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Archive for the ‘physics’ category

Apr 28, 2017

Physicists Just Came Up With a Mathematical Model for a Viable Time Machine

Posted by in categories: mathematics, physics, time travel

Physicists have come up with what they claim is a mathematical model of a theoretical “time machine” — a box that can move backwards and forwards through time and space.

The trick, they say, is to use the curvature of space-time in the Universe to bend time into a circle for hypothetical passengers sitting in the box, and that circle allows them to skip into the future and the past.

“People think of time travel as something as fiction. And we tend to think it’s not possible because we don’t actually do it,” says theoretical physicist and mathematician, Ben Tippett, from the University of British Columbia in Canada.

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Apr 21, 2017

‘Negative mass’ created at Washington State University

Posted by in category: physics

We are one step closer to actually creating an Alcuberre FTL drive…


Experimental images of an expanding spin-orbit superfluid Bose-Einstein condensate at different expansion times (credit: M. A. Khamehchi et al./Physical Review Letters)

Washington State University (WSU) physicists have created a fluid with “negative mass,” which means that if you push it, it accelerates toward you instead of away, in apparent violation of Newton’s laws.

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Apr 21, 2017

A naked singularity: Can we spot the most extreme object in the universe?

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics, singularity

A team of scientists at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai, India, have found new ways to detect a bare or naked singularity, the most extreme object in the universe.

When the fuel of a very massive star is spent, it collapses due to its own gravitational pull and eventually becomes a very small region of arbitrarily high matter density, that is a ‘Singularity’, where the usual laws of physics may breakdown. If this singularity is hidden within an event horizon, which is an invisible closed surface from which nothing, not even light, can escape, then we call this object a black hole.

In such a case, we cannot see the singularity and we do not need to bother about its effects. But what if the event horizon does not form? In fact, Einstein’s theory of general relativity does predict such a possibility when massive stars collapse at the end of their life-cycles. In this case, we are left with the tantalizing option of observing a naked singularity.

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Apr 19, 2017

Physicists create mind-bending ‘negative mass’ that accelerates backwards and could help explain black holes

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Scientists have created a fluid with “negative mass” which they claim can be used to explore some of the more challenging concepts of the cosmos.

Washington State University physicists explained that this mass, unlike every physical object in the world we know, accelerates backwards when pushed.

The phenomenon, which is rarely created in laboratory conditions, shows a less intuitive side of Newton’s Second Law of Motion, in which a force is equal to the mass of an object times its acceleration (F=ma).

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Apr 17, 2017

‘Negative mass’ created for the first time

Posted by in category: physics

Washington State University physicists have created a fluid with negative mass, which is exactly what it sounds like. Push it, and unlike every physical object in the world we know, it doesn’t accelerate in the direction it was pushed. It accelerates backwards. The phenomenon is rarely created in laboratory conditions and can be used to explore some of the more challenging concepts of the cosmos, said Michael Forbes, a WSU assistant professor of physics and astronomy and an affiliate assistant professor at the University of Washington. The research appears today in the journal Physical Review Letters, where it is featured as an “Editor’s Suggestion.” Hypothetically, matter can have negative mass in the same sense that an electric charge can be either negative or positive.

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Apr 15, 2017

Affordable deep space missions using asteroids

Posted by in categories: government, mathematics, physics, space

Phase 1 work demonstrated Optical Mining in the laboratory and performed mission and systems analysis of the application of Optical Mining to human exploration missions. Their mission analysis showed that the most accessible Near Earth Objects (NEOs) can be used to provide NASA with mission consumables for human exploration in deep space with the potential of saving up to $10 billion per year or $150 billion over the 15 year operational life cycle of a human exploration program. This savings alone would be enough to transform NASA’s vision of human exploration from being unaffordable to being affordable within budgets that Congress can approve. Phase 1 technical work included a full scale (8 kW) Optical Mining demonstration using a high fidelity CI-type asteroid simulant in vacuum using sunlight from a 10 meter diameter solar concentrator without mechanical contact or downforce. This work confirmed our physics based mathematical model of the excavation and volatile extraction process and scalability of results from 36 prior, small scale (≈ 1 cm diameter) demonstrations and tests.

