Physics in the News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The pivotal discovery you’ve probably never heard of

Three consecutive images of comet C/1979 Q1 plunging into the solar atmosphere on August 30, 1979. In these SOLWIND coronagraph images, the Sun is masked behind the solid disk in the center of the image. (Credit: NRL)
Three consecutive images of comet C/1979 Q1 plunging into the solar atmosphere on August 30, 1979. In these SOLWIND coronagraph images, the Sun is masked behind the solid disk in the center of the image. (Credit: NRL)
via planetary

NASA’s Spitzer scopes out huge asteroid smashup, and just misses it

Spitzer's observations of the aftermath of an asteroid collision offer insights into how Earth was formed. (Credit: NASA)
Spitzer’s observations of the aftermath of an asteroid collision offer insights into how Earth was formed. (Credit: NASA)
via latimes

Yes, the Universe is expanding at an accelerating rate, sort of

Before the big explosion: The artist’s impression shows a binary star system where mass is transferred from a companion to a white dwarf. As soon as sufficient matter has collected on the surface of the dwarf star, this can trigger a nuclear explosion which in turn ignites the catastrophic nuclear burning and destroys the white dwarf – a type Ia supernova flares up. (Credit: ESA, Justyn R. Maund)
Before the big explosion: The artist’s impression shows a binary star system where mass is transferred from a companion to a white dwarf. As soon as sufficient matter has collected on the surface of the dwarf star, this can trigger a nuclear explosion which in turn ignites the catastrophic nuclear burning and destroys the white dwarf – a type Ia supernova flares up. (Credit: ESA, Justyn R. Maund)
via newscientist

Distillery anticipates zero gravity single malt whiskeys return to Earth

Director of distilling, Bill Lumsden. Ardbeg Scottish whisky was sent into space three years ago in an experiment looking at the impact of gravity on how it matures.  It will return to Earth September 12th. (Credit: Paul Dodds/Ardbeg/PA)
Director of distilling, Bill Lumsden. Ardbeg Scottish whisky was sent into space three years ago in an experiment looking at the impact of gravity on how it matures. It will return to Earth September 12th. (Credit: Paul Dodds/Ardbeg/PA)
via theguardian

The largest ever made rocket may carry humans to Mars

via mysteriousuniverse

Meet the computer scientist trying to digitize, analyze and visualize our past

via gigaom

NASA warns massive solar flare can disrupt communication signals

NASA has warned that a new sunspot spewing powerful X-class flares is beginning to rotate to a position directly in line with Earth. (Credit: NASA)
NASA has warned that a new sunspot spewing powerful X-class flares is beginning to rotate to a position directly in line with Earth. (Credit: NASA)
via austriantribune

Why the multiverse may be the most dangerous idea in physics

In the past decade an extraordinary claim has captivated cosmologists: that the expanding universe we see around us is not the only one; that billions of other universes are out there, too. (Credit: Slim Films, Ellis)
In the past decade an extraordinary claim has captivated cosmologists: that the expanding universe we see around us is not the only one; that billions of other universes are out there, too. (Credit: Slim Films, Ellis)
via scientificamerican

Experiments reveal a neutron halo around neutron-rich magnesium nuclei

Neutron-rich magnesium nuclei have a neutron halo that extends beyond the tightly packed core of the nucleus. (Credit: Ken-ichiro Yoneda, RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science)
Neutron-rich magnesium nuclei have a neutron halo that extends beyond the tightly packed core of the nucleus. (Credit: K. Yoneda, RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science)
via phys.org

Voyage to Pluto: NASA’s New Horizons mission continuing Voyager’s legacy of exploration

via spaceref

Happy 30th birthday to Discovery, NASA’s greatest space shuttle

On August 30th, 1984, the space shuttle Discovery launched on its first voyage to space. It wasn't the first, but over the next 27 years it became the undeniable king of NASA's shuttle program. (Credit: NASA)
On August 30th, 1984, the space shuttle Discovery launched on its first voyage to space. It wasn’t the first, but over the next 27 years it became the undeniable king of NASA’s shuttle program. (Credit: NASA)
via gizmodo

