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7 books to pick up to catch up on the story of Apollo 11 | Books - The Verge

Andrew Liptak, Weekend Editor for The Verge notes, A space race reading list.

Photo: Andrew Liptak / The VergeThe 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing is upon us, and in that time, there has been plenty of ink spilled about the implications, technical specifications, individuals, and historical significance of the mission. As with any big anniversary, publishers have seized the moment to release an entire library’s worth of new material about the history of the Apollo program, and there are a number of new books to check out if you’re interested in learning more about the mission.
These books cover a wide range of topics related to the mission: the actual Apollo 11 landing itself, but also the efforts of the thousands of engineers, scientists, administrators, and politicians who played a role.
Here are a bunch more to add to your reading list.Read more... 

Recommended Reading

Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins narrates an adorable Google Doodle by Meghan Bartels, science journalist based in New York City.

Source: The Verge 

New Hampshire’s independent bookstores turn a new page | Retail & Tourism - New Hampshire Business Review

Community of readers helps local sellers mount a recovery in the shadow of Amazon by Michael Kitch.

“Every time there is a new innovation, they predict the death of the book,” said Michael Hermann, the owner of Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord. “But the book is a perfect technology. Like the shark, it hasn’t changed and continues to thrive.”

In fact, the resilience of the printed book, paired with the business savvy of booksellers, have enabled independent bookstores to weather the storms brought by big-box retailers and the digital revolution and stage a resurgence that has restored and enhanced their place in downtown retailing across the country and the state...

‘A real impact’
Toadstool Books, the largest independent store in the state, first opened in Peterborough in 1972 and moved to the empty A&P in 1992, more than quadrupling its space. Stores in Keene and Milford were added in 1983 and 1989. Owner Willard Williams recalled that his first competitors — B. Dalton’s and Waldenbooks — appeared in the 1980s. Operating in shopping centers and strip malls, he said, both drew customers who otherwise might not enter a bookstore, which for some carried an elitist flavor. “It wasn’t so scary to walk into a bookstore anymore,” he said. “They became more welcoming, more comfortable.”

Williams said competition stiffened when Borders gained a presence in Keene through its acquisition of Waldenbooks in 1987. Unlike the smaller chains, he said that the megastores — Borders and Barnes & Noble — carried a diverse stock akin to that of independent bookstores, but with wider range and greater quantity. “Borders had a real impact,” he said.

However, as the digital revolution gathered pace, the impact of Amazon rattled booksellers large and small.

Source: New Hampshire Business Review

12 Inspirational Books That Will Motivated You Enough to ~Actually~ Finish Them | Books - Cosmopolitan.com

Summer is the perfect time to catch up on all that reading you put off this winter. (Don’t act like you haven’t been re-reading the same paragraph for the last three months.) by Leah Thomas, NYC-based freelance writer.

Photo: Sanchi OberoiWhether you’re starting a book club, can no longer afford your favorite streaming subscription, or you’re simply tired of lying when people ask about the last book you read and the first thing that comes to mind is a viral Twitter thread, it’s probably time to replace your daily hour of The Office to some personal time with an inspiring read. From Tina Fey’s Bossypants to Michelle Obama’s memoir, check out these 12 inspirational books that will have you motivated enough to actually finish them. 

Source: Cosmopolitan.com

11 New Books We Recommend This Week | Book Review - New York Times

Follow on Twitter as @GregoryCowlesSuggested reading from critics and editors at The New York Times by Gregory Cowles, Senior Editor, Books. 

What is going on in America? Some mornings you look at the news and immediately have to look away again, as if current events were the sun, so incendiary they could melt your eyeballs. A friend at work jokes that we on the Books desk have two basic coping strategies: (1) Things are terrible. Read all about it! (2) Things are terrible. Escape!
This week our recommended titles draw from both playbooks, along with a sense of historical perspective. On the “read all about it” side, there’s Tim Alberta’s “American Carnage,” an eyes-wide-open analysis of right-wing populism and its tactics, and Michael Bennet’s “The Land of Flickering Lights,” a campaign manifesto by the Colorado senator and Democratic presidential candidate. On the escape side, there’s the biography of an elite running coach (written by The Times’s Matthew Futterman) and the graphic novel “Clyde Fans,” Seth’s multigenerational epic about a family of Toronto salespeople. For history, there’s a family memoir of the Red scare; a study of Turkey’s attacks on its Christian populations; and an autobiography by the former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who died this week at the age of 99. Those books join fiction and poetry from Jennifer Weiner, Nicole Dennis-Benn and Ilya Kaminsky, along with Colson Whitehead’s much-anticipated new novel, “The Nickel Boys,” about a brutal reform school based on a true-life institution. Is that escapism? History? Cold, hard reality? It’s complicated — which is to say, it’s literature — and it’s well worth your time.Read more... 

