Brainy Quote of the Day

Friday, October 13, 2017

Polite Society...

Image Source: Cap Times, Amy Goodman, Dennis Moynihan related article

Topics: Commentary, Politics, Research

"An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life." Robert A. Heinlein

"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre

On the night of October 1, 2017, a gunman opened fire on a large crowd of concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in the State of Nevada, leaving 58 people dead and 489 injured. Between 10:05 and 10:15 p.m. PDT, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock of Mesquite, Nevada, fired hundreds of rifle rounds from his suite on the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel. About an hour after Paddock fired his last shot, he was found dead in his room from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His motive is unknown.

The incident is the deadliest mass shooting committed by an individual in the United States. The crime reignited the debate about gun laws in the U.S., with attention focused on bump firing, a technique Paddock used to allow his semi-automatic rifles to fire at a rate similar to that of a fully automatic weapon. Source: Wikipedia


  • The claim that gun ownership stops crime is common in the U.S., and that belief drives laws that make it easy to own and keep firearms.
  • But about 30 careful studies show more guns are linked to more crimes: murders, rapes, and others. Far less research shows that guns help.
  • Interviews with people in heavily gun-owning towns show they are not as wedded to the crime defense idea as the gun lobby claims.


Guns took more than 36,000 U.S. lives in 2015, and this and other alarming statistics have led many to ask whether our nation would be better off with firearms in fewer hands. Yet gun advocates argue exactly the opposite: that murders, crimes and mass shootings happen because there aren't enough guns in enough places. Arming more people will make our country safer and more peaceful, they say, because criminals won't cause trouble if they know they are surrounded by gun-toting good guys.

Is there truth to this claim? An ideal experiment would be an interventional study in which scientists would track what happened for several years after guns were given to gun-free communities and everything else was kept the same. But alas, there are no gun-free U.S. communities, and the ethics of doing such a study are dubious. So instead scientists compare what happens to gun-toting people, in gun-dense regions, with what happens to people and places with few firearms. They also study whether crime victims are more or less likely to own guns than others, and they track what transpires when laws make it easier for people to carry guns or use them for self-defense.

Most of this research—and there have been several dozen peer-reviewed studies—punctures the idea that guns stop violence. In a 2015 study using data from the FBI and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for example, researchers at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard University reported that firearm assaults were 6.8 times more common in the states with the most guns versus those with the least. Also in 2015 a combined analysis of 15 different studies found that people who had access to firearms at home were nearly twice as likely to be murdered as people who did not.

This evidence has been slow to accumulate because of restrictions placed by Congress on one of the country's biggest injury research funders, the CDC. Since the mid-1990s the agency has been effectively blocked from supporting gun violence research. And the NRA and many gun owners have emphasized a small handful of studies that point the other way.

"For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt. Your lips have spoken falsely, and your tongue mutters wicked things." Isaiah 59:3

More Guns Do Not Stop More Crimes, Evidence Shows
Melinda Wenner Moyer, Scientific American

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Carbon Nanotube FET...

Figure 1.
A three-dimensional integrated circuit, made possible with carbon nanotubes (CNTs). The circuit senses and classifies ambient gases using a multilayered stack of devices that are connected by platinum wires known as interlayer vias. In the top layer, roughly 1 million CNT field-effect transistors (FETs) register a change in electrical resistance when the gas molecules adsorb on a CNT. The second layer hosts memory cells that read and store the signals created by the FETs just above them. The third layer contains another million FETs that process the sensor data and implement a machine-learning algorithm to identify the type of gas picked up. Conventional silicon CMOS circuitry on the bottom acts as an interface to external devices. (Adapted from ref. 2.)

Topics: Carbon Nanotubes, Computer Engineering, Nanotechnology, Quantum Mechanics

In 2013 graduate student Max Shulaker, his adviser Subhasish Mitra, Philip Wong, and their Stanford University colleagues built the first computer made entirely of carbon nanotube (CNT) field-effect transistors (FETs). 1 The achievement was eagerly anticipated. Even before their first incorporation into FETs in 1998, CNTs had been touted as a superior substitute for the silicon channel that shuttles current between the traditional FET’s source and drain electrodes.

