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Physics and Astronomy News Archive: November 2003

Image: Supersonic cracks
Supersonic cracks
Source: MaxPlanckInst   Posted: 11/19/03
Glass breaks, rubber bursts—there are numerous ways in which materials can fail under extreme conditions. Many of the atomic mechanisms of materials failure however still remain a mystery. One such mystery of cracks that propagate faster than speed of sound was recently uncovered by the researchers at the Max Planck Institute.

Image: New Sandia UV LEDs emit short-wavelength, high-power output
New Sandia UV LEDs emit short-wavelength, high-power output
Source: Sandia   Posted: 11/19/03
Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories developing ultraviolet (UV) light-emitting diodes (LEDs) recently demonstrated two deep UV semiconductor optical devices that set records for wavelength/power output.

Image: Focus on solar outbursts
Focus on solar outbursts
Source: ESA   Posted: 11/19/03
While scientists and aurora spotters marvel at the explosions on the Sun, everyone responsible for the hundreds of satellites that serve human needs, from weather observations to car navigation, wishes that these potentially damaging events were more predictable.

Image: Uncovering mysteries beneath the Earth's surface
Uncovering mysteries beneath the Earth's surface
Source: NortheasternU   Posted: 11/19/03
Back in the old days, when doctors looked for tumors, exploratory surgery was the only option. Today they use CAT scans, x-rays, ultrasound, and other non-intrusive methods for checking out what lies beneath the skin’s surface. But how do we determine what is beneath the Earth’s surface?

Image: Leonid Meteor Shower Roars into Skies
Leonid Meteor Shower Roars into Skies
Source: Caltech   Posted: 11/11/03
Observers of the night skies should take delight. Arriving fresh on the heels of the recent total lunar eclipse is the annual Leonid meteor shower. Make plans to watch the show on the night of Tuesday, November 18.

Image: ESA's new view of the Milky Way - in gamma rays!
ESA's new view of the Milky Way - in gamma rays!
Source: ESA   Posted: 11/11/03
ESA's gamma-ray observatory Integral is making excellent progress, mapping the Galaxy at key gamma-ray wavelengths. It is now poised to give astronomers their truest picture yet of recent changes in the Milky Way's chemical composition. At the same time, it has confirmed an 'antimatter' mystery at the centre of the Galaxy.

Image: NOVA's string theory program now available online
NOVA's string theory program now available online
Source: PBS/NOVA   Posted: 11/5/03
Eleven dimensions, parallel universes, and a world made out of strings. It's not science fiction, it's string theory. If you missed the recently aired PBS/NOVA show on the sting theory, 'The Ultimate Universe' with Prof. Brian Greene, don't despair. You can now see this program in full online.

Image: 'Dark matter' forms dense clumps in ghost universe
'Dark matter' forms dense clumps in ghost universe
Source: UBerkeley   Posted: 11/5/03
The "dark matter" that comprises a still-undetected one-quarter of the universe is not a uniform cosmic fog, says a University of California, Berkeley, astrophysicist, but instead forms dense clumps that move about like dust motes dancing in a shaft of light.

Image: Voyager approaching solar system's final frontier
Voyager approaching solar system's final frontier
Source: NASA/GSFC   Posted: 11/5/03
NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft is about to make history again as the first spacecraft to enter the solar system's final frontier, a vast expanse where wind from the Sun blows hot against thin gas between the stars: interstellar space.



Science Quote

'The mathematician's patterns, like the painter's or the poets, must be beautiful; the ideas, like the colours or the words, must fit together in a harmonious way. Beauty is the first test: there is no permanent place in the world for ugly mathematics.'

Godfrey Hardy
(1877-1947)


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