atomic patterns

chasing--the--universe  asked:

I want to see if I understand the article on time crystals so. Essentially what they've done is create a system which is stable, but it still has "movement", in a regular pattern, as opposed to most stable quantum states which have no movement, and do not change in time, therefore are time symmetrical? That's really really fascinating

Yes, that sounds correct. I’m not a physicist (I’m a Chemistry Major), but what you’re saying and what the article says seems right.

As far as I can tell what they’ve done is made a material enter a stable quantum state where the material constantly cycles through a pattern of atomic spin orientations. This flies in the face of other materials which usually only contain 1 orientation and rarely are stable.

NASA's Cassini, Voyager missions suggest new picture of Sun's interaction with galaxy

New data from NASA’s Cassini mission, combined with measurements from the two Voyager spacecraft and NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX, suggests that our sun and planets are surrounded by a giant, rounded system of magnetic field from the sun – calling into question the alternate view of the solar magnetic fields trailing behind the sun in the shape of a long comet tail.

The sun releases a constant outflow of magnetic solar material – called the solar wind – that fills the inner solar system, reaching far past the orbit of Neptune. This solar wind creates a bubble, some 23 billion miles across, called the heliosphere. Our entire solar system, including the heliosphere, moves through interstellar space. The prevalent picture of the heliosphere was one of comet-shaped structure, with a rounded head and an extended tail. But new data covering an entire 11-year solar activity cycle show that may not be the case: the heliosphere may be rounded on both ends, making its shape almost spherical. A paper on these results was published in Nature Astronomy on April 24, 2017.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

What are your thoughts on Len always calling Ray 'Raymond' on LoT? Do you think Len's trying to intimidate him or just play with him in an annoying way?

Len seems to call almost everybody by their first name. Not quite everybody, but almost. Some examples are Barry, Cisco, Caitlin, Lisa and Mick, and Ray(mond). (As far as I know, we haven’t seen him directly address Sara or Jax by any name or title yet).

People we’ve seen him call by something other than their first name are Joe (Detective), Rip (Captain), and Martin (Stein). What those three have in common is some authority over Len, either in terms of age or experience.

So more than anything, I think Len’s maybe just being in tune with social dynamics. Calling Ray by his full first name places Len in a position of authority over Ray to a certain extent, makes it kind of clear he’s talking to someone younger than him, and especially something that he considers younger than him. I don’t think it’s to piss Ray off so much as its an unconscious act of Len’s, one based on that social dynamic of power. I also anticipate that if they develop some type of friendship, Len will start calling him ‘Ray’ instead, indicating more of an equal-footing in how he perceives Ray. 

There’s also a “social distance” thing partly going on, somewhat separate from the power distance element. Len might not feel comfortable calling Raymond ‘Ray’ because he doesn’t feel a sense of kinship or closeness to him in any way, the same way that Len hasn’t invited Ray or anyone else on the team to call him ‘Len’ instead of ‘Leonard’. There’s an inherent distance in the lack of nickname, and we really only notice it with Ray because we’re so used to hearing others call him by the shorter version of his name. It’s like how Martin Stein was even calling Ronnie by ‘Ronald’ at first, using the default full name until being told and invited to do otherwise.

(and now I’m going to avoid making Len sound like an old man by speculating there might be a generational effect going on where people of an older generation like Len and Martin (and Mick) are more likely to use full names than nicknames unless introduced via the nickname or unless they’re invited to)


I’m employed by a large industrial and technology conglomerate. The largest, actually. Following the dissolution of the United Nations and the ascension of the Hegemon, our company has been tasked with finding technological solutions to social and economic issues around the world. We’ve worked so closely with the office of the Hegemon over the last few years that, in my opinion, we’re now just an arm of the government. I’m fine with that. We provided major military and technological assets during his rise to power and it makes sense that we’d be integrated into his government. We do good work and I support the goals of our political system.

When I’m not cheerleading the beneficent ruler of our world, I’m the lead engineer and project manager of a department called “Applied Material Sciences.” The name gives away nothing because the work I oversee is extraordinarily secretive. Before our company was folded into the hegemony, we had already become the market leader in additive manufacturing, nanotechnology, semiconductors, and logistics. The Hegemon’s infusion of capital into our research and development only increased that lead. I’d estimate we’re dealing with technology 25-30 years ahead of our closest competitor. Even though I work with this stuff every day, I still have a hard time believing some of it isn’t magic.

