While the Los Angeles Lakers have endured a (predictably) poor start to the 2014-15 season, their future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant continues to rack up individual milestones. In one game last month, he picked up his 20th career triple double and became the first player in league history to record 30,000 career points and 6,000 career assists. And after a 32-point outburst Tuesday night, Bryant moved to within 30 points of Michael Jordan and third place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list — meaning Bryant could pass Jordan in the Lakers’ Friday night game against the San Antonio Spurs.Jordan has always been an easy comparison for Bryant. The two men play the same position (shooting guard), are built similarly (both stand 6 feet 6 and weigh about 200 pounds), seem to possess the same maniacal work ethic, and even have similar-looking games. Bryant’s championship count, five, even rivals Jordan’s six. In the minds of many fans, Bryant is the closest to Jordan the game has seen since Jordan retired for good in 2003.Statistically, though, there’s never really been much of a comparison. According to most advanced metrics, Jordan was better than Bryant at both ends of the floor. (This is true even if we restrict both players to the same block of seasons by age so we’re comparing apples to apples. Kobe entered the NBA at age 18, and he’s 36 now; Jordan played from age 21 to 34, retired and played again from age 38 to 39. So their overlapping years are 21 to 34.)Offensively, Bryant can’t hold a candle to Jordan, mainly because of a disparity in efficiency. After translating both Jordan’s and Bryant’s stats to a league-wide offensive efficiency level of 106 points per 100 possessions to account for the changes in the game (the NBA’s overall average since it merged with the ABA in 1976), Jordan posted an offensive rating of 118.4 between the ages of 21 and 34, while Bryant put up a rating of 112.4. For a top scorer like Bryant or Jordan, an offensive rating boost of six points per 100 possessions can mean an extra four wins for his team in an 82-game season.Because of an effect known as “skill curves,” it can be misleading to directly compare efficiency numbers between players with different offensive responsibilities. (This is why Steve Kerr and Fred Holberg aren’t better offensive players than Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony, for instance.) But Jordan’s and Bryant’s roles were of roughly the same, so it’s a fair comparison; between the ages of 21 and 34, Jordan used 31.9 percent of the Chicago Bulls’ possessions while on the floor, while Bryant used 31.6 percent of the Lakers’ possessions when he was in the game. In other words, with essentially the same volume of the offense being directed through each player, Jordan was just a lot more efficient than Bryant at turning possessions into points.Why? Jordan shot the ball more accurately than Bryant, with a true shooting percentage of .580 to Bryant’s .556 — and that number even includes Bryant’s superior three-point shooting (particularly by volume) and a slight edge to Bryant at the free throw line as well. This means Jordan’s shooting advantage was almost totally driven by a better success rate on 2-pointers, where he crushed Bryant 52.0 percent to 48.5 percent despite the high likelihood that Bryant has taken more shots closer to the rim than Jordan did. (Even though a much larger proportion of Bryant’s shots came from three-point territory, Bryant’s rate of drawing fouls per shot attempt — a good proxy for how close to the basket a player is taking his shots — was higher than Jordan’s.)Jordan also protected the ball much better than Bryant. Between the ages of 21 and 34, Jordan turned the ball over on just 9.3 percent of his possessions, the best rate ever among players with such a high volume of shooting. Bryant isn’t exactly careless with the ball, but Jordan’s combination of a high usage rate, great shooting efficiency, a good assist rate and a microscopic rate of turnovers is what makes him arguably the best offensive player of the NBA’s post-merger era.Even when coupled with usage rate, it’s possible for individual efficiency numbers to belie a player’s true offensive contribution. A more sophisticated approach to measuring a player’s effect on his team’s offense can be found in statistical plus/minus metrics like Daniel Myers’s Box Plus/Minus (BPM). By that measure, Jordan helped his teams’ offenses by about 2.3 more points per 100 possessions than Bryant did between ages 21 and 34. We can’t be sure what a player’s actual on-court impact was before 2001 because we don’t have play-by-play data, but this reconstruction of regularized adjusted plus/minus for the 1990s (using box score and quarter-by-quarter score data) estimates that Jordan was, by far, the best offensive player of that decade. (By contrast, Bryant’s offensive impact ranks fourth relative to his peers.)Meanwhile, on defense Bryant looks like the Derek Jeter of the NBA — soaking up defensive accolades on reputation rather than performance. Over