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Astronomers use Cosmic Gravity to Create Black Hole Scope

July 6, 2015 12:02 pm | by ESA | News | Comments

The Integral, Fermi and Swift space observatories have used the magnifying power of a cosmic lens to explore the inner regions of a supermassive black hole. Researchers used a star sitting between their target and Earth to ‘zoom in’ to the black hole and measure the size of the jet-emitting region — the first time this method has ever been used with gamma rays

Stories You Shouldn’t Miss — June 26-July 2

July 2, 2015 11:55 am | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | News | Comments

Heading into the Independence Day weekend, materials that compute — what your clothes may say...

Quantum Entanglement Method Vastly Increases How Much Data can be carried in a Photon

July 1, 2015 3:03 pm | by Matthew Chin, UCLA | News | Comments

A team of researchers led by UCLA electrical engineers has demonstrated a new way to harness...

Sandia's Z Machine helps solve Saturn's 2-billion-year Age Gap

June 29, 2015 1:50 pm | by Sandia National Labs | News | Comments

Planets tend to cool as they get older, but Saturn is hotter than astrophysicists say it should...

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Are you a Tau-ist? Pi Day is Under Attack

Stories You Shouldn’t Miss — June 19-25

June 26, 2015 12:41 pm | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | News | Comments

As we entered our first week of summer, the week’s biggest hits included a strong bent toward several “lighter” mathematical topics: learning how math drives Formula 1 and launches Angry Birds, inspiring young minds at MoMATH, and Pi Day under attack. You also won’t want to miss molecules exhibiting strange, exotic states, hot lava flows on Venus, and some of the coolest experimental technology showcased at this year’s Paris Air Show.

Black hole with stellar companion

Monster Black Hole wakes after 26 Years

June 25, 2015 9:56 am | by ESA | News | Comments

Over the past week, ESA's Integral satellite has been observing an exceptional outburst of high-energy light produced by a black hole that is devouring material from its stellar companion. X-rays and gamma rays point to some of the most extreme phenomena in the Universe, such as stellar explosions, powerful outbursts and black holes feasting on their surroundings.

Jill M. Hruby was named the next president and director of Sandia National Laboratories, the country’s largest national lab, on June 22, 2015. When she steps into her new role July 17, she will be the first woman to lead a national security laboratory. A

Jill Hruby will be First Woman to Lead National Security Lab

June 25, 2015 8:34 am | by Sandia National Laboratories | News | Comments

Jill Hruby was named the next president and director of Sandia National Laboratories, the country’s largest national lab. When she steps into her new role July 17, she will be the first woman to lead a national security laboratory. A Sandia staff member and manager for the past 32 years, Hruby most recently oversaw Sandia efforts in nuclear, biological and chemical security, homeland security, counterterrorism and energy security.

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LISA Pathfinder Electrode Housing Box -- Courtesy of CGS SpA -- Click to enlarge

Best Free-fall Ever: LISA Pathfinder Electrode Housing Box

June 24, 2015 1:56 pm | by ESA | News | Comments

This photo, suggestive of an old-fashioned lift cage, shows a much smaller enclosure: an electrode housing box that will fly on ESA’s LISA Pathfinder mission. The inside measures 5.5 centimeters on each side. The mission is a technology demonstrator that will pave the way for future space-based observatories measuring gravitational waves — ripples in the fabric of space-time predicted by Einstein’s general theory of relativity.

After a year in orbit, the three Swarm satellites have provided a first glimpse inside Earth and started to shed new light on the dynamics of the upper atmosphere — all the way from the ionosphere about 100 kilometers above, through to the outer reaches o

Swarm Satellites begin to Untangle Magnetic Complexity

June 23, 2015 10:18 am | by ESA | News | Comments

After a year in orbit, the three Swarm satellites have provided a first glimpse inside Earth and started to shed new light on the dynamics of the upper atmosphere — all the way from the ionosphere through to the outer reaches of our protective magnetic shield. Swarm is tasked with measuring and untangling the different magnetic signals that stem from Earth’s core, mantle, crust, oceans, ionosphere and magnetosphere.

