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Keyword: physics

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  • We don’t need no intuition

    12/06/2012 1:38:10 AM PST · by neverdem · 2 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 5 December 2012 | Neil Withers
    US scientists have developed a way to solve crystal structures that combines powerful computational methods with data from experiments or databases – but that does not require much human input. Previous computational methods to predict structures rarely use experimental data, take a long time and are limited to compounds with small unit cells. They also give structures that generally have lower symmetry than those which have been experimentally determined, suggesting that the answers may not be quite right.‘One of the dirty little secrets that people don’t generally talk about is that, with a lot of these methods, you always...
  • New experiments challenge fundamental understanding of electromagnetism

    12/03/2012 2:29:16 PM PST · by neverdem · 45 replies
    Phys.org ^ | November 28, 2012 | NA
    A cornerstone of physics may require a rethink if findings at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are confirmed. Recent experiments suggest that the most rigorous predictions based on the fundamental theory of electromagnetism—one of the four fundamental forces in the universe, and harnessed in all electronic devices—may not accurately account for the behavior of atoms in exotic, highly charged states. The theory in question is known as quantum electrodynamics, or QED, which physicists have held in high regard for decades because of its excellent track record describing electromagnetism's effects on matter. In particular, QED has been especially...
  • December 2, 1942: Enrico Fermi and atomic Chicago

    12/01/2012 8:05:44 PM PST · by smokingfrog · 4 replies
    WBEZ91.5 ^ | 12-2-11 | John Schmidt
    The story begins with a letter from Albert Einstein to Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939. The celebrated physicist warned the president that Nazi Germany was developing the makings of an atomic bomb. Roosevelt knew what would happen if Hitler got such a weapon. The president ordered a massive secret project to make sure the U.S. beat him to it. Scientists from all over the country were enlisted in the effort. Early in 1942 Enrico Fermi and a team of physicists gathered at the University of Chicago's Metallurgical Laboratory. Their goal was to develop a self-sustaining nuclear pile. This was the...
  • As Supersymmetry Fails Tests, Physicists Seek New Ideas

    11/29/2012 3:10:46 PM PST · by neverdem · 32 replies
    Simons Science News ^ | November 20, 2012 | Natalie Wolchover
    No hints of “new physics” beyond the predictions of the Standard Model have turned up in experiments at the Large Hadron Collider, a 17-mile circular tunnel at CERN Laboratory in Switzerland that slams protons together at high energies. (Photo: CERN) As a young theorist in Moscow in 1982, Mikhail Shifman became enthralled with an elegant new theory called supersymmetry that attempted to incorporate the known elementary particles into a more complete inventory of the universe.“My papers from that time really radiate enthusiasm,” said Shifman, now a 63-year-old professor at the University of Minnesota. Over the decades, he and thousands of...
  • Still Looking Like the Higgs

    11/16/2012 9:57:42 PM PST · by neverdem · 32 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 15 November 2012 | Adrian Cho
    Credit: CERN Still too soon to know. That's the latest word from particle physicists working with the world's largest atom smasher—Europe's Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland—as they try to figure out whether the particle they discovered in July is precisely the long-sought Higgs boson or something a tad different. The key question is whether the new particle decays into combinations of familiar particles at the rates that physicists' standard model predicts. So far, the measured decay rates generally match expectations, but the statistical uncertainties are too large to say anything conclusive, physicists working with the gargantuan particle detectors known...
  • Light ties itself in knots - spontaneously

    10/30/2012 1:22:44 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 28 replies
    The Register ^ | 29th October 2012 23:59 GMT | Richard Chirgwin •
    It’s not only possible to get light to tie itself in knots: given the right conditions, it will do so spontaneously, according to a paper published last week in Nature. El Reg has no possible hope of fully understanding this paper (published in full, an emerging trend we welcome), but one really interesting idea is right there in the abstract: “We anticipate similar spontaneous knot topology to be a universal feature of waves whose phase front is twisted and nonlinearly modulated, including superfluids and trapped matter waves.” [Emphasis added] In other words, this research has the potential to be replicated...
  • Researchers look beyond space and time to cope with quantum theory

    10/28/2012 8:50:13 PM PDT · by JerseyanExile · 78 replies
    Phys Org ^ | October 28, 2012
    Physicists have proposed an experiment that could force us to make a choice between extremes to describe the behaviour of the Universe. The proposal comes from an international team of researchers from Switzerland, Belgium, Spain and Singapore, and is published today in Nature Physics. It is based on what the researchers call a 'hidden influence inequality'. This exposes how quantum predictions challenge our best understanding about the nature of space and time, Einstein's theory of relativity. "We are interested in whether we can explain the funky phenomena we observe without sacrificing our sense of things happening smoothly in space and...
  • Scientists uncover mystery of ball lightning

