New kind of magnetism discovered: Experiments demonstrate ‘quantum spin liquid'

Following up on earlier theoretical predictions, researchers have now demonstrated experimentally the existence of a fundamentally new kind of magnetic behavior, adding to the two previously known states of magnetism. The experiments demonstrate "quantum spin liquid," which could have applications in new computer memory storage.

Science's breakthrough of the year: Discovery of the Higgs boson

The observation of an elusive sub-atomic particle, known as the Higgs boson, has been heralded by the journal Science as the most important scientific discovery of 2012. This particle, which was first hypothesized more than 40 years ago, holds the key to explaining how other elementary particles (those that aren't made up of smaller particles), such as electrons and quarks, get their mass.

Are You Fit Enough to go to Space?

Doctors have taken a first stab at outlining medical advice for a type of travel that will likely become much more common in the years ahead: ordinary people taking trips to space.

The advice, published last week in the British Medical Journal, focuses on those individuals with pre-existing conditions who might want to travel to space. Conditions addressed range from the minor---motion sickness, insomnia---to chronic conditions like heart disease and osteoporosis. For motion sickness, for ins

The paths of photons are random, but coordinated

(—Researchers at the Niels Bohr Institute have demonstrated that photons (light particles) emitted from light sources embedded in a complex and disordered structure are able to mutually coordinate their paths through the medium. This is a consequence of the photons' wave properties, which give rise to the interaction between different possible routes. The results are published in the scientific journal, Physical Review Letters.

Researchers observe new unexplained particle states

In the vast particle landscape, there are, to borrow a phrase, known knowns (the Standard Model, for example), unknown unknowns (exotic extensions of the Standard Model and beyond), and those ever-interesting known unknowns. A recent CMS observation perfectly fits into this third category. When looking at proton collisions where a J/ψ and a φ meson are produced, CMS observed two unexplained peaks in the data. The first of these structures is consistent with a similar observation made by the CDF collaboration at the Tevatron in 2009, known as Y(4140).

CMS observes melting of Upsilon particles in heavy-ion collisions

In 2011, CMS presented early evidence that Upsilon (Υ) particles produced in lead-lead collisions "melt" as a consequence of interacting with the hot nuclear matter created in these heavy-ion interactions. CMS has since updated and extended this result using additional data collected in the 2011 heavy-ion run, and the observation now has a significance of greater than 5σ (or 5 standard deviations), the gold standard for claiming a discovery in high-energy physics.

New experiment helps explain extraordinary optical transmission

(—An international team of researchers working in the Netherlands has conducted an experiment that sheds new light on the phenomenon known as Extraordinary Optical Transmission (EOP) – where light is able to shine through a metal with holes in it that are smaller than the light waves themselves. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the team describes how they adjusted the distance between the holes while keeping the wavelength of light constant and in so doing discovered the degree to which two different waveforms impact the metal's transmission properties.

NASA Puts Orion Backup Parachutes to the Test

NASA completed the latest in a series of parachute tests for its Orion spacecraft Thursday at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground in southwestern Arizona, marking another step toward a first flight test in 2014.

NASA Awards Flight Projects Building Construction Contract

NASA has selected SEMI USA Corporation of Houston to construct the Flight Projects Building at the agency's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

NASA Selects Internet Services Agreement

NASA has selected InfoZen Inc. of Rockville, Md., for the Web Enterprise Service Technologies prime blanket purchase agreement to support agency websites.


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