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Archive for the ‘physics’ category: Page 4

May 20, 2019

Researchers develop new lens manufacturing technique

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

Researchers from Washington State University and Ohio State University have developed a low-cost, easy way to make custom lenses that could help manufacturers avoid the expensive molds required for optical manufacturing.

Led by Lei Li, assistant professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, and graduate student, Mojtaba Falahati, the researchers developed a liquid mold from droplets that they can manipulate with magnets to create lenses in a variety of shapes and sizes. Their work is featured on the cover of the journal, Applied Physics Letters.

High-quality lenses are increasingly used in everything from cameras, to self-driving cars, and virtually all robotics, but the traditional molding and casting processes used in their manufacturing require sophisticated and expensive metal molds. So, manufacturers are mostly limited to mass producing one kind of lens.

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May 19, 2019

Where is the Origin of Life on Earth?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, chemistry, evolution, physics

To answer the iconic question “Are We Alone?”, scientists around the world are also attempting to understand the origin of life. There are many pieces to the puzzle of how life began and many ways to put them together into a big picture. Some of the pieces are firmly established by the laws of chemistry and physics. Others are conjectures about what Earth was like four billion years ago, based on extrapolations of what we know from observing Earth today. However, there are still major gaps in our knowledge and these are necessarily filled in by best guesses.

We invited talented scientists to discuss their different opinions about the origin of life and the site of life’s origin. Most of them will agree that liquid water was necessary, but if we had a time machine and went back in time, would we find life first in a hydrothermal submarine setting in sea water or a fresh water site associated with emerging land masses?

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May 19, 2019

Billion-Dollar Gamble: How A ‘Singular Hero’ Helped Start A New Field In Physics

Posted by in categories: physics, space

This unlikely story begins back in the 1960s, when Isaacson was a doctoral student and got interested in one of Albert Einstein’s predictions.

In 1916, Einstein theorized that any time two massive objects crash together, shock waves should move through the very fabric of the universe. These gravitational waves through space and time are like the ripples you see in water when you toss in a pebble.

“For my thesis, I showed how gravitational waves behave like other kinds of waves, like light and radar, X-rays,” Isaacson says.

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May 17, 2019

High School Student Uses AI to Detect Gravitational Waves

Posted by in categories: cosmology, education, physics, robotics/AI, supercomputing

Before he could legally drive, high school student Adam Rebei was already submitting jobs on the Blue Waters supercomputer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (NCSA) to run complex simulations of black holes.

“My first time using Blue Waters, we did a tour first and got to see the computer, which is a very amazing thing because it’s a very powerful machine,” Rebei told the NCSA, “and I just remember thinking, ‘All of the GPUs!’ It’s an insane amount of GPUs, and I’ve never seen anything like it.”

To get there, Rebei first took an astronomy class that led him to his work with the NCSA. Once there, he teamed up with research scientist Eliu Huerta, who leads the group’s Gravity Group.

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May 17, 2019

Did ‘The Big Bang Theory’ Get the Science Right? A Lesson in Supersymmetry and Economy Class

Posted by in categories: cosmology, economics, physics, science

Is super asymmetry a thing? And do big physicists really travel economy class?

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May 17, 2019

From the Farside –“Ripples in Spacetime Created By Wormholes Leading to Another Universe”

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

In June of 2018 we posted that a team of physicists explored the possibility that the black holes we ‘observe’ in nature are no such thing, but rather some type of exotic compact objects (ECOs) that do not have an event horizon. The scientific collaborations LIGO and Virgo have detected gravitational waves from the fusions of two black holes, inaugurating a new era in the study of the cosmos. But what if those ripples in space-time were produced wormholes that can be traversed to appear in another universe.

“Wormholes do not have an event horizon, but act as a space-time shortcut that can be traversed, a kind of very long throat that takes us to another universe,” says Pablo Bueno from KU Leuven University (Belgium). “The confirmation of echoes in the LIGO or Virgo signals would be a practically irrefutable proof that astrophysical black holes don’t exist. Time will tell if these echoes exist or not. If the result were positive, it would be one of the greatest discoveries in the history of physics.”

“Dark Hearts of the Cosmos” –Dazzling New Mergers of Black Holes and Neutron Stars Announced

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May 16, 2019

The Universal Pattern Popping Up in Math, Physics and Biology

Posted by in categories: biological, mathematics, physics

Quanta’s In Theory video series returns with an exploration of a mysterious mathematical pattern found throughout nature.

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May 9, 2019

Gravitational waves leave a detectable mark, physicists say

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Gravitational waves, first detected in 2016, offer a new window on the universe, with the potential to tell us about everything from the time following the Big Bang to more recent events in galaxy centers.

And while the billion-dollar Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detector watches 24/7 for gravitational waves to pass through the Earth, new research shows those waves leave behind plenty of “memories” that could help detect them even after they’ve passed.

“That gravitational waves can leave permanent changes to a detector after the gravitational waves have passed is one of the rather unusual predictions of general relativity,” said doctoral candidate Alexander Grant, lead author of “Persistent Gravitational Wave Observables: General Framework,” published April 26 in Physical Review D.

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May 9, 2019

ET might use gravitational waves to communicate, researchers

Posted by in category: physics

A minor change to interferometer parameters might reveal the Earth is not alone. Andrew Masterson reports.

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May 7, 2019

What happened before the Big Bang?

Posted by in categories: alien life, evolution, physics

In trying to answer such questions, scientists bump up against the limits of the laws of physics. Existing theories can account for the evolution of the universe from its earliest moments — from a fraction of a second after the Big Bang — but the question of what came before has been among the most vexing in all of science.


“It’s my life’s work to try to answer that question,” University of Toronto physicist Renée Hložek says.

This image represents the evolution of the universe, starting with the Big Bang. The red arrow marks the flow of time.

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