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News briefs: June 5
Posted: Thu, Jun 6, 2002, 8:00 AM ET (1200 GMT)
  • The Russian Duma ratified two space-related accords with Ukraine and Brazil this week, RIA Novosti reported. The Ukrainian agreement, signed in February 2001, deals with the movement of space-related goods and services. The Brazilian agreement, signed back in November 1997, would allow cooperation between Russian and Brazilian space and rocketry enterprises.
  • Hypothetical particles dubbed "wimpzillas" may explain two key mysteries about the universe, New Scientist reported this week. These particles would have been created shortly after the Big Bang with masses up to one trillion times that of a proton. The existence of such particles could explain both the origins of the most energetic cosmic rays as well as be the dark matter believed to make up most of the mass of the universe.
  • Simulating the entire universe in every detail would require a computer with 1090 — 1 followed by 90 zeroes — bits, far beyond any computer technology currently envisioned, according to an MIT physicist. In addition, Seth Lloyd found that 10120 calculations of those bits would be required to complete the simulation. By comparison, there are "only" about 1080 elementary particles in the universe.
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