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

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Life in space? Sea plankton discovered attached to ISS outer hull

Creature from the deep: Bioluminescence plankton at Penmon. (Credit: Kris Williams )
via rt

Scientists discover potential signs of life on Mars

NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover captures a selfie to mark a full Martian year — 687 Earth days — spent exploring the Red Planet. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)
Scientists have discovered mineral-rich structure on Mars that might be the evidence of niche environment on the planet’s subsurface that could support life. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)
via aninews

SpaceX denies report it is raising massive funding round, valued at $10B

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and the new Dragon V2, which will soon carry people to the International Space Station (Credit: SpaceX_
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and the new Dragon V2, which will soon carry people to the International Space Station (Credit: SpaceX)
via gigaom

Why didn’t the Universe become a black hole?

In Einstein’s general theory of relativity, gravity is nothing more than the curvature of spacetime. A massive object, such as the sun, causes a deformation of the spacetime grid, while another object such as a planet or a light beam follows the shortest path (a “geodesic”) on this grid. To an observer, this looks like a deflection of the trajectory caused by gravity. (Bottom) A collapsing star can form a black hole so dense and massive that it creates a region of infinite curvature (a “singularity”) so that—inside the event horizon—light cannot escape. Current research in gravitation is attempting to modify general relativity to account for such objects consistent with quantum theory. (Credit: Carin Cain)
In Einstein’s general theory of relativity, gravity is nothing more than the curvature of spacetime. A massive object, such as the sun, causes a deformation of the spacetime grid, while another object such as a planet or a light beam follows the shortest path (a “geodesic”) on this grid. To an observer, this looks like a deflection of the trajectory caused by gravity. (Bottom) A collapsing star can form a black hole so dense and massive that it creates a region of infinite curvature (a “singularity”) so that—inside the event horizon—light cannot escape. Current research in gravitation is attempting to modify general relativity to account for such objects consistent with quantum theory. (Credit: Carin Cain)
via medium

Study reveals immune system is dazed and confused during spaceflight

European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 30 flight engineer, prepares vials in the Columbus laboratory of the International Space Station for venous blood sample draws during an immune system investigation. (Credit: NASA)
European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, Expedition 30 flight engineer, prepares vials in the Columbus laboratory of the International Space Station for venous blood sample draws during an immune system investigation. (Credit: NASA)
via phys.org

Sizing up an Exoplanet(VIDEO)

via NASA

Theoretical physics: The origins of space and time(VIDEO)

via nature

 So what exactly is a ‘killer robot’?

For as long as we’ve been able to make robots, we’ve been worried about them killing us. (Credit:  Ociacia/Shutterstock)
For as long as we’ve been able to make robots, we’ve been worried about them killing us. (Credit: Ociacia/Shutterstock)

Robots to cook and serve food in restaurant in Kunshan, China

 A robot carries food to customers in a restaurant in Kunshan, China. Photo: Johannes Eisele. (Credit: AFP)
A robot carries food to customers in a restaurant in Kunshan, China. Photo: Johannes Eisele. (Credit: AFP)
via news.com

New ‘mapping nearby galaxies at Apache Point observatory’ survey launched

Shown above is part of one of the most imaged parts of the night sky, the Orion Nebula. Since the angular size of Orion's Nebula is so large on the sky, only a portion is shown here. Located just below "Orion's Belt" this star-forming region is dominated by four young, massive O stars (known as the Trapezium, not pictured here). The wispy blue, green gas seen above is composed mostly of hydrogen, the main element used in forming stars. The Orion Nebula is an astrophysical laboratory, providing an up-close view of the birth of stars (Credit: Sloan Digital Sky Survey)
Shown above is part of one of the most imaged parts of the night sky, the Orion Nebula. Since the angular size of Orion’s Nebula is so large on the sky, only a portion is shown here. Located just below “Orion’s Belt” this star-forming region is dominated by four young, massive O stars (known as the Trapezium, not pictured here). The wispy blue, green gas seen above is composed mostly of hydrogen, the main element used in forming stars. The Orion Nebula is an astrophysical laboratory, providing an up-close view of the birth of stars. (Credit: Sloan Digital Sky Survey)

via azoquantum

Alternative propulsion concepts power debate

Greased Lighning (GL10) project 10 engine electric prototype remote control plane. Photo taken 8/14/14 (Credit: NASA Langley/David C. Bowman)
Greased Lighning (GL10) project 10 engine electric prototype remote control plane. Photo taken 8/14/14 (Credit: NASA Langley/David C. Bowman)
via thespacereview