This graphic representation shows how three active sources cloak an incoming circular wave (like ripples from a stone dropped in water), creating a quiet zone for the object to be cloaked. This is just for one frequency. Courtesy of Fernando Guevara Vasqu

Mathematicians Play Key Role in Developing Multi-Frequency Cloaking

June 23, 2015 9:47 am | by NSF | News | Comments

The idea of cloaking and rendering something invisible hit the small screen in 1966 when a Romulan Bird of Prey made an unseen, surprise attack on the Starship Enterprise. Not only did it make for a good storyline, it inspired budding scientists, offering a window of technology's potential. Today, pop culture has embraced the idea of hiding behind force fields, and mathematicians are looking at transforming science fiction into science.

Researchers used high-resolution microscopy to examine owl feathers in fine detail. They observed that the flight feathers on an owl’s wing have a downy covering, which resembles a forest canopy when viewed from above. In addition to this fluffy canopy, o

How Owls could help make Computer Fans Quieter

June 20, 2015 9:46 am | by University of Cambridge | News | Comments

A newly-designed material, which mimics the wing structure of owls, could help make wind turbines, computer fans and even planes much quieter. Early wind tunnel tests of the coating have shown a substantial reduction in noise without any noticeable effect on aerodynamics.

Planes you can park in your garage. Satellites that fit in your backpack.  Some of the coolest experimental technology showcased at this year’s Paris Air Show is about thinking small — though it's easy to get distracted by the huge aircraft performing ove

Hits at Paris Air Show: Vertical Lift-off, Tiny Satellites

June 20, 2015 9:18 am | by Maggy Donaldson, Associated Press | News | Comments

Planes you can park in your garage. Satellites that fit in your backpack. Some of the coolest experimental technology showcased at this year’s Paris Air Show is about thinking small — though it's easy to get distracted by the huge aircraft performing overhead, from thundering fighter jets to the surprising near-vertical liftoff of a Boeing passenger jet. These innovative ideas may change the way we travel, wage wars or explore space.

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Tapping at mobile phone games, waking up to sunlight on a pleasant morning or watching a Formula One race — such experiences are at the heart of modern life, and mathematics is working behind the scenes on all of them. Math is also used in many discipline

Free Online Course to teach how Math drives Formula One and launches Angry Birds

June 20, 2015 8:54 am | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | Blogs | Comments

Tapping at mobile phone games, waking up to sunlight on a pleasant morning or watching a Formula One race — such experiences are at the heart of modern life, and mathematics is working behind the scenes on all of them. Math is also used in many disciplines — from economics to engineering, biology to geography. But many of us struggle with math, and find formulas and theories difficult to grasp. A free online course could help.

Applied Mathematician Theorizes what Happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

Stories You Shouldn’t Miss — June 12-18

June 19, 2015 2:35 pm | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | News | Comments

The top most-visited stories of the past week included an amazing image of Jupiter’s second largest moon, solving billions of equations in just minutes, relief and delight as Philae woke up, Einstein saving the Quantum Cat, a fundamental change in wireless communications, a 40-year-old algorithm problem put to rest, news that a black hole’s surface is no deadly firewall, and an applied mathematician’s theory on MA flight 370.

Researchers have successfully cooled a gas of sodium potassium (NaK) molecules to a temperature of 500 nanokelvin. In this artist's illustration, the NaK molecule is represented with frozen spheres of ice merged together: the smaller sphere on the left re

Near Absolute Zero, Molecules Exhibit Strange, Exotic States of Matter

June 19, 2015 12:00 pm | by Jennifer Chu, MIT | News | Comments

The air around us is a chaotic superhighway of molecules whizzing through space and constantly colliding at speeds of hundreds of miles per hour. Such erratic behavior is normal at ambient temperatures. But scientists have long suspected that, if temperatures were to plunge to near absolute zero, they would come to a screeching halt. This more orderly behavior would begin to form very strange, exotic states of matter never observed...

Simulation apps can help organizations in every industry gain better R&D results, while saving both time and money.

