The hunt for the ‘angel particle’ continues

A 2017 report of the discovery of a particular kind of Majorana fermion — the chiral Majorana fermion, referred to as the “angel particle” — is likely a false alarm, according to new research. Majorana fermions are enigmatic particles that act as their own antiparticle and were first hypothesized to exist in 1937. They are of immense interest to physicists because their unique properties could allow them to be used in the construction of a topological quantum computer.

A team of physicists at Penn State and the University of Wurzburg in Germany led by Cui-Zu Chang, an assistant professor of physics at Penn State studied over three dozen devices similar to the one used to produce the angel particle in the 2017 report. They found that the feature that was claimed to be the manifestation of the angel particle was unlikely to be induced by the existence of the angel particle. A paper describing the research appears on January 3, 2020 in the journal Science.

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Too Many Wellness Trends? These 5 May Actually Change Your Life

Last year, we witnessed the least original evolution of trends. None of this should be surprising, trends are one way of making sense of our connection in a world of information overload, so it makes sense that many of 2019’s trends were just an evolution of 2018.

Just look: oat milk (almond milk’s cooler cousin), alcoholic seltzers (the younger La Croix), CBD (two mins away from the essential oil aisle), jumpsuits (fine, but Fleabag season 2 is character development from season 1, so actually I stand by this), and even astrology (a natural progression from 2018’s healing crystal trend).

So what’s going to be a big deal in 2020? Frankly it shouldn’t matter, because no body is like another, but there is joy in community and sharing and helping others find relief. So that’s what we, at Greatist, focused on when we curated this list.

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10 Things Not to Say to Your Kids

When I think about all of the phrases, anecdotes, and sayings about the power of the spoken word I am reminded of how I changed my way of communicating with children upon learning Play Therapy principles. I realize that using Play Therapy based language is a learned and practiced skill that requires time and effort, so I thought it would be helpful to share ten commonly used phrases parents say to their kids. I will also give the Play Therapy based alternative with a short explanation of why it is more effective.

1. No (running, hitting, yelling, fill in the verb)!

Kids hear the word “no” far too frequently (Read more about that here). You can always rephrase the sentence from a negative to a positive, which will correct the behavior without sounding critical. Train yourself to say what you want them to do instead of what you don’t. So, you can say “Walk, please” instead of “No running”.

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Miscarriage Trauma Can Last Far Longer Than We Realized

New research says many women struggle with depression, anxiety and PTSD months down the road.

Rachel Whalen’s first miscarriage happened fast. Six and a half weeks into her pregnancy, she took a test. Two days later, she started to bleed.

“It was just a really lonely experience and I was scared,” Whalen, now 34, told HuffPost. “Then I was also kind of like, ‘Am I being silly to feel this way?’” She told herself that early miscarriages are common (up to 20% of known pregnancies end in a loss) and hoped it would be her only one.

Several months later, she got pregnant again. Soon after, she miscarried again. Whalen and her husband were driving to their summer vacation. She felt a contraction and passed the fetal tissue in a gas station, catching it in her own hands.

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Intellectual humility: the importance of knowing you might be wrong

Why it’s so hard to see our own ignorance, and what to do about it.

Julia Rohrer wants to create a radical new culture for social scientists. A personality psychologist at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Rohrer is trying to get her peers to publicly, willingly admit it when they are wrong.

To do this, she, along with some colleagues, started up something called the Loss of Confidence Project. It’s designed to be an academic safe space for researchers to declare for all to see that they no longer believe in the accuracy of one of their previous findings. The effort recently yielded a paper that includes six admissions of no confidence. And it’s accepting submissions until January 31.

“I do think it’s a cultural issue that people are not willing to admit mistakes,” Rohrer says. “Our broader goal is to gently nudge the whole scientific system and psychology toward a different culture,” where it’s okay, normalized, and expected for researchers to admit past mistakes and not get penalized for it.

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Functional role of frontal alpha oscillations in creativity

Abstract

Creativity, the ability to produce innovative ideas, is a key higher-order cognitive function that is poorly understood.

At the level of macroscopic cortical network dynamics, recent electroencephalography (EEG) data suggests that cortical oscillations in the alpha frequency band (8-12 Hz) are correlated with creative thinking.

However, whether alpha oscillations play a functional role in creativity has remained unknown.

Here we show that creativity is increased by enhancing alpha power using 10 Hz transcranial alternating current stimulation (10 Hz-tACS) of the frontal cortex.

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