Sidney Rice has a lot on his shoulders this year with the Seattle Seahawks. The problem is, he had surgery on both shoulders and so they are hardly ready for him to take on NFL hits.“This is going to be up to them. I know they’re going to protect me as much as possible,” Rice said of the team. “Preseason is important but it’s not as important as the regular season. They’re going to take their time and progress me along, bring me along as much as possible, and we’ll see what happens during the preseason games.”Rice’s first season with Seattle was marred by injury. He injured one shoulder during the preseason and said he was unaware that the other was also damaged. Rice played as best he could through the two shoulder injuries until a pair of concussions — the second one suffered in Week 12 against Washington — finally landed Rice on injured reserve.His first shoulder surgery on the right one came Jan. 3. His left shoulder was repaired Feb. 16. Still, it could be a while before the Seahawks put him at risk. Initially, they were going to place Rice on the physically unable to perform list for the start of training camp, but he was cleared to participate in drills over the weekend before the first practice.“We’re just going to go through this conservatively, I guess you can say, and lengthen the time of his recovery through this camp. That’s great that he’s working and getting the timing worked, but we won’t get him banged for a while,” coach Pete Carroll said. “We’ll see how that goes as we start to make progress. This is the best time for us to have our hands on him and really work him right and finish off his off-season, and I just think he’s had enough that he’s been through that it warrants taking our time here and not rushing him back.”Rice’s health is of the utmost importance for Seattle this year because of the questions that linger with the rest of its receivers. The competition to find who will start opposite Rice, along with determining the depth of the position, is one of the few true battles the Seahawks have to solve during the next month.“I’m the leader of this group now with Mike (Williams) gone and I just want to lead by example,” Rice said. “These guys know how to play football but we have to bring it every day, bring the right attitude.”
Oil prices dipped on Thursday on profit taking after markets rallied the previous day due to a draw in U.S. stocks and an expectation of an OPEC-led cut in production.U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were trading at $51.38 per barrel at 0238 GMT, down 22 cents from their last close.International Brent crude futures were trading at $52.56 per barrel, down 11 cents.Traders said that the price dips were a result of profit taking following a rally the previous day, which saw WTI settle at a 15-month high, fuelled by a reduction in U.S. crude stocks by 5.2 million barrels in the week ended Oct. 14 to 468.7 million barrels.”Oil prices continued to rise overnight on optimism over OPEC supply restraint and weaker-than-expected inventories,” ANZ bank said on Thursday.The overall mood in oil markets remained confident, with most analysts expecting further increases.Reuters technical commodity analyst Wang Tao said U.S. oil is expected to break a resistance zone of $51.67 to $52.11 per barrel, and then rise towards $52.78. Meanwhile, Brent oil may stabilize around a support at $52.49 per barrel and then retest a resistance at $53.45.BMI Research even said that “we see significant potential for an upwards break in Brent towards $60 per barrel driven by bullish technical drivers and supportive conditions in the broader financial markets,” although it added that current fundamentals did not warrant much higher prices.The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) plans to meet on November 30 and hopes to decide on a half a million to 1 million barrels per day oil production cut, and the producer cartel hopes that non-OPEC exporters, especially Russia, will cooperate.Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Wednesday that the cut will help reduce a huge overhang of supplies and stimulate new investments in the sector.However, Exxon chief executive Rex Tillerson said that cost cutting in the U.S. shale oil sector had made some wells profitable at as low as $40 a barrel. This means that North America has effectively become a swing producer that will be able to respond rapidly to a cut or unforeseen supply shortage.
