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Keyword: physics

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  • Astrophysics: Fire in the hole! (Black hole firewalls, relativity vs. quantum mechanics)

    04/05/2013 5:46:23 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 24 replies
    Nature ^ | 4/3/13 | Zeeya Merali
    n March 2012, Joseph Polchinski began to contemplate suicide — at least in mathematical form. A string theorist at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara, California, Polchinski was pondering what would happen to an astronaut who dived into a black hole. Obviously, he would die. But how? According to the then-accepted account, he wouldn’t feel anything special at first, even when his fall took him through the black hole’s event horizon: the invisible boundary beyond which nothing can escape. But eventually — after hours, days or even weeks if the black hole was big enough — he...
  • News in Brief: Highlights from the American Physical Society meeting

    03/26/2013 1:17:40 AM PDT · by neverdem · 2 replies
    Science News ^ | March 25, 2013 | Science News Staff
    Nanocrystals slither through tiny tubes Nothing can squeeze through tight spaces quite like a nanocrystal. Physicists watched a small iron crystal slide through a tube with an opening less than half the diameter of the crystal itself. The finding could lead to remotely controlled nanomachines that navigate through confined quarters. Using an electric field, the researchers drove an iron crystal 12 nanometers in diameter through a carbon nanotube like a train in a tunnel. The surprise came when the tube constricted to 5 nanometers in diameter: The iron nanocrystal altered its shape and squeezed through. Microscope images showed that the...
  • In praise of … Higgs boson

    03/15/2013 1:00:02 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 24 replies
    Guardian (UK) ^ | Thursday 14 March 2013 | Editorial
    The vanishingly small speck whose spin has been confirmed as being Higgs-like ought to be regarded with aweImage removed,...see article website Traces of proton collisions at Cern during the search for the Higgs boson. Photograph: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty ImagesIt is a subatomic point where hard science meets myth and mystery, so much about the Higgs boson gets mangled in the telling. It is not, as is sometimes claimed, the sole source of matter's heft – Einstein taught us that mass and energy are two sides of the same coin, so there is (ahem) no such massive hole for a tiny particle...
  • Higgs Boson Positively Identified

    03/15/2013 12:12:53 AM PDT · by neverdem · 30 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 14 March 2013 | Adrian Cho
    Enlarge Image Plainly. An event display shows a Higgs candidate decaying to four electrons in the ATLAS detector. New measurements confirm that the Higgs is a Higgs. Credit: ATLAS Collaboration/CERN Eight months ago, physicists working with the world's biggest atom smasher—Europe's Large Hadron Collider (LHC)—created a sensation when they reported that they had discovered a particle that appeared to be the long-sought Higgs boson, the last missing piece in their standard model of particles and forces. Today, those researchers reported that the particle does indeed have the basic predicted properties of the standard model Higgs boson, clinching the identification....
  • Physicists say they have found a Higgs boson

    03/14/2013 5:32:41 AM PDT · by PapaBear3625 · 73 replies
    AP, via Drudge ^ | March 14, 2013 | AP
    GENEVA (AP) - Physicists said Thursday they are now confident they have discovered a crucial subatomic particle known as a Higgs boson - a major discovery that will go a long ways toward helping them explain why the universe is the way it is. They made the statement following study of the data gathered last year from the world's largest atom-smasher, which lies beneath the Swiss-French border outside Geneva. The European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, said that what they found last year was, indeed, a version of what is popularly referred to as the "God particle."
  • Source of High-Energy Cosmic Rays Nailed at Last

    02/14/2013 5:06:17 PM PST · by neverdem · 10 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 14 February 2013 | Daniel Clery
    Enlarge Image Ray maker. The "Jellyfish nebula" (IC 443) and another supernova remnant gave researchers firm evidence that cosmic rays come from exploding stars. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA For the past century, physicists have puzzled over cosmic rays, particles (mostly protons) that hurtle through space at high speed and seem to come from all directions equally. What's the source of these galactic projectiles? And how do they come to be traveling so fast? Today, an international team announced a major step toward answering those questions: conclusive evidence that at least some of the cosmic rays come from supernova remnants—expanding shells of...
  • Nuclear detectives sniff out North Korea - Radioisotopes may provide key details on nuclear test.

