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Physicists have developed techniques that enable them to simulate high-speed impacts in artificial soil and sand in the lab, and then watch what happens underground close-up, in super slow motion. They report that materials like soil and sand actually get

What Happens Underground When a Missile or Meteor Hits

April 13, 2015 4:00 pm | by Robin A. Smith, Duke University | News | Comments

Physicists have developed techniques that enable them to simulate high-speed impacts in artificial soil and sand in the lab, and then watch what happens underground close-up, in super slow motion. They report that materials like soil and sand actually get stronger when they are struck harder.

Quantum Teleportation on Chip Significant Step toward Ultra-High Speed Quantum Computers

April 6, 2015 4:07 pm | by University of Bristol | News | Comments

The core circuits of quantum teleportation, which generate and detect quantum entanglement, have...

Galactic Turmoil: The Heart of the Large Magellanic Cloud

March 31, 2015 1:50 pm | by ESA | News | Comments

A scene of jagged fiery peaks, turbulent magma-like clouds and fiercely hot bursts of bright...

Galactic Pair: Porpoise or Penguin?

March 24, 2015 2:16 pm | by ESA | News | Comments

What do you see in this image: a porpoise or a penguin? Amateur astronomers have nicknamed this...

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Kuebler and his students used direct laser writing, a kind of nanoscale 3-D printing, to create the miniature lattices. The team then ran light beams through the lattices and confirmed that they could flow light without loss through turns that are twice a

New Light-bending Record Critical for Next-gen Supercomputing

March 24, 2015 1:32 pm | by University of Central Florida | News | Comments

A device resembling a plastic honeycomb yet much smaller than a bee’s stinger can steer light beams around tighter curves than ever before possible, while keeping the integrity and intensity of the beam intact. The work introduces a more effective way to transmit data rapidly on electronic circuit boards by using light.

London and the River Thames -- Courtesy of ESA/Copernicus data (2015)  - click to enlarge

London and the River Thames

March 23, 2015 12:01 pm | News | Comments

London appears as a cluster of bright radar reflections along the River Thames in this radar image from Sentinel-1A. The satellite captured this image on March 4, 2015, in its Interferometric Wide Swath mode and dual polarization, from which the artificial color composite was generated.

The desktop software application is free and can be used on any basic desktop or laptop computer. Amateur astronomers may take images from their telescopes and analyze them with the application. The application will tell the user whether a matching astero

Help NASA Explore the Universe with Free Asteroid Data Hunter App

March 23, 2015 11:35 am | by NASA | News | Comments

During a panel at the South by Southwest Festival, NASA representatives discussed how citizen scientists have made a difference in asteroid hunting and announced the release of a desktop software application developed by NASA. The application is based on an Asteroid Data Hunter-derived algorithm that analyzes images for potential asteroids. It’s a tool that can be used by amateur astronomers and citizen scientists.

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Nonlinear metamaterials, which possess physical capabilities not found in nature, may be the building blocks that allow major companies like IBM and Intel to move from electronic to optical computing.

Novel Nanoscale Metamaterial is Breaking Digital Connectivity Barriers

March 19, 2015 2:26 pm | by American Friends of Tel Aviv University | News | Comments

From computers, tablets and smartphones to cars, homes and public transportation, our world is more digitally connected every day. The technology required to support the exchange of massive quantities of data is critical. That's why scientists are intent on developing faster computing units capable of supporting much larger amounts of data transfer and data processing. New optical materials could serve as the nuts and bolts of future ...

Chalcogenide glass: Using conventional fiber drawing techniques, microfibers can be produced from chalcogenide (glasses based on sulphur) that possess a variety of broadband photoinduced effects, which allow the fibers to be switched on and off.

Optical Fibers Light Way for Brain-like Computing

March 11, 2015 12:36 pm | by University of Southampton | News | Comments

Computers that function like the human brain could soon become a reality thanks to new research using optical fibers made of specialty glass, which has the potential to allow faster and smarter optical computers capable of learning and evolving. Researchers have demonstrated how neural networks and synapses in the brain can be reproduced, with optical pulses as information carriers, using special fibers made from chalcogenides.