Source: New York Times  

Applying devops in data science and machine learning | Machine Learning - InfoWorld

Having data scientists collaborate with devops and engineers leads to better business outcomes, but understanding their different requirements is key, summarizes Isaac Sacolick, Contributing Editor.

Photo: Metamorworks / Getty ImagesData scientists have some practices and needs in common with software developers. Both data scientists and software engineers plan, architect, code, iterate, test, and deploy code to achieve their goals. For software developers this often means custom coding applications and microservices; data scientists implement data integrations with dataops, make predictions through analytical models, and create dashboards to help end users navigate results.

Devops engineers looking to automate and collaborate with operational engineers should expand their scope and also provide services to data scientists as part of their charter...

Start with the data scientist experience
Like application developers, data scientists are most interested in solving problems, are very involved in configuring their tools, and often have less interest in configuring infrastructure. But unlike software developers, data scientists may not have the same experience and background to fully configure their development workflows. This presents an opportunity for devops engineers to treat data scientists as customers, help define their requirements, and take ownership in delivering solutions.

Source: InfoWorld

If you can identify what’s in these images, you’re smarter than AI | Artificial Intelligence - The Verge

James Vincent, cover machines with brains for The Verge, despite being a human without one reports, Researchers collect confusing images to expose the weak spots in AI vision.

From top to bottom and left to right, these images are misidentified as “digital clock,” “lighthouse,” “organ”, “syringe,” “toucan,” “Persian cat.”Computer vision has improved massively in recent years, but it’s still capable of making serious errors. So much so that there’s a whole field of research dedicated to studying pictures that are routinely misidentified by AI, known as “adversarial images.” Think of them as optical illusions for computers. While you see a cat up a tree, the AI sees a squirrel.
There’s a great need to study these images. As we put machine vision systems at the heart of new technology like AI security cameras and self driving cars, we’re trusting that computers see the world the same way we do. Adversarial images prove that they don’t.
But while a lot attention in this field is focused on pictures that have been specifically designed to fool AI (like this 3D printed turtle which Google’s algorithms mistakes for a gun), these sorts of confusing visuals occur naturally as well. This category of images is, if anything, more worrying, as it shows that vision systems can make unforced errors...
Some research suggests that rather than looking at images holistically, considering the overall shape and content, algorithms focus in on specific textures and detail. The findings presented in this dataset seem to support this interpretation, when, for example, pictures that show clear shadows on a brightly-lit surface are misidentified as sundials. AI is essentially missing the wood for the trees. Read more... 
Source: The Verge

Artificial Intelligence: Where are the users? | South Africa - Daily Maverick

This article is based on an input to a panel organised by Unesco onSteering AI for knowledge societies’, at the 2019 conference of the International Association for Media and Communication Research, Madrid, Spain.
Photo: Jane DuncanJane Duncan, professor and Head of Department of Journalism, Film and Television argues, One argument that is reaching the status of common sense is that Artificial Intelligence is catalysing a new revolution, the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Fearing being left behind as the rest of the world revolutionises, South Africa is scrambling madly to catch up.

Photo: Franck V. / Unsplash
Claims abound that Artificial Intelligence (AI) can rescue our ailing retail and manufacturing sectors. President Cyril Ramaphosa has even appointed a Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution to promote what he calls an “entrepreneurial state… [which will] assist government in taking advantage of the opportunities presented by the digital industrial revolution”.

The one voice that is largely missing in the noise about AI is the users of AI-driven systems, and by now, that includes most of us. Users are an important constituency as these systems are generally trained using our data, but the means by which they do so are opaque.

