Open Questions

In science the questions are more important than the answers

The open question format aims at publishing scientific ideas, problems, and questions, that have not been adressed yet. On two pages at most you have the chance to inspire the scientific community with questions that you think are important. Your contribution will not be peer reviewed but published asap on our website.

An Open Question can have a length of 2 pages at most in the given template!

We invite you to discuss the open questions by leaving comments, remarks and ideas. Leave a Reply!

Oct 032011
 
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Michael Kurz, Naturkundliche Gesellschaft, Hallein, Austria (e-mail: michael.kurz@gmx.at)

Journal of Unsolved Questions, 2, 1, Open Questions,1-2, 2011 (Received August 25th  2011, accepted September 4th 2011, published September 28th 2011)

If one looks at the stars, it seems astonishing that their velocities as well as those of galaxies are negligible compared to light velocity after almost 14 billion years of gravitation and expansion of the universe. In fact, it seems that there is a very fine tuning between these two cosmic phenomena….

Read more: Are Planck-particles the primordial particles of matter in the universe?

Jul 232011
 
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Lan Cheng

Institute of Physical Chemistry, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Staudinger Weg 9, D-55128 Mainz, Germany
Journal of Unsolved Questions, 1, 2, Open Questions, 12-15, 2011 (Received July 18th  2011, accepted July 20th 2011, published July 23rd 2011)

Go (’weiqi’ in Chinese and ’igo’ in Japanese) [1] is an ancient board game originating from China that has been widely played in east Asia. Nowadays Go is being more and more popular throughout the world. In contrast to many other strategic games including chess that have been con- quered by modern computers many years ago, Go remains a formidable challenge to artificial intelligence [2] due to the enormous branching factors of the game tree and, perhaps more importantly, the lack of proper evaluation criteria…

Read more: Is Computer Go Solvable?

Keywords: Go, branching factors, artifical intelligence

Jul 232011
 
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Wolter Seuntjens, Karolina Hansen

Dutch Academy of ’Pataphysics, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, Germany
Journal of Unsolved Questions, 1, 2, Open Questions, 15-16, 2011 (Received July 19th  2011, accepted July 21st 2011, published July 23rd 2011)

Theory of mind (ToM) is the ability to attribute mental states—beliefs, intents, desires, pretending, knowledge, etc.—to oneself and others, and to understand that others have beliefs, desires, and intentions that are different from one’s own[1]. There is controversy over the question whether animals other than humans have a ToM. The question is important when assessing the status of humans within the animal kingdom. The social tool of faked orgasm seems to be unique to human beings and thus it is a strong test for the demarcation of human versus animal…

Read more: Do Female Bonobos Fake Orgasm?

Keywords: Theory of Mind, deception, orgasm, bonobo

Jul 182011
 
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Leonie Anna Mueck and Johannes Heymer

Institute of Physical Chemistry, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Staudinger Weg 9, D-55128 Mainz, Germany
Eberhard Karls University, Tuebingen
Journal of Unsolved Questions, 1, 2, Open Questions, 10-12, 2011 (Received June 25th 2011, accepted July 14th 2011, published July 18th 2011)

“That for which nearly a year had been Vrosnky’s sole and exclusive desire , supplanting all his former desire: That for which Anna had been impossible, dreadful, but all the more betwiching dream of happiness, had come to pass. Pale, with trembling lower jaw, he stood over her, entreating her to be calm, himself not knowing how nor why. … `It’s all over?, she said. `I have nothing but you left. Remember that.?”[1]

Anna Karenina is one of the most prominent and at the same time most tragic adulterers in world literature. What begins as passionate but forbidden love between her and Alexey Vronsky leads to years of ostracism and finally reaches its climax in Anna Karenina’s suicide. In the above scene, where the sexual aspect  of their relationship cannot be overlooked, Anna Karenina already foretells her fate:  “It’s all over”.

The novel is a grand example of  how individuals are torn apart between the social imperative of monogamy and their intrinsic passions. Monogamy is indeed a puzzling social construct, since there seem to be two incompatible souls in us: Our wish for intimacy, consistency, and security on the one hand and our adventurous desires on the other. Some scientists interpret these two souls in a way that suggests that our own evolutionary biology is in conflict with norms and imperatives imposed on us by society and culture. […]

Read more: What is the role of Epidemiological Factors in Shaping the Social Imperative of Monogamy?

Keywords: Epidemiology, History of Sexuality

May 082011
 
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U.B. Lushchyk, V.V. Novytskyy

Clinical Hospital “Feofaniya” and Institutes for Mathematics of NAS of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine

Journal of Unsolved Questions, 1, 2, Open Questions, 8-9, 2011 (Received March 29th 2011, published online May 8th 2011)

The cardiovascular system (CVS) is an essential component in  human health, as the background level of functioning of nearly all organs and systems depends on the blood supply level. It is of a very complicated dynamic mechanism by a type of the closed system of connecting vessels with variable parameters in all its structural segments – heart, vascular walls, as well as intravascular fluid – blood.

Read more: Which new prospects for an efficient prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases could be gained by a systemic examination of the cardiovascular system?

Keywords: cardiovascular system, cardiovascular diseases, hydrohemodynamic laws, Non-Newton liquid

Dec 282010
 
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Thomas Jagau, Johannes Gutenberg-Unversity, Mainz, Germany

Journal of Unsolved Questions, 1, 1, Open Questions, 4-7, 2011 (Received December 27th 2010, published online December 28th 2010)

Among the most interesting problems in state-of-the-art theoretical chemistry ranks the question: How can electronic states with multireference character be efficiently treated with chemical accuracy? Multireference problems include bond-breaking processes, biradicalic species, as well as many transition-metal compounds. Their thorough understanding is of great interest for different branches of chemistry and related applied sciences.

Read more: What is the best multireference coupled-cluster method?

Keywords: Theoretical Chemistry, Multireference Coupled-Cluster Theory

Aug 062010
 
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Johannes Heymer, University of Tuebingen, Tuebingen, Germany

Journal of Unsolved Questions, 1, 1, Open Questions, 3-4 (2011) (Received August 4th 2010, Published Online August 6th 2010)

Eric Prochnow raised the question why male infants suffer more from flatulence than female infants. This article implicated the following hypotheses, which are equivalent to the public opinion on excessive crying in infants: 1. There is an organic cause (flatulence)for excessive crying. 2. Flatulence is more common in male infants…

Read more: Download: 'Is it true that flatulance is more common in male infants?'

Keywords: Flatulance, Pediatrics, Pain Perception

Jul 302010
 
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Christian D. R. Ludwig, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Mainz, Germany

Journal of Unsolved Questions, 1, 1, Open Questions, 2-3 (2011) (Received July 27th 2010, Published Online July 28th 2010)

Chess is a fun game to play, but for some people it is more than just a game…

Read more: Download: Is Chess Solvable?

Keywords: Game Theory, Chess, Engine, Tablebases

Jul 212010
 
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Eric Prochnow, University of Mainz, Mainz, Germany

Journal of Unsolved Questions, 1,  1, Open Questions, 1-2  (2011) (Received July 21st 2010, Published Online July 21st 2010)

The time spent with their baby is usually the best time for parents. However, during the first three months after the baby has been born repeated screaming of the infant is observed that can be very exhausting for parents. The reason for this screaming is often a colic…

Read more: Download 'Why Do Male Infants Have More Flatulence Than Female Infants?'

Keywords: Flatulance, Pediatrics, Parenthood