Indian nuclear team head to US

A file photograph of Adani Power's thermal power plant in the western Indian state of Gujarat.(Credit: Reuters)
A file photograph of Adani Power’s thermal power plant in the western Indian state of Gujarat.(Credit: Reuters)
via breakbulk

South Korea running out of spent nuclear fuel storage space – advisory body

The Kori nuclear power plant in Busan, southeast of Seoul, is seen in this picture released by the plant to Reuters.  South Korea needs to quickly find additional space where it can store its spent nuclear fuel because some of its temporary storage capacity will be full by 2016, (Credit: Reuters/Kori Nuclear Power Plant/Handout)
via reuters

Physics in the News

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

First indirect evidence of undetected strange Baryons

CDF physicist Petar Maksimovic, professor at Johns Hopkins University, presented the discovery to the particle physics community at Fermilab. He explained that the two types of Sigma-sub-b particles are produced in two different spin combinations, J=1/2 and J=3/2, representing a ground state and an excited state, as predicted by theory. (Credit: Fermilab)
CDF physicist Petar Maksimovic, professor at Johns Hopkins University, presented the discovery to the particle physics community at Fermilab. He explained that the two types of Sigma-sub-b particles are produced in two different spin combinations, J=1/2 and J=3/2, representing a ground state and an excited state, as predicted by theory. (Credit: Fermilab)
via newswise

Curiosity Rover on Mars Stalled by ‘Hidden Valley’ Sand Trap

This image, taken by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity in August 2014, looks across the northeastern end of sandy "Hidden Valley" to the lower slopes of Mount Sharp on the horizon. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)
This image, taken by NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity in August 2014, looks across the northeastern end of sandy “Hidden Valley” to the lower slopes of Mount Sharp on the horizon.
(Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)
via space.com

Сalculations with nanoscale smart particles

Nanoparcticles producing logical calculations. (Credit: Maxim Nikitin)
Nanoparcticles producing logical calculations. (Credit: Maxim Nikitin)
via phys

Scientific error delayed the search for alien life

Scientists of the early 20th century argued that tidal forces had caused the sun to spit out the planets when a rogue star passed too close. It was a kind of drive-by shooting theory of planetary formation known as the "Planetesimal Hypothesis." (Credit: NASA, M. Strauss)
Scientists of the early 20th century argued that tidal forces had caused the sun to spit out the planets when a rogue star passed too close. It was a kind of drive-by shooting theory of planetary formation known as the “Planetesimal Hypothesis.” (Credit: NASA, M. Strauss)
via io9

SpaceX releases video of reusable rocket’s soft splashdown(VIDEO)

via valuewalk

Scientists unveil new technology to better understand small clusters of atoms

An illustration of the extent to which the atoms, in a small cluster of atoms, vibrate. The spheres represent the range of motion of the atoms, rather than the atoms themselves – the spheres have been exaggerated in size by 45 times in order to ease visualisation. The atoms on the surface have larger ranges of motion than those in the middle of the cluster. (Credit: University of York)
An illustration of the extent to which the atoms, in a small cluster of atoms, vibrate. The spheres represent the range of motion of the atoms, rather than the atoms themselves – the spheres have been exaggerated in size by 45 times in order to ease visualisation. The atoms on the surface have larger ranges of motion than those in the middle of the cluster. (Credit: University of York)
via york
 The ExoLance Concept. "Arrows" fall from a spacecraft, penetrate the ground, and expose the life-detecting equipment inside. (Credit: Explore Mars Inc.)
The ExoLance Concept: “Arrows” fall from a spacecraft, penetrate the ground, and expose the life-detecting equipment inside. (Credit: Explore Mars Inc.)
via popsci

