Physics

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The long-running series in which readers answer other readers’ questions on subjects ranging from trivial flights of fancy to profound scientific concepts Given a theoretically perfect set of mirrors reflecting into each other and a perfect set of eyes, can you see infinity? Francois Pittion Continue reading… Source link
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On Roger Elliott’s 60th birthday, a conference in his honour displayed beneath his photograph the title: “Disorder in Condensed Matter Physics”. This reference to his speciality in theoretical physics, where he made important contributions to theories of optical, magnetic and semiconductor properties of the solid state, was ironic, for Elliott, who has died aged 89,
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The following is adapted from a press release issued today by MIT and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. NASA’s next planet hunter, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), is one step closer to searching for new worlds after successfully completing a lunar flyby on May 17. The spacecraft passed about 5,000 miles from the moon,
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Eight MIT students and recent alumni have been named winners of Fulbright U.S. Student Program research awards. An additional student received an award but declined the grant to pursue other opportunities. Destinations for this year’s Fulbright recipients include Germany, Switzerland, and other countries of the European Union; Chile; and Indonesia. Students’ research interests range from
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A new result from the Qweak experiment at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility provides a precision test of the weak force, one of four fundamental forces in nature. This result, published recently in Nature, also constrains possibilities for new particles and forces beyond our present knowledge. The Qweak experiment has
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At what we might call the most “fundamental” level, the laws of nature do not much care in which direction time flows. Yet from our point of view, as participants in the physical universe, the arrow time is an inescapable and supremely important fact. Put briefly, some things cause other things, and we get old.
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Ever since scientists discovered the first planet outside of our solar system, 51 Pegasi b, the astronomical field of exoplanets has exploded, thanks in large part to the Kepler Space Telescope. Now, with the successful launch of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), Professor Sara Seager sees a revolution not only in the amount of
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Seven MIT graduate students have been awarded 2018 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowships. They are among 69 fellows nationwide offered the highly competitive awards. NDSEG Fellowships last for up to three years, covering full tuition and mandatory fees. Fellows receive a monthly stipend of $3,200 and a yearly medical insurance stipend. Fellows
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Researchers have tracked special interactions between electrons and crystal lattices inside superconducting metals for the first time. It might not sound like much to the casual observer, but it promises to help radically transform the technology of the future – including quantum computers.   Here’s why: superconductors allow electricity to flow through them with zero
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Researchers have tracked special interactions between electrons and crystal lattices inside superconducting metals for the first time. It might not sound like much to the casual observer, but it promises to help radically transform the technology of the future – including quantum computers.   Here’s why: superconductors allow electricity to flow through them with zero
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For the first time, scientists have managed to show quantum entanglement – which Einstein famously described as “spooky action at a distance” – happening between macroscopic objects, a major step forward in our understanding of quantum physics.   Quantum entanglement links particles in a way that they instantly affect each other, even over vast distances. On the
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For the first time, scientists have managed to show quantum entanglement – which Einstein famously described as “spooky action at a distance” – happening between macroscopic objects, a major step forward in our understanding of quantum physics.   Quantum entanglement links particles in a way that they instantly affect each other, even over vast distances. On the
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My mentor, research supervisor and friend, the physicist WGP (Percy) Lamb, who has died aged 97, was a member of the celebrated King’s College London team that contributed to the unravelling of the structure of DNA in the early 1950s. His PhD work at King’s was supervised by John Randall and as a result Percy
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“When we talk about our experiences as graduate students at MIT, my colleagues and I tend to use words like ‘challenging,’ ‘rewarding,’ ‘inspiring,’ or ‘stressful’,” says Courtney Lesoon, the 2017-2018 Graduate Community Fellow for the Committed to Caring Program and a PhD student in the History, Theory and Criticism Section of the Department of Architecture.
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In Hitler’s Germany, a handful of physicists bristled at the mere mention of quantum theory. The troubling uncertainties of Einsteinian relativity and other physical exotica were viewed as “Jewish science” inimical to German nationhood and the Newtonian mechanics of Deutsche Physik. “German physics” (sometimes called “Aryan physics”) failed to make inroads in 1930s Germany because its
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My father, David Bailin, who has died aged 79, was a physicist who was ahead of his time. His best known work was on superconductivity and superfluidity in relativistic fermion systems, inspired by his former Sussex colleague Tony Leggett’s Nobel prizewinning work on superfluid Helium-3. It gained no citations for the first few years, until
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“I only recently decided on the area to which I would dedicate decades of my life,” confides Mingda Li PhD ’15, who has just been appointed assistant professor in the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering. “I could not commit until I became mentally mature enough to make real contributions.” The area Li today calls his own,