Physics in the News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

“Spooky” quantum entanglement reveals invisible objects

In the new experiment, the physicists entangled photons in two separate laser beams with different wavelengths, and hence color: one yellow and one red.
“This is a long-standing, really neat experimental idea,” says Paul Lett, of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in GaithersburgLett, “Now we have to see whether or not it will lead to something practical, or will remain just a clever demonstration of quantum mechanics.”(CreditBarreto-Lemos, Vergano)
via nationalgeographic

Strange neutrinos from the sun detected for the first time

The Borexino neutrino detector uses a sphere filled with liquid scintillator that emits light when excited. This inner vessel is surrounded by layers of shielding and by about 2,000 photomultiplier tubes to detect the light flashes.(Credit: Borexino Collaboration)
The Borexino neutrino detector uses a sphere filled with liquid scintillator that emits light when excited. This inner vessel is surrounded by layers of shielding and by about 2,000 photomultiplier tubes to detect the light flashes.(Credit: Borexino Collaboration)
via scientificamerican

Quark quartet fuels quantum feud

meson-molecule
MOLECULAR MODEL In the molecular model, quark-antiquark pairs form two color-neutral mesons that become weakly linked as a molecule.
DIQUARK MODEL In the diquark model, the particles form quark-quark and antiquark-antiquark pairs, which are forced to combine to balance their color charges.
DIQUARK MODEL The particles form quark-quark and antiquark-antiquark pairs, which are forced to combine to balance their color charges.
via simonsfoundation

What lit up the universe?

A computer model shows one scenario for how light is spread through the early universe on vast scales (more than 50 million light years across). Astronomers will soon know whether or not these kinds of computer models give an accurate portrayal of light in the real cosmos. (Credit: Andrew Pontzen/Fabio Governato)
A computer model shows one scenario for how light is spread through the early universe on vast scales (more than 50 million light years across). Astronomers will soon know whether or not these kinds of computer models give an accurate portrayal of light in the real cosmos. (Credit: Andrew Pontzen/Fabio Governato)
via phys

What happened to NASA’s Valkyrie Robot at the DRC Trials, and what’s next

via spectrum

Pebble-sized particles may jump-start planet formation

Radio/optical composite of the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex showing the OMC-2/3 star-forming filament. GBT data is shown in orange. Uncommonly large dust grains there may kick-start planet formation. (Credit: S. Schnee, et al.; B. Saxton, B. Kent (NRAO/AUI/NSF)
Radio/optical composite of the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex showing the OMC-2/3 star-forming filament. GBT data is shown in orange. Uncommonly large dust grains there may kick-start planet formation. (Credit: S. Schnee, et al.; B. Saxton, B. Kent (NRAO/AUI/NSF)
via rdmag

Physicists propose superabsorption of light beyond the limits of classical physics

In one potential method to realize superabsorption, a superabsorbing ring absorbs incident photons, giving rise to excitons. (Credit: Higgins, et al.)
In one potential method to realize superabsorption, a superabsorbing ring absorbs incident photons, giving rise to excitons. (Credit: Higgins, et al.)
via phys.org

Physics in the News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Clouds of water possibly found in brown dwarf atmosphere

Finding clouds of water floating in the atmosphere of an alien world is a significant find. Now, astronomers have reported preliminary findings that water clouds have been detected in the atmosphere of a brown dwarf, a mere 7.3 light-years from Earth.(Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech, O'neil)
Finding clouds of water floating in the atmosphere of an alien world is a significant find. Now, astronomers have reported preliminary findings that water clouds have been detected in the atmosphere of a brown dwarf, a mere 7.3 light-years from Earth. (Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, O’neil)
via discovery

