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May 16, 2024

Spontaneous Persistent Inactivity — Scientists Discover New Type of Memory State

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, neuroscience

UCLA Health researchers have identified a process that memories while reducing metabolic costs, even during sleep. This efficient memory is found in a brain region essential for learning and memory, which is also where Alzheimer’s disease originates.

The discovery is published in the journal Nature Communications.

Does this sound familiar: You go to the kitchen to fetch something, but when you get there, you forget what you wanted. This is your working memory failing. Working memory is defined as remembering some information for a short period while you go about doing other things. We use working memory virtually all the time. Alzheimer’s and dementia patients have working memory deficits and it also shows up in mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Hence, considerable effort has been devoted to understanding the mechanisms by which the vast networks of neurons in the brain create working memory.

May 16, 2024

Atomic Ballet: Scientists Make Surprising Discovery in Battery Technology

Posted by in category: sustainability

Solid-state batteries store and release electric charge by moving ions back and forth between two electrodes. From our typical perspective, the ions flow through the battery’s solid electrolyte like a gentle stream.

But when seen on an atomic scale, that smooth flow is an illusion: Individual ions hop erratically from one open space to another within the electrolyte’s roomy atomic lattice, nudged in the direction of an electrode by a steady voltage. Those hops are hard to predict and a challenge to trigger and detect.

Now, in the first study of its kind, researchers gave the hopping ions a jolt of voltage by hitting them with a pulse of laser light. To their surprise, most of the ions briefly reversed direction and returned to their previous positions before resuming their usual, more random travels. It was the first indication that the ions remembered, in a sense, where they had just been.

May 16, 2024

Graphene’s Hidden Electron Vortices Revealed Through Quantum Sensing

Posted by in categories: materials, quantum physics

Researchers at ETH Zurich have, for the first time, made visible how electrons form vortices in a material at room temperature. Their experiment used a quantum sensing microscope with an extremely high resolution. In graphene, electrons behave like a liquid, which can lead to the formation of v.

May 16, 2024

ONe Nova To Rule Them All: Rare Stellar Explosions Shape the Building Blocks of Life

Posted by in category: cosmology

New research identifies ONe novae as key sources of phosphorus, essential for life, with peak production aligning with the early Solar System.

Astronomers have proposed a new theory to explain the origin of phosphorus, one of the elements important for life on Earth. The theory suggests a type of stellar explosion known as ONe novae as a major source of phosphorus.

After the Big Bang, almost all of the matter in the Universe was comprised of hydrogen. Other elements were formed later, by nuclear reactions inside stars or when stars exploded in events known as novae or supernovae. But there are a variety of stars and a variety of ways they can explode. Astronomers are still trying to figure out which processes were important in creating the abundances of elements we see in the Universe.

May 16, 2024

Explosive Events in the Magnetosphere: Investigating Unusual Substorm in Earth’s Magnetotail

Posted by in category: energy

Using NASA ’s MMS mission data, SwRI explores unusual substorm events in Earth’s magnetotail to better understand magnetic reconnection and its effects on the global magnetosphere.

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) is investigating an unusual event in the Earth’s magnetotail, the elongated extension of the planet’s magnetosphere trailing away from the Sun. SwRI scientists are examining the nature of substorms, fleeting disturbances in the magnetotail that release energy and often cause aurorae, using data from NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission.

May 16, 2024

Super Fluffy “Cotton Candy” Exoplanet Discovery Shocks Scientists — “We Cannot Explain How This Planet Formed”

Posted by in category: space

Astronomers have discovered an enormous, low-density planet named WASP-193b, which is 50% larger than Jupiter but has a cotton candy-like density. This finding challenges current planetary formation theories, as scientists cannot explain how such a planet could form.

Astronomers have discovered a huge, fluffy oddball of a planet orbiting a distant star in our Milky Way galaxy. The discovery, reported on May 14 in the journal Nature Astronomy by researchers from at MIT, the University of Liège in Belgium, and elsewhere, is a promising key to the mystery of how such giant, super-light planets form.

The new planet, named WASP-193b, appears to dwarf Jupiter in size, yet it is a fraction of its density. The scientists found that the gas giant is 50 percent bigger than Jupiter, and about a tenth as dense — an extremely low density, comparable to that of cotton candy.

May 16, 2024

Fruit fly study reveals brain-cell circuitry that could underlie how creatures large and small see wavelengths of light

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Perceiving something—anything—in your surroundings is to become aware of what your senses are detecting. Now, Columbia University neuroscientists have identified, for the first time, brain-cell circuitry in fruit flies that converts raw sensory signals into color perceptions that can guide behavior.

May 16, 2024

New method of wavefunction matching helps solve quantum many-body problems

Posted by in categories: chemistry, particle physics, quantum physics

Strongly interacting systems play an important role in quantum physics and quantum chemistry. Stochastic methods such as Monte Carlo simulations are a proven method for investigating such systems. However, these methods reach their limits when so-called sign oscillations occur.

This problem has now been solved by an international team of researchers from Germany, Turkey, the U.S., China, South Korea and France using the new method of wavefunction matching. As an example, the masses and radii of all nuclei up to mass number 50 were calculated using this method. The results agree with the measurements, the researchers now report in the journal Nature.

All matter on Earth consists of tiny particles known as atoms. Each atom contains even smaller particles: protons, neutrons and electrons. Each of these particles follows the rules of quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics forms the basis of quantum many-body theory, which describes systems with many particles, such as .

May 16, 2024

A new family of beautiful-charming tetraquarks: Study illuminates a new horizon within quantum chromodynamics

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

Exploring the complex domain of subatomic particles, researchers at the The Institute of Mathematical Science (IMSc) and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) have recently published a novel finding in the journal Physical Review Letters. Their study illuminates a new horizon within quantum chromodynamics (QCD), shedding light on exotic subatomic particles and pushing the boundaries of our understanding of the strong force.

May 16, 2024

Spooky states and figure eights: Stepping into the quantum computing ‘ring’

Posted by in categories: computing, cosmology, quantum physics

Deep in outer space, invisible hands mold the universe. One is dark matter, an unseen substance thought to bind distant galaxies. The other is dark energy, a force believed to push stellar structures apart with gravity-defying strength.

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