his career (which includes 12 All-Defensive team nods) the Lakers have only been 0.6 points per 100 possessions better than average defensively, and Bryant’s long-term regularized defensive plus/minus of -0.9 is below average. Synergy Sports, the video-tracking service that classifies every play a player is involved in, has the most favorable view of Bryant defensively but still considers him to be just a 55th percentile defender on aggregate since it began tracking full-season data in 2006-07 (a span over which Bryant was named to six All-Defensive squads).We don’t have Synergy numbers for Jordan defensively, but what evidence we do have suggests that he was better than Bryant at that end of the court. Jordan posted higher rates of steals, blocks and defensive rebounds than Bryant, and team-based defensive metrics like Dean Oliver’s defensive rating consider Jordan far superior (101.1 to 105.4; lower is better on defense) over the age 21 through 34 span after translating for era. Furthermore, the defensive component of Myers’s BPM lists Jordan as saving about 1.4 points per 100 possessions relative to Bryant (whom the metric considers a below-average defender). And while Jordan was in the top 12 percent of 1990s defenders by the aforementioned reconstructed plus/minus rating, Bryant was in the bottom 42 percent of his peers in defensive regularized plus/minus.Bryant will catch — and pass — M.J. on the all-time scoring list soon, but that shouldn’t be taken as an indication that Bryant has been a better basketball player than Jordan. To the contrary, the best statistical evidence at our disposal shows there really isn’t any legitimate way to make the argument for Bryant’s superiority. It’s only natural to hold the two players up side by side because of their superficial similarities, but a serious breakdown of the numbers renders all of those comparisons silly — the better player is Jordan, in a landslide.
“These publications have been in their respective markets for decades and have loyal readership due to the comprehensive coverage in their fields,” said Ferrell in a statement announcing the NP and KSR acquisitions. “Endeavor is committed to maintaining the high level of service and quality they currently deliver.”In the announcement, Endeavor assured that it’s “committed to ensuring the smooth transition of these titles and will keep current publication staff in place,” adding that the acquired titles will remain based in Sarasota, Florida.“The Endeavor organization and their professional teams offered some substantial support opportunities for the future growth of these respected journals,” said Kristine Russell, CEO of NP Communications and owner of KSR Publishing. “I have known Chris Ferrell for a number of years and I was honored that he invited my organizations to join his team at Endeavor.”Gallo Business Media, which specializes in hosted-buyer events serving markets like transportation and public works, among others, was founded in 2012 by IQPC and Eaton Hall Exhibitions alum Michael Gallo, who said the entire Gallo team is “thrilled to be on the ground floor of what Chris is developing.”“Michael Gallo and his team have done a great job building a buyer conference model that is extremely valuable for both the sponsors and attendees, “added Ferrell. “We look forward to replicating the Gallo model for the benefit of our current advertisers and readers.”Nashville-based Resolute Capital Partners financed the NP and KSR deal, while Nick Curci’s Westport, CT-based M&A firm Corporate Solutions represented Gallo Business Media in its deal. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.The Gallo deal offers Endeavor “a great opportunity to expand the business by entering into new markets and leveraging other existing media assets with this hosted buyer business model,” said Curci in a statement. “Michael Gallo has built a great team and valuable assets that Chris Ferrell and his newly formed organization will develop and grow even further.” The five-month-old company that says its ready to take “B2B media to new heights” has marked its first major expansion.Endeavor Business Media announced Monday a trio of acquisitions that more than double its portfolio of media brands and significantly expand its events business: NP Communications, the Florida-based publisher of Evaluation Engineering and three titles serving the medical industry; KSR Publishing, the related publisher of Healthcare Purchasing News; and Gallo Business Media, which produces about a dozen trade shows and hosted-buyer events around the country.Founded by Chris Ferrell a month after stepping down as CEO of SouthComm Communications last November, Endeavor Business Media first made its presence known in January with the acquisition of Grand View Media’s Process Flow Network.Monday’s announcement comes weeks after former SouthComm VP Scott Bieda joined the company, reuniting with former colleagues Ferrell and Endeavor COO Patrick Rains. At the time, Ferrell said Bieda was arriving as the Nashville-based company prepared for its next round of acquisitions.
