Physics in the News

Monday, September 15, 2014

Why do particle physicists demand 99.9999% certainty before they believe a new discovery?

"I confess that in my early in my career as a physicist I was rather cynical about sophisticated statistical tools, being of the opinion that “if any of this makes a difference, just get more data”. That is, if you do enough experiments, the confidence level will be so high that the exact statistical treatment you use to evaluate it is irrelevant." (Credit: Michael Slezak)

“I confess that in my early in my career as a physicist I was rather cynical about sophisticated statistical tools, being of the opinion that “if any of this makes a difference, just get more data”. That is, if you do enough experiments, the confidence level will be so high that the exact statistical treatment you use to evaluate it is irrelevant.” (Credit: Jon Butterworth)

via theguardian

Curtain closing on Higgs boson photon soap opera

It was the daytime soap opera of particle physics. But the final episode of the first season ends in an anticlimax. The Higgs boson's decay into pairs of photons – the strongest yet most confusing clue to the particle's existence – is looking utterly normal after all. (Credit: D. Moir/Reurters, M. Slezak)

It was the daytime soap opera of particle physics. But the final episode of the first season ends in an anticlimax. The Higgs boson’s decay into pairs of photons – the strongest yet most confusing clue to the particle’s existence – is looking utterly normal after all. (Credit: D. Moir/Reurters, M. Slezak)

via newscientist

Three’s a charm: NIST detectors reveal entangled photon triplets

NIST chip containing a single-photon detector was made of superconducting nanowires. Four chips like this were used in the experiment that entangled three photons.  (Credit: Verma/NIST)

NIST chip containing a single-photon detector was made of superconducting nanowires. Four chips like this were used in the experiment that entangled three photons. (Credit: Verma/NIST)

via extremetech

How to turn the Moon into a giant cosmic ray detector

The new plan, proposed by researchers at the University of Southampton in England, is to eavesdrop on the faint nanosecond radio signals sent our way when cosmic rays hit edges of the Moon at a near-tangent. (Credit J. Hewitt, astrobiology.aob.rs)

The new plan, proposed by researchers at the University of Southampton in England, is to eavesdrop on the faint nanosecond radio signals sent our way when cosmic rays hit edges of the Moon at a near-tangent. (Credit J. Hewitt, astrobiology.aob.rs)

via extremetech

Are ‘ghost waves’ behind quantum strangeness?

"The key question is whether a real quantum dynamics, of the general form suggested by de Broglie and the walking drops, might underlie quantum statistics," Bush said. "While undoubtedly complex, it would replace the philosophical vagaries of quantum mechanics with a concrete dynamical theory," said  John Bush of MIT. (Credit: D. Harris/MIT, M. Byrne)

“The key question is whether a real quantum dynamics, of the general form suggested by de Broglie and the walking drops, might underlie quantum statistics,” Bush said. “While undoubtedly complex, it would replace the philosophical vagaries of quantum mechanics with a concrete dynamical theory,” said John Bush of MIT. (Credit: D. Harris/MIT, M. Byrne)

via motherboard

Comet probe finds elements of life

A composite photo of comet 67P/C-G showing gases escaping from the ‘neck’. The first jets of dust were detected spurting from the comet as Rosetta approached it in August but detailed photographs weren’t available until last week. (Credit: Emily Lakdawalla/ESA)

A composite photo of comet 67P/C-G showing gases escaping from the ‘neck’. The first jets of dust were detected spurting from the comet as Rosetta approached it in August but detailed photographs weren’t available until last week. (Credit: Emily Lakdawalla/ESA)

via forbes

Saturn is making and destroying mini-moons all the time

PIA18420

The spacecraft captured the views between July 20 and July 22, 2014, as it departed Titan following a flyby. Cassini tracked the system of clouds as it developed and dissipated over Ligeia Mare during this two-day period. Measurements of the cloud motions indicate wind speeds of around 7 to 10 miles per hour (3 to 4.5 meters per second). (Credit: NASA, Cassini)

via smithsonianmag

ULA aims for top-secret CLIO launch tomorrow

via americaspace

Where to grab space debris

via yumanewsnow

ESA’s Gaia observatory locates its first Supernova

Less than two months after it first began repeatedly scanning the sky, the ESA’s Gaia space observatory has discovered its first supernova – a powerful stellar explosion that had occurred in a distant galaxy located some 500 million light-years from Earth, the agency announced on Friday.  The above is an artist’s impression of a Type Ia supernova – the explosion of a white dwarf locked in a binary system with a companion star. (Credit: ESA/ATG medialab/C. Carreau, Bednar)

Less than two months after it first began repeatedly scanning the sky, the ESA’s Gaia space observatory has discovered its first supernova – a powerful stellar explosion that had occurred in a distant galaxy located some 500 million light-years from Earth, the agency announced on Friday. The above is an artist’s impression of a Type Ia supernova – the explosion of a white dwarf locked in a binary system with a companion star. (Credit: ESA/ATG medialab/C. Carreau, Bednar)

via redorbit

Phosphorus a promising semiconductor

Grain boundaries are rows of defects that disrupt the electronic properties of two-dimensional materials like graphene, but new theory by scientists at Rice University shows no such effects in atomically flat phosphorus. That may make the material ideal for nano-electronic applications. (Credit: Evgeni Penev/Rice University)

Grain boundaries are rows of defects that disrupt the electronic properties of two-dimensional materials, like graphene, but a new theory by scientists at Rice University shows no such effects in atomically flat phosphorus. That may make the material ideal for nano-electronic applications. (Credit: Evgeni Penev/Rice University)

via energy-daily

Curiosity rover reaches long-term goal: a massive Martian mountain

via theverge

Universe may be an illusion or hologram?

To find out if the universe is a hologram, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory have powered up their exotic holographic inferometer, or Holometer. The results of the Fermilab E-990 experiment could indeed indicate that the nature of the universe is holographic. (Credit: Baskin, M. Freiberger)

To find out if the universe is a hologram, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory have powered up their exotic holographic inferometer, or Holometer. The results of the Fermilab E-990 experiment could indeed indicate that the nature of the universe is holographic. (Credit: Baskin, M. Freiberger)

via guardianlv

Can we survive the end of the Universe?

The ultimate fate of the universe depends on the nature of dark matter and dark energy, about which we know almost nothing. (Credit: NASA)

The ultimate fate of the universe depends on the nature of dark matter and dark energy, about which we know almost nothing. (Credit: NASA)

via mysteriousuniverse

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