Physics

Just how secure is quantum cryptography?

Unlike classical encryption, quantum communication systems are known to offer the promise of virtually unbreakable encryption. Now, new research on this topic is shaking up the long-held notion that quantum communications are 100 percent secure. Researchers have recently demonstrated that quantum encryption may be susceptible to hacking.

Have health effects from the Chernobyl accident been overestimated?

The impact of the Chernobyl nuclear accident has been seriously overestimated, while unfounded statements presented as scientific facts have been used to strangle the nuclear industry, according to Russian researchers. New research suggests that the health effects of food contamination in particular have been distorted in anti-industry propaganda.

Researchers 'light' magnetic fire and analyse how energy propagates

The propagation of the so-called 'magnetic fire' in certain systems seems to be "the only combustion process ruled by quantum laws known in the nature", points out Javier Tejada, Professor of Condensed Matter Physics at the University of Barcelona and one of the authors of a study recently published on the journal Physical Review Letters (PRL), which uncovers how energy is released and dispersed in magnetic materials in a process akin to the spread of forest fires.

Models from big molecules captured in a flash

The structures of most of the two million proteins in the human body are still unknown, even at low resolution. A new algorithm solves the convoluted shapes of large molecules by using images of numerous individual samples, all caught simultaneously in a split-second flash of x-rays from a free-electron laser. The technique promises efficient information about the shapes of many more large biological molecules in their native, fluid state.

Brittle material toughened: Tungsten-fiber-reinforced tungsten

Tungsten is particularly suitable as material for highly stressed parts of the vessel enclosing a hot fusion plasma, it being the metal with the highest melting point. A disadvantage, however, is its brittleness, which under stress makes it fragile and prone to damage. A novel, more resilient compound material has now been developed. It consists of homogeneous tungsten with coated tungsten wires embedded. A feasibility study has just shown the basic suitability of the new compound.

NASA LANGLEY PARTNERS WITH VA. STEAM ACADEMY TO PROMOTE EDUCATION

NASA Langley and the Virginia STEAM Academy partner to enhance teaching and learning in Virginia through mentorships and sabbatical opportunities.

New Space Station Residents on Fast Track to Orbital Laboratory

Three new Expedition 36 crew members lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 4:31 p.m. EDT, Tuesday, May 28, (2:31 a.m. Kazakh time, Wednesday, May 29) on a six-hour flight to the International Space Station.

Of grains and graphite: Simulating interstellar hydrogen formation

(Phys.org) —The process of molecular hydrogen formation is a key factor in astrophysics – specifically in the physics and chemistry of interstellar clouds. An electrically neutral atom containing a single positively charged proton and a single negatively charged electron bound to the nucleus by the Coulomb force, hydrogen is the lightest element and, in its monatomic (unbound single atom) form, known as H1, is the most abundant chemical substance, constituting roughly 75% of the universe's baryonic mass (that is, excluding so-called dark matter and dark energy).

Lee Smolin describes a new model of the universe (w/ Video)

Time is real, the laws of physics can change and our universe could be involved in a cosmic natural selection process in which new universes are born from black holes, renowned physicist and author Lee Smolin said in a talk at the Institute of Physics on 22 May.

Hydrogen atoms under the magnifying glass: Nodal structures of electronic states of hydrogen atom directly observed

Researchers have succeeded in building a microscope that allows magnifying the wave function of excited electronic states of the hydrogen atom by a factor of more than 20,000, leading to a situation where the nodal structure of these electronic states can be visualized on a two-dimensional detector.

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