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Keyword: physics

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  • Physicists Measure the Skin of a Nucleus

    03/03/2012 9:41:05 PM PST · by neverdem · 20 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 2 March 2012 | Adrian Cho
    Enlarge Image Nuclear dermatology clinic. The vessel containing the lead sample in the PREX experiment (left) and the massive spectrometers used to detect the electrons scattered from the lead nuclei and measure the nuclei's skin. Credit: Photos Courtesy of Robert Michaels A large atomic nucleus is like a chocolate truffle with a gooey interior and a harder shell. Inside, the nucleus contains a mixture of protons and neutrons. Outside, it's covered with a nearly pure layer of neutrons—the "neutron skin." Now, for the first time, nuclear physicists have measured the thickness of that skin in a fairly direct way....
  • Official Word on Superluminal Neutrinos Leaves Warp-Drive Fans a Shred of Hope—Barely

    02/29/2012 4:45:22 PM PST · by neverdem · 13 replies · 1+ views
    ScienceInsider ^ | 24 February 2012 | Edwin Cartlidge
    The CERN particle physics laboratory in Geneva has confirmed Wednesday's report that a loose fiber-optic cable may be behind measurements that seemed to show neutrinos outpacing the speed of light. But the lab also says another glitch could have caused the experiment to underestimate the particles' speed. In a statement based on an earlier press release from the OPERA collaboration, CERN said two possible "effects" may have influenced the anomalous measurements. One of them, due to a possible faulty connection between the fiber-optic cable bringing the GPS signals to OPERA and the detector's master clock, would have caused the experiment...
  • What Would Happen If You Shot a Gun In Space?

    02/25/2012 3:43:56 PM PST · by U-238 · 142 replies · 1+ views
    Life Little Mysteries ^ | 2/17/2010 | Natalie Wolchover
    Fires can't burn in the oxygen-free vacuum of space, but guns can shoot. Modern ammunition contains its own oxidizer, a chemical that will trigger the explosion of gunpowder, and thus the firing of a bullet, wherever you are in the universe. No atmospheric oxygen required. The only difference between pulling the trigger on Earth and in space is the shape of the resulting smoke trail. In space, "it would be an expanding sphere of smoke from the tip of the barrel," said Peter Schultz an astronomer at Brown University who researches impact craters. The possibility of gunfire in space allows...
  • The Unusual Physics of Floating Pyramids

    02/17/2012 2:53:08 PM PST · by neverdem · 8 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 7 February 2012 | Kate McAlpine
    Enlarge Image Heavy bass. This subwoofer plays a constant beat that pumps the air up and down inside the wind tunnel. The diffusers allow air to flow without turbulence so that the paper pyramid floats inside. Credit: Bin Liu Think that floating pyramids are more metaphysics than physics? Think again. Results just in from an experiment that levitated open-bottomed paper pyramids on gusts of air reveal a curious phenomenon: When it comes to drifting through the air, top-heavy designs are more stable than bottom-heavy ones. The finding may lead to robots that fly not like insects or birds but...
  • Hot Idea for a Faster Hard Drive

    02/16/2012 8:16:39 PM PST · by neverdem · 29 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 7 February 2012 | Jim Heirbaut
    Enlarge Image Laser-induced switching. Experimental images showing two small domains with magnetic orientation up (white) and down (black). Each laser pulse reverses the direction repeatedly. Credit: Johan Mentink; Richard Evans (inset) An ultrashort heat pulse can predictably flip a bit in a magnetic memory like the one in your hard drive. The surprising effect could ultimately lead to magnetic memories hundreds of times faster and more energy efficient than today's hard drives. It also provides a way to control the direction in which a bit is magnetized without applying something else that has a direction, such as a magnetic...
  • 5 of the biggest unsolved mysteries in physics

    01/31/2012 2:06:57 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 69 replies · 1+ views
    Yahoo ^ | 1/31/12 | Tecca - Today in Tech
    The mysteries of the universe are as vast and wide as existence itself. Throughout history, mankind has searched and struggled to find the answers tucked away inside the universe and everything we see around us. .. True, we have yet to come up with the answers to life, the universe, and everything — but oh do we have questions! Solving these mysteries may help to explain not only the creation of the universe, but also how it works, why it works, and possibly how it will end. 1. The Higgs boson The Higgs boson is a hypothetical particle whose accompanying...
  • Stripped down spectroscopy to probe single molecules

