NIST Physicists ‘Squeeze’ Light to Cool Microscopic Drum Below Quantum Limit | NIST


Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have cooled a mechanical object to a temperature lower than previously thought possible, below the so-called “quantum limit.”

“The colder you can get the drum, the better it is for any application,” said NIST physicist John Teufel, who led the experiment. “Sensors would become more sensitive. You can store information longer. If you were using it in a quantum computer, then you would compute without distortion, and you would actually get the answer you want.”

The drum, 20 micrometers in diameter and 100 nanometers thick, is embedded in a superconducting circuit designed so that the drum motion influences the microwaves bouncing inside a hollow enclosure known as an electromagnetic cavity. Microwaves are a form of electromagnetic radiation, so they are in effect a form of invisible light, with a longer wavelength and lower frequency than visible light.

Source: NIST Physicists ‘Squeeze’ Light to Cool Microscopic Drum Below Quantum Limit | NIST

U.S. Military Successfully Demonstrates Microdrone Swarm | SIGNAL Magazine


The U.S. Defense Department announced today (Jan 9) that in October 2016 it successfully demonstrated one of the world’s largest microdrone swarms at China Lake, California. The demonstration consisted of 103 Perdix drones launched from three F/A-18 Super Hornets.

The microdrones demonstrated advanced swarm behaviors such as collective decision making, adaptive formation flying and self-healing.

Source: U.S. Military Successfully Demonstrates Microdrone Swarm | SIGNAL Magazine

AFCEA Calls for Whole-of-Nation Approach to Cybersecurity | SIGNAL Magazine


The report, Key Cyber Issues and Recommendations: A Way Forward, identifies three needs in the cyber arena. The first is that the United States must approach cyber in a strategic and international context that incorporates diplomatic, information, military and economic elements of national power.

“Our current situation leaves us in a state of conflicting policy and strategy, with a lack of coordinated preparation and response,” the report warns. “Defining authorities and creating normalized terminology for a whole-of-nation approach will put the country on a stronger footing to address our national security, including economic security.”

Source: AFCEA Calls for Whole-of-Nation Approach to Cybersecurity | SIGNAL Magazine

Bush Counting Down Days Until He Is No Longer Worst President in History | The New Yorker


Former President George W. Bush is eagerly counting down the days until he is no longer the worst President in U.S. history, Bush confirmed on Tuesday.

“I have to admit, I never thought I’d see this day in my lifetime,” the former President said.”“When you leave office with the nation in smoldering ruins, you sort of come to accept that you’re gonna be worst for a long, long time.”

Source: Bush Counting Down Days Until He Is No Longer Worst President in History – The New Yorker

Karaoke Machine Backs Out of Performing at Inauguration | The New Yorker


In an official statement, the karaoke machine said that it was withdrawing because it “did not want my participation at the Inauguration to in any way be construed as an endorsement of Donald Trump.”

The President-elect wasted no time in lashing out at the karaoke machine, taking to Twitter in the early hours of the morning to call the entertainment device a “loser” and “sad.”

Source: Karaoke Machine Backs Out of Performing at Inauguration – The New Yorker

Upcoming Transatlantic Link Will Encourage Global Sharing


A three-continent research data sharing project is making headways in an effort to globalize research telecommunications.

Indiana University is expected to flip the switch this year on a new 100 gigabits per second (Gbps) transatlantic link, which is part of an ongoing research link between the U.S., Europe and Africa.

Source: Upcoming Transatlantic Link Will Encourage Global Sharing

Materials Containing Berkelium Different Than Expectations


Scientists are continuing to learn about one of the world’s most unknown elements.

Researchers at Florida State University discovered that berkelium (Bk), one of the few elements that have not yet been characterized in detail, unexpectedly lacks structural similarities as its lanthanide analog terbium (Tb).

One of the reasons scientists have been unable to fully describe the element is because it has only one available isotope—249Bk—has a half-life of only 320 days.

Source: Materials Containing Berkelium Different Than Expectations

Confirming Team Trump: Five questions for Betsy DeVos | Brookings Institution


The confirmation hearing for Betsy DeVos, President-elect Trump’s nominee for education secretary, is scheduled for this week. DeVos made her reputation as an advocate for charter schools but the Department of Education covers a much broader area. As a result what we know about DeVos hardly scratches the surface with respect to her views of education and plans for the Department of Education (ED).

Here, we pose five questions to DeVos in anticipation of her hearings.

Source: Confirming Team Trump: Five questions for Betsy DeVos | Brookings Institution

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2017 Annual Forecast | Stratfor


.. the global superpower is not feeling all that super.

In fact, it’s tired. It was roused in 2001 by a devastating attack on its soil, it overextended itself in wars in the Islamic world, and it now wants to get back to repairing things at home. Indeed, the main theme of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign was retrenchment, the idea that the United States will pull back from overseas obligations, get others to carry more of the weight of their own defense, and let the United States focus on boosting economic competitiveness.

No matter the approach, retrenchment is easier said than done for a global superpower. As Woodrow Wilson said, “Americans are participants, like it or not, in the life of the world.”

Source: 2017 Annual Forecast | Stratfor

The Hunt for Russia’s Next Enemy | Stratfor


For a century, with the exception of a few brief moments, the United States has been Russia’s main adversary. After all, blaming the Americans for all of Russia’s woes was a matter of convenience: The Kremlin simply fanned the flames of hatred, keeping its population’s attention fixed far from the problems unfolding inside its borders.

But for the most part, Russia considers Trump a friend — at least from my vantage point in Moscow. During the presidential primaries, Russia’s state-run television stations enthusiastically praised him, almost as if we Russians were preparing to vote for him, rather than the Americans. Many parts of the country — including the Kremlin, judging by its forgiving response to Washington’s recent expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats — have since celebrated his victory.

In losing an enemy, though, Russia seems to have gained a new problem …

Source: The Hunt for Russia’s Next Enemy | Stratfor