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...
Two groups of astronomers have independently discovered a rare planet. The celestial body,...
A team of researchers is exploring new materials that could yield higher computational speeds...
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.
As scientific researchers, we are often surprised by some of the assumptions made about us by those outside our profession. So we put together a list of common myths we and our colleagues have heard anecdotally regarding scientific researchers.
In October 2013, an explosion on the sun’s surface sent a supersonic blast wave of solar wind out into space. This shockwave tore past Mercury and Venus, blitzing by the moon before streaming toward Earth. The shockwave struck a massive blow to the Earth’s magnetic field, setting off a magnetized sound pulse around the planet.
Named after a legendary sea monster, Kraken Mare is believed to be the largest body of liquid on the surface of Saturn's moon Titan. It extends nearly 150,000 square miles across the moon's north-polar region and is made of liquified hydrocarbons. According to a conference presentation given at the 2015 NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts Symposium, NASA hopes to send a submarine to explore the frigid methane sea by 2040.
Elon Musk has built a US$12 billion company in an endeavour to pave the way to Mars for humanity. He insists that Mars is a “long-term insurance policy” for “the light of consciousness” in the face of climate change, extinction events, and our recklessness with technology. On the other hand, astronaut Chris Hadfield is sceptical: “Humanity is not going extinct,” he told me.
Astronomers have their own version of the single person's dilemma: Do you wait by the phone for a call? Or do you make the call yourself and risk getting shot down? Instead of love, of course, astronomers are looking for alien life and, for decades, they have sat by their telescopes waiting to hear from E.T. It didn't happen. Now, some want to beam messages out into the void and invite the closest few thousand worlds to chat or even visit.
The team responsible for the Oscar-nominated visual effects at the center of Christopher Nolan’s epic, Interstellar, have turned science fiction into science fact by providing new insights into the powerful effects of black holes. The team describes innovative computer code used to generate the film’s iconic images of the wormhole, black hole and various celestial objects, and explains how the code has led them to new science discoveries.
A towering figure in physics who helped shape our understanding of the universe, Nobel laureate Val Logsdon Fitch died peacefully February 5, 2015. He was 91. Known for foundational contributions to the standard model of particle physics, Fitch is remembered for his modesty and his kindness as well as for his experiments and insight into the fundamental nature of matter.
Scientists used supercomputers to find a new class of materials that possess an exotic state of matter known as the quantum spin Hall effect. The researchers published their results in the journal Science in December 2014, where they propose a new type of transistor made from these materials.
It's time to study and maybe even test the idea of cooling the Earth by injecting sulfur pollution high in the air to reflect the sun's heat, a first-of-its-kind federal science report said on February 10, 2015. The idea was once considered fringe — to purposely re-engineer the planet's climate as a last ditch effort to battle global warming with an artificial cloud. No longer.
Many challenges lie ahead before quantum annealing, the analog version of quantum computation, contributes to solve combinatorial optimization problems. Traditional computational tools are simply not powerful enough to solve some complex optimization problems, like, for example, protein folding.
Anyone with a computer or a smartphone can register for free live video streaming of Brunel University London’s scientific expedition to the edge of space — more than 100,000 feet — three times higher than the cruise altitude of transatlantic passenger jets. The team is hopeful that the payload will break the 100,000-foot barrier so people will be able to see the curvature of the Earth and the blackness of space in real time.
Top researchers are using mathematical modelling and heavy computations to understand how the brain can both remember and learn. Ten years ago, when the team of Marianne Fyhn and Torkel Hafting Fyhn cooperated with the Nobel Prize winning team of May-Britt and Edvard Moser at NTNU, they discovered the sense of orientation in the brain.
Researchers have created the first transistors made of silicene, the world’s thinnest silicon material. Their research holds the promise of building dramatically faster, smaller and more efficient computer chips.
Small magnetic whirls may revolutionize future data storage and information processing if they can be moved rapidly and reliably in small structures. A team of scientists has now been able to investigate the dynamics of these whirls experimentally.
Ever since Einstein proposed his special theory of relativity, physics and cosmology have been based on the assumption that space looks the same in all directions — that it’s not squeezed in one direction relative to another. A new experiment used partially entangled atoms — identical to the qubits in a quantum computer — to demonstrate more precisely than ever before that this is true, to one part in a billion billion.
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.
Registration is now open for a workshop on “Improving Data Mobility and Management for International Cosmology” to be held February 10-11, 2015, at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. The workshop, one in a series of Cross-Connects workshops, is sponsored the by the Deptartment of Energy’s ESnet and Internet2. Early registration is encouraged, as attendance is limited.
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.
Researchers at Japan’s National Institute for Materials Science revealed that improvements should soon be expected in the manufacture of transistors that can be used to make flexible, paper-thin computer screens.The scientists reviewed the latest developments in research on photoactive organic field-effect transistors; devices that incorporate organic semi-conductors, amplify weak electronic signals, and either emit or receive light.
Suddenly, scientists are sexy. With Benedict Cumberbatch nominated for multiple trophies as Alan Turing and Eddie Redmayne turning heads as Stephen Hawking, young British actors playing scientists are all the rage this season. So, it's good timing for the Royal Shakespeare Company, whose new play, Oppenheimer, features John Heffernan as American scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer, leader of the team that developed the first nuclear weapon.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists says Earth is now closer to human-caused doomsday than it has been in more than 30 years because of global warming and nuclear weaponry. But other experts say that's way too gloomy. The advocacy group, founded by the creators of the atomic bomb, moved their famed "Doomsday Clock" ahead two minutes on January 22, 2015. It said the world is now three minutes from a catastrophic midnight.
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