Archive for the ‘physics’ category

Jan 7, 2018

Computational astrophysics team uncloaks magnetic fields of cosmic events

Posted by in categories: computing, cosmology, physics

The development of ultra-intense lasers delivering the same power as the entire U.S. power grid has enabled the study of cosmic phenomena such as supernovae and black holes in earthbound laboratories. Now, a new method developed by computational astrophysicists at the University of Chicago allows scientists to analyze a key characteristic of these events: their powerful and complex magnetic fields.

In the of high-energy density physics, or HEDP, scientists study a wide range of astrophysical objects—stars, at the center of galaxies and galaxy clusters—with laboratory experiments as small as a penny and lasting only a few billionths of a second. By focusing powerful lasers on a carefully designed target, researchers can produce plasmas that reproduce conditions observed by astronomers in our sun and distant galaxies.

Planning these complex and expensive experiments requires large-scale, high-fidelity computer simulation beforehand. Since 2012, the Flash Center for Computational Science of the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics at UChicago has provided the leading open computer code, called FLASH, for these HEDP simulations, enabling researchers to fine-tune experiments and develop analysis methods before execution at sites such as the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory or the OMEGA Laser Facility in Rochester, N.Y.

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Dec 26, 2017

The biggest scientific breakthroughs of the year, now in video form!

Posted by in categories: innovation, physics

Each year, Science’s editors and writers highlight a top research achievement as their Breakthrough of the Year. For 2017, the honor goes to the first full observation of a neutron-star merger, made possible by detecting gravitational waves created by the stars as they spiraled into each other. But there a lot of other advances to talk about, from the oldest ice to the newest ape. Check them all out in this video rundown.

A video compilation of some of the biggest advances of 2017.

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Dec 8, 2017

Physicists excited by discovery of new form of matter, excitonium

Posted by in category: physics

Excitonium has a team of researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign… well… excited! Professor of Physics Peter Abbamonte and graduate students Anshul Kogar and Mindy Rak, with input from colleagues at Illinois, University of California, Berkeley, and University of Amsterdam, have proven the existence of this enigmatic new form of matter, which has perplexed scientists since it was first theorized almost 50 years ago.

The team studied non-doped crystals of the oft-analyzed transition metal dichalcogenide titanium diselenide (1T-TiSe2) and reproduced their surprising results five times on different cleaved crystals. University of Amsterdam Professor of Physics Jasper van Wezel provided crucial theoretical interpretation of the experimental results.

So what exactly is excitonium?

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Dec 4, 2017

WMAP Team Wins $3 Million Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics

Posted by in categories: cosmology, evolution, physics

A team of researchers who helped shape our understanding of the origin, evolution and nature of the cosmos is now $3 million richer.

Those folks worked on NASA’s WMAP space mission, which was awarded the 2018 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics today (Dec. 3) during a ceremony in Palo Alto, California.

From 2001 to 2009, WMAP mapped the cosmic microwave background (CMB) — the light left over from the Big Bang — with unprecedented precision. This work allowed scientists to nail down the age of the universe (about 13.8 billion years), its rate of accelerating expansion (roughly 70 kilometers per second per megaparsec) and its basic composition (about 5 percent “normal” matter, 24 percent dark matter and 71 percent dark energy). [Dark Matter and Dark Energy: The Mystery Explained (Infographic)].

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Nov 16, 2017

LHC achieves record luminosity

Posted by in category: physics

It’s the end of the road for the protons this year after a magnificent performance from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). On Friday, the final beams of the 2017 proton run circulated in the LHC. The run ended, as it does every year, with a round up of the luminosity performance, the indicator by which the effectiveness of a collider is measured and on which the operators keep a constant eye.

The LHC has far exceeded its target for 2017. It has provided its two major experiments, ATLAS and CMS, with 50 inverse femtobarns of data, i.e. 5 billion million million collisions. The inverse femtobarn (fb-1) is the unit used to measure integrated luminosity, or the cumulative number of potential collisions over a given period.

This result is all the more remarkable because the machine experts had to overcome a serious setback. A vacuum problem in the pipe of a magnet cell limited the number of bunches that could circulate in the machine. Several teams were brought in to find a solution. Notably, the arrangement of the bunches in the beams was changed. After a few weeks, luminosity started to increase again.

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Nov 15, 2017

Hypothetical White Holes Could Link us to Different Universes

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Black holes – everyone knows that they exist, but nobody really knows what they are exactly.

A lot of laws of physics seem to be ignored or omitted when it comes to black holes, so there always seems to be a missing link when it comes to understanding how they work.


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Nov 2, 2017

Neutron star merger confirms decades of predictions

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

While black hole collisions produce almost no signature other than gravitational waves, the collision of neutron stars can be — and was — observed up and down the electromagnetic spectrum. “When neutron stars collide, all hell breaks loose,” said Frans Pretorius, a Princeton physics professor. “They start producing a tremendous amount of visible light, and also gamma rays, X-rays, radio waves…”

Princeton researchers have been studying neutron stars and their astronomical signatures for decades.

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Oct 31, 2017

Squishy or Solid? A Neutron Star’s Insides Open to Debate

Posted by in categories: physics, space

The core of a neutron star is such an extreme environment that physicists can’t agree on what happens inside. But a new space-based experiment — and a few more colliding neutron stars — should reveal whether neutrons themselves break down.

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Oct 26, 2017

Scientists Claims: Aliens May Already Live Inside Super-Massive Black Holes

Posted by in categories: alien life, physics

A supermassive dark opening isn’t the best place to live. Notwithstanding, there are physicists who think about existence existing in such outrageous spots and likely effectively occupied by some most progressive races – super outsiders. “Insides of super gigantic dark openings might be occupied by cutting edge human advancements living on planets with the third-kind circles,” Russian cosmologist Vyacheslav I. Dokuchaev at Moscow’s Institute for Nuclear Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences writes in his paper distributed in Cornell University’s online diary arXiv. “We could live inside a super gigantic dark gap in the long run… yet super-outsiders may have effectively outsmarted us,” claims Dokuchaev. His dubious hypothesis did not depend on sci-fi yet on Einstein’s speculations.

Scientist Claims: Aliens May Already Live Inside Super-Massive Black Holes

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Oct 23, 2017

Newfound Wormhole Allows Information to Escape Black Holes

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Physicists theorize that a new “traversable” kind of wormhole could resolve a baffling paradox and rescue information that falls into black holes.

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