfeng has priced itself at the top of the market alongside Alcor, which charges $200,000 to handle a whole body and $80,000 for a neuro.

Alcor has the largest number of people who have committed to paying its fees: 1,385, from 34 countries. (Fees are often funded with life insurance policies.) The Chinese have about 60 customers who have committed, while KrioRus said it has recruited 400 customers from 20 countries.

The Cryonics Institute has a different business model, charging basic fees as low as $28,000 with up to $60,000 more required if the members want transport and rapid standby teams like Alcors.

KrioRus is even cheaper, although it plans to raise its fees when it completes its current move from a corrugated metal warehouse 30 miles northeast of Moscow to a much larger facility being built in Tver, 105 miles northwest of the capital.

Alcors fees are so much higher mostly because the company places $115,000 of its whole body fee in a trust to guarantee future care of its patients, such as topping up the liquid nitrogen. That trust is managed by Morgan Stanley and is now worth more than $15 million.

Mr. Drake said he believes the Chinese are hopeful that they will be able to outpace the American companies and they have built a program capable of doing that.

The strongest reason for believing China will come to dominate the field is not just its population of 1.4 billion people but its domestic attitude toward cryopreservation. Far from being confined to the scientific fringe, Yinfeng is the only cryonics group that is supported by government and embraced by mainstream researchers.

Our little business unit is owned by a private biotech firm that has about 8,000 employees and partners with the government on a lot of projects, Mr. Drake said. He added that it is well integrated into the hospital systems and cooperates with research institutes and universities.

The cooperation in China is a long way from the situation in Russia, where Evgeny Alexandrov, the chair of a Commission on Pseudoscience started by the official Academy of Sciences, has derided cryonics as an exclusively commercial undertaking that does not have any scientific basis.

In the United States, the Society of Cryobiology, whose members study the effects of low temperatures on living tissues for procedures such as IVF, adopted a bylaw in the 1980s threatening to expel any member who took part in any practice or application of freezing deceased persons in anticipation of their reanimation.

The societys past president Arthur Rowe wrote that believing cryonics could reanimate somebody who has been frozen is like believing you can turn hamburger back into a cow, while another past president said the work of cadaver freezers edged more toward fraud than either faith or science.

The society has since eased off, and while its formal position is that cryonics is an act of speculation or hope, not science, it no longer bans its members from the practice.

Mr. More at Alcor said there is much less hostility from the medical and scientific establishments now than just five years ago, when there was often tension between rapid response teams and hospitals.

It was quite common for us to show up at a hospital, try to explain what were doing and they would say, You want to do what? Not in my hospital you dont! he said.

They wouldnt let us in, so we would have to wait outside and it would slow things down, but that just doesnt happen anymore. Usually the staff have seen one of the documentaries on science channels and they know something about what we do.

Typically the reaction now is: Oh, this is fascinating, Ive never seen this happen.

Peter Tsolakides, 71, a former marketing executive for Exxon Mobil and a founder of the Australian start-up Southern Cryonics, said he is grateful that people in the country tend to have an open mind about new things.

I dont think any public resistance will crop up here, and the state department of health has been really positive and helpful, he said.

An important difference between Yinfeng and most other operators is the Chinese firms greater willingness to preserve people who die without having expressed any interest in being put on ice.

This is seen as an important ethical question in the West, given that it could come as quite a shock for somebody to die, perhaps after coming to peace with their fate, only to wake up blinking at the ceiling lights of a laboratory a few decades or centuries later.

We dont like to take third-party cases, Mr. More said. If someone phones up and says, Uncle Fred is dying, I want to get him cryopreserved, we need to ask a bunch of questions before we even consider accepting that case.

Is there any evidence that Uncle Fred actually was interested in being cryopreserved? Because if not, we dont want to do it. Are there any family members who are really opposed to it? Because we dont want to have to go into a legal battle.

The litigious bent in the United States make its cryonics firms especially twitchy. There have been many lawsuits by relatives of the deceased trying to stop the expensive cryonics procedure.

