Best of Last Week–Quantum particles move backwards, hyperloop hyperbole and artificial sweeteners linked to weight gain

July 24, 2017 by Bob Yirka recap
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

(ScienceX)—It was big week for physics as a team of mathematicians with the Universities of York, Munich and Cardiff announced a new breakthrough discovery—every quantum particle travels backwards. It was found that they can move opposite to the way they are pushed. Also, a team led by Harald Weinfurter conducted experiments that showed that the probability that the quantum world obeys local realism is less than one in a billion—they performed what was essentially a loophole-free Bell test. And an international team reported that they had observed a gravitational anomaly on Earth—one that exists in the properties of solid state physics. Also, another international team conducting experiments on exotic particles at the University of California found evidence for the Majorana fermion, a particle that is its own antiparticle.

In other news, Milan Janosov with Central European University made headlines by building a Game of Thrones network model to predict character deaths over the course of the popular show's last two seasons. And movie goers were dismayed to learn that Tyrannosaurus rex couldn't run—diminishing the realism of the Jurassic Park movies. The findings were made public by a team at the University of Manchester, who claimed their evidence showed the size of the dinosaur relative to its legs meant it would not have been able to move quickly, and if it tried, it likely would have broken its own bones. Also, a team at the University of Puerto Rico reported that they had heard 'peculiar' radio signals emerging from a nearby star—Ross128—causing some to suggest on blogs that signs of had finally been found. Also, a team with the University of Washington Institute of Learning & Brain Sciences conducting experiments with volunteers showed how exposure to a foreign language can ignite infant learning even when it is conducted outside of the home. And American entrepreneur Elon Musk made headlines by announcing that he had received approval from the government to build a hyperloop tunnel between Washington D.C. and New York city, causing some to wonder if it was hyperloop or hyperbole?

And finally, if you are one of the millions around the world sipping diet soda in hopes of losing weight, you might be engaging in counterproductive behavior, as a team at the University of Manitoba found that artificial sweeteners are linked to a risk of weight gain, heart disease and other health issues because of possible negative effects on metabolism, gut bacteria and appetite.

Explore further: New breakthrough discovery—every quantum particle travels backwards