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Swimming sea life stirs the oceans
Wired Science    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A growing body of evidence suggests that microscopic animals are responsible for much of the mixing that distributes oxygen and nutrients in the oceans. Two research groups have now added weight to that theory. The researchers examined tracer beads suspended in fluid to record the swimming motions of two species of plankton. The work helps to gauge the cumulative effect of microscopic swimming on macroscopic mixing in large bodies of water. Read the associated APS Physics Viewpoint. More

Phonons tunnel across the vacuum
Physics World    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
Heat can be conducted across a nanometer-sized vacuum gap - something that was deemed impossible until now. So say researchers at the Air Force Research Laboratory in Ohio who have found that the heat is transferred via an effect called "phonon tunneling" in which quantized molecular vibrations, called phonons, appear to traverse the forbidden zone. The finding could be important for improving thermoelectric devices and for future nanoscale electronic circuits. Read the associated Physical Review Focus article. More

Flexible LEDs to boost biomedicine
Nature News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Bendy, stretchy and bio-compatible arrays of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and photodetectors that can be implanted under the skin are boosting prospects of using light inside the body to activate drugs or monitor medical conditions. More

Getting GPS out of a jam
Scientific American    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Global Positioning System we rely on for guiding nuclear missiles and steering tourists to Mount Rushmore, has become a ripe target for enemy attack. In response, US scientists are developing gadgets that can track an object’s position in the event GPS signals are cut off. More

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Ancient, massive galaxy cluster harbors 800 trillion suns
Popular Science    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Now that scientists are done making a map of the cosmic microwave background, they can use that detailed map to find hidden treasures from the ancient universe. Using the South Pole Telescope, they've just found a mother lode: the biggest galaxy cluster ever seen, harboring about 800 trillion suns inside hundreds of galaxies. More

Big bounce cosmos makes inflation a sure thing
NewScientist    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Is our universe a recycled version of an earlier cosmos? The idea, which replaces the big bang with a "big bounce", has received a boost: this vision of the birth of the universe can explain why a subsequent process, called inflation, occurred. More

APS responds to climate-change accusations
Physics World    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The APS has issued a strongly worded statement in response to a published resignation letter from a prominent member of the society. Read the APS press release. More

LHC chief: Finding nothing 'would be interesting'
NewScientist    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As things heat up at the Large Hadron Collider,  the lab's director of research and scientific computing, Sergio Bertolucci, tells of what lies ahead for the world's largest atom smasher. More

Cracks in the Universe
Knox News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Physicists are hot on the trail of one of strangest theorized structures in the universe. A team of researchers have announced what they think are the first indirect observations of ancient cosmic strings, bizarre objects thought to have contributed to the arrangement of objects throughout the universe. Read the associated Physical Review Letters article. More

Bacteria can walk on 'legs'
MSNBC    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Bacteria have legs? That suggestion seemed surprising to Gerard Wong, a bioengineering professor at the University of California at Los Angeles, when his students told him they were seeing some strange behavior in movies of the microbes. Read the associated APS March Meeting abstract. More


APS Weekly NewsBrief
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