Category Archives: Physics

Video: What is Electricity?

Think about it for a minute. Do you really know what electricity is? Does anyone? What is electricity? Electricity is the set of physical phenomena associated with the presence and motion of electric charge. What is an electric charge? It is the physical property of matter that causes it to experience a force when placed… Read More »

ultra-rare “impossible” quasicrystal found in Russian meteorite

A quasicrystal’s atomic structure combines the symmetrical properties of a crystal and the chaos of an amorphous solid. Originating in outer space, these crystals aren’t just incredible because of how rare they are – their atomic structure is so peculiar, for decades their existence was dismissed as “impossible”, and they cost the scientist who first… Read More »

Video: Is Anything Real?

This video includes a nice explanation of what we currently think memories are: the result of strengthening of connections between nerve cells.

Oldest star in Universe discovered

Astronomers in Australia have found the oldest known star in the universe, a discovery that may re-write our understanding of the universe directly following the Big Bang. The team from Australian National University (ANU) say that the star, located around 6,000 light years away from Earth, is roughly 13.6 billion years old. This means it… Read More »

Carbon’s new champion: Theorists calculate atom-thick carbyne chains may be strongest material ever

Rice University researchers have determined from first-principle calculations that carbyne would be the strongest material yet discovered. The carbon-atom chains would be difficult to make but would be twice as strong as two-dimensional graphene sheets. (Image Credit: Vasilii Artyukhov/Rice University) Carbyne will be the strongest of a new class of microscopic materials if and when… Read More »

Research team confirms existence of Higgs boson elementary particle

An experiment conducted by an international research team has confirmed the existence of Higgs boson, which is widely believed to grant mass to substances in the universe, establishing the standard theory of the elementary particle. The team, comprising researchers from the University of Tokyo, the High-Energy Accelerator Research Organization and overseas research institutes, will announce… Read More »

German Scientists Freeze Light for a Minute

It turns out that the fastest known thing in the universe, light, can in fact be stopped. A German team of scientists have successfully stopped light from traveling for a whole minute. The record-breaking event could be a major breakthrough in the field of quantum memory storage. So how did scientists freeze light for a… Read More »

Researchers demonstrate “accelerator on a chip”

In an advance that could dramatically shrink particle accelerators for science and medicine, researchers used a laser to accelerate electrons at a rate 10 times higher than conventional technology in a nanostructured glass chip smaller than a grain of rice. The achievement was reported today inNature by a team including scientists from the U.S. Department… Read More »

Scientists create never-before-seen form of matter

Harvard and MIT scientists are challenging the conventional wisdom about light, and they didn’t need to go to a galaxy far, far away to do it. Working with colleagues at the Harvard-MIT Center for Ultracold Atoms, a group led by Harvard Professor of Physics Mikhail Lukin and MIT Professor of Physics Vladan Vuletic have managed… Read More »

Maybe Space-Time is Just an Illusion

Via Alex Tabarrok, Quanta magazine reports on a decades-long effort that has recently produced a radically simplified way of calculating quantum interactions. Instead of adding up millions or billions of terms, you simply sum the volumes of the pieces of a multi-dimensional object called a “positive Grassmannian.” Its inventors call this object an amplituhedron: The… Read More »

Why Does Popcorn Pop?

A popcorn kernel is a cereal grain seed. It is made up of four major physical structures: 1 The Pericarp seed coat or outer hull: a hard outer thin covering. 2 The Endosperm: starchy part that forms the bulk of the kernel and consists almost entirely of starch along with smaller amounts of protein, fat,… Read More »

Theoretical Element 115 Exists, Study Confirms

Researchers confirm the existence of this synthetic element in a new accelerator study. Will it be enough to give ununpentium official recognition and a new name? At the bottom right corner of the periodic table of elements, there are a handful of boxes that illustrators often color gray. The International Union of Pure and Applied… Read More »

See-Through Solar Film Gets Big Efficiency Boost

A novel, transparent, two-layer solar film — possessing an impressive efficiency conversion of 7.3% — has been created by researchers at the University of California–Los Angeles. This is about double the transparent solar cell efficiency the researchers had previously achieved. The solar film can be placed on windows, buildings, sunroofs, electronics displays, etc; harvesting energy… Read More »

Quantum-Tunneling Computers: Answers faster than light?

… Nerval’s Lobster writes “The powerful, reliable combination of transistors and semiconductors in computer processors could give way to systems built on the way electrons misbehave, all of it contained in circuits that warp even the most basic rules of physics. Rather than relying on a predictable flow of electrons that appear to know whether… Read More »

How to fit 1,000TB of data onto a 12cm optical disc

Just before the weekend I read about a new technique which can be used to shoehorn around 1,000TB of data onto a “DVD disc”. This is quite a feat and it was achieved by circumnavigating some laws of physics with a technique which uses two different coloured light beams to selectively cancel each other out… Read More »

Quantum gravity takes singularity out of black holes

Falling into a black hole may not be as final as it seems. Apply a quantum theory of gravity to these bizarre objects and the all-crushing singularity at their core disappears. In its place is something that looks a lot like an entry point to another universe. Most immediately, that could help resolve the nagging… Read More »

Scientists transform cement into liquid metal

It’s not the same as turning lead into gold, but scientists at the Illinois-based Argonne National Laboratory and the Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute/SPring-8 have developed a method for turning cement into a liquid metal semiconductor. The process sounds like a mad scientist’s invention. It involves equipment like an aerodynamic levitator and a carbon dioxide… Read More »

“Quantum microscope” peers into the hydrogen atom

The first direct observation of the orbital structure of an excited hydrogen atom has been made by an international team of researchers. The observation was made using a newly developed “quantum microscope”, which uses photoionization microscopy to visualize the structure directly. The team’s demonstration proves that “photoionization microscopy”, which was first proposed more than 30… Read More »

Microscopic Flowers Created with Chemistry

They look for all the world like a collection of flowers bursting into life. Yet in fact, these are microscopic crystals grown in a Harvard laboratory. Measuring just microns across, they were created to assemble themselves a molecule at a time. The team say the work, carried out on glass slides, is able to control… Read More »

Scientists discover dark lightning

… scientists recently discovered something mind-bending about lightning: Sometimes its flashes are invisible, just sudden pulses of unexpectedly powerful radiation. It’s what Joseph Dwyer, a lightning researcher at the Florida Institute of Technology, has termed dark lightning. Unknown to Franklin but now clear to a growing roster of lightning researchers and astronomers is that along… Read More »