Physics

Lightning Inside This Ferocious Hurricane Blasted a Beam of Antimatter at Earth

When Hurricane Patricia shredded into the west coast of Mexico in October 2015, it was the strongest Pacific hurricane on record – but something else inside the swirling maelstrom also helped the violent storm make history.   From inside the most intense tropical cyclone recorded in the Western Hemisphere, for the first time ever scientists observed a downward beam of …


Physics

NASA Is About to Create The Coldest Temperature in The Universe, Using Lasers in Space

In the quest for ever-colder temperatures, NASA is sending an apparatus to the International Space Station that will create a spot 10 billion times colder than the vacuum of space.   It’s called the Cold Atom Laboratory, a payload about the size of an ice chest aboard Orbital ATK’s Cygnus rocket, and it will help scientists observe the weird quantum …


Scientists built the world’s fastest water heater, and it sounds totally insane

Forget warming your morning coffee in the microwave; a laser pulse made of X-rays has set a record for heating a few microlitres of water to 100,000 degrees Celsius in 75 millionths of a billionth of a second.   We wouldn’t recommend drinking the plasma, at least not without blowing on it first. But the product could help us better …

Protons contain 10 times more pressure than a neutron star, according to first-ever measurement

In what was once thought to be an impossible task, for the first time physicists have put a figure on the pressure inside a proton – and it’s more impressive than we could have imagined.   By shooting protons with high-energy electrons, researchers have measured the push and pull of the proton’s trio of quarks, providing valuable insights into one …

How to understand Stephen Hawking’s last paper – an expert explains

The late physicist Stephen Hawking made a huge contribution to cosmology during his lifetime, but he didn’t quite manage to resolve all the mysteries of the universe. Now one of the last papers he ever worked on has been published – and it introduces some new ideas about the size and shape of the cosmos. But what does the research …

An experiment with 100,000 gamers just proved Einstein got it wrong about ‘spooky action’

A new study involving more than 100,000 volunteer gamers is the latest to show that quantum entanglement works. It’s a phenomenon Einstein was famously uncertain about, calling it “spooky action at a distance”.   And that description sums it up pretty well – it’s the idea that particles can influence each other when they’re not connected, even over vast distances. …

An experiment with 100,000 gamers just proved Einstein got it wrong about ‘spooky action’

A new study involving more than 100,000 volunteer gamers is the latest to show that quantum entanglement works. It’s a phenomenon Einstein was famously uncertain about, calling it “spooky action at a distance”.   And that description sums it up pretty well – it’s the idea that particles can influence each other when they’re not connected, even over vast distances. …

For the first time, physicists have precisely measured the weak nuclear force

A groundbreaking experiment in physics has for the first time provided a precise measurement of a force between electrons and protons called the weak nuclear force. The value 0.0719 (give or take 0.0045) won’t mean much to most of us, but the way they did it makes way for some exciting possibilities for pushing physics beyond the scope of the …

A sample of weapons-grade plutonium is missing from Idaho, officials announce

Don’t freak out, but a very small speck of weapons-grade plutonium has gone missing from Idaho State University. The specimen in question is 1 gram (0.04 ounces) of plutonium-239 – roughly the weight of a paperclip.   Plutonium was at the core of the Fat Man bomb that was dropped over Nagasaki in 1945, and it doesn’t occur naturally. It …

Physicists built a real quantum Newton’s cradle to study the changes of quantum chaos

To understand the most complex science, sometimes you have to start simple – and a new experiment inspired by a desk toy has revealed solutions to some of the mysteries surrounding quantum physics.   The toy in question is a Newton’s cradle, that carefully balanced row of balls that clack into one another and can keep moving for a lengthy …

Physicists just found time crystals in a common item you can buy at the toy store

Characteristics of mysterious time crystals have been found in the most unexpected place you’d ever think to look – a compound found in fertiliser and those crystal-growing kits you can buy for kids.   That compound is monoammonium phosphate (MAP), and the physicists from Yale who made the discovery are now scratching their heads, because this raises questions about how …

For the first time, scientists have tracked energy flowing through superconducting crystals

