Is the world noisy? | Science-Press Agency

Lthe concept of noise is defined more broadly

If we had stuck to the idea of ​​acoustic waves having a certain minimum volume, I could not have talked about “neural noise” in my previous articles. What does this phrase refer to? Simply, this phenomenon, in this case, reduces the quality of the signal, its intelligibility, in the same way that strong enough noise prevents the hearing of human words. We can generalize the definition of noise as any phenomenon that can make the acquisition or processing of information difficult. With this definition, we will see that this type of phenomenon exists in the most diverse areas.

The many avatars of noise

In this regard, we will not be surprised to include various climatic phenomena as a source of noise: fog, blizzard, hurricane, tornado, hail, sandstorm… disrupting visibility and therefore visual information acquisition. The same is true for volcanic eruptions and forest fires, for example, with the emission of ash and smoke. Even clouds are a source of noise in this regard, blocking the light coming to us from the sky. Astronomers know this very well, just as a cloudless atmosphere blurs and degrades the quality of images, which is why telescopes are sent into space or telescopes are equipped with adaptive optical floors. In fact, for astronomers and astrophysicists, the various sources that partially confuse the information coming to them through electromagnetic radiation can be located far away in space, whether it is the atmosphere of the planets or now d exoplanets or molecular clouds. Even light, which is the main celestial messenger that conveys information to us from the boundaries of the universe, can, for example, mask the weak light reflected by the planets orbiting its star, creating an obstacle to the reception and processing of information.

Sometimes the same type of phenomenon can be both a source of information and a source of noise. This is the case with eclipses. Lunar or solar eclipses on Earth greatly reduce the brightness, which makes it difficult to get a visual in the visible light spectrum, but on the contrary, it facilitates the discovery of exoplanets. Sometimes the noise thought in this way can also be cyclical: the rotation of our planet reduces the brightness of the sun every night, forcing us to turn to artificial lighting as an additional source of visual information, but nevertheless it is greatly reduced. .

If we consider the universe as a whole, the title issue takes on its full meaning with dark matter. Regarding this famous dark matter, we may wonder whether it is simply undetectable to us by nature, in which case we are dealing with one or more types of exotic particles, or rather, a noise-type phenomenon comes in to complicate the task. it would be a matter for us to discover and in this case we already know. (Unless it simply exists, according to MOND theory and its relativistic version.) In the case of black holes, this detection is impossible for us due to the matter and radiation entering them in the interior. ok so we can talk about the latest noise here.

We can also identify this phenomenon with quantum noise, which manifests itself exactly in the quantum computers we build on a very small scale. If misappropriated, it can destroy the information contained in the qubits. Quantum physics itself offers us another form of ultimate noise with Heisenberg uncertainty relations, and in this case the phenomenon is preserved in the laws of nature and cannot be violated.

Events that can blur data may sometimes require longer timescales to manifest. Thus, for example, growing vegetation almost completely hides the appearance of archaeological structures. Even without plants, the slow degradation of habitats constitutes a loss of information. The same applies to the degradation of organisms and their constituents at the molecular level.

Work through many aspects of noise

To what extent does this kind of limitation manifest itself in obtaining information? in a book calledNoise: A Flaw in Human Judgment,” Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony, and Cass Sunstein, published last year (“Noise: Flaws in Human Judgment”) point out that these authors found variability in the decision-making process that cannot be attributed to strictly deterministic factors. Furthermore, the authors are careful to distinguish this type of non-deterministic variability from cognitive biases. Neural noise would provide a neurophysiological basis for this type of psychological phenomenon. Interesting questions arise in this regard. How can you cut through this noise to make better decisions? Is it desirable to completely eliminate all the noise in the human brain? Does this type of phenomenon that we adapt to in spite of everything play a role that will benefit us? Given what we have just said, there may be a large number of phenomena that agree with our definition of “noise” yet to be discovered and may hold many surprises for us. .

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