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Archive for the ‘particle physics’ category

Aug 15, 2018

This one particle could solve five mega-mysteries of physics

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics

Forget the Higgs: theorists have uncovered a missing link that explains dark matter, what happened in the big bang and more. Now they’re racing to find it.

By Michael Brooks

911? It’s an emergency. The most important particle in the universe is missing. Florian Goertz knows this isn’t a case for the police, but he is still waiting impatiently for a response. This 911 isn’t a phone number, but a building on the northern edge of the world’s biggest particle accelerator.

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Aug 15, 2018

Researchers suggest phonons may have mass and perhaps negative gravity

Posted by in categories: mathematics, particle physics

A trio of physicists with Columbia University is making waves with a new theory about phonons—they suggest they might have negative mass, and because of that, have negative gravity. Angelo Esposito, Rafael Krichevsky and Alberto Nicolis have written a paper to support their theory, including the math, and have uploaded it to the xrXiv preprint server.

Most theories depict waves as more of a collective event than as physical things. They are seen as the movement of molecules bumping against each other like balls on a pool table—the energy of one ball knocking the next, and so on—any motion in one direction is offset by motion in the opposite direction. In such a model, sound has no mass, and thus cannot be impacted by . But there may be more to the story. In their paper, the researchers suggest that the current theory does not fully explain everything that has been observed.

In recent years, physicists have come up with a word to describe the behavior of at a very small scale—the phonon. It describes the way sound vibrations cause complicated interactions with molecules, which allows the sound to propagate. The term has been useful because it allows for applying principles to sound that have previously been applied to actual particles. But no one has suggested that they actually are particles, which means they should not have mass. In this new effort, the researchers suggest the phonon could have negative , and because of that, could also have negative gravity.

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Aug 14, 2018

Researcher accurately determines energy difference between two quantum states

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

A kiwi physicist has discovered the energy difference between two quantum states in the helium atom with unprecedented accuracy, a ground-breaking discovery that contributes to our understanding of the universe and space-time and rivals the work of the world’s most expensive physics project, the Large Hadron Collider.

Our understanding of the universe and the forces that govern it relies on the Standard Model of particle physics. This model helps us understand space-time and the fundamental forces that hold everything in the universe in place. It is the most accurate scientific theory known to humankind.

But the Standard Model does not fully explain everything, for example it doesn’t explain gravity, dark matter, dark energy, or the fact that there is way more matter than antimatter in the universe.

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Aug 13, 2018

A Particle Accelerator Between Your Fingertips

Posted by in categories: computing, particle physics

\"\" An early prototype of the silicon-chip-sized particle accelerator that scientists at Stanford University are developing. Later, this could be made smaller to be inserted into the body and used to treat tumour.

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Aug 9, 2018

The fastest human-made object launches for the Sun this Saturday

Posted by in categories: particle physics, satellites

If the weather remains favorable and everything goes according to plan on August 11th, NASA is sending a spacecraft to the sun. The Parker Solar Probe will go closer to the massive ball of gas and plasma keeping our solar system together than any other spacecraft has gone before. It will brave extreme temperatures reaching up to 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit to collect data and images of the sun’s atmosphere called “corona.” The spacecraft will also reach speeds up to 430,000 mph, making it the fastest-ever human-made object. That’s nowhere near fast enough to reach Alpha Centauri within our lifetime — it has to travel around 7,000 years to reach the star closest to our sun — but fast enough to get from Philadelphia to DC in a second.

NASA plans to use the data it beams back to figure out how we can better prepare for solar winds, which are streams of charged particles emitted by the corona. Particularly strong winds could change satellites’ orbits, interfere with their instruments and even affect power grids here on Earth. If we want to head deeper into space in the future, we must first study how solar winds can affect our vehicles. Besides, we need to take a closer look at the star nearest to us if we want to learn more about the other stars in the universe. Finally, studying the sun could shed light on the origin of life on Earth, since it’s our source of light and heat.

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Aug 7, 2018

Jupiter’s moons create invisible ‘killer’ waves that could destroy spacecraft

Posted by in categories: particle physics, robotics/AI, space travel

Here on Earth, electromagnetic waves around the planet are typically pretty calm. When the Sun fires a burst of charged particles at the Earth we are treated to an aurora (often called Northern Lights), but rarely are they a cause for concern. If you were to head to Jupiter, however, things would change dramatically.

In a new study published in Nature Communications, researchers describe the incredible electromagnetic field structure around two of Jupiter’s moons: Europa and Ganymede. The invisible magnetic fields around these bodies is being powered by Jupiter’s own magnetic field, and the result is an ultra-powerful particle accelerator of sorts, which might be capable of seriously damaging or even destroying a spacecraft.

“Chorus waves” are low-frequency electromagnetic waves that occur naturally around planets, including Earth. Near our planet they’re mostly harmless, but they do have the capability to produce extremely fast-moving “killer” particles that could cause damage to manmade technology if we happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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Aug 4, 2018

Nanotube “Rebar” Makes Graphene Even Stronger

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, particle physics, space

You may know graphene as a pseudo-legendary substance that could potentially revolutionize science and space travel and all sorts of things. If you don’t, you should get educated is pretty ridiculous. Simply made from carbon arranged into perfect one atom thing sheets makes the material one of the strongest ever observed. And, now, researchers at Rice University have found that so-called “rebar” graphene is dramatically tougher.

Graphene is much stronger than steel. In fact, an elephant could stand on a pencil and that pressure couldn’t break through a thin sheet of the material. But, because it is arranged in sheets, it can still be ripped if damaged from the right angle. But the researchers figured that reinforcing the structure, as we do with steel bars in concrete structures, l could help prevent damage.

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Jul 30, 2018

The Peculiar Math That Could Underlie the Laws of Nature

Posted by in categories: mathematics, particle physics

New findings are fueling an old suspicion that fundamental particles and forces spring from strange eight-part numbers called “octonions.”

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Jul 30, 2018

Move over, graphene: Iron ore mineral becomes newest 2D material

Posted by in categories: materials, particle physics

When it comes to new materials, thin is most definitely in. Brazilian researchers have created a new two-dimensional material called hematene, which is made up of sheets of iron ore just three atoms thick. And as is often the case with 2D materials, hematene seems to have different properties to its regular form.

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Jul 30, 2018

God Particle will eventually DESTROY the universe — physicists in Doomsday claim

Posted by in categories: existential risks, particle physics

THE famous ‘God Particle’ will lead to the destruction of the entire universe, scientists have warned. British researchers are warning that the Higgs Boson, otherwise known as the God Particle, will one day lead to the destruction of the universe.

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