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Multiple copies of the Standard Model could solve the hierarchy problem

(—One of the unanswered questions in particle physics is the hierarchy problem, which has implications for understanding why some of the fundamental forces are so much stronger than others. The strengths of the forces are determined...Show More Summary

From photosynthesis to new compounds for eye diseases

Researchers supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation have succeeded in using X-rays to minutely observe a photosynthesis reaction and produce a movie of the event. The findings will aid understanding of similar processes in the human eye. Thanks to the new SwissFEL particle accelerator at the Paul Scherrer Institute, we can expect more discoveries of this kind.

Novel monolayer ferroelectric hybrid structures

Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Materials Science and Technology Division, have demonstrated that the intensity and spectral composition of the photoluminescence emitted from a single monolayer of tungsten disulphide...Show More Summary

Electrons 'puddle' under high magnetic fields, study reveals

Olympic figure skaters and electrons have a lot in common. In figure skating competitions, the "free skate" segment gives the skater the flexibility to travel in whichever pattern he or she chooses around the rink. Similarly, in metals, electrons in outer orbitals can wander fairly freely.

My 116-page survey article on P vs. NP: better late than never

For those who just want the survey itself, not the backstory, it’s here. Two years ago, I learned that John Nash—that John Nash—was, together with Michail Rassias, editing a volume about the great open problems in mathematics.  And they wanted me to write the chapter about the P versus NP question—a question that Nash himself had […]

Optical clock mimics spin–orbit coupling

Simulation could shed light on topological insulators and superconductors

Quantum simulation technique yields topological soliton state in SSH model

Topological insulators, an exciting, relatively new class of materials, are capable of carrying electricity along the edge of the surface, while the bulk of the material acts as an electrical insulator. Practical applications for these...Show More Summary

The researchers created a tiny laser using nanoparticles

Researchers at Aalto University, Finland are the first to develop a plasmonic nanolaser that operates at visible light frequencies and uses so-called dark lattice modes.

How to 3-D print your own sonic tractor beam

Last year Asier Marzo, then a doctoral student at the Public University of Navarre, helped develop the first single-sided acoustic tractor beam—that is, the first realization of trapping and pulling an object using sound waves from only one direction. Show More Summary

Random access memory on a low energy diet: Researchers develop basis for a novel memory chip

Memory chips are among the most basic components in computers. The random access memory is where processors temporarily store their data, which is a crucial function. Researchers from Dresden and Basel have now managed to lay the foundation for a new memory chip concept. Show More Summary

Nanophotonics and Micro/Nano Optics International Conference 2017

Conference: 13 Sep 2017 - 15 Sep 2017, Barcelona, Spain. Organized by PREMC.

Discrete, Nonlinear and Disordered Optics

Workshop: 8 May 2017 - 12 May 2017, Dresden, Saxony, Germany. Organized by Mordechai Segev, Alexander Szameit, Sergei Turitsyn.

Frontiers in Water Biophysics 2017

Conference: 23 May 2017 - 28 May 2017, Erice, Sicily, Italy. Organized by Attilio Cesàro (University of Trieste), Lucia Comez (IOM-CNR c/o University of Perugia), Giancarlo Franzese (University of Barcelona).

Fabry-Perot and Michelson Interferometry: A Fundamental Approach

Fabry-Perot Effect: The Fabry-Perot effect is usually treated in most optics textbooks as the interference that results from multiple reflections of the two interfaces of a dielectric slab using a single incident beam. Michelson Interferometer:...Show More Summary

This month in Fermilab history: January

As part of our year-long recognition of Fermilab's 50th anniversary, we will feature a few important milestones in the laboratory's history every month.

Through a Glass….

Loving this looser, pencil-finish style. My only wish is that I'd discovered it in August. But of course I know that I needed to do what I was doing in August in order to get to where I am now. So there it is. Personal evolution is a wonderful thing, isn't it ? (Click for larger view. Show More Summary

Study provides new insights into fluctuations of wind energy, with implications for engineering and policy

The amount of energy generated by renewables fluctuates depending on the natural variability of resources at any given time. The sun isn't always shining, nor is the wind always blowing, so traditional power plants must be kept running, ready to fill the energy gap at a moment's notice. Show More Summary


Happy New Year, everyone!  I tripped over a well-concealed hole and sprained my ankle while carrying my daughter across the grass at Austin’s New Years festival, so am now ringing in 2017 lying in bed immobilized, which somehow seems appropriate.  At least Lily is fine, and at least being bedridden gives me ample opportunity to […]

Another Signing!

Now here's an interesting coincidence! I came on to write a post about something I did earlier today - signing a contract for publishing The Book, with an exciting new publisher(!) - and then I was reminded of a post I did here exactly...Show More Summary

Yang-Mills theory paper gets published!

Exact solutions of quantum field theories are very rare and, normally, refer to toy models and pathological cases. Quite recently, I put on arxiv a pair of papers presenting exact solutions both of the Higgs sector of the Standard Model and the Yang-Mills theory made just of gluons. The former appeared a few month ago […]

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