Physics

A new light wave

Hold a magnifying glass over the driveway on a sunny day and it will focus sunlight into a single beam. Hold a prism in front of the window and the light will spread out into a perfect rainbow. Lenses like these have been used for thousands of years, including, most recently, for sophisticated optical devices.

Cosmology in the lab using laser-cooled ions

Scientists would love to know which forces created our universe some 14 billion years ago. How could – due to a breaking of symmetry – matter, and thus stars and galaxies, be created from an originally symmetrical universe in which the same conditions prevailed everywhere shortly after the Big Bang. Now, the Big Bang is an experiment that cannot be repeated. But the principle of symmetry and its disturbance can definitely be investigated under controlled laboratory conditions.

Cosmology in the lab using laser-cooled ions

Scientists would love to know which forces created our universe some 14 billion years ago. How could – due to a breaking of symmetry – matter, and thus stars and galaxies, be created from an originally symmetrical universe in which the same conditions prevailed everywhere shortly after the Big Bang. Now, the Big Bang is an experiment that cannot be repeated. But the principle of symmetry and its disturbance can definitely be investigated under controlled laboratory conditions.

Tracking new physics—horse or zebra?

If you hear hoof beats, common sense says the cause is more than likely a horse. Yet, the possibility still exists that you're actually hearing a zebra. Physicists at LHCb are applying that same logic to an unusual finding in a recent analysis of the B meson.

NASA Astronauts Chat Live from Space with California Students

International Space Station crew members Karen Nyberg and Chris Cassidy will speak live from the orbiting science laboratory with high school students at the Riverside Preparatory Academy in Oro Grande, Calif., at 10:40 a.m. PDT (1:40 p.m. EDT) Thursday, Aug 15.

NASA Selects University Teams for New SmallSat Collaborative Projects

NASA has selected 13 university teams for collaborative projects to develop and demonstrate new technologies and capabilities and spur innovation in communication, navigation, propulsion, science instruments, and advanced manufacturing for small spacecraft.

A Second Look at the “Hole in the Sun”: Lessons from a Media Flub

What’s up with that crazy giant hole on the sun? That’s the question I was addressing during my short appearance on Fox News last week. Or rather, it’s the question I was trying to address. My explanation contained a few poor word choices, which resulted in a confusing and misleading description of solar activity. That is the danger of live television: once a conversation goes off track, it’s hard to get back in real time, with only 100 seconds to go.

These days nothing on TV really vanis

On the trail of dark energy: Physicists propose Higgs boson 'portal'

One of the biggest mysteries in contemporary particle physics and cosmology is why dark energy, which is observed to dominate energy density of the universe, has a remarkably small (but not zero) value. Now, two physicists suggest that the Higgs boson could provide a possible "portal" to physics that could help explain some of the attributes of the enigmatic dark energy and help resolve the cosmological constant problem.

Physicists propose Higgs boson 'portal' as the source of this elusive entity

One of the biggest mysteries in contemporary particle physics and cosmology is why dark energy, which is observed to dominate energy density of the universe, has a remarkably small (but not zero) value. This value is so small, it is perhaps 120 orders of magnitude less than would be expected based on fundamental physics.

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