Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

Quantum Physics News - Fri, 07/20/2018 - 05:57
Watch a movie backwards and you'll likely get confused—but a quantum computer wouldn't. That's the conclusion of researcher Mile Gu at the Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT) at the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University and collaborators.

A physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

General Physics - Fri, 07/20/2018 - 03:22
An international team of scientists has discovered a new, exotic form of insulating material with a metallic surface that could enable more efficient electronics or even quantum computing. The researchers developed a new method for analyzing existing chemical compounds that relies on the mathematical properties like symmetry that govern the repeating patterns seen in everyday wallpaper.

Having the right name helps one to find housing

Social Sciences News - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 09:20
Discrimination against ethnic minorities on the housing market is declining—in Germany and other Western European countries and in the USA. But a new meta-study shows that applicants' surnames still influence the selection of new tenants.

Democracies more prone to start wars – except when they're not

Social Sciences News - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 07:35
Research shows public pressure pushes democratically elected leaders to be more aggressive in international conflicts than their autocratic counterparts but finds some exceptions. What kind of political leader is most likely to start a war—an invective-spewing dictator or the elected head of a democratic nation? Surprisingly, science says it's probably not the autocrat.

Study reveals challenges of policing cannabis possession

Social Sciences News - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 07:30
Officers see their own policing of cannabis possession offences as largely ineffective, a study of rank and file officers has revealed.

Red-light cameras don't reduce traffic accidents or improve public safety: analysis

Social Sciences News - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 07:29
Red-light cameras don't reduce the number of traffic accidents or injuries at intersections where the devices are installed, according a new analysis by Case Western Reserve University.

What Australia's convict past reveals about women, men, marriage and work

Social Sciences News - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 07:20
Success for women often comes at a cost. Award-winning, election-winning and high-earning women are more likely to be divorced in a strange trend that may affect other aspects of our lives.

How 'empathy gap' among social workers can affect services for people of color

Social Sciences News - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 07:16
Social workers think of themselves as empathetic individuals—after all, they went into social work specifically to help people. But empathy isn't a perfect motivator. Terence Fitzgerald, a clinical associate professor at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work who studies institutional racism and child welfare, found that an "empathy gap" among white social workers can hurt the services received by people of color. He shares his recent research.

For Mexican immigrants, politics is a family affair

Social Sciences News - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 02:43
Imagine adapting to life in the U.S. after emigrating from Mexico. With so many confusing new processes and systems to navigate, how would you begin to understand something as complex as local and national politics? According to San Francisco State University Associate Professor of Political Science Marcela García-Castañon, who studies political socialization, you'd likely turn to your spouse. In a recent study in the journal New Political Science, García-Castañon shows that spousal relationships often determine how newcomers from Mexico come to understand American politics and develop a sense of community.

Experts address ways to support latest science education standards

Social Sciences News - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 17:10
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are K-12 science content standards, with three dimensions that are integrated in instruction at all levels: core ideas, science and engineering practices, and cross-cutting concepts. A new article in the Journal of Research Science in Teaching focuses on how to support enactment of the NGSS in diverse educational systems, including the challenges faced when some of those systems are fragmented and resource-poor. The article appears in a forthcoming JRST special issue on the NGSS, to be released online August 20, 2018.

Secular countries can expect future economic growth, confirms new study

Social Sciences News - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 14:00
New research measuring the importance of religion in 109 countries spanning the entire 20th century has reignited an age-old debate around the link between secularisation and economic growth. The study, published in Science Advances, has shown that a decline in religion influences a country's future economic prosperity.

Doing school differently

Social Sciences News - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 10:01
Alternative schooling programs could deliver greater learning outcomes for young people who are struggling at school, according to University of South Australia researcher, Dr. Thomas Stehlik.

The brainwashing myth

Social Sciences News - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 09:18
Nearly 40 years ago, my two sisters, Carolyn Layton and Annie Moore, were among those who planned the mass deaths in Jonestown on Nov. 18, 1978.

A possibly better way to measure our own galaxy speed moving through space

General Physics - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 08:30
A pair of physicists at Aix-Marseille University has offered a possible way to measure the speed of our own galaxy more accurately as it moves through space. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, Julien Bel and Christian Marinoni describe their theory and how it might be tested.

'I don't see race' and other white lies

Social Sciences News - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 08:20
No one white really wants to talk about being white.

A new study should be the final nail for open-plan offices

Social Sciences News - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 08:10
Open-plan offices have taken off because of a desire to increase interaction and collaboration among workers. But an innovative new study has found that employees in open-plan offices spend 73% less time in face-to-face interactions. Email and messaging use shot up by over 67%.

Londoners feel ignored and not represented by adverts

Social Sciences News - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 07:10
75 per cent of Londoners feel that adverts should reflect the diversity of the city's population, yet fewer than one in four thinks adverts are culturally diverse, according to new research from the UCL Institute of Education.

Outsider candidates perform better in polarized political environments, study finds

Social Sciences News - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 07:00
New research by Peter Buisseret, assistant professor in the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, and a coauthor shows that in times of intense polarization, outsiders are more likely to win elections than establishment candidates if they are able to prevail within established parties.

A new approach for narrowing down huge calculations by focusing on a single, predictive parameter

General Physics - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 06:52
A team that includes nuclear physicists, a machine-learning researcher and an NC State mathematician has created a new approach for narrowing down huge calculations – such as those involved in quantum physics – by focusing on a single, predictive parameter. This approach, dubbed the eigenvector continuation, could prove useful in solving other scientific and engineering problems where the calculations are simply too large for computer memory to handle.

Concentrated wealth in agricultural populations may account for the decline of polygyny

Social Sciences News - Tue, 07/17/2018 - 19:10
Across small-scale societies, the practice of some males taking multiple wives is thought to be associated with extreme disparities of wealth. But in fact, polygyny has been more common among relatively egalitarian low-tech horticulturalists than in highly unequal, capital-intensive agricultural societies. This surprising fact is known as the polygyny paradox, and a new study from the Santa Fe Institute's Dynamics of Wealth Inequality Project provides a possible resolution of the puzzle.