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Cosmic dust demystified

The solar system is a dusty environment, with trillions of cosmic dust particles left behind by comets and asteroids that orbit the sun. All this dust forms a relatively dense cloud through which the Earth travels, sweeping up the interplanetary dust particles very effectively.

Physicists develop a more sensitive microscope

Anyone who has taken a photo in a poorly lit restaurant or dim concert venue knows all too well the grainy, fuzzy outcomes of low-light imaging. Scientists trying to take images of biological specimens encounter the same issue because they tend to work in low light to avoid damaging delicate samples. Show More Summary

First quantum photonic circuit with an electrically driven light source

Whether for use in safe data encryption, ultrafast calculation of huge data volumes or so-called quantum simulation of highly complex systems: Optical quantum computers are a source of hope for tomorrow's computer technology. For the...Show More Summary

Quantum computing a step closer to reality

Physicists at the Australian National University (ANU) have brought quantum computing a step closer to reality by stopping light in a new experiment.

A new device fills missing space in optics' arsenal of light measurement

Interferometers have myriad uses, from detecting gravitational waves to teasing apart the interactions of molecules within our bodies. The instruments make such minute measurements by manipulating beams of light using an optical delay—an effect that's typically achieved by adding length to one of the beam's path, which slows the signal down. Show More Summary

Shape-programmable miniscule robots

One day, microrobots may be able to swim through the human body like sperm or paramecia to carry out medical functions in specific locations. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart have developed...Show More Summary

Turning particle detectors into weapons detectors

Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE) graduate student Jayson Vavrek got his start in high-energy particle physics looking for the smallest forms of matter in the universe. Now at MIT, he uses the same tools and principles to verify nuclear weapons.

Where I’d Rather Be…?

Right now, I'm much rather be on the sofa reading a novel (or whatever it is she's reading)....instead of drawing all those floorboards near her. (Going to add "rooms with lots of floorboards" to [...] Click to continue reading this post ? The post Where I’d Rather Be…? appeared first on Asymptotia.

Construction of world's most sensitive dark matter detector moves forward

LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ), a next-generation dark matter detector that will be at least 100 times more sensitive than its predecessor, has cleared another approval milestone and is on schedule to begin its deep-underground hunt for theoretical particles known as WIMPs, or weakly interacting massive particles, in 2020.

Viewpoint: Improving Electronic Structure Calculations

Author(s): Kieron Burke A new approach to calculating the properties of molecules and solids may offer higher accuracy at reasonable computational cost, accelerating the discovery of useful materials. [Physics 9, 108] Published Mon Sep 26, 2016

Photons do the twist, and scientists can now measure it

Researchers in the University of Minnesota's College of Science and Engineering have measured the twisting force, or torque, generated by light on a silicon chip. Their work holds promise for applications such as miniaturized gyroscopes and torsional sensors to measure magnetic field, which can have significant industrial and consumer impact.

Intern helped get robotic arm on PPPL's PTOLEMY experiment up and running

Deep in a laboratory tucked away in the basement of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), intern Mark Thom punched commands into a computer as two other students checked a chamber where a silver robotic arm extended from a small port.

How to merge two black holes in a simple way

The merger of two black holes, such as the one which produced the gravitational waves discovered by the LIGO Observatory, is considered an extremely complex process that can only be simulated by the world's most powerful supercomputers. Show More Summary

Spectral Standard Model and String Compactifications

  The Connes-Lott-Chamseddine-Barrett model is the observation that the standard model of particle physics — as a classical action functional, but including its coupling to gravity and subsuming a fair bit of fine detail —  may succinctly be encoded in terms of operator algebraic data called a “spectral triple“. This involves some non-commutative algebra,  and […]

Physicists create nanoscale mirror with only 2000 atoms

Mirrors are the simplest means to manipulate light propagation. Usually, a mirror is a macroscopic object composed of a very large number of atoms. In the September 23th issue of the Physical Review Letters, Prof. Julien Laurat and his...Show More Summary

Digital Camera Buyer’s Guide: Compact Point and Shoot

  I’ve never owned a camera (besides what is in my cell phone and laptop). I want to take pictures at parties and post them online or email them to my friends. A: a compact point and shoot camera is likely the best option- everything is automatic, all you need to do is point the […]

Online Life Is Real Life, Aleph-Nought in a Series

Back before The Pip was born, our previous departmental administrative assistant used to bug me– in a friendly way– about how Kate and I ought to have another kid. (She had two kids of her own, about two years apart in age.) “When are you guys going to have another baby?” she would ask, and…

Physics Week in Review: September 24, 2016

Jen-Luc Piquant took a week off from compiling cool physics links, but she's back now! A breakthrough quantum "cat state" experiment with iodine molecules, a new distance record for quantum teleportation, and how Moneyball's basic strategy could help researchers better...

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