Why Constant Noise is the Perfect Sleep Solution

By Thomas Herold in Product Reviews on August 20th, 2006 /  3 Comments »

Have you ever laid awake at night wondering, “What do I have to do to get a peaceful night’s sleep?” as your neighbor’s dog barks all night and traffic roars by?

Jim Buckwalter solved this problem…but before I am going to tell you how he did it let’s talk about sleep itself.

What Affects Our Sleep?
The most common environmental elements affecting sleep are noise, sleep surface, temperature or climate, and altitude. Your age and gender also play a part in determining the level of sleep disturbance caused by these factors.

One study found that women are more easily awakened than men by sonic booms and aircraft noise, while other research indicates that men may be more noise sensitive. Children are generally insensitive to extreme noise levels. However, this high threshold declines with age.

What Keeps Us Awake
We have all experienced that dripping faucet, the barking dog or that blaring stereo next door that has kept us awake. Indeed, experts say the intensity, abruptness, regularity, intrusiveness, familiarity and regularity of noises all affect sleep.

Noises at levels as low as 40 decibels or as high as 70 decibels generally keep us awake. Interestingly, however, the absence of a familiar noise can also disrupt sleep. City dwellers may have trouble falling asleep without the familiar sounds of traffic. Or a traveler may find it difficult to sleep without the familiar tick, tick, tick of the alarm clock at home.
Some noises, although annoying at first, can gradually be ignored, allowing sleep to follow. Studies show people can get used to noises such as city traffic in about one week. However, important noises, like a parent’s baby crying, a smoke alarm or even one’s own name being called, are not easily assimilated and generally snap us awake.

Sleep Affected By Temperature/Climate
The point at which sleep is disturbed due to temperature or climate conditions varies from person to person. Generally, temperatures above 75 degrees Fahrenheit and below 54 degrees will awaken people.

Sleep Affected By Altitudes
The higher the altitude, the greater the sleep disruption. Generally, sleep disturbance becomes greater at altitudes of 13,200 feet or more. The disturbance is thought to be caused by diminished oxygen levels and accompanying changes in respiration. Most people adjust to new altitudes in approximately two to three weeks.

Falling Asleep with White Noise
To understand the promise of white noise, one must first understand its mechanics. In its purest form, it is not really noise at all. White noise, which is also known as white sound, is a combination of sound frequencies in equal amounts. Just like a white beam of light is made up of all the colors in
the color spectrum, white noise is made up of all the sound frequencies.

Because it incorporates all sound frequencies from high sounds to very low sounds, it has a very beneficial noise canceling or “masking” effect.

But what does the white noise sound like? Well, the best description would be to say it sounds like a slow soothing “whoosh.” Many say it is the sound of the rain, or the waves gently caressing the shore, or the wind blowing through the trees. It is a very peaceful sound that is instinctively soothing and calming to the ears and minds of humans of all ages. White noise is actually a sound given to us by Mother Nature, in the same way as she has provided us with water and air.

The Sleep Solution
Back to our story…Jim Buckwalter solved this problem by inventing the first electro-mechanical sound conditioner to block out these unwanted, distracting noises. At the request of his friends and family members he made several proto-type units for their use. He spent the next several years improving on the electro-mechanical sound conditioners and finally introduced the first electronic sound conditioner, the “Sleepmate”.

Marpac SleepMate Sound ConditionerThe “Sleepmate” mechanically makes a “real” sound as opposed to a reproduced or simulated sound like other white noise machines. It does not loop. By “looping”, I mean the playing of a recorded or simulated segment of sound over and over. Most other white noise machines do loop but some hide it better than others.

Getting a machine that doesn’t loop is really important. If you can detect a repetitive quality in the sound (such as a chirp that repeats over and over every 5 seconds), then that can be as annoying as the sound you are trying to mask.

My wife and I are using the “Sleepmate” for six month now, as we have a rooster in our neighbour that was waking us up every morning at about 4:30 AM! Well, we now sleep until the sun wakes us up.

You can order the “Sleepmate” at amazon: Marpac Sleepmate

More information on sleep at: http://www.sleepfoundation.org/

Physicist Shows That Time is a Flexible Projection of the Mind

By Thomas Herold in Book Reviews on August 19th, 2006 /  No Comments »

After reading this book from Fred Alan Wolf my mind felt very expanded and I finally understood for the first time some quantum phenomena. Fred Alan Wolf’s writing style is easy. Yoga of Time Travel: How the Mind Can Defeat TimeHe understands to describe complex things in practical examples. This is my favorite book so far. If you haven’t seen the movie “What the Bleep” – I encourage you to do so.

