Archive for the ‘particle physics’ category

Apr 19, 2019

Scientists invent way to trap mysterious ‘dark world’ particle at Large Hadron Collider

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics

Now that they’ve identified the Higgs boson, scientists at the Large Hadron Collider have set their sights on an even more elusive target.

All around us is and —the invisible stuff that binds the galaxy together, but which no one has been able to directly detect. “We know for sure there’s a dark world, and there’s more energy in it than there is in ours,” said LianTao Wang, a University of Chicago professor of physics who studies how to find signals in large particle accelerators like the LHC.

Wang, along with scientists from the University and UChicago-affiliated Fermilab, think they may be able to lead us to its tracks; in a paper published April 3 in Physical Review Letters, they laid out an innovative method for stalking dark matter in the LHC by exploiting a potential particle’s slightly slower speed.

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Apr 19, 2019

A Genius First-of-Its-Kind Device Has Created Electricity From Snowfall

Posted by in categories: materials, particle physics

Scientists have developed a first-of-its-kind device that generates electricity from nothing other than the natural phenomenon of snowfall.

Based upon the principles of the triboelectric effect, in which electrical charge is generated after two materials come into contact with one another, the researchers’ new technology exploits the fact that snow particles carry a positive electrical charge.

Because of that, snowflakes give up electrons, provided they get a chance to interact with the right, negatively charged substance.

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Apr 18, 2019

Scientists Freeze Atoms to Near Absolute Zero

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


We usually think of microwaves as waves that heat things up, usually leftover food, but did you know that they can also cool things down? For example, physicists recently decided to use them to freeze atoms, and attempts have been very successful: They managed to cool them down to within a millionth of a degree of absolute zero (–273.15°C or −459.67°F).

The University of Sussex team, led by Winifried Hensinger, had their results published in Physical Review Letters.

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Apr 18, 2019

Scientists have detected the earliest Big Bang molecule in space

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics

When the universe formed during the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago, the chemical reactions of the aftermath formed the first molecules. Those first molecules were crucial in helping form everything we know, but they’re also absent.

And although HeH+, the helium hydride ion, has been proposed for years as that first molecule, scientists couldn’t find any evidence of its existence in space — until now. The findings were published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

After the Big Bang, HeH+ formed in a molecular bond when helium atoms and protons combined. Later, these would break apart into hydrogen molecules and helium atoms. Both elements are the two most abundant throughout the universe, with hydrogen first and helium second.

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Apr 17, 2019

Scientists detect the oldest type of molecule in the universe

Posted by in categories: chemistry, cosmology, particle physics

Back in the ancient universe, shortly after the Big Bang, the first atoms formed out of free particles. Only light elements like hydrogen and helium could form at high temperatures, but as the universe cooled, those atoms turned into every single thing we see in our world today. And now, scientists have spotted the type of molecule that formed the very first time two atoms combined.

Theories have predicted for decades that the first molecule that could form would be between the first two elements: hydrogen and helium. But the “helium hydride” molecule, as it’s known, had never been spotted before, Gizmodo explained. This led to some doubt as to whether this theory could even be true. But thanks to a modified Boeing 747 dubbed SOFIA, or Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, we have finally detected the elusive molecule in a far-off nebula called NGC 7027.

Now that it’s confirmed that the universe is capable of forming the helium hydride molecule naturally, this knowledge is helping astronomers better understand how the universe worked in the time just after the Big Bang. The research, published on Wednesday in the journal Nature, has made sense of the “dawn of chemistry,” the authors state. Read more about this exciting find at Gizmodo. Shivani Ishwar.

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Apr 17, 2019

Magnonic devices can replace electronics without much noise

Posted by in categories: computing, particle physics

Electronic devices such as transistors are getting smaller and will soon hit the limits of conventional performance based on electrical currents.

Devices based on magnonic currents—quasi-particles associated with waves of magnetization, or , in certain —would transform the industry, though scientists need to better understand how to control them.

