NASA's Curiosity Mars rover used the camera at the end of its arm in April and May 2014 to take dozens of component images combined into this self-portrait where the rover drilled into a sandstone target called "Windjana." The camera is the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI).
Laser physicists have found a way to make atomic-force microscope probes 20 times more sensitive...
IBM announced it is collaborating with DESY, a national research center in Germany, to speed up...
Recently, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics unveiled an unprecedented simulation of the universe’s development. Called the Illustris project, the simulation depicts more than 13 billion years of cosmic evolution across a cube of the universe that’s 350-million-light-years on each side. But why was it important to conduct such a simulation?
New supercomputing calculations provide the first evidence that particles predicted by the theory of quark-gluon interactions, but never before observed, are being produced in heavy-ion collisions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. These heavy strange baryons, containing at least one strange quark, still cannot be observed directly, but instead make their presence known by lowering the temperature at which other baryons "freeze out"
There may be itsy-bitsy aliens among us. Scientists say seven microscopic particles collected by NASA's comet-chasing spacecraft, Stardust, appear to have originated outside our solar system. If confirmed, this would be the world's first sampling of contemporary interstellar dust.
Journalist and scientific organizations accused the EPA of attempting to muzzle its independent scientific advisers by directing them to funnel all outside requests for information through agency officials. In a letter on August 12, 2014, groups representing journalists and scientists urged the EPA to allow advisory board members to talk directly to news reporters, Congress and other outside groups without first asking for permission.
Just about everything you ever wanted to know about quantum simulators is summed up in a new review. As part of a Thematic Series on Quantum Simulations, the open access journal European Physical Journal Quantum Technology has published an overview of just what a quantum simulator is, namely a device that actively uses quantum effects to answer questions on model systems.
Physicists have created a tractor beam on water, providing a radical new technique that could confine oil spills, manipulate floating objects or explain rips at the beach. The group discovered they can control water flow patterns with simple wave generators, enabling them to move floating objects at will. The new technique gives scientists a way of controlling things adrift on water in a way that resembles sci-fi tractor beams.
Using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, a team of astronomers has spotted a star system that could have left behind a "zombie star" after an unusually weak supernova explosion. A supernova typically obliterates the exploding white dwarf, or dying star. On this occasion, scientists believe this faint...
When the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated on re-entry in 2002, sophisticated computer models were key to determining what happened. A piece of foam flew off at launch and hit a tile, damaging the leading edge of the shuttle wing and exposing the underlying structure. Temperatures soared to thousands of degrees as Columbia plunged toward Earth at 27 times the speed of sound, said Gallis, who used NASA codes and Icarus for simulations...
Turning what seemed like a science fiction tale into reality, an unmanned probe swung alongside a comet on august 6, 2014, after a 4-billion mile (6.4-billion kilometer) chase through outer space over the course of a decade. Europe's Rosetta probe will orbit and study the giant ball of dust and ice as it hurtles toward the sun and, if all goes according to plan, drop a lander onto the comet in the coming months.
FLOW-3D 11 features FlowSight, an advanced visualization tool based on the EnSight post-processor, which offers powerful ways to analyze, visualize and communicate simulation data. Its capabilities include the ability to analyze and compare multiple simulation results simultaneously, volume rendering and a CFD calculator, as well as flipbooks.
Supercomputers at NERSC are helping plasma physicists “bootstrap” a potentially more affordable and sustainable fusion reaction. If successful, fusion reactors could provide almost limitless clean energy. To achieve high enough reaction rates to make fusion a useful energy source, hydrogen contained inside the reactor core must be heated to extremely high temperatures, which transforms it into hot plasma.
It goes without saying that Superman can accomplish some pretty spectacular feats. But, according to a group of physics students, the Man of Steel actually achieves the impossible — by breaking the fundamental physics law of conservation of energy. University of Leicester physics students discovered Superman would not be able to get all the energy he needs to fly from the Sun alone, as is suggested in the DC Comics.
