Revealed important research update on “exopeter”.

Josie Ford

Hunt the exopath

“Twas the season to be jolly”, by which we mean that April Fool’s jokes have been and disappeared again, before you get too cool with your falalalalas. Particularly pleased, Feedback found, was a paper posted on the arXiv preprint server by members of the Astrobites collaboration, “First detections of exop (lan) ets: Observations and follow-ups of the floofiest transits on Zoom”.

“For more than two years, mankind has been exploring new ways to adapt to working from home due to the covid-19 pandemic. Scientists have tried everything: whipped coffee, sourdough bread and even questioned whether everything is made of cake,” he said. They may also have spent too much time on video conferencing platforms as they continue: “During two years of occasional observation, we noticed occasional brightness decreases on a Zoom image of our long-distance partners.”

But systematic observation poses its own challenges, not least because these transits are less regular than those of exoplanets across the surface of their parent star, and – the devastation of physicists’ lives everywhere – caused not by conveniently spherical objects, but by devices irregular in both shape and color .

At this point, we should say that these are follow-up observations to those made last year of similar objects found rolling around in the local environment by Laura Mayorga and her colleagues at Johns Hopkins University in their article “Detection of rotational variability in floofy objects. at optical wavelengths ”.

This new analysis of “exopeters” living in other homes takes us further, not least when it comes to identifying difficulties in observing rare species, such as Sub-Neptunian Animal Keplerian Extended bodies (SNAKEs) and Dynamically Instable Coplanar Kepler objects (DUCKs). ). We salute the creative drive behind lockdown ennui, while fearing that this may continue as long as astronomers are caught on Zoom.

Absolutely frying

As Isaac Asimov wrote – not about April, but about Shakespeare – the secret of the successful fool is that he is not a fool at all. That must be the reason why the US National Weather Service chose April 1 to announce on Twitter: “Big changes on our forecast pages! To avoid confusion between ° F and ° C we have converted all our temperatures to Kelvin. Enjoy!”

Feedback is a fan of absolutism, at least in the scientific sense, and definitely the daily highs and lows quoted by the NWS at Indianapolis International Airport, 281K and 273K, provide a fairer reflection of the relative goodness of the Earth’s surface temperature fluctuations. But we are afraid that this will not work. We ourselves are still fans of what we call the Standard British Mixed Temperature system, where low temperatures are set in Celsius and high temperatures in Fahrenheit, resulting in a practical scale ranging from 0 for cold to 100 for hot. What this loses in logic, it gains in ease of use, as long as you do not worry too much about what happens in the middle. Take an umbrella anyway.

News from the future

Feedback joins the world – or anyone in the UK at a certain age or below – and greets Newsround, the BBC’s news program for children who recently celebrated their 50th anniversary and remains for many of us the main source of reliable news that tells us they like it. is.

However, Richard Glover is angry at a story on the Newsround website that claims that “quantum technology” can be used to charge electric car batteries “in a few seconds”. “I would have thought that this would be more likely to involve extra wiring and some smart switching, than something quantum mechanical,” he says.

As we delve deeper into the paperwork so you do not need it, we discover some enthusiastic press releases and an article by Juyeon Kim and his colleagues at the Institute of Fundamental Sciences in Daejeon, South Korea. The good news is that while the charging time of boring old classic batteries shrinks with the number of battery cells, the charging time of whiz batteries in a tangled quantum state can decrease by the square of the number of cells. The bad news is that no one yet knows how to put a battery in a tangled quantum state.

We fear that this may not have changed until 2030, when the British government plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars. Still, hats off to Newsround for knowing its audience and highlighting a technology that, a bit like nuclear fusion, may well be ready when we all grow up.

Lost and found

One area where we can already rely on whizzo quantum velocities is algorithms for searching for things. We think of this from the happy story of his return to the Cambridge University Library from two priceless manuscripts written by Charles Darwin, one containing his famous “Tree of Life” sketch, in a pink gift bag accompanied by a typewritten note: Librarian, Happy Easter, X .

Discovered missing in 2001, and with various searches of the library’s 10 million odd objects that showed nothing, the books were finally reported stolen in 2020. This even exceeds the time periods we have spent fruitlessly searching for our keys. Unfortunately, a practical quantum computer that can ask “Well, where did you last have it?” is probably a couple of years away too. But will not the future be great when it comes? And with that: Reader, Happy Easter, X.

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