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

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Pluto bound spacecraft crosses Neptune’s orbit(VIDEO)

via nasa

Mars, August 27, moon hoax is fake

This image sometimes circulates on Facebook, with the claim that Mars will appear as big and bright as a full moon on August 27, 2014. It’s a hoax. Don’t believe it. Mars never appears as large as a full moon in Earth’s sky. (Credit: Unknown)
This image sometimes circulates on Facebook, with the claim that Mars will appear as big and bright as a full moon on August 27, 2014. It’s a hoax. Don’t believe it. Mars never appears as large as a full moon in Earth’s sky. (Credit: Unknown)
via bnlive

Physicists ‘freeze time’ to manipulate spin information in graphene

A optical microscope image of the spintronic device (top view). The top electrode (tg) and cobalt electrodes (1 to 5) are yellow. The boron nitride layers (in green) encapsulate the graphene flake, which is outlined by the dotted line. Credit: Fundamental Research on Matter (Credit: FOM)
via phys.org

Radical new theory could kill the multiverse hypothesis

Alessandro Strumia of the University of Pisa, pictured speaking at a conference in 2013, has co-developed a scale-symmetric theory of particle physics called “agravity.” (Credit: Thomas Lin/Quanta Magazine)
via simonfoundation

New technique for measuring nanostructures

X-ray interference pattern measured while studying complex nano-layer structures. The sketch inserted illustrates the path of the x-ray beam relative to the surface of the sample. (Credit: Sebastian Macke)
X-ray interference pattern measured while studying complex nano-layer structures. The sketch inserted illustrates the path of the x-ray beam relative to the surface of the sample. (Credit: Sebastian Macke)
via rdmag

SpaceX primed to launch second AsiaSat mission in three weeks

Three weeks after launching the AsiaSat-8 communications satellite, SpaceX is primed to deliver its sibling, AsiaSat-6, into geostationary transfer orbit at an altitude of 22,236 miles (35,786 km) on Wednesday, 27 August. (Credit: AsiaSat)
 
via americaspace

Cosmic rays on the sky – where do they come from?

Relative intensity (top row) and pre-trial significance (bottom row) of the cosmic-ray flux in the vicinity of Region A (left), Region B (center), and Region C (right). (Credit: Abeysekara et al)

via astrobites

Imprint of primordial monster star found

The very first stars in the Universe might have been hundreds of times more massive than the Sun. Credit: Artist's impression by National Astronomical Observatory of Japan
The very first stars in the Universe might have been hundreds of times more massive than the Sun. (Credit: National Astronomical Observatory of Japan)
via scientificamerican

Nuclear fusion reactor at the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab will be operational again after $94 M upgrade

Jonathan Menard, a principal research physicist and program director for the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX), and Masa Ono, a principal research physicist and project director of the NSTX, stand in front of the experiment during a tour of the facility. The device has been shut down since 2011 while it undergoes a $94 million upgrade that will make it the most powerful device of its kind in the world
Jonathan Menard, a principal research physicist and program director for the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX), and Masa Ono, a principal research physicist and project director of the NSTX, stand in front of the experiment during a tour of the facility. The device has been shut down since 2011 while it undergoes a $94 million upgrade that will make it the most powerful device of its kind in the world. (Credit NSTX)
via nj.com

Roscosmos intends to spend about $298 million on removing orbital clutter

The agency intends to deploy the spacecraft, codename Liquidator, to clear up the geostationary orbit over the equator, which is 36 thousand kilometers above sea level
The agency intends to deploy the spacecraft, codename Liquidator, to clear up the geostationary orbit over the equator, which is 36 thousand kilometers above sea level. (Credit: Roscosmos)
via spacemart

How the computer of the future keeps its cool

"When you start to make electronics smaller and denser, not only are you making much more heat in the same amount of volume, but it's much harder for the heat to flow outward," says Peter Nalbach, a theoretical physicist at the University of Hamburg, Germany. (Credit: Mehau Kulyk/Getty)
“When you start to make electronics smaller and denser, not only are you making much more heat in the same amount of volume, but it’s much harder for the heat to flow outward,” says Peter Nalbach, a theoretical physicist at the University of Hamburg, Germany. (Credit: Mehau Kulyk/Getty)
via popularmechanics