    02/13/2013 2:50:15 AM PST · by neverdem · 4 replies
    Nature News ^ | 12 February 2013 | Geoff Brumfiel
    With this morning's announcement by North Korea that it has conducted its third nuclear test, experts are closely watching a network of seismic monitoring stations for hints of what sort of test it was. Ratios of radioisotopes could help to verify the explosion and perhaps even provide clues about the type of device detonated — but only if the radioactive gases can be identified before they decay. Seismic stations detected the underground blast at 9:57 a.m. local time. The data, from the US Geological Survey and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), showed a sudden, strong...
  • The Rise and Fall of Nikola Tesla and his Tower

    02/06/2013 6:44:07 PM PST · by nickcarraway · 72 replies
    Smithsonian ^ | February 4, 2013
    By the end of his brilliant and tortured life, the Serbian physicist, engineer and inventor Nikola Tesla was penniless and living in a small New York City hotel room. He spent days in a park surrounded by the creatures that mattered most to him—pigeons—and his sleepless nights working over mathematical equations and scientific problems in his head. That habit would confound scientists and scholars for decades after he died, in 1943. His inventions were designed and perfected in his imagination. Tesla believed his mind to be without equal, and he wasn’t above chiding his contemporaries, such as Thomas Edison, who...
  • Magnetic Sun Produces Hot Hot Heat

    02/02/2013 10:17:37 PM PST · by neverdem · 24 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 23 January 2013 | Sid Perkins
    Enlarge Image A picture of heat. A high-resolution image of the solar atmosphere at extreme ultraviolet wavelengths (right) reveals details of magnetic processes (middle and lower left; bright features denote intense energy release) likely providing much of the energy that heats the corona to temperatures ranging from 2 million°C to 4 million°C. The upper-left image denotes a region seen in close-up at right. Credit: Amy Winebarger/MSFC/NASA If you thought the exterior of the sun was hot, check out its corona. Although our star's visible surface is less than 6000°C, its atmosphere blazes at up to 4 million°C. Now, thanks...
  • Proton's radius revised downward - Surprise measurement may point to new physics

    01/25/2013 11:04:41 PM PST · by neverdem · 43 replies
    Science News ^ | January 24, 2013 | Andrew Grant
    Only in physics can a few quintillionths of a meter be cause for uneasy excitement. A new measurement finds that the proton is about 4 percent smaller than previous experiments suggest. The study, published in the Jan. 25 issue of Science, has physicists cautiously optimistic that the discrepancy between experiments will lead to the discovery of new particles or forces. “Poking at small effects you can’t explain can be a way of unraveling a much bigger piece of physics,” says Carl Carlson, a theoretical physicist at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., who was not involved in...
  • The Marvelous Marie Curie

    01/18/2013 12:29:18 AM PST · by neverdem · 23 replies
    The New Atlantis ^ | Fall 2012 | Algis Valiunas
    Marie Curie (1867–1934) is not only the most important woman scientist ever; she is arguably the most important scientist all told since Darwin. Einstein? In theoretical brilliance he outshone her — but her breakthroughs, by Einstein’s own account, made his possible. She took part in the discovery of radioactivity, a term she coined; she identified it as an atomic property of certain elements. When scoffers challenged these discoveries, she meticulously determined the atomic weight of the radioactive element she had revealed to the world, radium, and thereby placed her work beyond serious doubt. Yet many male scientists of her day...
  • Quantum gas goes below absolute zero - Ultracold atoms pave way for negative-Kelvin materials.

