Keyword: physics

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • Turning Pull Into Push?

    12/11/2012 4:19:15 PM PST · by neverdem · 2 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 10 December 2012 | Adrian Cho
    Enlarge Image Up and away. Whereas a point charge is always attracted to an underlying surface, a sideways moving line of charge can be repelled, one physicist calculates. Credit: Primož R. Ribič, Phys. Rev. Lett. (2012) It's textbook physics: An electric charge near the surface of a material gets pulled toward the surface. However, if the charge is spread out into the right shape and moves fast enough, that attraction becomes a repulsion, one physicist calculates. The odd finding could help physicists avoid unexpected effects when guiding beams of particles such as electrons. "At first I thought this was...
  • New Chemical Reaction Could Explain How Stars Form, Evolve, and Eventually Die

    12/08/2012 8:44:00 PM PST · by neverdem · 16 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | December 7, 2012 | NA
    University of North Dakota scientist Mark Hoffmann's version of Star Search goes a long way -- a very long way -- out into the universe. Hoffmann, a computational chemist, and his colleagues Tryve Helgaker, a well-known Norwegian scientist, and co-authors E.I. Tellgren and K. Lange, also working in Norway, have discovered a molecular-level interaction that science had puzzled over for decades but had never seen. That discovery, it turns out, may redefine how science views chemical compound formation. It also answers questions about what goes on in places like white dwarfs, the super dense cores of stars nearing the end...
  • We dont 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 electromagnetismone of the four fundamental forces in the universe, and harnessed in all electronic devicesmay 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
    Its 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-MoDoes 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 didnt 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 C. 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 Einsteins I Told You So

    07/24/2012 3:42:38 AM PDT · by neverdem · 49 replies
    NY Times ^ | July 23, 2012 | DENNIS OVERBYE
    Its 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, Einsteins cosmic speed limit; they discovered they had plugged in a cable wrong. Now scientists from NASAs 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...
  • God Particle is 'Found': Scientists at Cern Expected to Announce Higgs Boson Has Been Discovered

    07/03/2012 10:58:39 AM PDT · by lbryce · 13 replies
    Mail Online ^ | July 1, 2012 | Rob Cooper
    Full Title:God Particle is 'Found': Scientists at Cern Expected to Announce on Wednesday Higgs Boson Particle Has Been Discovered Scientists at Cern will announce that the elusive Higgs boson 'God Particle' has been found at a press conference next week, it is believed. Five leading theoretical physicists have been invited to the event on Wednesday - sparking speculation that the particle has been discovered. Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider are expected to say they are 99.99 per cent certain it has been found - which is known as 'four sigma' level. Peter Higgs, the Edinburgh University emeritus professor of...
  • Inflating the Evidence

    06/27/2012 8:49:56 PM PDT · by lasereye · 18 replies
    Institute for Creation Research ^ | 2007 | David F. Coppedge
    In their quest to disprove design in the universe, scientists have produced evermore speculative models of cosmology. Big Bang cosmology, for example, relies heavily on a process called inflation, an ad hoc speculation that remains highly controversial 26 years after it was first proposed. By the 1980s, cosmologists were struck by the homogeneity and flatness of our universe. In other words, matter appears to be uniformly distributed on a large scale, and the average density of matter in the universe is balanced against its expansion rate to a high degree of precision. These and other properties appear too finely tuned...
  • Wires turn salt water into freshwater

    06/10/2012 10:10:32 PM PDT · by Kevmo · 46 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | June 8, 2012 | Lisa Zyga
    June 8, 2012 by Lisa Zyga (Phys.org) -- As a rising global population and increasing standard of living drive demand for freshwater, many researchers are developing new techniques to desalinate salt water. Among them is a team of scientists from The Netherlands, who have shown how to transform brackish (moderately salty) water into potable freshwater using just a pair of wires and a small voltage that can be generated by a small solar cell. The simple technique has the potential to be more energy-efficient than other techniques because of the minimal amount of mixing between the treated and untreated...
  • Tabletop X-rays light up

