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The National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation medals ready to be presented to awardees. Courtesy of Sandy Schaeffer, NSF

National Medals of Science, Technology and Innovation Presented

November 25, 2014 12:00 pm | by NSF | News | Comments

At a White House ceremony on November 20, 2014, President Obama presented the National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science and engineering. The awards are the nation's highest honors for achievement and leadership in advancing the fields of science and technology.

Hiding in Plain Sight: Detecting Elusive Dark Matter with GPS

November 21, 2014 5:21 pm | by Mike Wolterbeek, University of Nevada, Reno | News | Comments

The everyday use of a GPS device might be to find your way around town or even navigate a hiking...

Shaved Titanium

November 20, 2014 2:56 pm | News | Comments

This 100x image of Titanium Shavings received an Image of Distinction designation in the...

HPC Innovation Excellence Award: Nexio

November 17, 2014 6:19 pm | Award Winners

Nexio simulation is a French SME located in Toulouse and specialized in electromagnetic...

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To heat fusion plasmas to the millions of degrees Celsius needed for fusion reactions scientists inject megawatts of electromagnetic energy from carefully engineered radiofrequency antennas. The generated electromagnetic waves interact with the fusion pla

HPC Innovation Excellence Award: Tech-X Corporation

November 17, 2014 5:23 pm | Award Winners

To heat magnetically confined plasmas to the millions of degrees needed for fusion reactions, scientists inject megawatts of electromagnetic energy from carefully engineered radiofrequency antennas. The generated electromagnetic waves interact with the plasma in complex ways.

This simulation depicts two electron bunches — containing 5 billion to 6 billion electrons each — that were accelerated by a laser-generated column of plasma inside an oven of hot lithium gas during experiments at SLAC. Courtesy of SLAC National Accelerat

Milestone in Accelerating Particles with Plasma Powerful Enough to Drive Future Accelerators

November 10, 2014 12:40 pm | by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory | News | Comments

Scientists from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the University of California, Los Angeles have shown that a promising technique for accelerating electrons on waves of plasma is efficient enough to power a new generation of shorter, more economical accelerators. This could greatly expand their use in areas such as medicine, national security, industry and high-energy physics research.

A time-lapse photograph of the CIBER rocket launch, taken from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia in 2013. This was the last of four launches of the Cosmic Infrared Background Experiment (CIBER). Sub-orbital rockets are smaller than those that boo

Rocket Experiment Finds Surprising Cosmic Light

November 7, 2014 3:37 pm | by Kathy Svitil, Caltech | News | Comments

Using an experiment carried into space on a NASA suborbital rocket, astronomers have detected a diffuse cosmic glow that appears to represent more light than that produced by known galaxies in the universe. The researchers say the best explanation is that the cosmic light originates from stars that were stripped away from their parent galaxies and flung out into space as those galaxies collided and merged with other galaxies.

The world’s most advanced bionic hand was tested with the help of amputee Dennis Aabo Sørensen who was able to grasp objects intuitively and identify what he was touching, while blindfolded. © LifeHand2

Neural Interface allows Natural Control of World’s Most Advanced Bionic Hand

November 7, 2014 3:27 pm | by European Commission | News | Comments

A prosthetic hand, which provides a sense of touch acute enough to handle an egg, has been completed and is now exploited by the NEBIAS project after 10 years of EU-funded research. The world’s most advanced bionic hand was tested with the help of amputee Dennis Aabo Sørensen who was able to grasp objects intuitively and identify what he was touching, while blindfolded.

This diagram shows how researchers compute average traffic flows through a wider system of highways. Courtesy of the researchers

New Model Provides Accurate Traffic Flow Predictions

November 7, 2014 2:46 pm | by David L. Chandler, MIT | News | Comments

A reliable way of predicting the flow of traffic could be a great convenience for commuters, as well as a significant energy-saver. During an emergency evacuation following a natural disaster, reliable predictions of the best routes could even be a lifesaver. Now a team of researchers from MIT, the University of Notre Dame, and elsewhere has devised what they say is an effective and relatively simple formula for making such predictions.

