New quantum theory heats up thermodynamic research Researchers have developed a new quantum version of a 150-year-old thermodynamical thought experiment that could pave the way for the development of quantum heat engines.
Antarctic seals reveal worrying threats to disappearing glaciers More Antarctic meltwater is surfacing than was previously known, modifying the climate, preventing sea ice from forming and boosting marine productivity- according to new research from the University of East Anglia (UEA).
The collapse of Northern California kelp forests will be hard to reverse Satellite imagery shows that the area covered by kelp forests off the coast of Northern California has dropped by more than 95 percent, with just a few small, isolated patches of bull kelp remaining. Species-rich kelp forests have been replaced by "urchin barrens," where purple sea urchins cover a seafloor devoid of kelp and other algae.
Twistoptics—A new way to control optical nonlinearity Nonlinear optics, a study of how light interacts with matter, is critical to many photonic applications, from the green laser pointers we're all familiar with to intense broadband (white) light sources for quantum photonics that enable optical quantum computing, super-resolution imaging, optical sensing and ranging, and more. Through nonlinear optics, researchers are discovering new ways to use light, from getting a closer look at ultrafast processes in physics, biology, and chemistry to enhancing communication and navigation, solar energy harvesting, medical testing, and cybersecurity.
Apparent Atlantic warming cycle likely an artifact of climate forcing Volcanic eruptions, not natural variability, were the cause of an apparent "Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation," a purported cycle of warming thought to have occurred on a timescale of 40 to 60 years during the pre-industrial era, according to a team of climate scientists who looked at a large array of climate modeling experiments.
Nuclear engineering researchers develop new resilient oxide dispersion strengthened alloy Texas A&M University researchers have recently shown superior performance of a new oxide dispersion strengthened (ODS) alloy they developed for use in both fission and fusion reactors.
X-raying eggs while they cook reveals how egg white becomes solid When an egg is heated, its proteins unfold and form bonds with each other – an X-ray analysis has shown this happening on the micrometre scale over the first 160 seconds of cooking
Synopsis: Upping Brightness 1000-Fold
Author(s): Katherine Wright
By changing the material commonly used to make devices for generating entangled photons, researchers create a quantum light source that is significantly brighter than others.
[Physics 14, s30] Published Thu Mar 04, 2021
Synopsis: Teaching a Neural Network the Hard Way
Author(s): Marric Stephens
A neural network can be made to produce more reliable predictions of nonlinear systems if it is created with conservation laws built in.
[Physics 14, s25] Published Thu Mar 04, 2021
We may have to rewrite our understanding of gravity There is a mismatch between two ways of measuring galactic mass. Dark matter is one way to solve it, but so is rewriting the laws of gravity, says Chanda Prescod-Weinstein
Research News: At-Home Experiment Exposes Gel Cracks
Author(s): Rachel Berkowitz
Kept out of the lab by COVID-19, an undergraduate student has performed experiments in his living room, revealing a mechanism for fracture elongation in soft materials.
[Physics 14, 29] Published Wed Mar 03, 2021
Synopsis: Electrons and Water Molecules Form a Pulsating Cluster
Author(s): Sophia Chen
In water, single electrons can cluster with water molecules to form a quasiparticle that oscillates in size, a behavior that could influence the equilibration speed of chemical reactions in the system.
[Physics 14, s29] Published Wed Mar 03, 2021
A warp drive that doesn't break the laws of physics is possible Previous ideas for warp drives have required types of matter that do not seem to exist, but a new concept could allow them to be made without any imaginary substances
Synopsis: Watching an Egg Cook with X Rays
Author(s): Erika K. Carlson
An x-ray scattering technique reveals how egg whites gel on a range of length and timescales.
[Physics 14, s26] Published Tue Mar 02, 2021
Viewpoint: The Brain—as Critical as Possible
Author(s): Moritz Helias
A constant bombardment of stimuli drives the brain’s dynamics away from a critical point to a “quasicritical” state.
[Physics 14, 28] Published Mon Mar 01, 2021
Focus: The Gambler, Maxwell’s New Demon
Author(s): Philip Ball
In a new version of Maxwell’s demon, the tiny being plays the role of a gambler who knows when to quit.
[Physics 14, 31] Published Fri Feb 26, 2021
Physicists finally worked out why ice is slippery after 150 years We may finally have an answer to the question of why ice is slippery after 150 years: a layer of dancing molecules on its surface
Mathematician makes breakthrough on 100-year-old problem about knots Some tangles that look like knots are actually “the unknot”, which can be untangled into a simple loop, and a new algorithm has sped up the process of finding them
'Splat chemistry' creates substances by chucking molecules at a wall Breaking the chemical bonds in large molecules to form a desired substance can be a fiddly task, but simply chucking molecules at a wall can get the job done
Why the universe can be described by the equations of fluids Studying the universe and the flow of fluids may seem worlds apart, but they involve some of the same equations, writes Chanda Prescod-Weinstein
Physicists beat Lorentz reciprocity for microwave transmission New device could boost telecommunications and be adapted for photonics
Japan’s SuperKEKB set for first particle collisions Revamped accelerator will soon be smashing electrons and positrons together
Wood-based 'supermaterial' is stronger and tougher than steel New material is made by compressing treated wood
Three photons bind together to make a ‘molecule’ of light Technique could be used to create quantum-information systems
Nuclear excitation by electron capture seen at long last Breakthrough could lead to new type of energy source
Pistachio trees 'talk' to their neighbours, reveals statistical physics Ising model could account for nut production of pistachio orchards
US National Science Foundation clamps down on misconduct Agency will now require every grantee organization to report cases of sexual harassment