Posts tagged physics
What’s dark matter and Star Wars have in common? Quite a lot, actually. DNews’ Anthony investigates…
Around 400,000 positron detections have been confirmed in this first batch of data — positrons that are of energies consistent with the signature of dark matter annihilation.
I have nothing much to add except to say… this is pure squeezed awesomejuice!
Forget the Higgs boson’s delusions of grandeur, the exchange particle that gives stuff mass appears to be something of a disappointment.
No, physicists haven’t disproven its existence. And no, the Higgs boson hasn’t jetted off to a Caribbean island, run up a huge bar tab, thrown TVs out of hotel windows and been arrested for getting into a drunken brawl — rockstar style. On the contrary.
Actually, it’s looking more and more likely that the Higgs boson is kinda boring. In the words of Caltech cosmologist Sean Carroll, the Higgs boson is “looking pretty vanilla.” He’s not alone.
If calculations of the newly discovered Higgs boson particle are correct, one day, tens of billions of years from now, the universe will disappear at the speed of light, replaced by a strange, alternative dimension, one theoretical physicist calls “boring.” Read more
A lab has created negative temperatures? HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?!
Record Temperature Set: Colder than Absolute Zero: "The inverted Boltzmann distribution is the hallmark of negative absolute temperature, and this is what we have achieved," said researcher Ulrich Schneider, a physicist at the University of Munich in Germany. "Yet the gas is not colder than zero kelvin, but hotter. It is even hotter than at any positive temperature — the temperature scale simply does not end at infinity, but jumps to negative values instead."
Mind = kaboom!
"Supersymmetry isn’t in the hospital; many of its variants — more of them than last week — are just plain dead, while others are still very much alive and healthy," Strassler wrote. “There’s still a long way to go before we’ll really have confidence that the Standard Model correctly predicts all of the phenomena at the LHC.”
Discovery News physics writer Jennifer Ouellette discusses love, life and the wonderful complexity of our Universe (oh, and why supersymmetry certainly isn’t dead — despite what you may have read to the contrary). Read more.
Higgs Boson Likely a ‘Boring’ Boson: “The thing with physicists is that they love discovering something unexpected, strange or exotic. This mindset is what makes physics, and indeed all science disciplines, awesome. But in light of the grand announcement of the probable discovery of the elusive Higgs boson in July, it looks like the particle that was discovered is likely a “standard” Higgs boson. As in, it’s a little bit boring.”
OK, it’s not really boring. The Higgs boson could never be boring. Just a little, um, antisocial? Find out more.
NOTE: the real excitement hits about 2/3 of the way through!
I took this yesterday at Punkin’ Chukin’! Tune in on the Science Channel on Thanksgiving night at 8pm. Even Perez Hilton knows it’s not Thanksgiving without the Chunk.
This machine is crazy big and crazy fast, and if you look closely you can see Kari Byron!
it’s so fast… as is speeds up you can hear it slicing through the air… also there are people in that truck! look at the smoke! holy cow!
The centrifugals are my favorite division. Seriously, huge steel arms hundreds of feet long have a single pumpkin strapped to one end. As they begin to spin, slowly at first and then faster and faster the sound becomes a whistle and the ground shakes.
When the arm is flailing and the smoke pours from the exhaust we hear the official air horn and “Bad to the Bone’s” operator pulls the trigger, sending the pumpkin soaring downrange. How can you not get excited about these crazy contraptions!
Particle hunters at work in 1960.
In today’s great physics experiments, global computing grids do a lot of the heavy lifting as scientists seek fundamental breakthroughs like the fabled Higgs boson. But five decades ago, similar discoveries required that researchers spend hours manually sifting through actual photographs of subatomic wreckage. These ladies are doing just that: looking through the bubble tracks of yesteryear’s cutting-edge experiments and identifying fundamental photographic gold.
The work was probably tedious, but at least the discovery images from bubble chambers were kind of stunning.
could you imagine explaining your job to someone over a drink? it might get a bit isotopic… get it… heavy……….. nevermind.
Alejandro Guijarro - Momentum (2010-12)
“The artist travelled to the great quantum mechanics institutions of the world and, using a large-format camera, photographed blackboards as he found them. Momentum displayed the photographs in life-size.
Before he walked into a lecture hall Guijarro had no idea what he might find. He began by recording the blackboard with the minimum of interference. No detail of the lecture hall was included, the blackboard frame was removed and we are left with a surface charged with abstract equations. Effectively these are documents. Yet once removed from their institutional beginnings the meaning evolves. The viewer begins to appreciate the equations for their line and form. Color comes into play and the waves created by the blackboard eraser suggest a vast landscape or galactic setting. The formulas appear to illustrate the worlds of Quantum Mechanics. What began as a precise lecture, a description of the physicist’s thought process, is transformed into a canvas open to any number of possibilities.”
1. Cambridge (2011)
2. Stanford (2012)
3. Berkeley I (2012)
4. Berkeley II (2012)
5. Oxford (2011)
i guess my teacher was right… math is art.
Hope springs eternal for die-hard Star Trek fans that scientists will one day build an actual, working antimatter propulsion engine similar to the one that powers the fictional starship Enterprise.
A paper published earlier this year by a pair of enterprising (get it?) physicists should fan the flames of that fantasy even further. The results from their computer simulations indicate that at least one key component of realizing a working antimatter propulsion engine — highly efficient magnetic nozzles — should be far more efficient than previously thought. And such nozzles are feasible using today’s technologies.