It's Time to Revolutionize Simulation with Apps

June 18, 2015 3:40 pm | by Brianne Costa, COMSOL | Blogs | Comments

Throughout history, many revolutions have started with the desire for democracy, and the simulation revolution is no exception. Simulation is an effective way to test the design of a product virtually. It's now evolving into building simulation apps that can be shared across teams, departments and companies. Simulation apps can help organizations in every industry gain better R&D results, while saving both time and money. 

Black Hole Surface is No Deadly Firewall

Black Hole Surface is No Deadly Firewall

June 17, 2015 3:13 pm | by Pam Frost Gorder, Ohio State University | News | Comments

Are black holes the ruthless killers we’ve made them out to be? According to one professor of physics, the recently proposed idea that black holes have “firewalls” that destroy all they touch has a loophole.

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An international team of researchers has discovered traces of methane in Martian meteorites, a possible clue in the search for life on the Red Planet.

Methane Found on Martian Meteorites

June 17, 2015 2:44 pm | by Jim Shelton, Yale University | News | Comments

An international team of researchers has discovered traces of methane in Martian meteorites, a possible clue in the search for life on the Red Planet.

What the Blank Makes Quantum Dots Blink?

What the Blank Makes Quantum Dots Blink?

June 17, 2015 2:18 pm | by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | News | Comments

Quantum dots are nanoparticles of semiconductor that can be tuned to glow in a rainbow of colors. Since their discovery in the 1980s, these remarkable nanoparticles have held out tantalizing prospects for all kinds of new technologies. But there’s a problem: Quantum dots often blink.

Illustration of a molecule in the presence of gravitational time dilation. The molecule is in a quantum superposition of being in several places at the same time, but time dilation destroys this quantum phenomenon Copyright: Igor Pikovski, Harvard-Smithso

Einstein saves the Quantum Cat: Relativity Theory Applicable in other Research Areas

June 16, 2015 12:27 pm | by University of Vienna | News | Comments

Einstein’s theory of time and space will celebrate its 100th anniversary this year. Even today it captures the imagination of scientists. In an international collaboration, researchers have discovered that this world-famous theory can explain yet another puzzling phenomenon: the transition from quantum behavior to our classical, everyday world.

 When he wasn't busy scribbling out the theory of relativity, Albert Einstein seems to have spent a fair amount of time writing letters involving topics such as God, his son's geometry studies, even a little toy steam engine an uncle gave him when he was

27 Einstein Personal Letters on Auction Block

June 11, 2015 8:32 am | by John Rogers, Associated Press | News | Comments

When he wasn't busy scribbling out the theory of relativity, Albert Einstein seems to have spent a fair amount of time writing letters involving topics such as God, his son's geometry studies, even a little toy steam engine an uncle gave him when he was a boy. The Einstein Letters, which include more than two dozen missives, went up for sale at a California-based auction house. Some were in English and others in German.

Manu Prakash, an assistant professor of bioengineering at Stanford, and his students have developed a synchronous computer that operates using the unique physics of moving water droplets. Their goal is to design a new class of computers that can precisely

Computer Operates on Water Droplets

June 9, 2015 10:30 am | by Bjorn Carey, Stanford University | News | Comments

Stanford bioengineer Manu Prakash and his students have developed a synchronous computer that operates using the unique physics of moving water droplets. Computers and water typically don't mix, but in Manu Prakash's lab, the two are one and the same. Prakash, an assistant professor of bioengineering at Stanford, and his students have built a synchronous computer that operates using the unique physics of moving water droplets.

Quieter, greener supersonic travel is the focus of eight studies selected by NASA’s Commercial Supersonic Technology Project to receive more than $2.3 million in funding for research that may help overcome the remaining barriers to commercial supersonic f

Future of Aviation: NASA funds Supersonic Research Projects

June 5, 2015 4:25 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

Quieter, greener supersonic travel is the focus of eight studies selected by NASA’s Commercial Supersonic Technology Project to receive more than $2.3 million in funding for research that may help overcome the remaining barriers to commercial supersonic flight. The research, which will be conducted by universities and industry, will address sonic booms and high-altitude emissions from supersonic jets.