    01/16/2012 10:20:22 PM PST · by neverdem · 8 replies · 1+ views
    Chemistry World ^ | 16 January 2012 | Kate McAlpine
    Spectroscopy, a key method of identifying atoms and molecules with light, has been taken to its most fundamental level - a single photon absorbed by a single molecule. In addition to paving the way toward new experiments that observe the interaction between light and matter at its most basic level, the researchers that accomplished the feat suggest that their technique could also work with other photon-emitters, including those under study for quantum communication.Spectroscopy works by finding the frequencies of light that will put an atom or molecule into an excited state - these comprise the chemical's unique absorption and emission...
  • Any other fans out there of "Fabric of the Cosmos?"

    01/07/2012 4:45:46 AM PST · by PJ-Comix · 40 replies
    Self | January 6, 2012 | PJ-Comix
    Are there any other fans of FABRIC OF THE COSMOS out there? I found it to be perhaps the most fascinating science show ever produced. The information in the show is nothing less than stunning and definitely changed my view of the universe. Some of the information is so stunning that it is hard to comprehend. But guess what? Even physicists have a hard time getting their minds around it. And an oatmeal cookie to the first person who can post who the major backer of this series is.
  • CO Driver Killed By Branch Steered Car To Safety

    01/01/2012 6:04:21 PM PST · by edpc · 14 replies
    AP via Yahoo News ^ | 1 Jan 2012 | AP
    BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — A Colorado man who was killed when a 3-foot tree branch flew through his windshield and impaled him in the chest was able to steer the car to safety before losing consciousness. The wife of 61-year-old James Baker-Jarvis told the Daily Camera (http://goo.gl/WsaHg ) that her husband was able to pull the Subaru Outback over to the roadside, saving her from any injury. Baker-Jarvis died later at a hospital.
  • Has the 'God Particle' Been Found? Major Announcement Expected Tuesday

    12/13/2011 8:13:39 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 27 replies
    Fox News ^ | 12/13/2011
    The world of physics is abuzz with speculation over an announcement expected Tuesday, Dec. 13, from the CERN laboratory in Geneva -- home of the world's largest particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The announcement, planned for 8 a.m. EST, will address the status of the search for the elusive Higgs boson particle, sometimes called the "God Particle" because of its importance to science This particle, which has long been theorized but never detected, is thought to give all other particles mass. Scientists at the LHC have been hoping that when protons inside the machine collide together at extremely...
  • Physicists Anxiously Await New Data on ‘God Particle’

    12/12/2011 10:28:18 PM PST · by neverdem · 11 replies
    NY Times ^ | December 11, 2011 | DENNIS OVERBYE
    High noon is approaching for the biggest manhunt in the history of physics. At 8 a.m. Eastern time on Tuesday morning, scientists from CERN, the European Center for Nuclear Research, are scheduled to give a progress report on the search for the Higgs boson — infamously known as the “God particle” — whose discovery would vindicate the modern theory of how elementary particles get mass. The report comes amid rumors that the two competing armies of scientists sifting debris from hundreds of trillions of proton collisions in CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, or L.H.C., outside Geneva, have both finally seen hints...
  • From Edison’s Trunk, Direct Current Gets Another Look

    11/20/2011 9:56:06 PM PST · by neverdem · 90 replies
    NY Times ^ | November 17, 2011 | MICHAEL KANELLOS
    Thomas Edison and his direct current, or DC, technology lost the so-called War of the Currents to alternating current, or AC, in the 1890s after it became clear that AC was far more efficient at transmitting electricity over long distances. Today, AC is still the standard for the electricity that comes out of our wall sockets. But DC is staging a roaring comeback in pockets of the electrical grid. Alstom, ABB, Siemens and other conglomerates are erecting high-voltage DC grids to carry gigawatts of electricity from wind farms in remote places like western China and the North Sea to faraway...
  • Particle Smasher Hints at Physics Breakthrough

