Earth is not the home you think it is. Far below the scant surface spaces we inhabit, the planet is teeming with an incredibly vast and deep 'dark biosphere' of subterranean lifeforms that scientists are only just beginning to comprehend. Hidden throughout this subsurface realm, some of the world's deepest and oldest organisms thrive in places where life shouldn't even exist, and in new research, scientists have quantified this 'dark matter' of the microbial world like never before.
Over the last 100 years, scientists have realized, first in rats, that neurons in mammalian brains were capable of producing photons, or "biophotons." The photons appear, though faintly, within the visible spectrum, running from near-infrared through violet, or between 200 and 1,300 nanometers. The question is why?
A simple sheet of graphene has noteworthy properties due to a quantum phenomenon in its electron structure called Dirac cones. The system becomes even more interesting if it comprises two superimposed graphene sheets, and one is very slightly turned in its own plane so that the holes in the two carbon lattices no longer completely coincide. For specific angles of twist, the bilayer graphene system displays exotic properties such as superconductivity.
Scientists are looking at some of the most unlikely sources for energy production, partly motivated by academic and research objectives, and partly to create a new framework of energy production and extraction.
After 30 years of research, a team from the “Circuits et Matériaux Quantiques” international associated laboratory, led by researchers from the CNRS and Université de Sherbrooke, has just discovered a universal law for the electronic properties of high-temperature superconductors. Strikingly, this speed limit is linked to the numerical value of Planck’s constant, the fundamental quantity of quantum mechanics representing the smallest possible action that can be taken in nature.
Dr. Jordi Prat-Camps, a research fellow at the University of Sussex, has for the first time demonstrated that the coupling between two magnetic elements can be made extremely asymmetrical. Working with colleagues from the Austrian Academy of Sciences and University of Innsbruck, Dr. Prat-Camps' research rips up the physics rule book by showing it is possible to make one magnet connect to another without the connection happening in the opposite direction. The findings run contrary to long-established beliefs of magnetic coupling, which emerge from the four Maxwell equations dating back to the seminal works of Michael Faraday and James Clerk Maxwell in the 19th century.
Weird materials called Weyl metals might reveal the secrets of how Earth gets its magnetic field. The substances could generate a dynamo effect, the process by which a swirling, electrically conductive material creates a magnetic field, a team of scientists reports in the Oct. 26 Physical Review Letters.
The symmetries that govern the world of elementary particles at the most elementary level could be radically different from what has so far been thought. This surprising conclusion emerges from new work published by theoreticians from Warsaw and Potsdam. The scheme they posit unifies all the forces of nature in a way that is consistent with existing observations and anticipates the existence of new particles with unusual properties that may even be present in our close environs.
Advanced propulsion breakthroughs are near. Spacecraft have been stuck at slow chemical rocket speeds for years and weak ion drive for decades. However, speeds over one million miles per hour before 2050 are possible. There are surprising new innovations with technically feasible projects. NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC) is funding two high potential concepts. New ion drives could have ten times better in terms of ISP and power levels ten thousand times higher.
The good old times tables lead a very exciting secret life involving the infamous Mandelbrot set, the ubiquitous cardioid and a myriad of hidden beautiful patterns. Time for the Mathologer to go on a serious fact-finding mission.
Ancient continents were found under Antarctic ice, thanks to old data from a now-dead European satellite. New analysis of data from the Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) mission has revealed rocky zones called "cratons" in the Earth's lithosphere, a zone between our planet's crust and mantle.
Cohl Furey, a mathematical physicist at the University of Cambridge, is finding links between the Standard Model of particle physics and the octonions, numbers whose multiplication rules are encoded in a triangular diagram called the Fano plane.
A strange dark matter phenomena is speeding towards the Sun at speeds of 500 kilometers per second according to a new study published in the journal Physical Review D, led by theoretical physicist Ciaran O’Hare from the University of Zaragoza in Spain. The team detected 10 billion solar masses worth of dark matter from an ancient dwarf galaxy swallowed by the Milky Way billions of years ago traveling along S1, streaming directly towards the Sun.
TESS was Launched on April 18th, 2018 by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
Kepler discovered 2,681 planets outside our solar system and even more potential candidates. It showed us rocky worlds the size of Earth that, like Earth, might harbor life. It also unveiled incredible super Earths: planets bigger than Earth but smaller than Neptune.