You have relatives who think, Now youre dead, I can overrule your wishes and just take your money, Mr. More said. Its amazing how often people try to do that.

The relatives of one client failed to inform Alcor that he had died and instead had him embalmed and buried in Europe. When Alcor found out a year later, it confirmed that his contract said he wanted to be cryopreserved no matter how much time had elapsed, so the company got a court order and had the body returned to Arizona.

Mr. Drake said that the primacy that Western society places on an individuals choice in such cases is a big difference with Eastern culture.

In China it has to do with what the family members want, just like with medical treatments, he said. Lets say Grandpa gets cancer in China. Many times they wont even tell Grandpa he has cancer, and the other family members will decide what treatments should be done.

They might then say, Lets have Grandpa cryopreserved, and it has to be a unanimous agreement of the whole family but not including the individual who actually goes through it.

Ms. Udalova said the Russian system is somewhere in the middle. Somebody who dies without leaving written proof of their intentions can still be cryopreserved if two witnesses testify that is what the deceased wanted.

That may help explain an intriguing difference in the gender balance of people who have been preserved.

Men outnumber women by almost three to one among Alcors clients, and the imbalance is even greater among people registered with the Australian start-up. But there is an almost even gender balance among KrioRuss 80 patients.

That is because of a cultural situation here in Russia, Ms. Udalova said from her office in northern Moscow.

Our clients are mostly men, but they often cryopreserve their mothers first, because Russian men are brought up only by their mothers.

When those male clients eventually join their mothers in the firms metal vats, the gender balance will likely tip toward more men, she said.

The Chinese, like the Russian men who want to embark on any new life with their mothers by their side, are also baffled by the tendency of American men to plan a solo journey into the future.

In the States you get some family members signing up together, but you get a lot more individuals signing themselves up and the Chinese dont really get that, Mr. Drake said.

I think in almost all the cases in China so far, youve had a family member signing up their loved one who is near death.

If waking up alone in the future does not appeal, there is a growing trend in the United States of people paying tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to cryopreserve their pets, with the cost based largely on the animals size.

If you want us to do your horse it is going to be different from your cats brain, Mr. More said. We seem to be having more pets than humans at the moment, and thats fine with dogs but its kind of tricky for cats and anything smaller because of their tiny blood vessels.

If you want to store a whole big dog, thats going to cost about as much as a human because of its size. My wife and I had our dog Oscar cryopreserved. He was a large golden doodle, but we basically just had his brain stored to make it more affordable because Im in neuro anyway.

In Russia, KrioRuss preserved cats and dogs have been joined by five hamsters, two rabbits and a chinchilla.

To smooth the jolt of trying to resume life in the future, most cryonics firms offer to store keepsakes, memory books and digital discs to help a revived patient rebuild memories or simply cope with nostalgia. Alcor uses a salt mine in Kansas for storage and is also working on options for putting money into a personal trust to finance a future life.

A final edge the Chinese cryonicists enjoy is a more accommodating cultural environment, as Western religions tend to be more focused on the concepts of heaven and hell, and the body and brains being merely the repositories of an eternal soul rather than machines that can be switched off and on.

Mr. More, for one, has little patience with religious critics of cryonics. Where in the Bible or the Quran, or the Bhagavad Gita does it say, Thou shalt not do cryonics? It doesnt. In fact in the Bible there are some people living for centuries.

Remember, he added, we are not talking about letting people live forever, just maybe a few hundred years more, and thats nothing compared to eternity.

When Christians complain that they would not like to be dragged back from heaven by having their body revived, Mr. More reminds them that they may be traveling from the other direction.

Are you sure youre not going downstairs? he asks. And if so, dont you want an escape clause? Cryonics might give you a chance to come back and do some good works so you will have a better chance of getting to heaven.

Ms. Udalova in Moscow said some of her clients cover their bases by opting for both cryonics and a church funeral.

Russian priests always agree to do the religious service, she said. You just have dry ice in the coffin in the church.

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Cryonics During the Pandemic - The New York Times

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