Physics & Astronomy News

<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.
<p>Turbulent atmospheric flows above the storm produce both gravity waves and acoustic waves. Gravity waves are much like how a guitar string moves when plucked, while acoustic waves are compressions of the air (sound waves!). Heating in the upper atmosphere 500 miles above the storm is thought to be caused by a combination of these two wave types 'crashing' like ocean waves on a beach</p>

<p>Credit: Art by Karen Teramura, UH IfA with James O'Donoghue and Luke Moore</p>
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.
Single light particle hologram created
Scientists at have created the first ever hologram of a single light particle.

Science Facts

The Big Bang Model

by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and

: Image courtesy GSFC The Big Bang Model is a broadly accepted theory for the origin and evolution of our universe. It postulates that 12 to 14 billion years ago, the portion of the universe we can see today was only a few millimeters across. It has since expanded from this hot dense state into the vast and much cooler cosmos we currently inhabit. We can see remnants of this hot dense matter as the now very cold cosmic microwave background radiation which still pervades the universe and is visible to microwave detectors as a uniform glow across the entire sky. The Big Bang Model rests on two theoretical pillars. These two ideas form the entire theoretical basis for Big Bang cosmology and lead to very specific predictions for observable properties of the universe.

The first key idea dates to 1916 when Einstein developed his General Theory of Relativity which he proposed as a new theory of gravity. His theory generalizes Isaac Newton's original theory of gravity, c. 1680, in that it is supposed to be valid for bodies in motion as well as bodies at rest. Newton's gravity is only valid for bodies at rest or moving very slowly compared to the speed of light (usually not too restrictive an assumption!). A key concept of General Relativity is that gravity is no longer described by a gravitational 'field' but rather it is supposed to be a distortion of space and time itself. Physicist John Wheeler put it well when he said 'Matter tells space how to curve, and space tells matter how to move.' Originally, the theory was able to account for peculiarities in the orbit of Mercury and the bending of light by the Sun, both unexplained in Isaac Newton's theory of gravity. In recent years, the theory has passed a series of rigorous tests.

After the introduction of General Relativity a number of scientists, including Einstein, tried to apply the new gravitational dynamics to the universe as a whole. At the time this required an assumption about how the matter in the universe was distributed. The simplest assumption to make is that if you viewed the contents of the universe with sufficiently poor vision, it would appear roughly the same everywhere and in every direction. That is, the matter in the universe is homogeneous and isotropic when averaged over very large scales. This is called the Cosmological Principle. This assumption is being tested continuously as we actually observe the distribution of galaxies on ever larger scales. In addition the cosmic microwave background radiation, the remnant heat from the Big Bang, has a temperature which is highly uniform over the entire sky. This fact strongly supports the notion that the gas which emitted this radiation long ago was very uniformly distributed.

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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Rainbow Ark
Your Own Personal Rainbow?

Did you know that no two people ever see the very same rainbow? It's true. Rainbows are formed when light enters a water droplet, reflects once inside the droplet, and is reflected back to our eyes ...
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The story of Isaac Newton discovering the laws of gravity by watching apples falling from a tree is probably just a myth. He did do his work on gravity while at a farm, but that is about as much as can be proven.
Newton's First Law of Motion

Sir Isaac Newton first presented his three laws of motion in the 'Principia Mathematica Philosophiae Naturalis' in 1686. His first law states that every object will remain at rest or in uniform motion ...
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Science Quote

'In a way science is a key to the gates of heaven, and the same key opens the gates of hell, and we do not have any instructions as to which is which gate. Shall we throw away the key and never have a way to enter the gates of heaven? Or shall we struggle with the problem of which is the best way to use the key?'

Richard Phillips Feynman

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