Earthquakes Reveal Deep Secrets beneath East Asia

Stories You Shouldn’t Miss — May 29-June 4

June 5, 2015 3:23 pm | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | News | Comments

Here they are — the top most-visited stories from the past week. A 10-engine battery-powered plane that can take off like a helicopter, fascinating facts about USB OTG, a flexible computing prototype for electronic skin, a detailed look at the "Prostate Cancer Jungle," free Windows 10 upgrades, and an experiment that proves reality does not exist — at least until it is measured — are all among the top hits.

This illustration provided by NASA/JPL/Mark Showalter, SETI Institute depicts Pluto and its five moons from a perspective looking away from the sun. It is adapted from a classic Voyager I montage of Jupiterís Galilean moons, and is intended to highlight s

Solar System's Weirdest Dance Scene: The Moons around Pluto

June 4, 2015 3:45 pm | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

There's a chaotic dance going on at the far end of our solar system, involving Pluto and five of its closest friends, a new study finds. Hubble Space Telescope images of Pluto, its largest moon Charon, and tinier moons Styx, Nix, Hydra and Kerberos show the odd rhythmic gyrations of the six distant objects in a dance unlike anything in our solar system. What makes it so odd is that there's a double set of dances going on.

Researchers are retrofitting the 4-meter Mayall telescope at Kitt Peak in Arizona, adding enormous lenses that give a huge field of view. A set of 5000 optical fibers are used to pick off light from up to 5000 galaxies at a time. The fibers direct light t

Next-gen Experiment will Create Largest 3-D Map of Universe, Help Test Dark Energy Theories

June 4, 2015 9:21 am | by Kate Greene, Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences | News | Comments

For the past several years, scientists at Berkeley Lab have been planning the construction of and developing technologies for a very special instrument that will create the most extensive three-dimensional map of the universe to date. Called DESI for Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument, this project will trace the growth history of the universe. Unprecedented in its size and scope, it will allow scientists to test dark energy theories.

Type Ia supernovae are famous for their consistency. Ironically, new observations suggest that their origins may not be uniform at all. Using a “roadmap” of theoretical calculations and supercomputer simulations, astronomers observed for the first time a

Supernova Hunting with Supercomputers

June 3, 2015 12:36 pm | by Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences | News | Comments

Type Ia supernovae are famous for their consistency. Ironically, new observations suggest that their origins may not be uniform at all. Using a “roadmap” of theoretical calculations and supercomputer simulations, astronomers observed for the first time a flash of light caused by a supernova slamming into a nearby star, allowing them to determine the stellar system from which the supernova was born.

On June 3, 2015, CERN1’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) started delivering physics data for the first time in 27 months. After an almost two-year shutdown and several months re-commissioning, the LHC is now providing collisions to all of its experiments at t

Stable Beams: LHC Experiments Back in Business at Unprecedented Energy of 13 TeV

June 3, 2015 10:13 am | by CERN | News | Comments

On June 3, 2015, CERN’s Large Hadron Collider started delivering physics data for the first time in 27 months. After an almost two-year shutdown and several months re-commissioning, the LHC is now providing collisions to all of its experiments at the unprecedented energy of 13 TeV, almost double the collision energy of its first run. This marks the start of season 2. The LHC will now run round the clock for the next three years.

Physicists Andrew Truscott and Roman Khakimov have conducted John Wheeler's delayed-choice thought experiment, which involves a moving object that is given the choice to act like a particle or a wave. Wheeler's experiment then asks — at which point does t

Experiment proves Reality does not exist until it is Measured

June 2, 2015 2:40 pm | by Australian National University | News | Comments

The bizarre nature of reality as laid out by quantum theory has survived another test, with scientists performing a famous experiment and proving that reality does not exist until it is measured. Physicists have conducted John Wheeler's delayed-choice thought experiment, which involves a moving object given the choice to act like a particle or a wave. Wheeler's experiment then asks — at which point does the object decide?

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