Veil Nebula South-eastern Knot-- Courtesy of NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA) - ESA/Hubble Collaboration. Acknowledgment: J. Hester (Arizona State Univ.) – click to enlarge

The Twisted Shockwaves of an Exploded Star

March 9, 2015 4:06 pm | by ESA | News | Comments

Discovered on September 5, 1784, by astronomer William Herschel, the Veil Nebula was once a star. Now, it is a twisted mass of shock waves that appears six times larger than the full Moon in the sky. This Hubble Space Telescope image shows just a small part of the nebula, a region known as the ‘south-eastern knot.’ The entire nebula is about 50 light years in radius, and is located almost 1500 light years away.

A 3.15 mm QR code storing an encrypted and compressed image shown placed on an integrated circuit and an image of the QR code placed next to a dime. Courtesy of Adam Markman/Brhram Javidi

Ordinary QR Code Transformed into High-End Cybersecurity Application

March 2, 2015 11:21 am | by Colin Poitras, University of Connecticut | News | Comments

QR codes have been used to convey information about everything from cereals to cars and new homes. But researchers think the codes have a greater potential: protecting national security. Using advanced 3-D optical imaging and extremely low light photon counting encryption, researchers have taken the ordinary QR code and transformed it into a high-end cybersecurity application to protect the integrity of computer microchips.

Illustration of the orbit of Kepler-432b (inner, red) in comparison to the orbit of Mercury around the Sun (outer, orange). The red dot in the middle indicates the position of the star around which the planet is orbiting. The size of the star is shown to

Astronomers Discover Massive Celestial Body with Extreme Seasons

February 24, 2015 2:03 pm | by Heidelberg University | News | Comments

Two groups of astronomers have independently discovered a rare planet. The celestial body, called Kepler-432b, is one of the most dense and massive planets known so far. The teams report that the planet has six times the mass of Jupiter, but about the same size.

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In this composite image of the Teacup Galaxy, the green colors show the starlight, the blue colors show the gas and the red/yellow colors show the radio emission. The bright yellow blobs in the center of the image show where the radio “jets,” launched by

Supermassive Black Hole Explosively Heating, Blasting Gas around Galaxy Core

February 20, 2015 12:15 pm | by National Radio Astronomy Observatory | News | Comments

Astronomers using the NSF's Very Large Array found surprisingly energetic activity in what they otherwise considered a "boring" galaxy, and their discovery provides important insight on how supermassive black holes can have a catastrophic effect on the galaxies in which they reside

The latest version of the telescopic contact lens, with a quarter for scale. Courtesy of Eric Tremblay and Joe Ford, EPFL

Telescopic Contact Lens Prototype Unveiled

February 18, 2015 12:33 pm | by EPFL | News | Comments

An estimated 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide. Age-related macular degeneration alone is the leading cause of blindness among older adults in the Western world. Optics specialist Eric Tremblay from EPFL has unveiled a new prototype telescopic contact lens — the first of its kind — giving hope for better, stronger vision. The optics specialist also debuted complementary smart glasses that recognize winks and ignore blinks

Three moons and their shadows parade across Jupiter — comparison of beginning and end of sequence. Courtesy of NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage Team

Hubble Captures Rare Triple Moon Transit of Jupiter

February 9, 2015 11:02 am | by Hubble Space Telescope | News | Comments

New NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope images capture a rare occurrence, as three of Jupiter’s largest moons parade across the giant gas planet’s banded face. Hubble took a string of images of the event which show the three satellites — Europa, Callisto and Io — in action. The planet's four moons can commonly be seen transiting the face of Jupiter. However, seeing three of them transiting at the same time is rare.