Automated decisions using AI are difficult to challenge, which make them ripe for abuse in ways that threaten basic rights and freedom. Elections can be distorted through AI-powered disinformation, and people can be falsely accused of a crime if they are profiled incorrectly 

Yet, despite the dangers, information regulators are struggling to defend users’ rights as AI challenges traditional notions of data protection... 

Personalised algorithmic models to rank and curate information can lead to the development of filter bubbles. As things stand, though, the available research points in the opposite direction, with search engines of companies like Google exposing internet users to a greater diversity of news sources than they would be exposed to ordinarily.
Even social media users can reap the unintended benefits of incidental exposure to news they would otherwise not look at. Greater AI-enabled content personalisation could amplify these dangers in time to come, though, so these concerns shouldn’t be taken off the table.
Read more... 

Source: Daily Maverick

Artificial Intelligence Connects the Brain to Computers | Tech & Innovation - Science Times

Neuralink, the secretive neurotechnology startup of Elon Musk, revealed threads that can directly link a human brain to a computer, explains Lornajane Altura, News Writer at Science Times

Photo: PixabayThis development targets paraplegics to control computers via implantable devices in their brain. This potentially can improve how people communicate and think.

The revolutionary tech giant Mr. Musk emphasized that the chip will help "preserve and enhance your own brain" and "ultimately achieve a sort of symbiosis with artificial intelligence" in a conference in San Francisco...

A robotic system that can implant threads into the brain has been developed by Neuralink. A tiny chip links the brain through the threads.

"The size of Neuralink's system makes it far smaller and less invasive than previous attempts at brain machine interfaces. The first applications will be to assist paraplegic people with using their smartphone or computer, though Neuralink president Max Hodak said patients will first need to learn how to use it," MSN reports.

Source: Science Times 

G.E. Moore – his life and work – Philosopher of the Month | Philosophy - Oxford University Press

G.E. Moore (1873-1958) was a British philosopher, who alongside Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein at Trinity College, Cambridge, was a key protagonist in the formation of the analytic tradition during the twentieth century by OUP Philosophy Team

“Bicycle and a brick wall” by Clem Onojeghuo via Unsplash.One of seven children, Moore grew up in South London and was educated initially by his parents. He was taught French by his mother, and reading, writing, and music by his father. Aged eight he enrolled at Dulwich College studying a mix of classic and romance languages, alongside mathematics, and at eighteen commenced study at Cambridge University reading classics. It was at Cambridge that Moore met Bertrand Russell (two years his senior) and Philosophy Fellow of Trinity College, J.M.E. McTaggart who together, encouraged Moore to study philosophy. Moore graduated in 1896. A fellowship kept him at Cambridge for the next six years.

During his time at Cambridge, Moore formed a number of long-lasting friendships with figures of the soon to be Bloomsbury Group. These friendships allowed Moore a channel of indirect influence on twentieth-century culture, leading in part to the encouragement of his reputation of having a Socratic personality; his written work did not necessarily capture his full thought. Moore would remain at Cambridge almost without leave – but for a short spell away and later a handful of years spent in the US – becoming first lecturer in 1911, then professor in 1925 before retiring in 1939. During this time, Moore was elected a fellow of the British Academy in 1918, President of the Aristotelian Society from 1918 to 1919, and in 1921 became editor of the highly-influential journal Mind...

In 1903, Moore published Principia Ethica in which he laid out his criticism of ethical naturalism, arguing that it involves the naturalistic fallacy that goodness can be defined in naturalistic terms. He argued that goodness is in actuality indefinable, unanalysable, and non-natural property. Principa Ethica was hugely influential, sending ripples through non-philosophical circles – including the literary world of the Bloomsbury Group where members including Maynard Keynes, Lytton Strachey, and Leonard Woolf had come into contact with him as fellow members of the Cambridge University secret debating society the Cambridge Apostles – as well within philosophy. The 1903 work has been frequently cited as one of the most influential works of its type and time, though in recent times this claim is somewhat down-played.

Source: Oxford University Press

Dawn of a new era for PhD grad – now featuring twice as many suns | Student stories - ANU Science

Rajika Kuruwita is an astronomer. Her PhD is on a subject which very much exists IRL but is actually best known from fiction, so that’s where she always starts, according to Tabitha Carvan, Senior Writer in the sciences for the Australian National University.
Photo: clipartmax
“You’ve watched Star Wars, right?”

That’s how Rajika Kuruwita begins when explaining her PhD thesis. Despite what you may think, she does not study sci-fi films.

Rajika, known as Reggie, is an astronomer. Her PhD is on a subject which very much exists IRL, but is actually best known from fiction, so that’s where she always starts. Literally: her thesis opens with a quote from Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

“You know in Star Wars, the planet Tatooine?” she goes on. “Can you tell me something strange about Tatooine?”

Tatooine has two suns, as does Douglas Adams’ planet Magrathea, and Doctor Who’s Gallifrey, and so many other sci-fi planets that there’s actually a Wikipedia page called “Binary stars in fiction”. But when astronomers think about planet formation, they’re not as imaginative as sci-fi writers...

Reggie received a job offer right after submitting her thesis and is now working as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Copenhagen. It’s the next step on a journey she started a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

“Astronomy is pretty much what I wanted to do from the very beginning. I always attribute it to my Grade 3 primary school teacher teaching us about the solar system. It blew my mind that there were planets in the solar system so different to Earth, like Venus with its acidic rain and gas giants like Jupiter.

Source: ANU Science

Best of arXiv.org for AI, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning – June 2019 | insideBIGDATA

In this recurring monthly feature, we filter recent research papers appearing on the arXiv.org preprint server for compelling subjects relating to AI, machine learning and deep learning – from disciplines including statistics, mathematics and computer science – and provide you with a useful “best of” list for the past month. 

Researchers from all over the world contribute to this repository as a prelude to the peer review process for publication in traditional journals. arXiv contains a veritable treasure trove of learning methods you may use one day in the solution of data science problems. We hope to save you some time by picking out articles that represent the most promise for the typical data scientist. The articles listed below represent a fraction of all articles appearing on the preprint server. They are listed in no particular order with a link to each paper along with a brief overview. Especially relevant articles are marked with a “thumbs up” icon. Consider that these are academic research papers, typically geared toward graduate students, post docs, and seasoned professionals. They generally contain a high degree of mathematics so be prepared.

Enjoy and take a cup of ☕️coffee! 

Source: insideBIGDATA    

Use peer support to improve well-being and research outcomes | Careers - Nature.com

Sarah Masefield, PhD Student, University of York says, PhD students’ knowledge can and should be harnessed to help others who are beginning their postgraduate journey. 

Photo: courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
When I started my PhD in health sciences in 2016, I knew it was a risk. I had a history of depression, and I thought the programme might trigger a recurrence. What I hadn’t expected was the extreme anxiety that I experienced. Over the Christmas holidays of my second year, I woke up every day with my heart racing and feeling sick, knowing that to reach my next deadline I had to spend another day trying to make progress with my systematic-review chapter. My only full day off during that period was Christmas Day.

Instead of seeking help, I stopped communicating with my supervisors because I felt incompetent. I worried that talking to them would expose and shame me more. I was not willing to carry on at the further expense of my health, and of my relationship with my partner. I decided that if something didn’t change soon, I’d have to drop out.

Fortunately, I’d made friends with other PhD students in my department at the University of York, UK. We discussed our research projects and shared guidance from our supervisors and other students. Hearing about their anxieties and receiving their advice really helped...

What you should know Here’s what I want current and future PhD students, and universities, to take away from my experiences: 

• Students’ knowledge of the PhD process can and should be shared — and not just within their own departmental silo — with those who are starting their PhDs. University backing is needed to help get peer-support initiatives off the ground and keep them going.
• Students can go to their doctoral training and support services and ask them what support is available for mental health and well-being. They can ask for help developing peer-support workshops across the university (not only in a single department) and promoting activities to students.
• Universities should work with PhD students to provide environments that reduce the risk factors for mental ill health, that help students to recognize when their mental health is being adversely affected and that put them at ease about asking for help.
Read more... 

Source: Nature.com

The long and winding road towards a PhD | University - Study International News

Yasmin Ahmad Kamil, Senior Education Journalist at Study International writes, The PhD journey is not all doom and gloom. Here’s some advice from a graduate.

Photo: Ellen Davis via FlickrA PhD is the crowning achievement in academia, but the road towards the finishing line proves to be a strenuous climb of resilience and perseverance. PhD students often report feeling stressed with their supervisors, struggling to balance tight deadlines with work commitments and experiencing the overarching stress of graduate school in general. But the struggle is not without its benefits. 

For many, a PhD serves as a passport for a career in academia, while others may see it as an opportunity to earn more in their lifetime. For instance, 2017 data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that those with doctoral and professional degrees earn more than those with only a Master’s or Bachelor’s. 

One study notes: “Recipients of doctoral degrees have traditionally occupied prestigious positions in research and education, where they have been called upon and funded to produce new knowledge.”

It also notes that doctoral education “provides the labour force not only for top positions within the professoriate, but also in educational administration, scientific laboratories and research facilities, and business and industry”...

A PhD students’ supervisor can be their best friend or the bane of their existence. Some students report that their supervisors are not supportive, do not give timely feedback or are simply AWOL. Zabri’s experience could not have been more different.

“It’s not the same in my case because my supervisors read everything, provided that I gave them time before the next supervisory meeting to read it,” he said. Frequent changes needed to be made to his work as his supervisors had their fingers on the pulse of the latest research in his area of study and would often suggest information they felt could be incorporated into his PhD. 

“So, sometimes for me, it can be stressful. So usually after every after supervisory meeting, I’ll go to town to de-stress or go back home to sleep it off first, waking up with a fresh mind.”

Having gone through the wringer, what would be Zabri’s advice to aspiring PhD students?

Source: Study International News 

How women created some of the world's biggest education tech companies | Online learning - The Guardian

The tech industry is dominated by men, but some of the world’s biggest education tech brands have women at the helm.

The Department for Education has unveiled plans to build “the best edtech ecosystem in the world”.
 Photo: Alamy Stock What do these women have in common? They’re all former teachers.

Everything’s going digital, and that includes education. From homework management apps to virtual reality geometry lessons, there’s plenty on offer from companies competing for a slice of the sizeable global market for online learning.

Education technology (edtech) exports are worth £170m to the UK economy and the Department for Education (DfE) has unveiled plans to build “the best edtech ecosystem in the world”, with a new edtech strategy. It’s hoped powerful technologies will improve student learning and relieve teacher workload in the face of shrinking education budgets.

Yet, despite a majority female teaching workforce at school level, women are missing from senior edtech roles: a problem highlighted when the DfE recently announced an edtech leadership advisory group in which women from the edtech industry were equalled by men named Chris. That’s not even including group chair, Chris Holmes, and universities minister, Chris Skidmore, who works with the panel...

Leading the way for female edtech representation globally is Daphne Koller, a Stanford University professor and creator of online learning platform, Coursera.

Source: The Guardian

Online Learning Is Getting More Popular Among Students | Easy Reader

Teri Marin, Easy Reader News summarizes, Online courses, provided by some of the best schools in the country, are very popular among professionals. 

Photo: Santiago Jaramillo via FlickrThe fact that they can go back to school while maintaining a fulltime career is one of the things that make online courses suitable for professionals. Even entrepreneurs are returning to school and pursuing degrees in specific fields.

However, online degrees aren’t just popular among professionals. Highschool graduates now prefer continuing their journeys online instead of attending brick-and-mortar courses. In fact, recent studies showed that the number of students actively choosing to continue their education online is growing by an average of 8% per year.

So, what makes online learning so popular among students? What about those who are pursuing their master’s or doctorate degrees? There are some common threads in how online courses are seen by students.

Source: Easy Reader 

9 ways e-learning maths can do away with any math phobia and make you an expert | Mathematics - India Today

Studying mathematics through e-learning can do away with the math phobia or anxiety that many students feel because of the way the subject is taught traditionally, notes Sachin Gulati, teaches maths in a fun learning way. 

Math phobia is caused by the traditional system of teaching mathematics. Rather than mugging up questions, students need to understand the concept and theory well.E-learning has offered convenience, user-friendly interface, accessibility to quality faculties and host of other benefits to a student. For a subject like mathematics, the platform is more capable in offering one-to-one attention thereby solving student's need for the subject.

In a classroom scenario, a student often does not consult the teacher due to shyness or forgetfulness. In an online environment, a student is free to ask and resolve any question-be it mathematics or any other subject. Therefore learning becomes inclusive and interactive.

In this regard, Indian company TruMath is working towards eradicating the fear that students have for mathematics.

Mathematics can be fun!
Learning mathematics requires a lot of patience both from students and teacher. Unfortunately, in India, the reputation around the subject is so poor that everyone thinks Math is boring, painful to learn and un-enjoyable! But not anymore!

E-learning can make the subject fun, interesting and understandable. E-learning actually opens door to a world of mathematics that is fun and exciting...

When teachers use technology strategically, they can provide greater access to mathematics for all students.

Source: India Today

University of Zagreb uses Moodle to support e-learning in over 115 higher education institutions in Croatia | Case Studies - Moodle

University of Zagreb University Computing Centre (SRCE) is currently the main institution for planning, designing, building and maintaining the e-infrastructure in the Academic and Research community in the application of information and communication technologies (ICT) in Croatia by Júlia Verdaguer.

In this case study, learn how SRCE became the key organisation in e-learning implementation and guidance for the whole Research and Higher Education systems in the country...

The Challenge
In 2007, University of Zagreb established the E-learning Centre at SRCE with the aim of starting a systematic implementation of e-learning and enhancing the quality of university education.

That included providing a virtual learning environment (VLE) for all the varied and diverse institutions of University of Zagreb, many of which did not see how e-learning could fit in their strategy.

Source: Moodle

Local STEM camp inspires young girls just in time for Apollo 11 anniversary | KMTV 3 News Now

A local STEM camp pushes young kids to think differently, says Ruta Ulcinaite, Reporter at  KMTV 3 News Now team.

Photo: Screenshot from KMTV - 3 News Now Video"Camp Invention's been hosted with Bennington Schools for nine or ten years," director of the camp Kendal Runde said.'

But it's not your typical summer camp.

"Each kido gets to make and design and decorate their own robot, and so then there's programming involved to get their robots to be able to play soccer," Runde said.

STEM, or science, technology, engineering and math, is underutilized. But this growing field is critical in a fast evolving world...

And the camp is taking place during a historical time in the STEM community. 50 years ago this week, Apollo 11 made its historic landing on the moon. Today, young girls everywhere reach for the stars, just as Niel Armstrong and others did all those years ago.

Hicks said she'd like to have an all-women flight to the Moon or Mars. 

Source: KMTV 3 News Now

Kurt Gödel's legacy - Time travel is mathematically imaginable / University of Vienna from 25 to 27 July 2019 | Science X News Wire - Phys.Org

Kurt Gödel's legacy—Time travel is mathematically imaginable.

Photo: Kurt Gödel’s Legacy: Does Future lie in the Past?"Does Future Lie in the Past?" This is the title of an international conference in Vienna that combines logic, computer science and physics featuring speakers such as Nobel laureate Rainer Weiss, mathematical rockstar John D. Barrow, AI researcher Toby Walsh, and physicist Marika Taylor among others.
Two events that have strongly influenced the world of science are celebrating an anniversary this year: The decisive review of Albert Einstein's theory of relativity is 100 years old. And 70 years ago Kurt Gödel proved that the theory of relativity permits a strange kind of universe: Under certain conditions, as Gödel could show, a universe with closed world lines is possible, in which time has a circular structure and objects at some point seamlessly return to their own past. Thus time travel within the general theory of relativity is conceivable...

Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Mechanics
Matthias Baaz, TU Vienna: "Just as Einstein and Gödel shook the foundations of science, today's knowledge about statistical and logical methods could lead the way to artificial intelligence (AI) in new directions". AI researcher Toby Walsh and science philosopher Reinhard Kahle are investigating developments in artificial intelligence and the demand for explainable and responsible AI computers that can learn independently without corrupt or distorted data. Another future topic with potential for revolutionary insights is quantum informatics: quantum physicists Markus Aspelmeyer and Wolfgang Schleich as well as mathematician and physicist Marika Taylor, formerly a close collaborator of Stephen Hawking, will describe the current state of research in this field.

Source: Phys.Org


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