Friday, September 22, 2017

"Don't try to Shoot the Hurricane"—Okay...But What if We Did?

Before the arrival of hurricane Irma in Florida, the Pasco county sheriff's department posted a tweet that quickly went viral, urging citizens not to try and shoot at the hurricane:

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Proton-H2 Experiment Reveals Atomic Scattering Mystery

Results from an experiment exploring how atoms interact on a very fundamental level show that scientists may understand less about what’s going on in some atomic scattering experiments than previously thought. Published recently in the American Physical Society’s journal Physical Review Letters, the international team of researchers hopes that this work will spark follow-up studies that could help us better address one of the most fundamental unsolved problems in physics.

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Friday, September 15, 2017

Magnetic Cotton? Researchers Grow Smart Materials with "Bio-fabrication" Technique

What do the most basic t-shirts have in common with cutting-edge fabric that can detect and neutralize nerve gas? The answer is cotton, “the fabric of our lives” as it’s called by the U.S. industry. Cotton is one of the most promising fabrics for applications in wearable "smart materials", such as clothing that responds to changes in temperature, harnesses motion to power electronics, is highly-visible, or monitors body functions.

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Monday, September 11, 2017

Twice the Charm: A New Creature Joins the Particle Zoo

If you’re in need of some charming news and a break from weather-related disaster coverage, this is your story. Today, in the American Physical Society’s journal Physical Review Letters, a several-hundred-member team of CERN researchers announced the first unambiguous sighting of a baryon with two heavy quarks.

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Friday, September 08, 2017

Getting to the Core of Molten Planetary Cores

Aside from being hot, what does the liquid, metallic core of a newly formed planet have in common with a bowl of chicken noodle soup?

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Thursday, September 07, 2017

Pulling Gold Out of a Black Hole?

The way in which the universe's heaviest elements were forged has long been a mystery. Now some researchers suspect they might have found an answer—these elements may be born when miniature black holes devour neutron stars from the inside. Such a scenario could also help solve a host of other cosmic puzzles, such as the origin of enigmatic gamma rays and radio bursts.

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Wednesday, September 06, 2017

How to Write on Water

Everyone's used a Sharpie—from the classroom to the office, the ubiquitous permanent marker is a mainstay for producing waterproof labels and signage. But the same physics that gives this ink its permanence also makes it possible to remove it all at once, with nothing more than ordinary water. The trick, according to new research from the laboratory of one of fluid mechanics' most prolific authors, is to take it S-L-O-W.

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Friday, September 01, 2017

Monday, August 28, 2017

Snowstorms on Mars and Diamond Rains on Neptune

Two separate discoveries this week show how spectacular the weather can be on other planets in our solar system. First, a paper from Nature Geoscience explains a mechanism that can create snowstorms on Mars. A separate paper from Nature Astronomy discusses how diamonds can rain down on giant icy planets such as Neptune and Uranus.

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Friday, August 25, 2017

Coffee Ring Science: What’s in Your Water?

As the Flint water crisis so vividly highlights, those of us lucky enough to live in places with clean tap water often take it for granted. The problem is that when something goes awry, it’s usually discovered after people have already started getting sick. Even without criminal negligence and cover-ups, like those in the Flint crisis, contaminated water can have devastating consequences.

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