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  • March 3, 2015
  • 08:00 AM
  • 35 views

Star Trek Phasers, Coming To Us Sooner or Laser

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

Can we make a Star Trek phaser? In a classic example of life imitating art, the militaries of many countries are actively pursuing such directed energy weapons. So far, we’ve developed high-energy lasers and masers, particle beams, and something that looks a lot like an aimed lightning bolt. But our versions are huge, what must be overcome to make hand-held versions?... Read more »

Shao, L., Cline, D., Ding, X., Ho, Y., Kong, Q., Xu, J., Pogorelsky, I., Yakimenko, V., & Kusche, K. (2013) Simulation prediction and experiment setup of vacuum laser acceleration at Brookhaven National Lab-Accelerator Test Facility. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment, 25-29. DOI: 10.1016/j.nima.2012.09.053  

Bartal, T., Foord, M., Bellei, C., Key, M., Flippo, K., Gaillard, S., Offermann, D., Patel, P., Jarrott, L., Higginson, D.... (2011) Focusing of short-pulse high-intensity laser-accelerated proton beams. Nature Physics, 8(2), 139-142. DOI: 10.1038/nphys2153  

Oxborrow, M., Breeze, J., & Alford, N. (2012) Room-temperature solid-state maser. Nature, 488(7411), 353-356. DOI: 10.1038/nature11339  

Peralta, E., Soong, K., England, R., Colby, E., Wu, Z., Montazeri, B., McGuinness, C., McNeur, J., Leedle, K., Walz, D.... (2013) Demonstration of electron acceleration in a laser-driven dielectric microstructure. Nature, 503(7474), 91-94. DOI: 10.1038/nature12664  

  • February 24, 2015
  • 08:00 AM
  • 62 views

Seeing Our Way to Invisibility

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

Is it possible to hide in plain sight? Star Trek had cloaking devices, and Harry Potter and Frodo Baggins had their magic cloaks. In real life, we can make things disappear too. Cloaking devices are quickly becoming reality, and we bend light to make them work.... Read more »

Choi, J., & Howell, J. (2014) Paraxial ray optics cloaking. Optics Express, 22(24), 29465. DOI: 10.1364/OE.22.029465  

Fan, P., Chettiar, U., Cao, L., Afshinmanesh, F., Engheta, N., & Brongersma, M. (2012) An invisible metal–semiconductor photodetector. Nature Photonics, 6(6), 380-385. DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2012.108  

  • February 22, 2015
  • 11:13 AM
  • 93 views

Of tree rings and rain: drought predicted to worsen in southwestern United States

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Droughts have been severe in California and surrounding states, but will they be any worse than previous droughts in Earth's history? A combination of climate models and tree ring analysis provides an answer.... Read more »

Benjamin I. Cook, Toby R. Ault, Jason E. Smerdon. (2015) Unprecedented 21st century drought risk in the American Southwest and Central Plains. Science Advances. info:/

  • February 18, 2015
  • 06:17 PM
  • 106 views

The biofuel controversy

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Many countries are adding biofuels to their mandates for carbon-free, renewable energy? But does biofuel truly fit the bill? Not so much, contrary to what popular culture hopes to believe. Find out the details here.... Read more »

  • February 17, 2015
  • 07:05 AM
  • 93 views

I'll Beam Right Over

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

Star Trek’s 50th anniversary is next year. Wouldn’t transporting a person to the ISS be a great way to celebrate? Well, there are a couple of problems to overcome, but we’re on our way. We have recently learned how to transport information and light from one place to another, without it ever existing anywhere in between! And this will help us make quantum computers that will be able to transport all the information contained in every atom of your body.... Read more »

Ma, X., Herbst, T., Scheidl, T., Wang, D., Kropatschek, S., Naylor, W., Wittmann, B., Mech, A., Kofler, J., Anisimova, E.... (2012) Quantum teleportation over 143 kilometres using active feed-forward. Nature, 489(7415), 269-273. DOI: 10.1038/nature11472  

Yokoyama, S., Ukai, R., Armstrong, S., Sornphiphatphong, C., Kaji, T., Suzuki, S., Yoshikawa, J., Yonezawa, H., Menicucci, N., & Furusawa, A. (2013) Ultra-large-scale continuous-variable cluster states multiplexed in the time domain. Nature Photonics, 7(12), 982-986. DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2013.287  

