Deep-sea worms and bacteria team up to harvest methane Scientists at Caltech and Occidental College have discovered a methane-fueled symbiosis between worms and bacteria at the bottom of the sea, shedding new light on the ecology of deep-sea environments.
Study identifies new temperature sensing mechanism in plants A protein called phytochrome B, which can sense light and temperature, triggers plant growth and controls flowering time. How it does so is not fully understood.
New laser technique will allow more powerful—and smaller—particle accelerators By observing electrons that have been accelerated to extremely high energies, scientists are able to unlock clues about the particles that make up our universe.
Unsustainable food systems: Can we reverse current trends? As rural masses migrate to urban areas, populations grow, and people work toward better living standards, global food system sustainability is jeopardized, according to a new analysis spanning low- to high-income countries. The study, which was published April 3 in the scientific journal PLOS ONE, shows that only one major global driver—the increase in international trade flows—appears to have a net positive effect on global food systems sustainability. All other major drivers (population growth, urbanization, lifestyle change, and changes in land use) seem to have negative effects.
New measurements reveal evidence of elusive particles in a newly-discovered superconductor Particle chasing—it's a game that so many physicists play. Sometimes the hunt takes place inside large supercolliders, where spectacular collisions are necessary to find hidden particles and new physics. For physicists studying solids, the game occurs in a much different environment and the sought-after particles don't come from furious collisions. Instead, particle-like entities, called quasiparticles, emerge from complicated electronic interactions that happen deep within a material. Sometimes the quasiparticles are easy to probe, but others are more difficult to spot, lurking just out of reach.
Isolating an elusive phosphatetrahedrane A research team in the Department of Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge U.S., explored a synthetic pathway to generate a phosphatetrahedrane framework. During the synthetic route, the team replaced a single carbon vertex with another p-block element within a highly strained tetrahedrane molecule. Highly strained molecules possess unusually acute bond angles at carbon and are species of high energy. In order to replace a single carbon vertex for less strain in this work, Martin-Louis Y. Riu and colleagues selected phosphorous due to its stable, tetrahedral molecular form. They accomplished the task through dehydrofluorination of fluorophosphine [H(F)P(CtBu)3] generated during the synthetic route. The team isolated a 19 percent yield of the Tri-tert-butyl phosphatetrahedrane [P(CtBu)3] product of interest as a low-melting, volatile and colorless solid. They characterized the product spectroscopically and with single-crystal X-ray diffraction to confirm the tetrahedral nature of the molecule's PC3 core and noted the unexpected thermal stability of the molecule.
Focus: Sound-Driven Spin Waves
Author(s): Michael Schirber
Sound waves generate large-amplitude spin waves that travel long distances in a magnetic film and that could be used to carry information.
[Physics 13, 51] Published Fri Apr 03, 2020
Synopsis: Untangling Neurons with Scattered Light
Light-scattering measurements and high-performance computing enable mapping of complex nerve fiber organizations in the brain.
[Physics 13, s41] Published Thu Apr 02, 2020
Feature: Brain Maps Hint at Response to Music
Playing unfamiliar music to patients could improve music therapy outcomes.
[Physics 13, 50] Published Thu Apr 02, 2020
Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin: The unsung discoverer of star chemistry Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, who discovered that hydrogen dominates our universe, finally gets the recognition she deserves in a rich biography, What Stars Are Made Of
Synopsis: Anomalous Magnetic Moment Still Anomalous
Supercomputer simulations rule out a known quantum effect as the cause of the muon’s unexpectedly strong magnetic moment.
[Physics 13, s39] Published Wed Apr 01, 2020
We now know what causes wine ‘legs’ to drip down inside a glass Wine tears – the drops that form inside a glass after wine is swirled in a glass – are caused by the formation of an unstable shock wave
Even a computer the size of the universe can’t predict everything Fundamental limits on space and time mean that the motion of three black holes is impossible to predict, even with the most powerful computer that could ever be built
Viewpoint: Lining Up for Wakefield Acceleration
Author(s): Jeroen van Tilborg
A proposed design for plasma accelerators would use line-focused laser pulses to overcome the problem of particles outrunning the acceleration region.
[Physics 13, 49] Published Tue Mar 31, 2020
Synopsis: Solving a Magnetic Puzzle
Spectroscopic measurements explain why a van der Waals ferromagnet displays different magnetic behavior in its layered and bulk forms.
[Physics 13, s42] Published Tue Mar 31, 2020
Synopsis: Better Electron Bunches for X-Ray Lasers
Researchers show that they can better shape an electron bunch by using a hollow laser beam, something that could allow them to generate brighter x rays for x-ray free-electron lasers.
[Physics 13, s45] Published Mon Mar 30, 2020
We still don't understand a basic fact about the universe Our measurements of the Hubble constant can't seem to come up with a consistent answer. What we learn next may alter our view of the cosmos, writes Chanda Prescod-Weinstein
How a new twist on quantum theory could solve its biggest mystery The "wave function collapse" transforms vague clouds of quantum possibilities into the physical reality we know – but no one knows how. New experiments are finally revealing reality in the making
Jim Al-Khalili's The World According to Physics is a thrilling ride A new book from Jim Al-Khalili makes cutting-edge physics easily understandable and makes it clear why he fell in love with the subject as a teenager
We've figured out why bubbles make a 'pop' sound when they burst A number of difference forces are involved in producing sound when a bubble pops, and the exact noise depends on the chemical properties of the soap film
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