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String theory tackles strange metals
Nature News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
String theory, which some physicists hope may be able to unify gravity and quantum mechanics, may have found a real-world application. A type of black hole predicted by string theory may help to explain the properties of a mysterious class of materials called 'strange metals'. Read the associated Physics Viewpoint article. More

Liquid crystals go with the flow
PhysicsWorld    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Color displays and e-readers may become slicker and sharper thanks to a new way of shifting around "digital ink" on a screen. Researchers have presented a more versatile form of electrophoresis, a technique that uses electric fields to control particles suspended in liquid. They say the breakthrough could also be developed for a number of applications such as recreating conditions within the human body.  More

India to build observatory to study neutrino particles
BBC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
India's Department of Atomic Energy has been given clearance to build a multi-million dollar underground facility to study neutrinos. More



Model describes Web page popularity
PhysOrg    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
How do some Web pages become popular? In a recent study, researchers have analyzed Wikipedia articles and a collection of all the Web pages of Chile to better understand the dynamics of online popularity. They observed that online popularity is characterized not by a gradual accumulation process, but by "bursts" that display many of the same features of critical systems, such as stock market crashes and natural phenomena. They also developed a model that captures these critical features of online popularity. Read the associated Physics Synopsis article. More

Alternative yardstick to measure the universe
Nature News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Astronomers have long relied on stellar explosions called Type Ia supernovae to measure the scale of the cosmos. A second class of supernovae may now be put to the same use, providing an independent check on measurements that were first used more than a decade ago to discover the accelerating expansion of the Universe. More

New cosmic distance record-holder
ScienceNews    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A tiny galaxy from the depths of cosmic space and time has become the most distant astronomical object known. At a distance of 13.071 billion light-years, the galaxy is so remote that the light now reaching Earth left the starlit body less than 600 million years after the Big Bang. More

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Winning the World Series with math
Science News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
To run the bases faster, baseball players just need a bit of mathematics, according to research by an undergraduate math major and his professors. Their calculations show that the optimal path around the bases is one that perhaps no major-league ball player has ever run: It swings out a full 18.5 feet from the baseline. More

Want to clean up at poker? Study physics
NPR    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
One reason so many physicists are playing poker -- and playing well -- is that their brains are particularly attuned to thinking about probability, statistics and modeling. In physics, those things are crucial. And in poker, they just might give you a leg up. More



Atom smasher ramps up chase for 'God particle'
MSNBC    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The world's largest atom smasher has been upping its game ever since it opened in 2008. Just last week it reached a new milestone -- the particle accelerator is now smashing unprecedented numbers of protons into each other during each collision. More

The physics of wet dogs
The Guardian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Dog owners no longer have to lay awake at night, wondering how rapidly a wet dog should oscillate its body to effectively shed water onto its favorite human. Presumably, dogs already know, and now, thanks to slo-mo photography, physicists know, too. More

Inching closer to stable superheavy atom
Wired Science    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Scientists searching for the island of stability now have a better map. Thanks to the discovery of six new variations of the superheavy elements on the bottom rung of the periodic table, they are closer to creating elements that are expected to last long enough for in-depth study. More

 
 

APS Weekly NewsBrief
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