Friday, September 29, 2017

Innovating the Colliders of the Future: the Electron Lens

Particle accelerators have opened a unique window into the subatomic world, revealing some of the most fundamental components of our universe. In the last ten years, CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has taken us to new energy frontiers that resulted in the detection of the Higgs boson among other accomplishments, including the recent discovery of a doubly charmed particle. But there is still much to learn.

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Researchers Perfect New Technique for Making "Memory Crystals"

Scientists from Japan have found an easier way to make a special kind of crystal that can "remember" its shape if deformed. These materials—known as shape memory alloys—are valuable in a range of applications from medical devices to building construction, but manufacturing them can be difficult and costly. A recent paper published in Nature Communications is looking to change that.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Latest LIGO/Virgo Detection Marks Dawn of a New Era: Gravitational Wave Astronomy

Speaking today at a press conference in western Italy, scientists from the LIGO and Virgo collaborations reported new results detailing the observation of yet another gravitational wave signal, this one emanating from a source at least a billion light years away.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Breaking the "Spin Ice": Strange Magnet May Have Unusual Properties

Scientists have discovered a new way to manipulate the magnetic structure of certain materials to form a kind of magnet known as fragmented spin ice. The resulting material possesses some of the weirdest magnetic properties known to science. Researchers are still trying to figure out exactly how these weird magnets behave, and learning to harness them could one day lead to novel applications. The discovery was published last month in the journal Nature Communications.

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Monday, September 25, 2017

Theoretical Progress Toward Room Temperature Superconductors

Room temperature superconductors would be a game-changer in our energy-hungry world. Even as we integrate alternative energy sources into the electric grid, create more energy efficient devices, and reduce demand where we can, we still battle resistance. Electrical resistance, that is.

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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