Posts tagged scinews
Posts tagged scinews
A hyphothesis that the universe started off with only one space dimension then acquired more as it expanded. An observational test is suggested. Unfortunately, the test involves not detecting gravitational waves …
From ScienceDaily, April 20th 2011.
Interesting idea which involves generating power from the magnetic rather than electrical component of sunlight. The article goes a lot further than the abstract for the research it refers to, though: it talks as though the effect has been observed and measured, whereas it was actually a computer simulation of the effect of light on electrons.
Also I’d trust the article a lot more if it didn’t claim at one point that glass is amorphous silicon, implying either that the writer or editor didn’t know the difference between silica (silicon dioxide, a transparent mineral) and silicon (opaque and metallic-looking), or that they didn’t bother to check that they’d written what they meant to.
Still worth a read though.
ScienceDaily news article. Normally phosphorus is essential for life to grow. These microbes were able to continue growing when deprived of phosphorus, by replacing it with arsenic in their chemistry.
More accurately, it’s unclear whether they’re safe or not, and there are reasons to think they might not be. From ScienceDaily.
Flowers’ scent molecules react with pollutants and lose their scent. A mathematical model indicates that scents which before industrialisation could travel for about 1000 to 1200 metres may now only travel 200 to 300 metres. This is bad news for pollinating insects seeking food, and for the plants seeking to be pollinated.
The planet orbits a star which was part of a galaxy swallowed by the Milky Way six to nine billion years ago.
Amplifying light intensity by manipulating the nanostructure of dielectric materials. Experiments achieved 100-fold amplification, but the researchers believe a factor of 100,000 should be possible.
Mammals coexisted with dinosaurs but were tiny. It appears that evolution of bigger and more diverse mammals resulted from the gap left in the ecosystem by the mass extinction of the dinosaurs. The lack of large dinosaurs allowed large mammals to take their place.
Gravitational lensing is the bending of light as it passes a heavy object such as a black hole. One effect is that a star may appear brighter in the sky as is passes behind a black hole. There is known to be a supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy.
Theories involving extra dimensions of space also affect gravity’s variation with distance, and it is possible that observations of a star’s brightness as it passes behind the supermassive black hole would be able to measure this. The main effect of extra dimensions is that the gravity should be “stronger than expected” close to the black hole, meaning that the star would brighten more than expected.
In the case of a particular star due to pass behind the supermassive black hole in 2018, the extra brightening could be as much as 44%, but the faintness of the star means that the observation is on the borderline between being possibility and impracticality.
First direct observation of a phenomenon known as jet quenching in quark–gluon plasma. The main significance is that its observability will enable more detailed study of the behaviour of material in this extreme state.
Quarks and gluons are the particles out of which protons and neutrons are made. Protons and neutrons form the nucleus of any atom—the heavy part in the centre, surrounded by a cloud of electrons. Quark–gluon plasma is a state in which conditions are so extreme that the quarks and gluons can move freely instead of being grouped together into protons and neutrons.