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Future of cosmology looks bright in a dark universe
PhysicsWorld    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Cosmologists can rejoice: they'll still be able to do their jobs a trillion  years from now -- even after the universe's expansion has pushed nearly all galaxies out of sight. That's the conclusion of an astronomer who argues that the giant black hole at the center of our galaxy will eject stars into the void beyond, providing objects that future cosmologists can use to trace the universe's expansion.  More

'Atomtronics' may be the new 'electronics'
Science News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Forget about wires, silicon and electricity. In a paper soon to appear the journal Physical Review Letters, physicists will report on the development of a new type of circuit that is little more than a puff of gas dancing in laser beams. By choreographing the atoms of this ultracold gas to flow as a current that can be controlled and switched on and off, the scientists have taken a step toward building the world's first "atomtronic" device.  More

Twisted light could enable black hole detection
Scientic American    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Black holes, as their name suggests, are dark. Perfectly dark. A black hole's gravity is so intense that beyond a certain boundary in its vicinity, known as the event horizon, nothing can escape. Now researchers have proposed a new optical technique to observe and study black holes by measuring the imprint they should leave on the light that passes near an event horizon. More

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Vacuum has friction after all
NewScientist    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A ball spinning in a vacuum should never slow down, since no outside forces are acting on it. At least that's what Newton would have said. But what if the vacuum itself creates a type of friction that puts the brakes on spinning objects? The effect, which might soon be detectable, could act on interstellar dust grains. Read the associated APS Physics Synopsis. More

Read-write device offers new architecture for information processing
PhysOrg    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Silicon based logic devices may run out of steam soon as devices get smaller. As a result, physicists have been studying ways to make use of silicon-free materials and structures to improve logic devices, such as computers. Read the associated APS Physics Synopsis. More

Criss-crossed nanowires can compute
Nature News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Scientists have stitched together nanowires to create a microchip capable of basic computation. The unusual chip resembles a screen mesh on a window, but the nano-circuit can outperform a screen window (and many rival nanotechnologies) at addition and subtraction.  More

Feeling the heat
Scientific American    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Short-lived fountains of plasma may explain why the sun's outer atmosphere is hotter than its surface. More

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'Magnetricity' behaves like electricity
Science News via U.S. News & World Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Electricity has a new little sister: magnetricity. A team of physicists in England has created what appear to be magnetic charges -- isolated north and south magnetic poles -- and induced them to flow in crystals no bigger than a centimeter across. These moving magnetic charges, which behave almost exactly like electrical charges flowing through batteries and biological systems, could one day be useful in developing "magnetronic" devices -- though what such devices would do is anybody's guess. More

A humble heavyweight in physics finally gets his due
The Chronicle of Higher Education    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A black hole, though massive, is so tough to see that it typically gains notice only through the effects it has on its surroundings in space. Much the same can be said for Ezra T. Newman, this year's studiously unassuming winner of the American Physical Society's biennial Einstein Prize, one of the most prestigious awards in physics. More

APS Weekly NewsBrief
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