    11/19/2011 9:58:30 PM PST · by neverdem · 11 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 17 November 2011 | Jon Cartwright
    Enlarge Image Standing proud. The LHCb experiment has uncovered hints of "new physics," but will its results hold up? Credit: CERN In late 2008, a few onlookers believed that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) would bring the end of the world. Three years later, our planet remains intact, but the European particle smasher may have made its first crack in modern physics. If this crack turns out to be real, it might help explain an enduring mystery of the universe: why there's lots of normal matter, but hardly any of the opposite—antimatter. "If it holds up, it's exciting," says...
  • Cosmic Origins - Trailer

    11/18/2011 6:23:25 PM PST · by firerosemom · 18 replies
    Magis Institute for Reason and Faith ^ | Spring 2012 release | Magis Institute for Reason and Faith
    There is extensive evidence from physics for a beginning and fine-tuning of the universe. When the complementary nature of these insights is seen, it provides compelling evidence for a transcendent, intelligent Creator. Cosmic Origins features eight world-class physicists talking about modern physics and God. They include Nobel Laureate Arno Penzias (who discovered the background radiation from the Big Bang); Templeton Prize winners John Polkinghorne (Cambridge) and Michael Heller (Vatican Observatory); Owen Gingerich (Harvard); Lisa Randall (Harvard); Jennifer Wiseman (NASA); and narrated by Stephen Barr (University of Delaware).
  • 2nd test affirms faster-than-light particles

    11/18/2011 11:53:59 AM PST · by TN4Liberty · 105 replies
    CBSnews.com ^ | November 18, 2011 | Brian Vastag
    A second experiment at the European facility that reported subatomic particles zooming faster than the speed of light -- stunning the world of physics -- has reached the same result, scientists said late Thursday. The "positive outcome of the [second] test makes us more confident in the result," said Fernando Ferroni, president of the Italian Institute for Nuclear Physics, in a statement released late Thursday. Ferroni is one of 160 physicists involved in the international collaboration known as OPERA (Oscillation Project with Emulsion Tracking Apparatus) that performed the experiment. While the second experiment "has made an important test of consistency...
  • World's Lightest Solid Takes Inspiration From Eiffel Tower

    11/18/2011 10:04:41 AM PST · by edpc · 25 replies · 1+ views
    Live Science via Yahoo News ^ | 18 Nov 2011 | Charles Choi
    A metallic lattice of hair-thin pipes is now the lightest solid yet created — less dense than air, scientists revealed. The strategy used to create these intricate structures could lead to revolutionary materials of extraordinary strength and lightness, including ones made of diamond, researchers added. Ultra-lightweight materials such as foams are widely used in thermal insulation and to dampen sounds, vibrations and shocks. They can also serve as scaffolds for battery electrodes and catalytic systems.
  • Proof found for unifying quantum principle: Twenty-three-year-old conjecture set to guide...

    11/16/2011 5:53:30 PM PST · by neverdem · 31 replies
    Nature News ^ | 14 November 2011 | Eugenie Samuel Reich
    Twenty-three-year-old conjecture set to guide future quantum field theories. When John Cardy proposed a far-reaching principle to constrain all possible theories of quantum particles and fields1, he expected it to be quickly rebutted. But for almost 25 years that hasn’t happened — and it now seems that his theorem may have been quietly proved earlier this year. If the solution holds, it is likely to guide future attempts to explain physics beyond the current standard model. It will certainly have implications for any previously unknown particles that may be discovered at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, Europe’s particle...
  • Using Light to Flip a Tiny Mechanical Switch by on

    10/26/2011 12:03:16 PM PDT · by neverdem · 8 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 23 October 2011 | Adrian Cho
    Enlarge Image Flipping brilliant! Using only light, scientists can switch this little bridge of silicon between its "bowed up" configuration (top) and its "bowed down" configuration. Credit: M. Bagheri et al., Nature Nanotechnology, Advance Online Publication (2011) The feeble force of light alone can flip a nanometer-sized mechanical switch one way or the other, a team of electrical engineers reports. The little gizmo holds its position without power and at room temperature, so it might someday make a memory bit for an optical computer. Other researchers say it also introduces a promising new twist into the hot field of...
  • Finding puts brakes on faster-than-light neutrinos

