Scalar Energy

Quantum Science, Scalar Energy Pendant, Nikola Tesla & More

October 31, 2014

US Navy, Energy Dept. team to develop wave energy devices

With an eye toward helping jump-start a nascent industry the US Navy and Department of Energy today said they would spend $10 million to test two deep-water wave energy devices.

 The devices fall under what’s known as advance marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) technology which converts the energy of waves, tides, rivers, and ocean currents into clean, renewable electricity that can be used by homes and businesses.

[RELATED: 10 hot energy projects that could electrify the world]

 “A total of $10 million has been made available for these in-water tests to collect important performance, reliability, and cost data from innovative wave energy conversion devices that are in the late stages of technology development,” the DOE stated.

 The two devices are described by the DOE:

  • Ocean Energy USA will test a full-scale deployment of their Ocean Energy Buoy The Ocean Energy Buoy works by harnessing the energy from air that is compressed by the natural rise and fall of ocean waves, and converting it into electricity. The Energy Department and the Navy will collect data throughout the deployment. Research objectives include validating the mooring design and device durability in the open ocean environment, measuring power output at full scale, and evaluating the cost of energy produced by the device.
  • Northwest Energy Innovations will build and test a full-scale model of its Azura WEC device. Azura extracts power from both the vertical and horizontal motions of waves to maximize energy capture. NWEI is incorporating lessons learned from their half-scale prototype testing in 2012 to modify and improve the full-scale device design. The test will allow the Energy Department and the Navy to gather comprehensive data and evaluate how the device performs in the open ocean. The test data will be used to help validate models generated by the Department’s publicly available, open-source Wave Energy Conversion Simulator tool.

 Ocean Energy USA and Northwest Energy Innovations will test their wave energy conversion devices for one year in new deep-water test berths at the Navy’s Wave Energy Test Site (WETS) off the waters of Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

The DOE describes WETS as the nation’s only grid-connected open-water test site, which will be used to gather performance data and identify key cost drivers that will accelerate the commercialization and deployment of MHK technologies.

 The Navy also supports the need to assess WEC device performance, durability, and environmental impacts by managing the associated infrastructure and testing opportunities to determine the feasibility of using WEC technologies in appropriate locations where local energy costs are high.

 The projects announced this week are only the latest in the DOE’s effort to get wave energy rolling. In March, the agency said it would spend $6.5 million to set up a competition that challenges individuals, universities, and existing and emerging companies to improve the performance and lower the cost of energy produced by wave energy devices.  The agency has said n the past that the US could generate up to 1,400 terawatt hours of potential wave power per year. One terawatt-hour of electricity is enough to power 85,000 homes, according to the agency.

Hand-in-hand with the WEC competition, the DOE said it would spend $3.5 million to develop sensors, instruments and other technologies that collect data on the characteristics of waves, including their height, period, direction, and steepness. Such data will let WECs more accurately assess approaching waves and more efficiently harness their energy.

“The wave environment experienced by a WEC can vary rapidly over very short time periods; the wave height, period, and direction are all highly variable. WECs currently rely on feedback controllers to adjust to this stochastic input. This form of reactive control could be augmented by shorter-term wave statistics on a time horizon of minutes ahead of the device. Feed forward controllers have the potential to double energy capture, but require future knowledge of incoming waves on a time horizon of a few wave lengths (i.e., 30 seconds). New technologies would support the development of wave instrumentation or new processing software for current instrumentation to provide the short term wave statistics or wave‐by‐wave height, period, and directionality measurements that enable feed forward controls,” the DOE stated.

A year ago August, the DOE spent $16 million on 17 research projects that promised to increase the power production and reliability of wave and tidal devices and help gather valuable data on how deployed devices interact with the surrounding environment.

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October 31, 2014

Magnetic Materials Market (Soft Magnetic, Permanent Magnetic and Semi-Hard Magnetic) For Automotive, Electronics …

LONDON, Oct. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The report on magnetic materials provides a detailed analysis and forecast of the market on a global as well as regional level from 2013 to 2019. On the global level, the market has been segmented based on volume (kilo tons) and revenue (USD million) from 2013 to 2019. For an in-depth understanding of the market on the regional level, demand has been forecast based on volume (kilo tons) and revenue (USD million) for a time period ranging between 2013 and 2019. The report includes drivers and restraints, and their impact on the growth of the market during the forecast period. Furthermore, the report encompasses opportunities available for growth of the market on the global as well as regional level.