Buddha said he could move backward through time, observes theoretical physicist Fred Alan Wolf. Time travel is not just science fiction; it may actually be possible. Wolf draws on yoga and quantum physics to show that time is a flexible projection of mind. Cheating time, he says, is an ancient metaphysical idea from the Vedas having to do with moving through meditation to a place where time stands still.

We Can All Time Travel, says physicist Fred Alan Wolf. In fact, we may already do so. He cites Hindu yoga systems to show how we can defeat time through any spiritual practice-such as meditation-that dissolves the ego. He shows how quantum physics supports this claim and explains in simple terms such phenomena as black holes, wormholes, and parallel universes.

Wolf’s fascinating scenarios help us imagine what traveling to the past or the future through mind yoga would be like. Provocatively, he suggests it might even improve the quality of our lives. Time travel could, for instance, clarify our sense of self and purpose, reverse aging, and provide wisdom for the benefit of our entire community.

Available at Amazon: The Yoga of Time Travel – by Fred Alan Wolf

Can New Born Chickens Influence a Robot?

By Thomas Herold in Research on August 18th, 2006 /  No Comments »

Decades ago Albert Einstein told us that space and time are not conditions in which we live; they are modes in which we think.

‘Nonlocality and the Observer’ is a fascinating documentation from a workshop held by Mike Wright. The first 30 minutes are a warm up into the realm of quantum physics. But then fasten your seat belts and be prepared for some big surprises that may change the way you think about yourself and your abilities to communicate with others.

Mike Wright explains how quantum theory and laboratory experiments verify that we have a connection to everyone and everything we have ever interacted with. You will learn the concepts that allow you to not only change your future but change your personal past.

Einstein also told us that what we see depends upon the theories we use to interpret our observations. Mike explains how as the Observer you affect reality. How we experience life depends upon the information we have to interpret our interactions.

The information in this video allows you to update your personal model of reality and thus change how you view the world and your experiences in it.

The Priceton Experiments
In 1980 Princeton University made one of the most scientific studies on consciousness. The outcome of these experiments are still not accepted from a majority of scientists today. The implication of these experiments are on such a big scale that our consciousness has difficulties in grasping its potential.

They took two random people that were not related to one other and have never seen each other in this life time. The two participants then were told to just spend 30 minutes together. After that one participant was moved away and placed in a special room, which was completely isolated from the other person. Furthermore, the outside of the room were separated by a Faraday capsule to insure that no physical signals whatsoever could travel between the two of them.

Both participants were then hooked up with EEG (measurement for the electrical activity of the brain) readers. Now, the person in the isolated room was given visual and acoustic stimuli. The stimuli of course showed up in the EEG. But, and here is the stunning surprise of this experiment, the same stimuli showed up an the other participant’s EEG. Taking the EEG from both participants and comparing them on a time scale showed that when the person in the separated room showed a stimuli in the EEG the other person’s EEG showed the same stimuli, at the same time!

The outcome of this experiment was so exciting that they immediately came up with some other ideas. Also they thought that maybe there was a sort of placebo effect involved or maybe the human being had something special, which was causing that outcome. So they went on to widen these experiments to include animals.

The first experiments involved new born chickens. New born chickens relate to anything moving in their environment as their mother. They were building a small robot based on a random event generator, which produces simple right and left turns based on the random event being zero or one. The chickens were placed in a cage and the robot was positioned out of the cage. What happened is that the robot turned significant more times towards the cage than away from it.

The expected 50% left and right movement were no more random!

In another experiment they used new born rabbits, which are very sensitive to light. This time the robot was equipped with a bright flash light on top and was placed near the cage were the young rabbits were in. In turns out this time that the robot moved significantly more times away from the cage than towards the cage. Again, the randomness was no more random!

Available at Amazon: Nonlocality And The Observer – DVD Edition

Scientists Believe That By Just Observing Your Reality Is Created

By Thomas Herold in Scientific Background on August 17th, 2006 /  No Comments »

A hundred years ago, we took the first steps in recognising, at the level of elementary physical events, the dual character of nature that had been postulated in natural philosophy. Albert Einstein was the first who saw Max Planck’s quantum hypothesis leading to this dual character.

Einstein suggested the photon have an electromagnetic wave character, although photons had previously been considered as particles. That was the quintessence of his work on the photoelectric effect. Later in 1926, it was deBroglie that recognised that all the building blocks of nature known to us as particles – electrons, protons, etc. – behave like waves under certain conditions.

Nature Is Dual
In its totality, therefore, nature is dual. None of its components can only be considered as a particle or as a wave. To understand this fact, Niels Bohr introduced in 1923 the Complementarity Principle: simply put, every component in nature has a particle, as well as a wavelike character, and it depends only on the observer which character he sees at any given time. In other words, the experiment determines which characteristic one is measuring – particle or wave.