    10/21/2011 10:47:39 AM PDT · by neverdem · 23 replies
    Nature News ^ | 20 October 2011 | Eugenie Samuel Reich
    An independent experiment confirms that subatomic particles have wrong energy spectrum for superluminal travel. The claim that neutrinos can travel faster than light has been given a knock by an independent experiment. On 17 October, the Imaging Cosmic and Rare Underground Signals (ICARUS) collaboration submitted a paper1 to the preprint server arXiv.org, in which it offered a rebuttal of claims2 to have clocked subatomic particles called neutrinos travelling faster than the speed of light. The original results were published on 22 September by the Oscillation Project with Emulsion-Tracking Apparatus (OPERA) experiment. Both experiments are based at Gran Sasso National Laboratory...
  • Space Weather Forecasters Get Serious

    10/21/2011 1:30:58 AM PDT · by neverdem · 5 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 20 October 2011 | Richard A. Kerr
    Enlarge Image Watch out! A new forecast model simulates the approach of a coronal mass ejection (boomerang of color) to Earth (green dot) that would trigger a solar storm. Credit: Space Weather Prediction Center/NOAA It took a while, but space physicists who predict immense balls of solar debris smashing into Earth have finally caught up with their brethren who forecast terrestrial weather. Rather than simply relying on rules of thumb, space weather forecasters have begun running a computer model that actually simulates the development of conditions between the sun and Earth. They're following the lead of atmospheric weather forecasters,...
  • Quantum levitating (locking) video goes viral

    10/19/2011 7:01:34 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 36 replies
    http://www.physorg.com ^ | 18 October 2011 | Bob Yirka
    A video created by researchers at Tel Aviv University in Israel has the Internet buzzing. Though rather simple, it just looks really cool, hence all the attention. It’s a demonstration of quantum locking, though to non-science buffs, it looks more like science fiction come to life. In the video a disc, obviously frozen due to the vapor rising from its surface hovers over a surface. This is nothing new of course, everyone’s seen it in science class. What is new is that when the demonstrator turns the disc, it stays hovered at that angle. This is in contrast to the...
  • Cosmic Speed-Up Nabs Nobel Prize

    10/07/2011 9:35:53 PM PDT · by neverdem · 26 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 4 October 2011 | Adrian Cho
    Enlarge Image Star power. Saul Perlmutter (left), Brian Schmidt (center), and Adam Riess share this year's Nobel Prize in physics. Credit: LBNL, ANU, JHU Thirteen years ago, two teams of astronomers and physicists independently made the same stark discovery: Not only is the universe expanding like a vast inflating balloon, but its expansion is speeding up. At the time, many scientists expected that the gravitational pull of the galaxies ought to slow down the expansion. Today, researchers from both teams shared the Nobel Prize in physics for that dramatic observation, which has changed the conceptual landscape in cosmology, astronomy,...
  • Nobel physics prize honours accelerating Universe find (2 Americans, 1 Australian share prize)

    10/04/2011 11:04:57 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 8 replies
    BBC ^ | 10/04/2011 | Jason Palmer
    Three researchers behind the discovery that our Universe's expansion is accelerating have been awarded this year's Nobel prize for physics. Saul Perlmutter and Adam Riess of the US and Brian Schmidt of Australia will divide the prize. The trio studied what are called Type 1a supernovae, determining that more distant objects seem to move faster. Their observations suggest that not only is the Universe expanding, its expansion is relentlessly speeding up. Prof Perlmutter of the University of California, Berkeley, has been awarded half the 10m Swedish krona (Ł940,000) prize, with Prof Schmidt of the Australian National University and Prof Riess...
  • The Nobel Prize in Physics 2011 (2/3 to the US, again)

    10/04/2011 2:57:56 AM PDT · by AdmSmith · 14 replies
    The Nobel Foundation ^ | october 4, 2011 | staff
    The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2011 with one half to Saul Perlmutter The Supernova Cosmology Project Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and University of California, and the other half jointly to Brian P. Schmidt The High-z Supernova Search Team Australian National University, and Adam G. Riess The High-z Supernova Search Team Johns Hopkins University and Space Telescope Science Institute, "for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe through observations of distant supernovae" In 1998, cosmology was shaken at its foundations as two research teams presented their findings. Headed...
  • US Citizen Arrested For Terror Plots Against US Capitol, Pentagon

    09/28/2011 7:09:37 PM PDT · by Kaslin · 28 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | September 28, 2011 | Guy Benson
    A 26-year-old Massachusetts man was arrested and charged today in connection with a plot to attack the Pentagon and the Capitol, the Justice Department announced.  Rezwan Ferdaus, a U.S. citizen, is accused of planning to use a remote-controlled aircraft filled with explosives to attack the buildings. He was also charged with attempting to provide support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization — specifically al-Qaida, the organization behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks. I know what you're thinking, PC police: "That's unfair, you Islamophobe!  Just because his name is Rezwan doesn't mean he's a Muslim, or that his planned attacks were...
  • Particles Moved Faster Than Speed of Light?

