Physics in the News

Friday, September 12, 2014

The sound of an atom has been captured

On the right, an artificial atom generates sound waves consisting of ripples on the surface of a solid. The sound, known as a surface acoustic wave (SAW) is picked up on the left by a "microphone" composed of interlaced metal fingers. According to theory, the sound consists of a stream of quantum particles, the weakest whisper physically possible. The illustration is not to scale. (Credit: Philip Krantz, Krantz NanoArt)
On the right, an artificial atom generates sound waves consisting of ripples on the surface of a solid. The sound, known as a surface acoustic wave (SAW) is picked up on the left by a “microphone” composed of interlaced metal fingers. According to theory, the sound consists of a stream of quantum particles, the weakest whisper physically possible. The illustration is not to scale. (Credit: Philip Krantz, Krantz NanoArt)
via chalmers

Fluid mechanics suggests alternative to quantum orthodoxy

Close-ups of an experiment conducted by John Bush and his student Daniel Harris, in which a bouncing droplet of fluid was propelled across a fluid bath by waves it generated. (Credit: Dan Harris)
Close-ups of an experiment conducted by John Bush and his student Daniel Harris, in which a bouncing droplet of fluid was propelled across a fluid bath by waves it generated. (Credit: Dan Harris)
via phys

Thermodynamics beats single-electron Maxwell demon

 

The Smoluchowsi trapdoor is a simple test for any proposed exorcism of Maxwell's demon. It is immediately obvious that an information based exorcism is of no use. The are no sensors in this simple device that collect information; and there are memory devices that would need erasure if the demon is to return to its original state. (Credit: Hemmo, M.; Shenker)
The Smoluchowsi trapdoor is a simple test for any proposed exorcism of Maxwell’s demon. It is immediately obvious that an information based exorcism is of no use. The are no sensors in this simple device that collect information; and there are memory devices that would need erasure if the demon is to return to its original state. (Credit: Hemmo, M.; Shenker)
via aip

Experimental search for quantum gravity – What is new?

Gravity Probe B (GP-B) has measured spacetime curvature near Earth to test related models in application of Einstein's general theory of relativity.
Gravity Probe B (GP-B) has measured spacetime curvature near Earth to test related models in application of Einstein’s general theory of relativity. (Credit: S. Hossenfelder, Wiki Commons)
via backreaction

Ardbeg ‘space whisky’ back on Earth after flavor experiment

Whisky that was fired into space three years ago as part of an experiment into flavour has returned to Earth. (Credit: Unknown)
Whisky that was fired into space, three years ago as part of an experiment into flavor, has returned to Earth. (Credit: Unknown)
via bbc

Japanese team fabricates single-photon sources in solid matter

The research group resolved the challenging issue attributed to solid crystals, namely widely spread emission wavelengths, and succeeded in fabricating many single-photon sources that emit photons with nearly identical emission wavelengths. (Credit: National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS))
The research group resolved the challenging issue attributed to solid crystals, namely widely spread emission wavelengths, and succeeded in fabricating many single-photon sources that emit photons with nearly identical emission wavelengths. (Credit: National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS))
via innovations-report

Information loss, made worse by quantum gravity(PDF)

C H Figure 1: Acausality: Penrose diagram of a black hole with signature c hange at high curvature (hashed region). In contrast to traditional non-sing ular models, there is an event horizon (dashed line H , the boundary of the region that is determined by backward evolution from future infinity) and a Chauchy horizon (dash-dotte d line C , the boundary of the region obtained by forward evolution of the high-curvature re gion) (Credit:
C H Figure 1: Acausality: Penrose diagram of a black hole with signature c hange at high curvature (hashed region). In contrast to traditional non-sing ular models, there is an event horizon (dashed line H , the boundary of the region that is determined by backward evolution from future infinity) and a Chauchy horizon (dash-dotte d line C , the boundary of the region obtained by forward evolution of the high-curvature re gion) (Credit: Martin Bojowald)
via arXiv

Mystery of ‘hot Jupiter’ planets’ crazy orbits may be solved

Giant alien planets known as "hot Jupiters" can induce wobbles in their parent stars that may lead to the wild, close orbits seen by astronomers. This diagram shows the relationship between wobbling stars and the orbital tilt of hot Jupiter planets. (Credit: Cornell University/N.Storch, K.Anderson, D.La)
Giant alien planets known as “hot Jupiters” can induce wobbles in their parent stars that may lead to the wild, close orbits seen by astronomers. This diagram shows the relationship between wobbling stars and the orbital tilt of hot Jupiter planets. (Credit: Cornell University/N.Storch, K.Anderson, D.Lai)
via space

