“In a mixed reality state there is no clear boundary between the real system and the virtual system,” said U. of I. physicist Alfred Hubler. “The line blurs between what’s real and what isn’t.”
In the experiment, Hubler and graduate student Vadas Gintautas connected a mechanical pendulum to a virtual one that moved under time-tested equations of motion. The researchers sent data about the real pendulum to the virtual one, and sent information about the virtual pendulum to a motor that influenced motion of the real pendulum.
When the lengths of the two pendulums were dissimilar, they remained in a dual reality state of uncorrelated motion and both soon came to rest.
When the lengths of the pendulums were similar, however, they “suddenly noticed each other, synchronized their motions, and danced together indefinitely,” said Hubler, who also is affiliated with the U. of I. Center for Complex Systems Research.
In this mixed reality state, the real pendulum and the virtual pendulum moved together as one.
While mechanical pendulums have been coupled with springs to create correlated motion in the past, this is the first time a mechanical system has been coupled with a virtual system. The resulting mixed reality state was made possible by the computational speed of current computer technology.
“Computers are now fast enough that we can detect the position of the real pendulum, compute the dynamics of the virtual pendulum, and compute appropriate feedback to the real pendulum, all in real time,” said Hubler, who will describe the experiment and discuss potential ramifications at the annual meeting of the American Physical Society, to be held in New Orleans, March 10-14.
From flight simulators to video games, virtual worlds are becoming more and more accurate depictions of the real world. There could come a point, a phase transition, where the boundary between reality and virtual reality disappears, Hubler said. And that could present problems.
For example, no longer able to determine what is real and what is not, an individual might become defensive in the real world because of a threat perceived in a virtual world.
A better understanding of this potential phase transition is needed, Hubler said. “As virtual systems continue to improve and better approximate real ones, even weak couplings – like those between real and virtual pendulums – could induce sudden transitions to mixed reality states.”
James E. Kloeppel | EurekAlert!
NASA's SDO sees partial eclipse in space
29.05.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier
29.05.2017 | University of Strathclyde
The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.
The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences
29.05.2017 | Life Sciences
29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy