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Wow.  Starting in January, All American Astronomical Society Journals will be full Open Access


No one thinks that there'll be as great a demand for all the papers in those journals, but as the spectacular example, the open-access Astrophysical Journal Letters 2019 paper with the famous shadow of the black hole in M87 image (here) has been downloaded more than a third of a million times.

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As I catch up on the Scientific American issues I missed while the library was closed due to covid, I was amused by the title of this article from the May 2020 issue: "Quantum Steampunk." It sounds like the title of an SF anthology.


Oh, the article? It's about attempts to connect quantum mechanics, information theory, and thermodynamics. All three fields are linked by the concept of entropy; but exactly how they fit together is not yet clear.


I did not understand the description of a hypothetical engine powered by quantum phenomena rather than heat, but the author says it could be built and could have practical uses.


Dean Shomshak

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