We have included a thorough analysis of the value chain in order to provide a detailed understanding of the market. Additionally, we have included Porter’s Five Forces model, which provides an in-depth insight into the intensity of competition in the market. Furthermore, the study comprises a market attractiveness analysis, where numerous applications are benchmarked based on market size, growth rate and general attractiveness.

The market has been segmented based on product and applications. Each such segment has been analyzed and forecast based on volume (kilo tons) and revenue (USD million) from 2013 to 2019. Additionally, the segments have been analyzed and forecast based on current trends at the global as well as regional level for the given time period. Geographically, the market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Rest of the World (RoW). Demand has been analyzed and forecast based on the current trends for a period of six years.

The study features profiles of companies such as A.K. Steel Holding Corporation, Arnold Magnetic Technologies, Electron Energy Corporation, Hitachi Metals, Ltd., Lynas Corporation Ltd. and Molycorp Inc.

The market has been segmented as below:

Magnetic Materials Market – Product Segment Analysis
Soft magnetic materials
Soft ferrite
Electrical steel
Permanent magnetic materials
Hard ferrite
Semi-hard magnetic materials

Magnetic Materials Market – Application Analysis
Energy generation
Others (Including household applications, etc.)

Magnetic Materials Market – Regional Analysis
North America
Rest of the World (RoW)

Download the full report:

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October 31, 2014

Tuned In: Yellowcard doesn’t stop for reds

My parents didn’t feed me enough negative energy when I was growing up.

It was mostly all good, healthy nurturing stuff. I could achieve goals if I put my blah to it. Reach for the stars and blah.

One day, just as you mow the lawn for allowance, you will mow your own lawn.

Alright, that one kind of sucked.

Nonetheless, I would have appreciated a little honesty from time to time.

No one ever told me, for instance, back when I was bushy tailed and bright of eye, that I was going to be old one day.

And that I would hear a band like Yellowcard on the radio, say, and be yanked back to high school, a first girlfriend, singing loud during car rides, underage bracelets, beaded bracelets, way too many bracelets for a dude to wear, diner food and everything that wasn’t old and cattle domestic.

The total opposite of mowing the lawn.

Lead singer Ryan Key and his bandmates are still carrying their touch and making people like me bum out. In a good way, mostly. Yellowcard has a new album to support on tour, after all.

Grass is going to grow again next spring.

(Or probably. Sand lawns, man. That’s the ticket).

Can you tell me a little about your new album, “Lift a Sail”? How did this record come together? Is this material that you guys have been kicking around for a while?

Most of the record started from scratch. We had a general idea that we wanted to make a really massive sounding record. But we didn’t have a whole lot of material coming in. We realized very early on that we were writing something new, something different. We could tell that we weren’t heading in the pop punk direction this time around. We were feeling incredibly inspired by the music we were creating.

When Yellowcard initially emerged, a whole audience of young fans became attached to your group. Now, those fans are still invested and they’re buying houses and raising families. What’s it like to think about the relationship you’ve had with fans over the years? Is it kind of neat to think you’re growing together with your audience?

I hope we are growing together. When you take a risk and do something different like we did with “Lift a Sail,” you have to be prepared for anything as far as how the fans will react. I think we have grown so much with our fans. We never want to make the same record twice so we can only write the tunes and hope that fans will continue on the journey with us.

You’ve played thousands of shows throughout your career — how do you manage to keep things fresh and interesting while on the road? Is it ever difficult to channel the kind of energy you need to entertain a crowd?

New songs are the key. Every time we make a new record, the excitement of performing those songs begins to build. So it is easy for us to keep it fresh as long as we keep making records. Also the crowd feeds us energy every night. They help us channel it all.

What’s one of the strangest or most surprising aspects of the music industry that’s changed since you started out in the late ’90s?

The Internet. It has changed everything. It has created an immediacy and a demand that was never there when I was a kid. People want what they want right when they want it, and if they don’t get it, they will let you know how upset they are right away, or they will just move on to something else. We are just doing our best to keep our fans engaged in what we are doing.

