Physics in the News

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Researchers discover new clues to determining the solar cycle

Magnetic stripes of solar material – with alternating south and north polarity – march toward the sun's equator. Such observations may change the way we think about what's driving the sun's 22-year solar cycle. (Credit:  S. McIntosh)
Magnetic stripes of solar material – with alternating south and north polarity – march toward the sun’s equator. Such observations may change the way we think about what’s driving the sun’s 22-year solar cycle. (Credit: S. McIntosh)
via nasa

Finding the ‘Holy Grail’ of making smarter robots

via abcnews

Do most cosmologists accept the reality of the cosmic fine tuning?

via winteryknight

DARPA’s experimental space plane XS-1 starts development

via dailycaller

How the space craft Dawn will get the low-down on the first dwarf planet ever discovered

This image illustrates Dawn’s spiral transfer from high altitude mapping orbit (HAMO) to low altitude mapping orbit (LAMO). The trajectory turns from blue to red as time progresses over two months. Red dashed sections are where ion thrusting is stopped so the spacecraft can point its main antenna toward Earth. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)
This image illustrates Dawn’s spiral transfer from high altitude mapping orbit (HAMO) to low altitude mapping orbit (LAMO). The trajectory turns from blue to red as time progresses over two months. Red dashed sections are where ion thrusting is stopped so the spacecraft can point its main antenna toward Earth. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)
via nasa

Japan’s decade long mission to mine an asteroid

The little mushroom cap between the two high-gain antennas is the X-band low-gain antenna. The little blue thing is DCAM3, a deployable camera that will hopefully take pictures of the explosion and impact of Hayabusa's "Small Carry-on Impactor" while the mothership hides safely in the shadow of the asteroid.
The little mushroom cap between the two high-gain antennas is the X-band low-gain antenna. The little blue thing is DCAM3, a deployable camera that will hopefully take pictures of the explosion and impact of Hayabusa’s “Small Carry-on Impactor” while the mothership hides safely in the shadow of the asteroid. (Credit: Lakdawalla)
via gizmodo

Phase change memory lets a single bit act as different logic gates

Phase change materials can switch between two forms depending on how quickly they're cooled. Cool them quickly and you get an amorphous form, which provides significant resistance to the flow of electrons. Cool them slowly and they will allow electrons to flow more readily. Once cooled, these two forms remain stable, locking the differences in conduction in place. (Credit: Columbia University)
Phase change materials can switch between two forms depending on how quickly they’re cooled. Cool them quickly and you get an amorphous form, which provides significant resistance to the flow of electrons. Cool them slowly and they will allow electrons to flow more readily. Once cooled, these two forms remain stable, locking the differences in conduction in place. (Credit: Columbia University, Timmer)
via arstechnica

Rosetta set for ‘capture’ manoeuvres

Rosetta scientists will be heading to Lisbon, Portugal, next week to present their early impressions of the comet to their peers.
Rosetta scientists will be heading to Lisbon, Portugal, next week to present their early  impressions of the comet to their peers.
via bbc

Deflecting near Earth asteroids with paint

The Yarkovsky Effect: The daylight side absorbs the solar radiation. As the object rotates, the dusk side cools down and hence emits more thermal photons than the dawn side. It may be possible to exploit this effect for planetary defense.
The Yarkovsky Effect: The daylight side absorbs the solar radiation. As the object rotates, the dusk side cools down and hence emits more thermal photons than the dawn side. It may be possible to exploit this effect for planetary defense.
via thespacereview

The beginning of extra-galactic Neutrino astronomy

 An event in the IceCube neutrino telescope. Photomultipliers attached to strings buried deep in the Antarctic ice detect the bursts of light emitted when a neutrino collides with the ice and produces a muon. The event shown was generated by an upward moving muon, which was produced by an upward moving muon neutrino that passed through the Earth.  APS/Joan Tycko;
An event in the IceCube neutrino telescope. Photomultipliers attached to strings buried deep in the Antarctic ice detect the bursts of light emitted when a neutrino collides with the ice and produces a muon. The event shown was generated by an upward moving muon, which was produced by an upward moving muon neutrino that passed through the Earth. APS/Joan Tycko;
via physics.aps

Is it the era of racing for colliders’ physics?

