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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.

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...

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...

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...

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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).

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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.

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. 

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.

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