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Archive for the ‘particle physics’ category

Jan 15, 2020

Precise measurements find a crack in universal physics

Posted by in categories: chemistry, cosmology, particle physics, quantum physics

The concept of universal physics is intriguing, as it enables researchers to relate physical phenomena in a variety of systems, irrespective of their varying characteristics and complexities. Ultracold atomic systems are often perceived as ideal platforms for exploring universal physics, owing to the precise control of experimental parameters (such as the interaction strength, temperature, density, quantum states, dimensionality, and the trapping potential) that might be harder to tune in more conventional systems. In fact, ultracold atomic systems have been used to better understand a myriad of complex physical behavior, including those topics in cosmology, particle, nuclear, molecular physics, and most notably, in condensed matter physics, where the complexities of many-body quantum phenomena are more difficult to investigate using more traditional approaches.

Understanding the applicability and the robustness of universal is thus of great interest. Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Colorado Boulder have carried out a study, recently featured in Physical Review Letters, aimed at testing the limits to universality in an ultracold system.

“Unlike in other physical systems, the beauty of ultracold systems is that at times we are able to scrap the importance of the periodic table and demonstrate the similar phenomenon with any chosen atomic species (be it potassium, rubidium, lithium, strontium, etc.),” Roman Chapurin, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told Phys.org. “Universal behavior is independent of the microscopic details. Understanding the limitations of universal phenomenon is of great interest.”

Jan 15, 2020

The hunt for the ‘angel particle’ continues

Posted by in category: particle physics

In 2017, researchers believed they had found evidence for the elusive Majorana fermion. Now, a new study found that the exotic class of particles may still be confined to theory.

Jan 13, 2020

Atomic tuning on cobalt enables an eightfold increase of hydrogen peroxide production

Posted by in categories: computing, particle physics

IBS scientists and their colleagues have recently report an ultimate electrocatalyst that addresses all of the issues that trouble H2O2 production. This new catalyst comprising the optimal Co-N4 molecules incorporated in nitrogen-doped graphene, Co1-NG(O), exhibits a record-high electrocatalytic reactivity, producing up to 8 times higher than the amount of H2O2 that can be generated from rather expensive noble metal-based electrocatalysts.

Just as we take a shower to wash away dirt and other particles, semiconductors also require a cleaning process. However, its cleaning goes to extremes to ensure even trace contaminants “leave no trace.” After all the chip fabrication materials are applied to a silicon wafer, a strict cleaning process is taken to remove residual particles. If this high-purity cleaning and particle-removal step goes wrong, electrical connections in the chip are likely to suffer from it. With ever-miniaturized gadgets on the market, the purity standards of the electronics industry reach a level equivalent to finding a needle in a desert.

That explains why (H2O2), a major electronic cleaning chemical, is one of the most valuable chemical feedstocks that underpins the chip-making industry. Despite the ever-growing importance of H2O2, its industry has been left with an energy-intensive and multi-step method known as the anthraquinone process. This is an environmentally unfriendly process which involves the hydrogenation step using expensive palladium catalysts. Alternatively, H2O2 can be synthesized directly from H2 and O2 gas, although the reactivity is still very poor and it requires high pressure. Another eco-friendly method is to electrochemically reduce oxygen to H2O2 a via 2-electron pathway. Recently, noble metal-based electrocatalysts (for example, Au-Pd, Pt-Hg, and Pd-Hg) have been demonstrated to show H2O2 productivity although such expensive investments have seen low returns that fail to meet the scalable industry needs.

Jan 13, 2020

Meteorite contains the oldest material on Earth: 7-billion-year-old stardust

Posted by in category: particle physics

Stars have life cycles. They’re born when bits of dust and gas floating through space find each other and collapse in on each other and heat up. They burn for millions to billions of years, and then they die. When they die, they pitch the particles that formed in their winds out into space, and those bits of stardust eventually form new stars, along with new planets and moons and meteorites. And in a meteorite that fell fifty years ago in Australia, scientists have now discovered stardust that formed 5 to 7 billion years ago-the oldest solid material ever found on Earth.

