September 2007

Parallel universes really do exist, according to a mathematical discovery by Oxford scientists described by one expert as “one of the most important developments in the history of science”.

The parallel universe theory, first proposed in 1950 by the US physicist Hugh Everett, helps explain mysteries of quantum mechanics that have baffled scientists for decades, it is claimed.

In Everett’s “many worlds” universe, every time a new physical possibility is explored, the universe splits. Given a number of possible alternative outcomes, each one is played out - in its own universe.

Don Woolford (AAP), via Slashdot, reports:

KIM Beazley has told how Australia cracked top-secret American combat aircraft codes while he was defence minister in the 1980s.

“We spied on them and we extracted the codes,” Mr Beazley told Parliament during his valedictory speech today.

Los Angeles Air Force Base repoors:

The Air Force completed a four-phase transition of the Global Positioning System ground segment to the new Architecture Evolution Plan on Sept. 14. AEP was delivered by the Space and Missile Systems Center’s GPS Wing to the 50th Space Wing to replace the legacy 1970s-era mainframe computer at Schriever AFB, Colo.

SMC managed the development, integration and test with the Boeing Company, who led a joint Boeing-Lockheed Martin contractor team, to design and build the new system. The transition was executed by the 2nd Space Operations Squadron from the 50th Space Wing and the 19th Space Operations Squadron from the 310th Space Group.

The ground segment provides command and control of the satellites and generates the navigation message for satellites to broadcast to users so they can determine their position on the earth. The new control segment is a critical part of an overall modernization plan to improve operations, sustainment, and overall GPS service.

Don Jewell, GPS World, writes:

Since I have been writing about the Perfect Handheld GPS Transceiver, I have received numerous letters and emails asking why an atomic clock is necessary in a handheld transceiver, or in any device for that matter. I could write volumes on the subject, literally, but will try to boil it down to a few key concepts for you.

Robin McKie, science editor, The Observer, writes:

The Arctic’s sea covering has shrunk so much that the Northwest Passage, the fabled sea route that connects Europe and Asia, has opened up for the first time since records began.

The discovery, revealed through satellite images provided by the European Space Agency (Esa), shows how bad the consequences of global warming are becoming in northerly latitudes. This summer there was a reduction of a million square kilometres in the Arctic’s ice covering compared with 2006, scientists have found.

As a result, the Northwest Passage that runs between Canada and Greenland has been freed of the ice that has previously blocked it and that, over the centuries, has frustrated dozens of expeditions that attempted to sail northwest and open up a commercial sea route between the Atlantic and the Pacific.

Michael Hoffman, Army Times, reports:

A B-52 bomber mistakenly loaded with six nuclear warheads flew from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., to Barksdale Air Force Base, La., on Aug. 30, resulting in an Air Force-wide investigation, according to three officers who asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to discuss the incident.

TIM CORNWELL, () reports:

A PASTA price backlash is looming in Italy, the cost of a Hovis loaf has hit £1 in some shops in Britain and desperate Spanish farmers are selling off suckling pigs they can no longer afford to feed.

There was no respite in sight yesterday for food consumers or producers as the price of wheat soared further, to record highs.

Reports of damage to Australia’s crop, set against rising global demand for basic foodstuffs, saw wheat buyers rush to lock in supplies. Resulting heavy demand drove up prices in the United States and Europe.

European wheat futures hit a record 300 a tonne yesterday, after a year in which prices have doubled.

RIA Novosti reports:

MOSCOW, September 6 (RIA Novosti) - NATO jets escort almost all Russian strategic bombers engaged in long-range patrols, Alexander Drobyshevsky, an aide to the commander of Russia’s Air Force told RIA Novosti Thursday.

He said the flights were resumed late on September 5 in accordance with a previously-approved plan. The Tu-95MC Bear bombers fly over the Pacific, the Atlantic, and Arctic oceans, and are refueled in mid-air.