    06/09/2012 12:14:48 PM PDT · by neverdem · 8 replies
    Nature News ^ | 08 June 2012 | Katherine Bourzac
    Compact device promises to open window on chemical reactions in the lab. The pressurized, cylindrical chamber fits in the palm of Margaret Murnane’s hand. Yet out of one end of the device comes an X-ray beam that packs almost as much punch as the light generated by massive particle accelerators. Murnane and Henry Kapteyn, both physicists at JILA in Boulder, Colorado, a joint institute of the University of Colorado and the US National Institute of Standards and Technology, have reported the first tabletop source of ultra-short, laser-like pulses of low energy, or ‘soft’, X-rays. The light, capable of probing the...
  • Giant black hole kicked out of home galaxy

    06/04/2012 11:22:44 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 38 replies
    http://phys.org ^ | June 04, 2012 | Provided by Chandra X-ray Center
    Astronomers have found strong evidence that a massive black hole is being ejected from its host galaxy at a speed of several million miles per hour. New observations from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory suggest that the black hole collided and merged with another black hole and received a powerful recoil kick from gravitational wave radiation. "It's hard to believe that a supermassive black hole weighing millions of times the mass of the sun could be moved at all, let alone kicked out of a galaxy at enormous speed," said Francesca Civano of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), who led...
  • Landmark calculation clears the way to answering how matter is formed

    05/28/2012 12:11:23 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 21 replies
    phys.org ^ | May 25, 2012 | Cindy Weiss
    May 25, 2012 By Cindy Weiss EnlargeThomas C. Blum, Associate Professor, Physics. Credit: Daniel Buttrey/UConn (Phys.org) -- An international collaboration of scientists, including Thomas Blum, associate professor of physics, is reporting in landmark detail the decay process of a subatomic particle called a kaon information that may help answer fundamental questions about how the universe began. Ads by GoogleSix Sigma Black Belt - Get Trained & Six Sigma Certified. Flexible, Top Program 100% online. - www.VillanovaU.com/SixSigmaThe research, reported online in the March 30, 2012 Physical Review Letters, used breakthrough techniques on some of the worlds fastest supercomputers to...
  • Symphony of science: The Quantum World

    05/27/2012 9:45:37 PM PDT · by Windflier · 46 replies
    YouTube ^ | September 2011 | John D Boswell
    A musical investigation into the nature of atoms and subatomic particles, the jiggly things that make up everything we see. Featuring Morgan Freeman, Stephen Hawking, Michio Kaku, Brian Cox, Richard Feynman, and Frank Close. "The Quantum World" is the eleventh installment in the ongoing Symphony of Science music video series. Track back to source website: Symphony of Science
  • Chinese Physicists Teleport Photons Over 100 Kilometers

    05/12/2012 7:52:50 PM PDT · by Innovative · 59 replies
    Popular Science ^ | May 11, 2012 | Dan Nosowitz
    Teleportation, sci-fi-y as it sounds, is actually not fictional or even new; two years ago, Chinese physicists broke the then-current record for quantum teleportation by teleporting photons over 10 miles. But a new effort from that same team demolishes that record, beaming the photons over 97 kilometers. The physicists, working from the University of Science and Technology of China in Shanghai, have again taken advantage of quantum entanglement for the purposes of moving an object from one place to another without ever moving in the space between. According to Technology Review, "The idea is not that the physical object is...
  • Freeman Dyson: Science on the Rampage

    05/09/2012 10:28:59 AM PDT · by neverdem · 37 replies
    New York Review of Books ^ | April 5, 2012 | Freeman Dyson
    Physics on the Fringe: Smoke Rings, Circlons, and Alternative Theories of Everything by Margaret Wertheim Walker, 323 pp., $27.00 Pierpont Morgan Library/Art Resource An engraving by William Blake from The Song of Los, 1795 Physics on the Fringe describes work done by amateurs, people rejected by the academic establishment and rejecting orthodox academic beliefs. They are often self-taught and ignorant of higher mathematics. Mathematics is the language spoken by the professionals. The amateurs offer an...
  • Giant Black Hole Shreds and Swallows Helpless Star

    05/03/2012 5:19:20 PM PDT · by neverdem · 45 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 2 May 2012 | Ken Croswell
    Enlarge Image Slaughtered star. A black hole (upper left) tears a helium-rich star to shreds. Credit: S. Gezari/Johns Hopkins University and J. Guillochon, UC Santa Cruz/NASA Some people seem born under an unlucky star. But some stars are equally unlucky themselves. Astronomers have spotted a star in another galaxy plunging toward a giant black hole and being ripped to shreds, sparking a flare so brilliant that observers detected it from a distance of 2.1 billion light-years. By watching the flare brighten and fade, scientists have achieved the unprecedented feat of reconstructing the life story of the doomed sun. Giant...
  • Graphene emits infrared light

