Interesting fact: It is very likely that your mobile phone contains a battery which could explode quite vigorously if heated too much. In order to prevent this occurrence, as it would surely be quite a downer on sales, every phone is designed with a temperature control component. I think this is quite a good analogy for a single chip. Much like phones there is constant pressure to put more and more components on each single chip, each of which must produce a certain amount of heat. To make sure that electronic chips can continue on this trend of being ever more compact it is essential to be able to monitor and control the temperature of individual chips.
Swarm intelligence is a concept first named in computer and robotic science but appears very noticeably in the world around us. It is the idea that many individuals of simple nature can communicate locally, and partially randomly, which results in a seemingly intelligent and planned behaviour overall which is beyond the scope of any individual component. This can be seen very clearly in ants where the armies can communicate using pheromones to pass along information. Often the paths ants take from their colonies to a found food source can be predicted as the mathematically optimal path which minimises time and effort costs. It is incredible that ants are able to clearly obey concepts like Fermat’s principle of least time and due to their dynamic behaviour when finding an optimal foraging path they can be seen as a very good example of active matter, self organising matter made of individual components which can do work independently but still exist as a group.
In classical physics it is a simple fact that if you knew enough information nothing could be beyond prediction. If quantum physics was to be ignored someone could have calculated the entire universe provided they knew every detail of the big bang. When companies make predictions they are not of this kind. You will probably heard the practically vapid phrase that “correlation does not equal causation” but the simple fact is that correlation is the only thing required. If 90% of people who buy pens online also buy paper later, who cares if its causation. Advertisements will appear for various notepads because it is statically likely the pen buyer will soon be looking for one. In a similar way it is estimated that some life insurance companies have so much information that they can predict the date of someone’s death (based on neighbourhood, average income, previous family medical records, ect) to within a year.
When a system’s particles interact under a repulsive inverse power law, it means that particles will repel each other and the force with which one particle experiences from another can be stated generally as:
F = k / rn
where F is the force exerted on the particle, k is a constant, r is the distance between the two two particles and n is the order of the interaction.
The Living With a Star (LSW) program is a project by NASA with the goal of understanding why the Sun varies over time and how this effects the Earth, more specifically, how it effects human life on Earth rather than just general geoastrophysics. The scientific portion of the project began on the 11th of February, 2010, when the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) was launched into a geosynchronous orbit. This spacecraft was given the task of taking incredibly detailed readings from the Sun in regards to its magnetic field, corona and solar radiance. To perform this task three separate modules were integrated onto the satellite: The Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI); the Extreme Ultraviolet Variability Experiment (EVE); and the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA). Luckily it is the just the final one that we need to concern ourselves with today. The AIA unit is most similar to traditional photography being able to take pictures containing the whole Sun in eight different ultraviolet wavelengths and with very high resolutions (4096×4096).
In mathematics there are many problems that seem almost ridiculously pointless and it makes you wonder why such things are of any interest at all. An example would be the concept of vertex colouring of graphs. This is simply taking a graph and “colouring” each node so that no two nodes of the same colour have an arc connecting them. Generally the aim is to minimise the number of colours required by reusing colours whenever possible. Of course this exercise has applications for computer programming and scheduling algorithms and so, as always, even the most useless looking maths comes to a purpose somewhere.
Nonvolatile memory is the memory normally used as the backup on a computer. Most people will have heard of random access memory (RAM) which is considered volatile because if the computer is shut down all the tiny capacitors (as this is what the memory chip is made from) discharge and so the information stored as RAM is lost. Nonvolatile memory persists even after the computer has been switched off and on again and in its most basic form is literally printing out the information in a format that can be easily reinserted. Magnetic tape is probably the most famous of this type of memory.