Psychology: Searching for the Google Effect on People’s Memory

[News & Analysis] Psychology: Searching for the Google Effect on People’s Memory

In four cleverly designed experiments reported online this week in Science, psychologists confirm the so-called Google effect: a growing belief that people are using the Internet as a personal memory bank.

Author: John Bohannon

Four years ago, Betsy Sparrow became exasperated watching an old black-and-white film called Gaslight. She recognized the young actress playing the maid but couldn’t remember her name. Luckily, she had her smartphone. “I found the answer* online immediately,” she says, and the relief was palpable.

That incident sparked a conversation with her husband that continued into the night. “How did we use to remember things like this before the Internet?” wondered Sparrow, who at the time was a psychology graduate student at Harvard University.

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Generation of ultrastable microwaves via optical frequency division

Generation of ultrastable microwaves via optical frequency division

Generation of ultrastable microwaves via optical frequency division

Nature Photonics 5, 425 (2011). doi:10.1038/nphoton.2011.121

Authors: T. M. Fortier, M. S. Kirchner, F. Quinlan, J. Taylor, J. C. Bergquist, T. Rosenband, N. Lemke, A. Ludlow, Y. Jiang, C. W. Oates & S. A. Diddams

Abstract: There has been increased interest in the use and manipulation of optical fields to address the challenging problems that have traditionally been approached with microwave electronics. Continue reading

In two places at once

In two places at once

Quantum superpositions of objects consisting of millions of atoms may be achievable with cavity quantum optomechanical techniques.

Published Thu Jul 07, 2011

A fundamental feature of quantum physics is superposition of states, such as the double slit experiment in which a particle passes through both slits at the same time to interfere downstream. This kind of spatially separated quantum superposition has been observed for particles from electrons to complex molecules, but what about larger macroscopic systems? Continue reading