My most recent meeting with our CTO was brief and pleasant as always. He is the person to whom I report the progress of my department. He reports it to Corporate and they report it to the Hegemon. Since the CTO was always praised by his superiors for the work my department does, he’d developed a relatively laissez-faire management style of me. What I’m doing works for him, and, in turn, works for his bosses.

One major point of our meeting was his confirmation of the successful prototyping of our latest 3D printer design. I was immediately excited. The additive manufacturing technology we’d been working on had massive implications for our other technology divisions, particularly biotech and nanotech.

This new printer operates with atomic precision. It uses hundreds of thousands of infinitesimally-small manipulator arms to arrange carbon atoms into allotropic molecules best suited for the item it is constructing. With this new atomic resolution, we can, for example, create molecule-sized drug delivery robots that carry medicine directly to specific parts of the body. Or, most relevant to my department, it can print what we’re calling “smart matter.”

On its most basic level, smart matter is a specific type of molecule-sized robot called an assembler. It’s essentially a 3D printer the size of a very large molecule. It serves two purposes: 1, to build other molecules as the basis for object construction, and 2, to make more assemblers. Prior to this new prototype, fine-grained atom manipulation had been out of our reach; it had been like trying to put together the hundreds of tiny pieces of an expensive Swiss watch using a bulldozer. With this updated technology, everything was starting to fall into place.


I want to backtrack a little bit. Right now, the overarching directive of the Hegemon is to maintain a world-governing body that will “facilitate the maximization of aggregate happiness by advancing the human condition.” Ten years ago, during the Hegemon’s campaign, everyone watched as his forces worked to eliminate standing power structures throughout the world in order to unify all nations and place them under his umbrella of protection. It became clear that while it was relatively simple to nullify competing sovereignties through vastly superior firepower (courtesy of our company), the humanitarian crises that followed put a dent in his popular support. Still, the Hegemon had more than enough military and political clout to complete his rise to power. What remains now is, to his chagrin, a world that looks very similar to how it did before his rule. The same areas are rife with misery: sub-Saharan Africa, much of rural India and China, etc. Logistically, it is nearly impossible for the hegemony to help those people. Even martial law, an experiment that lasted a couple years, saw the aggregate rate of worldwide deaths rise as resources were diverted to those troubled areas and away from what were thought to be stable ones. As that stability broke down and the issues only got worse, the Hegemon started pouring money into technological research and development with the hope that scientific breakthroughs will allow for the implementation of his directive. A few hundreds of billions of dollars and some years later, that’s how I ended up with our new 3D printers.


It was Christmas Eve and I’d sent my team home to be with their families. With my family on the other side of the country, I was content to work alone in the lab throughout the night and the next day to test out a few of the schemata I’d devised over the months I’d waited for the printer. When I had been programming the schemata, I’d been thinking of the Hegemon’s directive. One part in particular, “advancing the human condition,” resonated deeply with me. That’s what I was here to do. I was impelled to use every skill I had and every tool at my disposal to make the world a better place. The directive mandated that I use our technology to maximize happiness throughout the world, and I was going to do my part.

The first molecule I made was an assembler. My monitors shone with the images fed by the electron microscope set within the vacuum chamber of the printer deposition tray. The graphite feedstock from the substrate vat was gently teased apart into its constituent atoms by the printer’s manipulator tips. Once a suitable number of atoms were freed, tiny electrical currents pushed them together into the skeleton of my assembler diagram. Time passed and the molecule grew in size and sophistication. I marvelled at the ease with which the matter was ordered by the printer, perfectly following the programmed construction patterns. I found myself daydreaming about how incredible it would be see this level of order on a human scale. Everything would be so much easier.

My reverie ended with the soft piezoelectric chirp signifying the completion of the printing. I studied the finished product with the microscope. It was a massive molecule of pure carbon; exotic allotropes, each designed to carry out a specific mechanical purpose, all harmoniously fastened together into a single molecular machine. My assembler.

I carefully equalized the pressure within the deposition chamber and allowed the vacuum to dissipate. The assembler held strong; unaffected by normal atmospheric pressure. With my breath held, I applied an electrical current to the deposition plate equal to the average static charge it would encounter in a regular environment. Immediately, the machine came to life. Gears of atomically-perfect diamond spun within their graphene-lined gearbox. An array of pincers only 40 atoms long grasped at empty space as they attempted to find usable substrate nearby. With its search unsuccessful, it rose up on cilia of tubular fullerenes and walked forward precisely one length of its body and resumed the search.

