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Bouncing beads outwit Feynman
ScienceNews    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Researchers have built a machine that harnesses energy from the random motion of bouncing beads to perform work. The machine, a modified re-creation of a system dreamt up nearly a century ago in a captivating thought experiment, dances around physicist Richard Feynman’s dictum that work can’t be extracted from such a system. More



Bursting bubbles cascade on camera
Physics World    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Researchers have used a high-speed camera to watch the bursting behavior of bubbles lying on the surface of a glass slide -- and found they burst in a cascade that produces increasingly smaller bubbles and eventually jets of liquid. The study, carried out by Jacy Bird and colleagues at Harvard University, could help to improve processes used to make foamy materials. It could also boost our understanding of how ocean bubbles inject aerosols into the atmosphere. More

Fusion facility sparks budget battle
MSNBC    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A funding battle is brewing in Europe over a $20 billion experiment to crack the puzzle of commercializing nuclear fusion -- the process that powers the sun. The European Union's executive arm is trying to coordinate an extra contribution of $1.7 billion in 2012-2013 from EU member countries, whose finances have been crippled by the economic crisis. More



Many solar system comets may have been swiped from other stars
Scientific American    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Comets are usually thought of as icy, dusty emissaries from the deepest reaches of the solar system. But according to a new simulation, many of them could have originated somewhere even more exotic -- in budding planetary systems around other stars. More

AFM tip 'writes' graphene nanowires
Physics World    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A simple one-step process to create nanometer-sized circuits from graphene has been developed by researchers in the U.S. and France. The new technique involves "writing" electrically conducting nanowires onto graphene oxide using a tiny heated tip and could be ideal for making flexible electronic devices. More

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LEDs may put lasers out of quantum computing business
Ars Technica    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Quantum computers scarcely exist yet, but scientists have already begun working on shrinking them down by creating smaller components. A group of researchers have devised a way to use an LED to generate the entangled photon pairs needed for quantum teleportation, computing, and encryption. While the LED is not quite as reliable as lasers, its smaller footprint should help make quantum applications a bit more practical. More

Did a 'sleeper' field awake to expand the universe?
NewScientist    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It's the ultimate sleeper agent. An energy field lurking inactive since the big bang might now be causing the expansion of the universe to accelerate.  More



Overexposed?
The Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
We fret about airport scanners, power lines, cell phones and even microwaves. It's true that we get too much radiation. But it's not from those sources -- it's from too many medical tests. More

 
 

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