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Dark matter hinted at again at Cresst experiment
BBC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Scientists may have seen more hints of the dark matter purported to make up a majority of the mass in the Universe. Researchers at the Cresst experiment in Italy say they have spotted 67 events in their detectors that may be caused by dark matter particles called Wimps. Read the associated Physical Review Letters abstract. More

Senate budget bill holds energy department science level
Science Insider    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Scientists usually howl like wounded puppies at the prospect of a flat budget for an important U.S. science agency. But given the budget-cutting mood of the current Congress, scientists supported by the Department of Energy (DOE) say they're greatly relieved at the action by a Senate spending panel. At the same time, there will likely be yelps from some members of the pack.  More

Bursts and the rhythm of communication
Science 2.0    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
People communicate in bursts, according to a new study that analyzed around 9,000 million calls for nearly a year. The effect of the bursts is that it slows down the information diffusion since the large periods of inactivity in the communication between two persons make it less likely that information is passed from one to the other. Read the associated Physical Review E abstract. More

How the ear distinguishes sweet sounds from sour notes
ScienceNOW    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A mathematical model may explain how the nerves in your ear sense harmony, a team of biophysicists reports. The model suggests that pleasant harmonies cause neurons to fire in regular patterns whereas discordant notes stimulate messier neuron activity. Read the associated Physical Review Focus article.

Flowing gas helps nanobubbles stick around
PhysicsWorld    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Physicists in the Netherlands say they have explained the mystery of why tiny nanobubbles on wet surfaces can endure for weeks, despite having extremely high internal pressures. Measuring about 1 µm across and 20 nm high, these highly stable entities are tiny versions of the ordinary bubbles that cling to the inside of a full beer or champagne glass. Read the associated APS Physics Viewpoint More

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A supernova fades gloriously into a supernova remnant
Popular Science    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When light from an exploding star in the Large Magellanic Cloud reached Earth in 1987, it was the closest supernova explosion astronomers had witnessed in centuries. Now Supernova 1987a is making history again, this time as the youngest supernova remnant that can be seen from Earth. The supernova debris has been dimming in the years since its discovery, but a team of astronomers announced that the debris is now beginning to brighten again. This means that it is being lit by a different power source, and is a sign of 1987a's transition from supernova to supernova remnant. More

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Climate and weather: Extreme measures
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Can violent hurricanes, floods and droughts be pinned on climate change? Scientists are beginning to say yes. More

Last words
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The Tevatron's data may have more to say, even after the atom smasher shuts down. More

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Video: Deducing the physics of how cats fall
The Atlantic    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
You know when a cat falls, it always lands on its feet. Thomas Kane was the kind of scientist who saw a cat fall and wanted to deduce the biophysics of the trick. In a series of experiments, he dropped cats and photographed them at high-speed, then broke their movements down into mathematics. More

APS Weekly NewsBrief
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