“This is one of the most exciting studies I’ve worked on,” says Philipp Heck, a curator at the Field Museum, associate professor at the University of Chicago, and lead author of a paper describing the findings in PNAS. “These are the oldest solid materials ever found, and they tell us about how formed in our galaxy.”

Jan 13, 2020

Mars’s Water Is Evaporating Away Even Faster Than We Expected

Posted by in categories: particle physics, space

Billions of years ago, Mars could have been a planet very like Earth with copious liquid water on its surface. But over time, that water rose into Mars’s thin atmosphere and evaporated off into space. There are only very small amounts of water vapor left in the atmosphere today, and a new study shows that vapor is being lost even faster than previously believed.

The research, published in the journal Science, used data from the Trace Gas Orbiter in orbit around Mars to see how water moved up and down through the layers of the Martian atmosphere in order to understand how fast it evaporates away. They found that the vapor changes through the seasons and that in the warmer months the atmosphere hosts a whole lot more water than expected, in a state called “supersaturation.”

When the atmosphere becomes supersaturated, this makes the evaporation of water happen even faster. “Unconstrained by saturation, the water vapor globally penetrates through the cloud level, regardless of the dust distribution, facilitating the loss of water to space,” the authors explain. Even when the density of dust or ice particles in the atmosphere changes, that still doesn’t stop supersaturation, so the evaporation of water continues at a brisk pace.

Jan 11, 2020

Scientists Have Successfully Built a Particle Accelerator Onto a Silicon Chip

Posted by in categories: computing, particle physics

Particle accelerators like the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) are incredibly useful – and usually incredibly huge – instruments for studying some of the fundamentals of particle physics. But now scientists have managed to squeeze one on to a silicon chip.

It’s nowhere near as powerful as the bigger versions, as you might expect, but the new particle accelerator chip could still be very helpful for researchers who aren’t able to access gigantic particle accelerator setups.

While this first model is only a prototype, the team behind it is hopeful that it’s a first step towards providing a more compact alternative to the well-known massive particle accelerators, including the LHC and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

Continue reading “Scientists Have Successfully Built a Particle Accelerator Onto a Silicon Chip” »

Jan 10, 2020

‘Superdiamond’ carbon-boron cages can trap and tap into different properties

Posted by in categories: materials, particle physics

A long-sought-after class of “superdiamond” carbon-based materials with tunable mechanical and electronic properties was predicted and synthesized by Carnegie’s Li Zhu and Timothy Strobel. Their work is published by Science Advances.

Carbon is the fourth-most– in the universe and is fundamental to life as we know it. It is unrivaled in its ability to form stable structures, both alone and with other elements.

A material’s properties are determined by how its are bonded and the structural arrangements that these bonds create. For -based materials, the type of bonding makes the difference between the hardness of diamond, which has three-dimensional “sp3” bonds, and the softness of graphite, which has two-dimensional “sp2” bonds, for example.

Jan 10, 2020

Brookhaven Lab chosen as site for multibillion-dollar collider

Posted by in categories: economics, employment, particle physics

A multibillion-dollar high-speed atom smasher — an electron-ion collider that is capable of dissecting the mysterious subatomic material that forms the basis of everything in the universe — will be built at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, federal authorities announced Thursday.

The collider will be the first of its kind in the United States. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said it would create about 4,000 construction jobs, retain 1,000 existing jobs at the lab and generate billions of dollars in economic activity for Long Island.

Officials with the U.S. Department of Energy said construction of the federally funded collider — which would be 2.4 miles in circumference, or 60% larger than the 1.5-mile Belmont Park horse race track, and one story underground — would cost $1.6 billion to $2.6 billion and take about a decade.

Jan 9, 2020

China is making drones that use quantum physics to send unhackable messages

Posted by in categories: drones, particle physics, quantum physics

Particles can carry information securely because intercepting them would alter the message and alert the receiver or sender.

Jan 5, 2020

New Particle Accelerator Fits on a Silicon Chip

Posted by in categories: computing, particle physics

The device uses lasers to accelerate electrons along an etched channel.

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