NASA's Hubble to Reveal New Findings About the Early Universe

NASA will hold a media teleconference at 2 p.m. EST Wednesday, Dec. 12, to discuss the latest findings from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. Astronomers will report on recent observations of a previously unseen population of primitive galaxies that formed more than 13 billion years ago.

Strict limit on CPT violation from gamma-ray bursts

Kenji Toma (Osaka Univ.), Shinji Mukohyama (Kavli IPMU, Univ. of Tokyo), Daisuke Yonetoku (Kanazawa Univ.) and their colleagues have used the photon polarization in three distant gamma-ray bursts detected by Japanese spacecraft as evidence that the polarization did not rotate during its long journey. This lack of rotation puts the most stringent constraints yet on the violation of a fundamental symmetry. This work is going to be published and highlighted in Physical Review Letters.

Midnight Showing: Stunning and Scientifically Vital Satellite Views of Earth at Night

Yesterday NASA released the first images from its most recently launched satellite, the Suomi NPP. The images it captures demonstrate both the beauty and the benefit that can be gleaned from visions of Earth at night.

The Suomi NPP satellite is significantly more light sensitive than its predecessors. So sensitive, in fact, it can detect the light from a single ship at sea. To put that in numbers: Suomi's spatial resolution is six times better than the devices that came before it, and the

X-ray resonance scattering can reveal the magnetic properties of transition metal oxides made out of heavy elements

Transition metal oxides are known for their interesting properties, including high-temperature superconductivity and resistance that can be tuned with a magnetic field. Researchers have mainly focused on oxides made from '3d' transition metals—the elements from scandium to zinc—but they are starting to uncover new material properties in oxides containing the much heavier '5d' transition metal elements found between hafnium and mercury.

Caltech engineers invent light-focusing device

(—As technology advances, it tends to shrink. From cell phones to laptops—powered by increasingly faster and tinier processors—everything is getting thinner and sleeker. And now light beams are getting smaller, too.

Oxygen nucleus with twice as many neutrons as normal is shown to be surprisingly stable

The nucleus at the heart of an atom is held together by a subtle balance between the nuclear force that binds protons and neutrons and the electric repulsion that tries to fling the positively charged protons apart. Understanding how the number of nucleons—the collective term for protons and neutrons—affects this balance is crucial for predicting nuclear processes such as radioactive decay. RIKEN researchers, working as part of an international team, have now shown that 'heavy' oxygen nuclei with 16 neutrons form into a solid ball, which makes them unexpectedly stable.

Scientists use a custom-designed machine and a reprogrammed Xbox controller to create atomically precise lenses

Unleashing some of the most promising energy technologies of tomorrow—from electric vehicle fuel cells to photovoltaics—hinges upon understanding tiny structures spanning just billionths of a meter. One way to explore this critical nanoscale world is by sending high-intensity x-ray beams through materials, similar to the way doctors capture images of internal bone structure using large x-ray devices. The challenge with fringe physics, however, is that focusing that penetrating power on just a single nanometer takes an entirely different caliber of lens.

Looking through the opaque screen for sharper images

Taking images through opaque, light-scattering layers is a vital capability and essential diagnostic tool in many disciplines, including nanotechnology and the biosciences. Current techniques are unable to image through opaque layers that scatter all the incident light. Even a very thin layer of a scattering material can appear opaque and hide any objects behind it. Now, a joint research team from Italy and the Netherlands have succeeded in taking non-invasive sharp pictures of objects hidden behind a screen of opaqueness.

Silver nanocubes make super light absorbers

Microscopic metallic cubes could unleash the enormous potential of metamaterials to absorb light, leading to more efficient and cost-effective large-area absorbers for sensors or solar cells, Duke University researchers have found.

Seeing in color at the nanoscale: Scientists develop a new nanotech tool to probe solar-energy conversion

If nanoscience were television, we'd be in the 1950s. Although scientists can make and manipulate nanoscale objects with increasingly awesome control, they are limited to black-and-white imagery for examining those objects. But that may all change with the introduction of a new microscopy tool that delivers exquisite chemical details with a resolution once thought impossible.


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