25. Earth's Explosive Origins Revealed

Gathering clues on how our planet (and others) came to be.

Physicists looking to test theory of 'cosmic domain walls'

(—An international team of physics researchers is looking to add credence to a theory that might help explain the nature of dark matter and dark energy – using magnetometers placed strategically around the globe. As they describe in their paper published in Physical Review Letters, the aim is to measure the energy in the walls of theoretic domains that control both dark matter and dark energy.

Colliding different particle species: The LHC's proton-lead run

The new year brings a new type of collision at the LHC: the accelerator will smash protons and lead nuclei together, allowing CMS and the other LHC experiments to study the cold nuclear matter we expect these collisions to produce. Although we caught a glimpse of these asymmetric proton-lead (pPb) collisions during a pilot run last September, the next four weeks will bring the first sustained pPb run and provide valuable data. Indeed the small data sample from 2012 already revealed interesting phenomena, and raised interest in this study.

Martian Crater Once May Have Held Groundwater-Fed Lake

A NASA spacecraft is providing new evidence of a wet underground environment on Mars that adds to an increasingly complex picture of the Red Planet's early evolution.

Physicists show math behind growth of 'coffee rings'

(—Last year, a team of University of Pennsylvania physicists showed how to undo the "coffee-ring effect," a commonplace occurrence when drops of liquid with suspended particles dry, leaving a ring-shaped stain at the drop's edges. Now the team is exploring how those particles stack up as they reach the drop's edge, and they discovered that different particles make smoother or rougher deposition profiles at the drop edge depending on their shape.

New class of magnets where fewer electrons mean stronger magnetism could lead to new energy-saving technologies

Magnetism in semiconductors arises mainly through the interaction of magnetic ions and electrons. Normally, the more electrons contribute to the magnetism, the stronger the magnet. However, researchers at the RIKEN Advanced Science Institute at Wako, Japan, have now discovered a magnet which becomes weaker as the number of electrons increases. The work has implications for both fundamental science as well as future energy-saving technologies.

Electronics like it cold, and 30 K cryocooler delivers

(—For many electronic devices, colder is better. At low temperatures, electronic devices such as sensors and detectors operate with a higher efficiency and better overall performance than they do at room temperature. And superconducting devices, known for their zero electrical resistance, require extremely cold temperatures to operate. But in order to make cryogenic electronics more widespread, micro-sized cryogenic coolers need to become cheaper and more reliable.

A method for reversing the velocity spread in neutron beams should boost the accuracy of precision experiments

Neutrons offer a combination of properties that make them exquisitely sensitive and versatile sensors. They are charge neutral, which means they do not interact with electric fields, and they possess a magnetic momentum, making them perceptive to magnetic fields. To achieve the highest sensitivity in neutron-based experiments, researchers aim to produce very dense neutron beams. But they also have to ensure that the density does not decrease as the neutrons are transported from source to target.

Small change for big improvement: Halogen bonds and drug discovery

Halogen bonding has been applied in crystal engineering, materials research, and nanotechnology for some time. Scientists have now developed a new tool to use halogen bonds for drug discovery applications.

NASA Announces Space Station Science Challenge Winners

Students from two schools, one in Iowa and the other in New York, are the winners of the International Space Station (ISS) Science Challenge, NASA announced Friday.


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