Researchers have tracked special interactions between electrons and crystal lattices inside superconducting metals for the first time. It might not sound like much to the casual observer, but it promises to help radically transform the technology of the future – including quantum computers.   Here’s why: superconductors allow electricity to flow through them with zero resistance, transferring currents at faster …

European physicists just tested quantum entanglement in massive atom clouds

From tunnelling through impenetrable barriers to being in two places at the same time, the quantum world of atoms and particles is famously bizarre. Yet the strange properties of quantum mechanics are not mathematical quirks – they are real effects that have been seen in laboratories over and over.   One of the most iconic features of quantum mechanics is …

Einstein’s ‘spooky action’ has just been demonstrated on a massive scale for the first time

For the first time, scientists have managed to show quantum entanglement – which Einstein famously described as “spooky action at a distance” – happening between macroscopic objects, a major step forward in our understanding of quantum physics.   Quantum entanglement links particles in a way that they instantly affect each other, even over vast distances. On the surface, this powerful bond defies …

Human thigh bones make the best bone daggers, in case you were wondering

If you are looking to make a bone dagger – and come on, who isn’t – scientists have your back. In a slightly creepy study, they’ve examined the structural properties of several and determined that the creme de la creme are those made out of human thigh bones.   Bone daggers are a common tool among the people of the …

Here’s the reason you can’t actually walk through walls, according to science

You’ve probably heard that the atoms that make up your body and all other normal matter in the Universe are mostly empty space. That’s actually true – yet we seem solid. Solid enough the elements in our atoms can’t just pass through the empty spaces of other atoms, and vice versa.   You might wish that were the case, but …

Scientists have used graphene to squeeze light into a space smaller than its wavelength

With the help of the increasingly useful material graphene, scientists have managed to confine light into the smallest space possible – the size of a single atom. If light can be locked up so tightly, it opens up all kinds of possibilities for electronics, sensors, and imaging devices in the future, potentially leading to computer chips and laser sensors far …

Scientists find a way to bend and stretch diamond, one of the hardest materials on Earth

Diamond isn’t the first material that springs to mind when it comes to bending and stretching, but scientists have found a way to manipulate one of the hardest minerals on Earth – and it could lead to a slew of technological advances.   Not only is diamond hard, it’s also very brittle. But the new study shows that on the very …

An amateur solved a 60-year-old maths problem about colours that can never touch

Amateur mathematician Aubrey de Grey has stunned the maths world by making the first significant progress in decades towards solving a longstanding riddle – one that’s perplexed mathematical thinkers for over 60 years.   The riddle, called the Hadwiger-Nelson problem, is basically all about untouchable colours, and how many of them – or, rather, how few – can be represented …

Scientists are getting closer to the most accurate clock ever, and they’re using thorium

Experiments with the metal thorium have revealed a strange quirk that could be used in a totally new class of atomic clock, paving the way to a more precise timekeeping method than we’ve ever had before.   Right now, the kinds of high-precision clocks we use to coordinate global positioning satellites are based on striking an electron with just the right amount …

Physicists just broke a quantum record, taking entanglement to a spooky new level

If we want quantum computers, we’re going to need a complex system of quantum entangled particles – particles that are intrinsically linked so that whatever happens to one instantaneously affects another.   That’s a whole lot easier said than done, of course – but a team of physicists has just breached an exciting milestone by creating a 20-bit quantum register. …

If you thought quantum mechanics was weird, check out entangled time

In the summer of 1935, the physicists Albert Einstein and Erwin Schrödinger engaged in a rich, multifaceted and sometimes fretful correspondence about the implications of the new theory of quantum mechanics.   The focus of their worry was what Schrödinger later dubbed entanglement: the inability to describe two quantum systems or particles independently, after they have interacted. Until his death, …

Einstein’s ‘dice of God’ has been used to generate truly random numbers

Locking up super-secret information with digital encryption has become even more secure with the production of numbers that aren’t just ‘nearly random’, but are truly unpredictable in every sense of the word.   Using the data generated by a three-year-old experiment on quantum entanglement, the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently generated codes that are guaranteed to …