It seems like Halloween costumes get more and more elaborate each year. What would be your dream Halloween costume?

I would kill for a full “Return of the Jedi” Luke Skywalker costume. Functioning lightsaber would be a plus.

Around town

Seriously, how rad is it that indie rockers Jukebox the Ghost are playing the Union Transfer the day after Halloween? You can’t make this stuff up.

Jukebox the Ghost plays 8:30 p.m. tomorrow at the Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St., Philadelphia. Tickets are $16 to $18. For more information, visit

Still my top contender for the coveted “Best Band Name that Isn’t Simultaneously Super Obnoxious,” This Will Destroy You hits the First Unitarian Church tomorrow evening. Please don’t destroy that lovely building.

That wouldn’t be very decent.

This Will Destroy You plays 8:30 p.m. tomorrow at the First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St., Philadelphia. Tickets are $13. For more information, visit


Yellowcard plays 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Electric Factory, 421 N. 7th St., Philadelphia. Tickets are $25. For more information, visit

October 31, 2014

Seven Group extends Nexus Energy loan as takeover sweats approval

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Several shareholders, including the Nexus Battle group of shareholders representing about 14 per cent of the register, have complained to the securities regulator that the takeover is unfair. They argue that Nexus’s assets, including its stake in the Crux gas venture led by Shell, are being undervalued by Seven.

However a new independent valuation of Nexus released by McGrath Nicol on Friday finds that the transfer of Nexus shares to Seven in exchange for no value to shareholders “does not unfairly prejudice shareholders”.

The valuation by Lonergan Edwards considers two scenarios for its valuation of Nexus. In the scenario which McGrath Nicol said was more relevant, which takes into account Nexus’s funding difficulties and risks, the expert values Nexus shares at between negative 14.5¢ and negative 9.5¢, with a mid-point at negative 12¢.

Even in the scenario where ongoing funding for Nexus is assumed to be available, the mid-point valuation range for Nexus is negative 1.8¢ per share, with a high end range of 2¢ per share, the price of Seven Group’s initial offer for Nexus’s equity.

Under the deed of company arrangement, noteholders in Nexus would be paid 74.5 per cent of the amount owed to them. Drilling rig owner Sedco Forex International would receive $30 million as settlement for an outstanding matter with Nexus, while other creditor claims should be paid in full.

ASIC has asked Nexus Battle to give feedback on the independent expert’s report by November 5, as it continues to consider whether the deed of company arrangement can take effect.

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October 31, 2014

Monetary policy

AS UNPLEASANT as global economic conditions look just now we can at least be thankful that things aren’t anywhere near as bad as they were in 2009, to say nothing of 1931. Neither are those sorts of nasty scenarios a risk. Right?

There are lots of reasons to think the world will keep trucking along in coming years as it has over the last two. Yet the risk of a new and painful downturn, though still small, is growing. That growing risk is due to the surprising and disconcerting re-emergence of monetary phenomena that haven’t really been seen since the gold standard of the 1930s.

It is easy enough to see how the gold standard as practiced between the first and second world wars got the global economy into serious trouble. In its idealised form, the standard was supposed to work in a rather elegant way. Economies on the standard pegged their currencies to gold and consequently to all other gold-standard currencies. Should a country develop a big balance of payments deficit, adjustment ought to occur automatically. To pay for imports in excess of exports gold needs to flow out of the deficit economy. Because all the money in circulation in an economy should be backed by gold at some ratio, gold outflows force the central bank to pull money out of the economy, generating deflation. Falling prices raise the competitiveness of the deficit economy, and eventually the deficit closes and the gold outflows stop. The adjustment is made easier by a parallel process in the surplus economy; gold inflows allow an expansion of the monetary supply and inflation, which reduces competitiveness and stems the gold inflow.

There is a potential problem in this dynamic, however. Gold stocks can only fall so far; eventually an economy plum runs out of gold and has to leave the system. But stocks can rise indefinitely. And they might well do if the surplus central bank doesn’t adhere to the “rules of the game” and chooses to sterilise gold inflows rather than expand the money supply in step with them. A country that broke the rules (because it didn’t want to accept higher inflation or to dampen its economy’s competitive position) would squeeze the world economy in two ways: by pulling gold out of the global monetary system, and by forcing the full burden of adjustment onto deficit economies. 