I killed the static charge and watched the assembler stop moving. Using the printer’s manipulators, I inserted a bit of raw graphite feedstock into the deposition chamber roughly equivalent to ten thousand times the mass of the assembler. When I switched the static power back on, the assembler moved like it did before. When it encountered the graphite, it began pulling it apart. The pincers gripped the individual atoms and shuttled them down the geared spine of the machine, where another set of pincers in the rear extended and began placing the reclaimed atoms in a pattern. As I’d hoped, the assembler was building a copy of itself.

Knowing I’d have to wait a while, I left the lab and went to the company cafeteria. Other than the cooks and janitorial staff, no one was there. I sat alone and thought about how I might be able to use these machines to help fulfill the directive. The sticking point wasn’t the part about advancing the human condition, since deep down I knew that would always happen regardless of any extra work we put in, but the part before it was the problem: facilitating the maximization of aggregate happiness. As long as abject misery existed for such immense numbers that even the greatest logisticians on the planet, our company, were hopelessly unable to provide adequate resources to them and increase their aggregate happiness, the directive would always fail. I knew, much like the Hegemon, that technological solutions to this problem would eventually come, but not until an unquantifiably colossal amount of aggregate suffering had taken place. How many subjective hours would be spent in pain? Years? Centuries? I wasn’t going to let that happen.

I returned to the lab and looked at the monitor. Inside the deposition chamber were countless assemblers walking around and looking for more substrate. I was elated. They assembled far faster than I could have hoped. Far faster, even, than the printer, once enough of them could work in tandem. I turned off the power and watched them shut down. Then I left the lab and headed home.


Over the following months, I worked my team harder than I ever had. I felt a bit like a tyrant, but they never complained. They were equally fascinated by the abilities of the assemblers and helped make crucial updates to their design to allow for greater speed and flexibility with their operation. Not once did I tell them what my vision was for these devices, but they were used to the veil of secrecy under which they so frequently operated.

By the next year, we’d designed multiple types of assemblers that were specialized for specific tasks. First were the scanners. Their job was to break down molecules and store the atomic structure within a local storage matrix. That pattern is then transmitted (don’t ask me how - that’s why we pay Rakesh so much) to other new types of assemblers specialized in replicating certain parts of the molecule, all while back-checking against the original design with the last, and probably most advanced, of these machines. We called it a library. The library was in a separate room of our lab where every single stored pattern was kept. It was made entirely of computational diamond and had grown to a macroscopic size of nearly a cubic inch. It sat in a large container of graphite feedstock. Assemblers constantly swarmed over it, etching the encoded patterns they received into its surface. As the number of designs grew, so did the library, as the assemblers added to its surface.


I was working alone again. This time, it was Thanksgiving. Our company was closed for the long weekend, so the place was pretty much a ghost town. For me, that was fine. It was today that I’d finally be able to test out what I’d been looking forward to since that first night with the assemblers.

I loaded about half a pound of assorted, inert assemblers into a tray. On top of them, I added a live, sedated lab rat. My fingers trembled as I sent commands from my transmission terminal to the assemblers. They came to life and covered the animal. Steam began to rise from the tray as quadrillions of assemblers began to break down the rat, scanning the structure and placement of every atom in its body, and transmitted it to the library. The process took about ten minutes, and once the machines had finished their programmed routine, they shut down.

It took a good hour for the search algorithm to find the specific pattern of the rat in the library. When it was finally located, I uploaded it to our computing grid and requested a 3D schematic of the rodent with the highest available resolution. The schematic came to life on my screen. I zoomed in on the rat’s brain. Everything was there. The model was perfect down to the atom. Thanks to the pattern backchecking following the deconstruction of each molecule, the fidelity of the scan was flawless. I had no doubt in my mind that, given the proper computational resources at some point in the future, the mechanistic processes that made up the mind of this rat could be run in real time within a virtual environment. With a sufficiently-sophisticated simulation of the real world, the rat may never even suspect anything was out of place. What’s more, it could be loaded into a virtual world that was vastly better than its real life of cold laboratories and confinement. That’s where our technology was heading. I was sure of it. We just weren’t there yet.

