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Archive for the ‘physics’ category

Jun 25, 2016

Science Council to make clear position on lifting military-linked research ban

Posted by in categories: law, military, physics, science, security

Interesting.


The Science Council of Japan will make clear its position on military-linked research — possibly overturning a decades-long ban — by early next year, the academic group said Friday.

A committee of 15 academics from fields ranging from physics, political science to law held its first meeting to discuss whether to revise statements released by the council in 1950 and 1967 stating that the group will “never engage in military research.”

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Jun 23, 2016

“Computational Complexity and Fundamental Physics”

Posted by in categories: physics, space

Sharing in case anyone is interested Prof. Scott Aaronson’s Computational discussion on “Complexity and Fundamental Physics”.


Summer continues, and the public lecture series on physics continues a pace at the Aspen Center for Physics with Dr. Catherine Heymans of the University of Edinburgh talking today on the “Dark Side of the Universe”.

The talk is part of one of the three workshops currently taking place:

Jun 23, 2016

Doubled sensitivity could allow gravitational wave detectors to reach deeper into space

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Australian National University have developed new technology that aims to make the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) even more sensitive to faint ripples in space-time called gravitational waves.

Scientists at Advanced LIGO announced the first-ever observation of gravitational waves earlier this year, a century after Albert Einstein predicted their existence in his general theory of relativity. Studying gravitational waves can reveal important information about cataclysmic astrophysical events involving black holes and neutron stars.

In The Optica l Society’s journal for high impact research, Optica, the researchers report on improvements to what is called a squeezed vacuum source. Although not part of the original Advanced LIGO design, injecting the new squeezed vacuum source into the LIGO detector could help double its sensitivity. This would allow detection of gravitational waves that are far weaker or that originate from farther away than is possible now.

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Jun 17, 2016

Physicists say they’ve figured out how to ‘see’ inside a black hole

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Physicists have come up with a new way to predict what lies beyond the event horizon of a black hole, and it could give us a more accurate idea of their mysterious internal structures.

Thanks to the first — and now second — direct observation of gravitational waves emanating from what scientists think are black hole mergers, we’re starting to get our first real evidence that black holes do actually exist in reality, not just theory.

But even if we can prove they really do physically exist, there’s no getting around the fact that, thanks to their enormous gravitational pull, black holes swallow up anything that falls beyond their event horizon.

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Jun 16, 2016

New paper claims that the EM Drive doesn’t defy Newton’s 3rd law after all

Posted by in categories: physics, space travel

Physicists have just published new calculations that suggest the controversial EM drive — or electromagnetic drive — could actually work, and doesn’t defy Newton’s third law after all.

In case you’ve missed the hype, here’s a quick catch-up: a lot of space lovers are freaking out about the EM drive because of claims it could get humans to Mars in just 10 weeks, but just as many are sick of hearing about it, because, on paper at least, it doesn’t work within the laws of physics.

Despite that not-insignificant setback, the EM drive shows no signs of quitting, and test after test — including trials by NASA scientists at the Eagleworks lab, and an independent researcher in Germany — has conceded that the propulsion system, somehow, does produce thrust.

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Jun 15, 2016

We’ve picked up another gravitational wave

Posted by in category: physics

The best place to find out what’s new in science – and why it matters.

Jun 15, 2016

Did gravitational wave detector find dark matter?

Posted by in categories: cosmology, information science, mathematics, physics

When an astronomical observatory detected two black holes colliding in deep space, scientists celebrated confirmation of Einstein’s prediction of gravitational waves. A team of astrophysicists wondered something else: Had the experiment found the “dark matter” that makes up most of the mass of the universe?

The eight scientists from the Johns Hopkins Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy had already started making calculations when the discovery by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) was announced in February. Their results, published recently in Physical Review Letters, unfold as a hypothesis suggesting a solution for an abiding mystery in astrophysics.

“We consider the possibility that the black hole binary detected by LIGO may be a signature of dark matter,” wrote the scientists in their summary, referring to the black hole pair as a “binary.” What follows are five pages of annotated mathematical equations showing how the researchers considered the mass of the two objects LIGO detected as a point of departure, suggesting that these objects could be part of the mysterious substance known to make up about 85 percent of the mass of the universe.

Jun 15, 2016

It Wasn’t a Fluke — Scientists See Black Holes Collide Again

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Scientists have seen two black holes crash into each other and merge for the second time, proving Albert Einstein was right and showing the first observation was no fluke.

Ultra-sensitive instruments called the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detected the ripple in gravitational waves that came across space and time to Earth last December, the team reported Wednesday.

Jun 15, 2016

Focus: LIGO Bags Another Black Hole Merger

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

LIGO detects gravitational waves for the second time, from another pair of merging black holes. This time they were smaller and provided a longer-duration signal of their final moments. Two events within four months suggests that such detections will soon be giving astronomers a wealth of new information about previously invisible events in the Universe.

Jun 13, 2016

Watching ‘jumping genes’ in action

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, genetics, physics

Jumping genes — not jumping beans.


“Jumping genes” are ubiquitous. Every domain of life hosts these sequences of DNA that can “jump” from one position to another along a chromosome; in fact, nearly half the human genome is made up of jumping genes. Depending on their specific excision and insertion points, jumping genes can interrupt or trigger gene expression, driving genetic mutation and contributing to cell diversification. Since their discovery in the 1940s, researchers have been able to study the behavior of these jumping genes, generally known as transposons or transposable elements (TE), primarily through indirect methods that infer individual activity from bulk results. However, such techniques are not sensitive enough to determine precisely how or why the transposons jump, and what factors trigger their activity.

Reporting in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have observed jumping gene activity in real time within living . The study is the collaborative effort of physics professors Thomas Kuhlman and Nigel Goldenfeld, at the Center for the Physics of Living Cells, a National Science Foundation Physics Frontiers Center.

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