On April 25, 1990, astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery deployed the Hubble Space Telescope into Earth orbit and launched a new era of astronomical discovery. In its quarter-century in orbit, the world’s first space telescope has transformed our understanding of our solar system and beyond. Now, 25 years later, organizations around the world are joining in a celebration of this remarkable observatory.
How is lightning initiated in thunderclouds? This is difficult to answer — how do you measure...
Astronomers may have found "the largest individual structure ever identified by humanity." In...
If you’re designing a new computer, you want it to solve problems as fast as possible. Just how fast is possible is an open question when it comes to quantum computers, but physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have narrowed the theoretical limits for where that “speed limit” is.
Part of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field – the world's second largest contiguous extrapolar ice field – and two lakes are pictured in this image of Argentina’s Los Glaciares National Park. The park was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1981, is situated in the area around Lake Viedma and the country’s largest freshwater Lake Argentino.
Physicists have developed techniques that enable them to simulate high-speed impacts in artificial soil and sand in the lab, and then watch what happens underground close-up, in super slow motion. They report that materials like soil and sand actually get stronger when they are struck harder.
A new technology in development has the potential to revolutionize the sourcing of renewable energy from rivers.
As we approach the miniaturization limits of conventional electronics, alternatives to silicon-based transistors — the building blocks of the multitude of electronic devices we’ve come to rely on — are being hotly pursued. Inspired by the way living organisms have evolved in nature to perform complex tasks with remarkable ease, a group of researchers is exploring similar “evolutionary” methods to create information processing devices.
Researchers have long believed that supercomputers give universities a competitive edge in scientific research, but now they have some hard data showing it’s true. A Clemson University team found that universities with locally available supercomputers were more efficient in producing research in critical fields than universities that lacked supercomputers.
Legions of viruses that infect the leaves of tobacco plants could be the key to making power plants safer, heating and cooling buildings more efficient and “really kick-ass computers,” or to the liquid cooling of high-powered electronic devices, like radar systems. These tiny protein bundles, which were once a threat to a staple cash crop, are now helping researchers better understand the processes of boiling and condensation.
The core circuits of quantum teleportation, which generate and detect quantum entanglement, have been successfully integrated into a photonic chip by an international team of scientists from the universities of Bristol, Tokyo, Southampton and NTT Device Technology Laboratories. These results pave the way to developing ultra-high-speed quantum computers and strengthening the security of communication.
The world's most powerful particle accelerator began its second act on April 5. After two years of upgrades and repairs, proton beams once again circulated around the Large Hadron Collider, located at the CERN laboratory near Geneva. With the collider back in action, the more than 1,700 U.S. scientists are prepared to join thousands of their international colleagues to study the highest-energy particle collisions ever achieved.
The phenomenon called aurora borealis in the Northern Hemisphere, and aurora australis in the Southern Hemisphere, is a dance of particles and magnetism between the Sun and Earth. Scientists hope that, by amassing data from thousands of aurora-viewers, they'll learn more about the solar storms that can disrupt or destroy Earth's communications networks and affect the planet's navigation, pipeline, electrical and transportation systems.
Physicists at the Universities of Bonn and Cambridge have succeeded in linking two completely different quantum systems to one another. In doing so, they have taken an important step forward on the way to a quantum computer.
Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are using supercomputing resources at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility, a DOE Office of Science User Facility, to shed light on the mysterious nature of high-temperature superconductors. With critical temperatures ranging from 30 Kelvin to 130 Kelvin, this relatively new class of superconductors is high-temperature in name only.
Supercomputer Calculates Mass Difference between Neutron and Proton, confirms Theory of Strong InteractionMarch 30, 2015 2:45 pm | by Forschungszentrum Jülich | News | Comments
The fact that the neutron is slightly more massive than the proton is the reason why atomic nuclei have exactly those properties that make our world and ultimately our existence possible. Eighty years after the discovery of the neutron, a team of physicists has finally calculated the tiny neutron-proton mass difference. The findings confirm the theory of the strong interaction.
Electromagnetic radiation – it might sound like something that you’d be better off avoiding, but electromagnetic waves of various kinds underpin our senses and how we interact with the world – from the light emissions through which your eyes perceive these words, to the microwaves that carry the Wi-Fi signal to your laptop or phone on which you’re reading it.
The team in charge of NASA's Kepler mission, responsible for history's first detection of Earth-sized planets orbiting other suns in their temperate "habitable zone," received the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's highest group honor at a ceremony in Washington on March 25. Kepler was awarded the 2015 Trophy for Current Achievement, which honors outstanding endeavors in the fields of aerospace science and technology.
A 60-year-old math problem first put forward by Nobel laureate Enrico Fermi has been solved. In 1955, a team of scientists led by Fermi used a computer for the first time to try to solve a numerical experiment. The outcome wasn’t what they were expecting, and the complexity of the problem underpinned the then-new field of non-linear physics and paved the way for six decades of new thinking. Chaos theory is just one of the theories...
During a panel at the South by Southwest Festival, NASA representatives discussed how citizen scientists have made a difference in asteroid hunting and announced the release of a desktop software application developed by NASA. The application is based on an Asteroid Data Hunter-derived algorithm that analyzes images for potential asteroids. It’s a tool that can be used by amateur astronomers and citizen scientists.
Research has demonstrated laser control of quantum states in an ordinary silicon wafer and observation via a conventional electrical measurement. The findings mark a crucial step toward future quantum technologies, which promise to deliver secure communications and superfast computing. The team demonstrated a quantum on/off switching time of about a millionth of a millionth of a second — over a thousand times faster than previous attempts
Albert Einstein is known in popular culture for his famous E = mc2 formula. Scientists know him for revolutionizing physics with his general theory of relativity. But is it possible to know the man behind the big ideas? Yes, thanks to the massive body of written work and correspondence he left behind, which the Einstein Papers Project is dedicated to collecting, editing, translating and publishing.
Breakthrough science requires pioneers. People who combine brilliance with courage, even in the face of daunting opposition. The women who paved the way for modern scientific exploration exemplify this spirit; grappling not only with fundamental questions of the universe, but with discrimination and societal constraints that often stripped them of scientific credit.
All in Villarrica National Park is not as it seems. One of Chile's most active volcanos rises above a lake and town of the same name 470 miles south of Santiago. The scene is usually tranquil, allowing guided ascents to Villarrica's summit, magnets for tourists from around the world. However, at 3 a.m. on March 3, 2015, Villarrica blew its top in a spectacular fire fountain.
NASA launched four identical spacecraft March 12, 2015, on a billion-dollar mission to study the explosive give-and-take of the Earth and sun's magnetic fields. The unmanned Atlas rocket — and NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale spacecraft — soared into a clear late-night sky, right on time. Within two hours, all four observatories were flying free.
Scientists will soon debut the blockbuster sequel to the so-called Big Bang Machine, which already found the elusive Higgs Boson. They're promising nearly twice the energy and far more violent particle crashes this time around.
To humor mathematicians, picture a pile of sand grains — say, a billion — in one square of a vast sheet of graph paper. If four or more grains occupy a single square, that square topples by sending one grain to each of its four neighboring squares. Keep zooming out so the squares become very small, and something strange happens — the sand still “remembers” that it used to live on a square lattice, and a distinctive pattern emerges.
An e-pi-c day is coming! On 3.14.15 at 9:26:53; the date/time will correspond to the first 10 digits of the mathematical constant pi (3.141592653). This happens only once per century — a truly once-in-a-lifetime event for most people.
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