The remainder of my time alone was spent programming. It wasn’t terribly sophisticated stuff; my team had done the majority of the groundwork. Codified representations of “facilitate the maximization of aggregate happiness by advancing the human condition” flowed from my fingers as I deftly tweaked the parameters of the assemblers. I removed their replication constraints. They would be free to make as many copies of themselves as they needed to fulfill the directive. Next, I added location points using the dataset provided by the office of the Hegemon that detailed the geographic locations of groups most in need of help. I augmented that list with an encyclopedia of medical conditions known to inflict horrific pain and misery upon the afflicted, along with the molecular biological markers of those diseases. Finally, I codified the neurochemical signatures of depression. I ran a consistency check on the code and it came up clean. It was no more complex than any of the other instructions we continually transmit to the assemblers when we want them to carry out tasks. It was just on a larger scale.

With the coding out of the way, I opened the feedstock vat up to the assemblers. With motility provided by background static electricity, they began to devour the carbon and spit out more assemblers of every flavor. They were done in minutes. I activated the transmitter, giving them their new, appended instruction set. I wheeled the vat of assemblers out of the lab, into the freight elevator, and onto the roof. I unlatched the vat and tipped it over. A black cloud of impossibly small machines was instantly taken by the wind. I left the slowly-dissipating pile next to the vat and walked over to the edge of the roof. On the street below, I saw a homeless man furiously scratching his arms, neck, and face. I turned around and went back toward the elevator. Before the door closed, I heard him screaming. I felt a pang of guilt, but I knew it was for the best - not only for him, but for all of us.

Back in the lab, I browsed news sites on my computer and was only slightly surprised by how quickly the assemblers had replicated and traveled. Within an hour, the internet was filled with videos of seemingly-random people getting enveloped in black clouds and then dissolved as if they’d been doused in acid. A few hours later, reports were coming in that entire areas of the world were decimated. Countless people, nearly all of whom were located in areas stricken by poverty, violence, and starvation, were gone. Then the word came that the plague had ended just as quickly as it had begun. I glanced at the status readout of the assembler control terminal. The assemblers had run the code successfully and, as I’d expected, shut themselves down.

I turned off the news and sat back. In one afternoon, I’d single handedly taken the biggest step yet in fulfilling the directive the Hegemon had put forth. I knew I’d caused many people to feel pain. In the long run, though, things would be better for everyone. Those who lost loved ones would move on. Resources that had been stretched and strained to the breaking point could now be allocated and shared evenly, without the societally-deleterious effects brought on by scarcity.

I stood up and walked over to the room housing the library. The diamond was now the size of a beachball. I inspected its surface. The etchings were certainly too small to see, but I knew they were there. I went back across the hall to the lab and had the search algorithm pull up a random design schematic from today. Again, I instructed the grid to render the model at the highest possible resolution. The screen displayed an external model of a middle-aged man in the state he was in immediately before the assemblers began to take him apart. His obsidian complexion was in stark contrast to the pure yellow of his ocular sclera. Spindly legs no thicker than a soda can somehow held him upright. Thin flesh was stretched over his chest like shrink-wrap, obscenely displaying every rib. Long before the assemblers had gotten to him, it was obvious he had suffered for far too much time. I pulled up more random models of the disassembled people. All had been in some state of obvious misery. But they didn’t have to suffer anymore. While they had the misfortune of being born into such a wretched state, I was fortunate enough have the opportunity to uplift them and help usher in the next era of the human condition. I hope, someday, we’ll all have the privilege of joining them.

Just because I can, I thought I’d collect a bunch of screencaps of Harrison Wells/Eobard Thawne fidgeting in a way that I can only describe as stimming. (Gifs would make much better examples, but I can’t make those yet.)

In Fastest Man Alive (1x02), he randomly picks up the plastic globe on Joe’s desk, examines it, and then puts it down again.

Things You Can’t Outrun (1x03)- When he’s not actively drinking from his travel mug, he spends a lot of time just holding it in his hands. Of particular note is the first screencap, where he’s just sitting with his hand on it despite that actively interfering with his typing ability.

The first appearance of the mystery object is in 1x03. This thing shows up a lot, and I have absolutely no idea what to call it other than a stim toy. Annoyingly, we never get a good look at it, but it seems to be made of black plastic, is cuboid in shape, and has an atom-looking pattern on one of its faces.

