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

Monday, September 1, 2014

The ordinary weirdness of quantum mechanics

The spook and the weirdness, they stand in for non-locality and contextuality, they replace correlations and entanglement, pure and mixed states, non-commutativity, error correction, path integrals or post-selection. Unfortunately, all too often the technical vocabulary is entirely absent rather than briefly introduced. This makes it very difficult for interested readers to dig deeper into the topic. (Credit: C. Reed, S. Hossensfelder)
via backreaction

Mixing in star-forming clouds explains why sibling stars look alike

This is an image from a computer simulation shows a collision of two streams of interstellar gas, leading to gravitational collapse of the gas and the formation of a star cluster at the center. In this image, the gas streams were labeled with blue and red "tracer dyes," and the purple color indicates thorough mixing of the two gas streams during the collapse. Credit: Y. Feng and M. Krumholz
This computer simulation shows a collision of two streams of interstellar gas, leading to gravitational collapse of the gas and the formation of a star cluster at the center. In this image, the gas streams were labeled with blue and red “tracer dyes,” and the purple color indicates thorough mixing of the two gas streams during the collapse. (Credit: Y. Feng and M. Krumholz)
via phys

Laser pulse turns glass into a metal

Computer simulations show the electron flux from one atom to the others.
Scientists at the Vienna University of Technology have been able to change the properties of quartz glass into metal for very brief moments using laser pulses.  (Credit: Vienna University of Technology)
via pbs

The power of hidden patterns

Interfaces between solid materials are surfaces with intricate, internal structure (shown on the left). To control that structure, and to use it for specific applications, researchers model it a simplified way (shown on the right). Image: Niaz Abdolrahim and Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT
Interfaces between solid materials are surfaces with intricate, internal structure (shown on the left). To control that structure, and to use it for specific applications, researchers model it a simplified way (shown on the right). (Credit: Niaz Abdolrahim and Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT)
via mit

Asteroid 1950 DA’s Encounter with Earth in 2880(PDF)

(29075) 1950 DA is a near-Earth asteroid. Among asteroids more than 1 km in diameter, it is notable for having the highest known probability of impacting Earth.
(29075) 1950 DA is a near-Earth asteroid. Among asteroids more than 1 km in diameter, it is notable for having the highest known probability of impacting Earth. (Credit: Stocktrek Images Inc./Alamy)
via scientificamerican

Fermilab builds holometer to look for jitter in spacetime

central-clean-room
The Fermilab Holometer is a new kind of instrument designed to study the quantum character of space itself. It measures the quantum coherence of location with unprecedented precision. (Credit: Fermi)
 via fermi

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

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