NASA will basically play SimAnt with new “Swarmies” robots

NASA engineers have built four robots nicknamed “Swarmies” to test whether a group of robots can autonomously and effectively scout an area for resources, and they’ve model the software design after how ants do the same thing. (Credit:  NASA/D. Gerondidakis, G. Tickle)
NASA engineers have built four robots nicknamed “Swarmies” to test whether a group of robots can autonomously and effectively scout an area for resources, and they’ve model the software design after how ants do the same thing. (Credit: NASA/D. Gerondidakis, G. Tickle)
via themarysue

New research improves quantum coherence time using cavity protection effect

The quantum system studied at TU Wien (Vienna): a black diamond (center) contains nitrogen atoms, which are coupled to a microwave resonator. (Credit: TU Wien)
The quantum system studied at TU Wien (Vienna): a black diamond (center) contains nitrogen atoms, which are coupled to a microwave resonator. (Credit: TU Wien)
via azoquantum

Recycling old batteries into solar cells

This could be a classic win-win solution: A system proposed by researchers at MIT recycles materials from discarded car batteries—a potential source of lead pollution—into new, long-lasting solar panels that provide emissions-free power. (Credit: Christine Daniloff/MIT)
This could be a classic win-win solution: A system proposed by researchers at MIT recycles materials from discarded car batteries—a potential source of lead pollution—into new, long-lasting solar panels that provide emissions-free power. (Credit: Christine Daniloff/MIT)
via phys.org

The machine that tried to scan the brain – in 1882

 Angelo Mosso's "human circulation balance" machine worked like a seesaw to measure blood flow changes to the brain. (Credit: Stefano Sandrone et al.)

Angelo Mosso’s “human circulation balance” machine worked like a seesaw to measure blood flow changes to the brain. (Credit: Stefano Sandrone et al.)
via npr

Space X Falcon 9 night time launch planned

via examiner

 Which came last—The supernova or the red giant?

 A red giant star really is quite gigantic compared to our Sun. (Credit: NASA)
A red giant star really is quite gigantic compared to our Sun. (Credit: NASA)

via arstechnica

Physics in the News

Friday, August 15, 2014

Cosmic grains pre-date Solar System

Scientists may have identified the first known dust particles from outside our Solar System, in samples returned to Earth by a Nasa space mission. (Credit: NASA)
Scientists may have identified the first known dust particles from outside our Solar System, in samples returned to Earth by a Nasa space mission. (Credit: NASA)
via bbc

Every parking spot at the International Space Station is currently occupied

Here’s an awesome photo to start your day: The International Space Station currently has five spacecraft docked to it — the most that can be currently attached. If any of the world’s space agencies, or private companies like SpaceX were to send up another spacecraft today, they’d need to circle until another parking space becomes available. (Credit: NASA)
Here’s an awesome photo to start your day: The International Space Station currently has five spacecraft docked to it — the most that can be currently attached. If any of the world’s space agencies, or private companies like SpaceX were to send up another spacecraft today, they’d need to circle until another parking space becomes available. (Credit: NASA)
via extremetech

Massive trail of a boulder as it tumbles down a hill spotted by space probe above the red planet

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spotted the trail from an oblong boulder that rolled down a slope on the Red Planet. The image was taken on July 3, 2014. (Credit: NASA)
via space

Planck’s early universe exploration ‘great landmark’ in human history

“This piece of information, that has always been a dream, and never was thought of as being within human grasp. But here in the year 2014 on finds that perhaps this mission is going to be telling us how the universe started,” said Harwit, who is an expert in infrared astronomy and works as a member of the ESA’s Submillimeter Wave Astronomical Satellite, as well as on the Herschel Telescope. (Credit: East News/ Science Photo Library)
via en.ria

Mars orbiters plan for their October encounter with comet Siding Spring(VIDEO)

via planetary

Microsoft Research turns 2D camera into depth sensor (VIDEO)

via i-programmer

Rise of the machines? Watch a 1000 Tiny robot horde swarms to form shapes (VIDEO)

via reuters

Are processors pushing up against Moore’s Law and the limits of physics?

