Physics & Astronomy News

<p>A new process allows materials synthesized at the nano-level to be scaled to larger sizes to take advantage of their mechanical, optical, and energy properties. Xiaoyu 'Rayne' Zheng, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, describes the process in the journal Nature Materials.</p>
Upsizing nanostructures into 3-D printed materials
A new process allows materials synthesized at the nano-level to be scaled to larger sizes to take advantage of their mechanical, optical, and energy properties.
<p>An artist’s portrayal of a Warm Jupiter gas-giant planet (r.) in orbit around its parent star, along with smaller companion planets. Image credit: Detlev Van Ravenswaay/Science Photo Library</p>
Warm Jupiters Not As Lonely As Expected
Astronomers have given us our clearest understanding yet of a class of exoplanets called “Warm Jupiters”, showing that many have unexpected planetary companions.

<p>STM scan (96 nm wide, 126 nm tall) of the 1 kB memory, written to a section of Feynman’s lecture There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom (with text markup)</p>

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Image courtesy: TUDelft</p>
Tiny hard disk writes information atom by atom
A team of scientists to build a memory of 1 kilobyte (8,000 bits), where each bit is represented by the position of one single chlorine atom.
<p>The Sloan Digital Sky Survey and its Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey has transformed a two-dimensional image of the sky (left panel) into a three-dimensional map spanning distances of billions of light years, shown here from two perspectives (middle and right panels). This map includes 120,000 galaxies over 10% of the survey area. The brighter regions correspond to the regions of the Universe with more galaxies and therefore more dark matter. Image credit: Jeremy Tinker and SDSS-III.</p>
Dark Energy Measured with Record-Breaking Map of 1.2 Million Galaxies
Physicists and astronomers have announced results from the largest-ever, three-dimensional map of distant galaxies.

What Did Earth’s Ancient Magnetic Field Look Like?
New work suggests Earth’s ancient magnetic field was significantly different than the present day field, originating from several poles rather than the familiar two.
Scientists’ Breakthrough In Modelling Universe
Research teams in Europe and the USA have begun modelling the universe for the first time using Einstein’s full general theory of relativity.
Fastest-Spinning Brown-Dwarf Star Detected
Astronomers have detected what may be the most-rapidly-rotating, ultra-cool, brown-dwarf star ever seen.

Science Facts

Tick-Tock Atomic Clock

by NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and

24 GPS satellites orbit Earth.: Image Courtesy NASA Modern navigators rely on atomic clocks. Instead of old-style springs or pendulums, the natural resonances of atoms -- usually cesium or rubidium -- provide the steady 'tick' of an atomic clock. The best ones on Earth lose no more than one second in millions of years. Sailers, truck drivers, soldiers, hikers, and pilots ... they all rely on atomic clocks, even if they don't know it. Anyone who uses the Global Positioning System (GPS) benefits from atomic time. Each of the 24 GPS satellites carries 4 atomic clocks on board. By triangulating time signals broadcast from orbit, GPS receivers on the ground can pinpoint their own location.

Tiny instabilities in those orbiting clocks contribute at least a few meters of error to single-receiver GPS measurements. Making the clocks smaller (so that more of them can fit on each satellite) and increasing their stability could reduce such errors to fractions of a meter. Pilots landing on narrow airstrips at night would appreciate the improvement. So would surveyors, prospectors, search and rescue teams ... and farmers. 'Precision farmers' already use GPS-guided tractors to dispense custom-doses of water, fertilizer and pesticides over garden-sized plots. Better GPS data could guide those tractors to individual rows or perhaps even to individual plants for special care.

Comet Borrelly as Seen By Deep Space 1
Stars With Long Hair

Throughout history, people have been both awed and alarmed by comets, stars with 'long hair' that appeared in the sky unannounced and unpredictably. We now know that comets are dirty-ice leftovers fro ...
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The Eccentric Spin of Uranus
The Strange Spin of Uranus

Directional terms like north and south make sense here on Earth. The north and south axis of the Earth is relatively perpendicular to the plane of the Earth's orbit around the sun. Actually, Earth's a ...
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Galaxy Cluster RDCS 1252.9-2927

A color composite image of the galaxy cluster RDCS 1252.9-2927 shows the X-ray (purple) light from 70-million-degree Celsius gas in the cluster, and the optical (red, yellow and green) light from the ...
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Science Quote

'Watch the stars, and from them learn.
To the Master's honor all must turn,
Each in its track, without sound,
Forever tracing Newton's ground.'

Albert Einstein

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