Articles from General Physics News

Lightning, with a chance of antimatter

A storm system approaches: the sky darkens, and the low rumble of thunder echoes from the horizon. Then without warning... Flash! Crash!—lightning has struck.

How the Earth stops high-energy neutrinos in their tracks

Neutrinos are abundant subatomic particles that are famous for passing through anything and everything, only very rarely interacting with matter. About 100 trillion neutrinos pass through your body every second. Now, scientists have demonstrated that the Earth stops energetic neutrinos—they do not go through everything. These high-energy neutrino interactions were seen by the IceCube detector, an array of 5,160 basketball-sized optical sensors deeply encased within a cubic kilometer of very clear Antarctic ice near the South Pole.

ID microstructure of stock useful in financial crisis

Every day, thousands of orders for selling or buying stocks are registered and processed within milliseconds. Electronic stock exchanges, such as NASDAQ, use what is referred to as microscopic modelling of the order flow - reflecting the dynamics of order bookings - to facilitate trading. The study of such market microstructures is a relatively new research field focusing on the trading interactions that determine the stock price.

Droplet explosion by shock waves, relevant to nuclear medicine

An arrow shooting through an apple, makes for a spectacular explosive sight in slow motion. Similarly, energetic ions passing through liquid droplets induce shock waves, which can fragment the droplets.

Physicists open the door to the first direct measurement of Berry curvature in solid matter

Berry curvature may not be the most well-known scientific concept, but to many physicists, its direct measurement is something akin to a holy grail.

New step towards future complex oxide electronics

Researchers from TU Delft, Cornell University and the University of Cagliari report an interesting method for turning a highly insulating material into a highly conducting system. The process involves combining three different metal oxides in a sharp interface. They have recently published their findings in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

'Brazil nut effect' helps explain how rivers resist erosion, team finds

Pop the top off a can of mixed nuts and, chances are, Brazil nuts will be at the top. This phenomenon, of large particles tending to rise to the top of mixtures while small particles tend to sink down, is popularly known as the "Brazil nut effect" and more technically as granular segregation.

How disposable diapers can improve measurements of tumor growth

Catching cancer early can make all the difference for successful treatment. A common screening practice measures tumor growth with X-ray computed tomography (CT), which takes a series of cross-section images of the body.

Topological insulators—one glimpse is enough

The Nobel Prize for physics in 2016 was awarded for the theory of topological matter. Topological insulators are new materials with special electronic properties and are of great fundamental and applications-oriented interest. Nevertheless, physicists have wrestled with a ten-year-old puzzle in which the results from the two best methods to probe their electronic states disagree. Researchers from Amsterdam, including two FOM-funded PhD candidates, with collaborators in France, Switzerland and Germany now know exactly why.

Physicists design $100 handheld muon detector

At any given moment, the Earth's atmosphere is showered with high-energy cosmic rays that have been blasted from supernovae and other astrophysical phenomena far beyond the Solar System. When cosmic rays collide with the Earth's atmosphere, they decay into muons—charged particles that are slightly heavier than an electron.