Now in practice, economies routinely violated the rules of the game. But before the first world war these violations didn’t destroy the world economy for a few reasons. First, overall gold stocks were rising thanks to new mines, so there was a built-in inflationary bias in the system. Second, gold stocks were relatively well balanced across the rich world, and so most economies could handle a drain for some time without triggering fears of looming devaluations. And third, there was a healthy level of cooperation among central banks, which generally refrained from taking steps that might destabilise the system (like raising interest rates well above levels in deficit economies).

The short-lived interwar gold standard, on the other hand, was a mess. Britain went back on gold with an overvalued currency and too little in gold reserves. France, by contrast, returned to gold with an undervalued currency and sucked in enormous quantities of gold as a result; from 1927 to 1932 its share of global gold reserves soared from 7% to 27%. Neither did surplus economies do all that much to help those in deficit; French inflows continued because it did not allow very much inflation. On the contrary, surplus economies sometimes raised rates in response to rate increases in deficit countries, specifically in order to protect against gold outflows. The result was global deflationary pressure. This squeezed economies and debtors, leading to banking panics that reinforced deflation and turned the Depression into the worst economic cataclysm of the modern industrial era.

After the second world war, the world once again tried to set up a system of fixed exchange rates and once again failed (you can read more about the world’s troubled monetary history here). The breakdown in the system that occurred in the 1970s came as a result of inflationary pressures rather than deflationary stresses, however, and was consequently much less damaging to the world economy: a lesson today’s policy makers would do well to heed.

Since then, the global monetary system has evolved into a mixed system. The euro zone is like the gold standard only more so. A few economies practice a free currency float—including, notably, America, whose currency is the dominant constituent of global foreign-exchange reserves. And much of the world uses a “managed” float, in which central banks occasionally intervene to dampen big moves or otherwise nudge the exchange rate.

An interesting question is whether the global system could fall into a trap like that which destroyed the interwar gold standard. Conventional wisdom says no. Relatively few central banks are stuck defending hard currency pegs, and they therefore have free reign to combat deflationary pressure. Exchange rates are mostly free to adjust to close global imbalances, reducing the need for deflation in deficit economies to restore competitiveness. The big exception, on the latter point, is the euro area, where internal rebalancing does require an adjustment in relative labour costs. Yet this should—should—be manageable since the European Central Bank is free to make monetary policy and the single currency’s external exchange rate is perfectly flexible. When a major financial crisis struck in 2008 markets began to fear a bout of serious deflation. Yet central banks quickly and aggressively responded. As serious as the global recession was, it came nowhere close to the severity of the Depression.

And yet. Watching the economic events of the last few years unfold I am struck by two key threats. The first is the widespread constraint of the zero lower bound on interest rates. In textbook models a negative shock in one economy should not drag down others with floating exchange rates against that economy, because their independent central banks can offset the contractionary pressure. Yet since interest rates fell to near zero in 2008-9 monetary policy in most rich economies does not seem to have fully offset shocks. Whether this failure is down to central bank impotence or discomfort with stimulus at the zero lower bound, the upshot is clear: monetary policy is not fully offsetting the ill winds that blow in from abroad.

That brings us to a second point: the breakdown in monetary cooperation. In 2008-9 global central banks were united in their determination to keep the world out of depression. Even China, while it could not be said to have cooperated with rich-world central banks, worked hard to keep its economy running hot. That, in turn, gave the world a source of inflationary pressure.

We are no longer in that world. China now appears to have excess capacity and its inflation rate is tumbling. And there is no other large economy working to provide inflationary pressure, to voluntarily overheat to fend off deflation and ease adjustment in other economies. America, the most likely candidate for such a role, has a central bank that is trimming its accommodation even as inflation is below target and falling.


