Physics & Astronomy News

<p>Interference pattern created by neutron holography.</p>


Holograms from Neutrons Created
For the first time, scientists have used neutron beams to create holograms of large solid objects, revealing details about their interiors in ways that ordinary laser light-based visual holograms cannot.
<p>An artist’s conception of this unusual system, courtesy of Jonathan Holden/Disk Detective.</p>
Oldest Known Planet-Forming Disk Found
Scientists find a star surrounded by the oldest known circumstellar disk—a primordial ring of gas and dust that orbits around a young star and from which planets can form.

<p>Mars’ Valles Marineris canyon, pictured, spans as much as 600 kilometers across and delves as much as 8 kilometers deep. The image was created from over 100 images of Mars taken by Viking Orbiters in the 1970s.</p>

<p>Image: NASA</p>
New Technique May Help Detect Martian Life
A novel interpretation of Raman spectra will help the 2020 Mars rover select rocks to study for signs of life.
<p>Simplification to represent PT (Parity-Time) symmetry. Imagine a situation where two cars are traveling at the same speed at some instant in time, but car A is speeding up, and car B is slowing down. In order to go at the same speed, you can jump from one car to the other (Parity reversal) and back in time (Time reversal). The cars are like the light waves inside the fiber, the speed of the cars is a representation of the intensity of light and the jump symbolizes a phenomenon called tunneling. (Graphics modified from freepiks).</p>
Stable Propagation of Light in Nano-Photonic Fibers
New model on how to achieve a more stable propagation of light for future optical technologies was published.

Quantum Effects Observed in ‘One-Dimensional’ Wires
Researchers have observed quantum effects in electrons by squeezing them into one-dimensional ‘quantum wires’ and observing the interactions between them.
Echoes of Black Holes Eating Stars Found
Astronomers now have new insights into tidal disruption flares, thanks to data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE).
Individual Atoms Behavior Observed
For first time, researchers see individual atoms keep away from each other or bunch up as pairs.

Science Facts

What Powered the Big Bang?

by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and

: Image Courtesy Beyond Einstein During the last decade, sky maps of the radiation relic of the Big Bang---first by NASA's Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite and more recently by other experiments, including Antarctic balloon flights and NASA's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP)---have displayed the wrinkles imprinted on the Universe in its first moments. Gravity has pulled these wrinkles into the lumpy Universe of galaxies and planets we see today. Yet still unanswered are the questions: why was the Universe so smooth before, and what made the tiny but all-important wrinkles in the first place?

Quantum fluctuations during the Big Bang are imprinted in gravitational waves, the cosmic microwave background, and in the structure of today's Universe. Studying the Big Bang means detecting those imprints. Einstein's theories led to the Big Bang model, but they are silent on these questions as well as the simplest: 'What powered the Big Bang?' Modern theoretical ideas that try to answer these questions predict that the wrinkles COBE discovered arose from two kinds of primordial particles: of the energy field that powered the Big Bang; and gravitons, fundamental particles of space and time.

Measurements by missions of the Beyond Einstein program could separate these different contributions, allowing us to piece together the story of how time, space, and energy worked together to power the Big Bang.

A Giant X-Ray Machine

The first clear detection of X-rays from the giant, gaseous planet Saturn has been made with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. Chandra's image shows that the X-rays are concentrated near Saturn's equa ...
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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).
Antimatter Discovery

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 ...
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Carbon dating the bones of an animal can pinpoint the time this animal died to within a few years.
Carbon Dating From The Skies

Determining the age of relatively recent fossils, those of plants and animals that lived tens of thousands of years ago, is not a guessing game but an exact science. By using carbon dating we can dete ...
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Science Quote

'Physics is mathematical not because we know so much about the physical world, but because we know so little; it is only its mathematical properties that we can discover.'

Bertrand Russell

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