Physics and Astronomy News Archive: August 2008

Image: Large Hadron Collider Set To Unveil A New World Of Particle Physics
Large Hadron Collider Set To Unveil A New World Of Particle Physics
Source: UCSC   Posted: 8/28/08
The field of particle physics is poised to enter unknown territory with the startup of a massive new accelerator--the Large Hadron Collider (LHC)--in Europe this summer. On September 10, LHC scientists will attempt to send the first beam of protons speeding around the accelerator.

Image: Cluster Watches Earth’s Leaky Atmosphere
Cluster Watches Earth’s Leaky Atmosphere
Source: ESA   Posted: 8/28/08
Oxygen is constantly leaking out of Earth’s atmosphere and into space. Now, ESA’s formation-flying quartet of satellites, Cluster, has discovered the physical mechanism that is driving the escape.

Image: New 'Nano-Positioners' May Have Atomic-Scale Precision
New 'Nano-Positioners' May Have Atomic-Scale Precision
Source: Purdue   Posted: 8/28/08
Engineers have created a tiny motorized positioning device, called a monolithic comb drive, which can be used as a 'nanoscale manipulator' that precisely moves or senses movement and forces.

Image: Quantum 'Traffic Jam' in High-Temperature Superconductors
Quantum 'Traffic Jam' in High-Temperature Superconductors
Source: BNL   Posted: 8/28/08
Scientists have uncovered the first experimental evidence for why the transition temperature of high-temperature superconductors cannot simply be elevated by increasing the electrons' binding energy.

Image: NASA Spacecraft Confirms Martian Water, Mission Extended
NASA Spacecraft Confirms Martian Water, Mission Extended
Source: JPL/NASA   Posted: 8/1/08
Laboratory tests aboard NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander have identified water in a soil sample. The lander's robotic arm delivered the sample Wednesday to an instrument that identifies vapors produced by the heating of samples.

Image: Major Discovery May Unleash Solar Revolution
Major Discovery May Unleash Solar Revolution
Source: MIT   Posted: 8/1/08
In a revolutionary leap that could transform solar power from a marginal, boutique alternative into a mainstream energy source, MIT researchers have overcome a major barrier to large-scale solar power: storing energy for use when the sun doesn't shine.

Image: New Technique To Compress Light Discovered
New Technique To Compress Light Discovered
Source: Berkeley   Posted: 8/1/08
Scientists have devised a way to squeeze light into tighter spaces than ever thought possible, potentially opening doors to new technology in the fields of optical communications, miniature lasers and optical computers.

Image: The First Stars
The First Stars
Source: CfA Harvard   Posted: 8/1/08
A new computer simulation now offers the most detailed picture yet of how first stars came into existence after Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago.