Archive for the ‘physics’ category

Nov 26, 2015

Revamped LHC goes heavy metal

Posted by in category: physics

Physicists will collide lead ions to replicate and study the embryonic universe.


New York Times.

Read more

Nov 22, 2015

Will this European satellite confirm Einstein’s last unproven idea?

Posted by in category: physics

The Lisa Pathfinder will test equipment for an orbiting observatory that will peer into the universe’s darkest corners.

Read more

Nov 20, 2015

New detector perfect for asteroid mining

Posted by in categories: physics, space

“The opportunity to be involved in such a project as a graduate student is an amazing opportunity,” said Anna Egner, who is leading the team’s effort to build a mock-up of the spectroscope for an actual payload package. “Having always been enchanted and intrigued by physics and astronomy, working on an instrument that might one day fly into space is awesomely exciting.”

The first commercial missions to nearby asteroids could launch as early as 2020, but it will be decades before asteroid mining begins in earnest. In the meantime, the new spectroscopic technology promises to provide planetary scientists with new details about the chemical composition of the asteroids, comets, moons and minor planets in the solar system: information that is certain to improve our understanding of how the solar system formed. In addition, it could become an important tool in the planetary defense arsenal because it can determine whether objects crossing Earth’s orbit are made from rock or ice.

Media Inquiries: David Salisbury, (615) 322-NEWS [email protected]

Read more

Nov 18, 2015

Three Alternative Fusion Projects That Are Making Progress

Posted by in category: physics

Physicists pin their hopes on new magnets and fast lasers.

Read more

Nov 17, 2015

Are there More Stars in the Universe than Grains of Sand on Earth?

Posted by in categories: neuroscience, physics, space

It may hurt your brain to think about it, but it appears that the answer is possibly to be yes, or at least the numbers are almost in the same ballpark.

Astrophysicists in fact set out to answer this question about a decade ago. It’s a complicated problem to solve, but it’s somewhat easier if you throw in a couple of qualifiers — that we are talking about stars in the observable universe; and grains of sand on the whole planet, not just the seashores.

The researchers started by calculating the luminosity density of a section of the cosmos — this is a calculation of how much light is in that space. They then utilized this calculation to guess the number of stars needed to make that amount of light. This was quite a mathematical challenge!

Continue reading “Are there More Stars in the Universe than Grains of Sand on Earth?” »

Nov 16, 2015

An AI Program in Japan Just Passed a College Entrance Exam

Posted by in categories: mathematics, physics, robotics/AI

An artificial intelligence program received such high scores on a standardized test that it’d have an 80% chance of getting into a Japanese university.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the program, developed by Japan’s National Institute of Informatics, took a multi-subject college entrance exam and passed with an above-average score of 511 points out of a possible 950. (The national average is 416.) With scores like that, it has an 8 out of 10 chance of being admitted to 441 private institutions in Japan, and 33 national ones.

Continue reading “An AI Program in Japan Just Passed a College Entrance Exam” »

Nov 15, 2015

Leading Harvard physicist has a radical new theory for why humans exist

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, physics

Where do we come from? There are many right answers to this question, and the one you get often depends on who you ask.

For example, an astrophysicist might say that the chemical components of our bodies were first forged in the nuclear fires of stars.

On the other hand, an evolutionary biologist might look at the similarities between our DNA and that of other primates’ and conclude we evolved from apes.

Read more

Nov 13, 2015

Mysteriously quiet space baffles researchers

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Astrophysicists have concluded the yet most precise search for the gravitational wave background created by supermassive black hole mergers. But the expected signal isn’t there.

Last month, Lawrence Krauss rumored that the newly updated gravitational wave detector LIGO had seen its first signal. The news spread quickly – and was shot down almost as quickly. The new detector still had to be calibrated, a member of the collaboration explained, and a week later it emerged that the signal was probably a test run.

Read more

Nov 10, 2015

Next Big Future: Superconducting at –70 degrees celsius seems to be accepted

Posted by in categories: chemistry, materials, physics

The world of superconductivity is in uproar. Last year, Mikhail Eremets and a couple of pals from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany, made the extraordinary claim that they had seen hydrogen sulphide superconducting at –70 °C. That’s some 20 degrees hotter than any other material—a huge increase over the current record.

Eremets and co have worked hard to conjure up the final pieces of conclusive evidence. A few weeks ago, their paper was finally published in the peer reviewed journal Nature, giving it the rubber stamp of respectability that mainstream physics requires. Suddenly, superconductivity is back in the headlines.

Today, Antonio Bianconi and Thomas Jarlborg at the Rome International Center for Materials Science Superstripes in Italy provide a review of this exciting field. These guys give an overview of Eremet and co’s discovery and a treatment of the theoretical work that attempts to explain it.

Read more

Nov 8, 2015

Inside The Z Machine, Where Scientists Turned Hydrogen Into Metal

Posted by in category: physics

Tackling an 80-year-old theory.

Read more

Page 1 of 2412345678Last