Amber-encased fossil shines light on evolution of bioluminescent insects Trapped in amber for ~100 million years, an exceptionally well-preserved, light-producing beetle sheds light on the diversification of bioluminescent beetles in the Cretaceous period and provides the missing fossil link between fireflies' living relatives.
Monarch butterfly population moves closer to extinction The number of western monarch butterflies wintering along the California coast has plummeted precipitously to a record low, putting the orange-and-black insects closer to extinction, researchers announced Tuesday.
Astronomers dissect the anatomy of planetary nebulae using Hubble Space Telescope images Images of two iconic planetary nebulae taken by the Hubble Space Telescope are revealing new information about how they develop their dramatic features. Researchers from Rochester Institute of Technology and Green Bank Observatory presented new findings about the Butterfly Nebula (NGC 6302) and the Jewel Bug Nebula (NGC 7027) at the 237th meeting of the American Astronomical Society on Friday, Jan. 15.
Unlocking 'the shape of water' in mechanisms of antibiotic resistance New high-resolution structures of the bacterial ribosome determined by researchers at the University of Illinois Chicago show that a single water molecule may be the cause—and possible solution—of antibiotic resistance.
NASA explores solar wind with new view of small sun structures Scientists have combined NASA data and cutting-edge image processing to gain new insight into the solar structures that create the Sun's flow of high-speed solar wind, detailed in new research published today in The Astrophysical Journal. This first look at relatively small features, dubbed "plumelets," could help scientists understand how and why disturbances form in the solar wind.
Land deals meant to improve food security may have hurt Large-scale land acquisitions by foreign investors, intended to improve global food security, had little to no benefit, increasing crop production in some areas while simultaneously threatening local food security in others, according to researchers who studied their effects.
Synopsis: Where Champagne Gets Its Sound
Author(s): Katherine Wright
Researchers have uncovered the specific mechanisms that produce champagne’s crackle.
[Physics 14, s7] Published Tue Jan 19, 2021
Viewpoint: Tracking a Single Ion in an Ultracold Gas
Author(s): Johannes Hecker Denschlag
Direct observation of an ion moving through a Bose-Einstein condensate identifies the effect of ion-atom collisions on charge transport in an ultracold gas.
[Physics 14, 8] Published Tue Jan 19, 2021
Focus: Quantum Drones Take Flight
Author(s): Michael Schirber
A small prototype of a drone-based quantum network has successfully relayed a quantum signal over a kilometer of free space.
[Physics 14, 7] Published Fri Jan 15, 2021
Synopsis: What It’s Cracked Up To Be
Author(s): Sophia Chen
Researchers have designed a metamaterial that is nearly twice as resistant to cracking in one direction versus the other—what they call a fracture diode.
[Physics 14, s8] Published Thu Jan 14, 2021
News Feature: Common Ground in Avalanche-Like Events
Author(s): Katherine Wright
Physicists have spent decades uncovering similarities in how disordered materials deform. Now they are trying to apply these results to the design of new materials.
[Physics 14, 6] Published Thu Jan 14, 2021
The superconductor breakthrough that could mean an energy revolution We’ve finally made a room-temperature superconductor, so materials that transport electricity without wasting any of it are within our grasp
Synopsis: A Vortex in an Egg Cell
Author(s): Rachel Berkowitz
During a fruit-fly egg cell’s early development, its internal fluid begins to swirl in a vortex—a transition caused by the coordinated behavior of elastic filaments in the cell.
[Physics 14, s1] Published Wed Jan 13, 2021
Viewpoint: Revealing a Pauli Crystal
Author(s): Christie Chiu
A novel, high-resolution fluorescence imaging technique reveals a pattern, known as a Pauli crystal, that can emerge in a cloud of trapped, noninteracting fermions.
[Physics 14, 5] Published Wed Jan 13, 2021
How every galaxy comes from quantum fluctuations billions of years ago All the galaxies in the universe started out in a similar way, but the forms they now take are incredibly diverse, writes Chanda Prescod-Weinstein
Everything we know about the universe – and a few things we don't How big is the universe? What shape is it? How fast is it expanding? And when will it end? We answer these questions and more in our essential guide to the current state of cosmological knowledge
We may be able to find magnetic fields from the start of the universe Astronomers have long wanted to find primordial magnetic fields, which were created fractions of a second after the big bang, and now researchers have found a way to detect them
If the multiverse exists, are there infinite copies of me? According to the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, the universe is constantly dividing and taking you with it – so would you recognise your other selves if you met them?
Physics might create a backdoor to an afterlife – but don't bank on it Quantum information can never be destroyed, so some of the essence of you could live on after death – but it’s not going to help the physical you
Superfluid used to make sounds that might be heard in neutron star Nobody will ever hear the sounds produced inside a neutron star, but we have created what might be the next best thing using lithium atoms that behave like a superfluid
Physicists beat Lorentz reciprocity for microwave transmission New device could boost telecommunications and be adapted for photonics
Japan’s SuperKEKB set for first particle collisions Revamped accelerator will soon be smashing electrons and positrons together
Wood-based 'supermaterial' is stronger and tougher than steel New material is made by compressing treated wood
Three photons bind together to make a ‘molecule’ of light Technique could be used to create quantum-information systems
Nuclear excitation by electron capture seen at long last Breakthrough could lead to new type of energy source
Pistachio trees 'talk' to their neighbours, reveals statistical physics Ising model could account for nut production of pistachio orchards
US National Science Foundation clamps down on misconduct Agency will now require every grantee organization to report cases of sexual harassment