    09/24/2011 6:19:59 AM PDT · by Lonesome in Massachussets · 56 replies
    National Geographic ^ | September 23, 2011 | Ker Than
    Neutrinos—ghostly subatomic particles—may have been observed traveling faster than the speed of light, scientists announced this week. If confirmed, the astonishing claim would upend a cardinal rule of physics established by Albert Einstein nearly a century ago. "Most theorists believe that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. So if this is true, it would rock the foundations of physics," said Stephen Parke, head of the theoretical physics department at the U.S. government-run Fermilab near Chicago, Illinois.
  • Tiny Neutrinos May Have Broken Cosmic Speed Limit

    09/22/2011 9:54:37 PM PDT · by neverdem · 59 replies
    NY Times ^ | September 22, 2011 | DENNIS OVERBYE
    Roll over, Einstein? The physics world is abuzz with news that a group of European physicists plans to announce Friday that it has clocked a burst of subatomic particles known as neutrinos breaking the cosmic speed limit — the speed of light — that was set by Albert Einstein in 1905. If true, it is a result that would change the world. But that “if” is enormous. Even before the European physicists had presented their results — in a paper that appeared on the physics Web site arXiv.org on Thursday night and in a seminar at CERN, the European Center...
  • CERN scientists 'break the speed of light'

    09/22/2011 6:57:08 PM PDT · by danielmryan · 105 replies
    The Telegraph ^ | Sept. 22, 2011 | Uncredited
    Scientists said on Thursday they recorded particles travelling faster than light - a finding that could overturn one of Einstein's fundamental laws of the universe. Antonio Ereditato, spokesman for the international group of researchers, said that measurements taken over three years showed neutrinos pumped from CERN near Geneva to Gran Sasso in Italy had arrived 60 nanoseconds quicker than light would have done. "We have high confidence in our results. We have checked and rechecked for anything that could have distorted our measurements but we found nothing," he said. "We now want colleagues to check them independently."
  • The Secret Lives of Solar Flares

    09/21/2011 4:37:17 PM PDT · by neverdem · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | Sept. 19, 2011 | NA
    One hundred and fifty two years ago, a man in England named Richard Carrington discovered solar flares. Sunspots sketched by R. Carrington on Sept. 1, 1859. © R. Astronomical Society. [more] It happened at 11:18 AM on the cloudless morning of Thursday, September 1st, 1859. Just as usual on every sunny day, the 33-year-old solar astronomer was busy in his private observatory, projecting an image of the sun onto a screen and sketching what he saw. On that particular morning, he traced the outlines of an enormous group of sunspots. Suddenly, before his eyes, two brilliant beads of white light...
  • No More Big Ideas? Try These On for Size

    09/04/2011 7:23:18 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 13 replies
    Pajamas Media ^ | September 4, 2011 | Frank J. Tipler
    Here are two gigantic concepts that will crack your head wide open.Neal Gabler, a journalist at the Norman Lear Center of the University of Southern California, recently published in the New York Times the opinion that our society “no longer thinks big,” that there are no more “intellectually challenging thoughts,” and, if a Marx or a Nietzsche were suddenly to appear, blasting his ideas, no one would pay the slightest attention, certainly not the general media.… Gabler is wrong on all counts. Not only have truly big ideas been advanced recently, but the mass media (apparently not the New York...
  • Experiments Show Gravity Is Not an Emergent Phenomenon

    08/24/2011 2:52:57 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 144 replies
    MIT Technology Review ^ | 08/24/2011 | Staff
    The way gravity effects quantum particles proves that it cannot be an emergent phenomenon, says physicist. One of the most exciting ideas in modern physics is that gravity is not a traditional force, like electromagnetic or nuclear forces. Instead, it is an emergent phenomenon that merely looks like a traditional force. This approach has been championed by Erik Verlinde at the University of Amsterdam who put forward the idea in 2010. He suggested that gravity is merely a manifestation of entropy in the Universe, which always increases according to the second law of thermodynamics. This causes matter distribute itself in...
  • Molecules Imaged Most Intimately

