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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.

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...

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...

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...

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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.

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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.

Results confirm the time dilation predicted for high velocities in the theory of relativity with an accuracy that has never before been achieved. Furthermore, the team provided the first direct proof of a spectral line in highly charged bismuth ions.

Physics Fundamentals Confirmed: Testing Einstein’s Time Dilation, Quantum Electrodynamics

October 9, 2014 1:56 pm | by Technische Universität Darmstadt | News | Comments

The special theory of relativity of Albert Einstein and quantum electrodynamics, which was formulated by, among others, Richard Feynman, are two important fundaments of modern physics. The research group of Wilfried Nörtershäuser re-examined these theories in experiments at the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research. Nörtershäuser’s team has accelerated ions to velocities near the speed of light and illuminated them with a laser.

Artist's impression: Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF

Astronomers See Right into Heart of Exploding Star

October 9, 2014 12:43 pm | by University of Manchester | News | Comments

An international team of astronomers has been able to see into the heart of an exploding star, by combining data from telescopes that are hundreds or even thousands of kilometers apart. Highly-detailed images produced using radio telescopes from across Europe and America have pinpointed the locations where a stellar explosion (called a nova), emitted gamma rays (extremely high energy radiation).

This year’s Nobel Laureates are rewarded for having invented a new energy-efficient and environment-friendly light source — the blue light-emitting diode (LED).

Nobel Prize in Physics Awarded

October 7, 2014 1:57 pm | by Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences | News | Comments

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2014 to Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura “for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources.”

In this December 16, 2008 photo, American physicist, and Nobel laureate Martin L. Perl, speaks at a Science Conclave at the Indian Institute of Information Technology in Allahabad, IN. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

Nobel-winning Physicist Martin Perl Dies at Age 87

October 6, 2014 3:16 pm | by AP | News | Comments

Martin Perl, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist from Stanford University who discovered a subatomic particle known as the tau lepton, has died at age 87. The university said the retired professor, one of two American scientists who shared the Nobel Prize for physics in 1995, died at Stanford Hospital on September 30, 2014. He was recognized for work he did during the 1970s at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center.

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Quantum Entanglement Made Tangible

October 5, 2014 11:46 pm | by Nik Papageorgiou | News | Comments

EPFL scientists have designed a first-ever experiment for demonstrating quantum entanglement in the macroscopic realm. Unlike other such proposals, the experiment is relatively easy to set up and run with existing semiconductor devices. Interest in entanglement is increasing today, as it challenges the foundations of quantum mechanics itself.

A Purdue-based startup is developing high-temperature "plasmonic metamaterials" that could dramatically increase data-storage capabilities, improve solar-cell and waste-heat recovery performance and provide a new avenue for clinical therapeutics.

Plasmonics Advances Optics, Improves Data-storage, Solar Cell Performance

October 3, 2014 2:26 pm | by Purdue University | News | Comments

A Purdue-based startup is developing high-temperature "plasmonic metamaterials" that could dramatically increase data-storage capabilities, improve solar-cell and waste-heat recovery performance and provide a new avenue for clinical therapeutics.

Where are the quantum computers? Aren’t they supposed to be speeding up decryption and internet searches? After two decades of research, you still can’t find them in stores. Well, it took two decades or more of research dedicated to semiconductors and cir

Quantum Environmentalism

October 3, 2014 2:13 pm | by The Joint Quantum Institute | News | Comments

Where are the quantum computers? Aren’t they supposed to be speeding up decryption and internet searches? After two decades of research, you still can’t find them in stores. Well, it took two decades or more of research dedicated to semiconductors and circuit integration before we had digital computers. For quantum computers too it will take technology more time to catch up to the science.

Scientists are to turn the Moon into a giant particle detector to help understand the origin of Ultra-High-Energy (UHE) cosmic rays — the most energetic particles in the Universe.