Scientists put their heads together over the unbearable lightness of the Higgs mass

University of Maryland’s Raman Sundrum leads a discussion at the recent Nature Guiding Theory workshop. (Credit: Joe Lykken)
via fnal.gov

‘It was a child’s dream to see the stars’: 1st Russian female cosmonaut, Yelena Serova, in 17 yrs ready to lift-off

via discovery

Physics in the News

Friday, September 5, 2014

The plan to make the Moon an enormous detector of cosmic rays

Artist impression of the Square Kilometer Array. If all goes according to plan in the next decade, we could see these small perturbations on the moon—and begin to solve some of the mysteries of space. (Credit: SKA)
Artist impression of the Square Kilometer Array. If all goes according to plan in the next decade, we could see these small perturbations on the moon—and begin to solve some of the mysteries of space. (Credit: SKA)
via gizmodo

NASA scientists study the Sun by listening to it

via popsci

What would it be like if you fell into a black hole?

via universetoday

Astronaut all-stars will visit China to talk space cooperation

China's first astronaut, Yang Liwei, is now vice director of the China Manned Space Engineering Office. (Credit: CMS)
Space travelers from around the world are headed to China this month for an international Planetary Congress, which will explore the possibilities for expanding human spaceflight cooperation among different countries. Pictured above is China’s first astronaut, Yang Liwei, is now vice director of the China Manned Space Engineering Office. (Credit: CMS)
via space

The ATLAS Humanoid Robot has advanced to the level of a lazy teenager

via gizmodo

AI: How Algorithms make systems smart

An animation of the quicksort algorithm sorting an array of randomized values. The red bars mark the pivot element; at the start of the animation, the element farthest to the right hand side is chosen as the pivot. (Credit: RonaldH)
An animation of the quicksort algorithm sorting an array of randomized values. The red bars mark the pivot element; at the start of the animation, the element farthest to the right hand side is chosen as the pivot. (Credit: RonaldH)
via wired

Google branches out from D-Wave in quantum computing initiative

rather than keeping all its eggs in D-Wave's basket, Google's "Quantum A.I. Lab" announced that it is starting a collaboration with an academic quantum computing researcher, John Martinis of the University of California-Santa Barbara. (Credit: Wiki, Timmer)
Rather than keeping all its eggs in D-Wave’s basket, Google’s “Quantum A.I. Lab” announced that it is starting a collaboration with an academic quantum computing researcher, John Martinis of the University of California-Santa Barbara. (Credit: Wiki, Timmer)
via arstechnica

Sep 5th: Mysterious outer solar system series – The Kuiper Belt

via cosmoquest

Space Station’s ‘Cubesat Cannon’ has Mind of its Own

In the grasp of the Japanese robotic arm, NanoRack’s CubeSat deployer releases a pair of miniature satellites last month. (Credit: NASA)
In the grasp of the Japanese robotic arm, NanoRack’s CubeSat deployer releases a pair of miniature satellites last month. (Credit: NASA)
via discovery

Physics in the News

Thursday, September 4, 2014

New map locates Milky Way in neighborhood of 100,000 galaxies

A new map places the Milky Way (black dot) within a large supercluster of galaxies (white dots) by tracing the gravitational pull of galaxies toward one another. White filaments reveal the paths of galaxies moving toward a gravitational center in the new supercluster, dubbed "Laniakea." (Blue, low galaxy density; green, intermediate; red, high.) SDvision interactive visualization software by DP at CEA/Saclay, France)
A new map places the Milky Way (black dot) within a large supercluster of galaxies (white dots) by tracing the gravitational pull of galaxies toward one another. White filaments reveal the paths of galaxies moving toward a gravitational center in the new supercluster, dubbed “Laniakea.” (Blue, low galaxy density; green, intermediate; red, high.) (Credit: DP at CEA/Saclay, France)
via nationalgeographic

Small asteroid to safely pass close to Earth Sunday

via nasa

Researcher advances a new model for a cosmological enigma — dark matter

This three-dimensional map offers a first look at the web-like large-scale distribution of dark matter, an invisible form of matter that accounts for most of the Universe's imaginary mass. The map reveals a loose network of dark matter filaments, gradually collapsing under the relentless pull of gravity, and growing clumpier over time. The three axes of the box correspond to sky position (in right ascension and declination), and distance from the Earth increasing from left to right (as measured by cosmological redshift). Note how the clumping of the dark matter becomes more pronounced, moving right to left across the volume map, from the early Universe to the more recent Universe.
This three-dimensional map offers a first look at the web-like large-scale distribution of dark matter, an invisible form of matter that accounts for most of the Universe’s imaginary mass. The map reveals a loose network of dark matter filaments, gradually collapsing under the relentless pull of gravity, and growing clumpier over time. The three axes of the box correspond to sky position, and distance from the Earth increasing from left to right. Note how the clumping of the dark matter becomes more pronounced, moving right to left across the volume map, from the early Universe to the more recent Universe. (Credit: NASA/ESA/Richard Massey)
via ku.edu

