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May 24, 2024

Cosmic Ray Sheds New Light on 7,000-Year-Old Ancient Greek Settlement

Posted by in category: habitats

Researchers used dendrochronology and a radiocarbon spike from 5,259 BC to date a prehistoric Greek settlement to over 7,000 years ago. This new method enables precise dating for other Southeast European archaeological sites.

Researchers at the University of Bern have, for the first time, precisely dated a prehistoric settlement of early farmers in northern Greece to over 7,000 years ago. They achieved this by combining annual growth ring measurements on wooden building elements with a significant spike in cosmogenic radiocarbon dating to 5,259 BC. This method provides a reliable chronological reference point for numerous other archaeological sites in Southeast Europe.

Dating finds plays a key role in archaeology. It is always essential to find out how old a tomb, settlement, or single object is. Determining the age of finds from prehistoric times has only been possible for a few decades. Two methods are used for this: dendrochronology, which enables dating on the basis of sequences of annual rings in trees, and radiocarbon dating, which can calculate the approximate age of the finds by the decay rate of the radioactive carbon isotope 14 C contained in the tree rings.

May 24, 2024

Fresh Data From the Cosmos: NASA’s Voyager 1 Resumes Sending Science Data From 15 Billion Miles Away

Posted by in categories: computing, science

Voyager 1, after overcoming a computer issue, has resumed sending scientific data from two of its instruments, with plans to recalibrate the remaining two soon. This marks significant progress in restoring the spacecraft, which is over 15 billion miles from Earth and requires over 22 hours for communications to travel one way.

NASA ’s Voyager 1 has resumed returning science data from two of its four instruments for the first time since November 2023, when a computer issue arose with the spacecraft. The mission’s science instrument teams are now determining steps to recalibrate the remaining two instruments, which will likely occur in the coming weeks. The achievement marks significant progress toward restoring the spacecraft to normal operations.

Progress in Troubleshooting.

May 24, 2024

Promethium Discovery Set to Rewrite Chemistry Textbooks

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, space travel

Scientists have made a significant breakthrough in understanding the properties of promethium, a rare earth element with elusive characteristics despite its use in modern technology.

Researchers have uncovered the properties of a rare earth element that was first discovered 80 years ago at the very same laboratory. Their discoveries open a new pathway for the exploration of elements critical in modern technology, from medicine to space travel.

Continue reading “Promethium Discovery Set to Rewrite Chemistry Textbooks” »

May 24, 2024

Ultra-Thin Crystals Unlock New Possibilities in Electronics and Quantum Computing

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

In a study published in Nature Materials, scientists from the University of California, Irvine describe a new method to make very thin crystals of the element bismuth – a process that may aid in making the manufacturing of cheap flexible electronics an everyday reality.

“Bismuth has fascinated scientists for over a hundred years due to its low melting point and unique electronic properties,” said Javier Sanchez-Yamagishi, assistant professor of physics & astronomy at UC Irvine and a co-author of the study. “We developed a new method to make very thin crystals of materials such as bismuth, and in the process reveal hidden electronic behaviors of the metal’s surfaces.”

The bismuth sheets the team made are only a few nanometers thick. Sanchez-Yamagishi explained how theorists have predicted that bismuth contains special electronic states allowing it to become magnetic when electricity flows through it – something essential for quantum electronic devices based on the magnetic spin of electrons.

May 24, 2024

New Plant-Based Plastic Releases 9 Times Less Microplastics

Posted by in category: materials

Recent research shows that plant-based plastics release far fewer microplastics than traditional plastics in marine environments, suggesting they could be a more environmentally friendly option. However, continued research is crucial to fully assess their impact.

A recent study has discovered that a new plant-based plastic material releases nine times fewer microplastics compared to traditional plastic when subjected to sunlight and seawater. Conducted by researchers from the University of Portsmouth and the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) in Belgium, the study examined the degradation of two different types of plastic under harsh conditions.

A bio-based plastic material made from natural feedstocks held up better when exposed to intense UV light and seawater for 76 days — the equivalent of 24 months of sun exposure in central Europe — than a conventional plastic made from petroleum derivatives.

May 24, 2024

Generative AI Revolutionizes Quantum Computer Programming

Posted by in categories: quantum physics, robotics/AI

Researchers have developed a machine learning model that generates quantum circuits from text descriptions, similar to how models like Stable Diffusion create images. This method, improves the efficiency and adaptability of quantum computing.

One of the most important recent developments in Machine Learning (ML) is generative models such as diffusion models. These include Stable Diffusion and Dall.e, which are revolutionizing the field of image generation. These models are able to produce high-quality images based on text descriptions.

“Our new model for programming quantum computers does the same but, instead of generating images, it generates quantum circuits based on the text description of the quantum operation to be performed,” explains Gorka Muñoz-Gil from the Department of Theoretical Physics of the University of Innsbruck, Austria.

May 24, 2024

Neutrons Illuminate the Mysteries of Space Glass

Posted by in categories: mobile phones, particle physics, space

Researchers have developed techniques to manufacture different types of glass in space, uncovering potential for advancements in optical technology.

Thanks to human ingenuity and zero gravity, we reap important benefits from science in space. Consider smartphones with built-in navigation systems and cameras.

Continue reading “Neutrons Illuminate the Mysteries of Space Glass” »

May 24, 2024

Webb Space Telescope Rewrites the Rules of Galactic Evolution

Posted by in categories: evolution, space

Advanced observations by the JWST indicate that early galaxies matured faster and were less chaotic, challenging previous theories of galaxy evolution.

New research has revealed that the Universe’s early galaxies were less turbulent and developed more rapidly than previously believed. This research, led by an international team from Durham University, utilized the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) to find evidence of bar formation when the Universe was only a few billion years old.

Continue reading “Webb Space Telescope Rewrites the Rules of Galactic Evolution” »

May 24, 2024

First topological quantum simulator device in strong light-matter interaction regime to operate at room temperatures

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, quantum physics

Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have fabricated a device no wider than a human hair that will help physicists investigate the fundamental nature of matter and light. Their findings, published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, could also support the development of more efficient lasers, which are used in fields ranging from medicine to manufacturing.

May 24, 2024

New theory of gravity solves accelerating universe

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics

The universe is expanding at an accelerating rate but Einstein’s theory of General Relativity and our knowledge of particle physics predict that this shouldn’t be happening. Most cosmologists pin their hopes on Dark Energy to solve the problem. But, as Claudia de Rham argues, Einstein’s theory of gravity is incorrect over cosmic scales, her new theory of Massive Gravity limits gravity’s force in this regime, explains why acceleration is happening, and eliminates the need for Dark Energy.

You can see Claudia de Rham live, debating in ‘Dark Energy and The Universe’ alongside Priya Natarajan and Chris Lintott and ‘Faster Than Light’ with Tim Maudlin and João Magueijo at the upcoming HowTheLightGetsIn Festival on May 24th-27th in Hay-on-Wye.

This article is presented in association with Closer To Truth, an esteemed partner for the 2024 HowTheLightGetsIn Festival.

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