Researchers from Canada, California, and Poland have devised a straightforward way to test an intriguing idea about the nature of dark energy and dark matter. A global array of atomic magnetometers – small laboratory devices that can sense minute changes in magnetic fields – could signal when Earth passes through fractures in space known as domain walls. These structures could be the answer to the universe’s darkest mysteries.
What is normal to most people in winter has so far been impossible in physics: a minus temperature. On the Celsius scale minus temperatures are only surprising in summer. On the absolute temperature scale, which is used by physicists and is also called the Kelvin scale, it is not possible to go below zero – at least not in the sense of getting colder than zero kelvin.
Because modern computers have to depict the real world with digital representations of numbers instead of physical analogues, to simulate the continuous passage of time they have to digitize time into small slices. This kind of simulation is essential in disciplines from medical and biological research, to new materials, to fundamental considerations of quantum mechanics, and the fact that it inevitably introduces errors is an ongoing problem for scientists.
John Baez, a professor of mathematics at the University of California, Riverside, and UC Riverside alumnus John Huerta will receive the 2013 Levi L. Conant Prize from the American Mathematical Society (AMS).
Scientists are putting a new spin on their approach to generating electrical current by harnessing a recently identified electromotive force known as spinmotive force, which is related to the field of spintronics that addresses such challenges as improving data storage in computers.
PTB measures the influence of the ambient temperature on strontium atoms for the first time – measurement uncertainty reduced by one order of magnitude
"Monster" outflows of charged particles from the centre of our Galaxy, stretching more than halfway across the sky, have been detected and mapped with CSIRO's 64-m Parkes radio telescope. Corresponding to the "Fermi Bubbles" found in 2010, the outflows were detected by astronomers from Australia, the USA, Italy and The Netherlands. The finding is reported in today's issue of Nature.
Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope have seen a key stage in the birth of giant planets for the first time. Vast streams of gas are flowing across a gap in the disc of material around a young star. These are the first direct observations of such streams, which are expected to be created by giant planets guzzling gas as they grow. The result is published on 2 January 2013 in the journal Nature.
Enormous outflows of charged particles from the centre of our Galaxy, stretching more than halfway across the sky and moving at supersonic speeds, have been detected and mapped with CSIRO's 64-m Parkes radio telescope.
Many scenarios in business and communication require that two parties share information without either being sure if they can trust the other. Examples include secure auctions and identification at ATM machines. Exploiting the strange properties of the quantum world could be the answer to dealing with such distrust: researchers at the Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT) at the National University of Singapore have used the quantum properties of light to perform the world's first demonstration of a 'secure bit commitment' technology. The work is described in Nature Communications.
Our understanding of the early universe has taken a small step forward thanks to the discovery of a new record-setting X-ray, emitting jet. The research was a collaboration of astronomers led by Teddy Cheung Ph.D. ’04, and included Professor of Astrophysics John Wardle, Doug Gobeille Ph.D. ’10 and four other scientists. It was detected with the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, and observed with the Hubble Space Telescope and with the radio antennas of the Very Large Array in New Mexico.
Magnets have practically become everyday objects. Earlier on, however, the universe consisted only of nonmagnetic elements and particles. Just how the magnetic forces came into existence has been researched by Prof. Dr. Reinhard Schlickeiser at the Institute of Theoretical Physics of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. In the journal Physical Review Letters, he describes a new mechanism for the magnetisation of the universe even before the emergence of the first stars.
As if space travel was not already filled with enough dangers, a new study out today in the journal PLOS ONE shows that cosmic radiation – which would bombard astronauts on deep space missions to places like Mars – could accelerate the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Of the three telescopes carried by NASA's Swift satellite, only one captures cosmic light at energies similar to those seen by the human eye. Although small by the standards of ground-based observatories, Swift's Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope (UVOT) plays a critical role in rapidly pinpointing the locations of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), the brightest explosions in the cosmos.
A collaboration with major participation by physicists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has made a precise measurement of elusive, nearly massless particles, and obtained a crucial hint as to why the universe is dominated by matter, not by its close relative, anti-matter.