German luxury car maker BMW seemed to have been making some aggressive plans for India. The company is now all geared to introduce its petrol-electric hybrid i8 at the upcoming Auto Expo 2014.The car, which made its global debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show 2013, is powered by a3-cylinder, 1.5-litre, twin turbocharging petrol engine, in combination with an electric motor. The engine generates a power of 231bhp, a peak torque of 320Nm and is mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox transmission. The car is capable of attaining 0 to 100kmph speed in 4.5 seconds and offers a top speed of 250kmph, along with a fuel efficiency of 40kmpl.The car is likely to be the most expensive from BMW for the India market and, according to various reports, it is likely to come with a price tag of ₹1.5 crore. The company is expected to start rolling out the new offering by early 2014.Also, BMW India has kick-started the promotions for the BMW i series car.”A new kind of movement has arrived. A movement that defines your future. BMW i. Its pure progressive shapes will fascinate you. Its lightening performance will energise you. Its intelligent applications and services will help you enjoy more. Its unparalleled use of sustainable technology will allow you to live responsibly. It will combine what is good for you and what is good for tomorrow,” RushLane quoted an update by the company.
ReutersFlipkart Chief Financial Officer Sanjay Baweja has resigned from the company. Baweja will continue to be with the company till December-end.Flipkart has lost ground to Amazon India and has struggled to raise fresh funds, two people familiar with the matter told Mint. Flipkart, which saw its valuation decline this year in the wake of repeated markdowns by some of its investors, is reortedly trying to raise investment from world’s largest retailer Wal-Mart.Since the top management rejig in January this year, which saw Bansal take over the reins as CEO, exits in the top echelons of Flipkart have become common. Punit Soni, the star hire from Google, quit the company less than a year after he joined, the Business Standard reported.The other exits are that of Mukesh Bansal, whose company was acquired by Flipkart, following which he managed some of the top portfolios there.A Flipkart spokesman said December 31 would be Baweja’s last day at the company and the search for a replacement had begun.Flipkart, launched in 2007 by two former Amazon employees, sells a wide range of products from mobile phones to suitcases and cosmetics. Current investors include Tiger Global Management and Accel Partners.