    01/03/2013 11:44:46 PM PST · by neverdem · 36 replies
    Nature News ^ | 03 January 2013 | Zeeya Merali
    It may sound less likely than hell freezing over, but physicists have created an atomic gas with a sub-absolute-zero temperature for the first time1. Their technique opens the door to generating negative-Kelvin materials and new quantum devices, and it could even help to solve a cosmological mystery. Lord Kelvin defined the absolute temperature scale in the mid-1800s in such a way that nothing could be colder than absolute zero. Physicists later realized that the absolute temperature of a gas is related to the average energy of its particles. Absolute zero corresponds to the theoretical state in which particles have no...
  • Higgs boson having an identity crisis

    12/26/2012 7:34:06 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    New Scientist ^ | December 13, 2012 | Michael Slezak
    ...The latest results from the ATLAS detector at the LHC suggest that when we look at its decay into two photons, we find that the new boson's mass is about 3 gigaelectronvolts greater than when calculated from its decay into particles called Z bosons. Albert De Roeck, one of the key Higgs hunters at ATLAS's sibling detector, CMS, finds this puzzling. "The results are barely consistent," he says... The ATLAS team also announced new results from analysing the Higgs boson's rate of decay into pairs of photons. The standard model of particle physics predicts exactly how often this should happen....
  • Why the long-supported quantum electrodynamics theory might need some rethinking

    12/21/2012 11:05:27 AM PST · by null and void · 38 replies
    Electronic Products ^ | 12/3/12 | Jeffrey Bausch
    Recent observations prove revisions might be necessary for long support theory Data gathered by a team at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NSIT) suggest that certain aspects of the highly regarded quantum electrodynamics theory might require some revising.Observations made with the NSITÂ’s electron beam ion trap have led to questions regarding the accuracy of the quantum electrodynamics theory. What the group discovered, via the NSITÂ’s Electron Beam Ion Trap, is that ions with a strongly positive charge can display electrons that behave in ways inconsistent with what the theory suggests should happen. About the quantum electrodynamics theory The...
  • Physicists extend entanglement in Einstein experiment

    12/14/2012 6:11:59 PM PST · by neverdem · 17 replies | December 6, 2012 by | Lisa Zyga
    Copyright 2012 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of Here's the link.
  • Researchers discover fastest light-driven process

    12/14/2012 3:04:56 PM PST · by neverdem · 13 replies ^ | December 5, 2012 | NA
    A discovery that promises transistors – the fundamental part of all modern electronics – controlled by laser pulses that will be 10,000 faster than today's fastest transistors has been made by a Georgia State University professor and international researchers. Professor of Physics Mark Stockman worked with Professor Vadym Apalkov of Georgia State and a group led by Ferenc Krausz at the prestigious Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics and other well-known German institutions.There are three basic types of solids: metals, semiconductors, used in today's transistors, and insulators – also called dielectrics.Dielectrics do not conduct electricity and get damaged or break...
  • Mitsubishi Reports Toyota Replication [of Iwamura's LENR transmutation of elements]

    12/12/2012 4:54:03 PM PST · by TXnMA · 166 replies
    New Energy Times ^ | December 7, 2012 | Steve Krivit
    Dec. 7, 2012 – By Steven B. Krivit – Researchers from Toyota Central Research and Development Laboratories performed an independent replication of a Mitsubishi low-energy nuclear reaction transmutation experiment, according to a physicist from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries speaking at the American Nuclear Society LENR session on Nov. 14 in San Diego, Calif. The physicist, Yasuhiro Iwamura, told the ANS audience that the Toyota researchers confirmed that nuclear changes from one element to another took place without the use of high-energy nuclear physics. Most scientists who have not followed this field closely consider such profound claims inconceivable. Toyota used a LENR...
  • Caltech engineers invent light-focusing device

    12/13/2012 10:22:21 PM PST · by neverdem · 18 replies ^ | December 7, 2012 | NA
    EnlargeEngineers at Caltech have created a device (illustrated here) that can focus light into a point just a few nanometers (billionths of a meter) across -- an achievement they say may lead to next-generation applications in computing, communications, and imaging. Credit: Young-Hee Lee (—As technology advances, it tends to shrink. From cell phones to laptops—powered by increasingly faster and tinier processors—everything is getting thinner and sleeker. And now light beams are getting smaller, too. Engineers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have created a device that can focus light into a point just a few nanometers (billionths of a...
  • 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...