Physics


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Atomic clocks, based on the minute oscillations of atoms, are the most precise timekeeping devices humans have created. Every year, scientists make adjustments that improve the precision of these devices. Now, they’ve achieved new performance records, making two atomic clocks so precise they could detect gravitational waves, those faint ripples in the fabric of space-time.
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Humanity just made a weighty decision. On Friday, representatives of more than 60 nations, gathered in Versailles, France, approved a new definition for the kilogram. Since the 19th century, scientists have based their definition of the fundamental unit of mass on a physical object — a shining platinum iridium cylinder stored in a locked vault
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Strap yourselves in, because CERN has something up its sleeve. On Thursday 1 November, Large Hadron Collider (LHC) physicists will be discussing the fact that they may have found a new and unexpected new particle.   “I’d say theorists are excited and experimentalists are very sceptical,” CERN physicist Alexandre Nikitenko told The Guardian. “As a
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On February 11th, 2016, scientists at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) made history when they announced the first detection of gravitational waves.   Originally predicted made by Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity a century prior, these waves are essentially ripples in space-time that are formed by major astronomical events – such as the merger
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More than eight decades after they were predicted to exist, physicists have found evidence of discrete units of matter that could help us better understand the electrical equivalent of ferromagnetism.   What does that mean? While some materials are permanent magnets that produce their own magnetic field, other materials, such as iron, are ferromagnets. They become
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Scientists have experimentally confirmed the existence of strange new uranium compounds – and they predict some could even achieve superconductivity close to room temperature. Superconducting materials are able to shuttle electricity without any resistance – an incredible feat that could revolutionise our energy use. But so far researchers have only found superconductivity in a handful
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Nobel Prize-winning scientist Donna Strickland did not have a Wikipedia page until she became a Nobel laureate, and earlier attempts to write a page for her were rejected because she was not famous enough.   Strickland won the 2018 Nobel Prize for Physics for breakthroughs in the field of lasers on Tuesday alongside French scientist
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Martin Rees, a well-respected British cosmologist, has made a pretty bold statement when it comes to particle accelerators: there’s a small, but real possibility of disaster. Particle accelerators, like the Large Hadron Collider, shoot particles at incredibly high speeds, smash them together, and observe the fallout.   These high speed collisions have helped us discover
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Inexpensive clean energy sounds like a pipe dream. Scientists have long thought that nuclear fusion, the type of reaction that powers stars like the Sun, could be one way to make it happen, but the reaction has been too difficult to maintain.    Now, we’re closer than ever before to making it happen — physicists from the University
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For the first time, scientists have performed an iconic physics experiment with a positron – the antimatter counterpart of an electron, one of the fundamental particles. Not only did they get some truly interesting results, but this achievement could become the first step towards potentially revolutionary discoveries.   The experiment – an antimatter version of
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Six years after the strange, elusive Higgs boson particle was discovered, scientists working with the world’s largest particle accelerator have finally observed its mysterious, yet most common, decaying process.   Using data from the Large Hadron Collider, physicists caught the boson decaying into two smaller particles – a bottom quark and its antimatter equivalent, an
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What if we have quantum entanglement’s ‘spooky’ nature all wrong, and we’re missing something? A new experiment using the wavelength of photons created more than 7.8 billion years ago makes that more unlikely than ever. If there’s a classical physics explanation for the phenomenon, it’s extremely well hidden.   MIT physicists have pushed the limits