The intrinsic thinness of single-wall CNTs—essentially graphene sheets rolled into hollow cylinders a nanometer wide—enables superb control over power dissipation in the transistor’s off state and allows the transistor to switch off and on with much lower energy consumption than is possible with any other material. Moreover, thanks to that one-dimensionality, which suppresses scattering, charge carriers in CNTs have a much higher velocity for a given electric field than in Si. (See the article by Phaedon Avouris, Physics Today, January 2009, page 34.)

The 2013 computer was modest: It contained fewer than 200 FETs, ran at a clock speed of just 1 kHz, and implemented a single instruction. Nonetheless, the instruction was a conditional statement that qualified the computer as “Turing complete,” able to make any calculation given enough memory and time. The achievement also reassured Shulaker, now a professor at MIT, and his Stanford colleagues that CNTs could form the foundation for a much more complex system.

The researchers have now built a prototype system that embodies a vision of a transformative computer architecture—one in which computing, data storage, and input and output technologies are each fabricated into two-dimensional layers that are built up into a 3D integrated circuit.2 Shown schematically in figure 1, the circuit consists of more than 2 million CNT FETs and more than 1 million memory cells. The components are divided among three layers—stacked on the same chip atop a layer of Si CMOS circuitry and interconnected by a forest of fine platinum wires.

The carbon nanotube integrated circuit goes three-dimensional
R. Mark Wilson, Physics Today

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

QuantumWise...

Image Source: Link below

Topics: Education, Nanotechnology, Quantum Mechanics, Semiconductor Technology

Note: This will hopefully catch up my posting hiatus this Thursday (last midterm).

QuantumWise develops commercial software for fast and reliable atomic-scale modeling of nanostructures, fully supported and delivered in an easy-to-use interface, tailored from state-of-the-art methods, and developed by experts to the specifications of our customers.

Who we are

QuantumWise is a self-funded, privately owned company headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, with local representation in Japan, Singapore and the United States. We sell our software products to several hundred companies, government labs, and universities around the world. QuantumWise was started in 2008, built on the company Atomistix (founded in 2003), which brought the academic transport code TranSIESTA into the commercial marketplace.

At present, QuantumWise has more than 20 employees world-wide, working with developing the code and supporting our users. Most of our employees have a Ph.D. in physics or chemistry, and/or are seasoned programmers with long experience in numerical modeling and GUI development.


QuantumWise, Physics Connect
Website: QuantumWise.com

Monday, October 9, 2017

2017 Nobel Prize Economic Sciences...

Image Source: Scroll.in and NobelPrize.org

Topics: Economics, Nobel Laureate, Nobel Prize


The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2017 was awarded to Richard H. Thaler "for his contributions to behavioural economics".

Integrating economics with psychology
Richard H. Thaler has incorporated psychologically realistic assumptions into analyses of economic decision-making. By exploring the consequences of limited rationality, social preferences, and lack of self-control, he has shown how these human traits systematically affect individual decisions as well as market outcomes.

Link: 2017 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel

Friday, October 6, 2017

2017 Nobel Peace Prize...

Image Source: Daily Mirror
Original: Ill: N. Elmehed. © Nobel Media 2017

Topics: Nobel Laureate, Nobel Prize, Peace


I can't think of a more timely and apropos prize for the current zeitgeist. I hope it has impact.


The Nobel Peace Prize 2017 was awarded to International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) "for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons".

Link: Nobel Peace Prize

Thursday, October 5, 2017

2017 Nobel Prize Literature...

Image Link: Source below
Topics: Literature, Nobel Laureate, Nobel Prize

The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2017 is awarded to Kazuo Ishiguro "who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world".


Link: Nobel Prize Literature

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

2017 Nobel Prize Chemistry...

Image Source: Link below
Topics: Chemistry, Nobel Laureate, Nobel Prize

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2017 was awarded to Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson "for developing cryo-electron microscopy for the high-resolution structure determination of biomolecules in solution".


Link: Nobel Prize Chemistry