Engineers at the University of California, Riverside, have made an important step toward the development of practical magnonic devices by studying, for the first time, the level of noise associated with propagation of magnon current.

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Apr 17, 2019

Researchers explore energy-saving catalysts that operate at room temperature

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, particle physics

NIST researchers have explored in unprecedented detail a new breed of catalysts that allow some chemical reactions, which normally require high heat, to proceed at room temperature. The energy-saving catalysts use sunlight or another light source to excite localized surface plasmons (LSPs)—oscillations of groups of electrons on the surface of certain metal nanoparticles, such as gold, silver and aluminum. The energy derived from the LSP oscillations drives chemical reactions among molecules that adhere to the nanoparticles.

Scientists had previously shown that can be split into its individual atoms by the energy generated by the LSP oscillations. The NIST team has now discovered a second LSP-mediated reaction that proceeds at room temperature. In this reaction, LSPs excited in gold nanoparticles transform two molecules of carbon monoxide into carbon and carbon dioxide. The reaction, which ordinarily requires a minimum temperature of 400 degrees C., plays an important role in converting carbon monoxide into widely used carbon-based materials such as carbon nanotubes and graphite.

Probing the nanoparticles with an and combining the data with simulations, the NIST researchers pinpointed the sites on the gold nanoparticles where the reactions occurred. They also measured the intensity of the LSPs and mapped how the energy associated with the oscillations varied from place to place inside the nanoparticles. The measurements are key steps in understanding the role of LSPs for initiating reactions at room temperature, mitigating the need to heat the samples.

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Apr 16, 2019

Optimizing network software to advance scientific discovery

Posted by in categories: mathematics, particle physics, supercomputing

High-performance computing (HPC)—the use of supercomputers and parallel processing techniques to solve large computational problems—is of great use in the scientific community. For example, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory rely on HPC to analyze the data they collect at the large-scale experimental facilities on site and to model complex processes that would be too expensive or impossible to demonstrate experimentally.

Modern science applications, such as simulating , often require a combination of aggregated computing power, high-speed networks for data transfer, large amounts of memory, and high-capacity storage capabilities. Advances in HPC hardware and software are needed to meet these requirements. Computer and computational scientists and mathematicians in Brookhaven Lab’s Computational Science Initiative (CSI) are collaborating with physicists, biologists, and other domain scientists to understand their data analysis needs and provide solutions to accelerate the scientific discovery process.

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Apr 15, 2019

Astronomers take first, high-resolution look at huge star-forming region of Milky Way

Posted by in categories: particle physics, space

Astronomers from the United States and South Korea have made the first high-resolution, radio telescope observations of the molecular clouds within a massive star-forming region of the outer Milky Way.

“This region is behind a nearby cloud of dust and gas,” said Charles Kerton, an associate professor of physics and astronomy at Iowa State University and a member of the study team. “The cloud blocks the light and so we have to use infrared or radio observations to study it.”

The Milky Way region is called CTB 102. It’s about 14,000 light years from Earth. It’s classified as an HII region, meaning it contains clouds of ionized—charged—hydrogen atoms. And, because of its distance from Earth and the dust and gas in between, it has been difficult to study.

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Apr 12, 2019

This Electrically Conductive Concrete Melts Snow Without Chemicals

Posted by in categories: particle physics, transportation

A special blend of concrete that can de-ice roads and pavements without the need for chemicals uses electricity to melt away snow and sleet – and it could be coming to an airport near you soon.

The conductive concrete, developed by researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is for the most part the same as regular concrete, but 20 percent of its ingredients aren’t exactly standard: steel shavings and carbon particles, which give the mix enough conductivity that it can melt ice and snow while remaining safe to the touch.

Designed by civil engineer Chris Tuan, the conductive concrete is currently being assessed by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which is looking into the possibilities of incorporating the snow-melting surface into the tarmac of at least one major airport as part of a trial.

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