Archive for the ‘particle physics’ category: Page 7

Aug 25, 2021

Scientists use lasers to create miniature supernova shock waves on Earth

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics

Circa 2020 o.o!

Researchers have created a miniature version of supernova shock waves in a lab here on Earth to solve a long-standing cosmic mystery.

When stars die and explode in supernovas, they create shock waves that emanate across the surrounding plasma. These powerful shock waves blast out cosmic rays, or highly energetic particles, out into the universe. The waves act almost like particle accelerators, pushing these particles out so fast that they approach the speed of light. However, scientists have yet to fully understand exactly how and why the shock waves accelerate these particles.

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Aug 25, 2021

In a first, scientists capture a ‘quantum tug’ between neighboring water molecules

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

Water is the most abundant yet least understood liquid in nature. It exhibits many strange behaviors that scientists still struggle to explain. While most liquids get denser as they get colder, water is most dense at 39 degrees Fahrenheit, just above its freezing point. This is why ice floats to the top of a drinking glass and lakes freeze from the surface down, allowing marine life to survive cold winters. Water also has an unusually high surface tension, allowing insects to walk on its surface, and a large capacity to store heat, keeping ocean temperatures stable.

Now, a team that includes researchers from the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University and Stockholm University in Sweden have made the first direct observation of how in water tug and push neighboring water molecules when they are excited with laser light. Their results, published in Nature today, reveal effects that could underpin key aspects of the microscopic origin of water’s strange properties and could lead to a better understanding of how water helps proteins function in living organisms.

“Although this so-called nuclear quantum effect has been hypothesized to be at the heart of many of water’s strange properties, this experiment marks the first time it was ever observed directly,” said study collaborator Anders Nilsson, a professor of chemical physics at Stockholm University. “The question is if this quantum effect could be the missing link in theoretical models describing the anomalous properties of water.”

Aug 25, 2021

‘Flashes of Creation’ recounts the Big Bang theory’s origin story

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics

In ‘Flashes of Creation,’ author Paul Halpern tells the story of George Gamow, Fred Hoyle and their decades-long sparring match about the Big Bang.

Flashes of Creation Paul Halpern Basic Books, $30

The Big Bang wasn’t always a sure bet. For several decades in the 20th century, researchers wrestled with interpreting cosmic origins, or if there even was a beginning at all. At the forefront of that debate stood physicists George Gamow and Fred Hoyle: One advocated for an expanding universe that sprouted from a hot, dense state; the other for a cosmos that is eternal and unchanging. Both pioneered contemporary cosmology, laid the groundwork for our understanding of where atoms come from and brought science to the masses.

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Aug 24, 2021

World-first detector designed by dark matter researchers records rare events

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics

A ground-breaking detector that aims to use quartz to capture high frequency gravitational waves has been built by researchers at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Dark Matter Particle Physics (CDM) and the University of Western Australia.

In its first 153 days of operation, two events were detected that could, in principle, be , which have not been recorded by scientists before.

Such high frequency gravitational waves may have been created by a primordial black hole or a cloud of dark matter particles.

Aug 22, 2021

These Scientists Turned Seawater Into Fresh Water Using Sunlight in Under a Half Hour

Posted by in category: particle physics

As part of a wave of solar water purifier research, scientists say they can turn even brackish groundwater into drinkable fresh water in about 30 minutes. The filtration uses a metal-organic framework, or MOF, which is a highly porous polymer made by combining metal particles with “coordinating” organic pieces called ligands. It can (and must!) be used in the sun, making it ideal for many applications in situ near sources of brackish water.

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Aug 21, 2021

Jupiter’s intense auroras superheat its upper atmosphere

Posted by in categories: particle physics, space

Jupiter’s hotter-than-expected upper atmosphere may be caused by high-speed charged particles slamming into the air high above the poles.

Aug 21, 2021

2D ‘Supersolid’ That Flows Without Friction Has Been Made For The First Time

Posted by in categories: materials, particle physics

In a significant achievement, physicists have produced a two-dimensional supersolid in the lab for the first time.

That may sound incredibly mind-bendy, but it’s a feat researchers have been working towards for more than 50 years. Supersolids are strange materials with atoms arranged in the ordered structure of a solid, yet they can flow without friction, just like a superfluid.

Two years ago, physicists successfully created supersolids using ultra-cold magnetic atoms… but only in one-dimension. Now, a team of Austrian researchers has managed to create the crystal-like structure in 2D for the first time; the result will allow physicists to test and experiment with some of the weirdest materials-science phenomena out there.

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Aug 19, 2021

Two-dimensional supersolidity in a dipolar quantum gas

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

Two-dimensional supersolidity is demonstrated using highly magnetic, ultracold dysprosium atoms.

Aug 19, 2021

Scientists discover crystal exhibiting exotic spiral magnetism

Posted by in categories: materials, particle physics

An exotic form of magnetism has been discovered and linked to an equally exotic type of electrons, according to scientists who analyzed a new crystal in which they appear at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The magnetism is created and protected by the crystal’s unique electronic structure, offering a mechanism that might be exploited for fast, robust information storage devices.

The newly invented material has an unusual structure that conducts electricity but makes the flowing electrons behave as massless particles, whose is linked to the direction of their motion. In other materials, such Weyl electrons have elicited new behaviors related to electrical conductivity. In this case, however, the electrons promote the spontaneous formation of a magnetic spiral.

“Our research shows a rare example of these particles driving collective magnetism,” said Collin Broholm, a physicist at Johns Hopkins University who led the at the NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR). “Our experiment illustrates a unique form of magnetism that can arise from Weyl electrons.”

Aug 19, 2021

Levitation: Classic Magic Trick May Enable Quantum Computing

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

A new project will use the electric field in an accelerator cavity to try to levitate a tiny metallic particle, allowing it to store quantum information.

Quantum computing could solve problems that are difficult for traditional computer systems. It may seem like magic. One step toward achieving quantum computing even resembles a magician’s trick: levitation. A new project at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility will attempt this trick by levitating a microscopic particle in a superconducting radiofrequency (SRF) cavity to observe quantum phenomena.

Typically at Jefferson Lab and other particle accelerator facilities, SRF cavities enable studies of the atom.

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