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Lasers make measurement Einstein called 'impossible'
PhysicsWorld    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Researchers in the US have done what Albert Einstein thought was impossible – measure the instantaneous velocity of a particle undergoing Brownian motion. The measurements, performed on micron-sized suspended glass beads, prove directly that a Brownian particle's kinetic energy is independent of its size, as is the case with atoms and molecules, and suggest a way of studying the quantum properties of macroscopic particles. More

Elemental escape
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As nuclear physics vacation spots go, the "island of stability" sounds pretty good. But this island isn't in the Caribbean, the Maldives or even Hawaii. It's at the edge of the periodic table of the elements. Read the associated APS Physics Viewpoint and the associated Physical Review Letters article. More

Quantum imaging technique IDs objects using a single photon
Popular Science    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Physicists have long been able to "ghost image" -- that is, to use a split laser beam to detect the presence of an object without actually seeing or interacting with it -- but the process is complicated and can take a while. Now physicists say they've devised a simpler means to detect the presence of a known object using a single photon. More

Primordial gravitational waves provide a test of cosmological theories
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Ripples in the fabric of spacetime could someday provide observational evidence for the goings-on in the earliest instants of the universe, revealing high-energy processes that currently remain opaque to even the largest particle colliders. More

Quantum crack in cryptographic armor
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Quantum cryptography isn't as invincible as many researchers thought: a commercial quantum key has been fully hacked for the first time. More

BP's estimate of spill rate is way low, engineer suggests
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"It's not rocket science." That's how a Purdue University mechanical engineer described his calculations of startling amounts of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico from fissures in heavily damaged piping at a BP drill site. During a May 19 science briefing convened by the House Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment, Steve Wereley walked members of Congress through his use of particle image velocimetry to explain how he and other engineers track changes in video images of gases or liquids to estimate the volumes billowing before their eyes. More

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A new clue to explain existence
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Physicists at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory are reporting that they have discovered a new clue that could help unravel one of the biggest mysteries of cosmology: why the universe is composed of matter and not its evil-twin opposite, antimatter. If confirmed, the finding portends fundamental discoveries at the new Large Hadron Collider outside Geneva, as well as a possible explanation for our own existence. More

Synchrotron probes Egyptian beads
ABC Science    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Not content with managing the household it appears women in Ancient Egypt were also keeping the budget in the black with some home-based manufacturing. That is the conclusion an Australian team has drawn by using synchrotrons to analyse the synthetic turquoise that was popular during the reign of Pharaoh Akhenaten around 1300 BC. More


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