Phase 2 work will complete mission and system analysis of the application of Optical Mining to an exciting program of human exploration and we will mature the technology of Optical Mining to the point at which NASA can baseline this approach for an affordable program of human exploration. Our mission studies will address the production via Optical Mining missions to extract and retrieve resources, consumable processing, storage, and application of consumables to human exploration mission in cislunar, NEO and Martian space. The mission studies will be tightly coupled with our laboratory work. Laboratory work will include the development and integration of a 30 kW Optical Mining test apparatus in our laboratory and integration with our high quality vacuum chamber for a test program involving Optical Mining.

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Apr 14, 2017

We May Be Able to Build a Rocket That Can Go 99.999% the Speed of Light

Posted by in categories: mathematics, physics, space travel

Theoretical physics often lifts the sanctions we set on our own imaginations. Whether it’s exploring the possibility of warp drives or understanding the rate of the universe’s expansion, we are quick to explore the unknown on our chalkboards until our tech is ready for our ideas.

In a similar deep-dive into the theoretical, a Norwegian professor argues in the journal Acta Astronautica for the of possibility of photon rockets that can reach 99.999 percent of the speed of light (300,000 km/s [186,000 mph]); asserting that, while humanity can’t do it anytime soon, we could potentially build a spacecraft that falls just short of the ultimate speed limit sometime in the future when the necessary technology is feasible.

*2* A Finance Professor Predicts the Absolute Speed Limit for all Human Spacecrafts

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Apr 13, 2017

Mach Effects for In Space Propulsion: Interstellar Mission

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics, space travel

NASA is funding Mach effect propulsion in the latest round of advanced concept projects.

Nextbigfuture has covered Woodwards Mach effect propulsion in dozens of articles.

They propose to study the implementation of an innovative thrust producing technology for use in NASA missions involving in space main propulsion. Mach Effect Thruster (MET) propulsion is based on peer-reviewed, technically credible physics. Mach effects are transient variations in the rest masses of objects that simultaneously experience accelerations and internal energy changes. They are predicted by standard physics where Mach’s principle applies – as discussed in peer-reviewed papers spanning 20 years and a recent book, Making Starships and Stargates: the Science of Interstellar Transport and Absurdly Benign Wormholes published recently by Springer-Verlag. These effects have the revolutionary capability to produce thrust without the irreversible ejection of propellant, eliminating the need to carry propellant as required with most other propulsion systems.

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Apr 12, 2017

These ‘waves’ may let us see the Big Bang’s earliest moments

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

I wonder if people who were alive when Galileo first turned his telescope to the heavens in 1610, when he discovered the moons of Jupiter, realized that it was a seminal moment in human history. The discovery changed everything. It showed that not all celestial objects orbit the Earth and set the stage for adoption of the Copernican theory, which holds, of course, that the Earth orbits the sun and not the other way around. From that date onward, telescopes aimed at the sky became a staple of cosmology and a constant source of discovery and wonder for humanity.

It’s quite possible that people living in the distant future will view last year’s announcement of the discovery of gravitational waves as a similar turning point in humanity’s ability to observe and understand the cosmos.

Related: Earth-Sized Telescope May Let Us See Black Hole for First Time.

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Apr 12, 2017

Physicists Say They’ve Created a Fluid With ‘Negative Mass’

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Researchers in the US say they’ve created a fluid with negative mass in the lab… which is exactly as mind-bending as it sounds.

What it means is that, unlike pretty much every other known physical object, when you push this fluid, it accelerates backwards instead of moving forwards. Such an oddity could tell scientists about some of the strange behaviour that happens within black holes and neutron stars.

But let’s take a step back for a second here, because how can something have negative mass?

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