domingo, 25 de junio de 2017

Universidades privadas presentaron un proyecto de reformas para la LOES

Las universidades privadas del país se reunieron este viernes con el secretario de Educación Superior, Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación (Senescyt), Augusto Barrera, para entablar un diálogo y presentar un proyecto de reformas para la Ley Orgánica de Educación Superior (LOES). El encuentro se dio en las instalaciones de la Universidad de Especialidades Espíritu Santo (UEES), en la vía Samborondón.

Barrera aseguró que una de las primeras conclusiones luego de conversar con las instituciones académicas fue "haber abierto un espacio de diálogo, respetuoso, de reconocimiento. Las universidades autofinanciadas han planteado con bastante claridad algunas de sus preocupaciones respecto de entender la autonomía responsable y los mecanismos de Gobierno que deben ser incorporados".

A su vez, el representante de la Senescyt indicó que recibió planteamientos para reformar la LOES.

Barrera ratificó la necesidad de contar con el apoyo de las universidades autofinanciadas para ampliar y diversificar la oferta educativa. "Hemos tenido en principio una excelente y muy buena respuesta y finalmente hemos abordado un conjunto de temas que tiene que ver con reglamentos, mecanismos de operación y formas de articulación que con toda seguridad vamos a llevar adelante", manifestó.

Por su parte, el rector de la Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Carlos Montúfar, mencionó que la reunión abre para la puerta de diálogo entre ambos sectores. 

"Hemos ratificado un compromiso de cooperar con todo el sistema, con la Senescyt, con Augusto (Barrera), con todo nuestro contingente universitario para lograr una mejor educación", aclaró Montúfar.

De igual manera, Joaquín Hernández, rector de la UEES, celebró la apertura dada por la Senescyt. "Nosotros creemos que la educación superior, pública y privada tienen un compromiso central con el país, contribuir al desarrollo de la juventud ecuatoriana con una educación de calidad incluyente", puntualizó. (I)


sábado, 24 de junio de 2017

Viewpoint: Maxwell’s Demon Meets Nonequilibrium Quantum Thermodynamics

In 1867, James Clerk Maxwell imagined a "neat fingered" being with the ability to sort particles in a gas based on their speed [1]. Maxwell's demon, as the being became known, could quickly open and shut a trap door in a box containing a gas and let hot particles through to one side of the box but restrict cold ones to the other. At first glance, this scenario seems to contradict the second law of thermodynamics, as the overall entropy appears to decrease. Almost 150 years on, Maxwell's paradox, which was only properly understood a century after its original inception, continues to inspire physicists. In particular, there is currently a large activity in trying to understand the thermodynamics of devices that operate in the quantum domain and are out of thermal equilibrium, and how a unit like Maxwell's demon may be used to control them and enhance their performance. Roberto Serra from the Federal University of ABC, Brazil, and colleagues [2] have now implemented a Maxwell's demon that can control and rectify entropy production in a quantum system driven out of thermal equilibrium (Fig. 1). This finding paves the way to achieving the ultimate goal of complete control of nonequilibrium quantum systems at the nanoscale and beyond.

Maxwell's demon was named by Lord Kelvin in a hugely influential paper on the dissipation of energy [3]. With the original Greek meaning of the word in mind, Kelvin chose the name not to imply any foul play but rather to emphasize the role of the being's intelligence. In 1929, stimulated by this abstract notion of intelligence, Leo Szilard wrote a paper on the decrease of entropy by intelligent beings [4]. In this classic work, Szilard considered a Maxwell's demon that controlled the thermodynamic cycle of a one-particle heat engine. By making measurements on the system and using the acquired information, the demon could extract work from the closed cycle—once again in apparent contradiction with the second law of thermodynamics. In fact, by considering this simple cycle, Szilard was achingly close to resolving the paradox. In short, he believed that there was an entropic penalty caused by the measurements that balanced the work extracted by the demon.

This belief was shown much later to be false when Rolf Landauer [5] finally exorcised the demon by demonstrating that the entropic penalty was paid not in the measurements themselves but in the erasure of the acquired information that follows the measurements. Nevertheless, Szilard's work was visionary, as it not only emphasized the role of information in physics, but it also prophesied a field broadly known as cybernetics, which can be understood as the study of the control of machines by means of information processing. Maxwell's demon can be seen as a feedback controller that operates on a system in order to force it to perform useful tasks.