    04/25/2012 11:44:33 PM PDT · by neverdem · 10 replies
    physicsworld.com ^ | Apr 25, 2012 | Belle Dum
    Physicists in the US have discovered yet another useful property of the wonder material graphene it can function much like a laser when excited with very short femtosecond light pulses. The team has shown that the material has two technologically important properties population inversion of electrons and optical gain. The findings suggest that graphene could be used to make a variety of optoelectronics devices, including broadband optical amplifiers, high-speed modulators, and absorbers for telecommunications and ultrafast lasers. Graphene is a sheet of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb-like lattice just one atom thick. Since its discovery in 2004,...
  • Magnetic fields can send particles to infinity....[and beyond!]

    04/18/2012 1:17:03 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 30 replies
    http://phys.org ^ | 04-17-2012 | Provided by FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
    Researchers from the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM, Spain) have mathematically shown that particles charged in a magnetic field can escape into infinity without ever stopping. One of the conditions is that the field is generated by current loops situated on the same plane. At the moment this is a theoretical mathematical study, but two researchers from UCM have recently proved that, in certain conditions, magnetic fields can send particles to infinity, according to the study published in the journal Quarterly of Applied Mathematics. "If a particle 'escapes' to infinity it means two things: that it will never stop, and...
  • Serious blow to dark matter theories? New study finds mysterious lack of dark matter...

    04/18/2012 12:11:06 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 58 replies
    http://phys.org ^ | 04-18-2012 | Provided by ESO
    Full title: Serious blow to dark matter theories? New study finds mysterious lack of dark matter in Sun's neighborhood The most accurate study so far of the motions of stars in the Milky Way has found no evidence for dark matter in a large volume around the Sun. According to widely accepted theories, the solar neighbourhood was expected to be filled with dark matter, a mysterious invisible substance that can only be detected indirectly by the gravitational force it exerts. But a new study by a team of astronomers in Chile has found that these theories just do not fit...
  • Mysterious Particle Found After Decades of Searching (Majorana fermion)

    04/17/2012 12:16:44 PM PDT · by presidio9 · 16 replies
    Live Science ^ | April 17, 2012 | Jesse Emspak
    An elusive particle that is its own antiparticle may have been found, and, if confirmed, would be the first time a phenomenon predicted decades ago has been seen in a real system. Some researchers suggest that in the future, this mysterious particle called a Majorana fermion could be useful in carrying bits of information in quantum computers. In a paper published in the journal Science Thursday, Vincent Mourikand Leo P. Kouwenhoven said they were able to make the Majorana fermions appear by exposing a small circuit to a magnetic field. Until now, the only suggestion of the particle's existence was...
  • Nanomachines could benefit from superlubricity

    04/11/2012 11:16:01 PM PDT · by neverdem · 5 replies
    Physics World ^ | Apr 5, 2012 | Jon Cartwright
    Researchers in China and Australia have observed superlubricity the dropping of friction to near zero on length scales much larger than before. They say that the phenomenon, which they measured in sheared pieces of graphite, could find applications in sensitive microscopic resonators or nanoscale gyroscopes. Superlubricity is sometimes used to mean simply very low friction, but the original meaning is that the friction between two surfaces disappears almost completely. Proposed in the early 1990s by Motohisa Hirano, then at the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation in Tokyo, Japan, and others, it relies on a special arrangement of atoms...
  • Plasma Flashlight Zaps Bacteria

    04/07/2012 11:17:23 PM PDT · by neverdem · 19 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 4 April 2012 | Jon Cartwright
    Enlarge Image Light therapy . A portable plasma flashlight can kill bacteria in minutes. (Credit: X. Pei et al., Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics) Credit: X. Pei et al., Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics (2012) Killing harmful bacteria in hospitals is difficult; out in the field, it can be an even bigger problem. Now, researchers may have a means for remote disinfection in a portable "flashlight" that shines a ray of cold plasma to kill bacteria in minutes. Medical scientists have high hopes for plasmas. Produced in electrical discharges, these gases of free electrons and ions have...
  • A star explodes and turns inside out