The plan to build a massive online brain for all the world’s robots

hey hope to create a massive online “brain” that can help all robots navigate and even understand the world around them. “The purpose,” says Saxena, who dreamed it all up, “is to build a very good knowledge graph—or a knowledge base—for robots to use.Thinkstock
Researchers hope to create a massive online “brain” that can help all robots navigate and even understand the world around them. “The purpose,” says Saxena, who dreamed it all up, “is to build a very good knowledge graph—or a knowledge base—for robots to use. (Credit: Thinkstock, Hernandez )
via wired

Physics research removes outcome unpredictability of ultracold atomic reactions

Probability density  of an Efimov trimer state at different three-body geometries that are characterized by the polar angle -- indicated by the trimer legends.  The key feature in the probability density is that unlike ordinary molecular binding that mostly has a single geometry, the Efimov trimer covers have a broad range of geometries. The atoms in such states behave more like in a fluid drop. (Credit: Yujun Wang, Kansas State University)
Probability density of an Efimov trimer state at different three-body geometries that are characterized by the polar angle — indicated by the trimer legends. The key feature in the probability density is that unlike ordinary molecular binding that mostly has a single geometry, the Efimov trimer covers have a broad range of geometries. The atoms in such states behave more like in a fluid drop. (Credit: Yujun Wang, Kansas State University)

via phys.org

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

Monday, August 11, 2014

Physicists create water tractor beam

Dr Horst Punzmann (left) and Professor Michael Shats test their wave-generated tractor beam. (Credit: Stuart Hay)
Dr Horst Punzmann (left) and Professor Michael Shats test their wave-generated tractor beam. (Credit: Stuart Hay)
via anu

Amazing HD footage of ‘Flying Saucer’

via sky

The craziest NASA mission ever proposed

In this concept image, the robotic vehicle deploys an inflatable bag to envelop a free-flying small asteroid before redirecting it to a distant retrograde lunar orbit. (Credit: NASA)
In this concept image, the robotic vehicle deploys an inflatable bag to envelop a free-flying small asteroid before redirecting it to a distant retrograde lunar orbit. (Credit: NASA)
via sciencenews

Scientists unravel mystery of universe’s existence

Researchers from Three Perimeter Institute have a new idea, and have claimed that what is perceived as the big bang, could be the three-dimensional 'mirage' of a collapsing star in a universe profoundly different than our own. (Credit: NASA, ANI)
Researchers from Three Perimeter Institute have a new idea, and have claimed that what is perceived as the big bang, could be the three-dimensional ‘mirage’ of a collapsing star in a universe profoundly different than our own. (Credit: NASA, ANI)
via aninews

Crowd-funded ISEE-3 reboot mission to begin Sunday after lunar flyby

The International Sun-Earth Explorer 3 (ISEE-3) will have the closest view of the moon at 11:16 a.m. PDT. Members of the rebooted mission partnered with Google to create a website, where they will host a video hangout beginning at 10:30 a.m. PDT. (Credit: ISEE3, NASA)
The International Sun-Earth Explorer 3 (ISEE-3) will have the closest view of the moon at 11:16 a.m. PDT. Members of the rebooted mission partnered with Google to create a website, where they will host a video hangout beginning at 10:30 a.m. PDT. (Credit: ISEE3, NASA)
via arstechnica

The black hole at the beginning of time –“We may have emerged from a black hole in a higher-dimensional universe”

our known universe could be the three-dimensional “wrapping” around a four-dimensional black hole’s event horizon. In this scenario, our universe burst into being when a star in a four-dimensional universe collapsed into a black hole. (Credit: Perimeter Institute)
our known universe could be the three-dimensional “wrapping” around a four-dimensional black hole’s event horizon. In this scenario, our universe burst into being when a star in a four-dimensional universe collapsed into a black hole. (Credit: Perimeter Institute)
via dailygalaxy

Bendable sound waves can skirt objects and trap particles

Scientists have developed a method to bend sound waves as they travel through open air, and can even create an acoustic “bottle” that can trap and hold tiny particles. (Credit: Xiang Zhang Group)
Scientists have developed a method to bend sound waves as they travel through open air, and can even create an acoustic “bottle” that can trap and hold tiny particles. (Credit: Xiang Zhang Group)
via spectrum

Researchers propose new architecture for quantum computing based on microscopic defects in diamonds

At the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien), experiments with nitrogen atoms in diamonds are already being carried out. (Credit: TU Wien)
At the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien), experiments with nitrogen atoms in diamonds are already being carried out. (Credit: TU Wien)
via redorbit