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Links for 2021-03-13
1 min read

Links for 2021-03-13

  1. MIT engineers create camera lens that focuses with no moving parts. "This new lens is not made out of solid glass, but transparent “phase-changing” material that can rearrange its atomic structure when heated to change how the materials interact with light. The researchers etched the material surface with tiny, precise, patterned structures that refract light in unique ways. This “metasurface” allows the optical functions to change as the material’s property changes." [Petapixel]
  2. E-mail is making us miserable. "Many in the business community tend to dismiss the psychological toll from e-mail as an incidental side effect caused by bad in-box habits or a weak constitution. I’ve come to believe, however, that much deeper forces are at play in generating our mismatch with this tool, including some that get at the very core of what drives us as humans." [Cal Newport / New Yorker]
  3. Watch the trippy, first-ever footage of a time crystal. “[Time crystals] exhibit the properties of crystals in time as well as space. In the same way that the atomic lattices of crystals repeat regular patterns in space, time crystals repeat regular patterns in time…In practical terms, this means that time crystals show what’s called temporal periodicity in which they oscillate between one configuration and another, like clockwork.” [Becky Ferreira / Vice]
  4. What is an “algorithm”? It depends whom you ask. [Kristian Lum and Rumman Chowdhury / MIT Technology Review]
  5. Lab-grown black hole behaves just like Stephen Hawking said it would. "As explained by Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, even the complete vacuum of space is teeming with pairs of 'virtual' particles that pop in and out of existence. These fleeting particles with opposite energies usually annihilate each other almost immediately. But due to the extreme gravitational pull at an event horizon, Hawking suggested pairs of photons could be separated, with one particle getting absorbed by the black hole and the other escaping into space. The absorbed photon has negative energy and subtracts energy in the form of mass from the black hole, while the escaped photon becomes Hawking radiation. From this alone, given enough time (much longer than the age of the universe), a black hole could completely evaporate away." [Tim Childers / Live Science]
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