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Archive for the ‘physics’ category: Page 6

Jul 20, 2022

Material with zero thermal expansion

Posted by in categories: chemistry, physics

It’s a basic rule of chemistry and physics: when you heat things up, they get bigger. While there are exceptions (like water and ice), it’s difficult to find a material with zero thermal expansion.

But new research from the University of New South Wales and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation has found a compound that doesn’t thermally expand – at least, not between −269°C and 1126°C.

The researchers examined a substance made from scandium, aluminium, tungsten and oxygen (Sc1.5 Al0.5 W3 O12), bonded together in a crystalline structure.

Jul 20, 2022

China’s Artificial Sun Just Broke a Record for Longest Sustained Nuclear Fusion

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, physics

In a new world record, China’s “artificial sun” project has sustained a nuclear fusion reaction for more than 17 minutes, reports Anthony Cuthbertson for the Independent. In the latest experiment, superheated plasma reached 126 million degrees Fahrenheit—that’s roughly five times hotter than the sun, which radiates a scorching 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit at the surface and about 27 million degrees Fahrenheit at its core.

Coal and natural gas are the primary energy sources currently used around the world, but these materials come in limited supply. Nuclear fusion could be the cleanest energy source available because it replicates the sun’s physics by merging atomic nuclei to generate large amounts of energy into electricity. The process requires no fossil fuels, leaves behind no radioactive waste, and is a safer alternative to fission nuclear power, per the Independent.

“The recent operation lays a solid scientific and experimental foundation towards the running of a fusion reactor,” says Gong Xianzu, a researcher at the Institute of Plasma Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in a statement.

Jul 19, 2022

Avalanche Energy Funded to Developing Lunchbox Sized Micro Fusion Reactors

Posted by in categories: nuclear energy, physics

Avalanche is a VC-backed, fusion energy start-up based in Seattle, WA. They are designing, testing and building micro-fusion reactors that you can hold in your hand. Their modular reactor design can be stacked for endless power applications and unprecedented energy density to provide clean energy and decarbonize the planet.

Avalanche is developing a 5kWe power pack called the “Orbitron” in a form-factor the size of a lunch pail. The unique physics of the Orbitron allows for its compact size which is a key enabler for development, scaling, and a wide variety of applications. Avalanche Energy uses electrostatic fields to trap fusion ions and also uses a magnetron electron confinement to reach higher ion densities. The resulting fusion reaction produces neutrons that can be transformed into heat.

The magnetron is a variation of a component in regular microwave ovens and the electrostatic base technology is a derivative of a product available from ThermoFisher Scientific, which is widely deployed for use in commercial mass spectrometry. They are taking two devices that exist already, things you can buy commercially for various applications. They are putting them together in a new interesting way at much higher voltages” to build a “recirculating beam fusion” prototype.

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Jul 19, 2022

New ‘future-proof’ method could remove phosphorus from wastewater using bacteria

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, chemistry, climatology, physics, sustainability

A recent study from the Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering (SCELSE) at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and published in Wa | Chemistry And Physics.


This study is intriguing since one of the results of climate change is increasing water temperatures, so removing phosphorus from such waters will prove invaluable in the future, with this study appropriately being referred to as a “future-proof” method.

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Jul 17, 2022

James Webb proved it’s possible to look for alien life clues in the atmospheres of exoplanets

Posted by in categories: alien life, physics

Jul 16, 2022

Knots in the resonator: Elegant math in humble physics

Posted by in categories: mathematics, mobile phones, physics

At the heart of every resonator—be it a cello, a gravitational wave detector, or the antenna in your cell phone—there is a beautiful bit of mathematics that has been heretofore unacknowledged.

Yale physicists Jack Harris and Nicholas Read know this because they started finding knots in their data.

In a new study in the journal Nature, Harris, Read, and their co-authors describe a previously unknown characteristic of resonators. A is any object that vibrates only at a specific set of frequencies. They are ubiquitous in sensors, electronics, musical instruments, and other devices, where they are used to produce, amplify, or detect vibrations at specific frequencies.

Jul 14, 2022

Photonic fractals open a new area of topological physics

Posted by in category: physics

Physics World


Faster light is just one benefit of a new family of topological insulators.

Jul 13, 2022

Aquatic carnivorous plants with ultra-fast traps studied

Posted by in category: physics

Circa 2010


How do Utricularia, aquatic carnivorous plants commonly found in marshes, manage to capture their preys in less than a millisecond? A team of French physicists from the Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire de Physique has identified the ingenious mechanical process that enables the plant to ensnare any small, a little too curious aquatic animals that venture too closely. It is the reversal of its curvature and the release of the associated elastic energy that make it the fastest known aquatic trap in the world. These results are published on 16 February 2011 on the website of the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B.

Utricularia are that capture small prey with remarkable suction . Utricularia are rootless plants formed of very thin, forked leaves on which wineskin-shaped traps, just a few millimeters in size, are attached. Only the flowers, standing on long stems, stick out of the water. The traps are underwater. When an aquatic animal (water fleas, cyclops, daphnia or small ) touches its sensitive hairs, the trap sucks it in, in a fraction of a second, along with water, which is then drained through its walls.

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Jul 13, 2022

DeepMind AI learns simple physics like a baby

Posted by in categories: physics, robotics/AI

Inspired by research into how infants learn, computer scientists have created a program that can pick up simple physical rules about the behaviour of objects — and express surprise when they seem to violate those rules. The results were published on 11 July in Nature Human Behaviour1.

Developmental psychologists test how babies understand the motion of objects by tracking their gaze. When shown a video of, for example, a ball that suddenly disappears, the children express surprise, which researchers quantify by measuring how long the infants stare in a particular direction.

Luis Piloto, a computer scientist at Google-owned company DeepMind in London, and his collaborators wanted to develop a similar test for artificial intelligence (AI). The team trained a neural network — a software system that learns by spotting patterns in large amounts of data — with animated videos of simple objects such as cubes and balls.

Jul 12, 2022

What If Physics IS NOT Describing Reality?

Posted by in categories: physics, space

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