    08/24/2011 12:32:32 AM PDT · by neverdem · 12 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 23 August 2011 | Kim Krieger
    Enlarge Image Shadow of the orbitals. The pictures on the left show the highest occupied molecular orbital (top) and the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (bottom) of pentacene, as mapped by the STM. The pictures on the right show the same orbital structures, calculated mathematically. Credit: Adapted from L. Gross et al., PRL, 107 (2011) If you took high school chemistry, then you undoubtedly recall the bizarre drawings of the "orbitals" that describe where in an atom or a molecule an electron is likely to be found. Resembling strange clouds with multiple lobes, the shapes and orientation of the orbitals...
  • Manmade molecular machine goes to work

    08/22/2011 11:50:22 PM PDT · by neverdem · 3 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 22 August 2011 | Jon Cartwright
    Researchers in the UK and Belgium have measured the work performed by a single manmade molecule. The result demonstrates that manmade molecules can generate similar forces to natural molecular machines, and could help chemists to design artificial molecular machines for meaningful tasks. Many biological molecules can perform useful work. The protein motors kinesin and dynein, for example, transport cargo around cells using the chemical energy stored in ATP, the chemical fuel of biological systems. Scientists have created their own molecular machines that perform useful work, such as moving liquid droplets uphill or rotating microscale objects. But these synthetic machines have all...
  • Sapphire scaffold builds flexoelectric film from the ground up

    08/11/2011 10:03:00 PM PDT · by neverdem · 6 replies · 1+ views
    Chemistry World ^ | 10 August 2011 | Kate McAlpine
    Researchers in South Korea and the UK have produced a film that makes electricity when you bend it - and crucially it is over a million times better at this than other crystalline solids with the same properties. Their approach makes it possible to control the strength of permanent electric fields in designer films, which is required for devices like photovoltaics. Piezoelectric materials generate electric fields when pressed or pulled. In contrast, flexoelectric materials produce these fields when bent - they react to variation in strain across the material, rather than strain itself. But because solids are typically difficult to bend,...
  • Manchester marks Rutherford centenary

    08/10/2011 6:18:06 PM PDT · by decimon · 6 replies
    BBC ^ | August 9, 2011 | Mark Kinver
    Manchester is hosting a series of events to mark the centenary of a paper by Ernest Rutherford that changed the way we looked at the world and Universe around us.In 1911, Rutherford, described as the father of nuclear physics, presented his research to the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society, which - for the first time - described a "planetary structure" of atoms, one that we still recognise today. "Before Rutherford, people had thought about atoms as an amorphous lump, the "plum pudding model" we sometimes hear about," explained Catherine Rushmore, science curator at the Museum of Science and Industry (Mosi)....
  • Scientist and Amateur Philosopher Stephen Hawking Wanders as he Wonders in a New TV Series

    08/03/2011 3:40:06 PM PDT · by NYer · 33 replies
    Archdiocese of Washington ^ | August 3, 2011 | Msgr. Charles Pope
    Looks like were all going to be “treated” to a new series on the Discovery Channel wherein British Physicist Stephen Hawking will ponder theological and philosophical questions. A rather strange thing for a scientist to do actually.I have no doubt that Stephen Hawking is a fine, even a brilliant scientist and theoretical physicist. But science has a limit, a limit rightly imposed on itself, which explores the physical world using empirical and evidential models that do not go beyond the physically observable world. Scientists, even theoretical physicists, do well who recognize their sphere, their field. And most scientists are quite...
  • Bristol physicists break 150-year-old law

    07/21/2011 6:46:44 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 29 replies
    http://www.physorg.com ^ | July 20, 2011 | Staff + University of Bristol
    A violation of one of the oldest empirical laws of physics has been observed by scientists at the University of Bristol. Their experiments on purple bronze, a metal with unique one-dimensional electronic properties, indicate that it breaks the Wiedemann-Franz Law. This historic discovery is described in a paper published today in Nature Communications. In 1853, two German physicists, Gustav Wiedemann and Rudolf Franz, studied the thermal conductivity (a measure of a system’s ability to transfer heat) of a number of elemental metals and found that the ratio of the thermal to electrical conductivities was approximately the same for different metals...
  • Twisted tale of our galaxy's ring

