Physics

Big picture of the universe confirmed, WiggleZ survey of more than 200,000 galaxies shows

We know that stars group together to form galaxies, galaxies clump to make clusters and clusters gather to create structures known as superclusters. At what scale though, if at all, does this Russian doll-like structure stop? Scientists have been debating this very question for decades because clustering on large scales would be in conflict with our 'standard model' of cosmology. The current model is based on Einstein's equations assuming everything is smooth on the largest scales. If matter were instead clumpy on very large scales, then the entire model would need to be rethought.

Gravitational Waves in Five Years | Cosmic Variance

LIGO, the gravitational-wave observatory, is currently on ice. After running successfully (although without actually detecting any gravitational waves) through 2007, it got a mini-upgrade and ran as Enhanced LIGO in 2009 and 2010. But in October 2010 it shut off, and the original detectors were disassembled.

Boon to fusion: New way to predict heat layer troublemaker

Researchers at a recent worldwide conference on fusion power have confirmed the surprising accuracy of a new model for predicting the size of a key barrier to fusion.

Patterning defect-free nanocrystal films with nanometer resolution

A new process could enable better LED displays, solar cells and biosensors -- and foster basic physics research.

Scientists shed light on glowing materials

Researchers have succeeded in mapping how light behaves in complex photonic materials inspired by nature, like iridescent butterfly wings. Scientists have broken the limit of light resolution at the nanoscale and delivered a fundamental insight into how light and matter interact, which could lead to the development of enhanced bio-sensors for healthcare and more efficient solar cells and displays.

Imprisoned molecules 'quantum rattle' in their cages

Scientists have discovered that a space inside a special type of carbon molecule can be used to imprison other smaller molecules such as hydrogen or water.

Big Bang theory challenged by big chill

The start of the Universe should be modeled not as a Big Bang but more like water freezing into ice, according to a team of theoretical physicists.

Researchers make quantum processor capable of factoring a composite number into prime factors

Computing prime factors may sound like an elementary math problem, but try it with a large number, say one that contains more than 600 digits, and the task becomes enormously challenging and impossibly time-consuming. Now, a group of researchers has designed and fabricated a quantum processor capable of factoring a composite number -- in this case the number 15 -- into its constituent prime factors, 3 and 5. Factoring very large numbers is at the heart of cybersecurity protocols, such as the most common form of encoding, known as RSA encryption.

A new route to dissipationless electronics

A team of researchers has demonstrated a new material that promises to eliminate loss in electrical power transmission. The surprise is that their methodology for solving this classic energy problem is based upon the first realization of a highly exotic type of magnetic semiconductor first theorized less than a decade ago - a magnetic topological insulator.

Writing the book in DNA: Geneticist encodes his book in life's language

Using next-generation sequencing technology and a novel strategy to encode 1,000 times the largest data size previously achieved in DNA, a geneticist encodes his book in life's language.

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