Cosmic Particles Detected by the Moon

October 2, 2014 4:00 pm | by University of Southhampton | News | Comments

Scientists are to turn the Moon into a giant particle detector to help understand the origin of Ultra-High-Energy (UHE) cosmic rays — the most energetic particles in the Universe.                    

By combining a pair of solar cells made with a mineral called perovskite and low cost electrodes, scientists have obtained a 12.3 percent conversion efficiency from solar energy to hydrogen, a record using earth-abundant materials as opposed to rare metal

Cheap Hydrogen Fuel from the Sun – Without Rare Metals

September 29, 2014 4:14 pm | by EPFL | News | Comments

By combining a pair of solar cells made with a mineral called perovskite and low cost electrodes, scientists have obtained a 12.3 percent conversion efficiency from solar energy to hydrogen, a record using earth-abundant materials as opposed to rare metals. 

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Magnetic states at oxide interfaces controlled by electricity. Top image shows magnetic state with -3 volts applied, and bottom image shows nonmagnetic state with 0 volts applied.

New Discovery Could Pave the Way for Spin-based Computing

September 26, 2014 11:12 am | by University of Pittsburgh | News | Comments

Electricity and magnetism rule our digital world. Semiconductors process electrical information, while magnetic materials enable long-term data storage. A University of Pittsburgh research team has discovered a way to fuse these two distinct properties in a single material, paving the way for new ultrahigh density storage and computing architectures.

Fusion research simulated with supercomputers. Courtesy of KTH PDC

Computationally Intensive Research to get Boost, Break Petaflop Barrier

September 26, 2014 10:21 am | by KTH Royal Institute of Technology | News | Comments

Computationally intensive research in Sweden will soon get a boost from the fastest academic supercomputer in the Nordic countries, to be installed in October 2014 at KTH Royal Institute of Technology. KTH is due to begin using the fastest academic supercomputer of any university in Scandinavia. A Cray XC30 with 1,676 nodes and a memory of 104.7 terabytes will be installed at KTH’s PDC Center for High Performance Computing.

This solar flare was shot with one of the cameras on the NASA SDO satellite on June 10, 2014. Courtesy of NASA/SDO

Solar Explosions inside a Computer: Predicting Solar Flares

September 25, 2014 4:30 pm | by Barbara Vonarburg, ETH | News | Comments

Strong solar flares can bring down communications and power grids on Earth. By demonstrating how these gigantic eruptions are caused, physicists are laying the foundations for future predictions. The shorter the interval between two explosions in the solar atmosphere, the more likely it is that the second flare will be stronger than the first one.

"Diamond nanothreads" promise extraordinary properties, including strength and stiffness greater than that of today's strongest nanotubes and polymers. The core of the nanothreads is a long, thin strand of carbon atoms arranged just like the fundamental u

Smallest Possible Diamonds Form What may be World’s Strongest Material

September 24, 2014 2:36 pm | by Penn State University | News | Comments

For the first time, scientists have discovered how to produce ultra-thin "diamond nanothreads" that promise extraordinary properties, including strength and stiffness greater than that of today's strongest nanotubes and polymers. The core of the nanothreads is a long, thin strand of carbon atoms arranged just like the fundamental unit of a diamond's structure.

The research center’s first director, Jeff Moulton, will be charged with attracting major research contracts by leveraging the university’s unique strengths in such disciplines as supercomputing, cybersecurity and nanotechnology.

Cyber Research Center Announced at LSU

September 24, 2014 1:52 pm | by Louisiana Economic Development | News | Comments

Governor Jindal and LSU President and Chancellor Alexander announced creation of the LSU Transformational Technology and Cyber Research Center, which will pursue major federal and commercial research projects in applied technology fields, leveraging the university’s unique strengths in such disciplines as supercomputing, cybersecurity and nanotechnology.

Bernie Spang is Vice President of Software Defined Strategy at IBM.