    04/04/2012 10:34:51 PM PDT · by U-238 · 10 replies
    Astronomy Magazine ^ | 3/4/2012 | Chandra X-ray Center
    A new X-ray study of the remains of an exploded star indicates that the supernova that disrupted the massive star may have turned it inside out in the process. Using long observations of Cassiopeia A (Cas A), a team of scientists has mapped the distribution elements in the supernova remnant in unprecedented detail. This information shows where the different layers of the pre-supernova star are located 300 years after the explosion, and provides insight into the nature of the supernova. The artists illustration shows a simplified picture of the inner layers of the star that formed Cas A just before...
  • How black holes grow

    04/03/2012 11:31:22 PM PDT · by U-238 · 19 replies
    Astronomy Magazine ^ | 3/3/2012 | University of Utah, Salt Lake City
    A study led by a University of Utah astrophysicist found a new explanation for the growth of supermassive black holes in the center of most galaxies: They repeatedly capture and swallow single stars from pairs of stars that wander too close. Using new calculations and previous observations of our Milky Way and other galaxies, We found black holes grow enormously as a result of sucking in captured binary star partners, said Ben Bromley from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. I believe this has got to be the dominant method for growing supermassive black holes, he said. There...
  • New data support Einstein on accelerating universe

    04/03/2012 1:00:38 AM PDT · by U-238 · 59 replies
    Science News ^ | 2/2/2012 | Elizabeth Quill
    Einstein is still the boss, say researchers with the BOSS project for measuring key properties of the universe. BOSS, for Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey, has measured the distance to faraway galaxies more precisely than ever before, mapping the universe as it existed roughly 6 billion years ago, when it was only 63 percent of its current size. The findings suggest that the mysterious dark energy causing the universe to expand at an accelerating rate was foreseen by Einstein, the researchers reported April 1 at the American Physical Society meeting. To keep the universe in a static state, Einstein added a...
  • Scientists Manipulate Electrons Into Material Never Seen on Earth

    03/29/2012 9:51:24 PM PDT · by neverdem · 10 replies
    gizmodo.com ^ | Mar 14, 2012 | Kristen Philipkoski
    Stanford scientists have created designer electrons that behave as if they were exposed to a magnetic field of 60 Teslaa force 30 percent stronger than anything ever sustained on Earth. The work could lead to a revolution in the materials that make everything from video displays to airplanes to mobile phones. "The behavior of electrons in materials is at the heart of essentially all of today's technologies," said Hari Manoharan, associate professor of physics at Stanford and a member of SLAC's Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences, who led the research. "We're now able to tune the fundamental properties...
  • Physicists find patterns in new state of matter

    03/29/2012 4:45:02 PM PDT · by U-238 · 20 replies
    Physorg.com ^ | 3/29/2012 | Physorg.com
    In a paper published in the March 29 issue of the journal Nature, the scientists describe the emergence of spontaneous coherence, spin textures and phase singularities when excitonsthe bound pairs of electrons and holes that determine the optical properties of semiconductors and enable them to function as novel optoelectronic devicesare cooled to near absolute zero. This cooling leads to the spontaneous production of a new coherent state of matter which the physicists were finally able to measure in great detail in their basement laboratory at UC San Diego at a temperature of only one-tenth of a degree above absolute zero....
  • Pulsars: The universe's gift to physics

    03/28/2012 8:26:40 PM PDT · by U-238 · 13 replies
    Astronomy Magazine ^ | 2/20/2012 | NRAO
    Pulsars, superdense neutron stars, are perhaps the most extraordinary physics laboratories in the universe. Research on these extreme and exotic objects already has produced two Nobel Prizes. Pulsar researchers now are poised to learn otherwise-unavailable details of nuclear physics to test general relativity in conditions of extremely strong gravity, and to directly detect gravitational waves with a telescope nearly the size of our galaxy. Neutron stars are the remnants of massive stars that exploded as supernovae. They pack more than the mass of the Sun into a sphere no larger than a medium-sized city, making them the densest objects in...
  • New device invisible to magnetic fields

