Physics & Astronomy News

<p>'If confirmed by further experiments, this discovery of a possible fifth force would completely change our understanding of the universe,' says UCI professor of physics & astronomy Jonathan Feng, including what holds together galaxies such as this spiral one, called NGC 6814. ESA/Hubble & NASA; Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt</p>
Physicists Confirm Possible Discovery of Fifth Force of Nature
Recent findings indicating the possible discovery of a previously unknown subatomic particle may be evidence of a fifth fundamental force of nature.
<p>The image above shows vortex laser on a chip. Because the laser beam travels in a corkscrew pattern, encoding information into different vortex twists, it’s able to carry 10 times or more the amount of information than that of conventional lasers.<br />
Credit: University at Buffalo.</p>
Vortex Laser Offers Hope For Moore’s Law
The optics advancement may solve an approaching data bottleneck by helping to boost computing power and information transfer rates tenfold

<p>This artist’s impression shows the strange object AR Scorpii. In this unique double star a rapidly spinning white dwarf star (right) powers electrons up to almost the speed of light. These high energy particles release blasts of radiation that lash the companion red dwarf star (left) and cause the entire system to pulse dramatically every 1.97 minutes with radiation ranging from the ultraviolet to radio.</p>

<p>Credit: M. Garlick/University of Warwick, ESA/Hubble</p>
White Dwarf Lashes Red Dwarf With Mystery Ray
New type of exotic binary star, a rapidly spinning white dwarf star is powering electrons up to almost the speed of light.
<p>Turbulent atmospheric flows above the storm produce both gravity waves and acoustic waves. Gravity waves are much like how a guitar string moves when plucked, while acoustic waves are compressions of the air (sound waves!). Heating in the upper atmosphere 500 miles above the storm is thought to be caused by a combination of these two wave types 'crashing' like ocean waves on a beach</p>

<p>Credit: Art by Karen Teramura, UH IfA with James O'Donoghue and Luke Moore</p>
Jupiter's Great Red Spot Heats Planet's Upper Atmosphere
Jupiter's Great Red Spot may provide the mysterious source of energy required to heat the planet's upper atmosphere to the unusually high values observed.

Knots In Chaotic Waves
New research, using computer models of wave chaos, has shown that three-dimensional tangled vortex filaments can in fact be knotted in many highly complex ways.
Wearable Thin-Film Transistors Developed
KAIST develops ultrathin, transparent oxide thin-film transistors for wearable display.
Single light particle hologram created
Scientists at have created the first ever hologram of a single light particle.

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.

The Chandra Mission

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, which was launched and deployed by Space Shuttle Columbia on July 23, 1999, is the most sophisticated X-ray observatory built to date. Chandra is designed to observe ...
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Many Happy Returns!

The boomerang is a bent or angular throwing club with the characteristics of a multi-winged airfoil. When properly launched, the boomerang returns to the thrower. Although the boomerang is often thoug ...
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Chandra X-ray Observatory
X-ray Telescopes

X-rays are a highly energetic form of light, not visible to human eyes. Light can take on many forms -- including radio waves, microwaves, infrared, visible, ultraviolet, X-ray and gamma radiation. Ve ...
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Science Quote

'All of us, are truly and literally a little bit of stardust.'

William Fowler

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