NASA explores the potential of origami in space

Shannon Zirbel with the solar panel array prototype, designed using the principles of origami, unfolded (Credit: BYU, Meier)
NASA mechanical engineer, Brian Trease, worked with Brigham Young University doctoral student Shannon Zirbel, and collaborated with origami expert Robert Lang, who has long been active in promoting it in science, and BYU professor Larry Howel, to combine different traditional folds for an 82-foot solar array that whirls down to 8.9 feet. (Credit: BYU, Meier)
via hyperallergic

Physicists want to know if we’re all actually living in a 2-D hologram

"If we find a noise we can't get rid of, we might be detecting something fundamental about nature - a noise that is intrinsic to space-time," said Physicist Aaron Choi, the holometer project’s lead scientist. (Credit: NASA/ESA via Getty Images)
“If we find a noise we can’t get rid of, we might be detecting something fundamental about nature – a noise that is intrinsic to space-time,” said Physicist Aaron Choi, the holometer project’s lead scientist. (Credit: NASA, ESA)
via interactions

Best view yet of merging galaxies in distant Universe

In this picture, which combines views from Hubble and the Keck-II telescope on Hawaii (using adaptive optics), you can see a foreground galaxy that is acting as the gravitational lens. The galaxy resembles how our home galaxy, the Milky Way, would appear if seen edge-on. But around this galaxy there is an almost complete ring — the smeared out image of a star-forming galaxy merger far beyond. (Credit: NASA, ESA)
via spacetelescope

What is the Higgs Boson? China’s collider to study particle in unprecedented detail

With a circumference of 52km, the “Higgs Factory” would be almost twice the size of Europe's equivalent, and significantly more powerful. The Chinese said it is due to be completed by 2028. Image above is the Large Hadron Collider. (Credit: Getty)
With a circumference of 52km, the “Higgs Factory” would be almost twice the size of Europe’s equivalent, and significantly more powerful. The Chinese said it is due to be completed by 2028. Image above is the Large Hadron Collider. (Credit: Getty)
via cityam

A great view of colliding galaxies, thanks to magnifying glasses in the sky

This diagram shows how the effect of gravitational lensing around a normal galaxy focuses the light coming from a very distant star-forming galaxy merger to created a distorted, but brighter view. (Credit: ESA/ESO/M. Kornmesser)
This diagram shows how the effect of gravitational lensing around a normal galaxy focuses the light coming from a very distant star-forming galaxy merger to created a distorted, but brighter view. (Credit: ESA/ESO/M. Kornmesser)
via washingtonpost

The $2.5-billion Mars Rover’s unexpected wheel damage just two years into the ission: What NASA’s doing about it

Evidence of a damaged wheel. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)
Evidence of a damaged wheel. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)
via theblaze

Scientists craft atomically seamless, thinnest-possible semiconductor junctions

As seen under an optical microscope, the heterostructures have a triangular shape. The two different monolayer semiconductors can be recognized through their different colors. (Credit: U of Washington)
As seen under an optical microscope, the heterostructures have a triangular shape. The two different monolayer semiconductors can be recognized through their different colors. (Credit: U of Washington)
via phys.org
“It’s the most distant object for which the spin has been directly measured. The universe is about 13.7 billion years old, so this is going significantly back towards when the epoch of furious galaxy formation was happening,” says, Astrophysicist, Mark Reynolds.
via motherboard

Physics in the News

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Atomic clocks on the International Space Station will study time and space

NIST-F1, the nation's primary time and frequency standard, is a cesium fountain atomic clock developed at the NIST laboratories in Boulder, Colorado. NIST-F1 contributes to the international group of atomic clocks that define Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), the official world time. Because NIST-F1 is among the most accurate clocks in the world, it makes UTC more accurate than ever before. (Credit: Time and Frequency Division of NIST's PML)
NIST-F1 contributes to the international group of atomic clocks that define Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), the official world time. Because NIST-F1 is among the most accurate clocks in the world, it makes UTC more accurate than ever before. (Credit: Time and Frequency Division of NIST’s PML)
via guardianlv

