Physics & Astronomy News

<p>XUV absorption from the core shell to vacancies in the valence shell are element specific and sensitive to the local chemical environment around the reporter atom. | Fig. MBI</p>
Attosecond Science opens new Avenues in Femtochemistry
Attosecond Science is a new exciting frontier in contemporary physics, aimed at time-resolving the motion of electrons in atoms, molecules and solids on their natural timescale.
<p>'If confirmed by further experiments, this discovery of a possible fifth force would completely change our understanding of the universe,' says UCI professor of physics & astronomy Jonathan Feng, including what holds together galaxies such as this spiral one, called NGC 6814. ESA/Hubble & NASA; Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt</p>
Physicists Confirm Possible Discovery of Fifth Force of Nature
Recent findings indicating the possible discovery of a previously unknown subatomic particle may be evidence of a fifth fundamental force of nature.

<p>The image above shows vortex laser on a chip. Because the laser beam travels in a corkscrew pattern, encoding information into different vortex twists, it’s able to carry 10 times or more the amount of information than that of conventional lasers.<br />
Credit: University at Buffalo.</p>
Vortex Laser Offers Hope For Moore’s Law
The optics advancement may solve an approaching data bottleneck by helping to boost computing power and information transfer rates tenfold
<p>This artist’s impression shows the strange object AR Scorpii. In this unique double star a rapidly spinning white dwarf star (right) powers electrons up to almost the speed of light. These high energy particles release blasts of radiation that lash the companion red dwarf star (left) and cause the entire system to pulse dramatically every 1.97 minutes with radiation ranging from the ultraviolet to radio.</p>

<p>Credit: M. Garlick/University of Warwick, ESA/Hubble</p>
White Dwarf Lashes Red Dwarf With Mystery Ray
New type of exotic binary star, a rapidly spinning white dwarf star is powering electrons up to almost the speed of light.

Jupiter's Great Red Spot Heats Planet's Upper Atmosphere
Jupiter's Great Red Spot may provide the mysterious source of energy required to heat the planet's upper atmosphere to the unusually high values observed.
Knots In Chaotic Waves
New research, using computer models of wave chaos, has shown that three-dimensional tangled vortex filaments can in fact be knotted in many highly complex ways.
Wearable Thin-Film Transistors Developed
KAIST develops ultrathin, transparent oxide thin-film transistors for wearable display.

Science Facts

Cosmos Provides Astronomers with Planet-Hunting Tool

by NASA Headquarters and

This is an artist If only astronomers had a giant magnifying glass in space, they might be able to uncover planets around other stars. Now they do -- sort of. Instead of magnifying a planet, astronomers used the magnifying effects of one star on a more distant star to reveal a planet around the closer star. The discovery marks the first use of a celestial phenomenon known as microlensing to locate a planet outside our solar system. A star or planet can act as a cosmic lens to magnify and brighten a more distant star lined up behind it. That's because the gravitational field of the foreground star bends and focuses light, like a glass lens bending and focusing starlight in a telescope. Albert Einstein predicted this effect in his theory of general relativity and confirmed it with our Sun.

The newly discovered star-planet system is 17,000 light years away, in the constellation Sagittarius. The planet, orbiting a red dwarf parent star, is most likely one-and-a-half times bigger than Jupiter. The planet and star are three times farther apart than Earth and the Sun.Together, they magnify a farther, background star some 24,000 light years away, near the Milky Way center. In most prior microlensing observations, scientists saw a typical brightening pattern, or light curve, indicating that a star's gravitational pull was affecting light from an object behind it. The latest observations revealed extra spikes of brightness, indicating the existence of two massive objects.

Dr. Bohdan Paczynski of Princeton University, Princeton, N.J., an OGLE team member, first proposed using gravitational microlensing to detect dark matter in 1986. In 1991, Paczynski and his student, Shude Mao, proposed using microlensing to detect extrasolar planets. Two years later, three groups reported the first detection of gravitational microlensing by stars. Earlier claims of planet discoveries with microlensing are not regarded as definitive, since they had too few observations of the apparent planetary brightness variations.

Mach 1: Fast planes and Ernst Mach
How Fast is Mach 1?

A Mach number is a common ratio unit of speed when one is talking about aircrafts. By definition, the Mach number is a ratio of the speed of a body (aircraft) to the speed of sound in the undisturbed ...
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Keeping Your Balance for Good Science

Around the 20th to 22nd of March, the Sun will have reached an astronomical location that is used to mark the change of seasons. This location, within the constellation of Pisces the Fishes, is 0 degr ...
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The Weightless Environment Brings Special Challenges To Astronauts. Mark Lee Tetherless and Free
Mixed Up In Space

Imagine waking up in space. Groggy from sleep, you wonder ... which way is up? And where are my arms and legs? Throw in a little motion sickness, and you'll get an idea of what it can feel like to be ...
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Science Quote

'The greatest good will come from the technical improvements tending to unification and harmony.'

Nikola Tesla

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