A single star, careening around the monster black hole in the center of the Milky Way, has provided astronomers with new proof that Albert Einstein was right about gravity.
More than 100 years ago, Einstein’s general theory of relativity revealed that gravity is the result of matter curving the fabric of spacetime (SN: 10/17/15, p. 16). Now, in a paper published July 26 in Astronomy...
Letters to the Editor
Hacking it07/25/2018 - 07:15 Technology, Physics, Genetics
Fleets of autonomous taxis coordinated by an algorithm could curb traffic congestion and vehicle pollution, Maria Temming reported in “Fleets of self-driving taxis could be choreographed to cut traffic” (SN: 6/23/18, p. 5).
“And what happens when the system gets hacked?” asked online reader RME76048. “Sounds like a primo target for an ambitious hacker.”
A spacecraft that revealed details of the hidden tapestry of the infant cosmos has had its last hurrah.
Scientists have unveiled the final result from the European Space Agency’s Planck satellite, which observed the oldest light in the universe — the cosmic microwave background — from 2009 to 2013. During its mission, the spacecraft provided new details of the intricate patterns woven...
With the aid of a particle accelerator, scientists are bringing back ghosts from the past, revealing portraits hidden underneath the tarnished surface of two roughly 150-year-old silver photographic plates.
Researchers used an accelerator called a synchrotron to produce strong, but nondamaging beams of X-rays to scan the damaged photographs, called daguerreotypes, and map their chemical...
Next in speedy trains
Future trains, in [Hisanojo] Ozawa’s opinion, will all be powered by rockets and run over rollers instead of rails…. His next model will be equipped with three rocket engines and will aim for a speed of 1,180 kilometers an hour, or 0.996 Mach. — Science News, July 6, 1968.Update
A rocket-boosted model train from Ozawa, who designed aircraft for the...
News in Brief
Chalk up another win for Einstein’s seemingly invincible theory of gravity. A new study shows that the theory of general relativity holds true even over vast distances.
General relativity prevailed within a region spanning a galactic distance of about 6,500 light-years, scientists report in the June 22 Science. Previously, researchers have precisely tested the theory by studying its...
Survivalists prep for disaster by stocking up on emergency food rations. Aliens, on the other hand, might hoard stars.
To offset a future cosmic energy shortage caused by the accelerating expansion of the universe, a super-advanced civilization could pluck stars from other galaxies and bring them home, theoretical astrophysicist Dan Hooper proposes June 13 at arXiv.org.
It’s a far-...
Smashing together a billion protons a second wasn’t enough for the Large Hadron Collider.
The particle accelerator, located at CERN in Geneva, is getting spiffed up to allow it to carry out collisions at an even faster rate. On June 15, scientists announced the start of construction for an LHC upgrade called the High-Luminosity LHC.
The upgrade will boost the collision rate by at...
Gravity waves evidence
The long search for gravitational waves … may be in the final lap…. Rotating binary stars or, perhaps, other galaxies like the Milky Way but far beyond it, or the center of the Milky Way itself, are likely sources for gravitational radiation. — Science News, June 22, 1968.Update
Although Joseph Weber, a physicist at the University of Maryland, announced...
News in Brief
A heavy element’s nucleus is all bent out of shape.
Nobelium — element number 102 on the periodic table — has an atomic nucleus that is deformed into the shape of an American football, scientists report in the June 8 Physical Review Letters. The element is the heaviest yet to have its nucleus sized up.
By probing individual nobelium atoms with a laser, the team gauged the oblong...