Powerful solar flare reaching M5.9 erupted from Region 2149

via thewatchers

Solving Stephen Hawking’s black hole paradox

via davidreneke

In search of alien life? Seek out the smog

n this artist's conception, the atmosphere of an Earthlike planet displays a brownish haze — the result of widespread pollution. (Credit: Christine Pulliam/Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)
Artist’s conception of the atmosphere of an Earth-like planet displaying a brownish haze as the result of widespread pollution. (Credit: Christine Pulliam/Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)
via npr

Stellar snow globe mystery solved with Hubble’s help

This new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows the globular cluster IC 4499. A cosmic archaeological dig has unfolded within a giant ball of stars some 55,000 light-years away. Credit: NASA)
This new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows the globular cluster IC 4499. A cosmic archaeological dig has unfolded within a giant ball of stars some 55,000 light-years away. (Credit: NASA)
via nationalgeographic

Squeezed light for advanced gravitational wave detectors and beyond(PDF)

Top: A typical set-up for squeezing injection in the first demonstrations of squeezing at GEO600 and LIGO, both using DC readout [36,37]. Proposed design for future detectors. This design features an in-vacuum OPO. The remainder of the squeezed light source remains outside of vacuum. (Credit: E. Oelker, L. Barsotti, S. Dwyer, D. Sigg, and N. Mavalvala)
Top: A typical set-up for squeezing injection in the first demonstrations of squeezing at
GEO600 and LIGO, both using DC readout [36,37]. Bottom: Proposed design for future detectors. This design features an in-vacuum OPO. The remainder of the squeezed light source remains outside of vacuum. (Credit: E. Oelker, L. Barsotti, S. Dwyer, D. Sigg, and N. Mavalvala)
via opticsinfobase

Mercury’s transit: An unusual spot on the sun

What’s that dot on the Sun? If you look closely, it is almost perfectly round. The dot is the result of an unusual type of solar eclipse that occurred in 2006. Usually it is the Earth’s Moon that eclipses the Sun. This time, the planet Mercury took a turn. (Credit: D. Cortner, NASA, K. Schmidt)
What’s that dot on the Sun? If you look closely, it is almost perfectly round. The dot is the result of an unusual type of solar eclipse that occurred in 2006. Usually it is the Earth’s Moon that eclipses the Sun. This time, the planet Mercury took a turn.
(Credit: D. Cortner, NASA, K. Schmidt)
 via spacefellowship

 The invisible galaxies: Radio images of the whirlpool galaxy and beyond

"Maybe we will see how galaxies are magnetically connected to intergalactic space. This is a key experiment in preparation for the planned Square Kilometre Array (SKA) that should tell us how cosmic magnetic fields are generated," says Rainer Beck, lead astronomer with the Max Planck Institute.
“Maybe we will see how galaxies are magnetically connected to intergalactic space. This is a key experiment in preparation for the planned Square Kilometre Array (SKA) that should tell us how cosmic magnetic fields are generated,” says Rainer Beck, lead astronomer with the Max Planck Institute.
via dailygalaxy
Researchers have developed a flexible structure that can sense ambient conditions and adjust its color to match them. At the moment, it only works in black and white. (Credit: PNAS, Timmer)
Researchers have developed a flexible structure that can sense ambient conditions and adjust its color to match them. At the moment, it only works in black and white. (Credit: PNAS, Timmer)
via arstechnica

Physics in the News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

SpaceX rocket malfunctions, then explodes over texas

(Credit: @EthansMommy17)
In a conversation with Mashable via Twitter, McGregor resident @EthansMommy17, who tweeted the above image of the explosion, claimed cows had been killed by debris from the explosion. She was unable to provide images or other confirmation of the affected livestock, however. (Credit: @EthansMommy17)
via mashable