Groundskeepers and landscapers hate them, but there is no fighting them. Called desire paths, social trails or goat tracks, they are the unofficial shortcuts people create between two locations when the purpose-built path doesn’t take them where they want to go. There’s a similar concept in classical physics called the “path of least action.”
As the climate warms and sea ice retreats, the North is changing. An ice-covered expanse now has a season of increasingly open water which is predicted to extend across the whole Arctic Ocean before the middle of this century. Storms thus have the potential to create Arctic swell – huge waves that...
Scientists using mission data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft have identified 101 distinct geysers erupting on Saturn's icy moon Enceladus. Their analysis suggests it is possible for liquid water to reach from the moon's underground sea all the way to its surface.
The Cheshire Cat featured in Lewis Caroll’s novel Alice in Wonderland is a remarkable creature: it disappears, leaving its grin behind. Can an object be separated from its properties? It is possible in the quantum world. In an experiment, neutrons travel along a different path than one of their properties — their magnetic moment. This “Quantum Cheshire Cat” could be used to make high-precision measurements less sensitive to external ...
Every trillionth of a second, Panagiotis Grammatikopoulos calculates the location of each individual atom in a particle based on where it is and which forces apply. He uses a computer program to make the calculations, and then animates the motion of the atoms using visualization software. The resulting animation illuminates what happens, atom-by-atom, when two nanoparticles collide.
Physicists have identified the “quantum glue” that underlies a promising type of superconductivity — a crucial step towards the creation of energy superhighways that conduct electricity without current loss. The research is a collaboration between theoretical physicists and experimentalists.
The magnets cluttering the face of your refrigerator may one day be used as cooling agents, according to a new theory. The theory describes the motion of magnons — quasi-particles in magnets that are collective rotations of magnetic moments, or “spins.” In addition to the magnetic moments, magnons also conduct heat; researchers found that when exposed to a magnetic field gradient, magnons may be driven to move from one end of a magnet to...
A new method of building materials using light could one day enable technologies that are often considered the realm of science fiction, such as invisibility cloaks and cloaking devices. Although cloaked starships won't be a reality for quite some time, the technique researchers have developed for constructing materials with building blocks a few billionths of a meter across can be used to control the way light flies through them.
Fifteen years ago, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory was launched into space aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia. Since its deployment, Chandra has helped revolutionize our understanding of the universe through its unrivaled X-ray vision. Chandra, one of NASA's current "Great Observatories," along with the Hubble Space Telescope and Spitzer Space Telescope, is specially designed to detect X-ray emission from hot and energetic regions.
Thanks to NASA's Kepler and Spitzer Space Telescopes, scientists have made the most precise measurement ever of the radius of a planet outside our solar system. The size of the exoplanet, dubbed Kepler-93b, is now known to an uncertainty of just 74 miles (119 kilometers) on either side of the planetary body.
A new home-grown instrument based on bundles of optical fibers is giving Australian astronomers the first 'Google street view' of the cosmos — incredibly detailed views of huge numbers of galaxies. Developed by researchers at the University of Sydney and the Australian Astronomical Observatory, the optical-fiber bundles can sample the light from up to 60 parts of a galaxy, for a dozen galaxies at a time.
String bends, tapping, vibrato and whammy bars are all techniques that add to the distinctiveness of a lead guitarist's sound, whether it's Clapton, Hendrix, or BB King. Now, guitarist and physicist Dr. David Robert Grimes has described the physics underlying these techniques.
Maybe you’ve sat on the lawn, even hung out on the flightline. Now, for the first time since 1997, NASA Ames Research Center is opening their house. An announcement posted on NASA.gov states: “For our 75th anniversary, we're inviting all of the Bay Area and Silicon Valley to come inside the gates and get to know NASA's center in Silicon Valley. Take a two-mile walking tour through the center and visit with Ames engineers and scientists..."
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