That leaves the world in a very dicey position. A disturbingly large number of central banks are in a spot in which they cannot easily offset deflationary shocks. And the central banks in best position to provide an inflationary impulse are manifestly refusing to do so. They are not adhering to the “rules of the game”, presumably because they believe that in a world of (mostly) flexible exchange rates there is no need to do so. Yet the constraint of the zero lower bound suggests that there is, because deflationary pressure in one economy propagates thanks to insufficient monetary response. Someone needs to lead the way in pulling the world economy off of the zero lower bound. But the economies that look most capable of achieving this—and this first and foremost means America—are adding to the disinflationary gale rather than leaning against it.

The world economy is still less brittle than it was in the 1930s and could conceivably get its act together, but there may not be much time because of the dangerously weak link that is the euro zone. Deflationary pressure there stresses a political and economic union that is not well equipped to manage the challenge. And a euro zone break-up, should it occur, would probably generate an economic calamity to rival the Depression.

Central bankers have been patting themselves on the back over the last few years for having steered the world clear of a second Depression. Well, chaps: mission not yet accomplished.

October 31, 2014

Quantum World Proposed to Arise from Many Ordinary Ones

The bizarre behavior of the quantum world — with objects existing in two places simultaneously and light behaving as either waves or particles — could result from interactions between many ‘parallel’ everyday worlds, a new theory suggests.

“It is a fundamental shift from previous quantum interpretations,” says Howard Wiseman, a theoretical quantum physicist at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, who together with his colleagues describes the idea in Physical Review X.

Theorists have tried to explain quantum behavior through various mathematical frameworks. One of the older interpretations envisages the classical world as stemming from the existence of many simultaneous quantum ones. But that ‘many worlds’ approach, pioneered by the theorist Hugh Everett III in the 1950s, relies on the worlds branching out independently from one another, and not interacting at all (see ‘Many worlds: See me here, see me there‘).

By contrast, Wiseman’s team envisages many worlds bumping into one another, calling it the ‘many interacting worlds’ approach. On its own, each world is ruled by classical Newtonian physics. But together, the interacting motion of these worlds gives rise to phenomena that physicists typically ascribe to the quantum world.

Put to the test
The authors work through the mathematics of how that interaction could produce quantum phenomena. For instance, one well-known example of quantum behavior is when particles are able to tunnel through an energetic barrier that in a classical world they would not be able to overcome on their own. Wiseman says that, in his scenario, as two classical worlds approach an energetic barrier from either side, one of them will increase in speed while the other will bounce back. The leading world will thus pop through the seemingly insurmountable barrier, just as particles do in quantum tunnelling.

The physicists describe several other examples of quantum phenomena that they say could be explained by many interacting worlds. They calculate, for instance, how 41 interacting worlds could give rise to the quantum interference seen in the famous double-slit experiment, which demonstrated that light could behave as either a wave or a particle.

But much work remains. “By no means have we answered all the questions that such a shift entails,” says Wiseman. Among other things, he and his collaborators have yet to overcome challenges such as explaining how their many-interacting-worlds theory could explain quantum entanglement, a phenomenon in which particles separated by a distance are still linked in terms of their properties.

Dual approach
Wiseman says that he hopes to recruit other researchers to help tackle questions such as what types of forces between worlds are needed for them to interact, and whether those worlds require special initial conditions to interact at all. “What motivates me is the search for a compelling theory of reality that reproduces quantum phenomena in a natural way,” he says.

Charles Sebens, a philosopher of physics at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, says he is excited about the new approach. He has independently developed similar ideas, to which he has given the paradoxical name of Newtonian quantum mechanics. Essentially, he and Wiseman’s group take different approaches to the same general idea. “They give very nice analyses of particular phenomena like ground-state energy and quantum tunnelling — I discuss probability and symmetry in more depth,” Sebens says. “I think that together they do a nice job presenting this exciting new idea.” Sebens has written an article describing his approach which will be published in the journal Philosophy of Science.

The next step for the team will be to come up with ways in which their idea can be tested. If the many-interacting-worlds approach is true, it will probably predict small differences from quantum theory, Wiseman says. “We haven’t yet worked out what these deviations would be, but I think they would be very different from the sort of deviations that people are currently looking for.”

This article is reproduced with permission and was first published on October 24, 2014.

October 31, 2014

Many Interacting Worlds theory: Scientists propose existence and interaction of parallel worlds

Griffith University academics are challenging the foundations of quantum science with a radical new theory based on the existence of, and interactions between, parallel universes.