Since 1999, the conjecture by Asher Peres, who invented quantum teleportation, has piqued the interest of many scientists in the field. According to his hypothesis, the weakest form of quantum entanglement can never result in the strongest manifestation o

Quantum Information Physics: The Peres Conjecture is False

November 5, 2014 4:08 pm | by Université de Genève | News | Comments

Since 1999, the conjecture by Asher Peres, who invented quantum teleportation, has piqued the interest of many scientists in the field. According to his hypothesis, the weakest form of quantum entanglement can never result in the strongest manifestation of the phenomenon. Today, scientists have proven this conjecture to be false, thus solving one of the most famous problems in quantum information physics.

COMSOL Multiphysics 5.0

COMSOL Multiphysics 5.0

November 4, 2014 1:59 pm | Comsol, Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

COMSOL Multiphysics 5.0 is an interactive environment for modeling and simulating scientific and engineering problems. Any COMSOL Multiphysics model can be turned into an application with its own interface using the tools provided with the Application Builder desktop environment.

The 15 boxes in this image show the simulated intensity of spin excitations in 15 iron-based materials, including iron compounds that are high-temperature superconductors (images d–h). The x axis shows the momentum of the spin excitation in selected locat

Spin Dynamics: Computational Model Predicts Superconductivity

November 4, 2014 1:52 pm | by Katie Elyce Jones, Oak Ridge National Laboratory | News | Comments

Researchers studying iron-based superconductors are combining novel electronic structure algorithms with the high-performance computing power of the Department of Energy’s Titan supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to predict spin dynamics, or the ways electrons orient and correlate their spins in a material.

Fabiola Gianotti, pictured here at the ATLAS detector, will be CERN's next Director-General. Her five-year mandate will begin on January 1, 2016.  Courtesy of Claudia Marcelloni/CERN

CERN Council Names First Female Director-General

November 4, 2014 11:51 am | by CERN | News | Comments

At its 173rd Closed Session on November 4, 2014, the CERN Council selected Italian physicist, Dr. Fabiola Gianotti, as the Organization’s next Director-General. The appointment will be formalized at the December session of Council, and Gianotti’s mandate will begin on January 1, 2016, and run for a period of five years. The Council rapidly converged in favor of Gianotti.

The effectiveness of current laser-propulsion techniques is limited by the instability of supersonic gas flow, caused by shock waves that “choke” the inlet of the nozzle, reducing thrust. Those effects can be reduced with the help of laser ablation, redir

Supersonic Laser-propelled Rockets may Enable Aircraft to Exceed Mach 10

October 31, 2014 2:21 pm | by The Optical Society | News | Comments

Scientists and science fiction writers alike have dreamed of aircrafts that are propelled by beams of light rather than conventional fuels. Now, a new method for improving the thrust generated by such laser-propulsion systems may bring them one step closer to practical use. A new system integrates a laser-ablation propulsion system with the gas blasting nozzles of a spacecraft. 

Discrete bands of superconductivity: A diagram depicts unpaired spin up electrons congregating in discrete bands.

New Evidence for Exotic, Predicted Superconducting State

October 29, 2014 10:07 am | by Brown University | News | Comments

Superconductors and magnetic fields do not usually get along. But a research team has produced new evidence for an exotic superconducting state, first predicted a half-century ago, that can indeed arise when a superconductor is exposed to a strong magnetic field.

The Large Hadron Collider at CERN, a European research organization that operates the world’s largest particle physics laboratory.

Understanding the Balance of Matter and Antimatter

October 28, 2014 2:03 pm | by Rob Enslin, Syracuse University | News | Comments

Physicists have made important discoveries regarding Bs meson particles — something that may explain why the universe contains more matter than antimatter. At CERN, Stone and his research team have studied two landmark experiments that took place at Fermilab, a high-energy physics laboratory near Chicago, in 2009. 

