Physics and Astronomy News Archive: July 2003
Titania nanotubes are 1,500 times better than the next best material for sensing hydrogen and may be one of the first examples of materials properties changing dramatically when crossing the border between real world sizes and nanoscopic dimensions, according to a Penn State materials scientist.
Titania nanotubes make supersensitive hydrogen sensors
Source: PSU Posted: 7/30/03
An approach and landing test version of the X-37, a spacecraft designed to demonstrate technologies for NASA's Orbital Space Plane Program, has successfully completed structural testing in Huntington Beach, Calif.
Structural tests completed on NASA's X-37
Source: NASA/MSFC Posted: 7/29/03
The joint NASA-German Aerospace Center Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (Grace) mission has released its first science product, the most accurate map yet of Earth’s gravity field.
Grace produces a new map of Earth's gravity field
Source: JPL/NASA Posted: 7/25/03
Attempting to improve on the face-center cubic lattice structure of opals in order to make 'photonic crystals,' an UCSD scientists experimented with ways to pack a small number of tiny spheres and discovered that the colloidal particle clusters they made have exotic structures predicted by mathematicians in 1995.
Engineers discover in nature exotic structures envisioned by mathematicians
Source: UCSB Posted: 7/24/03
Expertise derived from working on the joint NASA-ESA Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn is now providing tunnelling engineers with an improved ability to virtually 'see' some 40 metres into solid rock and pinpoint obstacles ahead.
Space engineering helps drill better holes in planet Earth
Source: ESA Posted: 7/22/03
A $900,000 supercomputer at the University of Toronto - the fastest computer in Canada -- is heating up astrophysics research in this country and burning its way up the list of the world's fastest computers.
Canada's fastest computer simulates galaxies, black holes
Source: UToronto Posted: 7/21/03
A team of UK astronomers have announced the discovery that some supernovae have bad habits - they belch out huge quantities of 'smoke' known as cosmic dust. This solves a mystery more than 10 billion years in the making.
Smoking supernovae solve a ten billion year-old mystery
Source: PPARC Posted: 7/17/03
Gammasphere, a nuclear physics instrument now at Argonne National Laboratory, plays a supporting role in the new science-fiction thriller
Gammasphere featured in new 'Hulk' movie
Source: ANL Posted: 7/17/03
Scientists got their closest-ever ultraviolet look at the Sun from space, thanks to a telescope and camera launched aboard a sounding rocket. The images revealed an unexpectedly high level of activity in a lower layer of the Sun's atmosphere (chromosphere).
Rocket telescope gets closest look at the Sun
Source: NASA/GSFC Posted: 7/15/03
In a different approach to creating white light several researchers at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Sandia National Laboratories have developed the first solid-state white light-emitting device using quantum dots.
First white LED using quantum dots created
Source: Sandia Posted: 7/15/03
Gravitational radiation, ripples in the fabric of space predicted by Albert Einstein, may serve as a cosmic traffic enforcer, protecting reckless pulsars from spinning too fast and blowing apart, according to a report published in the July 3 issue of Nature.
Einstein's Gravitational Waves May Set Speed Limit for Pulsar Spin
Source: NASA/GSFC Posted: 7/11/03
Long before our Sun and Earth ever existed, a Jupiter-sized planet formed around a sun-like star. Now, 13 billion years later, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has precisely measured the mass of this farthest and oldest known planet.
Hubble Helps Confirm Oldest Known Planet
Source: NASA/GSFC Posted: 7/11/03
For almost 40 years, all subatomic particles have fit neatly into two categories: three-quark baryons, like protons and neutrons; or mesons, made up of one quark and one anti-quark. The new particle spotted at Jefferson Lab is a sort of baryon-meson hybrid with five quarks.
Evidence of Exotic 5-Quark Particle Found
Source: JLab Posted: 7/9/03
An international team of scientists has discovered a planet and star that may share the same relationship as Jupiter and our Sun, the closest comparison that researchers have found since they began their search for extra-solar planets nearly a decade ago.
Scientists Discover Planetary System Similar to Our Own
Source: NSF Posted: 7/5/03
Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have shown that filaments fabricated out of microscopic tungsten lattices and heated, emit remarkably more energy in a band of near-infrared wavelengths than solid tungsten filaments can.
New tungsten photonic crystal use found
Source: Sandia Posted: 7/3/03
Using the Electrostatic Levitator at the Marshall Center, researchers have validated a 50-year-old hypothesis explaining how liquid metals resist turning into solids.
NASA experiments validate 50-year-old hypothesis
Source: NASA/MSFC Posted: 7/2/03