In a paper published in the prestigious journal Physical Review X, Professor Howard Wiseman and Dr Michael Hall from Griffith’s Centre for Quantum Dynamics, and Dr Dirk-Andre Deckert from the University of California, take interacting parallel worlds out of the realm of science fiction and into that of hard science.

The team proposes that parallel universes really exist, and that they interact. That is, rather than evolving independently, nearby worlds influence one another by a subtle force of repulsion. They show that such an interaction could explain everything that is bizarre about quantum mechanics

Quantum theory is needed to explain how the universe works at the microscopic scale, and is believed to apply to all matter. But it is notoriously difficult to fathom, exhibiting weird phenomena which seem to violate the laws of cause and effect.

As the eminent American theoretical physicist Richard Feynman once noted: “I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.”

However, the “Many-Interacting Worlds” approach developed at Griffith University provides a new and daring perspective on this baffling field.

“The idea of parallel universes in quantum mechanics has been around since 1957,” says Professor Wiseman.

“In the well-known “Many-Worlds Interpretation”, each universe branches into a bunch of new universes every time a quantum measurement is made. All possibilities are therefore realised – in some universes the dinosaur-killing asteroid missed Earth. In others, Australia was colonised by the Portuguese.

“But critics question the reality of these other universes, since they do not influence our universe at all. On this score, our “Many Interacting Worlds” approach is completely different, as its name implies.”

Professor Wiseman and his colleagues propose that:

  • The universe we experience is just one of a gigantic number of worlds. Some are almost identical to ours while most are very different;
  • All of these worlds are equally real, exist continuously through time, and possess precisely defined properties;
  • All quantum phenomena arise from a universal force of repulsion between ‘nearby’ (i.e. similar) worlds which tends to make them more dissimilar.

Dr Hall says the “Many-Interacting Worlds” theory may even create the extraordinary possibility of testing for the existence of other worlds.

“The beauty of our approach is that if there is just one world our theory reduces to Newtonian mechanics, while if there is a gigantic number of worlds it reproduces quantum mechanics,” he says.

“In between it predicts something new that is neither Newton’s theory nor quantum theory.

“We also believe that, in providing a new mental picture of quantum effects, it will be useful in planning experiments to test and exploit quantum phenomena.”

The ability to approximate quantum evolution using a finite number of worlds could have significant ramifications in molecular dynamics, which is important for understanding chemical reactions and the action of drugs.

Professor Bill Poirier, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Texas Tech University, has observed: “These are great ideas, not only conceptually, but also with regard to the new numerical breakthroughs they are almost certain to engender.”

Explore further:

When parallel worlds collide, quantum mechanics is born

More information: Physical Review X,… 03/PhysRevX.4.041013

October 31, 2014

Dolphins are attracted to magnets

Dolphins are indeed sensitive to magnetic stimuli, as they behave differently when swimming near magnetized objects. So says Dorothee Kremers and her colleagues at Ethos unit of the Université de Rennes in France, in a study in Springer’s journal Naturwissenschaften – The Science of Nature. Their research, conducted in the delphinarium of Planète Sauvage in France, provides experimental behavioral proof that these marine animals are magnetoreceptive.

Magnetoreception implies the ability to perceive a magnetic field. It is supposed to play an important role in how some land and aquatic species orientate and navigate themselves. Some observations of the migration routes of free-ranging cetaceans, such as whales, dolphins and porpoises, and their stranding sites suggested that they may also be sensitive to geomagnetic fields.

Because experimental evidence in this regard has been lacking, Kremers and her colleagues set out to study the behavior of six bottlenose dolphins in the delphinarium of Planète Sauvage in Port-Saint-Père. This outdoor facility consists of four pools, covering 2,000 m² of water surface. They watched the animals’ spontaneous reaction to a barrel containing a strongly magnetized block or a demagnetized one. Except from this characteristic, the blocks were identical in form and density. The barrels were therefore indistinguishable as far as echolocation was concerned, the method by which dolphins locate objects by bouncing sound waves off them.

