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  • News

    Laser experiment hints at weird in-between ice

    A proposed form of ice acts like a cross between a solid and a liquid. Now, a new study strengthens the case that the weird state of matter really exists.

    Hints of the special phase, called superionic ice, appeared in water ice exposed to high pressures and temperatures, researchers report February 5 in Nature Physics. Although such unusual ice isn’t found naturally on Earth, it might...

    02/05/2018 - 11:00 Physics
  • News

    New laser emits a more stable, energy-efficient light beam

    A new type of laser is modeled after an exotic class of materials called topological insulators. And it’s proving more reliable and energy-efficient than its conventional counterparts, paving the way for possible use in quantum communication and next-generation electronics.

    The device, described online February 1 in Science, is composed of a grid of semiconductor rings that convert...

    02/01/2018 - 14:35 Technology, Physics, Materials
  • News

    Gravity doesn’t leak into large, hidden dimensions

    When it comes to the dimensions of spacetime, what you see may be what you get.

    Using observations from the collision of two neutron stars that made headlines in 2017 (SN: 11/11/17, p. 6), scientists found no evidence of gravity leaking into hidden dimensions. The number of observed large spatial dimensions — kilometer-scale or bigger — is still limited to the three we know and love, the...

    02/01/2018 - 12:30 Physics
  • News

    Lasers trace a new way to create hovering hologram-like images

    View the video

    The 3-D displays seen in such sci-fi movies as Star Wars may not be so far, far away.

    A new laser system renders full-color 3-D images in thin air, researchers report in the Jan. 25 Nature. This technology could someday make futuristic, free-floating visuals for everything from air traffic control to surgical planning.

    With this new technology, “you really can...

    01/24/2018 - 14:30 Technology, Physics
  • News in Brief

    The X-ray glow keeps growing after the recent neutron star collision

    More than 100 days after two neutron stars slammed together, merging into one, new telescope images have revealed that the collision’s lingering X-ray light show has gotten brighter. And scientists don’t fully understand why.

    NASA’s orbiting X-ray telescope, Chandra, previously picked up the X-rays 15 days after gravitational waves from the cataclysm reached Earth on August 17, 2017 (SN...

    01/24/2018 - 09:00 Astronomy, Physics
  • News

    New device can transmit underwater sound to air

    Don’t expect to play a game of Marco Polo by shouting from beneath the pool’s surface. No one will hear you because, normally, only about 0.1 percent of sound is transmitted from water to the air. But a new type of device might one day help.

    Researchers have designed a new metamaterial — a type of material that behaves in ways conventional materials can’t — that increases sound...

    01/23/2018 - 13:00 Materials, Physics
  • News

    Ultrathin 2-D metals get their own periodic table

    A new version of the periodic table showcases the predicted properties of 2-D metals, an obscure class of synthetic materials.

    Arrayed in 1-atom-thick sheets, most of these 2-D metals have yet to be seen in the real world. So Janne Nevalaita and Pekka Koskinen, physicists at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, simulated 2-D materials of 45 metallic elements, ranging from lithium to...

    01/17/2018 - 16:34 Materials, Physics, Chemistry
  • News

    Trio of dead stars upholds a key part of Einstein’s theory of gravity

    OXON HILL, Md. — Observations of a trio of dead stars have confirmed that a foundation of Einstein’s gravitational theory holds even for ultradense objects with strong gravitational fields.

    The complex orbital dance of the three former stars conforms to a rule known as the strong equivalence principle, researchers reported January 10 at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society....

    01/12/2018 - 16:19 Astronomy, Physics
  • Year in Review

    Watch our most-viewed videos of 2017

    No story on the Science News website is complete without visuals. And when it comes to videos, those visuals have lives of their own on other platforms. In addition to incorporating videos into some of our articles, we also post videos to the Science News YouTube channel and the Science News magazine Facebook page, where thousands of people watch them each year.

    We tackled all manner of...

    12/29/2017 - 07:00 Science & Society, Physics, Animals, Astronomy
  • Year in Review

    These 2017 discoveries could be big news, if they turn out to be true

    Some reports from 2017 hint at potentially big discoveries — if the research holds up to additional scientific scrutiny.

    Under pressure

    Putting the squeeze on hydrogen gas turned it into a long-elusive metal that may superconduct, Harvard University physicists claimed (SN: 2/18/17, p. 14). A diamond vise, supercold temperatures and intense pressure made the element reflective — a key...

    12/21/2017 - 06:00 Physics, Astronomy, Anthropology