What makes your world colorful? Many people would think of experiences, music, people, or even objects that significantly impacted their lives. So why might an experience be meaningful to us, but not to others? According to Katrin Preller, a psychopharmacologist at the University Hospital for Psychiatry Zürich in Switzerland,1 certain neurochemicals and receptors in the brain are responsible for creating that sense of meaningfulness. But Preller’s research has a unique twist: some of her study participants have been given LSD (lysergic acid diethylamde), a highly potent synthetic hallucinogen2 that is known to stimulate dopamine receptors.
Last time we discussed the physics behind the polaritonic lensing mechanism that can be used to beat the diffraction limit. Hexagonal Boron Nitride crystals can use these polaritons to limit-destructive interference by linearly propagating polaritons along their positive permittivity axis. Boron Nitride is famous for having a birefringent crystal configuration: one axis of the crystal has a positive permittivity and easily conducts polaritons, while the orthogonal axis has a negative permittivity and reflects light away. The presence of both these permittivities in the same crystal allows Boron-Nitride to have superlensing applications by coupling decaying light rays into polaritons and retaining image information that is normally lost.
Plants undergo photosynthesis in order to produce food from carbon dioxide and water. Plants pull carbon dioxide from the air around us and internally convert carbon dioxide molecules and water molecules into sugars which are stored in the plant and oxygen which is released back into the air. In essence, plants take carbon dioxide from the air and convert it into carbon compounds. It is estimated that plants across the world consume around 350 gigatons of carbon dioxide per year . While this biological process is already efficient and evidently capable of removing massive amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Terrestrial Microbiology in Marburg, Germany have devised a new biochemical mechanism for converting carbon dioxide into other, larger carbon compounds .
Do you sometimes wish your computer understood English? That you could just tell it something as if you were having a conversation with a friend and it would understand exactly what you mean? That is the goal of Natural Language Processing (NLP) research in the computer science field. At the nexus of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and computational linguistics, researchers are studying how to better the human-computer interaction.
Friends, peers, Rice students, the time has come to address the most serious issue that all citizens of first world countries must deal with on a daily basis. For too long have we struggled with the horrendous monstrosity that is Rice’s WiFi, for too long have we hungered for stronger connections that don’t disappear every time we leave a building, for too long have we suffered from internet connections going out every 5 minutes. I say to you, how much longer must we deal with such struggles? Never fear. In this blog post, I toiled many days and many nights to unearth the lies and tyrannies of the Rice IT desk.