Physics

In Praise of NASA's Ambitious Asteroid Grab

If you pay attention to stories about space exploration, you may have seen some skeptical stories about NASA's proposed Asteroid Redirect Mission. (And even if you don't follow such things, you might well have been dismayed by headlines announcing a "less ambitious asteroid mission" that is "unlikely to get funded.") This is not another one of them.

I think the asteroid mission is a cool idea, and an important one. I think it will advance the cause of space exploration in several meaningf

X-rays probe LHC for cause of short circuit

The LHC has now transitioned from powering tests to the machine checkout phase. This phase involves the full-scale tests of all systems in preparation for beam. Early last Saturday morning, during the ramp-down, an earth fault developed in the main dipole circuit. Full evaluation of the situation is ongoing.

New insights found in black hole collisions

New research provides revelations about the most energetic event in the universe—the merging of two spinning, orbiting black holes into a much larger black hole.

Year in Space Starts for One American and One Russian

Three crew members representing the United States and Russia are on their way to the International Space Station after launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 3:42 p.m. EDT Friday (1:42 a.m., March 28 in Baikonur).

Year in Space Starts for One American and One Russian

Three crew members representing the United States and Russia are on their way to the International Space Station after launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 3:42 p.m. EDT Friday (1:42 a.m., March 28 in Baikonur).

Swimming algae offer insights into living fluid dynamics

None of us would be alive if sperm cells didn't know how to swim, or if the cilia in our lungs couldn't prevent fluid buildup. But we know very little about the dynamics of so-called "living fluids," those containing cells, microorganisms or other biological structures.

First glimpse inside a macroscopic quantum state

Scientists report on the detection of particle entanglement in a beam of squeezed light. Researchers were able to observe effects of entanglement monogamy, where particles can be strongly entangled only if they have few entanglement partners.

Engineers develop new methods to speed up simulations in computational grand challenge

Engineers at the University of California, San Diego, have developed a new family of methods to significantly increase the speed of time-resolved numerical simulations in computational grand challenge problems. Such problems often arise from the high-resolution approximation of the partial differential equations governing complex flows of fluids or plasmas. The breakthrough could be applied to simulations that include millions or billions of variables, including turbulence simulations.

Using magnetic fields to understand high-temperature superconductivity

Taking our understanding of quantum matter to new levels, scientists are exposing high-temperature superconductors to very high magnetic fields, changing the temperature at which the materials become perfectly conducting and revealing unique properties of these substances.

Theory of the Strong Interaction Verified: Supercomputer calculates mass difference between neutron and proton

The fact that the neutron is slightly more massive than the proton is the reason why atomic nuclei have exactly those properties that make our world and ultimately our existence possible. Eighty years after the discovery of the neutron, a team of physicists has finally calculated the tiny neutron-proton mass difference. The findings are considered a milestone by many physicists and confirm the theory of the strong interaction.

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