Math & Physics

A wrinkle in space-time
Mathematicians at UC Davis have come up with a new way to crinkle up the fabric of space-time -- at least in theory.

World record neutron beam at Los Alamos National Laboratory
Using a one-of-a-kind laser system at Los Alamos National Laboratory, scientists have created the largest neutron beam ever made by a short-pulse laser, breaking a world record. Neutron beams are usually made with particle accelerators or nuclear reactors and are commonly used in a wide variety of scientific research, particularly in advanced materials science.

First photo of shadow of single atom
In an international scientific breakthrough, a Griffith University research team has been able to photograph the shadow of a single atom for the first time.

Assessing an object's consistency without touching it
Two teams of researchers have succeeded in evaluating the rigidity of a material… without touching it! To achieve this feat, physicists from the Laboratoire de Physique de la Matière Condensée et des Nanostructures (CNRS / Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1) and the Laboratoire de Physique des Solides (Université Paris-Sud / CNRS) placed a liquid-where they created a very weak, nanometric scale flow-between the probed object and the "tester".

Babar data hint at cracks in the standard model
Recently analysed data from BaBar, a high energy physics experiment in the US, may suggest possible flaws in the Standard Model of particle physics, the reigning description of how the universe works on sub-atomic scales. The data from BaBar, a particle accelerator at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, built by ten countries including the UK, show that a particular type of particle decay, happens more often than the Standard Model says it should. The UK, through Queen Mary, University of London, was part of a panel to internally review the result that has been presented at a conference in China.

Quantum storage system with long-term memory
Credit cards which are completely fraud-proof and passports which cannot be forged: quantum physics could make both of these possible. This is explained by the fact that the quantum mechanical state of a particle, an atomic nucleus, for example, can be neither copied nor read out correctly without additional information which only authorised users of possible cards have. Accordingly, if a credit card were to contain a quantum memory, it would be protected against misuse.

Neutrons escaping to a parallel world?
An anomaly in the behavior of ordinary particles may point to the existence of mirror particles that could be candidates for dark matter responsible for the missing mass of the universe.

Making music with real stars
Why stop at the dark side of the moon to make music when you can look thousands of light years into space? That's what a team of Georgia Tech researchers have done, using data from two stars in our galaxy to create sounds for a national recording artist.

Breaking the limits of classical physics
With simple arguments, researchers show that nature is complicated! Researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute have made a simple experiment that demonstrates that nature violates common sense - the world is different than most people believe. The experiment illustrates that light does not behave according to the principles of classical physics, but that light has quantum mechanical properties. The new method could be used to study whether other systems behave quantum mechanically. The results have been published in the scientific journal, Physical Review Letters.

Fermilab experiment announces world's best measurement of key property of neutrinos
Scientists from the MINOS experiment at the Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory have revealed the world's most precise measurement of a key parameter that governs the transformation of one type of neutrino to another. The results confirm that neutrinos and their antimatter counterparts, antineutrinos, have similar masses as predicted by most commonly accepted theories that explain how the subatomic world works.