An international team of scientists today announced what could be the biggest breakthrough in physics in a hundred years. Specifically, they claim to have at last detected gravitational waves, the enigmatic and elusive ripples in the fabric of spacetime that Albert Einstein first predicted in 1916, in his theory of general relativity.
There's good news for those who were annoyed when Pluto was knocked off the list of planets. According to a pair of scientists at Caltech, there may actually be nine planets in the Solar System after all. Researchers Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown say that a planet ten times the mass of Earth may be circling the Sun in a highly elliptical orbit 20 times the distance of Neptune or 36 billion mi (60 billion km), with a year of 10,000 to 20,000 Earth years.
Scientists believe that Mars once played host to a much warmer and wetter climate, but for that to be the case it must have once had a thicker atmosphere. There's a big problem with that theory, though, with detected levels of carbon not playing nice with atmospheric loss theories. Now, a joint team from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) believes it may have solved the problem, with a new theory that explains the issue by means of two simultaneous mechanisms.
Physicists working at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have discovered a new phase of matter with a highly unusual arrangement of electrons that could see the creation of innovative electronic devices with novel functionalities never before considered. Not quantifiable as a conventional metal, an insulator, or a type of magnet, this previously unknown state may also help answer a range of fundamental questions in the field of "high-temperature" superconductivity.
Living through an airliner crash involves more than just surviving the initial impact – many people are also killed by the flames and smoke that follow when the jet fuel ignites. Researchers at Caltech, however, are trying to minimize the chances of that second part happening. They've developed an additive that helps reduce the intensity of postimpact fuel fires.
The discovery of a
powerful aurora surrounding a distant failed star may in future aid
astronomers in their hunt for habitable planets. The aurora is the
first to be discovered around a brown dwarf, known as LSRJ 1835+3259
(LSRJ). It's a type of star that shares many characteristics with known
exoplanets, and the technique used to observe the phenomenon could
one day be a factor in determining whether a planet could sustain
An international team
of astronomers from Europe, Israel and the United States has
succeeded in shedding light on the origin of Type la supernovae –
powerful nuclear explosions in deep space that allow us to chart the
vast distances between galaxies. It is known that a white dwarf star
is responsible for creating the distinctive, intensely bright
explosion, but the cause of the supernovae are still a topic of hot