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  • Tiny Glass Chip Accelerators Pack the Punch of Huge Mile-Long Instruments

    09/28/2013 1:33:00 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 12 replies
    latinospost.com ^ | Sep 28, 2013 04:08 PM EDT | Keerthi Chandrashekar
    A new advance in accelerator technology has scientists creating tiny glass chips smaller than a grain of rice that can power electrons up to speeds 10 times faster than present-day conventional technology. Experts from Stanford University and U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator detailed their glass chip accelerator research in a study in the journal Nature. The researchers reveal that they are able to achieve such incredible acceleration in such small distances by using commercial lasers to speed up the electrons instead of microwaves, which are typically used. These new chips offer an unprecedented level of acceleration, clocking...
  • Goodbye Big Bang, hello black hole? A new theory of the universe's creation

    09/19/2013 6:56:01 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 34 replies
    Phys.org ^ | 9/19/13 | Elizabeth Howell
    Goodbye Big Bang, hello black hole? A new theory of the universe's creation Enlarge Artist’s conception of the event horizon of a black hole. Credit: Victor de Schwanberg/Science Photo Library Could the famed "Big Bang" theory need a revision? A group of theoretical physicists suppose the birth of the universe could have happened after a four-dimensional star collapsed into a black hole and ejected debris. Before getting into their findings, let's just preface this by saying nobody knows anything for sure. Humans obviously weren't around at the time the universe began. The standard theory is that the universe grew from...
  • A Jewel at the Heart of Quantum Physics

    09/19/2013 5:59:05 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 40 replies
    SimonsFoundation.org ^ | 9/17/13 | Natalie Wolchover
    A Jewel at the Heart of Quantum Physics Artist’s rendering of the amplituhedron, a newly discovered mathematical object resembling a multifaceted jewel in higher dimensions. Encoded in its volume are the most basic features of reality that can be calculated — the probabilities of outcomes of particle interactions. Physicists have discovered a jewel-like geometric object that dramatically simplifies calculations of particle interactions and challenges the notion that space and time are fundamental components of reality.“This is completely new and very much simpler than anything that has been done before,” said Andrew Hodges, a mathematical physicist at Oxford University who has...
  • Odd Peanut Mapped at the Heart of our Galaxy

    09/21/2013 5:55:29 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 27 replies
    Scientific Computing ^ | Wednesday, September 18, 2013 | ESO
    Two groups of astronomers have used data from ESO telescopes to make the best three-dimensional map yet of the central parts of the Milky Way. They have found that the inner regions take on a peanut-like, or X-shaped, appearance from some angles. This odd shape was mapped by using public data from ESO’s VISTA survey telescope along with measurements of the motions of hundreds of very faint stars in the central bulge. One of the most important and massive parts of the galaxy is the galactic bulge. This huge central cloud of about 10,000 million stars spans thousands of light-years,...
  • Hubble Finds Source of Magellanic Stream

    09/21/2013 10:32:43 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 18 replies
    Scientific Computing ^ | Thursday, September 19, 2013 | unattributed
    Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have solved a 40-year mystery on the origin of the Magellanic Stream, a long ribbon of gas stretching nearly halfway around our Milky Way galaxy. The Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, two dwarf galaxies orbiting the Milky Way, are at the head of the gaseous stream. Since the stream's discovery by radio telescopes in the early 1970s, astronomers have wondered whether the gas comes from one or both of the satellite galaxies. New Hubble observations reveal most of the gas was stripped from the Small Magellanic Cloud about two billion years ago, and a...
  • Doomsday? Universe's Fate Depends on True Mass of Tiny Particle

    09/13/2013 10:43:45 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 39 replies
    Space.com ^ | 9/12/13 | Charles Q. Choi
    The universe may end in another 10 billion years or sooner if the heaviest of all the known elementary particles, the top quark, is even heavier than previously thought, researchers say. If the top quark is not heavier than experiments currently suggest, then an even stranger fate may await the cosmos: disembodied brains and virtually anything else could one day randomly materialize into existence. The protons and neutrons that make up the nuclei of atoms are made of elementary particles known as quarks. Protons and neutrons are made up of the lightest and most stable flavors of quark: the up...
  • Black Holes Feed On Quantum Foam, Says Cosmologist

