Fossilized wing gives clues about Labrador's biodiversity during the Cretaceous A fossilised insect wing discovered in an abandoned mine in Labrador has led palaeontologists from McGill University and the University of Gda?sk to identify a new hairy cicada species that lived around 100 million years ago.
Why do whales migrate? They return to the tropics to shed their skin, scientists say Whales undertake some of the longest migrations on earth, often swimming many thousands of miles, over many months, to breed in the tropics. The question is why—is it to find food, or to give birth?
Mars InSight lander to push on top of the 'mole' After nearly a year of trying to dig into the Martian surface, the heat probe belonging to NASA's InSight lander is about to get a push. The mission team plans to command the scoop on InSight's robotic arm to press down on the "mole," the mini pile driver designed to hammer itself as much as 16 feet (5 meters) down. They hope that pushing down on the mole's top, also called the back cap, will keep it from backing out of its hole on Mars, as it did twice in recent months after nearly burying itself.
How earthquakes deform gravity Lightning—one, two, three—and thunder. For centuries, people have estimated the distance of a thunderstorm from the time between lightning and thunder. The greater the time gap between the two signals, the further away the observer is from the location of the lightning. This is because lightning propagates at the speed of light with almost no time delay, while thunder propagates at the much slower speed of sound of around 340 metres per second.
Sneaking up on tiny crystals with electron diffraction Understanding the structure of proteins, the building blocks of life, is essential to obtain insight into their biological function. Due to their minute size and extreme fragility, these structures are enormously difficult to determine. Acquiring data of sufficient resolution requires immense doses of high energy X-ray radiation, which unfortunately irrevocably damages the proteins principally being investigated.
When plasmons reach atomic flatland Researchers from the MPSD and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in the United States have discovered a significant new fundamental kind of quantum electronic oscillation, or plasmon, in atomically thin materials. Their work has now been published in Nature Communications. It has potential implications for novel imaging techniques and photochemical reactions at the nanoscale.
Focus: Emitting Photons Is One Way to Be Cool
Author(s): Michael Schirber
A device described in a new proposal would cool an object by causing it to radiate extra heat.
[Physics 13, 22] Published Fri Feb 21, 2020
Synopsis: Improving Models of How Supercapacitors Charge
A new model more accurately predicts the charging time of real supercapacitors by better accounting for the structure of the device’s porous electrodes.
[Physics] Published Thu Feb 20, 2020
Feature: In Hot Pursuit of 21st Century Cooling
Caloric materials could potentially replace conventional cooling systems with planet-friendly technology, but making them cheap and practical is a major challenge.
[Physics 13, 21] Published Thu Feb 20, 2020
Antimatter looks just like matter – which is a big problem for physics A difference in the properties of matter and antimatter could help explain our universe – but a property called the Lamb shift is similar in particles of both
Synopsis: Hybridized Photons Feel Electric Fields
Combining photons with electronic excitations creates a new kind of quasiparticle that can be manipulated with electric or magnetic fields.
[Physics] Published Wed Feb 19, 2020
Synopsis: New Physics Possibilities from Kaon Decay
Previously unpredicted particles or a new type of particle interaction could explain the unexpected rare kaon decay events reported by the KOTO experiment in Japan.
[Physics] Published Wed Feb 19, 2020
Until the End of Time tries to use physics to find the meaning of life Brian Greene's new book argues that life is rare and extraordinary, probably transient, and that in the search for purpose, the only significant answers are ones we create
Synopsis: Watching Three Atoms Collide
Using optical tweezers, researchers bring together three atoms in a controlled manner, allowing them to observe three-body collisions.
[Physics] Published Tue Feb 18, 2020
Viewpoint: Graphene Reveals Its Strange Side
Author(s): Subir Sachdev
Experiments on magic-angle graphene reveal a “strange metal” phase and transport behavior consistent with so-called Planckian dissipation.
[Physics 13, 20] Published Tue Feb 18, 2020
Record-breaking quantum memory brings quantum internet one step closer A communications network secured by the laws of quantum physics would be unhackable, but building one requires a component called a quantum memory, which is still being developed
Don't miss: Emotional veg, antique innovations and spooky maths This week, hide behind the sofa from mind-altering plants, listen and learn from technologies past and find out how the world is underpinned by numbers
Your decision-making ability is a superpower physics can't explain In a universe that unthinkingly follows the rules, human agency is an anomaly. Can physics ever make sense of our power to change the physical world at will?
Photon trick lets you bend the rules of quantum physics A basic rule of quantum physics is that knowing too much about an experiment will break quantum interference, but now physicists have discovered a way to bend that rule
This tiny glass bead has been quantum chilled to near absolute zero A glass bead has been brought down to its coldest possible quantum state using a new method that may one day allow us to observe an object in two places at once
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