Archive for the “Physics” Category
The race to discover gravity waves may be getting closer to the finish line with scientists successfully squeezing light using quantum mechanics.
The detection of gravity waves is one of the Holy Grails of astronomy and astrophysics. It will allow researchers to study the inner workings of exploding stars and colliding black holes.
Einstein’s general theory of relativity predicts these massive astronomical events generate tiny fluctuations, causing the fabric of space-time to expand and contract – like ripples on the surface of a pond.
These yet to be discovered waves require the most sensitive detectors ever built, but up until now they’ve not been sensitive enough.
Now an international team of scientists, which includes Professor David Blair, Director of the Australian International Gravity Wave Research Centre at the University of Western Australia, report on a new technique in the journal Nature Physics, which almost doubles the sensitivity of these detectors.
via Scientists squeeze light past quantum limit › News in Science (ABC Science).
“Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100″ by Michio Kaku is a best seller.
Click here to learn about the book.
Click here to learn about Michio Kaku.
Grab a mug and slosh the morning coffee around and around and a spinning vortex appears. The swirling rings, with their eddies and choppy waves, obey the laws of classical turbulence, which engineers and applied physicists routinely invoke to study how air flows over an airplane wing or how blood flows through tiny vessels.
Shake up a cup of quantum fluid instead and you still get vortices, but nothing like the tornado in your morning brew.
via Quantum Whirls – Science News.
We all know that light can’t exactly pass through solid objects — unless of course, you’re using a laser or something. Yes, X-rays allow us to look into suitcases at the airport and broken bones in our bodies, but there’s a new kid on the block that claims to have done the impossible in a novel fashion. Jochen Aulbach and his colleagues of the FOM Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics out in Amsterdam have developed a technology that allows scrambled light to remain focused as it passes through ultra-thin layers of paint.
via Scientists figure out how to see through walls, sort of — Engadget.
A new type of circuit involving a whirling donut of supercold gas could lead to the world’s first “atomtronic” devices, potentially more powerful than electronics or spintronics, researchers say.
It probably won’t be powering your next smart phone, however — it involves laser beams and supercold temperatures a few billionths of a degree above absolute zero.
Atomtronics involves super-cooling atoms to form Bose-Einstein condensates, which could theoretically be used to create analogues to electrons, diodes and transistors. The atoms in the condensate flow as a current, which can be switched on and off like a normal circuit.
via Atomtronics, Or Atoms Spun By Laser Beams, Could Replace Electronics | Popular Science.
Jo Marchant, contributor
In the 3D animated film Quantum Quest, a photon, a neutrino and two solar surfing protons battle to save the Cassini-Huygens mission – and the universe – from annihilation. What started out as a PR project for NASA is now a Hollywood movie, with voices provided by stars such as William Shatner, Chris Pine, Samuel L. Jackson and Amanda Peet. Writer and director Harry Kloor reckons the film is the ultimate teaching tool, and was so determined to stay true to the science, he waited 11 years to incorporate Cassini’s results from Saturn into the storyline. But will kids really be inspired by a talking photon? I met with Kloor to find out.
via CultureLab: Quantum Quest: Where physics and Hollywood collide.
MUMBAI – India is building a rare facility to explore one of the bigger riddles of science – studying sub-atomic particles called neutrinos that physicists say are among the fundamental building materials of all matter in the universe, including humans.
The Mumbai-based Department of Atomic Energy overcame a major hurdle when, on October 18, the Environment and Forests Ministry gave the go-ahead for the US$270 million project, one of the biggest scientific undertakings ever in the country.
via Asia Times Online :: South Asia news, business and economy from India and
The world’s largest atom smasher has been upping its game ever since it opened in 2008. Just last week it reached a new milestone – the particle accelerator is now smashing unprecedented numbers of protons into each other during each collision.
The Large Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland is the world’s most state-of-the-art physics experiment. Scientists are crashing matter’s building blocks together in the hopes of revealing even smaller building blocks – new undiscovered particles that make up our universe, including the theoretical "God particle," which is thought to give other particles mass.
via Atom Smasher Ramps Up Chase for ‘God Particle’ – Yahoo! News.
ScienceDaily Oct. 17, 2010 — Physicists at the University of California, Riverside have taken an important step forward in developing a "spin computer" by successfully achieving "tunneling spin injection" into graphene.
via Physicists pave the way for graphene-based spin computer; First to achieve tunneling spin injection.
Researchers from University of New South Wales (Australia), University of Melbourne (Australia), and Aalto University (Finland) have succeeded in demonstrating a high-fidelity detection scheme for the magnetic state of a single electron, that is, the spin. The research results have just been published in Nature.
via Single electron reader opens path for quantum computing.
Wind farms, especially big ones, generate turbulence that can significantly alter air temperatures near the ground, say researchers.
As turbines often stand on agricultural land, these changes could in turn affect crop productivity.
In the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the team says the impact could be reduced by changing rotor design.
Another option would be to site farms in areas with high natural turbulence.
Continue reading the main story
The major threats to agriculture in terms of changing the air temperature come directly from the fossil fuel industry and deforestation”
National Farmers Union
The world’s very first wind farm was set up in southern New Hampshire, US, in 1980.
Almost a decade later, in 1989, a meteorological field study conducted on a wind farm in San Gorgonio, California, gathered temperature data over a period of almost two months.
via BBC News – Wind farms can affect local weather patterns.
In particle physics, as in so many other parts of life, there are few things more useful than a trusty roll of tape.
Just before Labor Day, physicists working with Fermilab’s Tevatron wrapped up a planned four-week accelerator shutdown and were looking forward to getting back to work. But pressure started building in the Tevatron’s vacuum system, and experiments were halted while engineers isolated the problem. They found a faulty O-ring, which seals the vacuum between two superconducting magnets, according to an account on Fermilab Today.
The Tevatron is about four miles in circumference and involves about a thousand superconducting magnets, which accelerate protons and antiprotons to super-sized energies. The magnets are cooled with liquid helium so that they consume only one-third of the power they would normally require.
via Particle Physicists Use Electrical Tape To Patch Tevatron | Popular Science.
(PhysOrg.com) — Just as electronics revolutionized computing and communications technology, spintronics is touted to follow suit. This relatively new field involves manipulating the flow of a magnetism-related property called ‘spin’. In magnons, a spintronic counterpart of electrons, Naoto Nagaosa from the RIKEN Advanced Science Institute in Wako, Japan, and his colleagues have observed an effect first seen with electrons over 130 years ago: the Hall effect. The Hall effect is used in sensitive detectors, so the researchers believe their finding could lead to new applications for magnetic insulators.
via When old is new again: Hall effect associated with electrons also occurs in non-charged particles.
Scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory say they have broken one of the laws of nature.
For a fraction of a second at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), physicists created a symmetry-breaking bubble of space where parity no longer existed.
via ‘Law of nature’ broken, say physicists | TG Daily.
An Australian aeronautics company is developing a 150 meter wide discus-shaped helium balloon with a payload capacity of 150 tons. Among other things, the Skylifter will have the ability to move multistory buildings to remote locations and serve as a new generation of airborne luxury cruise ships.
You’ve seen hot air balloons, maybe been in one. Now imagine one that has a hotel strapped to it. This is exactly what Australian company Skylifter is developing. Using a round, flat, helium filled balloon, it will cruise at a speed of 83 kph, at distances up to…