Physics & Astronomy News

<p>Schematic view of a bubble implosion, which is an envisioned picture showing the whole main events integrated, i.e., laser illumination, hot electron spread, implosion, and proton flash. (credit/ M. Murakami)</p>
Laser-driven Implosion
Scientists have discovered a novel particle acceleration mechanism called ‘micro-bubble implosion’
<p>Owens Valley Solar Array (EOVSA)</p>
New Insights into Solar Flares
New insights into solar flares' explosive energy releases were released by the Owens Valley Solar Array (EOVSA)

<p>In this illustration, the grid in the background represents the computational lattice that theoretical physicists used to calculate a particle property known as nucleon axial coupling. This property determines how a W boson (white wavy line) interacts with one of the quarks in a neutron (large transparent sphere in foreground), emitting an electron (large arrow) and antineutrino (dotted arrow) in a process called beta decay. This process transforms the neutron into a proton (distant transparent sphere). (Credit: Evan Berkowitz/Jülich Research Center, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)</p>
Life and Death of a Neutron
Experiments that measure the lifetime of neutrons reveal a perplexing and unresolved discrepancy.
<p>Precision assembly and mechanical technician Ryan Wilkinson inspects MOMA during thermal vacuum testing at Goddard</p>

<p>Credits: NASA</p>
Looking for Signs Life on Mars
Scientists have created a tiny chemistry lab for a rover that will drill beneath the Martian surface looking for signs of past or present life.

Massive Black Hole Devours a Star
Scientist create new models of Tidal Disruption Events - rare, but extremely forceful events taking place in the center of galaxies.
Dark Matter Limit Established
Experimental results from the XENON1T dark matter detector limit the effective size of dark matter particles to 4.1X10-47 square centimeters.
Water is not the same as water
Researchers have succeeded in separating the two forms of water to show that they can exhibit different chemical reactivities.

Science Facts

Antimatter Discovery

by Anton Skorucak and

This original 1930 cloud-chamber photograph by Carl Anderson shows the track of a positively charged particle (thin track curving to the left) of electronic mass slowed down by passing upward through a lead plate (horizontal thick line).: Image Copyright © Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory In almost every science fiction movie ever made, you are bound to hear about antimatter –– matter-antimatter propulsion drives, whole galaxies made of antimatter, and so on. Antimatter has been used in science fiction so much that some of us are not even sure if it is real or just imaginary. Here's a hint: antimatter is real and it was discovered a long time ago.

It all started with Paul Dirac, a British physicist, who in 1930 devised the first relativistic theory of the electron. Quantum mechanics had been worked out a couple of years earlier (by Dirac and by Heisenberg, independently), but Dirac’s 1930 theory contained math that exactly modeled electron behavior, both from the quantum mechanical and from the relativistic point of view (electrons moving at close to light speeds). His theory also predicted the existence of an anti-electron; a particle just like an electron, with the same mass but opposite charge (i.e. positive) and opposite magnetic momentum. If you fire such a particle into a magnetic field which is perpendicular to the particle’s trajectory, its path would curve opposite to that of an electron.

In 1932, Carl Anderson, a US physicist, while examining tracks of particles produced by cosmic rays, noticed one track whose curvature was identical to that of an electron but was flipped. Instead of curving to the right, it curved to the left. He named this positively charged electron a positron, the first antimatter particle discovered. Many anti-particles have been discovered since. The anti-proton was discovered in 1955 by E. Segre and his coworkers at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory using a high-energy particle accelerator. Most other anti-particles have been discovered at particle accelerators under carefully designed conditions. Many experimental groups have also reported constructing bigger entities than just anti-particles. In fact, whole anti-nuclei have been constructed, for example anti-hydrogen nuclei and an isotope of anti-helium.

Planet Jupiter
318 Times as Massive as Earth

What is 318 times more massive than Earth? Jupiter, the fifth planet from the Sun (next in line after Earth and Mars). Jupiter is the largest planet in our Solar System. If you decided to take a Boe ...
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Does Earth Have Its Own Neon Sign?

You might wonder what the Northern Lights and neon signs have in common. Actually, a lot! What makes luminous colors shimmer across the Northern sky? The answer is in the Sun. Charged particles ar ...
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Don't Make Waves

Fast and slow swimming pools? What are they? A given pool's walls and other components may create and reflect waves making it more difficult (slow) for athletes to swim. A fast pool minimizes wave int ...
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Science Quote

'What a wonderful and amazing scheme have we here of the magnificent vastness of the Universe! So many Suns, so many Earths ...!'

Christiaan Huygens

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