Scientists just achieved the world’s most precise chemical reaction

Scientists have just performed the world’s most precisely controlled chemical reaction, sticking together just two atoms from elements that wouldn’t normally form a molecule. The two elements – sodium and caesium – produced an interesting alloy-like molecule. On top of that, this method of creation could set the way of making just the kind of materials we might need in future …

A pattern hidden in the periodic table could lead to the holy grail of superconductors

By applying an algorithm to a strange section of the periodic table of elements, physicists have at last been able to predict which elements could pair up with hydrogen to create a room temperature superconductor – one of the “holy grails” of physics.   That’s incredibly exciting, because finding a material that can conduct electricity with zero resistance at higher …

Here’s how it’s possible to make perfect diamonds in a microwave

Right now, odds are that one in every four diamonds on sale around the world is a blood diamond – mined in a war zone and sold to finance armed conflict and civil war. And for those wanting to steer clear of such a commodity, it’s becoming nearly impossible to figure out the difference between a clean and a dirty …

Physicists just discovered an entirely new type of superconductivity

One of the ultimate goals of modern physics is to unlock the power of superconductivity, where electricity flows with zero resistance at room temperature. Progress has been slow, but physicists have just made an unexpected breakthrough. They’ve discovered a superconductor that works in a way no one’s ever seen before – and it opens the door to a whole world …

New study could provide the best explanation for dark matter to date

Physicists trying to understand the fundamental structure of nature rely on consistent theoretical frameworks that can explain what we see and simultaneously make predictions that we can test.   On the smallest scale of elementary particles, the standard model of particle physics provides the basis of our understanding. On the scale of the cosmos, much of our understanding is based …

A new state of quantum matter has been found in a material scientists thought was all chaos

Experiments carried out on a complex arrangement of magnetic particles have identified a completely new state of matter, and it can only be explained if scientists turn to quantum physics.   The messy structures behind the research show strange properties that could allow us to study the chaos of exotic particles – if researchers can find order in there, it could help …

The latest, most precise measurement of antimatter says the Universe shouldn’t exist

The results of a new comparison between hydrogen’s spectral fingerprints and those of its mirror twin are in, and the news is frustrating – they’re a match right down to just two parts per trillion.   If they turned out to be even a tiny bit different, physicists might at last have a way to explain why our Universe contains …

Scientists are probing the biggest mystery in physics, and the first results are in

Experiments searching for a solution to one of physics’ most perplexing mysteries have recently been delivering their first rounds of results, setting new limits on where we need to look for evidence.   Based on our current understanding of physics, matter shouldn’t exist. The fact it does means something is off in our equations, and scientists are going to some …

How to perfectly boil an egg every single time, according to a quantum physicist

Boiling an egg to perfection sounds like the simplest cooking task in the world, but as anyone who’s boiled an egg knows, you can get surprisingly mixed results. That’s probably because you’re not taking into account all the variables. But if you want the perfect boiled egg every time, quantum physicist Miłosz Panfil has your back.   He’s designed a …

DARPA is researching time crystals, and their reasons are ‘classified’

The US military likes to stay at the forefront of the cutting edge of science – most recently investigating ways they can ‘hack’ the human brain and body to make it die slower, and learn faster.   But in an unexpected twist, it turns out they’re also interested in pushing the limits of quantum mechanics. The Defence Advanced Research Projects …

This strange superconducting material can’t be explained by current theories

At low temperatures, strontium titanate (SrTiO3) is able to conduct electricity without any resistance. The fact it isn’t a metal and can still accomplish this has long been a mystery. Now physicists have their first clues on why it defies current theories on superconducting materials, and it just might set the stage for a revolution in electronics.   New research …

Scientists just made the world’s first diamond maser that operates at room temperature

For the first time, researchers have used diamond to build a solid-state maser that can operate continuously at room temperature. This could burst open the technology for everyday use such as medical imaging and security scanners at airports.   Masers are like the microwave version of lasers. It stands for “microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”, and, just as …

China wants to build the most powerful hypersonic wind tunnel in existence

Wind tunnels are awesome, with many uses, both industrial and recreational. But now China has plans to blow all the others away with plans to build a tunnel capable of whipping up incredible hypersonic air blasts more powerful than any other tunnel currently operating.   You can’t say the Chinese authorities aren’t aiming high – they want to test aeroplane …

