Archive for the ‘physics’ category: Page 9

Apr 11, 2019

Physics KS3 / GCSE: Death of the Sun and stars

Posted by in categories: energy, physics

Professor Brian Cox explains the process that causes all stars, including eventually our own sun, to die.

Stars are only able to survive as long as they have a supply of hydrogen to burn.

Our star, the Sun, will run out of fuel in about a billion years.

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Apr 9, 2019

Could dynamos be installed in electric cars to provide a perpetual source of power?

Posted by in categories: energy, physics, transportation

We already recover power from the wheels of some cars when slowing. Kinetic energy recovery systems (KERS) have been used in Formula One racing to store energy in a flywheel when braking, and then push it back to the wheels later for a boost in speed. Electric cars often use regenerative braking, which converts the speed of the wheels into electrical power to recharge the battery. These systems are a great way to increase efficiency, but like everything in the Universe, they are not 100 per cent efficient. Sadly, the laws of physics prohibit the existence of true perpetual motion, so it’s the best we can do.

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Apr 9, 2019

LIGO has spotted another gravitational wave just after turning back on

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

One week after LIGO switched back on, it has already detected the gravitational waves from another pair of merging black holes, marking the beginning of a new era of gravitational wave astronomy.

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Apr 3, 2019

What Existed Before The Big Bang? Astronomers Have Found a Test to Narrow It Down

Posted by in categories: cosmology, evolution, physics

Today our middle-aged Universe looks eerily smooth. Too smooth, in fact.

While a rapid growth spurt in space-time would explain what we see, science needs more than nice ideas. It needs evidence that whittles away contending arguments. We might finally know where to look for some.

A team of physicists from the Centre for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA) and Harvard University went back to the drawing board on the early Universe’s evolution to give us a way to help those inflation models stand out from the crowd.

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Apr 2, 2019

Which of the 5 Senses Is Best? Scientists Finally Settle a Heated Debate

Posted by in categories: education, physics

If there is one thing Twitter has taught us, it’s that the world loves a question that sounds stupid but actually has a profound and interesting answer. For instance, what would happen if the world suddenly turned into blueberries, as answered by physics recently. Or what color is that dress?

In a similar way, perception scientists have recently been fighting it out on Twitter to answer the seemingly trivial question of: “Which is the best sense and why?” The debate has opened up some surprisingly deep questions — like what actually makes a sense more or less valuable? And, are some senses fundamentally more important in making us human?

The question was also put to a poll. While most people would probably assume the obvious winner is vision, “somatosensation” — which we normally refer to as touch but technically incorporates all sensations from our body — took the day. But does this vote hold up when you take a closer look at the scientific evidence?

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Apr 2, 2019

Information theory: explaining life with physics

Posted by in categories: biological, physics

Physicist Paul Davies discusses an emerging area of research that aims to merge physics and biology, to explain how life began.

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Mar 30, 2019

LIGO to Resume Its Nobel-winning Hunt for Gravitational Waves

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

The hunt for gravitational waves is back on. After a series of upgrades, the National Science Foundation’s Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) will resume its search for ripples in space and time on Monday, April 1.

LIGO is famous for making the first direct detection of gravitational waves in 2015, for which the observatory’s founders were awarded the Nobel Prize. The observatory was able to detect gravity waves generated by two colliding black holes which were located 1.3 billion light-years away from Earth, and since then has observed nine more black hole mergers and one collision of two neutron stars.

Gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of spacetime, caused by massive bodies which bend it like a bowling ball placed on a rubber sheet. They were predicted by Einstein as part of his general theory of relativity in 1916, but it took nearly a century for physicists to observe them because the effects are so small. Since these waves have been detected, they can be used to investigate cosmic objects as an alternative to light-based telescopes.

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Mar 28, 2019

An experiment that solved a 100-year-old mystery posed by Einstein is about to turn back on — and it’s more powerful than ever

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

  • Colliding black holes and neutron stars create ripples in spacetime, called gravitational waves. These were “heard” for the first time in September 2015.
  • On Monday, a pair of gravitational-wave detectors called LIGO will turn back on after 6 months of downtime and upgrades.
  • To boost its power, the experiment will now work with a sister machine in Italy called Virgo.
  • Physicists expect the next period of searching for colliding black holes to last a year and be 40% more sensitive than before.

One of the most remarkable experiments in history — a pair of giant machines that listen for ripples in spacetime called gravitational waves — will wake up from a half-year nap on Monday. And it will be about 40% stronger than before.

That experiment is called the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO); it consists of two giant, L-shaped detectors that together solved a 100-year-old mystery posed by Albert Einstein.

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Mar 27, 2019

Physicists Create Stable ‘Supercrystals’

Posted by in categories: materials, physics

Stimulation with ultrafast light pulses can realize and manipulate states of matter with emergent structural, electronic and magnetic phenomena. According to a new study, published in the journal Nature Materials, an ultrafast laser pulse plus ‘frustration’ resulted in a new state of matter — a ‘supercrystal.’

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Mar 27, 2019

This Superfluid Is Alive, And It Could Power Machines of the Future

Posted by in categories: physics, solar power, sustainability

Fluids with zero viscosity seemingly defy the laws of physics and they have endless applications. But they’ve been hard to make, until now. The secret? Bacteria!

Scientists’ Crazy Plan to Power Solar Panels With E. Coli —

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