NASA, Russia squabble over International Space Station sea plankton claim

the space specialist said that the ISS surface was polluted very strongly due to operation of space engines and other factors. “We are conducting special works to polish somehow and put illuminators in order. This is particularly needed during long space flights,” Solovyev added.
The space specialist said that the ISS surface was polluted very strongly due to operation of space engines and other factors. “We are conducting special works to polish somehow and put illuminators in order. This is particularly needed during long space flights,” Solovyev added. (Credit: Tracy Caldwell Dyson)
via forbes

Space’s quantum physics confound scientists

676x380
Although they are gigantic, ranging from one to a few hundred lightyears in size, the physical process that causes these nebulae to emit their own light (rather than merely reflect light from nearby stars) occurs at the atomic level. It is the same process that makes familiar florescent lights shine here on Earth. (Credit: NASA, Prozesky)
via mg

Why NASA launched one of the blackest materials ever Made into space

On July 29th, the the Automated Transfer Vehicle launched carrying samples of the stuff to the ISS, where it docked on August 12th. There, astronauts will conduct tests on the paint, which absorbs 99.5 percent of visible light (and 99.8 percent of longer wavelength light). (Credit: NASA, Campbell-Dollaghan)
On July 29th, the the Automated Transfer Vehicle launched carrying samples of the stuff to the ISS, where it docked on August 12th. There, astronauts will conduct tests on the paint, which absorbs 99.5 percent of visible light (and 99.8 percent of longer wavelength light). (Credit: NASA, Campbell-Dollaghan)
via gizmodo

The first metamaterial superconductor: One step closer to futuristic physics-defying contraptions(VIDEO)

via extremetech

‘Robot overlords’ job-stealing exaggerated

 Google Inc. has conducted more than 300,000 miles of driverless car testing with vehicles. They navigate by collecting real-time sensor data and comparing it to pre-loaded maps that specify exact locations for roads and signs, while adapting to obstacles such as people and cars. (Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, Kearns)
Google Inc. has conducted more than 300,000 miles of driverless car testing with vehicles. They navigate by collecting real-time sensor data and comparing it to pre-loaded maps that specify exact locations for roads and signs, while adapting to obstacles such as people and cars. (Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, Kearns)
via bloomberg

 X-ray laser probes tiny quantum tornadoes in superfluid droplets

A patterned 3-D grid of tiny whirlpools, called quantum vortices, populate a nanoscale droplet of superfluid helium. Researchers found that in a micron-sized droplet, the density of vortices was 100,000 times greater than in any previous experiment on superfluids. An artistic rendering of a wheel-shaped droplet can be seen in the distance. (Credit: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)
A patterned 3-D grid of tiny whirlpools, called quantum vortices, populate a nanoscale droplet of superfluid helium. Researchers found that in a micron-sized droplet, the density of vortices was 100,000 times greater than in any previous experiment on superfluids. An artistic rendering of a wheel-shaped droplet can be seen in the distance. (Credit: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)
via phys

Scientists Found a Way to Email Brain Waves(VIDEO)

via plsone

Space Station inspired robot to help heal sick children

The suturing tool demonstrates image-guided anastomosis, which means the connecting of parts such as vessels. The target on the top of the tool is used to lead the tool's tip. This is the same technology used to track the robotic systems on the space shuttle and the International Space Station. (Credit: MDA and CIGITI)
The suturing tool demonstrates image-guided anastomosis, which means the connecting of parts such as vessels. The target on the top of the tool is used to lead the tool’s tip. This is the same technology used to track the robotic systems on the space shuttle and the International Space Station. (Credit: MDA and CIGITI)
via phys

Spectacular Auroras Captivate Astronaut in Space

An aurora dances in the atmosphere on Aug. 20, 2014, as the International Space Station flew over North America. This image was captured by astronaut Reid Wiseman from his vantage point on the ISS. (Credit: NASA/Handout/QMI Agency)
An aurora dances in the atmosphere on Aug. 20, 2014, as the International Space Station flew over North America. This image was captured by astronaut Reid Wiseman from his vantage point on the ISS. (Credit: NASA/Handout/QMI Agency)
via cbc