    10/19/2012 9:18:30 PM PDT · by neverdem · 37 replies
    ABC (AU) ^ | October 13, 2012 | Darren Osborne
    A team of Australian scientists believe they have uncovered the cause of one of nature's most bizarre phenomenon - ball lightning. Ball lightning is typically the size of a grapefruit and lasts up to 20 seconds. "Ball lightning has been reported by hundreds of people, for hundreds of years and it has been a mystery," said CSIRO scientist John Lowke, lead author of a new study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres. Previous theories have suggested microwave radiation, oxidising aerosols, nuclear energy, dark matter, antimatter, and even black holes as possible causes. One recent theory suggests burning silicon...
  • Manipulators of the Quantum Realm Reap Nobel Glory

    10/09/2012 11:43:46 AM PDT · by neverdem · 14 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 9 October 2012 | Adrian Cho
    Enlarge Image Light touch. Serge Haroche and David Wineland (right) won the Nobel for their work manipulating the quantum states of individual atoms. Credit: CNRS and NIST The past couple of decades have witnessed a sea change in quantum physics. Previously, scientists relied on the strange rules of quantum theory mainly to explain the odd natural behavior of masses of atoms and other quantum particles such as photons. Increasingly, however, physicists are exploiting those rules to create delicate quantum states of individual particles and to do novel things with them. This year's Nobel Prize in physics honors two experimenters...
  • Awesome HD Slinky Slow-Mo…Does Gravity Really Work Like We Think It Does?

    10/04/2012 4:04:07 PM PDT · by jwsea55 · 83 replies
    Veritasium ^ | Sept 29, 2012 | Jim Caldwell
    Watching this video, I have to ask, do we really understand gravity? When we release an object from our hands, it falls. Right? Not always? Or at least, not right away? Veritasium has put some pretty cool videos to explain how science and physics work. They have been working with slinkies on a number of videos (and you thought your kid didn’t have any potential at 3 years old), this video seems to capture the essences of their work. So listening to a couple of science guys explain this, does this give one a solid enough understanding why that darn...
  • 'Tantalizing' hints of room-temperature superconductivity Doped graphite may superconduct at...

    09/19/2012 11:06:48 PM PDT · by neverdem · 9 replies
    NATURE NEWS ^ | 18 September 2012 | Edwin Cartlidge
    Doped graphite may superconduct at more than 100 şC. Researchers in Germany have claimed a breakthrough: a material that can act as a superconductor — transmit electricity with zero resistance — at room temperature and above. Superconductors offer huge potential energy savings, but until now have worked only at temperatures of lower than about -110 °C. Now, Pablo Esquinazi and his colleagues at the University of Leipzig report that flakes of humble graphite soaked in water seem to continue superconducting at temperatures of greater than 100 °C1. Even Esquinazi admits that the claim “sounds like science fiction”, but the work...
  • Atomic bond types discernible in single-molecule images

    09/14/2012 7:55:26 PM PDT · by neverdem · 33 replies
    BBC News ^ | 13 September 2012 | Jason Palmer
    A pioneering team from IBM in Zurich has published single-molecule images so detailed that the type of atomic bonds between their atoms can be discerned. The same team took the first-ever single-molecule image in 2009 and more recently published images of a molecule shaped like the Olympic rings. The new work opens up the prospect of studying imperfections in the "wonder material" graphene or plotting where electrons go during chemical reactions. The images are published in Science. The team, which included French and Spanish collaborators, used a variant of a technique called atomic force microscopy, or AFM. AFM uses a...
  • Microwave weapons: Wasted energy

    09/14/2012 12:27:13 AM PDT · by neverdem · 7 replies
    NATURE NEWS ^ | 12 September 2012 | Sharon Weinberger
    Despite 50 years of research on high-power microwaves, the US military has yet to produce a usable weapon. For some Pentagon officials, the demonstration in October 2007 must have seemed like a dream come true — an opportunity to blast reporters with a beam of energy that causes searing pain. The event in Quantico, Virginia, was to be a rare public showing for the US Air Force's Active Denial System: a prototype non-lethal crowd-control weapon that emits a beam of microwaves at 95 gigahertz. Radiation at that frequency penetrates less than half a millimetre into the skin, so the beam...
  • IU mathematician offers unified theory of dark matter, dark energy, altering Einstein field...