    07/20/2011 6:36:34 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 6 replies
    http://www.physorg.com ^ | July 20, 2011 | Staff + JPL/NASA
    New observations from the Herschel Space Observatory show a bizarre, twisted ring of dense gas at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. Only a few portions of the ring, which stretches across more than 600 light-years, were known before. Herschel's view reveals the entire ring for the first time, and a strange kink that has astronomers scratching their heads. "We have looked at this region at the center of the Milky Way many times before in the infrared," said Alberto Noriega-Crespo of NASA's Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. "But when we...
  • New data zap views of static electricity - Charges build up due to exchange of material, study...

    06/25/2011 1:04:02 AM PDT · by neverdem · 23 replies
    Science News ^ | June 24th, 2011 | Devin Powell
    Charges build up due to exchange of material, study suggests A balloon rubbed against the head can be both a hair-raising and a hair-tearing experience, a new study suggests. Clumps of balloon and hair invisible to the naked eye may break off each object during contact and stick to the other. The existence of this exchange could challenge traditional theories about how static electricity builds up, a process known as contact electrification. “The basic assumptions people have made about contact electrification are wrong,” says Bartosz Grzybowski, a physical chemist at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. He and his colleagues describe...
  • Water-air interface barely there - Transition zone extremely thin

    06/09/2011 2:17:01 PM PDT · by neverdem · 6 replies
    Science News ^ | June 9, 2011 | Rachel Ehrenberg
    Where sea meets sky, there are lots of water molecules with an identity crisis. About a quarter of the H2O in water’s uppermost layer can’t decide whether to be liquid or gas: One hydrogen atom stays in the drink while the other pokes up, vibrating in the air. This layer of molecular ambiguity is extremely thin and has little or no effect on the water below it, new data reported June 9 in Nature show. Right beneath the liquid’s surface, water molecules go about their business just as if the air weren’t there. That may seem like a dull discovery,...
  • Antimatter Trapped for Amazingly Long 16 Minutes

    06/05/2011 9:40:13 PM PDT · by NYFreeper · 22 replies
    LiveScience ^ | June 05, 2011 | LiveScience
    Antimatter, an elusive type of matter that's rare in the universe, has now been trapped for more than 16 minutes — an eternity in particle physics. In fact, scientists who've been trapping antihydrogen atoms at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva say isolating the exotic particles has become so routine that they expect to soon begin experiments on this rare substance. Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/06/05/antimatter-trapped-for-amazingly-long-16-minutes/#ixzz1OSzvDI4k
  • Antiatoms, All Out of Energy and Ready for Work

    06/06/2011 7:27:10 PM PDT · by neverdem · 16 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 5 June 2011 | Adrian Cho
    Enlarge Image Out with a bang. In this artist's rendition, an antihydrogen atom rattles around the ALPHA trap before escaping to create a pair of pions. Credit: CERN/ALPHA collaboration Just 6 months ago, physicists reported that they had trapped atoms made of antimatter for a fraction of a second. Now, the same team has held on to individual atoms of antihydrogen, each of which consists of an antiproton bound to a positron, for up to 15 minutes. That's long enough for an atom to lose all of its internal energy and settle into its least-energetic "ground state," a prerequisite...
  • Online with the blink of an eye and other marvels in our future

    06/04/2011 9:42:48 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 8 replies · 2+ views
    LA Times ^ | 6/3/11 | Amina Khan
    The theoretical physicist and author of 'Physics of the Future' talks about how nanotechnology will change our lives.Will the future bring us the teleportation devices of "Star Trek" or the sinister machines of "The Matrix"? Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku of the City College of New York says that many of the things that were once the domain of science fiction — cars that navigate rush-hour traffic on their own, wallpaper that can switch colors when you remodel, an elevator that takes you into outer space — are already here, or well on their way. His book "Physics of the Future,"...
  • Moving mirrors make light from nothing