In the more than six decades since Landauer resolved Maxwell's paradox, researchers have implemented demon-like devices in classical and quantum systems in thermal equilibrium, the conditions that Szilard envisaged. Serra and colleagues now demonstrate a Maxwell's demon in a quantum system out of thermal equilibrium. In contrast to standard thermodynamics, nonequilibrium thermodynamics involves transformations that drive the system away from equilibrium. In the nonequilibrium domain, fluctuations of thermodynamic quantities become relevant and additional entropy is produced. This entropy production can manifest as additional heat dissipation into the surroundings and hence serves to decrease the thermodynamic efficiency of, for example, a thermal machine. As devices are pushed towards the nanoscale and beyond, they become more susceptible to thermal and quantum fluctuations. Therefore, it has become increasingly important to understand this entropy production and to control it.

Serra and co-workers considered a two-level quantum system based on the nuclear spin of a carbon atom. Preparing this spin system in an equilibrium state and then driving it out of equilibrium using magnetic fields, the researchers focused on controlling the associated entropy production. They did so by implementing a Maxwell's demon in the form of a feedback control mechanism. In a nutshell, the mechanism works as follows: it acquires and stores information about the state of the carbon atom using an auxiliary hydrogen nucleus; it then applies magnetic fields to the carbon nucleus that are conditioned on the state of the hydrogen nucleus. The authors demonstrate that, by performing such conditioned manipulations, the entropy production can be controlled and even reduced. They also show that the amount of entropy production is in excellent agreement with models of nonequilibrium thermodynamics that account for both thermal and quantum fluctuations [6] and the feedback control mechanism [7].

The acquisition of thermodynamic quantities in a nonequilibrium setting, such as the entropy produced in the authors' experiment, is notoriously difficult in its own right (as demonstrated in a previous study [8]). Serra and colleagues' inclusion of a feedback control unit into such a setting represents an important development in the growing interdisciplinary field of quantum thermodynamics [9]. The techniques employed by the authors in this work could be used to help control and enhance the performance of the thermal machines of the future. And when combined with current progress in machine learning, studies such as this promise to inspire a new era of what one might call quantum cybernetics.

This research is published in Physical Review Letters.


  1. J. C. Maxwell, "Letter to Peter Guthrie Tait, 13 November 1867," The Scientific Letters and Papers of James Clerk Maxwell (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1995).
  2. P. A. Camati, J. P. S. Peterson, T. B. Batalhão, K. Micadei, A. M. Souza, R. S. Sarthour, I. S. Oliveira, and R. M. Serra, "Experimental Rectification of Entropy Production by Maxwell's Demon in a Quantum System," Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 240502 (2016).
  3. W. Thomson, "Kinetic Theory of the Dissipation of Energy," Nature 9, 441 (1874).
  4. L. Szilard, "On the Decrease of Entropy in a Thermodynamic System by the Intervention of Intelligent Beings," Z. Phys. 53, 840 (1929).
  5. R. Landauer, "Irreversibility and Heat Generation in the Computing Process," IBM J. Res. Dev. 5, 183 (1961).
  6. M. Campisi, P. Hänggi, and P. Talkner, "Colloquium: Quantum fluctuation relations: Foundations and applications," Rev. Mod. Phys. 83, 771 (2011).
  7. Y. Morikuni and H. Tasaki, "Quantum Jarzynski-Sagawa-Ueda Relations," J. Stat. Phys. 143, 1 (2011).
  8. T. B. Batalhão, A. M. Souza, L. Mazzola, R. Auccaise, R. S. Sarthour, I. S. Oliveira, J. Goold, G. De Chiara, M. Paternostro, and R. M. Serra, "Experimental Reconstruction of Work Distribution and Study of Fluctuation Relations in a Closed Quantum System," Phys. Rev. Lett. 113, 140601 (2014).
  9. J. Goold, M. Huber, A. Riera, L. del Rio, and P. Skrzypczyk, "The Role of Quantum Information in Thermodynamics—A Topical Review," J. Phys. A 49, 143001 (2016).

