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Physicists Confirm a Pear-Shaped Nucleus, and It Could Ruin Time Travel Forever

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An anonymous reader writes from a report via ScienceAlert: Physicists have confirmed the existence of pear-shaped nuclei, which challenges the fundamental theories of physics that explain our Universe. "We've found these nuclei literally point towards a direction in space. This relates to a direction in time, providing there's a well-defined direction in time and we will always travel from past to present," Marcus Scheck from the University of the West of Scotland told Kenneth MacDonald at BBC News. Until recently, it was generally accepted that nuclei of atoms could only be one of three shapes: spherical, discus, or rugby ball. The first discovery of a pear-shaped nucleus was back in 2013, when physicists at CERN discovered isotope Radium-224. Now, that find has been confirmed by a second study, which shows that the nucleus of the isotope Barium-144 is also asymmetrical and pear-shaped. In regard to time travel, Scheck says that this uneven distribution of mass and charge caused Barium-144's nucleus to "point" in a certain direction in spacetime, and this bias could explain why time seems to only want to go from past to present, and not backwards, even if the laws of physics don't care which way it goes.
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jepler
2 hours ago
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"this uneven distribution of mass and charge caused Barium-144's nucleus to "point" in a certain direction in spacetime" umm I'm assuming this got garbled on its way from scientist to slashdot, because if not we'd be talking about how General Relativity had a big hole blown in it, not how time travel is impossible.
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jepler
2 hours ago
article is on arxiv http://arxiv.org/pdf/1602.01485.pdf
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Terminator: The Simone de Beauvoir Chronicles

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All machines are mortal, and each machine's particular death will be at the hand of my double-barrel shotgun.
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jepler
16 hours ago
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so good .. so violent
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CrystalDave
14 hours ago
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Seattle, WA
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The Nightmare Stacks: US Launch

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Nightmare Stacks

"The Nightmare Stacks" (book 7 of the Laundry Files) comes out tomorrow in the United States. And in a classic example of the universe trying to obsolete my stories before publication, the UK went into total political, diplomatic, and financial meltdown last Friday. (There's a meltdown of similar proportions in the novel, but it's triggered by a much more fixable cause than a referendum-gone-wrong, namely an alien invasion.) invasion. So I guess that means "The Nightmare Stacks" is now lightweight escapism rather than a horrible threat!

Anyway, I'll be reading from and signing copies of "The Nightmare Stacks" in Powell's City of Books in Portland this Thursday evening. If you're not local, you can order copies here. (And if you don't need them signed, Amazon have the hardcover here or the Kindle ebook here.

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jepler
16 hours ago
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I don't dare read the comments for fear of spoilers, since the book has been out in the UK for a week.
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By popular demand: the Dr. Worm Venn Diagram t-shirt.

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venn

Available now in two different color ways! http://bit.ly/28Z3j6b

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jepler
17 hours ago
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so tempted
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jepler
17 hours ago
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Earth, Sol system, Western spiral arm
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Apple's new Swift Playgrounds for iPad is a killer app for teaching code

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Article Image At WWDC, Apple introduced Swift Playgrounds as a "revolutionary new app for iPad that makes learning Swift interactive and fun." A closer examination shows the new app is a powerful authoring tool any developer can use to teach critically important software coding skills.
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jepler
17 hours ago
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"powerful authoring tool"? If this is the new HyperCard, +1000. Also, that "keyboard designed for coding" http://images.apple.com/v/swift/playgrounds/a/images/overview/code_keyboard_large_2x.jpg looks like an intriguing design for any code editor that uses an onscreen keyboard if it works well.
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JayM
1 day ago
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Boston Metro Area
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