Physics

Large Hadron Collider hiatus sets stage for more discovery

The world's largest and most powerful atom smasher goes into a 2-year hibernation in March, aiming to reach maximum energy levels that may lead to more stunning discoveries after hunting down the so-called "God particle."

Testing Einstein's E=mc2 in outer space

(Phys.org)—University of Arizona physicist Andrei Lebed has stirred the physics community with an intriguing idea yet to be tested experimentally: The world's most iconic equation, Albert Einstein's E=mc2, may be correct or not depending on where you are in space.

Can we accurately model fluid flow in shale?

(Phys.org)—Given that over 20 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, a third of the United States' total reserves, are thought to be trapped in shale, and given the rush to exploit shale oil and gas resources by Australia, Canada, China, and other countries around the world—even oil-rich Saudi Arabia—it's a wonder that producers still rely on models of how fluids flow underground that were devised in the heyday of oil and gas development.

Power spintronics: Producing AC voltages by manipulating magnetic fields

Scientists are putting a new spin on their approach to generating electrical current by harnessing a recently identified electromotive force known as spinmotive force, which is related to the field of spintronics that addresses such challenges as improving data storage in computers. Now, a novel application of spintronics is the highly efficient and direct conversion of magnetic energy to electric voltage by using magnetic nanostructures and manipulating the dynamics of magnetization.

Nanoparticles reach new peaks: Researchers show short laser pulses selectively heat gold nanoparticles

Researchers have found a way to selectively heat diverse nanoparticles in a batch that could advance their medical and industrial use.

Power spintronics: Producing AC voltages by manipulating magnetic fields

Scientists are putting a new spin on their approach to generating electrical current by harnessing a recently identified electromotive force known as spinmotive force, which is related to the field of spintronics that addresses such challenges as improving data storage in computers. Now, a novel application of spintronics is the highly efficient and direct conversion of magnetic energy to electric voltage by using magnetic nanostructures and manipulating the dynamics of magnetization.

Gas Giant Formation Caught in the Act

Saturn and Jupiter are examples of gas giants---huge, uninhabitable planets composed of gas rather than solid matter. Based on observations of these planets and models of their evolution, astronomers have long believed [pdf] that they form by guzzling gas from young stars. This week, courtesy of a telescope in the deserts of Chile, astronomers reported seeing the first direct evidence of gas giant formation.

Astronomers were observing a young star called HD 142527, some 450 light years fr

How computers push on the molecules they simulate

Because modern computers have to depict the real world with digital representations of numbers instead of physical analogues, to simulate the continuous passage of time they have to digitize time into small slices. This kind of simulation is essential in disciplines from medical and biological research, to new materials, to fundamental considerations of quantum mechanics, and the fact that it inevitably introduces errors is an ongoing problem for scientists.

How computers push on the molecules they simulate

Simulations are essential to test theories and explore what's inaccessible to direct experiment. Digital computers can't use exact, continuous equations of motion and have to slice time into chunks, so persistent errors are introduced in the form of "shadow work" that distorts the result. Scientists have learned to separate the physically realistic aspects of the simulation from the artifacts of the computer method.

Big Bang under the microscope

(Phys.org)—(Phys.org)—Scientists have replaced the telescope with the microscope: Using the similarities between the structure of a crystal and the state of the cosmos in the early universe, they have explored a yet unconfirmed phenomenon, the formation of cosmic strings. These so-called "topological defects" are believed to have formed as the universe expanded shortly after the Big Bang.

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