    06/03/2011 11:58:13 AM PDT · by neverdem · 46 replies
    Nature News ^ | 3 June 2011 | Geoff Brumfiel
    Researchers claim to have produced sought-after quantum effect. A team of physicists is claiming to have coaxed sparks from the vacuum of empty space1. If verified, the finding would be one of the most unusual experimental proofs of quantum mechanics in recent years and "a significant milestone", says John Pendry, a theoretical physicist at Imperial College London who was not involved in the study. The researchers, based at the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, will present their findings early next week at a workshop in Padua, Italy. They have already posted a paper on the popular pre-print server...
  • Imagining the Tenth Dimension part 1 of 2

    05/25/2011 12:43:24 PM PDT · by Sawdring · 17 replies
    Youtube ^ | Jan 12, 2007 | Rob Bryanton
    Imagining the Tenth Dimension part 1 of 2Imagining the Tenth Dimension part 2 of 2 I thought this was particularly interesting and I always thought a 3rd dimensional creature couldn't visualize a higher dimensional outlook.
  • Interactive teaching methods double learning in undergraduate physics class: UBC research

    05/12/2011 11:32:43 AM PDT · by decimon · 5 replies
    University of British Columbia ^ | May 12, 2011 | Unknown
    Interactive teaching methods significantly improved attendance and doubled both engagement and learning in a large physics class, according to a University of British Columbia study published today in Science. Led by Louis Deslauriers, a post-doctoral researcher at UBC's Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative (CWSEI), the study compared the amount of learning students experienced when taught – in three hours over one week – by traditional lecture and by using interactive activities based on research in cognitive psychology and physics education. The research team found that students in the interactive class were nearly twice as engaged as their counterparts in the...
  • Holograms in True Color

    04/15/2011 9:01:53 PM PDT · by neverdem · 18 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 7 April 2011 | Sid Perkins
    Enlarge Image In living color. This three-dimensional, true-color image of an apple was generated using a new technique of making holograms (inset) that allows the image to be viewed using ordinary white light. Credit: Science/AAAS Researchers have developed a new way to create true-color holograms that can be viewed from any angle using ordinary white light. The advance could lead to a new generation of electronic devices, such as cell phones or miniature televisions that display three-dimensional (3D) images. True 3D images can be created in several ways. In the 1960s, researchers generated the first holograms by firing a...
  • At Particle Lab, a Tantalizing Glimpse Has Physicists Holding Their Breaths

    04/10/2011 6:32:18 PM PDT · by neverdem · 24 replies
    NY Times ^ | April 5. 2011 | DENNIS OVERBYE
    Physicists at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory are planning to announce Wednesday that they have found a suspicious bump in their data that could be evidence of a new elementary particle or even, some say, a new force of nature. The results, if they hold up, could be a spectacular last hurrah for Fermilab’s Tevatron, once the world’s most powerful particle accelerator and now slated to go dark forever in September or earlier, whenever Fermilab runs out of money to operate it. “Nobody knows what this is,” said Christopher Hill, a theorist at Fermilab who was not part of the...
  • Molecular fridge can reach millikelvin

    04/08/2011 4:27:22 PM PDT · by neverdem · 19 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 07 April 2011 | Simon Hadlington
    Scientists have laid the foundations for a high-performance 'molecular fridge' capable of reaching temperatures within a few thousandths of a degree of absolute zero (0K) with a high degree of efficiency. Such ultracoolers could have applications in areas such as ultra-low temperature physics, where alternative technologies such as those that rely on expensive and rare helium-3 could be unsuitable or too costly.The system relies on a phenomenon called the magneto-caloric effect, where the removal of a magnetic field from a ferromagnetic material causes a drop in temperature. The key to achieving a high magneto-caloric effect is to have a material...
  • How Professor Maxwell changed the world

    04/05/2011 11:57:34 AM PDT · by neverdem · 32 replies
    The Economist ^ | Apr 2nd 2011 | J.P.
    Tweet TO MUCH fanfare, Italy celebrated 150 years since its unification two weeks ago. Less exuberantly, America is commemorating the 150th anniversary of the outbreak of the civil war, a failed attempt to undo its union. Amid this flurry of historical fissions and fusions it is easy to overlook another, arguably more significant unification set in motion in spring 1861. In March of that year James Clerk Maxwell, a Scottish physicist (pictured above), published the first piece of a four-part paper entitled "On physical lines of force". Sprinkled amid the prose in the Philosophical Magazine were equations which revealed...