About the Author

John Goold is currently a long-term visiting scientist at the Abdus Salam Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy. His interests and work range from many-body physics to quantum information and the thermodynamics of quantum systems. Following a doctorate in 2010 from University College Cork, Ireland, he moved, as a research fellow, to the Center for Quantum Technologies at the University of Singapore, and then as a Marie Curie Fellow to the University of Oxford, England, between 2010 and 2013, after which he moved to Trieste. In May 2016, he was awarded a prestigious SFI-University Research Fellowship from the Royal Society, and in 2017 he will move to Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. In Dublin he will focus on building a group aimed at understanding the stochastic energetics of small and large nonequilibrium quantum systems.


sábado, 26 de noviembre de 2016

Donald Trump calls Fidel Castro 'brutal dictator'

Cuba's former leader Fidel Castro was a "brutal dictator", US President-elect Donald Trump has said, hours after the 90-year-old's death was announced.

Mr Trump, who takes office in January, said he hoped Cubans could move towards a freer future.

Castro came to power in 1959 and ushered in a Communist revolution. He defied the US for decades, surviving many assassination plots.

Supporters said he returned Cuba to the people. Critics called him a dictator.

His brother Raul, who succeeded him as president, announced his death on state television on Friday night.

Live updates

A hero and a tyrant - obituary

His life in pictures

A revolutionary at home and abroad

"While Cuba remains a totalitarian island, it is my hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve," Mr Trump said in a statement.

Under Barack Obama, the US-Cuba relationship warmed and diplomatic ties were restored in 2015 after decades of tension.

Mr Trump roundly criticised the policy on the campaign trail but made no mention of his pledge to reverse it in his statement, saying his administration would do all it could to ensure Cubans could "begin their journey toward prosperity and liberty".

Mr Obama, meanwhile, said history would "record and judge the enormous impact" of Castro. America was extending "a hand of friendship to the Cuban people" at this time, he added.

Castro was the longest serving non-royal leader of the 20th Century. He had been retired from political life for several years, after handing power to his brother in 2006 because of illness.

He will be cremated later on Saturday and a period of official mourning has been declared on the island until 4 December, when his ashes will be laid to rest in the south-eastern city of Santiago.

News of his death left some in Havana stunned. "I always said it couldn't be," said one woman, a government employee. "Even though they said it now, I say it can't be."

But Cuban dissident group Ladies in White, which was founded by wives of jailed dissidents, tweeted: "May God forgive him, I won't".

In Miami, where there is a large Cuban community, there have been celebrations in some parts of the city, with people banging pots and cheering.

Loved and loathed: Castro's death online

Divisive legacy captivates world media

UK opposition: Castro 'huge figure'

How he defied the US

Throughout the Cold War, Fidel Castro was a thorn in Washington's side.

An accomplished tactician on the battlefield, he and his small army of guerrillas overthrew the military leader Fulgencio Batista in 1959 to widespread popular support.

Within two years of taking power, he declared the revolution to be Marxist-Leninist in nature and allied the island nation firmly to the Soviet Union.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Castro in the mid-1950s with another leading revolutionary - Che Guevara
Image copyright AP
Image caption Years on he would meet Pope John Paul II, despite declaring Cuba an atheist state

Despite the constant threat of a US invasion as well as the long-standing economic embargo on the island, Castro managed to maintain a communist revolution in a nation just 90 miles (145km) off the coast of Florida.

Despised by his critics as much as he was revered by his followers, he maintained his rule through 10 US presidents and survived scores of attempts on his life by the CIA.

He established a one-party state, with hundreds of supporters of the Batista government executed. Political opponents have been imprisoned, the independent media suppressed. Thousands of Cubans have fled into exile.

How has the world reacted?

Many world leaders have paid tribute to Castro. Russian President Vladimir Putin described him as a "reliable and sincere friend" of Russia, while Chinese President Xi Jinping said his people had "lost a good and true comrade".

Fidel Castro (1926-2016)

The former Cuban president has died aged 90 - his dramatic life makes his longevity all the more surprising

  • 80 rebels landed with him on Cuba to launch the revolution

  • 32 was his age when he came to power, toppling Fulgencio Batista

  • 49 years as Cuban president, a record for a non-royal leader

  • 638 assassination attempts he reportedly survived


The Soviet Union's last leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, said: "Fidel stood up and strengthened his country during the harshest American blockade, when there was colossal pressure on him."

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon acknowledged advances in education, literary and health under Castro, but said he hoped Cuba would "continue to advance on a path of reform, greater prosperity and human rights".

Pope Francis, who met Castro, an atheist, when he visited Cuba in 2015, called his death "sad news".

In Venezuela, Cuba's main regional ally, President Nicolas Maduro said "revolutionaries of the world must follow his legacy".