Going Rogue (1x04)- It’s hard to tell if this is the same object, since this one seems to have two parts (maybe it can be dismantled?), but it makes an audible hard plastic clink when he touches the two parts together.

Also in 1x04, he grabs the handle of the storage unit door and rubs it repeatedly with his thumb before slamming it.

The Flash is Born (1x06)- He spends the whole conversation with Joe flicking that pen between his fingers and spinning it with his hands.

It’s hard to tell from the screencaps, but he spends this entire scene in The Sound and the Fury (1x11) repetitively rubbing the fingers of his left hand together. He does this a lot, but this is probably the most obvious example.

The Nuclear Man (1x13) features the definitive return of the mystery stim toy. His preferred method of stimming seems to be holding it in both hands and rotating it.

Tricksters (1x17)- Here it is again, this time being spun in one hand because he’s controlling his chair with the other.

And here it is again in Who Is Harrison Wells? (1x19), which is its last appearance due to everyone’s plans kicking off in The Trap (1x20).

And, bonus Flash Back (2x17) examples:

Fidgeting with his pen. (Fun fact: this is exactly what I do with pens.)

Swiping his hand along the textured wall.

And finally, flicking his fingers back and forth.

I just imagined baby turtle tots all in little footie-pajamas.

Like imagine this:

Baby Leo in a blue one with yellow ducks all over it.
Baby Donnie in a purple one with those atom patterns on it.
Baby Raph with a red one with little turtles pattern.
Mikey in an orange one with like little ice cream cones on it.


Why did the One become Many?

It is because the nature of all things is like a beating heart. It pulses. It expands and contracts in a rhythmic pattern. All things in the universe do this. It is as if nature only has a very limited number of patterns and these replicate on scales from the galactic to the atomic. Repeating patterns blended together like fractal geometry. 

The patterns are the underlying reality. 

They are the framework which organizes matter. It is not well known but our universe where matter has clumped together is an amazingly unlikely thing. Matter should be evenly dispersed as atoms of hydrogen spread thin as space expands. Why it wasn’t defies physics and mathematics. 

How do we know we are “Made of Star Stuff”?

This is a gorgeous image of a stellar jet in the Carina Nebula. The Carina Nebula is mostly made from hydrogen along with other elements such as oxygen and sulphur. Life on earth is made up of some of these very same elements. We are star stuff. But how do astronomers know without physically testing the gas and dust clouds?

Through astronomical spectrospocy, signatures of all the elements in the gas and dust in the Universe can be identified. Each atomic element has a distinct pattern of “spectral lines” when observed through light. A spectral line is an actual dark or bright line that is revealed out of an otherwise continuous spectrum of light. They result from a deficiency or excess of photons compared with the nearby frequency. No element has the same pattern so in a way they are like atomic fingerprints. These patterns of lines can be observed here on Earth enabling astronomers to compare the patterns to objects observed in outer space. If there is a match between specific patterns, then the elements being observed can be identified.

Tonight on ‪Cosmos‬, spectral lines are highlighted demonstrating how the entire cosmos, the planets, the stars, nebulae, galaxies and all of life is all made of the same stuff.

(Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team)

The victory tour was exhausting, but Bran wasn’t going to complain. Sometimes the fact that Maxine had survived felt like a dream, one that could shatter at any second. No, he wasn’t going to complain. But he did miss Rosa and Meera like crazy while he was touring the districts. So when they arrived in the capitol he made sure she was set up with the stylist and went to find his family. 

They’d interviewed the avox tasked with taking care of Meera three times before tonight but when the time came for Bran to leave her, he couldn’t. He made up excuses. She’s too fussy. (She wasn’t) She’ll cry. (She only cried when she was hungry, needed to be changed, or her parents were fighting). So he took her, wrapped in her atom-patterned blanket and walked around the gardens a couple of times, letting her peer at all the flowers. Then he took her to an empty sitting room. “One day,” he told her, “this mansion will lie in rubble.”

He laid her down in his lap, cradling her head carefully and she bopped his arm with the rattler in her fists. It was probably a reflex but he poked her nose and she bopped him again. Bop. Poke. Bop. Poke. “You get this from your mama,” he teased, smiling wide at her.

He figured this could have gone on forever if the sitting room door hadn’t opened. He pulled Meera close.