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APS Physics - Weekly NewsBrief
June 23, 2009
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Black Holes on a Desktop
from The Economist
When the Large Hadron Collider, a giant particle accelerator near Geneva, was switched on last September, the press was full of scare stories about the risk of it producing a tiny black hole that would, despite its minuscule size, quickly swallow the Earth. Full Article

Team Detects High-Speed Hydrogen Atoms Coming From the Moon
from ScienceNOW
Scientists probing the outer reaches of our solar system have hit upon an unusual phenomenon much closer to home. Instruments aboard a NASA spacecraft have detected fast-moving hydrogen atoms emanating from the moon. The atoms, which originated as protons from the sun, may help scientists study the lunar surface and other solar system objects in greater detail than believed possible. Full Article

Quirky Supernova Could be Something New
from NewScientist
A supernova seen in 2005 may be a new type of cosmic explosion. What's more, similar explosions may have scattered antimatter throughout our galaxy. "SN 2005E" exploded in a galaxy 100 million light years away. A team led by Hagai Perets at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, has concluded that it does not look like either of the well-known kinds of supernova. Full Article

Microswimmers Make a Splash
from Science News
Michael Phelps, one of the greatest swimmers of all time, propels himself forward by hurling water behind his body. If he were the size of a bacterium, though, that strategy wouldn’t make much of a splash. In a microworld Olympics, Phelps would go home medalless. Full Article

Even Planets Can Have Fat Days
from NewScientist
Humans are not alone in struggling to stay slim. Some planets go through a "fat" stage that swells their waistlines temporarily, which possibly explains why some gas giants are unexpectedly large. Full Article

Smaller Reactor Design for Fusion May Work in a "Pinch"
from Ars Technica
Despite all the focus on alternative energy sources, nuclear fusion has barely rated a mention, as it has turned out to be very difficult to execute. The construction of ITER, a very large scale fusion reactor, has become a divisive issue within physics because of its size and resultant cost: €5 billion. Full Article

Forget Lightning. How Do We Catch Sunshine in a Bottle?
from Discover Magazine
Renewable energy has a critical role to play in reducing greenhouse gases and leading the United States toward energy independence. That role should soon be getting bigger: The US government is pushing for a 100 percent increase in renewable energy by 2012. The two biggest sources are the wind and the sun. Full Article

Study Gives Clues to Increasing X-Rays' Power
from U.S. News & World Report
Three-dimensional, real-time X-ray images of patients could be closer to reality because of research recently completed by scientists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a pair of Russian institutes. Full Article

Why Aren't More Women Tenured Science Professors?
from Scientific American
Women who apply for tenure-track positions at top-tier research universities in math and sciences these days have a slightly better chance of landing the job than their male colleagues, says a new study funded by the National Science Foundation. Full Article

Move Over, Silicon; Here Come Quantum Bismuth Chips
from Popular Science
Bismuth Telluride Valley doesn't quite have the same ring to it, but a new discovery may mean the end of silicon chips. After decades of using Bi2Te3 for its thermoelectric properties, researchers have discovered new properties of the material that paves the way for bismuth telluride chips constructed to power quantum computers. Full Article

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