Physics and Astronomy News Archive: March 2006

Image: Robotic NASA Craft Begins Orbiting Mars for Most-Detailed Exam
Robotic NASA Craft Begins Orbiting Mars for Most-Detailed Exam
Source: NASA   Posted: 3/12/06
With a crucially timed firing of its main engines, NASA's new mission to Mars successfully put itself into orbit around the red planet.

Image: Sandia's Z machine exceeds two billion degrees Kelvin
Sandia's Z machine exceeds two billion degrees Kelvin
Source: SANDIA   Posted: 3/12/06
Sandia's Z machine has produced plasmas that exceed temperatures of 2 billion degrees Kelvin - hotter than the interiors of stars.

Image: Experimental Atomic Clock Uses Ytterbium ‘Pancakes’
Experimental Atomic Clock Uses Ytterbium ‘Pancakes’
Source: NIST   Posted: 3/12/06
Scientists at the NIST have significantly improved the design of optical atomic clocks that hold thousands of atoms in a lattice made of intersecting laser beams.

Image: New 'Crystal Sponge' Triples Hydrogen Storage
New 'Crystal Sponge' Triples Hydrogen Storage
Source: NSF   Posted: 3/12/06
In a step toward making cars that can run on hydrogen rather than gasoline a reality, chemists have announced a new 'crystal sponge' material that can store in its pores nearly three times more hydrogen than any substance known.