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Archive for the ‘physics’ category

Jul 20, 2021

See Jeff Bezos Launch Into Space With Blue Origin Crew

Posted by in categories: business, health, physics, space travel

On the first passenger test flight for his space company Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos blasted into space from West Texas along with his brother Mark Bezos, 82-year-old aviator Wally Funk and 18-year-old physics student Oliver Daemen aboard the rocket New Shepard. NBC’s Tom Costello reports for TODAY from Corn Ranch, Texas.

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Jul 19, 2021

Researchers use high-speed cameras to reveal bubbles popping like blooming flowers

Posted by in categories: chemistry, physics

The oil industry, pharmaceutical companies and bioreactor manufacturers all face one common enemy: bubbles. Bubbles can form during the manufacturing or transport of various liquids, and their formation and rupture can cause significant issues in product quality.

Inspired by these issues and the puzzling physics behind , an international scientific collaboration was born. Stanford University chemical engineer Gerald Fuller along with his Ph.D. students Aadithya Kannan and Vinny Chandran Suja, as well as visiting Ph.D. student Daniele Tammaro from the University of Naples, teamed up to study how different kinds of bubbles pop.

The researchers were particularly interested in bubbles with proteins embedded on their surfaces, which is a common occurrence in the pharmaceutical industry and in bioreactors used for cell culture. In an unanticipated result, the researchers discovered that the protein bubbles they were studying opened up like flowers when popped with a needle. Their findings are detailed in a study published in the journal of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on July 19.

Jul 19, 2021

Gravitational-Wave Observatories Detect Rare Mergers of Black Holes With Neutron Stars for the First Time

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Salvatore Vitale describes how gravitational-wave signals suggest black holes completely devoured their companion neutron stars.

Recently, an international team of scientists, including researchers at MIT, announced the detection of a new kind of astrophysical system: a collision between a black hole and a neutron star — two of the densest, most exotic objects in the universe.

Scientists have detected signals of colliding black holes, and colliding neutron stars, but had not confirmed a merging of a black hole with a neutron star until now. In a study appearing today in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, the scientists report observing not just one, but two such rare events, each of which gave off gravitational waves that reverberated across a large swath of the universe before reaching Earth in January 2020, just 10 days apart.

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Jul 17, 2021

Automated and Autonomous Experiments in Electron and Scanning Probe Microscopy

Posted by in categories: physics, robotics/AI, transportation

Machine learning and artificial intelligence (ML/AI) are rapidly becoming an indispensable part of physics research, with domain applications ranging from theory and materials prediction to high-throughput data analysis. In parallel, the recent successes in applying ML/AI methods for autonomous systems from robotics to self-driving cars to organic and inorganic synthesis are generating enthusiasm for the potential of these techniques to enable automated and autonomous experiments (AE) in imaging. Here, we aim to analyze the major pathways toward AE in imaging methods with sequential image formation mechanisms, focusing on scanning probe microscopy (SPM) and (scanning) transmission electron microscopy ((S)TEM).

Jul 16, 2021

Consciousness and the Laws of Physics

Posted by in categories: neuroscience, physics

We have a much better understanding of physics than we do of consciousness. I consider ways in which intrinsically mental aspects of fundamental ontology might induce modifications of the known laws of physics, or whether they could be relevant to accounting for consciousness if no such modifications exist. I suggest that our current knowledge of physics should make us skeptical of hypothetical modifications of the known rules, and that without such modifications it’s hard to imagine how intrinsically mental aspects could play a useful explanatory role. Draft version of a paper submitted to Journal of Consciousness Studies, special issue responding to Philip Goff’s Galileo’s Error: Foundations for a New Science of Consciousness.

Jul 16, 2021

We Now Have Precise Math to Describe How Black Holes Reflect The Universe

Posted by in categories: cosmology, information science, mathematics, physics

A new set of equations can precisely describe the reflections of the Universe that appear in the warped light around a black hole.

The proximity of each reflection is dependent on the angle of observation with respect to the black hole, and the rate of the black hole’s spin, according to a mathematical solution worked out by physics student Albert Sneppen of the Niels Bohr Institute in Denmark.

This is really cool, absolutely, but it’s not just really cool. It also potentially gives us a new tool for probing the gravitational environment around these extreme objects.

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Jul 14, 2021

Amazon acquires Facebook’s satellite internet team, bolstering its efforts to compete with SpaceX

Posted by in categories: internet, physics, satellites

Amazon acquires Facebook’s Satellite Internet team!

Project Kuiper going strong to compete SpaceX’s StarLink, OneWeb and Telesat.


The deal bolsters Amazon’s $10 billion effort to develop low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites capable of delivering high-speed broadband internet around the globe, while marking the end of Facebook’s ultimately unsuccessful efforts to do the same.

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Jul 12, 2021

Backflipping MIT Mini Cheetah

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, mathematics, physics, robotics/AI

Circa 2019


MIT’S new mini cheetah robot is the first four-legged robot to do a backflip. At only 20 pounds the limber quadruped can bend and swing its legs wide, enabling it to walk either right side up or upside down. The robot can also trot over uneven terrain about twice as fast as an average person’s walking speed. (Learn more: http://news.mit.edu/2019/mit-mini-cheetah-first-four-legged-…kflip-0304)

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Jul 11, 2021

“Primordial black holes” could confirm a theory about the origins of the universe

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

The size of a tennis ball. The mass of the Earth.


But that could change soon.

Current gravitational wave observatories are sensitive to the mergers of stellar-mass black holes. We’ve observed a few mergers involving neutron stars, but most have been between black holes on the order of tens of solar masses.

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Jul 10, 2021

The Final Dance of Mixed Neutron Star-Black Hole Pairs: A New Type of Cataclysmic Event in the Cosmos

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Another missing piece has just been added to our knowledge of cosmic phenomena. The LIGO, Virgo and KAGRA collaborations have announced the first detection of gravitational waves[1] resulting from the ‘mixed’ merger between a black hole and a neutron star.[2] The discovery, published on June 29, 2021 in Astrophysical Journal Letters, involves CNRS researchers working within the Virgo scientific collaboration.

Although it has only been only a few years since the very first observation of gravitational waves, the technique has yielded an extensive repertoire of phenomena involving massive cosmic objects. The LIGO and Virgo detectors have already observed mergers of pairs (or binaries) of black holes and, less frequently, of neutron stars. However, gravitational waves detected in January 2020 provide evidence of the existence of a new type of system. The signals, named GW200105 and GW200115 from their dates of detection, were produced by a process that had been predicted but never observed until now: the coalescence of ‘mixed pairs’ called NSBH pairs, each made up of a neutron star and a black hole.[3]

Gravitational waves contain valuable information about their source, such as the mass of the components making up the binary. Analysis of the signals revealed that GW200105 resulted from the merger, some 900 million years ago, of a black hole and a neutron star, respectively 8.9 times and 1.9 times more massive than the Sun, while GW200115 originated from an NSBH pair which coalesced around 1 billion years ago, with masses 5.7 and 1.5 times greater than the Sun. The difference in mass between the components of the system indicates that they are indeed mixed binaries: the mass of the heavier object corresponds to that of a black hole while the mass of the lighter object is consistent with that of a neutron star. The difference between the two masses could also explain why no light signals were detected by telescopes. When a neutron star approaches a black hole it can theoretically be torn apart by tidal forces, causing flares of electromagnetic radiation. However, in the two cases observed, the black hole, being much more massive, could have gobbled up the neutron star in a single mouthful, leaving no trace.

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