    09/12/2013 6:29:02 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 43 replies
    Nobody knows how the universe’s biggest black holes grow so large. Now one astrophysicist says it’s because they feed on the quantum foam that makes up the fabric of spacetime One of the more fascinating astrophysical discoveries in recent years is that almost all galaxies hide supermassive black holes at their cores. Indeed, astronomers believe that galaxies and black holes have a kind of symbiotic relationship so that one cannot form or grow without the other. The evidence comes from observations of galaxies both near and far—almost all contain huge black holes. But that raises an interesting question. We see...
  • Quantum steps towards the Big Bang

    09/03/2013 5:19:44 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 27 replies
    A new approach to the unification of general theory of relativity and quantum theory Present-day physics cannot describe what happened in the Big Bang. Quantum theory and the theory of relativity fail in this almost infinitely dense and hot primal state of the universe. Only an all-encompassing theory of quantum gravity which unifies these two fundamental pillars of physics could provide an insight into how the universe began. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute) in Golm/Potsdam and the Perimeter Institute in Canada have made an important discovery along this route. According to their theory,...
  • 'We may be able to watch dark energy turn on': U-M involved in unprecedented sky survey

    09/03/2013 4:20:57 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 5 replies
    U-Mich ^ | 9/3/13 | Nicole Casal Moore
    ANN ARBOR—Moonless nights outside the Cerro Tololo astronomical observatory in Chile are so dark that when you look down, you can't see your feet. "You can't see your hands," said David Gerdes, physics professor at the University of Michigan. "But you can hold them up to the sky and see a hand-shaped hole with no stars in it. It's really incredible." From this site in the Andes over the next five years, an international team will map one-eighth of the sky in unprecedented detail—aiming to make a time lapse of the past 8 billion years of a slice of the...
  • Theoretical physics: The origins of space and time

    08/28/2013 3:33:35 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 50 replies
    Nature ^ | 8/28/13 | Zeeya Merali
    Many researchers believe that physics will not be complete until it can explain not just the behaviour of space and time, but where these entities come from.“Imagine waking up one day and realizing that you actually live inside a computer game,” says Mark Van Raamsdonk, describing what sounds like a pitch for a science-fiction film. But for Van Raamsdonk, a physicist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, this scenario is a way to think about reality. If it is true, he says, “everything around us — the whole three-dimensional physical world — is an illusion born from...
  • New Super-Heavy Element 115 Confirmed

    08/27/2013 10:16:35 PM PDT · by smokingfrog · 21 replies
    Live Science ^ | 8-27-13 | Megan Gannon
    Scientists say they've created a handful of atoms of the elusive element 115, which occupies a mysterious corner of the periodic table. The super-heavy element has yet to be officially named, but it is temporarily called ununpentium, roughly based on the Latin and Greek words for the digits in its atomic number, 115.   The atomic number is the number of protons an element contains. The heaviest element commonly found in nature is uranium, which has 92 protons, but scientists can load even more protons into an atomic nucleus and make heavier elements through nuclear fusion reactions. [Wacky Physics: The...
  • Engage! Warp Drive Could Become Reality with Quantum-Thruster Physics

    08/24/2013 8:14:33 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 42 replies
    Space.com ^ | 8/21/13 | Miriam Kramer
    DALLAS — Warp-drive technology, a form of "faster than light" travel popularized by TV's "Star Trek," could be bolstered by the physics of quantum thrusters — another science-fiction idea made plausible by modern science. NASA scientists are performing experiments that could help make warp drive a possibility sometime in the future from a lab built for the Apollo program at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. A warp-drive-enabled spacecraft would look like a football with two large rings fully encircling it. The rings would utilize an exotic form of matter to cause space-time to contract in front of and expand...
  • Flicker… A Bright New Method of Measuring Stellar Surface Gravity

    08/22/2013 8:01:58 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 4 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | August 22, 2013 | Tammy Plotner on
    A simple, yet elegant method of measuring the surface gravity of a star has just been discovered. These computations are important because they reveal stellar physical properties and evolutionary state – and that’s not all. The technique works equally well for estimating the size of hundreds of exoplanets. Developed by a team of astronomers and headed by Vanderbilt Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Keivan Stassun, this new technique measures a star’s “flicker”. With an uncertainty ranging from 50 percent to 200 percent, astronomers have been eager to seize on a new way of measuring a star’s surface gravity which will...
  • Physicists levitate tiny diamonds in wild experiment