Scientific Research and Big Data: It Starts with Storage

September 24, 2014 11:52 am | by Bernie Spang, IBM | Blogs | Comments

For centuries, scientific research has been about data, and as data in research continues to grow exponentially, so does the importance of how it’s stored. A key example of how the scientific field can tackle Big Data storage is DESY, a scientific research organization dedicated to providing scientists worldwide faster access to insights into samples, making optimal data management in a high-volume environment extremely critical.

The flux of cosmic ray particles as a function of their energy. Courtesy of Sven Lafebre

Latest Measurements Unveil New Territories in Flux of Cosmic Rays

September 23, 2014 4:17 pm | by CERN | News | Comments

The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer collaboration has presented its latest results based on analysis of 41 billion particles detected with the space-based AMS detector aboard the International Space Station. The results, presented during a seminar at CERN, provide new insights into the nature of the mysterious excess of positrons observed in the flux of cosmic rays. 

Graphic representation of a seaborgium hexacarbonyl molecule on the silicon dioxide covered detectors of a COMPACT detector array. Courtesy of Alexander Yakushev (GSI) / Christoph E. Düllmann (JGU)

Chemistry of Superheavy Elements: New Vistas for Studying Effects of Einstein's Relativity

September 23, 2014 3:27 pm | by Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz | News | Comments

An international collaboration has achieved the synthesis of a new class of chemical compounds for superheavy elements. For the first time, a chemical bond was established between a superheavy element — seaborgium (element 106) in the present study — and a carbon atom.

Crystals that contain the information of light after the teleportation. © GAP, University of Geneva (UNIGE)

From Light into Matter, Nothing Seems to Stop Quantum Teleportation

September 22, 2014 3:05 pm | by University of Geneva | News | Comments

Physicists have succeeded in teleporting the quantum state of a photon to a crystal over 25 kilometers of optical fiber. The experiment constitutes a first, and simply pulverizes the previous record of 6 kilometers achieved 10 years ago by the same team. Passing from light into matter, using teleportation of a photon to a crystal, shows that, in quantum physics, it's not the composition of a particle that is important, but rather its state

Described by The Washington Post as "the single best explainer of abstruse concepts in the world today," Brian Greene is one of the world's leading theoretical physicists and a brilliant, entertaining communicator of cutting-edge scientific concepts.

Physicist and Best-selling author Brian Greene to Keynote SC14

September 22, 2014 2:13 pm | by SC14 | News | Comments

Physicist, string theorist and best-selling author Brian Greene will talk about the intersection of science, computing and society as he delivers the keynote address at SC14 this November. Described by The Washington Post as "the single best explainer of abstruse concepts in the world today," Brian Greene is one of the world's leading theoretical physicists and a brilliant, entertaining communicator of cutting-edge scientific concepts.

This mosaic of images from the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile shows two dramatic star formation regions in the southern Milky Way. The first is of these, on the left, is dominated by the star cl

Spectacular Landscape of Star Formation

September 22, 2014 11:51 am | by European Southern Observatory - ESO | News | Comments

This image, captured by the Wide Field Imager at La Silla Observatory, shows two dramatic star formation regions in the southern Milky Way. The first of these, on the left, is dominated by the star cluster NGC 3603, located 20,000 light-years away, in the Carina-Sagittarius spiral arm of the Milky Way galaxy. The second object, on the right, is a collection of glowing gas clouds known as NGC 3576 that lies only about half as far from Earth.

Liquid metals normally form a spherical shape due to their large surface tension. By applying a small voltage to the metal in water, a surface oxide forms on the surface of the metal and lowers the surface tension. Reversing the bias can remove the oxide

Researchers Control Movement of Liquid Metals with Less than One Volt

September 19, 2014 4:56 pm | by North Carolina State University | News | Comments

Researchers have developed a technique for controlling the surface tension of liquid metals by applying very low voltages, opening the door to a new generation of reconfigurable electronic circuits, antennas and other technologies. The technique hinges on the fact that the oxide “skin” of the metal — which can be deposited or removed — acts as a surfactant, lowering the surface tension between the metal and the surrounding fluid.

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