Fidel Castro's key dates

Media captionIn April, Castro made a rare appearance at Cuba's Communist Party congress
  • 1926: Born in the south-eastern Oriente Province of Cuba
  • 1953: Imprisoned after leading an unsuccessful rising against Batista's regime
  • 1955: Released from prison under an amnesty deal
  • 1956: With Che Guevara, begins a guerrilla war against the government
  • 1959: Defeats Batista, sworn in as prime minister of Cuba
  • 1961: Fights off CIA-sponsored Bay of Pigs invasion by Cuban exiles
  • 1962: Sparks Cuban missile crisis by agreeing that USSR can deploy nuclear missiles in Cuba
  • 1976: Elected president by Cuba's National Assembly
  • 1992: Reaches an agreement with US over Cuban refugees
  • 2006: Hands over reins to brother Raul due to health issues, stands down as president two years later

Cuba's revolutionary leader

Source: BBC

martes, 22 de noviembre de 2016

Estado ecuatoriano obligado a reparar integralmente a los hermanos Isaías Dassum

El canciller ecuatoriano Guillaume Long dijo, el 13 de junio , que el Comité de Derechos Humanos de la Naciones Unidas había fallado en contra de los hermanos Isaías Dassum. La verdad ha sido otra. El el abogado Jorge Zavala Egas la explicó y la sustentó así: el Comité de Derechos Humanos de la Naciones Unidas condena al Estado ecuatoriano, tras 8 años, por la vulneración de los derechos constitucionales de los hermanos Roberto y William Isaías Dassum. "Esa es la verdad".

Según Zavala, la vulneración se dio con el Mandato Constituyente No. 13, de la Asamblea Constituyente de Montecristi, por el cual frustró la tutela judicial efectiva de los hermanos Isaías Dassum de todos los procesos de incautaciones que sufrieron.

En consecuencia, se obliga al Estado ecuatoriano a dar una plena reparación integral a los hermanos Isaías Dassum. Y esa reparación que ordena el Comité de Derechos Humanos de la Naciones Unidas es una reparación económica, jurídica y moral. "Eso ordena la ONU al Ecuador", apostilló.

Además, le pide al Ecuador que en 180 días le informe de los actos y acciones ejecutadas por el Estado ecuatoriano para reparar esos derechos.

Para Zavala se ha querido distorsionar la verdad desde la Cancillería. "Entiendo -dijo- que no ha sido obra del canciller, sino de abogados irresponsables que han querido acomodar con verdades a medias, con transcripciones cortas el fallo, queriendo dar la impresión de que el Ecuador no ha sido condenado por las Naciones Unidas, y que más bien los hermanos Isaías Dassum son los que han perdido".

Zavala leyó de manera textual parte de la condena: "...punto 8. El Comité de Derechos Humanos...dictamina que el Estado parte (El Ecuador), violó, violó, violó, el derecho de los autores (los hermanos Isaías Dassum) bajo el artículo 14.1 del Pacto Internacional de Derechos Civiles y Políticos a un proceso de las debidas garantías en la determinación de sus derechos y obligaciones".

Y eso implica -según Zavala- devolución de todos los bienes confiscados que no hayan sido vendidos o cedidos, la indemnización por equivalentes de todos aquellos bienes que hayan sido cedidos o vendidos, y finalmente la reparación moral , que es la publicación del fallo para que el continente americano y el mundo sepan en qué consistieron las vulneraciones a los derechos constitucionales de los hermanos Isaías Dassum.

El monto al que ascendería las reparaciones económicas rondarían los 1.000 de dólares, de acuerdo a Zavala.

Grupo Isaías - Roberto Isaías

Isaías vs. Ecuador: Se hizo justicia

En junio de 2016, el Comité de Derechos Humanos de la O.N.U. falló a favor de los empresarios Isaías. Afirmó que se habían violado los derechos humanos de Roberto y William Isaías y que manifi estamente "se violó el debido proceso", haciendo caso omiso de sus derechos de apelación y otros. El Comité dictaminó que el gobierno del Ecuador restaure los derechos de Roberto y William Isaías y devuelva todos los activos arbitraria e injustamente incautados a toda la familia. Este libro recoge la historia de una reclamación legal, que puede inspirar a muchos otros afectados a demandar al gobierno del Ecuador por arbitrariedades y abusos parecidos.