After Higgs breakthrough, CERN readies for next cosmic quest

A year ago, the world's largest particle collider made one of the greatest discoveries in the history of science, identifying what is believed to be the Higgs Boson—the long-sought maker of mass.

What Came Before the Big Bang?

Cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin believes the Big Bang wasn't a one-off event, but merely one of a series of big bangs creating an endless number of bubble universes.

Saturn's Tug Controls Enceladus' Icy Geysers

Saturn is often called the most beautiful planet because of its striking rings, but its myriad moons also fascinate and inspire scientists. Now scientists know how the ringed world controls the impressive ice geysers on one if its moons, Enceladus.

In 2005, the Cassini probe discovered plumes of water jetting out of the south pole of Enceladus, making the tiny moon (about 300 miles wide) one of the few destinations in the solar system with observed geological activity. Though astronomers

First experimental signs of a New Physics beyond the Standard Model

The Standard Model, which has given the most complete explanation up to now of the universe, has gaps, and is unable to explain phenomena like dark matter or gravitational interaction between particles. Physicists are therefore seeking a more fundamental theory that they call "New Physics", but up to now there has been no direct proof of its existence, only indirect observation of dark matter, as deduced, among other things, from the movement of the galaxies.

Physicists can use their tools to help understand how, in real life, opinions form and change

Social phenomena fascinate with their complexity, but are not easily understood. Pawel Sobkowicz, an independent researcher based in Warsaw, Poland, has developed a model to study the dynamics of normal people, called 'agents', and their response to a given piece of information, depending on their emotional state. In a study about to be published in the European Physical Journal B, the author shows that opinion dynamics differ depending on whether the agent is agitated or not.

Universal law for light absorption in 2-D semiconductors

Researchers have demonstrated a universal law of light absorption for 2-D semiconductors. This discovery not only provides new insight into the optical properties of 2-D semiconductors and quantum wells, it should also open doors to exotic new optoelectronic and photonic technologies.

A step towards energy-efficient voltage control of magnetic devices

( —Researchers from the NIST Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology and the University of California, Berkeley have discovered a way to create simultaneous images of both the magnetic and the electric domain structures in ferromagnetic/ferroelectric multilayer materials. In a ferroelectric material, the polarization, or direction, of the internal electric field can be controlled by a applying a voltage across the film; in a ferromagnetic material, current-induced magnetic fields are usually used to control the magnetization direction.

Physicists discover theoretical possibility of large, hollow magnetic cage molecules

Researchers have discovered, in theory, the possibility of creating large, hollow magnetic cage molecules that could one day be used in medicine as a drug delivery system to non-invasively treat tumors, and in other emerging technologies.


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