  • February 14, 2015
  • 06:36 PM
  • 138 views

A very Sciencey Valentine’s day

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Happy valentines day! Okay maybe it’s turned into more of a reason to spend money on chocolate and flowers than it is about showing affection — which is probably why some people hate it — but it can still be a somewhat special day. Unfortunately I’ve been struggling on what I could do for my wife on valentines day. So I thought I would work it out here and maybe even help a few of you who are stuck as well.... Read more »

  • February 13, 2015
  • 03:36 PM
  • 116 views

Interstellar helps physicists research spinning black holes

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

There is a saying that life imitates art and while people like to disagree with the meaning of it, sometimes art can imitate life. For instance the team responsible for the Oscar-nominated visual effects at the centre of Interstellar, have turned science fiction into science fact by providing new insights into the powerful effects of black holes.... Read more »

Oliver James, Eugenie von Tunzelmann, Paul Franklin, & Kip S. Thorne. (2015) Gravitational Lensing by Spinning Black Holes in Astrophysics, and in the Movie Interstellar. Classical and Quantum Gravity. arXiv: 1502.03808v1

  • February 10, 2015
  • 07:00 AM
  • 126 views

Sometimes Warped Thinking Is A Good Thing

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

As Star Trek’s 50th anniversary approaches, are we getting closer to traveling at light speed? Believe it or not – yes, we are. We have begun to understand and harness the power of antimatter, and the plasma bubble-driven warp drive has moved from silly idea to serious consideration – so much so that NASA has designed a warp drive ship, the IXS Enterprise, of course.... Read more »

S. Beghella-Bartoli, P.M. Bhujbal, A. Nas. (2015) Confirmation of Santilli's detection of antimatter galaxies via a telescope with concave lens. America Journal of Modern Physics, 4(1), 34. info:/

Ganiev, Y., Gordeev, V., Krasilnikov, A., Lagutin, V., Otmennikov, V., & Panasenko, A. (2000) Aerodynamic Drag Reduction by Plasma and Hot-Gas Injection. Journal of Thermophysics and Heat Transfer, 14(1), 10-17. DOI: 10.2514/2.6504  

Ronan Keane, & Wei-Ming Zhang. (2012) Beamed Core Antimatter Propulsion: Engine Design and Optimization. J.Br.Interplanet.Soc. arXiv: 1205.2281v2

  • February 4, 2015
  • 07:04 PM
  • 128 views

How to keep the lights on when the fossil fuels are gone

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

My second guest post at the Eyes on Environment blog at Nature's Scitable network. Check out how policy and technology will help integrate renewables into the electrical grid.... Read more »

  • February 2, 2015
  • 07:19 PM
  • 163 views

We can predict the chaos in climate change only so well

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

New analysis in Nature shows that differences in actual and modeled temperature trends are due to natural variability in Earth's climate over short timescales. Read the details here!... Read more »

  • February 1, 2015
  • 10:02 AM
  • 135 views

FeRh: Making the transition to a well-understood potential spintronic material

by Bryn Howells in Spin and Tonic

FeRh is a metallic alloy that has been well investigated over the past 70 years or so, yet a thorough understanding of some of its...
The post FeRh: Making the transition to a well-understood potential spintronic material appeared first on Spin and Tonic.
... Read more »

  • January 31, 2015
  • 03:02 PM
  • 187 views

New theory tries to define where black holes don’t exist

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

The quintessential feature of a black hole is its “point of no return,” or what is more technically called its event horizon, yes just like the movie. When anything—a star, a particle, or wayward human—crosses this horizon, the black hole’s massive gravity pulls it in with such force that it is impossible to escape. At least, this is what happens in traditional black hole models based on general relativity. In general, the existence of this event horizon is responsible for most of the ........ Read more »

  • January 25, 2015
  • 03:36 PM
  • 166 views

Will the ocean follow the land? Marine ecosystems at a tipping point to follow terrestrial defaunation

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Data suggests that marine life may soon follow the mass extinctions seen in terrestrial ecosystems - similarities and differences discussed here!... Read more »

McCauley, D., Pinsky, M., Palumbi, S., Estes, J., Joyce, F., & Warner, R. (2015) Marine defaunation: Animal loss in the global ocean. Science, 347(6219), 1255641-1255641. DOI: 10.1126/science.1255641  

