Archive for the ‘physics’ category: Page 14

Jan 20, 2019

Physicists Discover Artwork Hidden Under Picasso’s Paintings

Posted by in categories: media & arts, physics

Spectroscopy reveals there’s more to art than what meets the eye.

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Jan 19, 2019

Why it is dangerous to build ever larger big bang machines

Posted by in categories: alien life, astronomy, cosmology, energy, engineering, ethics, existential risks, general relativity, governance, gravity, innovation, law, nuclear energy, nuclear weapons, particle physics, philosophy, physics, policy, quantum physics, science, scientific freedom, security, singularity, space travel, supercomputing, theory, time travel

CERN has revealed plans for a gigantic successor of the giant atom smasher LHC, the biggest machine ever built. Particle physicists will never stop to ask for ever larger big bang machines. But where are the limits for the ordinary society concerning costs and existential risks?

CERN boffins are already conducting a mega experiment at the LHC, a 27km circular particle collider, at the cost of several billion Euros to study conditions of matter as it existed fractions of a second after the big bang and to find the smallest particle possible – but the question is how could they ever know? Now, they pretend to be a little bit upset because they could not find any particles beyond the standard model, which means something they would not expect. To achieve that, particle physicists would like to build an even larger “Future Circular Collider” (FCC) near Geneva, where CERN enjoys extraterritorial status, with a ring of 100km – for about 24 billion Euros.

Experts point out that this research could be as limitless as the universe itself. The UK’s former Chief Scientific Advisor, Prof Sir David King told BBC: “We have to draw a line somewhere otherwise we end up with a collider that is so large that it goes around the equator. And if it doesn’t end there perhaps there will be a request for one that goes to the Moon and back.”

“There is always going to be more deep physics to be conducted with larger and larger colliders. My question is to what extent will the knowledge that we already have be extended to benefit humanity?”

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Jan 17, 2019

A Fifth Dimension Could Make Star Trek Discovery’s Spore Drive Physically Possible

Posted by in categories: physics, space


The ability to instantaneously jump from one location in space to another clearly violates the laws of physics. Or does it?

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Jan 15, 2019

Researchers discover new evidence of superconductivity at near room temperature

Posted by in categories: computing, physics

Researchers at the George Washington University have taken a major step toward reaching one of the most sought-after goals in physics: room temperature superconductivity.

Superconductivity is the lack of electrical resistance and is observed in many materials when they are cooled below a . Until now, superconducting materials were thought to have to cool to very low temperatures (minus 180 degrees Celsius or minus 292 degrees Fahrenheit), which limited their application. Since makes a system inefficient, eliminating some of this resistance by utilizing room temperature superconductors would allow for more efficient generation and use of electricity, enhanced energy transmission around the world and more powerful computing systems.

“Superconductivity is perhaps one of the last great frontiers of scientific discovery that can transcend to everyday technological applications,” Maddury Somayazulu, an associate research professor at the GW School of Engineering and Applied Science, said. “Room temperature has been the proverbial ‘holy grail’ waiting to be found, and achieving it—albeit at 2 million atmospheres—is a paradigm-changing moment in the history of science.”

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Jan 15, 2019

Next-generation LHC: CERN lays out plans for €21-billion super-collider

Posted by in category: physics

The proposed facility would become the most powerful collider ever built.

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Jan 14, 2019

Physicists Built a Machine That Breaks the Normal Rules of Light

Posted by in categories: military, physics

Physicists have built a ring in which pulses of light whip circles around each other and the normal rules that govern light’s behavior no longer apply.

Under normal circumstances, light displays certain kids of physical symmetry. First, if you were to play a tape of light’s behavior forward and then backward, you would see it behave in the same way moving in both directions in time. This is called time-reversal symmetry. And second, light, which can move through the world as a wave, has what is called polarization: how it oscillates relative to the motion of the wave. That polarization usually stays the same, providing another type of symmetry.

But inside this ring-shaped device, light both loses its time-reversal symmetry and changes its polarization. Inside the ring, light waves turn circles and resonate with one another, producing effects that don’t normally exist in the outside world. [The 10 Most Outrageous Military Experiments].

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Jan 13, 2019

Dark Matter Hunters Are Looking Inside Rocks for New Clues

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Dark matter may occasionally interact with minerals in the earth, leaving traces that physicists hope to decipher.

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Jan 10, 2019

Japan’s pioneering detector set to join hunt for gravitational waves

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

The ¥16.4-billion (US$148-million) observatory — Japan’s Kamioka Gravitational Wave Detector (KAGRA) — will work on the same principle as the two detectors of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) in the United States and the Virgo solo machine in Italy. In the past few years, these machines have begun to detect gravitational waves — long-sought ripples in the fabric of space-time created by cataclysmic cosmic events such as the merging of two black holes or the collision of two neutron stars.

LIGO’s Asian cousin will this year deploy ambitious technology to improve sensitivity in the search for these faint, cosmic ripples — but its biggest enemy could be snowmelt.

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Jan 6, 2019

Wash U scientist helps launch telescope from Antarctica to see bright objects in space

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Just before the new year, a Washington University professor was among a group of scientists who launched a telescope from Antarctica that could observe bright, massive objects in space, like black holes.

The international team of researchers, which included Wash U physics professor Henric Krawczynski, wanted to collect data on black holes and neutron stars, a very dense collapsed core of a giant star.

Studying such celestial phenomena helps astrophysicists test the fundamental laws of physics, Krawczynski said.

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Jan 6, 2019

Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s ‘The Physicists’

Posted by in categories: ethics, physics

On January 5, 1921, Swiss author and dramatist Friedrich Dürrenmatt was born. Dürrenmatt was a proponent of epic theatre whose plays reflected the recent experiences of World War II. The politically active author ‘s work included avant-garde dramas, philosophical crime novels, and macabre satire. Especially his play “The Physicists” ( 1961 ) deals with questions of scientific ethics and humanity ‘s ability to handle its intellectual responsibilities.

“A story is not finished, until it has taken the worst turn.” (Friedrich Dürrenmatt)

Friedrich Dürrenmatt was born in Konolfingen, a small town about thirteen miles from Bern in the Emmental in Switzerland, the son of a Protestant pastor. The family moved to Bern in 1935. Dürrenmatt began studies in philosophy, German language and literature at the University of Zurich in 1941, but moved to the University of Bern after one semester. It was here that he first became interested in playwriting after becoming a regular patron of the operettas. Among his favorite playwrights were Aristophanes and Thornton Wilder.[3] In December 1943 he was on the point of transferring from the University of Zürich to the University of Bern, where he intended to write a doctoral dissertation on “Kierkegaard and the Tragic ”, when he suddenly decided to turn to writing as a career and dropped his academic career. In 1945–46, he wrote his first play It is Written, which premiered to great controversy.

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