Can Hawking’s Black Hole Paradox Be Solved With Fuzzballs?4m54s

Can Hawking’s Black Hole Paradox Be Solved With Fuzzballs?

We don’t have a lot of concrete information about black holes. We have a lot of ideas, but we’ve mostly been quite literally shooting in the dark when it comes to figuring out what would happen if you went in one. Now, some theoretical revelations open up a new line of thinking. The prevailing idea has been the ‘no drama’ theory, where if you’re an astronaut who crosses the event horizon of a black hole, you wouldn’t notice. Until you reach the singularity, that is, and you are quite suddenly ‘spaghettified’ by the impossibly intense gravitational pull. But then where did you go? To try and rectify the information paradox, physicists have put forward a newer, more dramatic theory about what happens to you--the firewall. They argue that you, the astronaut, must be incinerated as you pass the event horizon and that’s how your information is conserved. Now, cue the fuzzball. By replacing the particles in a black hole with strings, you get a theoretical black hole model called a fuzzball.   Instead of the membrane of an event horizon, past which you’d get pulled into a point of infinite density, the fuzzball model has no event horizon, and no singularity. It’s a tangled ball of strings that looks a little more like a planet than our current typical imaginings of a black hole. And those strings, vibrating with the possibilities of multiple dimensions, make up a hot, vibrating extremely dense mass that would incinerate you on impact.   This video, " Can Hawking’s Black Hole Paradox Be Solved With Fuzzballs? ", first appeared on .

Published: January 18, 2019
How Ferroelectricity Could Change the Way We Store Data4m05s

How Ferroelectricity Could Change the Way We Store Data

Ferroelectricity isn’t related to iron like you might think, but it gets its name because it’s analogous to ferromagnetism. Ferromagnetic materials like iron are made up of magnetic domains that have north and south poles. If these domains line up, the material itself becomes magnetic. Likewise ferroelectric materials are made of crystals that are electric dipoles, meaning they have a separated positive and negative charge. If these dipoles line up, the material itself will have a positive and negative pole. Usually the dipoles are pointing in random directions, but they can be coerced into uniformity. The same way iron’s domains can line up when exposed to a strong enough external magnetic field, a ferroelectric’s dipoles will line up when exposed to a strong enough electric field. They’ll stay that way when the field is removed, as though they have a memory, and because of that memory when another electric field is applied that can change the dipole’s directions they’ll lag behind orienting to the new field, a phenomenon called hysteresis. In a ferroelectric material the switch doesn’t happen all together like it ideally should, different parts of it change direction at different times. Figuring out exactly why took more than 80 years of searching. In 1935 a german researcher mathematically described ferroic materials as small independent parts called hysterons. Each hysteron would change it’s polarization at a well defined speed when exposed to a strong enough field, but each hysteron could also have a different critical field than its neighbors. Meaning a magnetic or electric field that was strong enough to change one hysteron would have no effect on the hysteron next to it. This video, " How Ferroelectricity Could Change the Way We Store Data ", first appeared on .

Published: January 15, 2019
This Abandoned Nuclear City Is Trapped Under Ice, What Happens If It Thaws?7m46s

This Abandoned Nuclear City Is Trapped Under Ice, What Happens If It Thaws?

This team of of scientists and engineers are camped above an abandoned Cold War military base that’s buried 30 meters below Greenland’s ice sheet. William: “That is Delta storm condition.” They’re part of a special climate monitoring program, because the underground base that they’re studying, could eventually thaw out and unearth thousands of tons of toxic waste. During the early years of the Cold War, the U.S. started paying close attention to Greenland. To protect the island from creeping Soviet influence, the US and Denmark signed the 1951 Defense of Greenland Act. Army personnel put the latest advances in polar construction to the test, building several military bases out on the ice sheet. One of them was Camp Century. According to William Colgan, a climatologist with the Geological Survey of Greenland and Denmark, “Researchers were doing a lot of very fundamental glacier and climate research. Camp Century is probably best known for being home of the first deep ice core to the Greenland ice sheet. It's like nothing we have today. It was just this phenomenal marriage of technology and innovation in the 1960s.” But, this scientific endeavor was actually part of a covert U.S. Army operation, codenamed Project Iceworm. In response to escalating Cold War tensions, the U.S. wanted to position 600 medium range missiles with nuclear warheads underneath the Greenland ice sheet. All was going according to plan, until engineers noticed the ice that surrounded the base was shifting faster than initially projected. Watch the video above to find out what happened next.  This video, " This Abandoned Nuclear City Is Trapped Under Ice, What Happens If It Thaws? ", first appeared on .

Published: January 13, 2019
Why Did NASA Cancel the Apollo Program? | Apollo5m52s

Why Did NASA Cancel the Apollo Program? | Apollo

In the 1960’s, NASA was developing ambitious offshoots for the Apollo Program - primarily establishment of a Moon base intended to extend humanity’s time on the surface. The Lunar Shelter-Laboratory or SHELAB was one of the concepts under consideration. SHELAB consisted of a cabin with an airlock chamber and a lunar excursion truck equipped with a flying belt for the astronauts. Powered by fuel cells and batteries, the shelter would support two astronauts for 14 days. It was believed that the lunar bases could be the start of a large permanent colony on the Moon. At the time, expanding on Apollo wasn’t so far fetched. The country’s Cold War competition and desire to be first rapidly expanded the potential of space exploration. Two years after NASA began operations, the U.S. government allocated $500 million of the federal budget to the agency. In just five years, the budget grew to $5.2 billion which represented 5.3 percent of all government spending. With the massive expansion came hundreds of thousands of jobs. NASA’s labor force peaked in the mid 60’s with a reported 400,000 staffers and contractors. The majority of NASA’s resources went to the Apollo Program. Between 1959 and 1973, the agency spent just over $23 billion on human spaceflight of which nearly $20 billion was for Apollo. That amount of money today would equate to over $130 billion spent on one program alone. But by the 1970’s, public attention was no longer above the clouds. With the lunar landing achieved, attention shifted to the seemingly endless Vietnam War. And that’s where government funds went as well, putting a huge strain on the U.S. economy. Budget cuts forced the agency to rethink the feasibility of its exploration plans. And since the Apollo Program was expensive and risky, the agency’s priorities started to move towards other projects. Ultimately, NASA decided to cut the Apollo Program, and its deep space dreams short. In 1970, the flights planned for Apollo 15, 19 and 20 were cancelled, and the remaining missions were renumbered. The cancelled missions freed up resources for NASA’s Skylab and Space Shuttle - programs that were slated to launch over the next two decades. Some of the astronauts who spent years training for Apollo were reassigned to these programs while others retired without ever making it to space. The Apollo 17 crew would be the last humans to land on the Moon. This video, " Why Did NASA Cancel the Apollo Program? | Apollo ", first appeared on .

Published: January 12, 2019