Portugal’s Capital, Lisbon, from Space -- Courtesy of Copernicus/ESA

Portugal’s Capital, Lisbon, from Space

February 6, 2015 3:42 pm | by ESA | News | Comments

This image from Sentinel-1A’s radar shows the metropolitan area of Portugal’s capital, Lisbon. Flowing in from the upper-right corner is the Tagus River. Originating in central Spain, the Tagus is the longest river on the Iberian Peninsula, stretching over 1,000 kilometers. The river flows west through Portugal, emptying into the Atlantic Ocean at Lisbon

A new way of streaming high-resolution, full-color full-parallax three-dimensional (3D) hologram videos may have applications in the entertainment and medical imaging industries. © 2015 A*STAR Data Storage Institute

Streaming Full-color Moving Holograms in High Resolution

February 4, 2015 3:30 pm | by A*STAR | News | Comments

3-D movies, which require viewers to wear stereoscopic glasses, have become very popular in recent years. However, the 3-D effect produced by the glasses cannot provide perfect depth cues. Furthermore, it is not possible to move one’s head and observe that objects appear different from different angles. Now, researchers have developed a new way of generating high-resolution, full-color, 3-D videos that uses holographic technology.

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Strand of optical fibers Courtesy of Groman123

Optical Fiber Communications Distance Doubles

February 4, 2015 3:23 pm | by University College London | News | Comments

A new way to process fiber optic signals has been demonstrated, which could double the distance at which data travels error-free through transatlantic sub-marine cables. The new method has the potential to reduce the costs of long-distance optical fiber communications, as signals wouldn’t need to be electronically boosted on their journey, which is important when the cables are buried underground or at the bottom of the ocean.

In this January 25, 1955, photo, Charles Hard Townes, Columbia University professor and Nobel laureate, explains his invention the maser during a news conference in New York City. Townes, who did most of the work that would make him one of three scientist

Laser Co-creator and Nobel Laureate Charles Townes dies at 99

January 29, 2015 8:37 am | by Lisa Leff, Associated Press | News | Comments

Charles H. Townes' inspiration for the predecessor of the laser came to him while sitting on a park bench, waiting for a restaurant to open for breakfast. On the tranquil morning of April 26, 1951, Townes scribbled a theory on scrap paper that would lead to the laser, the invention he's known for and which transformed everyday life and led to other scientific discoveries. The 99-year-old Nobel Prize-winning physicist died January 27, 2015.

Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen (EPR) quantum mechanics paradox

Extending Einstein's Spooky Actions for Use in Quantum Networks

January 26, 2015 4:18 pm | by Swinburne University of Technology | News | Comments

Researchers have demonstrated that the 1935 Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen quantum mechanics paradox may be extended to more than two optical systems, paving the way for exploration of larger quantum networks. The experiment also identified properties that may be useful in establishing secure quantum communication networks where shared sequences of numbers created between two parties need to be kept secret from a third party.

Jupiter’s Cratered Moon Callisto -- Courtesy of NASA/JPL/DLR

Jupiter’s Cratered Moon Callisto

January 26, 2015 11:08 am | by European Space Agency (ESA) | News | Comments

The speckled object depicted here is Callisto, Jupiter’s second largest moon. This image was taken in May 2001 by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft, which studied Jupiter and its moons from 1995 until 2003. Similar in appearance to a golf ball, Callisto is covered almost uniformly with pockmarks and craters across its surface, evidence of relentless collisions.

Two particles are positioned between highly reflective mirrors and entangled with one another by means of a laser. Additional lasers encode quantum information in the ions and then transfer the information to a single photon. Courtesy of U. Innsbruck

Optimizing Information Transfer for a Quantum Internet

January 15, 2015 12:28 pm | by University of Innsbruck | News | Comments

A quantum network requires efficient interfaces over which information can be transferred from matter to light and back. Physicists have shown how this information transfer can be optimized by taking advantage of a collective quantum phenomenon. The collective interaction between the particles and the resonator can now be tuned in order to enhance the creation of single photons.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has created a fictional Exoplanet Travel Bureau that is sure to add fuel to your daydreams. A new exoplanet travel series, posted on the PlanetQuest Web site, features “travel posters” of several planets

The Grass is always Redder on the Other Side

January 14, 2015 10:18 am | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | Blogs | Comments

Have you ever dreamed about vacationing on another planet? Or wondered what it would be like to explore “strange new worlds”? If so, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has created a fictional Exoplanet Travel Bureau that is sure to add fuel to your daydreams. A new exoplanet travel series features travel posters of several planets that the folks at NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program think you just might want to check out...

