Posts Tagged ‘physics’

LHC Reports Discovery of Its First New Particle

December 22, 2011 Leave a comment

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) on the Franco-Swiss border has made its first clear observation of a new particle since opening in 2009.

It is called Chi_b (3P) and will help scientists understand better the forces that hold matter together.

The as-yet unpublished discovery is reported on the Arxiv pre-print server.

The LHC is exploring some of the fundamental questions in “big physics” by colliding proton particles together in a huge underground facility.

Detail in the sub-atomic wreckage from these impacts is expected to yield new information about the way the Universe is constructed.

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‘Perfect Black’ Coating Raises Intriguing Possibilities in Astronomy

November 23, 2011 Leave a comment

A carbon nanotube coating developed at the University of Michigan acts as a “magic black cloth” that conceals an object’s three-dimensional geometry and makes it look like a flat black sheet.

The 70-micron coating, or carbon nanotube carpet, is about half the thickness of a sheet of paper. It absorbs 99.9 percent of the light that hits it, researchers say.

“You could use it to completely hide any 3D attributes of an object,” said Jay Guo, a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and principal investigator.

“It’s not cloaking, as the object can still cast a shadow. But if you put an object on a black background, then with this coating, it could really become invisible.”

A paper on the research is newly published online in Applied Physics Letters.

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Time Reversal: A Simple Particle Could Reveal New Physics

October 15, 2011 Leave a comment

The physics world was rocked recently by the news that a class of subatomic particles known as neutrinos may have broken the speed of light.

Adding to the rash of new ideas, University of Arizona theoretical physicist Bira van Kolck recently proposed that experiments with another small particle called a deuteron could lead to an explanation for one of the most daunting puzzles physicists face: the imbalance of matter and antimatter in the universe.

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Atwood Awarded Panofsky Prize in Experimental Particle Physics

October 12, 2011 Leave a comment

The American Physical Society (APS) has awarded the 2012 W. K. H. Panofsky Prize in Experimental Particle Physics to William Atwood, adjunct professor of physics at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

The award recognizes Atwood “for his leading work on the design, construction, and use of the Large Area Telescope on the Fermi Gamma-ray Satellite, enabling numerous new results in gamma-ray astrophysics and fundamental physics.”

Atwood played a central role in the conception and development of Fermi’s Large Area Telescope (LAT). The LAT is one of two instruments onboard Fermi and is the most sensitive and highest-resolution gamma-ray detector ever launched. The Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope, formerly called GLAST, is an international and multi-agency space observatory that studies the cosmos in gamma-rays, the most energetic form of light.

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Nobel Prize for Physics 2011 Announced

October 6, 2011 Leave a comment

This year’s Nobel Prize for Physics has been awarded to US and Australian pioneers of astrophysics for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe through observations of distant supernovae.

Saul Perlmutter from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and University of California, Berkeley, has been awarded half of this year’s prize for his work on the Supernova Cosmology Project, with the other half awarded to Brian P. Schmidt from the Australian National University and Adam G. Riess from the Johns Hopkins University and Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, for their work on the High-z Supernova Search Team.

In response to the announcement, Professor Sir Peter Knight, President of the Institute of Physics, said, “The recipients of today’s award are at the frontier of modern astrophysics and have triggered an enormous amount of research on dark energy.

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Missing Fuel for Galactic Star Formation Identified

August 26, 2011 Leave a comment

Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI)

Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI)

The Milky Way will have the fuel to continue forming stars, thanks to massive clouds of ionized gas raining down from its halo and intergalactic space. This is the conclusion of a new study by Nicolas Lehner andChristopher Howk, faculty in the Department of Physics at the University of Notre Dame. Their report, “A Reservoir of Ionized Gas in the Galactic Halo to Sustain Star Formation in the Milky Way,” will be published in Science tomorrow (Aug. 26).

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A Hint of Higgs: An Update from the LHC

August 16, 2011 1 comment

The CMS detector at the LHC weighs in at 14,000 metric tons.

The physics world was abuzz with some tantalizing news a couple of weeks ago. At a meeting of the European Physical Society in Grenoble, France, physicists—including some from Caltech—announced that the latest data from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) might hint at the existence of the ever-elusive Higgs boson.