Dark energy hunt gets weird

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Cosmologists have revealed intruiging new ways to probe the mystery of whether dark energy exists and how it might be accelerating the universe’s growth. (Credit: Picturegarden/Getty)
via newscientist

Watching ‘the clock’ at the LHC

As time ticks down to the restart of the Large Hadron Collider, scientists are making sure their detectors run like clockwork.Photo by Antonio Saba, CERN
As time ticks down to the restart of the Large Hadron Collider, scientists are making sure their detectors run like clockwork.  (Credit: Antonio Saba, CERN)
via symmetrymagazine

Mind-blowing science explained: Neutron stars “are basically atoms as big as mountains”

via salon

Ultracold atoms juggle spins with exceptional symmetry

Schematic representation of a spin-exchanging collision. Two atoms in different orbitals (blue and green) and different spin orientations (black arrows) collide. The two atoms exiting the collision have swapped their spins after interacting. Crucially, the process is independent of the two specific initial spin states. Credit: LMU-München / MPQ, Quantum Many Body Systems Division Read more at: http://phys.org
Schematic representation of a spin-exchanging collision. Two atoms in different orbitals (blue and green) and different spin orientations (black arrows) collide. The two atoms exiting the collision have swapped their spins after interacting. Crucially, the process is independent of the two specific initial spin states. (Credit: LMU-München / MPQ, Quantum Many Body Systems Division)
via phys.org

How the enormous mirrors on the world’s largest telescope are made

The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) is a ground-based extremely large telescope planned for completion in 2020.[5] It will consist of seven 8.4 m (27.6 ft) diameter primary segments,[6] with the resolving power of a 24.5 m (80.4 ft) primary mirror and collecting area equivalent to a 22.0 m (72.2 ft) one,[7] (which is about 368 square meters) (Credit: wiki, Tarantola)
via gizmodo

Cosmic forecast: Dark clouds will give way to sunshine

via phys.org

Do exoplanets transform between classes?

A new analysis suggests that hot super-Earths might be the skeletal remnants of hot Jupiters stripped of their atmospheres. The above image is an artist’s depiction of an early stage in the destruction of a hot Jupiter by its star. (Credit: NASA / GSFC / Reddy, S. Hall)
via skyandtelescope

Physics in the News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tragedy: Russia’s orbiting zero-g sex geckos have all died

These aren't our illustrious orbiting sex geckos, but they are the experiment's ground-based control sex geckos, and that's almost as good!
These aren’t our illustrious orbiting sex geckos, but they are the experiment’s ground-based control sex geckos. (credit: imbp.ru)
via arstechnica

Out of this world! Astronaut captures release of Cygnus spacecraft in incredible timelapse from International Space Station

via slate

Time travel simulation resolves “Grandfather Paradox”

Entering a closed timelike curve tomorrow means you could end up at today. Credit: Dmitry Schidlovsky
Entering a closed timelike curve tomorrow means you could end up at today.
Credit: Dmitry Schidlovsky
via scientificamerican

Geometric meaning of the black hole horizon (PDF)

The event horizon is the boundary between a black hole and the rest of the universe. Any matter that spirals in toward the black hole and crosses the event horizon disappears. Ann Feild, Space Telescope Science Institute
Recent proposals postulate the existence of a “firewall” at the event horizon that may incinerate an infalling observer. These proposals face an apparent paradox if a freely falling observer detects nothing special in the vicinity of the horizon. (Credit: Moffat, Toth, Feild)
via mathoverflow

Google partners with UCSB to build quantum processors for artificial intelligence

photo: Erik Lucero / University of California, Santa Barbara
Google is going beyond using other people’s hardware. “With an integrated hardware group, the Quantum AI team at Google will now be able to implement and test new designs for quantum optimization and inference processors based on recent theoretical progress and insights from the D-Wave quantum annealing architecture,” says Hartmut Neven, Google’s Director of Engineering. (Credit: E. Lucero(UCSB), Lardinois)
via techcrunch

Research aimed at the heart of the Sun

 Inside the Borexino detector used to detect neutrinos from the sun. Credit Borexino Collaboration
Inside the Borexino detector used to detect neutrinos from the sun. Credit Borexino Collaboration
via nytimes