During the experimental sessions, the animals were free to swim in and out of the pool where the barrel was installed. All six dolphins were studied simultaneously, while all group members were free to interact at any time with the barrel during a given session. The person who was assigned the job to place the barrels in the pools did not know whether it was magnetized or not. This was also true for the person who analyzed the videos showing how the various dolphins reacted to the barrels.

The analyses of Ethos team revealed that the dolphins approached the barrel much faster when it contained a strongly magnetized block than when it contained a similar not magnetized one. However, the dolphins did not interact with both types of barrels differently. They may therefore have been more intrigued than physically drawn to the barrel with the magnetized block.

“Dolphins are able to discriminate between objects based on their magnetic properties, which is a prerequisite for magnetoreception-based navigation,” says Kremers. “Our results provide new, experimentally obtained evidence that cetaceans have a magenetic sense, and should therefore be added to the list of magnetosensitive species.”

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More information: Kremers, D. et al. (2014). Behavioural evidence of magnetoreception in dolphin: Detection of experimental magnetic fields. NaturwissenschaftenThe Science of Nature. DOI: 10.1007/s00114-014-1231-x

October 31, 2014

Data from ‘old’ experiment appears to constrain the idea of dark photons as …

( —A trio of physicists is suggesting in a paper they’ve published in Physical Review Letters, that results from an experiment run in the early 1980′s places constraints on the idea of a dark photon in theories that attempt to explain the nature of dark matter. Brian Batell, Rouven Essig and Ze’ev Surujon note that a proposal already exists to construct a relatively inexpensive experiment that could be used to test the basic idea to either offer support or dispel the notion altogether.

Dark matter is, of course, the mysterious stuff that physicists believe possesses gravity that holds the universe together—without it, everything would fly apart. Unfortunately, no one has really been able to find observable evidence of its existence. Current theories suggest that dark matter is made of weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) which are only able to interact via the weak nuclear force. Physicists have set up facilities around the world with the aim of observing a WIMP pinging off atomic nuclei, but have thus far failed in their efforts.

Meanwhile, other ideas have begun to be tossed around by physicists, such as the concept of a particle called χ—if it exists, it would interact with others like it, the thinking goes, via a force akin to electromagnetism—that force, they believe could be conveyed by a photon analog, the dark photon. If such dark photons do exist, the theory continues, they would also likely interact with other “normal” matter, which should be observable. That’s where data from an old experiment comes in.

From 1980 to 1982, researchers at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park were conducting “beam dump” experiments—ramming high energy electrons into an aluminum target and watching to see what could come through both the target and a sand-hill behind it. Batell, et al believe that high energy χs should have come through as well interacting (via dark photons) with at least some of the electrons. But the researchers conducting the beam dumps reported no recoiling electrons, which suggests that if there were dark photons present, there should be some limits regarding its properties.

The old experiments don’t disprove the whole idea of χs or dark photons, but instead suggest that the theory that surrounds them needs to be more deeply thought out to better describe what their actual properties might be. To that end, other physicists have already proposed putting together a new, relatively inexpensive, beam dump experiment called BDX that would allow for 100 times as many events as the ones conducted in the 80′s, hopefully offering a glimpse of observable proof of the existence of χs, dark photons and perhaps dark matter itself.

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More information: Strong Constraints on Sub-GeV Dark Sectors from SLAC Beam Dump E137, Phys. Rev. Lett. 113, 171802 – Published 21 October 2014. . On Arxiv:

We present new constraints on sub-GeV dark matter and dark photons from the electron beam-dump experiment E137 conducted at SLAC in 1980–1982. Dark matter interacting with electrons (e.g., via a dark photon) could have been produced in the electron-target collisions and scattered off electrons in the E137 detector, producing the striking, zero-background signature of a high-energy electromagnetic shower that points back to the beam dump. E137 probes new and significant ranges of parameter space and constrains the well-motivated possibility that dark photons that decay to light dark-sector particles can explain the ∼3.6σ discrepancy between the measured and standard model value of the muon anomalous magnetic moment. It also restricts the parameter space in which the relic density of dark matter in these models is obtained from thermal freeze-out. E137 also convincingly demonstrates that (cosmic) backgrounds can be controlled and thus serves as a powerful proof of principle for future beam-dump searches for sub-GeV dark-sector particles scattering off electrons in the detector.