A Google executive has broken the sound barrier and set several skydiving records over the southern New Mexico desert after taking a leap from the edge of space.

Supersonic Skydiver: Google Exec Sets Records with Leap from Near-Space

October 24, 2014 4:54 pm | by AP | News | Comments

A Google executive has broken the sound barrier and set several skydiving records over the southern New Mexico desert after taking a leap from the edge of space. Alan Eustace's supersonic jump from a high-altitude, helium-filled balloon is part of a project by Paragon Space Development and its Stratospheric Explorer team. The goal is to develop a self-contained commercial spacesuit that would allow people to explore the stratosphere.

High in the atmosphere of Titan, large patches of two trace gases glow near the north pole, on the dusk side of the moon, and near the south pole, on the dawn side. Brighter colors indicate stronger signals from the two gases, HNC (left) and HC3N (right);

Astrochemists Discover Titan Glows at Dusk and Dawn

October 24, 2014 3:49 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

New maps of Saturn’s moon Titan reveal large patches of trace gases shining brightly near the north and south poles. These regions are curiously shifted off the poles, to the east or west, so that dawn is breaking over the southern region while dusk is falling over the northern one.

To carry out their work, the team was awarded resources on two world-class supercomputers — HeCTOR at the University of Edinburgh and Abel at the University of Oslo — which were made available through PRACE.

Imaging Extremely Distant Galaxies to Create New Window on Early Universe

October 23, 2014 3:18 pm | by University of Bonn | News | Comments

Scientists at the Universities of Bonn and Cardiff see good times approaching for astrophysicists after hatching a new observational strategy to distill detailed information from galaxies at the edge of the Universe. Using two world-class supercomputers, the researchers were able to demonstrate the effectiveness of their approach by simulating the formation of a massive galaxy at the dawn of cosmic time.

Found near the ocean floor and beneath Arctic permafrost, methane hydrate is an icy substance that burns when lit and holds vast amounts of potential energy. Courtesy of USGS

$58 Million Effort to Study Potential New Energy Source, Fire and Ice

October 23, 2014 3:10 pm | by The University of Texas at Austin | News | Comments

A research team has been awarded approximately $58 million to analyze deposits of frozen methane under the Gulf of Mexico that hold enormous potential to increase the world’s energy supply. The grant, one of the largest ever awarded to the university, will allow researchers to advance scientific understanding of methane hydrate, a substance found in abundance beneath the ocean floor and under Arctic permafrost.

Set up of the experiment showing the orthogonal side illumination  © Vetlugin et al.

Quantum Holograms could become Quantum Information Memory

October 22, 2014 12:22 pm | by Springer | News | Comments

Russian scientists have developed a theoretical model of quantum memory for light, adapting the concept of a hologram to a quantum system. The authors demonstrate for the first time that it is theoretically possible to retrieve, on demand, a given portion of the stored quantized light signal of a holographic image — set in a given direction in a given position in time sequence.

A sketch (not to scale) showing axions (blue) streaming out from the Sun, converting in the Earth's magnetic field (red) into X-rays (orange), which are then detected by the XMM-Newton observatory.  Copyright: University of Leicester

Dark Matter: Inexplicable Signal from Unseen Universe Provides Tantalizing Clue

October 17, 2014 12:08 pm | by University of Leicester | News | Comments

A cutting-edge paper has provided the first potential indication of direct detection of Dark Matter — something that has been a mystery in physics for over 30 years. Space scientists at the University of Leicester have detected a curious signal in the X-ray sky — one that provides a tantalizing insight into the nature of mysterious Dark Matter.

This image provided by Oculus shows a new prototype of its virtual reality headset. The hew headset features a higher resolution and refresh rate, 360-degree head tracking and integrated headphones. (AP Photo/Oculus)

Smithsonian Honors Founder of Virtual Reality Firm Oculus

October 17, 2014 11:03 am | by AP | News | Comments

The founder of virtual reality firm Oculus and singer Rosanne Cash and are among those who were honored with American Ingenuity Awards at the Smithsonian Institution, along with eight other scientists and scholars for their groundbreaking work. Washingtonian magazine has described the event as the “Golden Globes of Intellect.”

