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Keyword: physics

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  • 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...
  • Message Encoded in Neutrino Beam Transmitted through Solid Rock

    03/18/2012 11:29:14 PM PDT · by U-238 · 18 replies · 1+ views
    Scientific American ^ | 3/16/2012 | John Matson
    Neutrinos are having a moment. Theyre speeding across Europe (just how fast is under review), theyre changing flavors in China and, now, theyre carrying rudimentary messages through bedrock in Illinois. A team of physicists encoded a short string of letters on a beam of neutrinos at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill., and sent the message to a detector more than a kilometer away. On the journey the neutrinos passed through 240 meters of solid rock, mostly shale. What was the word they transmitted in the preliminary demonstration? Neutrino. The experiment is described in a paper posted to the...
  • Hydrogen takes a new form

    03/10/2012 10:36:13 PM PST · by U-238 · 19 replies
    Science News ^ | 3/1/2012 | Alexandra Witze
    Squeezing hydrogen at extreme pressures changes it into a mix of honeycombed atoms layered with free-floating molecules an entirely new state of the element and the first new phase found in decades. If confirmed, the discovery will be only the fourth known phase of hydrogen, the simplest element and one long probed for basic insights into the nature of matter. I think we have pretty bulletproof evidence that there is a new phase, says Eugene Gregoryanz of the University of Edinburgh, leader of the team that will report the work in an upcoming Physical Review Letters. Hydrogens first three...
  • Loose cable blamed for speedy neutrinos

    03/06/2012 1:16:25 AM PST · by U-238 · 41 replies
    Science News ^ | 2/23/2012 | Devin Powell
    Faulty wiring has been proposed as the glitch that caused a European physics experiment to clock particles flying faster than light. Scientists at Italys OPERA experiment reported in September that nearly weightless particles called neutrinos were apparently traveling from the CERN laboratory on the Swiss-French border to an underground detector in Italy, 730 kilometers away, faster than the speed of light. The apparent violation of Einsteins theory of special relativity immediately produced a chorus of theorists offering reasons why neutrinos simply could not be going that fast (SN: 11/5/11, p. 10). It was always clear to me that the results...
  • Graphyne Could Be Better Than Graphene

    03/04/2012 12:33:55 AM PST · by neverdem · 2 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 1 March 2012 | Jon Cartwright
    Enlarge Image The new graphene. Graphyne may be less famous than graphene, but it could have better electronic properties. Credit: D. Malko et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. (2012) Graphene, a layer of graphite just one atom thick, isn't called a wonder material for nothing. The subject of the 2010 Nobel Prize in physics, it is famed for its superlative mechanical and electronic properties. Yet new computer simulations suggest that the electronic properties of a little-known sister material of graphene—graphyne—may in some ways be better. The simulations show that graphyne's conduction electrons should travel extremely fast—as they do in graphene—but...
  • Proposed Cloaking Device for Water Waves Could Protect Ships at Sea

    03/03/2012 10:58:25 PM PST · by neverdem · 16 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 2 March 2012 | Adrian Cho
    Enlarge Image Underpass. Appropriately sculpted ripples on the ocean floor could convert surface waves into internal interfacial waves, allowing them to pass under a floating object and protecting the thing from jostling. Credit: M.-R. Alam, PhysRevLett, 108 (24 February, 2012) The weird science of invisibility has entered uncharted waters. By altering the sea floor in just the right way, it should be possible to hide an object floating on the sea from passing waves, a fluid mechanician predicts. The technique might help to protect ships and floating structures from rough seas. And because the scheme works entirely differently from...
  • 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 HopeBarely

    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 CERNs Large Hadron Collider, or L.H.C., outside Geneva, have both finally seen hints...
  • From Edisons 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 hasnt 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, Europes 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...