Regrowing a tropical forest – is it better to plant trees or leave it to nature?

Regrowing a tropical forest – is it better to plant trees or leave it to nature? Thammanoon Khamchalee / shutterstock The destruction of tropical forest is a major contributor to biodiversity loss and the climate crisis. In response, conservationists and scientists like us are debating how to best catalyse recovery of these forests. How do you take a patch of earth littered with tree stumps, or even a grassy pasture or palm oil plantation, and turn it back into a thriving forest filled with its original species? Foresters have traditionally relied on planting trees, which seems obvious enough. Yet this…

Too much social media can be harmful, but it’s not addictive like drugs

Too much social media can be harmful. Shutterstock/RoBird If you spend hours of the day on your phone checking social media, you’re not unusual. The average internet user spends two hours a day on various social media sites. But does your habit of checking Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok every few hours make you a social media “addict”? The term “social media addiction” is being increasingly used to describe people who spend a lot of time on these websites and apps. Doing so can be harmful to people in a variety of ways – causing low self esteem, bad sleep…

Steel is vital to the green transition – here’s how to scrub out the industry’s emissions

Steel is vital to the green transition – here’s how to scrub out the industry’s emissions Coal generated less than 2% of Britain’s electricity in 2020, despite being the largest single energy source seven years earlier. While the country’s electricity gets cleaner every year, there’s one sector where this carbon-rich fossil fuel remains difficult to replace: steelmaking. If approved, Woodhouse Colliery in Cumbria would be the first deep coal mine to open in the UK for 30 years, and it would produce 2.7 million tonnes of coking coal annually for the steel industry. Steel has a high strength-to-weight ratio and…

People gave up on flu pandemic measures a century ago when they tired of them – and paid a price

Armistice Day celebrations on Nov. 11, 1918, worried public health experts as people crowded together in cities across the U.S. AP Photo Picture the United States struggling to deal with a deadly pandemic. State and local officials enact a slate of social-distancing measures, gathering bans, closure orders and mask mandates in an effort to stem the tide of cases and deaths. The public responds with widespread compliance mixed with more than a hint of grumbling, pushback and even outright defiance. As the days turn into weeks turn into months, the strictures become harder to tolerate. Theater and dance hall owners…

Political Identity Over Personal Impact: Early U.S. Reactions to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Research suggests political identity has strong influence over individuals’ attitudes and beliefs, which in turn can affect their behavior. Likewise, firsthand experience with an issue can also affect attitudes and beliefs. A large (N = 6,383) survey (Pew Research and Ipsos W64) of Americans was analyzed to investigate the effects of both political identity (i.e., Democrat or Republican) and personal impact (i.e., whether they suffered job or income loss) on individuals’ reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic. Results show that political identity and personal impact influenced the American public’s attitudes about and response to COVID-19. Consistent with prior research, political identity…

The Relationship Between College Teachers’ Frustration Tolerance and Academic Performance

The purpose of this study was twofold: to validate the College Teachers’ Academic Frustration Tolerance (CTAFT) Questionnaire and the College Teachers’ Academic Performance (CTAP) Questionnaire and to explore the relationship between frustration tolerance and academic performance among college teachers. A total of 25 experts were recruited to modify and validate both questionnaires, and the results showed that the questionnaires had good content validity. Exploratory factor analysis provided further evidence supporting the reliability of the CTAFT and the CTAP, suggesting that the instruments are reliable and valid. Confirmatory factor analysis showed that frustration tolerance affected academic performance, which could best be…

Nonlinear extension of the quantum dynamical semigroup

Quantum 5, 420 (2021). https://doi.org/10.22331/q-2021-03-23-420 In this paper we consider deterministic nonlinear time evolutions satisfying so called convex quasi-linearity condition. Such evolutions preserve the equivalence of ensembles and therefore are free from problems with signaling. We show that if family of linear non-trace-preserving maps satisfies the semigroup property then the generated family of convex quasi-linear operations also possesses the semigroup property. Next we generalize the Gorini-Kossakowski-Sudarshan-Lindblad type equation for the considered evolution. As examples we discuss the general qubit evolution in our model as well as an extension of the Jaynes-Cummings model. We apply our formalism to spin density matrix…

Postquantum common-cause channels: the resource theory of local operations and shared entanglement

Quantum 5, 419 (2021). https://doi.org/10.22331/q-2021-03-23-419 We define the type-independent resource theory of local operations and shared entanglement (LOSE). This allows us to formally quantify postquantumness in common-cause scenarios such as the Bell scenario. Any nonsignaling bipartite quantum channel which cannot be generated by LOSE operations requires a $textit{postquantum common cause}$ to generate, and constitutes a valuable resource. Our framework allows LOSE operations that arbitrarily transform between different types of resources, which in turn allows us to undertake a systematic study of the different manifestations of postquantum common causes. Only three of these have been previously recognized, namely postquantum correlations, postquantum…

Getting cozy with a science experiment

There are lots of things that we do in our daily lives without questioning. Some people who drink tea, for instance, place a cozy over a teapot filled with the hot drink. A tea cozy is small cover made of some sort of fabric. Think of it as a teapot sweater. It’s meant to keep the tea warm for a longer period of time. But can one layer of fabric covering a boiling pot of tea really make a difference? I was skeptical. So I designed an experiment. Hot water doesn’t stay hot. It cools over time. Heat is energy flowing…

Let’s learn about light

In fiction, some superheroes have special vision. In WandaVision, for instance, Monica Rambeau can see energy pulsing from objects all around her. And Superman has X-ray vision and can see through objects. These are definitely super talents, but it’s not that different from what normal humans can do. That’s because we can see also see a type of energy: visible light. Light’s more formal name is electromagnetic radiation. This type of energy travels as waves, at a constant speed of 300,000,000 meters (186,000 miles) per second in a vacuum. Light can come in many different forms, all determined by its…

Explainer: What is statistics?

When describing statements with numbers, people often refer to them as statistics. For instance, if 70 out of 100 students got a B on an English test, that would be a statistic. So would the make-believe statement “90 percent of toddlers love tuna.” But the field of statistics involves much more than a collection of factoids. Statistics is a different kind of animal than other fields of STEM. Some people consider it to be a type of math. Others argue that while statistics is like math, it’s too different from math subjects to be viewed as part of that field.…

Device-independent certification of tensor products of quantum states using single-copy self-testing protocols

Quantum 5, 418 (2021). https://doi.org/10.22331/q-2021-03-23-418 Self-testing protocols are methods to determine the presence of shared entangled states in a device independent scenario, where no assumptions on the measurements involved in the protocol are made. A particular type of self-testing protocol, called parallel self-testing, can certify the presence of copies of a state, however such protocols typically suffer from the problem of requiring a number of measurements that increases with respect to the number of copies one aims to certify. Here we propose a procedure to transform single-copy self-testing protocols into a procedure that certifies the tensor product of an arbitrary…

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