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APS Physics - Weekly NewsBrief
July 14, 2009
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A New Low for Nano Ice
from ScienceNews
A block of ice melts at 0˚ Celsius. But chip a few molecules off that ice block and they will begin to melt at a much lower temperature almost 180 degrees cooler. Full Article

Apollo Special: Mirrors on the Moon
from NewScientist
Each clear night when the moon is high in the sky, a group of astronomers in New Mexico take aim at our celestial neighbor and blast it repeatedly with pulses of light from a powerful laser. They target suitcase-sized reflectors left on the lunar surface by the Apollo 11, 14 and 15 missions, as well as by two Russian landers. Full Article

Take a Walk on the Quantum Side
from ScienceNOW
Compounding one challenging concept with another, a team of atomic physicists has put a new twist on the classic "random walk" an idealized wandering that is key for explaining the diffusion of one liquid in another and myriad other real-world phenomena. Full Article

Phantom Menace to Dark Matter Theory
from NewScientist
A subtle anomaly in the orbit of the planets in our solar system could prove a controversial idea that goes beyond Einstein. The orbit of the innermost planet, Mercury, departs from what it should be under Newton's laws. Full Article

Purpose of Bat's Weird Nose Explained
from U.S. News & World Report
Scientists may have solved the mystery of a bat with an extremely large nose, according to a new study. The oversized feature could help the bat sharpen its sonar. The Bourret's horseshoe bat, or Rhinolophus paradoxolophus, was discovered 58 years ago in Southeast Asia and named for its strange facial trait. Full Article

Chinese Scientists Materialize Harry Potter's Magic
from Pravda
Chinese physicists developed the theoretical basis of a new technology that would allow objects to transform from one into another. The article of the scientists describing the process of transformation of one object into another was published in Physical Review Letters Magazine. Full Article

Will the Stars Align for Space-based Solar Power?
from Ars Technica
The high cost of putting hardware into orbit would seem to rule out space-based solar power on financial grounds, but several companies are betting that technology has changed the equation. Here's how such systems would work. Full Article

Russian Energy Firm Presses Forward With World's First Floating Nuclear Power Plant
from Popular Science
It's one of those ideas that just sounds wrong: a barge-like floating nuclear plant in the middle of the ocean. But despite its somewhat unconventional approach, a Russian firm we first reported on in 2006 is forging ahead with plans to have the first model ready to begin service in 2012. Full Article

United Laws of Physics Make More Accurate Predictions
from ABC Science Online via DiscoveryNews
Australian researchers have found a way to unite two laws of physics, which will lead to more reliable predictions of everything from disease spread to internet traffic. Mathematicians Dr. Tony Roberts and PhD student Christophe Haynes from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, will report their work on fractals in the July 17 issue of Physical Review Letters. Full Article

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