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Showing posts from May, 2019

Meghan Trainor Was Right–It is "All About that Bass"

Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Justin Bieber… If you want to know about a generation, listen to its popular music. Songs rise to the top of the charts because they resonate with a lot of people. In fact, one way to explore cultural evolution, says researcher Jan Stupacher, is to examine trends in popular music over time.

Is the Universe a Hologram? Future Telescopes Could Tell Us

The world as we perceive might not actually exist. It could just be a hologram. This statement sounds more like a thought you've had at 3 am than a scientific theory, but the existence of a holographic universe is more possible than you think. Some theoretical work shows that the universe could exist in a dimension lower than the one our minds perceive. The debate over what’s called “the holographic principle” has largely remained theoretical, but new research in Physical Review Letters shows how scientists can resolve this cosmological conundrum.

Mayo goes nuclear: Researchers study dynamics in fusion reactors using mayonnaise

Hold the sriracha, put down the bbq sauce, and toss the mustard, because mayonnaise is finally getting its time to shine. Rather than spreading the condiment colloid on a sandwich though, researchers are using the product to study how materials interact in nuclear fusion reactors. A team of scientists from Lehigh University just published their latest research in Physical Review Fluids, which illustrates how this common household item can be used to explore a surprising question.

The First Signals of a Magnetic Supersolid

We live in a world full of color, noise, and causes that demand attention. In order to avoid being completely overwhelmed, most people quickly and instinctively sort things into neat categories that help them make sense of the world.

10 Facts About Light to Brighten your Day

May 16th is the International Day of Light, a worldwide initiative sponsored by UNESCO to celebrate the role light plays in scientific innovation, culture, and art. This day is a special day in history because it marks the first successful operation of the laser in 1960 by Theodore Maiman. In the past century, we have learned ways to manipulate light far beyond anything previously. Hopefully, these facts help you get lit, for the International Day of Light.

To Build a Better Teapot, Researchers Create Liquid Helix

It is a truth universally acknowledged that nothing—nothing—is more pointlessly irritating than a poorly designed water jug. You know—the kind that mindlessly dribbles all over the table every time you try to serve yourself? For centuries ceramicists and potters have slowly perfected ways to get around the so-called “teapot effect”, but scientists have long struggled to properly model the phenomenon.

Using an X-Ray Laser, Researchers Make the Loudest Underwater Sound

Researchers from SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have produced an underwater sound so intense that it rivals the Earth-shaking roar of a rocket launch. “It is just below the threshold where [the sound] would boil the water in a single wave oscillation,” according to lead researcher Claudiu Stan, now at Rutgers University Newark. This research by Gabriel Blaj et al. was published in a recent issue of the American Physical Society’s journalPhysical Review Fluids.

Gargantua: The Science behind Interstellar's black hole

If there is one thing that everyone thinks they understand about black holes, it’s spaghettification. After all, it’s a popular plot device in countless sci-fi books and movies; there’s just something incredibly gripping about the image of some intrepid—or massively unlucky—soul being strung out until she is merely atoms thick.  In fact, the concept is so ingrained in the minds of scientists and the general public alike that reviewers tore the 2014 film Interstellar to shreds (see here and here) precisely because the protagonist wasn’t stretched into oblivion!

Lab-Created Nano Aerosols Could Improve Climate Models

“Climate change will affect nearly every person on the planet in the coming decades,” according to Jake Fontana, a research physicist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL). Our ability to reliably predict and reasonably prepare for that change depends on how well we can model the climate. Thanks to a new tool developed by Fontana and his team at NRL, more accurate models may be on the way. Their results are reported in a recent issue of the American Physical Society’s journal Physical Review B.