The team in charge of NASA's Kepler mission, responsible for history's first detection of Earth-sized planets orbiting other suns in their temperate "habitable zone," received the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's highest group honor at a ceremony in Washington on March 25. Kepler was awarded the 2015 Trophy for Current Achievement, which honors outstanding endeavors in the fields of aerospace science and technology.
A 60-year-old math problem first put forward by Nobel laureate Enrico Fermi has been solved. In...
During a panel at the South by Southwest Festival, NASA representatives discussed how citizen...
Albert Einstein is known in popular culture for his famous E = mc2 formula. Scientists know him for revolutionizing physics with his general theory of relativity. But is it possible to know the man behind the big ideas? Yes, thanks to the massive body of written work and correspondence he left behind, which the Einstein Papers Project is dedicated to collecting, editing, translating and publishing.
Breakthrough science requires pioneers. People who combine brilliance with courage, even in the face of daunting opposition. The women who paved the way for modern scientific exploration exemplify this spirit; grappling not only with fundamental questions of the universe, but with discrimination and societal constraints that often stripped them of scientific credit.
All in Villarrica National Park is not as it seems. One of Chile's most active volcanos rises above a lake and town of the same name 470 miles south of Santiago. The scene is usually tranquil, allowing guided ascents to Villarrica's summit, magnets for tourists from around the world. However, at 3 a.m. on March 3, 2015, Villarrica blew its top in a spectacular fire fountain.
NASA launched four identical spacecraft March 12, 2015, on a billion-dollar mission to study the explosive give-and-take of the Earth and sun's magnetic fields. The unmanned Atlas rocket — and NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale spacecraft — soared into a clear late-night sky, right on time. Within two hours, all four observatories were flying free.
Scientists will soon debut the blockbuster sequel to the so-called Big Bang Machine, which already found the elusive Higgs Boson. They're promising nearly twice the energy and far more violent particle crashes this time around.
To humor mathematicians, picture a pile of sand grains — say, a billion — in one square of a vast sheet of graph paper. If four or more grains occupy a single square, that square topples by sending one grain to each of its four neighboring squares. Keep zooming out so the squares become very small, and something strange happens — the sand still “remembers” that it used to live on a square lattice, and a distinctive pattern emerges.
An e-pi-c day is coming! On 3.14.15 at 9:26:53; the date/time will correspond to the first 10 digits of the mathematical constant pi (3.141592653). This happens only once per century — a truly once-in-a-lifetime event for most people.
Over the past several decades, astronomers have come to realize that the sky is filled with magnifying glasses that allow the study of very distant and faint objects barely visible with even the largest telescopes. An astronomer has now found that one of these lenses – called an “Einstein cross”– has created four separate images of a distant supernova.
When it comes to boiling water—or the phenomenon of applying heat to a liquid until it transitions to a gas—is there anything left for today’s scientists to study? The surprising answer is, yes, quite a bit.
Researchers have gained new insights into dark energy and the theory of gravitation by analyzing data from the “Planck” satellite mission of the European Space Agency. Their results demonstrate that the standard model of cosmology remains an excellent description of the universe. Yet when the Planck data is combined with other astronomical observations, several deviations emerge.
Before scientists develop a full quantum computer, quantum physicists will have to create circuitry that takes advantage of the marvelous computing prowess promised by the quantum bit (“qubit”), while compensating for its high vulnerability to environmentally-induced error.
A relentless global effort to shrink transistors has made computers continually faster, cheaper and smaller over the last 40 years. This effort has enabled chipmakers to double the number of transistors on a chip roughly every 18 months — a trend referred to as Moore's Law. In the process, the U.S. semiconductor industry has become one of the nation's largest export industries, valued at more than $65 billion a year.
For the first time, researchers have produced a 3-D image revealing part of the inner structure of an intact, infectious virus, using a unique X-ray laser. The virus, called Mimivirus, is in a curious class of “giant viruses” discovered just over a decade ago. The experiment establishes a new technique for reconstructing the 3-D structure of many types of biological samples from a series of X-ray laser snapshots.
In the future, magnetic vortex structures — so-called skyrmions — have the potential to store and process information very efficiently. They could also be the basis for high-frequency components. For the first time, physicists have succeeded in characterizing the electromagnetic properties of insulating, semiconducting and conducting skyrmion-materials and have developed a unified theoretical description of their behavior.
Meteorologists sometimes struggle to accurately predict the weather here on Earth, but now we can find out how cloudy it is on planets outside our solar system. MIT Researchers describe a technique that analyzes data from NASA’s Kepler space observatory to determine the types of clouds on planets that orbit other stars. Their models indicate that the clouds on Kepler-7b are most likely made from liquid rock.
We all like to know our watches keep the time well, but researchers are taking precision to an entirely new dimension. The group demonstrated two cryogenically cooled optical lattice clocks that can be synchronized to a tremendous one part in 2.0 x 10-18 — meaning that they would only go out of synch by a second in 16 billion years. This is nearly 1,000 times more precise than the current international standard cesium atomic clock.
Leonard Nimoy, the actor known and loved by generations of Star Trek fans as the pointy-eared, purely logical science officer Mr. Spock, has died. Nimoy died Friday of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at his Los Angeles home, with family at his side, said his son, Adam Nimoy. He was 83.
Plumes seen reaching high above the surface of Mars have caused a stir among scientists studying the atmosphere on the Red Planet. On two separate occasions in March and April 2012, amateur astronomers reported definite plume-like features developing on the planet. The plumes were seen rising to altitudes of over 250 kilometers on both occasions. By comparison, similar features seen in the past have not exceeded 100 kilometers.
In March, when researchers flip the switch to the world’s largest, most powerful particle accelerator, scientists from all over the world will be watching. Physicists expect the refurbished, higher-energy Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will build on the 2012 discovery of the Higgs particle and crack open even more mysteries of the universe
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.
A team of researchers is exploring new materials that could yield higher computational speeds and lower power consumption, even in harsh environments. Most modern electronic circuitry relies on controlling electronic charge within a circuit, but this control can easily be disrupted in the presence of radiation. Electronics that use spintronics may offer an alternative that is robust even in radiation-filled environments.
The Nobel Prize-winning discovery of the Higgs boson — the “God particle” believed responsible for all the mass in the universe — took place in 2012 at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. But, more than 50 years ago, the first hint of Higgs was inspired by the study of superconductors. Now, a research team has closed a circle, by reporting the first-ever observations of the Higgs mode in superconducting materials.
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
Researchers have developed a new algorithm which increases the small time step required by ultrafast phenomena from about one attosecond to about half a femtosecond. This allows them to simulate ultrafast phenomena for systems of around 100 atoms.
Physicist Ernest Sternglass, whose research helped make it possible for the world to see the first moon walk, has died at age 91 of heart failure. His research helped lead to a sensitive television camera tube that captured low-light lunar action during the 1969 moon landing and U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong's historic first steps.
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