His whole life long, Einstein suspected that natural characteristics actually depend on the observer. He believed that there must be a reality independent of the observer. Indeed, quantum physics has simply come to accept as a given over the years that there does not seem to be an independent reality. Physics has ceased questioning this, because experiments have confirmed it repeatedly and with a growing accuracy.

The best example is Young’s double-slit experiment. Coherent light is passed through a barrier with two slits. On an observation screen behind it, there is a pattern made of light and dark stripes. The experiment can be carried out not only with light, but also particles – for example, electrons. If single electrons are sent, one after the other, through the open Young double slit, then a stripe-shaped interference pattern appears on the photo plate behind it.

Does An Electron Carry Information?
The pattern contains no information about the route that the electron took. But if one of the two slits is closed, an image appears of the other open slit from which one can directly read the path of the electron. What this experiment does not produce, however, is a stripe pattern and situation report. For that, a molecular double slit experiment is required that is based not upon position-momentum uncertainty, but on reflective symmetry.

The double-slit was voted the most beautiful experiment of all time in a 2002 poll by Physics World, published by England’s Institute of Physics. Although each electron seems to go alone through one of the two slits, at the end a wavelike interference pattern is created, as if the electron split while it went through the slit, but then was subsequently re-unified. But if one of the slits is closed, or an observer sees which slit the electron went through, then it behaves like a perfectly normal particle. That particle is only at one position at one time, but not at the same time. So, depending on how the experiment is carried out, the electron is either at position A, position B, or at both at the same time.

But Bohr’s Complementarity Principle, which explains this ambiguity, requires that one can only observe one of the two electron manifestations at any given time – either as a wave or a particle, but not both simultaneously. This remains a certainty in every experiment, despite all the ambiguity in quantum physics.

Either a system is in a state of “both/and” like a wave, or “either/or” like a particle, relating to its localisation. This is, in principle, a consequence of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, which says that given a complementary pair of measurements – for example, position and momentum – only one can be determined exactly at the same time. Information about the other measurement is lost, proportionally.

Quantum Eraser
Recently there has been a set of experiments suggesting that these various manifestations of material can be “carried over into” each other – in other words, they can switch from one form to the other and, under certain conditions, back again. This set of experiments is called quantum markers and quantum erasers.

Researchers have shown in the last few years that for atoms and photons – and now, electrons – “both/and” and “either/or” exist side-by-side. In other words, there is a grey zone of complementarity. There are therefore experimentally demonstrable conditions in which the material appears to be both a wave and a particle.

These situations can be described with a duality relation. It can be seen as an extended Complementarity Principle for quantum physics; it can also be labelled a co-existence principle. It says that manifestations of material which would normally be mutually exclusive – e.g., local and not local, coherent and not coherent – are indeed measurable and make themselves evident, in a particular “transition area”. One can speak of partial localisation and partial coherence, or partial visibility and partial differentiability. These are measurements that are connected to each other via the duality relation.

In this transition area the Complementarity Principle, and the complementary dualism of nature, can be extended to be a co-existence principle, a parallel dualism. Nature has thus an ambivalent character previously unassumed. Atomic interferometry provides us with examples of this ambivalence. It was first found in 1997 in atoms, which are made from an assembly of particles.

In a recent issue of Nature Max Planck researchers in Berlin, together with researchers from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California, report about a molecular double-slit experiment with electrons – not assemblies of particles, like atoms.

Molecules with identical, and thus reflectively symmetrical, atoms, behave like a microscopically small double-slit built by nature. Nitrogen is one such molecule. In it, each electron – also the highly localised inner electrons – stays simultaneously in both atoms. If we ionise such a molecule with a weak x-ray, we end up with a coherent – that is, wavelike – strongly coupled electron emission from both atomic sides. This is just like a double slit experiment with single electrons.

For the first time, the researchers were able to show the coherent character of electron emissions from such a molecule, in this analogue to the double slit experiment. They used a weak x-ray to destabilise the innermost, and thus most strongly localised, electrons of nitrogen from the molecule, and then followed their movement in the molecular frame of reference using ion coincidence measurements.

In addition, the researchers succeeded in proving something long doubted: that a disruption of the reflective symmetry of this molecule leads to a partial loss of coherence through the introduction of two different heavy isotopes, in this case N14 and N15. The electrons begin to localise partially on one of the two, now distinguishable, atoms. This is equivalent to partially marking one of the two slits in Young’s double slit experiment. This is partial “which way” information, because the marking gives information about which path the electron took.

The experiments were carried out by members of the working group “atomic physics” of the FHI at the synchrotron radiation laboratories BESSY in Berlin and HASYLAB at DESY in Hamburg. The measurements took place using a multi-detector array for combined electron and ion proof behind what are called undulator beam pipes, which deliver weak x-rays with a high intensity and spectral resolution.

More Information: Max-Planck-Gesellschaft