Plot of CPU transistor counts against dates of introduction. Note the logarithmic vertical scale; the line corresponds to exponential growth with transistor count doubling every two years. Transistor counts for integrated circuits plotted against their dates of introduction. The curve shows Moore's law - the doubling of transistor counts every two years. The y-axis is logarithmic, so the line corresponds to exponential growth. (Credit: Wgsimon)
Plot of CPU transistor counts against dates of introduction. Note the logarithmic vertical scale; the line corresponds to exponential growth with transistor count doubling every two years.  The curve shows Moore’s law – the doubling of transistor counts every two years. The y-axis is logarithmic, so the line corresponds to exponential growth. (Credit: Wgsimon)
via arstechnica

Molecular engineers record an electron’s quantum behavior

These images show a diamond sample with a hemispherical lens (right and lower left), and the location of a single electron spin/quantum state visible through its light emission (upper left). The scale bar on the image at upper left measures five microns, the approximate diameter of a red blood cell. (Credit: Courtesy of Awschalom Lab/University of Chicago)
These images show a diamond sample with a hemispherical lens (right and lower left), and the location of a single electron spin/quantum state visible through its light emission (upper left). The scale bar on the image at upper left measures five microns, the approximate diameter of a red blood cell. (Credit: Courtesy of Awschalom Lab/University of Chicago)
via phys

NASA’S NuSTAR catches a black hole bending light, space, and time

This plot of data captured by NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, shows X-ray light streaming from regions near a supermassive black hole known as Markarian 335. (Credit: NASA)
This plot of data captured by NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, shows X-ray light streaming from regions near a supermassive black hole known as Markarian 335. (Credit: NASA)
via universetoday

Physics in the News

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Despite extensive analysis, Fermi bubbles defy explanation

This artist's representation shows the Fermi bubbles towering above and below the galaxy. Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. (Credit: NASA)
This artist’s representation shows the Fermi bubbles towering above and below the galaxy. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. (Credit: NASA)
via phys.org

NASA ‘to make oxygen on Mars early next decade’

Space agency officials unveiled seven instruments they plan to put on a Martian rover that would launch in 2020, including two devices aimed at bigger Mars missions in the future. (Credit: NASA)
Space agency officials unveiled seven instruments they plan to put on a Martian rover that would launch in 2020, including two devices aimed at bigger Mars missions in the future. (Credit: NASA)
via news.com

On-chip topological light: First measurements of transmission and delay

Light enters a two-dimensional ring-resonator array from the lower left and exits at the lower right.  Light that follows the edge of the array (blue) does not suffer energy loss and exits after a consistent amount of delay. Light travels into the interior of the array (green) suffers energy loss. (Credit: Sean Kelley/JQI)
Light enters a two-dimensional ring-resonator array from the lower left and exits at the lower right. Light that follows the edge of the array (blue) does not suffer energy loss and exits after a consistent amount of delay. Light travels into the interior of the array (green) suffers energy loss. (Credit: Sean Kelley/JQI)
via esciencenews

Particle fever makes me feel like a physicist

via gizmodo

Final flight of European space vehicle to Space Station goes out with a ‘Big Bang’

ESA's Haptics-1 body-mounted astronaut joystick will be used to investigate telerobotics for space aboard the International Space Station. (Credit: European Space Agency)
ESA’s Haptics-1 body-mounted astronaut joystick will be used to investigate telerobotics for space aboard the International Space Station. (Credit: European Space Agency)
via phys.org

World Wide Web day today: Celebrate the web browser invention and surf

CERN’s website was the first to be hosted on the World Wide Web, at info.cern.ch. It was a simple page that contained a lot of links, which was essentially what the WWW was for at that time. It was dedicated to the Internet itself, describing the basic features of the web, accessing documents and setting up servers. (Credit: Beth A. Balen)
CERN’s website was the first to be hosted on the World Wide Web, at info.cern.ch. It was a simple page that contained a lot of links, which was essentially what the WWW was for at that time. It was dedicated to the Internet itself, describing the basic features of the web, accessing documents and setting up servers. (Credit: Beth A. Balen)
via guardianlv 

One Small Step for Your Dead Pet

Celestis has expanded their services to include animals, called Celestis Pets. And now you can even send your family pet in Armstrong’s and Aldrin’s footsteps by launching them to the moon. (Credit: Celestis Pets)
Celestis has expanded their services to include animals, called Celestis Pets. And now you can even send your family pet in Armstrong’s and Aldrin’s footsteps by launching them to the moon. (Credit: Celestis Pets)
via discovery