Physics

Features

Better defining the signals left by as-yet-undefined dark matter at the LHC

In the quest for dark matter, physicists rely on particle colliders such as the LHC in CERN, located near Geneva, Switzerland. The trouble is: physicists still don't exactly know what dark matter is. Indeed, they can only see its effect in the form of gravity. Until now, theoretical physicists have used models based on a simple, abstract description of the interaction between dark matter and ordinary particles, such as the Effective Field Theories (EFTs). However, until we observe dark matter, it is impossible to know whether or not these models neglect some key signals.

Lonely atoms, happily reunited

The remarkable behaviour of platinum atoms on magnetite surfaces could lead to better catalysts. Scientists can now explain how platinum atoms can form pairs with the help of carbon monoxide. At first glance, magnetite appears to be a rather inconspicuous grey mineral. But on an atomic scale, it has remarkable properties: on magnetite, single metal atoms are held in place, or they can be made to move across the surface. Sometimes several metal atoms on magnetite form small clusters. Such phenomena can dramatically change the chemical activity of the material.

A new type of quantum bits

In computers of the future, information might be stored in the form of quantum bits. But how can a quantum bit be realized?

Electron injector for European XFEL X-ray laser exceeds expectations

DESY has successfully concluded tests of the first section of the particle accelerator for the European X-ray free-electron laser, European XFEL. The so-called electron injector, which is 30 metres long, performed distinctly better than expected. The injector already completed a whole week under operating conditions. "Having gathered much valuable experience, we are now all set to start up the entire accelerator complex," reports Winfried Decking, the machine coordinator at DESY. "This is a huge success for the entire accelerator team, together with our international partners."

New furnace a step towards future collider development

A new furnace arrived at CERN's Large Magnet Facility last month and is currently being installed and tested.

Close-up videos capture big, beautiful explosion on the Sun

A buildup of intensely tangled magnetic energy on the Sun suddenly let go two days ago, unleashing a massive explosion of radiation and super-hot plasma.

The radiation explosion was the most powerful solar flare of 2016 so far.

You can watch all the action close up in the video above, based on data from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft, or SDO.

When the video starts, keep your eye on the bright active region toward the middle of the frame. It's seething with energy. Abov

Building a Moebius strip of good vibrations

Yale physicists have created something similar to a Moebius strip of moving energy between two vibrating objects, opening the door to novel forms of control over waves in acoustics, laser optics, and quantum mechanics.

'Watching' crystal structure change in real time

Rresearchers have met the long-standing scientific challenge of watching a material change its crystal structure in real time.

Building a Moebius strip of good vibrations

Physicists have created something similar to a Moebius strip of moving energy between two vibrating objects, opening the door to novel forms of control over waves in acoustics, laser optics, and quantum mechanics.

Ultra-flat circuits will have unique properties

Theoretical physicists have analyzed the electronic consequences of creating circuits in two dimensions by simulating the juxtaposition of different atom-thick materials like graphene and hexagonal boron nitride.

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