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Researcher Pasi Lähteenmäki discussed the challenges he and his colleagues – G. S. Paraoanu, Juha Hassel and Pertti J. Hakonen – encountered in their study. Regarding their demonstration of the dynamical Casimir effect using a Josephson metamaterial embedded in a microwave cavity at 5.4 GHz, Lähteenmäki tells Phys.org that the main challenge in general is to get high-quality samples. In addition, Lähteenmäki adds, they had to ensure that the origin of the noise is quantum and not some unaccounted source of excess noise, such as thermal imbalance between the environment and the sample, or possibly leakage of external noise.Modulating the effective length of the cavity by flux-biasing the SQUID (superconducting quantum interference device) metamaterial had its challenges as well. “The pump signal needs to be rather strong, yet at the same time one wants to be sure that no excess noise enters the system through the pump line, Lähteenmäki notes, “and good filtering means high attenuation, which is a requirement contradictory to a strong signal. Also,” Lähteenmäki continues, “at 10.8 GHz the pump frequency is rather high – and at that frequency range both the sample and the setup is rather prone to electrical resonances which can limit the usable frequencies.” In short, the flux profile needs to be such that the pumping doesn’t counteract itself. In addition, trapping flux in SQUID loops can also become a problem, limiting the range of optimal operating points and causing excess loss.The researchers also showed that photons at frequencies symmetric with respect to half the modulation frequency of the cavity are generated in pairs. “In general, with frequency locked signal analyzers today the extraction of this correlation is not particularly problematic – especially since the low noise amplifier noise is not correlated at different frequencies,” Lähteenmäki explains. That said, issues related to data collection and averaging include amplifier gain drift and phase randomization of the pump signal (relative to the detection phase) if the state of the generator is changed. “The noise temperature of the low noise amplifier sets some limits to the amount of data that needs to be collected, especially in the case where one is operating in the regime of low parametric gain.” More information: Dynamical Casimir effect in a Josephson metamaterial, PNAS Published online before print February 12, 2013, doi:10.1073/pnas.1212705110 Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Citation: Ex nihilo: Dynamical Casimir effect in metamaterial converts vacuum fluctuations into real photons (2013, March 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-03-nihilo-dynamical-casimir-effect-metamaterial.html (Phys.org) —In the strange world of quantum mechanics, the vacuum state (sometimes referred to as the quantum vacuum, simply as the vacuum) is a quantum system’s lowest possible energy state. While not containing physical particles, neither is it an empty void: Rather, the quantum vacuum contains fluctuating electromagnetic waves and so-called virtual particles, the latter being known to transition into and out of existence. In addition, the vacuum state has zero-point energy – the lowest quantized energy level of a quantum mechanical system – that manifests itself as the static Casimir effect, an attractive interaction between the opposite walls of an electromagnetic cavity. Recently, scientists at Aalto University in Finland and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland demonstrated the dynamical Casimir effect using a Josephson metamaterial embedded in a microwave cavity. They showed that under certain conditions, real photons are generated in pairs, and concluded that their creation was consistent with quantum field theory predictions. Copyright 2013 Phys.org All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of Phys.org. Light particles illuminate the vacuum Explore further Lastly, the team also found that at large detunings of the cavity from half the modulation frequency, they found power spectra that clearly showed the theoretically-predicted hallmark of the dynamical Casimir effect. “Large detunings imply low intensity of generated radiation,” notes Lähteenmäki. “This means long averaging times, so the system should be kept stable for a long period. Also, the system needs to be fairly resonance-free over a large range of frequencies to get decent data – and/or one needs to know the characteristics of these resonances and noise temperature of the low noise amplifier rather well.”Lähteenmäki points out that addressing these issues required a number of insights and innovations. “We combated amplifier drift by continuously switching the pump on and off, and recording the difference in the observed output power, suitable operating points were searched for using trial and error, and trapping the photon flux was eliminated by applying a heat pulse to the sample and letting it cool down again. The researchers also magnetically shielded the sample with a superconductive shield, and minimized the effect of losses by changing the coupling of the existing samples by making different valued vacuum coupling capacitors with focused ion beam (FIB) cuts.”However,” Lähteenmäki stresses, “our biggest issue – ruling out the source of classical noise as opposed to quantum noise – was accomplished primarily by characterizing the sample and the environment well” Thermal