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Archive for the ‘physics’ category

Oct 23, 2021

Bringing new life to ATLAS data

Posted by in categories: computing, physics

The ATLAS collaboration is breathing new life into its LHC Run 2 dataset, recorded from 2015 to 2018. Physicists will be reprocessing the entire dataset – nearly 18 PB of collision data – using an updated version of the ATLAS offline analysis software (Athena). Not only will this improve ATLAS physics measurements and searches, it will also position the collaboration well for the upcoming challenges of Run 3 and beyond.

Athena converts raw signals recorded by the ATLAS experiment into more simplified datasets for physicists to study. Its new-and-improved version has been in development for several years and includes multi-threading capabilities, more complex physics-analysis functions and improved memory consumption.

“Our aim was to significantly reduce the amount of memory needed to run the software, widen the types of physics analyses it could do and – most critically – allow current and future ATLAS datasets to be analysed together,” says Zach Marshall, ATLAS Computing Coordinator. “These improvements are a key part of our preparations for future high-intensity operations of the LHC – in particular the High-Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC) run beginning around 2,028 which will see ATLAS’s computing resources in extremely high demand.”

Oct 23, 2021

A Vast “Magnetic Tunnel” May Surround Earth and Our Entire Solar System

Posted by in categories: physics, space

A University of Toronto astronomer’s research suggests the solar system is surrounded by a magnetic tunnel that can be seen in radio waves.

Jennifer West, a research associate at the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics, is making a scientific case that two bright structures seen on opposite sides of the sky – previously considered to be separate – are actually connected and are made of rope-like filaments. The connection forms what looks like a tunnel around our solar system.

The data results of West’s research have been published in the Astrophysical Journal.

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Oct 23, 2021

Physicists Created a Supernova Reaction on Earth Using a Radioactive Beam

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

For the first time, physicists have been able to directly measure one of the ways exploding stars forge the heaviest elements in the Universe.

By probing an accelerated beam of radioactive ions, a team led by physicist Gavin Lotay of the University of Surrey in the UK observed the proton-capture process thought to occur in core-collapse supernovae.

Not only have scientists now seen how this happens in detail, the measurements are allowing us to better understand the production and abundances of mysterious isotopes called p-nuclei.

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Oct 21, 2021

‘Time is elastic’: Why time passes faster atop a mountain than at sea level

Posted by in category: physics

The idea of ‘absolute time’ is an illusion. Physics and subjective experience reveal why.

Oct 21, 2021

Ancient black holes: New research reveals a surprising truth

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Is there anything out there?


The concept of primordial black holes has waxed and waned in scientific circles over the decades. At first, it was a fascinating possibility. After all, the first few seconds of the big bang were pretty heady times, and there may have been large enough differences in density to generate black holes of all sorts of sizes, from microscopic to gigantic. But repeated observations have continually been unable to come up with any conclusive evidence for their existence.

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Oct 20, 2021

Finding this cosmic phenomenon could unlock mysteries of the ancient universe

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Low-frequency gravitational waves could unlock the secrets of the ancient universe.


But scientists still can’t detect these waves at low frequencies that are often the result of even more massive objects colliding with one another or events that took place shortly after the Big Bang.

A team of researchers from the University of Birmingham suggests combining different methods to detect ultra low-frequency gravitational waves that hold the mystery of ancient black holes and the early universe.

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Oct 17, 2021

Planetary Defense: Physicists Propose New Way To Defend Earth Against Cosmic Impacts

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, existential risks, physics

Is Planetary Defense PI in the Sky?

In February of 2,013 skywatchers around the world turned their attention toward asteroid 2012 DA14, a cosmic rock about 150 feet (50 meters) in diameter that was going to fly closer to Earth than the spacecraft that bring us satellite TV.

Little did they realize as they prepared for the once-in-several-decades event that another bit of celestial debris was hurtling toward Earth, with a more direct heading. On February 15 2013, the Chelyabinsk meteor, a roughly 62-foot (19 meter)-diameter asteroid exploded over the city of Chelyabinsk, Russia, as it entered Earth’s atmosphere at a shallow angle. The blast shattered windows and damaged buildings, and nearly two thousand people were hurt, though thankfully no one died.

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Oct 17, 2021

How to Rewrite the Laws of Physics in the Language of Impossibility

Posted by in category: physics

Chiara Marletto is trying to build a master theory — a set of ideas so fundamental that all other theories would spring from it. Her first step: Invoke the impossible.

Oct 13, 2021

Physicists Have Made the World’s Most Precise Measurement of Neutron Lifetime

Posted by in category: physics

An international team of researchers has made the world’s most precise measurement of the neutron’s lifetime, which may help answer questions about the early universe.

An international team of physicists led by researchers at Indiana University Bloomington has announced the world’s most precise measurement of the neutron’s lifetime.

The results from the team, which encompasses scientists from over 10 national labs and universities in the United States and abroad, represent a more than two-fold improvement over previous measurements — with an uncertainty of less than one-tenth of a percent.

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Oct 12, 2021

Physicists announce the world’s most precise measurement of neutron lifetime

Posted by in category: physics

An international team of physicists led by researchers at Indiana University Bloomington has announced the world’s most precise measurement of the neutron’s lifetime.

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