Quantum theory gets physical
Science News Share
Physicists in Canada and Italy have derived quantum mechanics from physical principles related to the storage, manipulation and retrieval of information. The new work is a step in a long, ongoing effort to find fundamental physical motivation for the math of quantum physics, which describes processes in the atomic and subatomic realms with unerring accuracy but defies commonsense understanding. Read the associated APS Physics Viewpoint.
Scientists discover new water waves
By precisely shaking a container of shallow water, researchers have observed two new types of standing waves in water, one of which has never been observed before in any media. Read the associated Physical Review Letters abstract. More
A submarine that doesn't make waves
Wading through water can be such a drag. Even streamlined submarines have to fight the pull of the ocean slowing them down. But with the right outerwear, they may be able to zip through the sea as unburdened as a rocket in outer space - and without leaving so much as a ripple of wake. Read the associated Physical Review Letters abstract. More
Physicists find new subatomic particle
CBS News Share
High-speed collisions at a giant atom smasher have produced what physicists say is a new particle, a heavier relative of the familiar neutron. The particle is called the neutral Xi-sub-b. When it's formed in the Fermilab Tevatron particle accelerator in Batavia, Ill., the neutral Xi-sub-b lasts just a mere instant before decaying into lighter particles. More
Using nuclear fuel for future NASA missions gets boost
The Obama Administration's plan to resume domestic production of the nuclear material needed to power future space missions has won its first, partial victory in Congress. The Appropriations Committee of the House of Representatives voted to give NASA $10 million next year to restart production of plutonium-238, a radioisotope whose heat is converted to electricity to power inner and outer planetary missions in the 2020s and beyond.
Collider sees tantalizing hint of Higgs
Nature News Share
For now, physicists are only willing to call them 'excess events', but fresh data from two experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) are hinting at something unusual — and it could be the most sought-after particle in all of physics. More
Was the universe born spinning?
Physics World Share
The universe was born spinning and continues to do so around a preferred axis - that is the bold conclusion of physicists in the U.S. who have studied the rotation of more than 15,000 galaxies. While most cosmological theories have suggested that - on a large scale - the universe is the same in every direction, these recent findings suggest that the early universe was born spinning about a specific axis. If correct, this also means that the universe does not possess mirror symmetry, but rather has a preferred right or left "handedness." More
Flawed diamonds deliver precious details about early earth's tectonics
Scientific American Share
Volcanoes have coughed up ancient diamonds from hundreds of kilometers beneath the Earth's surface. Their trace impurities provide some priceless information about the first shifts in plate tectonics. More