  • January 22, 2015
  • 01:58 PM
  • 150 views

Magnetic domains get a DUI for driving under the influence of DMI

by Bryn Howells in Spin and Tonic

This Week’s Pick of the Past article took a retrospective look at the excitement that magnetic bubble memory caused in the 1970s.  The basic principle...
The post Magnetic domains get a DUI for driving under the influence of DMI appeared first on Spin and Tonic.
... Read more »

  • January 21, 2015
  • 07:24 AM
  • 159 views

Space Exploration 2.0

by Viputheshwar Sitaraman in Draw Science

Redefining space exploration: SpaceX's crazy week in the private space race. [Infographic]... Read more »

  • January 20, 2015
  • 07:00 AM
  • 195 views

The Electrical Grid Needs Fattening Up

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

Make hay while the sun shines is the great lesson from renewable energy. Solar and wind have to be harvested when they occur, or they are lost forever. But how do you store that energy if the national grid doesn’t need it at that moment? Large-scale energy storage is the wave of the future – including pumping air or hydrogen gas into abandoned mines or running the national grid from all our electric cars.... Read more »

F. K. Tuffner, Member, IEEE, and M. Kintner-Meyer, Member, IEEE. (2011) Using Electric Vehicles to Mitigate Imbalance Requirements Associated with an Increased Penetration of Wind Generation. Power and Energy Society General Meeting, 2011 IEEE , 1-8. info:/

  • January 19, 2015
  • 07:33 PM
  • 215 views

Menage-a-trois no more: new design removes need for conductive additives and polymers in battery electrodes

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

An ingenious new battery design removes the need for conductive additives and polymers required in conventional designs. This reduces material use, increasing energy density and has the potential to decreases costs!... Read more »

Kirshenbaum, K., Bock, D., Lee, C., Zhong, Z., Takeuchi, K., Marschilok, A., & Takeuchi, E. (2015) In situ visualization of Li/Ag2VP2O8 batteries revealing rate-dependent discharge mechanism. Science, 347(6218), 149-154. DOI: 10.1126/science.1257289  

Dudney, N., & Li, J. (2015) Using all energy in a battery. Science, 347(6218), 131-132. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa2870  

  • January 15, 2015
  • 07:08 AM
  • 183 views

Samarium from the stars

by Paul Stevenson in Blog of the Isotopes

Recent nuclear experiments involving smashing up uranium nuclei and examining the fragments help tell us how elements are formed in the stars... Read more »

Patel, Z., Söderström, P., Podolyák, Z., Regan, P., Walker, P., Watanabe, H., Ideguchi, E., Simpson, G., Liu, H., Nishimura, S.... (2014) Isomer Decay Spectroscopy of Sm164 and Gd166: Midshell Collectivity Around N. Physical Review Letters, 113(26). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.113.262502  

  • January 15, 2015
  • 06:59 AM
  • 172 views

Samarium from the stars

by Paul Stevenson in Blog of the Isotopes

Over the Christmas period, I enjoyed time with my family, sharing presents, eating more food than normal, and suchlike.  One of the perks of my job is that the University shuts down between Christmas and new year, and we are not expected to be in the office.  Not so the stakhanovites at the American Physical Society.  They beavered away producing a regular weekly edition of Physical Review Letters, and the edition for the week ending 31st Dec came out as usual, with online ar........ Read more »

Patel, Z., Söderström, P., Podolyák, Z., Regan, P., Walker, P., Watanabe, H., Ideguchi, E., Simpson, G., Liu, H., Nishimura, S.... (2014) Isomer Decay Spectroscopy of Sm164 and Gd166: Midshell Collectivity Around N. Physical Review Letters, 113(26). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.113.262502  

  • January 14, 2015
  • 03:30 PM
  • 160 views

Spin current affairs: Opening the magnetic gate

by Bryn Howells in Spin and Tonic

Since the discovery of the spin Hall magnetoresistance (SMR) effect in 2013, there has been much discussion about the relative roles of the ferromagnetic insulator...
The post Spin current affairs: Opening the magnetic gate appeared first on Spin and Tonic.
... Read more »

Estitxu Villamor, Miren Isasa, Saul V ¨ elez, Amilcar Bedoya-Pinto, Paolo Vavassori, Luis E. Hueso,. (2015) Modulation of pure spin currents with a ferromagnetic insulator. Phys Rev B, 20403. info:/

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