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Archive for the ‘physics’ category: Page 13

Feb 1, 2019

Unshackling Robots: Self-Aware Machines

Posted by in categories: engineering, physics, robotics/AI

Another step forward in robotics self-awareness. This robot learns it’s own kinematics without human intervention and then learns to plot solution paths.


Columbia Engineering researchers have made a major advance in robotics by creating a robot that learns what it is, from scratch, with zero prior knowledge of physics, geometry, or motor dynamics. Once their robot creates a self-simulation, it can then use that self-model to adapt to different situations, to handle new tasks as well as detect and repair damage in its own body.

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Jan 31, 2019

Dark matter may not actually exist – and our alternative theory can be put to the test

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Scientists have been searching for “dark matter” – an unknown and invisible substance thought to make up the vast majority of matter in the universe – for nearly a century. The reason for this persistence is that dark matter is needed to account for the fact that galaxies don’t seem to obey the fundamental laws of physics. However, dark matter searches have remained unsuccessful.

But there are other approaches to make sense of why behave so strangely. Our new study, published in the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, shows that, by tweaking the laws of gravity on the enormous scales of galaxies, we may not actually need dark after all.

The Swiss astronomer Fritz Zwicky discovered in the 1930s that velocities in galaxy clusters were too high to account for how much matter we could see. A similar phenomenon was described by several groups of astronomers, such as Vera Rubin and Kent Ford, when they studied the motion of stars at the far edges of the Andromeda Galaxy.

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Jan 30, 2019

Physicists Have Built a Machine That Actually Breaks Two Rules of Light

Posted by in categories: futurism, physics

When you beam intense pulses of light into a thin circle, strange things will happen, according to new research based on the optical equivalent of a whispering gallery.

Inside tiny loops of transparent fibre, waves of light can be forced to break step and change the orientation of their wiggle in odd ways, bending the rules and potentially giving future engineers new tools for emerging optical technology.

Researchers from the UK’s National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh have watched light break its usual symmetrical patterns inside devices called optical ring resonators.

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Jan 30, 2019

A Robot Teaches Itself to Play Jenga. But This Is No Game

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

Global thermonuclear war. The slight possibility that a massive asteroid could boop Earth. Jenga. These are a few of the things that give humans debilitating anxiety.

Robots can’t solve any of these problems for us, but one machine can now brave the angst that is the crumbling tower of wooden blocks: Researchers at MIT report today in Science Robotics that they’ve engineered a robot to teach itself the complex physics of Jenga. This, though, is no game—it’s a big step in the daunting quest to get robots to manipulate objects in the real world.

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Jan 28, 2019

The 96-year-old who won the 2018 Nobel Prize in physics reveals his science-backed secret to staying sharp in old age

Posted by in categories: physics, science

Arthur Ashkin is the oldest person ever awarded a Nobel Prize. But he says he’s not done discovering yet. He still works every day.

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Jan 27, 2019

A Child’s Puzzle Helped Uncover How Magnets Really Work

Posted by in category: physics

The physics of ferromagnetism has long befuddled scientists, but a familiar puzzle is getting them closer to an answer.

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Jan 26, 2019

New Paper: A ‘Mirror Image’ of Our Universe Existed Before The Big Bang

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

The Big Bang didn’t just result in our familiar universe, according to a mind-bending new theory — it also generated a second “anti-universe” that extended backwards in time, like a mirror image of our own.

A new story in Physics World explores the new theory, which was proposed by a trio of Canadian physicists who say that it could explain the existence of dark matter.

The new theory, which is laid out in a recent paper in the journal Physical Review of Letters, aims to preserve a rule of physics called CPT symmetry. In the anti-universe before the Big Bang, it suggests, time ran backwards and the cosmos were made of antimatter instead of matter.

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Jan 24, 2019

Physicists Have Discovered a Formula for Success and It Contains a Brutal Truth Most People Don’t Want to Admit

Posted by in category: physics

From Reese Witherspoon to Jeff Bezos, those who are super successful in their chosen domain accept this truth.

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Jan 23, 2019

A Cooler Cloud: A Clever Conduit Cuts Data Centers’ Cooling Needs

Posted by in categories: computing, physics

The energy use of data centers is a major drag on resources, but they also use a lot of water. Any technology that increases their efficiency while reducing resource waste is a good thing.

“Now, Forced Physics, a company based in Scottsdale, Ariz., has developed a low-power system that it says could slash a data center’s energy requirements for cooling by 90 percent. The company’s JouleForce conductor is a passive system that uses ambient, filtered, nonrefrigerated air to whisk heat away from computer chips.”


The company that created it, Forced Physics, plans to install the technology in a pilot plant in February.

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Jan 21, 2019

Researchers capture an image of negative capacitance in action

Posted by in categories: energy, physics

For the first time ever, an international team of researchers imaged the microscopic state of negative capacitance. This novel result provides researchers with fundamental, atomistic insight into the physics of negative capacitance, which could have far-reaching consequences for energy-efficient electronics.

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