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annaheffernan

Acoustic topological insulator could hide submarines - 1 views

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    Researchers have proposed a new "acoustic topological insulator" that could help alleviate sound scattering problems by transmitting sound in certain directions without any backscattering.
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    If I understood correctly the triangular structure would channelling the incident sound wave to a unique direction between two options, according to the rotation direction of the cylinders included in its mesh. So, one (possibly two) directions left to detect the hypothetical submarines? Very interesting though, I hope no oceanographers take measurements simultaneously to the signals as climate models will get even more wrong...!
annaheffernan

How to make a tougher quantum computer - 0 views

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    A system of nine quantum bits (qubits) that is robust to errors that would normally destroy a quantum computation has been created by researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and Google. The device relies on a quantum error-correction protocol, which the team says could be deployed in practical quantum computers of the future.
annaheffernan

How to make droplets chase each other and self-assemble into devices - 0 views

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    Droplets can be made to chase each other around a track and even self-assemble into devices, simply by mixing two everyday liquids. This remarkable discovery made by scientists in the US has already been used to create beautiful shapes and patterns, and could also be exploited to create optical components that assemble themselves and even to clean surfaces. It looks very like Jojo's self-assembling balls :p
jcunha

Wireless 10 kW power transmission - 1 views

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    Mitsubishi Heavy Industries said Friday that it has succeeded in transmitting 10 kW of power through 500 m. An announcement that comes just after JAXA scientists reported one more breakthrough in the quest for Space Solar Power Systems (http://phys.org/news/2015-03-japan-space-scientists-wireless-energy.html). One step closer to Power Generation from Space/
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    from the press release (https://www.mhi-global.com/news/story/1503121879.html) "10 kilowatts (kW) of power was sent from a transmitting unit by microwave. The reception of power was confirmed at a receiver unit located at a distance of 500 meters (m) away by the illumination of LED lights, using part of power transmitted".

    So 10kW of transmission to light a few efficient LED lights???

    In a 2011 report (https://www.mhi-global.com/company/technology/review/pdf/e484/e484017.pdf), MHI estimated this would generate the same electricity output as a 400-megawatt thermal plant - or enough to serve more than 150,000 homes during peak hours. The price? The same as publicly supplied power, according to its calculations.

    There are no results to boost these claims however. The main work they do now is focused on beam steering control. I guess the real application in mind is more targeted to terrestrial applications, eg wireless highway charging (http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20120312-wireless-highway-to-charge-cars). With the distances so much shorter, leading to much smaller antenna's and rectenna's this makes much more sense to me to develop.
johannessimon81

No Big Bang? Quantum equation predicts universe has no beginning - 3 views

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    Told you so...
jcunha

Electron spins controlled using sound waves - 0 views

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    Cornell applied physicists have demonstrated an unprecedented method of control over electron spins using extremely high-frequency sound waves - new insights in the study of the spin of the electron. Crazy idea but, no further need for complicated quantum encryption techniques of sound signals?
Thijs Versloot

Watch uranium radiation inside a cloud chamber - 6 views

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    Ever wondered what radiation looks like? If you have, I bet you didn't think it would look as cool as this. This is a small piece of uranium mineral sitting in a cloud chamber, which means you can see the process of decay and radiation emission....
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    Once I saw a DIY spark chamber in LIP (CERN associated laboratory). It was the work of a bunch of BSc students, they made it all from scratch, so it seemed to be not that difficult to have one at home. Yet another project for the future 'Experimental Physics' stagiare maybe :)
johannessimon81

This incredible electron micrograph shows light as both a particle and a wave - 6 views

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    So basically we can photograph light now. Not just detect photons but photograph LIGHT WAVES. Really clever setup BTW.
annaheffernan

Filamentous laser beams point to new type of phase transition - applications in weather... - 2 views

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    Filaments of plasma created by a high-powered laser beam undergo a similar type of phase transition as liquid percolating through a porous material - that is the conclusion of physicists in Switzerland. The also describe the application of laser filamentation for directed lightening and encouraged rainfall - Isabelle should come back to take a closer look :p
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    Christophe? Isabelle?
Thijs Versloot

Alien star invaded the Solar System - 1 views

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    An alien star passed through our Solar System just 70,000 years ago, astronomers have discovered. No other star is known to have approached this close to us. An international team of researchers says it came five times closer than our current nearest neighbour - Proxima Centauri.