The Chern-number measurement using an external force

Magic Numbers of Quantum Matter Revealed by Cold Atoms

January 13, 2015 11:19 am | by Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics | News | Comments

Topology, a branch of mathematics classifying geometric objects, has been exploited by physicists to predict and describe unusual quantum phases: the topological states of matter. These intriguing phases, generally accessible at very low temperature, exhibit unique conductivity properties, which are particularly robust against external perturbations, suggesting promising technological applications.

NASA Kepler's Hall of Fame: Of the more than 1,000 verified planets found by NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, eight are less than twice Earth-size and in their stars' habitable zone. All eight orbit stars cooler and smaller than our sun. The search continue

We’re Closer than Ever to Finding Earth Twins in a Habitable Zone

January 8, 2015 12:02 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

How many stars like our sun host planets like our Earth? NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope continuously monitored more than 150,000 stars beyond our solar system and, to date, has offered scientists an assortment of more than 4,000 candidate planets for further study — the 1,000th of which was recently verified.

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has taken a bigger and sharper photograph of the iconic Eagle Nebula's "Pillars of Creation," shown at right. The original 1995 Hubble image of the gaseous towers, taken with Hubble’s Wide Field Planetary Camera 2, is shown a

Evocative New High-Def Views of Iconic Pillars of Creation

January 6, 2015 1:50 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

Although Hubble has taken many breathtaking images of the universe, one snapshot stands out from the rest: the iconic view of the so-called Pillars of Creation. The jaw-dropping 1995 photo revealed never-before-seen details of giant columns of cold gas bathed in the scorching UV light from a cluster of young, massive stars. In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Hubble has revisited the pillars, providing a sharper, wider view.

Artist impression of the central region of NGC 1266. The jets from the central black hole are creating turbulence in the surrounding molecular gas, suppressing star formation in an otherwise ideal environment to form new stars. Courtesy of B. Saxton (NRAO

Perfect Storm Quenching Star Formation around Supermassive Black Hole

January 5, 2015 11:49 am | by National Radio Astronomy Observatory | News | Comments

High-energy jets powered by supermassive black holes can blast away a galaxy’s star-forming fuel, resulting in so-called "red and dead" galaxies: those brimming with ancient red stars yet containing little or no hydrogen gas to create new ones. However, astronomers using ALMA have discovered that black holes don’t have to be nearly so powerful to shut down star formation. They have detected a “perfect storm” of turbulence ...

Besides being a fundamental breakthrough, this discovery opens up the possibility of making devices which take the benefits of both light and matter.

Half-Light, Half-Matter Quantum Particles a Step toward Practical Quantum Computing Platforms

January 5, 2015 11:36 am | by City College of New York | News | Comments

Prospects of developing computing and communication technologies based on quantum properties of light and matter may have taken a major step forward. In a pioneering study, researchers were able to discover half-light, half-matter particles in atomically thin semiconductors consisting of a 2-D layer of molybdenum and sulfur atoms arranged similar to graphene.

The artistic concept shows NASA's planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft operating in a new mission profile called K2. Using publicly available data, astronomers have confirmed K2's first exoplanet discovery proving Kepler can still find planets. Courtesy of NA

Planet-hunting Spacecraft Reborn, Kepler can still find Planets

December 22, 2014 3:08 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

NASA's planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft makes a comeback with the discovery of the first exoplanet found using its new mission — K2. The discovery was made when astronomers and engineers devised an ingenious way to repurpose Kepler for the K2 mission and continue its search of the cosmos for other worlds.

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