Remember in September when neutrinos were observed moving faster than the speed of light, potentially overturning everything we thought we knew about physics? It was met with all sorts of skepticism and dubiety, so the physicists decided to replicate their experiment and take new measurements.
Well, the new results are in, and they confirm the original findings.
The physicists who claimed to see neutrinos moving faster than light are moving quickly to replicate their experiment, hoping to substantiate their results before submitting them for publication. Since announcing their bizarre, seemingly impossible findings last month, physicists around the world have offered a few possible explanations. But perhaps the best test will be a retest.
In July 2010, a colleague rushed into Justin Kasper’s office at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He showed Kasper a telescope video of something they had never seen before: a comet crashing into the sun. The sight was amazing. But what grabbed Kasper’s attention was the moment before impact, when a surprising cloud puff indicated that the comet had hit unobserved material.
Get ready to witness some James Bond-esque, HALO-style active camouflage action. Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas have cleverly tapped the unique characteristics of carbon nanotubes and the light-bending weirdness of the mirage effect to create a kind of invisibility cloak that can be turned on and off at the flip of a switch.
For today's Nobel Laureates in Physics, it was pretty much a matter of when, not if. When the three winners and their teams announced back in 1998 that the universe was not only expanding, but accelerating, they shook cosmology to its core: Their findings said the universe would end not with a bang, but a whimper.
And the question of why — the mysterious force of dark energy, which accounts for about three-fourths of the mass-energy of the entire universe — is one of the greatest questions in modern science.
Last week's bombshell physics news--those superluminal neutrinos that CERN's OPERA experiment clocked moving faster than the speed of light--are already getting the rigorous vetting that OPERA's researchers were hoping for. And some physicists are already rejecting the notion that CERN's neutrinos broke the cosmic speed limit outright.
Tomorrow Fermilab researchers will power down their Tevatron particle collider for the final time, marking the end of an era. But for some, that era is so over anyhow. Hadrons, like last season's handbag, have had their time in the spotlight. The next hot trend in physics is muons, and all the cool kids know it.
Atom interferometers are neat little devices that exploit the wave characters of atoms to make highly precise measurements of things like distance and or the force of gravity. But because they are fickle by nature--even the smallest vibrations distort their results--atom interferometers have been mostly limited to highly controlled experiments that take place in either underground labs or in free-falling zero-g experiments.
European researchers working at the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) in Grenoble, France, have trapped the largest number of neutrons ever held in place at one time. But while they’ve smashed the previous record (also held by the ILL), it’s still not quite enough, the lead researcher tells BBC. Still, the new approach that got researchers this far may be able to trap far greater numbers of neutrons with a little finessing.
Dr. Jason Steffen, an astrophysicist at Fermilab, came up with a method he claimed could cut airplane boarding times drastically about two years ago. More recently, he tested several different methods of boarding, complete with video: Boarding as we do it now (blocks of fliers, boarding from the back of the plane to the front), compared with a random boarding system and a careful one of his own design. Those three methods, by the way, are in ascending order of effectiveness.