    09/08/2012 1:36:57 PM PDT · by neverdem · 21 replies
    Indiana University ^ | Sept. 6, 2012 | NA
    IU mathematician offers unified theory of dark matter, dark energy, altering Einstein field equations BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A pair of mathematicians -- one from Indiana University and the other from Sichuan University in China -- have proposed a unified theory of dark matter and dark energy that alters Einstein's equations describing the fundamentals of gravity. Shouhong Wang, a professor in the IU College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Mathematics, and Tian Ma, a professor at Sichuan University, suggest the law of energy and momentum conservation in spacetime is valid only when normal matter, dark matter and dark energy are...
  • Best Majors for GRE Scores: Still Physics and Philosophy

    08/25/2012 9:26:40 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 6 replies
    Best Majors for GRE Scores: Still Physics and Philosophy Monday, August 20, 2012 Fall is just around the corner, and that means many college seniors will soon face an enemy more daunting than senioritis itself: the Graduate Record Examinations. Many schools require GRE test scores for admission to their graduate programs, and the tests are supposed to be one of the most objective measures of prospective students. GRE scores can make or break a graduate school application, so how should students prepare? Although there are a plethora of study books and materials available, decisions made freshman year may determine...
  • Researchers Invent New Tool to Study Single Biological Molecules

    08/05/2012 11:16:26 PM PDT · by neverdem · 1 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | Aug. 3, 2012 | NA
    By blending optical and atomic force microscope technologies, Iowa State University and Ames Laboratory researchers have found a way to complete 3-D measurements of single biological molecules with unprecedented accuracy and precision. Existing technologies allow researchers to measure single molecules on the x and y axes of a 2-D plane. The new technology allows researchers to make height measurements (the z axis) down to the nanometer -- just a billionth of a meter -- without custom optics or special surfaces for the samples. "This is a completely new type of measurement that can be used to determine the z position...
  • Ford's Trade-In: Truck to Use Aluminum in Place of Steel

    07/27/2012 2:33:00 PM PDT · by Responsibility2nd · 139 replies
    WSJ ^ | 07/26/2012 | MIKE RAMSEY
    <p>ALLEN PARK, Mich.—In this suburb just west of Detroit, Ford Motor Co. is working on one of the biggest gambles in its 108-year history: a pickup truck with a largely aluminum body.</p> <p>The radical redesign will help meet tougher federal fuel-economy targets now starting to have wide-ranging effects on Detroit's auto makers. But Ford will have to overcome a host of manufacturing obstacles, plus convince die-hard pickup buyers that aluminum is as tough as steel.</p>
  • Mystery Tug on Spacecraft Is Einstein’s ‘I Told You So’

    07/24/2012 3:42:38 AM PDT · by neverdem · 49 replies
    NY Times ^ | July 23, 2012 | DENNIS OVERBYE
    It’s been a bad year to bet against Albert Einstein. In the spring physicists had to withdraw a sensational report that the subatomic particles known as neutrinos were going faster than light, Einstein’s cosmic speed limit; they discovered they had plugged in a cable wrong. Now scientists from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have reported that they have explained one of the great mysteries of the space age, one that loomed for 30 years as a threat to the credibility of Einsteinian gravity. The story starts with the Pioneer 10 and 11 space probes, which went past Jupiter and Saturn in...
  • At Long Last, Physicists Discover Famed Higgs Boson

    07/12/2012 12:46:07 PM PDT · by neverdem · 35 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 4 July 2012 | Adrian Cho
    Enlarge Image Twin peaks. Both the CMS (top) and the ATLAS (bottom) detectors see evidence of the Higgs boson decaying into a pair of photons in the form of a peak in a so-called mass plot. The agreement of the two peaks and other data clinch the discovery of the Higgs. Credit: CMS and ATLAS collaborations MEYRIN, SWITZERLAND—The long wait is over. Today, physicists working with the world's largest atom smasher here at the European particle physics laboratory, CERN, reported that they have discovered the long-sought Higgs boson—the last missing bit in their standard model of fundamental particles and...
  • American Accelerator's Last Hurrah: 99.8% Certainty God Particle is Found

    07/05/2012 8:30:21 AM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 42 replies
    Daily Tech ^ | July 3, 2012 7:58 PM | Jason Mick (Blog)
    Tevatron presents strong evidence Higgs boson was observed, but LHC needed to provide final verificationTomorrow, while America celebrates July 4, mankind worldwide may celebrate a separate momentous event -- the discovery of the legendary Higgs boson. I. Riding Into the Sunset -- Tevatron Goes Out With a Bang The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) will tomorrow hold a special press conference at 9 a.m.  The event will provide an update to the world on the progress in the search for the critical particle using the Large Hadron Collider, the largest and most expensive laboratory apparatus in history.  Many physicists...