    03/24/2012 11:19:51 PM PDT · by U-238 · 26 replies · 1+ views
    Defense Talk ^ | 3/24/2012 | Defense Talk
    European researchers said Thursday they have created a device invisible to a static magnetic field that could have practical military and medical applications. Fedor Gomory and colleagues in Slovakia and Spain designed a cloak for a direct current, or dc, magnetic field that is static and produced by a permanent magnet or coil carrying a direct current. DC magnetic fields are used in MRI imaging devices, in hospitals and in security systems, such as those in airports. The researchers' device, described in a study in Friday's edition of the journal Science, features a cylinder with two concentric layers. While the...
  • Will Space Battles Be Fought with Laser Weapons?

    03/22/2012 1:34:51 AM PDT · by U-238 · 33 replies · 2+ views
    Life's Little Mysteries ^ | 3/16/2012 | Adam Hadhazy
    What would science fiction be without laser beams? From handheld ray guns to spaceship-mounted turbolasers, the futuristic weapon of choice definitely involves bright, colorful blasts of energy. In the early 21st century, projectiles still remain the standard means of inflicting damage from a distance. Yet continued research into "directed-energy" weapons by the United States military, among others, could someday bring lasers to a battlefield near you. Lasers are already used in guidance, targeting and communication applications, but significant technological obstacles stand in front of turning them into weapons by themselves. For certain niche scenarios, lasers might prove themselves ideal. It...
  • ScienceShot: Crystal Clear Nano-Gold

    03/21/2012 11:06:30 PM PDT · by neverdem · 9 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | Robert F. Service | 21 March 2012
    Credit: Image courtesy of Nature Press Superman has nothing on Jianwei Miao, at least in the vision department. Miao, a physicist at the University of California, Los Angeles, and his colleagues have developed a way to image any type of nanoparticle with unprecedented accuracy. In the picture above, the technique, called electron tomography, shows a gold nanoparticle made up of 3871 atoms. Inside the nanoparticle, the researchers could easily resolve multiple "grains" (green, gold, blue, and red) in which atoms in each grain share a common atomic alignment that is offset from neighboring grains. The technique also manages to...
  • The Science of Rail Guns

    03/20/2012 9:44:57 PM PDT · by U-238 · 43 replies
    i09 ^ | 3/20/2012 | Keith Veronese
    Ubiquitous in science fiction, rail guns are a hot area of military research in real life too. But will we ever really get to use them the way people in science fiction do? And could rail guns be used for a non-violent reason inexpensively launching payload into space? Halo Reach ends with your Spartan taking up a mounted rail gun to destroy an incoming Covenant ship. Rail guns are the basis for a funny aside in Mass Effect 2. They're used in Babylon 5 and Stargate Atlantis and The Last Starfighter. And they're a devastating hand-held weapon in the...
  • Recovering three-dimensional shape around a corner using ultrafast time-of-flight imaging

    03/20/2012 2:48:27 PM PDT · by Stoat · 4 replies · 2+ views
    Nature ^ | March 20, 2012 | Andreas Velten, et al
    The recovery of objects obscured by scattering is an important goal in imaging and has been approached by exploiting, for example, coherence properties, ballistic photons or penetrating wavelengths. Common methods use scattered light transmitted through an occluding material, although these fail if the occluder is opaque. Light is scattered not only by transmission through objects, but also by multiple reflection from diffuse surfaces in a scene. This reflected light contains information about the scene that becomes mixed by the diffuse reflections before reaching the image sensor. This mixing is difficult to decode using traditional cameras. Here we report the combination...
  • Retest of neutrino speed suggests Einstein was right, after all

    03/19/2012 4:22:37 PM PDT · by U-238 · 16 replies · 1+ views
    Christian Science Monitor ^ | 3/19/2012 | By Clara Moskowi
    Six months after physicists shocked the world by announcing they'd found particles seemingly traveling faster than light, the growing scientific consensus seems to be that the results were flawed. Neutrinos are the vampires of physics. Researchers at the ICARUS project in Italy have recreated an independent version of the original Switzerland-based experiment, called OPERA, and found that their particles traveled at a respectable, sub-light speed. Though the results don't automatically disprove OPERA's findings, they add to most scientists' sense that the shocking finding was an anomaly "The evidence is beginning to point towards the OPERA result being an artifact of...