This artist's concept shows NASA's Mars orbiters lining up behind the Red Planet for their "duck and cover" maneuver to shield them from comet dust that may result from the close flyby of comet Siding Spring. Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech

Science Fleet Prepares for Mars Comet Encounter

October 15, 2014 3:24 pm | by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory | News | Comments

NASA's extensive fleet of science assets, particularly those orbiting and roving Mars, have front row seats to image and study a once-in-a-lifetime comet flyby on October 19, 2014. Comet C/2013 A1, also known as comet Siding Spring, will pass within about 87,000 miles (139,500 kilometers) of the Red Planet — less than half the distance between Earth and our moon and less than one-tenth the distance of any known comet flyby of Earth.

The University of Washington’s current fusion experiment, HIT-SI3. It is about one-tenth the size of the power-producing dynomak concept. Courtesy of U of Washington

Fusion Reactor could be Cheaper than Coal

October 15, 2014 3:19 pm | by Michelle Ma, University of Washington | News | Comments

Fusion energy almost sounds too good to be true — zero greenhouse gas emissions, no long-lived radioactive waste, a nearly unlimited fuel supply. Perhaps the biggest roadblock to adopting fusion energy is that the economics haven’t penciled out. University of Washington engineers hope to change that.

Leonardo Sagnotti, standing, and coauthor Giancarlo Scardia collecting a sample for paleomagnetic analysis.

Earth’s Magnetic Field could Flip within a Human Lifetime

October 15, 2014 3:09 pm | by Robert Sanders, University of California, Berkeley | News | Comments

Imagine the world waking up one morning to discover that all compasses pointed south instead of north. It’s not as bizarre as it sounds. Earth’s magnetic field has flipped — though not overnight — many times throughout the planet’s history. A new study demonstrates that the last magnetic reversal 786,000 years ago actually happened very quickly, in less than 100 years — roughly a human lifetime.

Artist impression of an electron wave function (blue), confined in a crystal of silicon-28 atoms (black), controlled by a nanofabricated metal gate (silver). Courtesy of Dr. Stephanie Simmons/UNSW

New Records: Qubits Process Quantum Data with More than 99% Accuracy

October 14, 2014 4:04 pm | by UNSW Australia | News | Comments

Two research teams have found distinct solutions to a critical challenge that has held back the realization of super powerful quantum computers. The teams, working in the same laboratories at UNSW Australia, created two types of quantum bits, or "qubits" — the building blocks for quantum computers — that each process quantum data with an accuracy above 99 percent.

Named Ds3*(2860)ˉ, the particle, a new type of meson, was discovered by analyzing data collected with the LHCb detector at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Courtesy of the Science and Technology Facilities Council

New Subatomic Particle Sheds Light on Fundamental Force of Nature

October 13, 2014 12:24 pm | by University of Warwick | News | Comments

The discovery of a new particle will “transform our understanding” of the fundamental force of nature that binds the nuclei of atoms, researchers argue. Led by scientists from the University of Warwick, the discovery of the new particle will help provide greater understanding of the strong interaction, the fundamental force of nature found within the protons of an atom’s nucleus.

Haunting Image of Jack-O-Lantern Sun -- Courtesy of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO

NASA Captures Haunting Image of Jack-O-Lantern Sun

October 13, 2014 10:36 am | by Karen Fox (ASI), NASA | News | Comments

On October 8, 2014, active regions on the sun combined to look something like a jack-o-lantern’s face. This image is a blend of 171 and 193 angstrom light as captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory. The active regions appear brighter, because those are areas that emit more light and energy — markers of an intense and complex set of magnetic fields hovering in the sun’s atmosphere, the corona.

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