Why are some planets rocky and some gaseous? We may just be nearer to finding an answer through a new planet discovered by master’s student Merrin Peterson.
Have you ever wondered why the Earth is rocky and solid and planets like Jupiter and Neptune are gaseous? To add to the intrigue there are brown dwarfs which are neither planet or star, read more on brown dwarfs here.
So, what is it that classifies something as a planet and differentiates between rocky planets and gaseous planets?
Planets and stars are theorized to have formed in the collapsing dust of a nebulae, with the star forming in the centre of rotation and the planets forming in the corresponding disk. Obviously at the centre of rotation the angular momentum will be the greatest and the star will be experiencing significant energy production and emitting vast quantities of visible light. This is not the case for...
An experiment has confirmed that quantum mechanics allows events to occur with no definite causal order. The work has been carried out by Jacqui Romero, Fabio Costa and colleagues at the University of Queensland in Australia, who say that gaining a better understanding of this indefinite causal order could offer a route towards a theory that combines Einstein’s general theory of relativity with quantum mechanics
In classical physics – and everyday life – there is a strict causal relationship between consecutive events. If a second event (B) happens after a first event (A), for example, then Bcannot affect the outcome of A. This relationship, however, breaks down in quantum mechanics because the temporal spread of a particles’s wave function can be greater than the separation in time between A and B. This means that the causal order...
The seemingly random digits known as prime numbers are not nearly as scattershot as previously thought. A new analysis by Princeton University researchers has uncovered patterns in primes that are similar to those found in the positions of atoms inside certain crystal-like materials.
The researchers found a surprising similarity between the sequence of primes over long stretches of the number line and the pattern that results from shining X-rays on a material to reveal the inner arrangement of its atoms. The analysis could lead to predicting primes with high accuracy, said the researchers. The study was published Sept. 5 in the Journal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment.
“There is much more order in prime numbers than ever previously discovered,” said Salvatore Torquato, Princeton’s Lewis Bernard Professor of Natural Sciences, professor of chemistry and the Princeton Institute...
That the human brain contains magnetite is well established; however, its spatial distribution in the brain has remained unknown. A new study shows that the reproducible magnetization patterns of magnetite is preferentially partitioned in the human brain, specifically in the cerebellum and brain stem.
In 1992 researchers identified the presence of magnetite—a permanently magnetic form of iron oxide—in human brain tissue. Iron in the body was no surprise. It is commonly found in ferritin, an intracellular protein common to several organisms, and the magnetite was thought to have formed biogenically, with some possibly originating in ferritin. But the presence of magnetite in the brain could be more than incidental. Various studies have shown that brain cells respond to external magnetic fields. There’s also a disturbing link to neurodegenerative disease: Evidence exists of elevated levels...
Gamma-rays have been observed emanating from the solar poles at a higher rate than expected.
Gamma-rays are the highest observed energy of electromagnetic radiation and are typically produced in energy transitions in atomic nuclei. Similar to photons of light being emitted as electrons reconfigure in atoms, photons of light are released in the reconfiguration of nuclei in an atomic nucleus, albeit at a much higher energy range!
Our star – the Sun – is a hot rotating ball of plasma continuously emitting radiation at a broad range of energies, from radio to gamma-rays.
Energy generation is greatest in the centre of the Sun, decreasing radially outward.
High energy radiation, such as gamma-rays, are thus thought to be due to the bombardment of the solar atmosphere by high velocity protons – hadronic cosmic rays. However, as the gamma-rays from such an interaction are assumed to be absorbed long before...
We are not living in the first universe. There were other universes, in other eons, before ours, a group of physicists has said. Like ours, these universes were full of black holes. And we can detect traces of those long-dead black holes in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) — the radioactive remnant of our universe's violent birth.
At least, that's the somewhat eccentric view of the group of theorists, including the prominent Oxford University mathematical physicist Roger Penrose (also an important Stephen Hawking collaborator). Penrose and his acolytes argue for a modified version of the Big Bang.
In Penrose and similarly-inclined physicists' history of space and time (which they call conformal cyclic cosmology, or CCC), universes bubble up, expand and die in sequence, with black holes from each leaving traces in the universes that follow. And in a new paper released Aug. 6 in the preprint journal arXiv—apparent...
The discovery of buckyballs surprised and delighted chemists in the 1980s, nanotubes jazzed physicists in the 1990s, and graphene charged up materials scientists in the 2000s, but one nanoscale carbon structure – a negatively curved surface called a schwarzite – has eluded everyone. Until now.
UC Berkeley chemists have proved that three carbon structures recently created by scientists in South Korea and Japan are in fact the long-sought schwarzites, which researchers predict will have unique electrical and storage properties like those now being discovered in buckminsterfullerenes (buckyballs or fullerenes for short), nanotubes and graphene.
The new structures were built inside the pores of zeolites, crystalline forms of silicon dioxide – sand – more commonly used as water softeners in laundry detergents and to catalytically crack petroleum into gasoline. Called zeolite-templated carbons (ZTC), the structures were being investigated for possible interesting...
The infamous exotic state of matter - Bose Einstein Condensates – that allows scientists to observe the quantum world has now just been created in space!
In the normal world atoms are separate systems with clearly defined boundaries, however at temperatures nearing absolute zero all those boundary conditions come down and the individual atomic systems coalesce into one. This exotic state of matter is known as a Bose Einstein Condensate (BEC) and was named after physicists Satyendra Nath Bose and Albert Einstein whose work on groups of photons and bosonic atoms led to its prediction in 1924.
BECs are extremely interesting, as now you have an agglomeration of atoms coalesced into one entity such that it can be described by a wave function that is normally reserved for the quantum world.
The first realization of this exotic matter came in 1995 by Eric Cornell and Carl Wiemann when a...
Imaging Tool Flags New Proteins, Lipids and DNA to Track Metabolic Changes in Animals
Imaging tools like X-rays and MRI have revolutionized medicine by giving doctors a close up view of the brain and other vital organs in living, breathing people. Now, Columbia University researchers report a new way to zoom in at the tiniest scales to track changes within individual cells.
Described in Nature Communications, the tool combines a widely used chemical tracer, D2O, or heavy water, with a relatively new laser-imaging method called stimulated Raman scattering (SRS). The technique’s potential applications include helping surgeons quickly and precisely remove tumors, to helping to detect head injuries and developmental and metabolic disorders.
“We can use this technology to visualize metabolic activities in a wide range of animals,” said the study’s senior author Wei Min, a chemistry...
There has been a number of recent scientific discoveries about the Great Pyramids of Giza using technologically advanced methods. For instance, a methodology that utilizes measurements in the variation of flux from cosmic muons (heavy cousins of the electron)—called archaeological muography—detected evidence for a possible second entrance and hidden corridor in the Great Pyramid of Giza (the largest of the Pyramids of Giza). As well, thermal imaging have revealed perplexing thermal anomalies in the Great Pyramid. Several explanations were put forward to explain the cause of the anomalies, but one particularly suggestive explanation was that it is due to increased air circulation caused by a hidden corridor or chamber -- corroborating similar findings using muonic radiographic analysis.