This is a collection of subjects that interest and impress me extremely. I give a brief description, and then leave a link so that you can investigate and ultimately become floored in awe alongside me.
Universality and Emergence
I’m hardly an expert on this topic, but I suppose it falls under my field of academic specialization, so I’m a casual appreciator.
Universal Computability // It is also known as “Turing Completeness”, and it is a property of a Turing System (or “Turing Machine”) in that any data-manipulation (more pragmatically, any program), in any form, that is computed in one Turing System, can be computed in every other Turing System.
Emergent Behavior // The hoopla about this was all about “AI sentience”. That could well happen, but in this context, though — I find Emergent Behavior fascinating because it can lead to extremely remarkable properties emergent of otherwise rather mundane systems.
Nicolas Loizeau’s Turing Machine built of cellular automata // This is a Turing Machine capable of the aforementioned Universal Compatibility. What makes this so interesting is that it was built entirely within Conway’s Game of Life — a cellular automata. The GOL is a remarkably interesting toy, but what’s so sexy about it is that an emergent property of this completely useless entropy toy is… Turing Completeness!
Interesting planets and systems
I’m not an astrophysicist by education frankly I don’t think I’m cut out to be one, but I am a huge space-geek, so here are some absolutely insane systems.
WASP-76B // It’s a gas giant about 0.92 the mass of Jupiter. What makes it so interesting is that it has a closed-rotation orbit; because of this, liquid iron will sublimate on the sun-side, and rain down on the dark side. It can get as hot as 2700 Kelvins — awesome!
ZTF J1406+1222 // This is a binary is a pulsar orbited by a companion star — however, they orbit so closely, that the pulsar is “feeding” from the other star, slowly draining it of quarks and plasma. This mass will sustain the neutron star; neutron stars are spinning incredibly quickly and oftentimes suicide by violently spewing out the entirety of their mass; feeding of other stars sustains them. This is why it is called a “black widow” binary; it’s a fun name. What makes this particular widow binary so special, though, is that it has an orbital period of 62 minutes! That is absolutely insane!