Physics

Astronaut Mike Hopkins, Next Station Crew Meet Media

The next International Space Station crew, NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins and Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy, will be available for news media interviews and filming opportunities Wednesday, July 17, at the agency's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Gallery: A New Camera Turns an Earth Telescope into a Space Telescope

For three decades, astronomers have been waging war with the air around them, and slowly winning. A succession of increasingly advanced technologies--under the name active optics, and more recently adaptive optics--compensated for the continuous blowing, flowing, shimmering, and general blurring of Earth's atmosphere. These devices are not perfect, but they do a credible job sharpening the view. Essentially all of the world's major observatories now use some system along those lines.

Now

Enigmatic Flashes from the Edge of the Cosmos

They come from somewhere in the distant universe--probably some 6 billion to 11 billion light years away. They don't last very long, only about one-thousandth of a second. They happen all the time, up to 10,000 times a day. They create intense bursts of radio emission but nothing else--no light, no x-rays, no other visible evidence. And nobody knows what they are. Until today, nobody was even sure they existed.

Astronomers are calling these enigmatic signals "fast radio bursts" or "Lorime

Radically better smarphones may be possible using system inspired by bird migration: Molecular chains hypersensitive to magnetic fields

Researchers have for the first time created perfect one-dimensional molecular wires of which the electrical conductivity can almost entirely be suppressed by a weak magnetic field at room temperature. The underlying mechanism is possibly closely related to the biological compass used by some migratory birds. This spectacular discovery may lead to radically new magnetic field sensors, for smartphones for example.

The Higgs boson: One year on

A year ago today, physicists from the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN proudly announced the discovery of a new boson looking very much like the Higgs boson.

Laser system allows determination of atomic binding energy of the rarest element on Earth

The radioactive element astatine, the name of which is derived from the Greek word for 'instability,' is so rare on earth that it has not yet been investigated to any greater extent and, as a consequence, very little is known about it. Using artificially generated astatine, the Mainz-based physicist Sebastian Rothe has now managed for the first time to experimentally explore one of its fundamental parameters, the ionization potential, and thus determine one of the most important properties of the rare element.

Lepton-photon conference wraps up in San Francisco

Last Saturday, about 230 high-energy physicists of various stripes wrapped up a week of talks on all aspects of the field at the XXVI International Symposium on Lepton Photon Interactions at High Energies – known among physicists, not surprisingly, as Lepton-Photon. Held in San Francisco and hosted by SLAC (with help from the University of California-Santa Cruz and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), the conference summarized the latest developments in a wide range of subatomic studies.

Laser system allows determination of atomic binding energy of the rarest element on Earth

The radioactive element astatine, the name of which is derived from the Greek word for 'instability,' is so rare on Earth that it has not yet been investigated to any greater extent and, as a consequence, very little is known about it. Using artificially generated astatine, a physicist has now managed for the first time to experimentally explore one of its fundamental parameters, the ionization potential, and thus determine one of the most important properties of the rare element.

Linear collider gains key insights from Cornell physicists

The International Linear Collider (ILC), a global effort to build a particle accelerator that may unlock some of the universe's deepest mysteries, has received pivotal insights from Cornell physicists: They have designed a key component of the proposed collider, called a damping ring, without which the ILC's powerful particle collisions wouldn't be possible.

Physicists cast new light on spin-bowling

(Phys.org) —As the Ashes series gets underway next week, a pair of brothers from Australia have been exploring the physics behind the spin of a cricket ball.

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