Physics

NASA Invites Media to View Orion, Speak With Kennedy Space Center Director

NASA is offering media representatives at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida an opportunity on Monday, April 15, to see Orion, the spacecraft that could take astronauts on a sample collection mission to an asteroid as early as 2021.

Physics at the threshold of hearing

(Phys.org) —The mammalian auditory system is one of the most sensitive detectors found in nature. Two kinds of cells, the inner and outer hair cells, work together to transduce mechanical vibrations into action potentials. Sound energy is detected and transmitted by the inner hair cells, while properties like gain and frequency selectivity, are controlled by the mechanical adjustments of vibrating outer hair cells. The business end of these cells, known as the hair bundle, is comprised of 30 or more stereocilia, that serve as the transducers.

Liquid on liquid goes solid

Not all liquids are mixable. Researchers have investigated chemical processes with atomic resolution at the interface between two such liquids and have made an exciting discovery. They observed the formation of an ordered crystal of exactly five atomic layers between the two liquids, which acts as a foundation for growing even bigger crystals.

Scientists explore radiation doses to airplane passengers from bursts of gamma-rays that originate from thunderclouds

Florida Institute of Technology faculty presented their terrestrial gamma ray flashes research modeling work at a press conference meeting of the European Geosciences Union in Vienna, Austria, April 10.

Nanotechnology: Color printing reaches new highs

Color printing at the highest resolution possible is enabled by the use of arrays of metal-coated nanostructures.

Simply changing the pattern by which data is recorded may lead to increased hard drive capacities, study finds

Modern hard drive technology is reaching its limits. Engineers have increased data-storage capacities by reducing the widths of the narrow tracks of magnetic material that record data inside a hard drive. Narrowing these tracks has required a concordant reduction in the size of the magnetic write head—the device used to create them. However, it is physically difficult to reduce the size of write heads any further.

Team improves the world's most accurate instrument for resistance measurement

Cryogenic Ltd and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) have designed and developed the most accurate instrument for comparative measurements of electric current. The instrument can now be used by National Measurement Institutes (NMI) and laboratories around the world, providing a more accurate standard for current ratio, and ensuring current measurement is not a limiting factor in innovation.

NASA Associate Administrator Statements on the Asteroid Initiative in the FY 2014 Budget Request

The following are statements from the associate administrators of NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, Science Mission Directorate and Space Technology Mission Directorate on the administration's budget request for the 2014 fiscal year.

NASA Administrator Bolden's Statement on the NASA FY 2014 Budget Request

The following statement is from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on the administration's budget request for the 2014 fiscal year:

Advancing secure communications: A better single-photon emitter for quantum cryptography

In a development that could make the advanced form of secure communications known as quantum cryptography more practical, researchers have demonstrated a simpler, more efficient single-photon emitter that can be made using traditional semiconductor processing techniques.

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