Physicists are about to attempt the ‘impossible’

Theoretically, it should be possible to turn light into matter. In practice, well – “easier said than done” is an understatement. Now, 84 years after the process was first theorised, some researchers reckon they’re going to be able to do it – and they’re about to start the experiment.   It’s called the Breit-Wheeler process, and it all has to …

We now know where Stephen Hawking will be laid to rest, and it’s so beautiful

The magnificent Westminster Abbey in central London will be the final resting place of Stephen Hawking. The ashes of the world-famous British physicist will be interred at the 10th-century Gothic church, it announced on Tuesday – close to the grave of another legendary British scientist, Sir Isaac Newton, as well as Charles Darwin.    A thanksgiving service will be held …

These 4 cosmic phenomena travel faster than the speed of light

When Albert Einstein first predicted that light travels the same speed everywhere in our Universe, he essentially stamped a speed limit on it: 299,792 kilometres per second (186,282 miles per second) – fast enough to circle the entire Earth eight times every second.   But that’s not the whole story. In fact, it’s just the beginning. Before Einstein, mass – …

Here’s a simple explanation of Stephen Hawking’s greatest contribution to science

Mathematical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking was best known for his work exploring the relationship between black holes and quantum physics. A black hole is the remnant of a dying supermassive star that’s fallen into itself; these remnants contract to such a small size that gravity is so strong even light cannot escape from them.   Black holes loom large …

Quiz: Who said this quote

Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking were both incredible physicists, wonderful communicators, and inspirations to science lovers the world over.  In a cosmic coincidence, Stephen Hawking passed away this week on March 14 – Einstein’s birthday. But can you tell which of the beautiful minds said these quotes? Take our quiz to find out.   Source link

Here are 4 crazy prime number problems no mathematician has yet solved

Prime numbers are one of the most basic topics of study in the branch of mathematics called number theory. Primes are numbers that can only be evenly divided by themselves and 1. For example, 7 is a prime number since I’m left with a remainder or a fractional component if I divide 7 by anything other than itself or 1. …

Here’s Stephen Hawking’s Incredible Solution to His Black Hole Information Paradox

Stephen Hawking, one of the greatest minds of our lifetime, has passed away – leaving behind a lot of heartbroken science fans. While he was publishing papers right up until the months before his death, it was in 2016 that he released one of his most talked about journal articles – a long-awaited solution to his black hole information paradox.   …

Here’s why you can spin an egg and it will stand up on one end, according to science

If you rapidly spin a hard-boiled egg on a table, and you do it correctly, you’ll see a curious phenomenon. As it spins, the egg will gradually roll onto its pointy end. It looks really cool, but there’s something really strange at work, too.   It’s such a strange phenomenon that physicists didn’t solve it until 2002 – a very …

Stephen Hawking, one of science’s greatest minds, has died aged 76

One of the greatest minds of our time, physicist and author Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76, according to news reports from the United Kingdom. “We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today,” Hawking’s family said in a statement released on Wednesday morning.   “He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose …

MIT is building the world’s most powerful superconducting magnets for an amazing cause

The most promising source of clean energy humans can ever hope for is still fusion power – and researchers at MIT have just received US$30 million in funding to help make it happen.   MIT has joined forces with a newly formed private company called Commonwealth Fusion Systems, and together they hope to have a pilot fusion power plant in 15 years’ …

A Magnetic ‘Wormhole’ That Connects Two Regions of Space Was Created in The Lab

Back in 2015, researchers in Spain created a tiny magnetic wormhole for the first time ever. They used it to connect two regions of space so that a magnetic field could travel ‘invisibly’ between them.   Before you get too excited, it wasn’t the kind of gravitational wormhole that would theoretically allow humans to travel rapidly across space in science fiction TV …

A Classic Formula For Pi Has Been Discovered Hidden in Hydrogen Atoms

Back in 2015, scientists found something amazing for the first time – a classic formula for pi hidden in the world of quantum physics. Pi is the ratio between a circle’s circumference and its diameter, and is incredibly important in pure mathematics. But this was the first time scientists had found it “lurking” in the world of physics, when using …