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Archive for the ‘physics’ category: Page 8

Sep 26, 2019

Dark matter mystery: CERN results hint at ‘evidence of new physics’

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

DARK MATTER has long eluded our understanding but scientists searching for evidence of new physics capable of explaining such enduring mysteries of the Universe may have moved one step closer, following the latest CERN research.

Sep 25, 2019

Scientists Are Starting to Take Warp Drives Seriously, Especially One Specific Concept

Posted by in categories: physics, space travel

It’s hard living in a relativistic Universe, where even the nearest stars are so far away and the speed of light is absolute. It is little wonder then why science fiction franchises routinely employ FTL (Faster-than-Light) as a plot device.

Push a button, press a petal, and that fancy drive system – whose workings no one can explain – will send us to another location in space-time.

However, in recent years, the scientific community has become understandably excited and skeptical about claims that a particular concept – the Alcubierre Warp Drive – might actually be feasible.

Sep 24, 2019

China’s Taiji-1 on a gravity wave mission

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

CAS has announced the research program “Taiji” that will study gravitational waves from the merging of binary black holes and other celestial bodies.

Unlike the LIGO research conducted from a ground-based observatory, Taiji will conduct space-based detection on the gravitational waves with lower frequencies to observe celestial bodies with greater mass or located farther away in the universe, said Wu Yueliang, chief scientist of the Taiji program and an academician of CAS.

However, the gravitational wave signals from those celestial bodies are extremely weak, posing great challenges for detection. Scientists need to break through the limit of current precise measurement and control technology, Wu said.

Sep 23, 2019

Physicists Have Designed a Laser Defence System to Cloak Earth From Bad-Guy Aliens

Posted by in categories: alien life, physics

Circa 2016


We humans are pretty into the idea of finding aliens, but have we really thought through what would happen if we stumbled across extraterrestrial intelligence that didn’t want to ‘come in peace’, and instead was hell-bent on mining our fair planet for everything it’s got?

No? Well, luckily for us reckless daydreamers, astronomers have our back, and have come up with a pretty solid plan that would cloak our planet from any bad-guy aliens out there looking for us. And it relies entirely on lasers (what else?).

Continue reading “Physicists Have Designed a Laser Defence System to Cloak Earth From Bad-Guy Aliens” »

Sep 23, 2019

Physicists invent a new way to search for dark matter using lasers

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Japanese physicists devise technology to discover axion dark matter.

Sep 23, 2019

A Child’s Puzzle Has Helped Unlock the Secrets of Magnetism

Posted by in category: physics

People have known about magnets since ancient times, but the physics of ferromagnetism remains a mystery. Now a familiar puzzle is getting physicists closer to the answer.

Sep 22, 2019

The 2nd-fastest pulsar, now with gamma rays

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Supernova explosions can crush ordinary stars into neutron stars, composed of exotic, extremely dense matter. Neutron stars are on the order of about 12 miles (20 km) across in contrast to hundreds of thousands of miles across for stars like our sun. Yet they contain mass on the order of 1.4 times that of our sun. Neutron stars have strong magnetic fields. They emit powerful blasts of radiation along their magnetic field lines. If, as a neutron star spins, its beams of radiation periodically point towards Earth, we see the star as a pulsing radio or gamma-ray source. Then the neutron star is also called a pulsar, often compared to a cosmic lighthouse. Modern astronomers know of pulsars spinning with mind-boggling rapidity. The second-fastest one – called PSR J0952-0607 – spins some 707 times a second! Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Hanover, Germany announced on September 19, 2019, that this pulsar, J0952-0607 – formerly seen only at the radio end of the spectrum – now has been found to pulse also in gamma rays.

J0952-0607 – the number relates to the object’s position in the sky – was first discovered in 2017. It was originally seen to pulse in radio waves, but not gamma rays. The international team that studied it in detail – and recently published new work about it in the peer-reviewed Astrophysical Journal – said in a statement:

The pulsar rotates 707 times in a single second and is therefore the fastest spinning in our galaxy outside the dense stellar environments of globular clusters.

Sep 20, 2019

AI learns to defy the laws of physics to win at hide-and-seek

Posted by in categories: physics, robotics/AI

Bots built by artificial intelligence lab OpenAI worked together to find solutions to problems that humans hadn’t thought of.

Sep 19, 2019

Pulsating gamma rays from neutron star rotating 707 times a second

Posted by in categories: physics, space

An international research team led by the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute; AEI) in Hannover has discovered that the radio pulsar J0952-0607 also emits pulsed gamma radiation. J0952-0607 spins 707 times in one second and is second in the list of rapidly rotating neutron stars. By analyzing about 8.5 years worth of data from NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, LOFAR radio observations from the past two years, observations from two large optical telescopes, and gravitational-wave data from the LIGO detectors, the team used a multi-messenger approach to study the binary system of the pulsar and its lightweight companion in detail. Their study published in the Astrophysical Journal shows that extreme pulsar systems are hiding in the Fermi catalogs and motivates further searches. Despite being very extensive, the analysis also raises new unanswered questions about this system.

Pulsars are the compact remnants of stellar explosions which have strong magnetic fields and are rapidly rotating. They emit radiation like a cosmic lighthouse and can be observable as radio pulsars and/or gamma-ray pulsars depending on their orientation towards Earth.

Sep 17, 2019

Researchers discover massive neutron star that tests the limits of physics

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Astronomers have detected the most massive neutron star ever, and it almost shouldn’t even exist.

Neutron stars are the smallest in the universe, with a diameter comparable to the size of a city like Chicago or Atlanta. They are the leftover remnants of supernovae. But they are incredibly dense, with masses bigger than that of our sun. So think of the sun, compressed into a major city.

In the case of the newly detected neutron star, dubbed J0740+6620, it’s 333,000 times the mass of the Earth and 2.17 times the mass of the sun. But the star is only about 15 miles across. It’s 4,600 light-years from Earth.

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