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Physics and Astronomy News Archive: April 2004

Image: Proof of new state of matter is in the jelly
Proof of new state of matter is in the jelly
Source: NASA/JPL   Posted: 4/28/04
NASA-funded researchers overcame an important technical challenge when they recently persuaded reclusive fermion atoms to act like their friendly boson buddies and jiggle together in an ultra-cold, jelly-like state of matter.

Image: Scientists post a lower speed limit for magnetic switching
Scientists post a lower speed limit for magnetic switching
Source: SLAC   Posted: 4/28/04
The speed of magnetic recording – a crucial factor in a computer’s power and multimedia capabilities – depends on how fast one can switch a magnet’s poles. An experiment at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) found that the ultimate speed of magnetic switching is at least 1,000 times slower than previously expected.

Image: A Conveyor Belt for the Nano-Age
A Conveyor Belt for the Nano-Age
Source: LBL   Posted: 4/28/04
In a development that brings the promise of mass production to nanoscale devices, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientists have transformed carbon nanotubes into conveyor belts capable of ferrying atom-sized particles to microscopic worksites.

Image: Mars Rover Finds Rock Resembling Meteorites That Fell to Earth
Mars Rover Finds Rock Resembling Meteorites That Fell to Earth
Source: NASA/JPL   Posted: 4/20/04
NASA's Opportunity rover has examined an odd volcanic rock on the plains of Mars' Meridiani Planum region with a composition unlike anything seen on Mars before, but scientists have found similarities to meteorites that fell to Earth.

Image: How Long Does It Take for Earth's Magnetic Field to Reverse?
How Long Does It Take for Earth's Magnetic Field to Reverse?
Source: NSF   Posted: 4/8/04
The time it takes for Earth's magnetic field to reverse polarity is approximately 7000 years, but the time it takes for the reversal to occur is shorter at low latitudes than at high latitudes, a geologist funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) has concluded.

Image: Research Reveals Halogen Characteristics of Cluster of Metal Atoms
Research Reveals Halogen Characteristics of Cluster of Metal Atoms
Source: PennState   Posted: 4/4/04
A stable cluster of aluminum atoms, Al13, acts as a single entity in chemical reactions, demonstrating properties similar to those of a halogen, reports a research team at the Eberly Family Distinguished Chair in Science at Penn State.



Science Quote

'Our loyalties are to the species and the planet. We speak for Earth. Our obligation to survive is owed not just to ourselves but also to that Cosmos, ancient and vast, from which we spring.'

Carl Sagan
(1934-1996)


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