Physics & Astronomy News

<p>Schematic view of a bubble implosion, which is an envisioned picture showing the whole main events integrated, i.e., laser illumination, hot electron spread, implosion, and proton flash. (credit/ M. Murakami)</p>
Laser-driven Implosion
Scientists have discovered a novel particle acceleration mechanism called ‘micro-bubble implosion’
<p>Owens Valley Solar Array (EOVSA)</p>
New Insights into Solar Flares
New insights into solar flares' explosive energy releases were released by the Owens Valley Solar Array (EOVSA)

<p>In this illustration, the grid in the background represents the computational lattice that theoretical physicists used to calculate a particle property known as nucleon axial coupling. This property determines how a W boson (white wavy line) interacts with one of the quarks in a neutron (large transparent sphere in foreground), emitting an electron (large arrow) and antineutrino (dotted arrow) in a process called beta decay. This process transforms the neutron into a proton (distant transparent sphere). (Credit: Evan Berkowitz/Jülich Research Center, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)</p>
Life and Death of a Neutron
Experiments that measure the lifetime of neutrons reveal a perplexing and unresolved discrepancy.
<p>Precision assembly and mechanical technician Ryan Wilkinson inspects MOMA during thermal vacuum testing at Goddard</p>

<p>Credits: NASA</p>
Looking for Signs Life on Mars
Scientists have created a tiny chemistry lab for a rover that will drill beneath the Martian surface looking for signs of past or present life.

Massive Black Hole Devours a Star
Scientist create new models of Tidal Disruption Events - rare, but extremely forceful events taking place in the center of galaxies.
Dark Matter Limit Established
Experimental results from the XENON1T dark matter detector limit the effective size of dark matter particles to 4.1X10-47 square centimeters.
Water is not the same as water
Researchers have succeeded in separating the two forms of water to show that they can exhibit different chemical reactivities.

Science Facts

Quick Change Artist

by Rochelle Treister and

: Image Copyright © 2002 The word transformation means one thing changing into another, like Dr. Jekyl changing into Mr. Hyde. In mathematics, sets of numbers often go through transformations. For example, the numbers representing length and width become a number representing area under one kind of transformation or become perimeter with another. Although most of us can handle that kind of transformation in our heads, there are others that are just as useful but much more complex.

For example, think of wireless communications. If you use a cellular phone, then your service provider keeps track of you and hundreds of other cellular phone users so that your signals can be passed from one antenna to another as you move around. This involves a complicated calculation that's done many times a second by specialized computer chips called digital signal processors(DSPs). The calculation, or transformation, is applied to each row of a table of numbers, row after row, where each row represents a single caller. Since this process takes time, the number of people that can be talking on their phones simultaneously is limited by the speed that the DSPs work. If you've ever gotten a 'network busy' message, then you know that the DSPs have reached their limit.

Recently, a team of engineers and mathematicians produced a computer chip that can operate much faster than DSPs. In fact, part of the calculation is literally at the speed of light. Instead of crunching the numbers for each row individually, the numbers representing up to 256 callers are converted into separate points in a beam of light. The light beam is passed through a special lens that changes it (just the way glasses do). When it comes out on the other side of the lens, it has gone through a transformation that is exactly equivalent to the calculation that used to be performed by a DSP. But this time, hundreds of rows of data have been transformed all at the same time, instead of one at a time. To perform the same number of transformations the old way, you would have to be able to do Tera – that’s 1,000,000,000,000 –operations per second. Try that on an abacus!

Collision of two gold nuclei at the RHIC accelerator. An attempt to produce quark-gluon plasma in the laboratory.
The Early Universe Soup

In the first few millionths of the second after the Big Bang, the universe looked very different than today. In fact the universe existed as a different form of matter altogether: the quark-gluon plas ...
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NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has taken a 'family portrait' of young, ultra-bright stars nested in their embryonic cloud of glowing gases. The celestial maternity ward, called N81, is located 200,000 ...
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This image shows the comet Wild 2, which NASA
NASA Spacecraft Reveals Surprising Anatomy Of A Comet

Findings from a historic encounter between NASA's Stardust spacecraft and a comet have revealed a much stranger world than previously believed. The comet's rigid surface, dotted with towering pinnacle ...
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Science Quote

'As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.'

Albert Einstein

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