A 1974 photo of the part named Intersection 5 (I5) of the ISR of CERN's old PS, clearly shows the layout of the magnets and the crossing of the two beams pipes. (Credit: Salem)
A 1974 photo of the part named Intersection 5 (I5) of the ISR of CERN’s old PS, clearly shows the layout of the magnets and the crossing of the two beams pipes. (Credit: Salem)
via onislam

Design completed for prototype fast reactor

Russian power engineering R&D institute NIKIET has completed the engineering design for the BREST-300 lead-cooled fast reactor.  (NIKIET)
Russian power engineering R&D institute NIKIET has completed the engineering design for the BREST-300 lead-cooled fast reactor. (NIKIET)
via world-nuclear-news

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

Friday, August 29, 2014

First robot astronaut ‘lonely’ in space

via independent

Keck observatory gives astronomers first glimpse of monster galaxy formation

This image shows observations of a newly discovered galaxy core dubbed GOODS-N-774, taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Camera 3 and Advanced Camera for Surveys. The core is marked by the box inset, overlaid on a section of the Hubble GOODS-N, or GOODS North, field (Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey). (Credit: NASA, ESA)
This image shows observations of a newly discovered galaxy core dubbed GOODS-N-774, taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 and Advanced Camera for Surveys. The core is marked by the box inset, overlaid on a section of the Hubble GOODS-N, or GOODS North, field (Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey). (Credit: NASA, ESA)
via phys.org

We are swimming in a superhot supernova soup

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 6, 2014

Shipyard workers test out robot suits in South Korea

Chu says worker feedback from the trial has been mostly positive. Testers were pleased that the exoskeleton let them lift heavy objects repeatedly without strain, but everyone also wanted it to move faster and be able to cope with heavier loads. (Credit: Daewoo)
via cnet

An NMR Chip The Size of a Seed

Harvard electrical engineering and applied physics professor Donhee Ham and his colleagues have drastically shrunk the size of the electronics even further, fitting the RF receiver, transmitter and other components on a tiny seed-sized chip. (Credit: Dongwan Ha/Harvard SEAS)
Harvard electrical engineering and applied physics professor Donhee Ham and his colleagues have drastically shrunk the size of the electronics even further, fitting the RF receiver, transmitter and other components on a tiny seed-sized chip. (Credit: Dongwan Ha/Harvard SEAS)
via ieee

The never-ending conundrums of classical physics

The incorrect “equal transit time” explanation for lift. (Credit: )
The incorrect “equal transit time” explanation for lift. (Credit: )

via  archtechnia

Is cosmic radiation the dawn of new physics or statistical slip-up?

The Milky Way is bit of a barrier between us the extra-galactic universe. (Credit: NASA, CC BY)
The Milky Way is bit of a barrier between us the extra-galactic universe. (Credit: NASA, CC BY)

via theconversation

Full NASA Cannae Drive and EMdrive Test paper shows that there is anomolous thrust and the null test article criticism is wrong

nasatestemdrive4
via nextbigfuture

Inmarsat warns over delays from failed rocket launch

Inmarsat used its satellite network to name search areas for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight
Inmarsat used its satellite network to name search areas for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight

via telegraph

Jupiter’s volcanic moon spews “curtains of fire”

Footage from the Venus Express orbiter confirmed sightings of hot spots on the surface of the planet, in accordance with volcanoes still simmering. (Credit: NASA)
Footage from the Venus Express orbiter confirmed sightings of hot spots on the surface of the planet, in accordance with volcanoes still simmering. (Credit: NASA)
via slashgear

Physicists introduce another quantum animal: The Quantum Pigeon

At the present moment another measurement is performed which is influenced both by what happened earlier and what happened later. (Credit: Jeff Tollaksen)
At the present moment another measurement is performed which is influenced both by what happened earlier and what happened later. (Credit: Jeff Tollaksen)
via phys

Radio telescope pinpoints Pluto for spacecraft buddy

The cold surface of Pluto and its largest moon Charon as seen with ALMA on July 15, 2014. (Credit: /AUI/NSF)
The cold surface of Pluto and its largest moon Charon as seen with ALMA on July 15, 2014. (Credit: /AUI/NSF)
via discovery

Social trails go off the beaten path: quantum lines of desire happen in physics also

 Kater Murch (right), assistant professor of physics at Washington University in St. Louis, and junior Chris Munley work with the equipment that can map a quantum device's trajectory between two points in quantum state space, a feat until recently considered impossible. (Credit: Joe Angeles/WUSTL Photos)

Kater Murch (right), assistant professor of physics at Washington University in St. Louis, and junior Chris Munley work with the equipment that can map a quantum device’s trajectory between two points in quantum state space, a feat until recently considered impossible. (Credit: Joe Angeles/WUSTL Photos)

via sciencecodex

Planting imperfections at specific spots within diamond lattice could advance quantum computing

This is a schematic of the process to localize NV centers in 3-D. The researchers blasted carbon ions through holes to create vacancies and heated the diamond to make the vacancies mobile within the crystal. NV centers could form in the nitrogen-doped layer below where the holes were placed. (Credit: F.J. Heremans and D. Awschalom/U. Chicago and K. Ohno/UCSB)
This is a schematic of the process to localize NV centers in 3-D. The researchers blasted carbon ions through holes to create vacancies and heated the diamond to make the vacancies mobile within the crystal. NV centers could form in the nitrogen-doped layer below where the holes were placed. (Credit: F.J. Heremans and D. Awschalom/U. Chicago and K. Ohno/UCSB)

via phys