Physics

NASA's Asteroid Sample Return Mission Moves into Development

NASA's first mission to sample an asteroid is moving ahead into development and testing in preparation for its launch in 2016.

RUB physicists let magnetic dipoles interact on the nanoscale for the first time

Physicists at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) have found out how tiny islands of magnetic material align themselves when sorted on a regular lattice - by measurements at BESSY II. Contrary to expectations, the north and south poles of the magnetic islands did not arrange themselves in a zigzag pattern, but in chains.

Physicists let magnetic dipoles interact on the nanoscale for the first time

Physicists have found out how tiny islands of magnetic material align themselves when sorted on a regular lattice -- by measurements at BESSY II. Contrary to expectations, the north and south poles of the magnetic islands did not arrange themselves in a zigzag pattern, but in chains.

Observation of second sound in a quantum gas

Second sound is a quantum mechanical phenomenon, which has been observed only in superfluid helium. Physicists have now proven the propagation of such a temperature wave in a quantum gas.

First direct proof of Hofstadter butterfly fractal observed in moiré superlattices

Scientists have directly observed a rare quantum effect that produces a repeating butterfly-shaped energy spectrum, confirming the longstanding prediction of this quantum fractal energy structure called Hofstadter's butterfly.

Fierce Winds Seen in Neptune and Uranus Jet Stream

In news that’s sure to delight young boys everywhere, scientists now have a better grasp on the impressive winds of Uranus. Neptune too. In a Nature study published today astronomers find that the most obvious weather patterns on the two ice giants are relatively shallow, only about 1,100 kilometers (683 miles) deep at most. The finding helps researchers understand the internal dynamics on Uranus, Neptune and similar exoplanets.

The two farthest planets from our sun might seem familiar to

Squishy hydrogels may be the ticket for studying biological effects of nanoparticles

A class of water-loving, jelly-like materials with uses ranges ranging from the mundane, such as superabsorbent diaper liners, to the sophisticated, such as soft contact lenses, could be tapped for a new line of serious work: testing the biological effects of nanoparticles, according to scientists.

Friction in the nano-world: Physicists discover a new kind of friction

Whether in vehicle transmissions, hip replacements, or tiny sensors for triggering airbags: The respective components must slide against each other with minimum friction to prevent loss of energy and material wear. Investigating the friction behavior of nanosystems, scientists have discovered a previously unknown type of friction that sheds new light on some previously unexplainable phenomena.

Obtaining polymers with à la carte optical and electrical properties

Scientists have created nanostructured composite materials with specific optical and electrical properties that vary according to size. These properties allow researchers to synthesize particles of the size corresponding to the desired properties, and by adding these particles to polymers, to give the final product one specific property or another.

Sierra Nevada Corporation Dream Chaser Testing Begins at NASA Dryden, Langley

Sierra Nevada Corporation's (SNC) Space Systems Dream Chaser flight vehicle arrived at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif., Wednesday to begin tests of its flight and runway landing systems.

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