    08/16/2013 10:07:29 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 26 replies
    Fox News ^ | August 15, 2013 | Laura Poppick
    In quite an eerie feat, physicists have floated microscopic diamonds in midair using laser beams. Researchers have already used lasers to levitate extremely small particles, such as individual atoms, but this is the first time that the technique has worked on a nanodiamond, which, in this case, measures just 100 nanometers (3.9 x 10-8 inches) across, or more than 1,000 times thinner than a fingernail. In the new study, the physicists from the University of Rochester relied on the fact that a laser beam, which is made up of photons, creates a tiny force that usually can't be felt.....
  • New force potentially stronger than gravity discovered ( With cosmic Dust )

    08/09/2013 12:21:13 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 22 replies
    Vr-zone ^ | July 26, 2013 2:40 am | David Farrell
    The Blackbody force is a newly discovered force that attracts atoms and molecules to hot, opaque objects emitting blackbody radiation. Under certain circumstances, the new force is stronger than gravity.
  • Relativistic Baseball

    08/04/2013 9:27:49 AM PDT · by 1rudeboy · 47 replies
    What would happen if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90% the speed of light?Let’s set aside the question of how we got the baseball moving that fast. We'll suppose it's a normal pitch, except in the instant the pitcher releases the ball, it magically accelerates to 0.9c. From that point onward, everything proceeds according to normal physics.: The answer turns out to be “a lot of things”, and they all happen very quickly, and it doesn’t end well for the batter (or the pitcher). I sat down with some physics books, a Nolan Ryan action figure, and...
  • Spin rate of black holes pinned down

    08/08/2013 1:35:04 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 12 replies
    Nature ^ | 8/6/13 | Eugenie Samuel Reich
    Black holes can be described by just two fundamental characteristics: mass and spin. Astronomers have been able to measure the objects’ mass for decades, by looking for gravitational effects on the orbits of nearby stars. But measuring spin, which records the angular momentum of the matter that falls into the holes, has proved troublesome, particularly for the supermassive black holes that lie at the centres of galaxies. No light emanates from the black holes’ spinning event horizons, so astronomers instead look for proxies that emit X-rays, such as the swirling disks of matter that feed into some holes. Such indirect...
  • Scientists to Discuss Universe's Strange Dense Spot Wednesday -

    08/02/2013 1:05:34 AM PDT · by lbryce · 24 replies
    Space.com ^ | July 30, 2013 | Clara Moskowitz
    Original title:Scientists to Discuss Universe's Strange Dense Spot Wednesday: Watch Live You can't watch it live anymore but you can watch the video of the event. This map shows the oldest light in our universe, as detected with the greatest precision yet by the Planck mission. The ancient light, called the cosmic microwave background, was imprinted on the sky when the universe was 370,000 years old. It shows tiny temperature fluctuations that correspond to regions of slightly different densities, representing the seeds of all future structure: the stars and galaxies of today. An odd dense spot in the universe populated...
  • Molten metal solidifies into a new kind of glass

    07/30/2013 6:47:57 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 32 replies
    07-30-2013 | Provided by Argonne National Laboratory
    (Phys.org) —When a molten material cools quickly, parts of it may have enough time to grow into orderly crystals. But if the cooling rate is too fast for the entire melt to crystallize, the remaining material ends up in a non-crystalline state known as a glass, with atoms caught in place essentially as a frozen liquid. Recently, a group of researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) came across an unexpected reversal of this usual sequence of events. After cooling a molten alloy of aluminum, iron, and silicon, they found that glassy nodules of a non-crystalline solid...
  • Mysterious hum driving people crazy around the world

    07/27/2013 7:05:34 AM PDT · by shove_it · 121 replies
    nbcnews ^ | 26 Jul 2013 | Marc Lallanilla
    It creeps in slowly in the dark of night, and once inside, it almost never goes away. It's known as the Hum, a steady, droning sound that's heard in places as disparate as Taos, N.M.; Bristol, England; and Largs, Scotland. But what causes the Hum, and why it only affects a small percentage of the population in certain areas, remain a mystery, despite a number of scientific investigations...