In what could be a landmark moment in the history of science, physicists working at the Blackett Physics Laboratory in Imperial College London have designed an experiment to validate one of the most tantalizing hypotheses in quantum electrodynamics: the theory that matter could be created using nothing more than pure light. Read More
In September, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was being tuned to enable it to study proton-lead nucleus collisions for a data run next year. Eventually it ran and data was collected on the collisions for a period of four hours. When the data was analyzed, it revealed that some particle pairs produced in the collision were traveling in the same direction – a highly unusual situation. Although the data is not sufficient for certainty, the consensus appears to favor this as evidence for production of a color-glass condensate, a new form of exotic matter that has so far only existed as a theory. Read More
To say things are really heating up at the US Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory isn't just a bad pun, it's one hell (sorry) of an understatement. An Oxford-led team used the Stanford-based facility that houses the world's most powerful X-ray laser to create and probe a 2-million-degree Celsius (or about 3.6 million degrees Fahrenheit) piece of matter. The experiment allowed the scientists the closest look yet at what conditions might be like in the heart of the Sun, other stars and planets. Read More
British researchers say they've seen a new particle using data from the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider. The chi b(3P) is the first new particle that has been clearly observed using the LHC, the world's largest particle accelerator, which is housed in a 17-mile (27-km) long tunnel near the border of Switzerland and France. Read More
Contrary to claims by some scientists that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was being sabotaged from the future to save the world, it is back up and running. The LHC is now beyond the point where it was in 2008 when it had to be shut down just nine days after it had commenced sending beams around its 27km (17 mile) circuit on September 10 last year. Read More
Scientists have for some time postulated that "dark matter" could partially account for evidence of missing mass in the universe, while the hypothetical form of energy known as "dark energy" is the most popular way to explain recent observations that the universe appears to be expanding at an accelerating rate and accounts for 74 percent of the total mass-energy of the universe according to the standard model of cosmology. To better understand these two mysterious cosmic constituents scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) are using Roadrunner, the world’s fastest supercomputer, to model one of the largest simulations of the distribution of matter in the universe. Read More
The German Aerospace Center (DLR) and Russia’s Roskosmos space agency are joining forces to try and shed some light on the poorly understood phenomenon referred to as ‘dark energy’. In 2012 the German 'extended Roentgen Survey with an Imaging Telescope Array'(eROSITA) X-ray telescope will be taken into orbit on board the Russian Spektrum Roentgen Gamma (SRG) satellite to start searching for black holes and dark matter in an attempt to answer why the expansion of the universe is accelerating instead of slowing down. Read More
Lasers, is there anything they can’t do? If they’re not shooting down UAVs, they’re fighting AIDS or bringing us the next generation of HDTVs. That’s all well and good, but when it comes to lasers there’s none bigger than the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California - an instrument capable of delivering 500 trillion watts of power in a 20-nanosecond burst which is now nearing completion. Its myriad uses will include providing fusion data for nuclear weapons simulations, probing the secrets of extrasolar planets and could even lead to the holy grail of energy production - practical fusion energy. Read More
Computational Cosmology – the use of simulations to shed light on astronomical mysteries – has provided scientists with a glimpse of what the universe may have looked like 500 million years after the Big Bang, when the first galaxies were forming in the universe’s “reionization” stage. The images, produced by scientists at Durham University, will provide researchers with key insights into dark matter, which remains frustratingly elusive, despite being first proposed in 1933 and making up an estimated 80% of the universe. Read More