imbalance was ruled out by the symmetry of the sparrow-tail shape of the noise spectrum.It was essential for the scientists to clearly demonstrate that the observed substantial photon flux could not be assigned to parametric amplification of thermal fluctuations. “By characterizing the parametric gain with a network analyzer,” Lähteenmäki notes, “we found that in order to explain the amount of noise one gets, the device would need to have significantly higher gain than is observed if the only source of noise was thermal.” Moreover, confirming that photon pair creation is a direct consequence of the noncommutativity structure of quantum field theory was equally important. “Basically the experimental results fit the theoretical predictions rather well – and in the absence of other sources of noise, the theory implies that we should get no output from this sort of device. Since we see output consistent with the theoretical predictions, the conclusion was logical.”Moving forward, Lähteenmäki describes next steps in their research. “Instead of a continuous wave pump, we could have a straight flux line and feed it with a step-like flux pulse,” Lähteenmäki says. “This would allow the creation of an analogue to a black hole event horizon. In fact,” he adds, “we’re hoping to create an artificial event horizon in a metamaterial similar to the one used in our current research and study Hawking radiation originating from it. Also, it would be nice to be able to run experiments on Bell’s inequalities.” His personal interests, Lähteenmäki says, are fundamental quantum mechanics, quantum information and properties of the vacuum itself.”The obvious applications for these devices,” he notes, “come from quantum computation, and in general they may serve as components for multitude of sensitive measurements. I believe the interest towards low loss metamaterials is high and the field is just getting started. Our results show that these devices have potential and can offer a fruitful platform for many experiments and perhaps practical devices as well. Improving such devices – especially eliminating the losses and making them function more robustly – would allow them to create a general purpose component suitable for creating entangled microwave photon pairs, low noise amplification, squeezed vacuum, and other functions that can be very useful for quantum computation and general experiments in the quantum mechanics and in studying the vacuum.”Another possibility, Lähteenmäki adds, is to create a metamaterial which would allow them to stop signal propagation in the material entirely and allow them to resume it later. “This would act as a kind of slow light memory that would store the photon for later use.”Other areas of research might benefit from their study as well, Lähteenmäki says. “There are some connections to cosmology, the big bang, cosmic inflation, and other areas. These metamaterials could possibly offer an analogy to such events and serve as a platform to simulate the evolution of such conditions. Who knows,” he ponders, concluding that “perhaps we’d find clues to the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy or other fundamental questions from such systems.” (a) Equivalent electrical and mechanical circuits: the modulation of the Josephson inductance in the metamaterial by a magnetic φext varies the wave length λ with respect to the cavity length, which is analogous to modulating the effective length d of the cavity by mechanical means. The coupling capacitor is equivalent to a semitransparent mirror. (b) Schematics of the measurement setup. The metamaterial sample is a 4-mm-long coplanar waveguide with 250 embedded SQUIDs, each junction having a critical current of ~ 10 μA. The modulation of the flux through the SQUIDs is realized through a lithographically fabricated spiral coil underneath the metamaterial. (c) Resonant frequency ωres/2π vs. reduced magnetic flux φext/φ0 without the pump signal; the DC operating point for DCE experiments is denoted by a green circle. The inset displays the measured phase of the scattering parameter S11 while sweeping frequency, which yields d arg(S11)/dφext = d arg(S11)/dfÍdf/dφext . The steepness of the variation in the phase arg(S11) governs the effective “movement of the mirrors”. Copyright © PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1212705110
In memory of the renowned actor-filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh, India Habitat Centre’s film club collaborates with the Directorate of Film Festivals and Calcutta Presidency College Alumni Association to pay a tribute to the director with a retrospective of his choicest works. Remembring Rituparno, the on-going series of screenings includes interactions with scholars and critics well versed with his works. Spanning over a forthnight, these film screenings have a plethora of cinematic marvels for the film buffs in the capital. It will showcase Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’ Chokher Bali- A passion of play, Shobh Charitro Kalponik (All characters are imaginary), Abohomaan( The eternal), Memories in march, and end with a bang with the winner of Special Jury National Award in 2012, Chitrangdha, on 17 July. Kicking off with Unishe April (19 April) on the first of July, the film club screened Ashukh(Malaise) and the National Award winning best feature film in 2003, Shubho Muhurat on 2 and 4 July, respectively. Head over and experience Ghosh’s cinematic excellence through his films.