    Passing straight through the Oort Cloud region. This must have left some sort of mark maybe? A binary system of a red and brown dwarf (8% and 6% solar masses) so maybe not a too significant impact on trajectories in the Oort cloud?
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    I read this earlier and thought it might be another one of those alien conspiracy stuff. Freaky stuff.
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    what about taking a ride on one of these? - especially if they come with some companion planets? when is the next shuttle coming?
jmlloren

The artificial skylight that you won't believe isn't real - 9 views

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    Nautral Light for Human Space Exploration
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    wow, that looks pretty real to me! I remember a presentation some time ago on difficulties with large scale LED lights for making directed light sources. I guess we can cross that off the list :)
jcunha

Nature Optics: Super vision - 6 views

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    Taking images through opaque, light-scattering layers is a vital capability and essential diagnostic tool in many applications.

    The research group of Prof. Mosk of U. Twente have started doing experiments shooting optical lasers into opaque materials in 2007, and for surprise of everyone, it turn out the light intensity after the opaque material in their experiments was orders of magnitude bigger than expected.

    Following these results they succeeded in taking non-invasive sharp pictures of objects hidden behind a screen of opaqueness, the so referred Super Vision in this Nature overview article.
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    very nice!!!
jcunha

Missing link in metal physics explains Earth's magnetic field - 0 views

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    In a work published on Nature (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v517/n7536/full/nature14090.html#affil-auth) a new DFT based simulation of convection in Earth's Core iron shows that electron-electron scattering has a similar contribution to electron's thermal vibration.
    The outcome is that using the old dynamo theory the simulation matches the Earth magnetic field experimental results, solving an 80 years old puzzle.
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    Yay to science! I'm always intrigued by related experiments that try to measure material properties at the GPa range. Especially, the efforts of reaching 'metallic hydrogen' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metallic_hydrogen), requiring pressures above 25GPa at which hydrogen becomes conductive. It is thought that gas giant planets could have such a core, but no-one has been able to produce/verify this theory as off yet.
Thijs Versloot

Popper's experiment realized again-but what does it mean? - 1 views

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    Although it may seem like the above two experiments violate the uncertainty principle because the results show a smaller-than-required degree of uncertainty, Shih and his coauthors explain that no violation has occurred due to the fact that the experiments involve photon pairs rather than individual photons. The scientists argue that Popper's original thought experiment was based on a misunderstanding of the proper context of the uncertainty principle: it governs the behavior of single particles only, not the "correlation" of two particles.
annaheffernan

How to make tiny 3D flowers and peacocks from silicon - 1 views

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    "Tilted table", "peacock" and "triple-floor building" are just three of many fantastical 3D structures that have been created by compressing simple 2D patterns. The new technique for creating these objects is called compressive buckling, and has been developed by researchers in the US, China and South Korea.
annaheffernan

New apps allow smartphone users to join the hunt for ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays - 0 views

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    Two apps - the Distributed Electronic Cosmic-ray Observatory (DECO) and Cosmic Rays Found in Smartphones (CRAYFIS) - transform smartphones into miniature cosmic-ray detectors. They use the CMOS chips inside phones' onboard cameras to detect the secondary particles produced when cosmic rays - energetic, charged subatomic particles arriving from beyond the solar system - collide with air molecules in the Earth's atmosphere
jcunha

Artifitial Intelligence to predict solar flares - 0 views

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    A team from Stanford showing possibility of solar flare prediction using AI techniques and data from the NASA SDO observatory.
Thijs Versloot

Improved Saturn Positions Help Spacecraft Navigation, Planet Studies, Fundamental Physics - 0 views

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    Scientists have used the National Science Foundation's Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) radio-telescope system and NASA's Cassini spacecraft to measure the position of Saturn and its family of moons to within about a mile -- at a range of nearly a billion miles.
Christophe Praz

Scientific method: Defend the integrity of physics - 2 views

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    Interesting article about theoretical physics theories vs. experimental verification. Can we state that a theory can be so good that its existence supplants the need for data and testing ? If a theory is proved to be untestable experimentally, can we still say that it is a scientific theory ? (not in my opinion)
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    There is an interesting approach by Feynman that it does not make sense to describe something of which we cannot measure the consequences. So a theory that is so removed from experiment that it cannot be backed by it is pointless and of no consequence. It is a bit as with the statement "if a tree falls in the forrest and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound?". We would typically extrapolate to say that it does make a sound. But actually nobody knows - you would have to take some kind of measurement. But even more fundamentally it does not make any difference! For all intents and purposes there is no point in forcing a prediction that you cannot measure and that therefore has noto reflect an event in your world.
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    "Mathematics is the model of the universe, not the other way round"
    - M. R.
annaheffernan

Physicsworld top 10 breakthroughs of the year - at the top Rosetta - 3 views

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    Physicsworld releases their top 10 breakthroughs of the year 2014, ESA's Rosetta mission tops the list with the achievement of landing on a comet.
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