Seth Wenig/APMartin Shkreli arriving at federal court in New York on Friday.Martin Shkreli, the smirking “Pharma Bro” vilified for jacking up the price of a lifesaving drug, was sentenced Friday to seven years in prison for defrauding investors in two failed hedge funds.The self-promoting pharmaceutical executive notorious for trolling critics online was convicted in a securities fraud case last year unconnected to the price increase dispute.Shkreli, his cocky persona nowhere to be found, cried as he told U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto he made many mistakes and apologized to investors.“I want the people who came here today to support me to understand one thing, the only person to blame for me being here today is me,” he said. “I took down Martin Shkreli.”He said that he hopes to make amends and learn from his mistakes and apologized to his investors.“I am terribly sorry I lost your trust,” he said. “You deserve far better.”Prosecutors argued that the 34-year-old was a master manipulator who conned wealthy investors and deserved 15 years in prison. His lawyers said he was a misunderstood eccentric who used unconventional means to make those same investors even wealthier, and deserved 18 months or less in prison.The judge insisted that the punishment was not about Shkreli’s online antics or raising the cost of the drug.“This case is not about Mr. Shkreli’s self-cultivated public persona … nor his controversial statements about politics or culture,” the judge said, calling his crimes serious.He was also fined $75,000 and received credit for the roughly six months he has been in prison.The judge ruled earlier this week that Shkreli would have to forfeit more than $7.3 million in a brokerage account and personal assets including his one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album that he boasted he bought for $2 million. The judge said the property would not be seized until Shkreli had a chance to appeal.Attorney Benjamin Brafman told Matsumoto Friday that he sometimes wants to hug Shkreli and sometimes wants to punch him in the face , but he said his outspokenness shouldn’t be held against him.Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn Kasulis said Shkreli deserved the stiffer sentence not because he is “the most hated man in America,” but because he is a criminal convicted of serious fraud. She said the judge had to consider his history and said he has “no respect whatsoever” for the law, or the court proceedings.“I also want to make clear that Mr. Shkreli is not a child,” Kasulis said. “He’s not a teenager who just needs some mentoring. He is a man who needs to take responsibility for his actions.”Unapologetic from the beginning, when he was roundly publicly criticized for defending the 5,000 percent price increase of Daraprim, a previously cheap drug used to treat HIV, Shkreli seemed to drift through his criminal case as if it was one big joke.After his arrest in December 2015, he taunted prosecutors, got kicked off of Twitter for harassing a female journalist, heckled Clinton from the sidewalk outside her daughter’s home, gave speeches with the conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos and spent countless hours livestreaming himself in his apartment.He was tight-lipped when faced with a barrage of questions about the price hike from members of Congress a couple of months later, citing his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself. After the hearing, he tweeted that the lawmakers were “imbeciles.”Shkreli insisted he was being persecuted by prosecutors for being outspoken and confidently predicted after his conviction that he was unlikely to be sentenced to jail.Things abruptly changed, though, last fall after he jokingly offered his online followers a $5,000 bounty to anyone who could get a lock of Hillary Clinton’s hair. The judge revoked his bail and threw him in jail, a decision that she defended Friday.That didn’t tame Shkreli completely. He corresponded with journalists, ridiculing the personal appearance of one female reporter who asked him for an interview.Before sentencing him, the judge said that it was up to Congress to fix the issue of the HIV price-hike. And she spoke about how his family and friends “state, almost universally, that he is kind and misunderstood” and willing to help others in need.She said it was clear he is a “tremendously gifted individual who has the capacity for kindness.”She quoted from letters talking about generous acts like counseling a rape victim, teaching inmates math and chess, and funding family members.The defense had asked the judge to consider the letters in its case for leniency, including professionals he worked with who vouched for his credentials as a self-made contributor to pharmaceutical advances.Other testimonials were as quirky as the defendant himself. One woman described how she became an avid follower of Shkreli’s social media commentary about science, the pharmaceutical industry, but mostly, about himself. She suggested that those who were annoyed by it were missing the point.“I really appreciate the social media output, which I see on par with some form of performance art,” she wrote.Another supporter said Shkreli’s soft side was demonstrated when he adopted a cat from a shelter — named Trashy — that became a fixture on his livestreams. Another letter was from a man who said he met Shkreli while driving a cab and expressed his appreciation at how he ended up giving him an internship at one of his drug companies.In court filings, prosecutors argued that Shkreli’s remorse about misleading his investors was not to be believed.“At its core, this case is about Shkreli’s deception of people who trusted him,” they wrote. Share
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