Watch a beautiful, powerful solar eruption

via latimes

Physics in the News

Sunday, August 31, 2014

What time is it in the Universe? (VIDEO)

via universetoday

The limits of gravity, space and time… (VIDEO)

via astronomytoday

Robonaut 2 gets legs, New Horizons Pluto-bound (VIDEO)

via floridatoday

Our Sun’s power is stable and steadfast (VIDEO)

via techtimes

Latest theory of everything to hit the physics shelves

Agravity, short for ‘adimensional gravity’, is one of the most recent Theory of Everything (ToE) proposals in a long line of such proposals that have come about ever since the problem of reconciling Gravity with the Standard Model was realized by physicists. It attempts to merge gravity with the Higgs interaction (the thing that gives particles mass and electric charge) and thus the rest of the Standard Model by reconciling the huge difference between the Planck Scale (on the order of 1019 giga-electron-volts (GeV) = 1011 Joules (J)) and the relatively small masses of all the other particles
Agravity, short for ‘adimensional gravity’, is one of the most recent Theory of Everything proposals in a long line of such proposals that have come about ever since the problem of reconciling Gravity with the Standard Model was realized by physicists.  It attempts to merge gravity with the Higgs interaction, and thus the rest of the Standard Model, by reconciling the huge difference between the Planck Scale and the relatively small masses of all the other particles. (Credit: SGTW, Daniels)

via united-academics

Mars Rover Opportunity to have memory wiped

The decision to reformat Opportunity’s flash memory early next month is prompted by the multiple computer resets the rover has been experiencing. This month alone, Opportunity has had to be rebooted a dozen times, interrupting valuable time that should be taken up with carrying out science near the rim of Endeavour crater. (Credit: NASA, O'Neil)
The decision to reformat Opportunity’s flash memory early next month is prompted by the multiple computer resets the rover has been experiencing. This month alone, Opportunity has had to be rebooted a dozen times, interrupting valuable time that should be taken up with carrying out science near the rim of Endeavour crater. (Credit: NASA, O’Neil)

via discovery

Astronomers spot the birth of ‘Sparky,’ a massive star factory(PDF)

“It’s fascinating that the early universe could make galaxies in this way and the modern universe just can’t anymore, and we’re really beginning to understand in a profound way how different the early universe was than it is now,” said Erica Nelson of Yale University. (Credit: Neslson)
via washingtonpost

NASA probes studying Earth’s radiation belts to celebrate two year anniversary

NASA’s Van Allen Probes orbit through two giant radiation belts surrounding Earth. Their observations help explain how particles in the belts can be sped up to nearly the speed of light. Image (Credit: NASA)

Mysteries of space dust revealed

This is a scanning electron microscope image of an interplanetary dust particle that has roughly chondritic elemental composition and is highly rough (chondritic porous: "CP"). CP types are usually aggregates of large numbers of sub-micrometer grains, clustered in a random open order. (Credit: Donald E. Brownlee)
This is a scanning electron microscope image of an interplanetary dust particle that has roughly chondritic elemental composition and is highly rough (chondritic porous: “CP”). CP types are usually aggregates of large numbers of sub-micrometer grains, clustered in a random open order. (Credit: Donald E. Brownlee)
via phys.org

Are there evidences for cosmic inflation?

Inflation explains the origin of the large-scale structure of the cosmos. Many physicists believe that inflation explains why the Universe appears to be the same in all directions (isotropic), why the cosmic microwave background radiation is distributed evenly, why the universe is flat, and why no magnetic monopoles have been observed. (Credit: NASA)
Inflation explains the origin of the large-scale structure of the cosmos. Many physicists believe that inflation explains why the Universe appears to be the same in all directions (isotropic), why the cosmic microwave background radiation is distributed evenly, why the universe is flat, and why no magnetic monopoles have been observed. (Credit: NASA)
via science20

Sparks fly as NASA pushes the limits of 3-D printing technology

Engineers just completed hot-fire testing with two 3-D printed rocket injectors. Certain features of the rocket components were designed to increase rocket engine performance. The injector mixed liquid oxygen and gaseous hydrogen together, which combusted at temperatures over 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit, producing more than 20,000 pounds of thrust. (Credit: NASA photo/David Olive)
Engineers just completed hot-fire testing with two 3-D printed rocket injectors. Certain features of the rocket components were designed to increase rocket engine performance. The injector mixed liquid oxygen and gaseous hydrogen together, which combusted at temperatures over 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit, producing more than 20,000 pounds of thrust. (Credit: NASA photo/David Olive)
via spacefellowship