Physics

Martin Rees, a well-respected British cosmologist, made pretty bold statement late last year when it comes to particle accelerators: there’s a small, but real possibility of disaster. Particle accelerators, like the Large Hadron Collider, shoot particles at incredibly high speeds, smash them together, and observe the fallout. These high speed collisions have helped us discover
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Scientists may have just taken a step towards experimentally proving the existence of Hawking radiation. Using an optical fibre analogue of an event horizon – a lab-created model of black hole physics – researchers from Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel report that they have created stimulated Hawking radiation. Under general relativity, a black
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Like divorced parents during the festive season, physics is made of two beloved authorities who just can’t get on – general relativity and quantum mechanics. For decades, many researchers have pinned their hopes of unification on something called string theory. On the up side it points to a curious connection between gravity and the behaviour
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Scientists in Germany say they have hit a new superconductivity milestone. According to their paper, they achieved resistance-free electrical current at the highest temperature yet: just 250 Kelvin, or -23 degrees Celsius (-9.4 degrees Fahrenheit). Although the team’s superconducting material has yet to be verified, the claim has merit – the work was led by
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Volcanic eruptions, as history has proven, can be very dangerous. And there’s something that can make them even more so. When lava comes into contact with water, it can dramatically explode, like it did with Hawaii’s Kīlauea and Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull – but this doesn’t always happen. The problem is, we don’t really know why these
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Atomic clocks, based on the minute oscillations of atoms, are the most precise timekeeping devices humans have created. Every year, scientists make adjustments that improve the precision of these devices. Now, they’ve achieved new performance records, making two atomic clocks so precise they could detect gravitational waves, those faint ripples in the fabric of space-time.
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The image you see above is something theoretical physicists have described as groundbreaking: a type of fractal called a Sierpinski triangle, created out of electrons on the quantum scale. It’s unbelievably small – and it could reveal new and strange things about electrons. Electrons are a fundamental subatomic particle found in all atoms. They help
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Strap yourselves in, because CERN has something up its sleeve. On Thursday 1 November, Large Hadron Collider (LHC) physicists will be discussing the fact that they may have found a new and unexpected new particle. “I’d say theorists are excited and experimentalists are very sceptical,” CERN physicist Alexandre Nikitenko told The Guardian. “As a physicist
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When experiments are run at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator, it’s a tremendous event. The world’s largest machine has been responsible for discovering numerous new subatomic particles, including the ultra-elusive Higgs boson.  And lately, its data has been hinting tantalisingly at new physics beyond the Standard Model – the best set of equations we
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A few years ago, the journal Small published a study showing how photosynthetic bacteria could absorb and release photons as the light bounced across a minuscule gap between two mirrors. Now, a retroactive look at the study’s data published in The Journal of Physics Communications suggests something more may have been going on. The bacteria
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On February 11th, 2016, scientists at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) made history when they announced the first detection of gravitational waves. Originally predicted made by Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity a century prior, these waves are essentially ripples in space-time that are formed by major astronomical events – such as the merger of
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More than eight decades after they were predicted to exist, physicists have found evidence of discrete units of matter that could help us better understand the electrical equivalent of ferromagnetism. Called hysterons, these nano-scaled stacks of molecules act like independent particles in a crowd, solving a long standing mystery while laying the groundwork for advanced
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Scientists have experimentally confirmed the existence of strange new uranium compounds – and they predict some could even achieve superconductivity close to room temperature. Superconducting materials are able to shuttle electricity without any resistance – an incredible feat that could revolutionise our energy use. But so far researchers have only found superconductivity in a handful
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We thought we’d seen the final paper from the late, great Stephen Hawking, but there’s now another – published in partnership with colleagues from Cambridge and Harvard, the paper tackles black holes, one of the topics Hawking was so passionately interested in. In particular, it examines the long-standing mystery of what happens to the information
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Can the origin of life be explained with quantum mechanics? And if so, are there quantum algorithms that could encode life itself? We’re a little closer to finding out the answers to those big questions thanks to new research carried out with an IBM supercomputer. Encoding behaviours related to self-replication, mutation, interaction between individuals, and
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Nobel Prize-winning scientist Donna Strickland did not have a Wikipedia page until she became a Nobel laureate, and earlier attempts to write a page for her were rejected because she was not famous enough. Strickland won the 2018 Nobel Prize for Physics for breakthroughs in the field of lasers on Tuesday alongside French scientist Gerard
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Martin Rees, a well-respected British cosmologist, has made a pretty bold statement when it comes to particle accelerators: there’s a small, but real possibility of disaster. Particle accelerators, like the Large Hadron Collider, shoot particles at incredibly high speeds, smash them together, and observe the fallout. These high speed collisions have helped us discover lots
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Inexpensive clean energy sounds like a pipe dream. Scientists have long thought that nuclear fusion, the type of reaction that powers stars like the Sun, could be one way to make it happen, but the reaction has been too difficult to maintain.  Now, we’re closer than ever before to making it happen — physicists from the University of
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For the first time, scientists have performed an iconic physics experiment with a positron – the antimatter counterpart of an electron, one of the fundamental particles. Not only did they get some truly interesting results, but this achievement could become the first step towards potentially revolutionary discoveries. The experiment – an antimatter version of the
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We could be able to control matter at a whole new level of precision after scientists discovered a way of manipulating individual molecules for a millionth of a billionth of a second – an unprecedented level of fine-tuning way beyond what we’ve seen before. It was made possible with a scanning tunnelling microscope (STM) and
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