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Your search has returned 38 articles:
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers question supernova physics

    Supernova surprise

    Astronomers continue to learn a lot from supernova 1987A, which burst onto the scene 30 years ago. Thanks to new detectors that can pick up neutrino signals and even gravitational waves, scientists will be ready when the next nearby star explodes, Emily Conover reported in “Waiting for a supernova” (SN: 2/18/17, p. 24).

    Steve Capps wondered how neutrinos inside an...

    03/22/2017 - 12:10 Particle Physics, Robotics, Condensed Matter
  • News in Brief

    Single-atom magnets store bits of data

    NEW ORLEANS — ­The tiniest electronic gadgets have nothing on a new data-storage device. Each bit is encoded using the magnetic field of a single atom — making for extremely compact data storage, although researchers have stored only two bits of data so far.

    “If you can make your bit smaller, you can store more information,” physicist Fabian Natterer of the École Polytechnique Fédérale...

    03/20/2017 - 16:25 Physics, Technology, Condensed Matter
  • News

    Superfluid helium behaves like black holes

    NEW ORLEANS — Black holes and superfluids make for strange bedfellows: One is famous for being so dense that light can’t escape, and the other is a bizarre liquid that flows without friction. But new computer simulations confirm that superfluid helium follows an unusual rule known from black holes — one with mysterious significance for physics.

    Scientists demonstrated that entropy, a...

    03/16/2017 - 11:13 Physics, Condensed Matter
  • News in Brief

    New form of hydrogen created

    Scientists have produced a new form of hydrogen in the lab — negatively charged hydrogen clusters.

    Each cluster consists of hydrogen molecules arranged around a negatively charged hydrogen ion — a single hydrogen atom with an extra electron — at temperatures near absolute zero, the researchers report in the Dec. 30 Physical Review Letters. Similar, positively charged ion clusters have...

    01/09/2017 - 14:50 Physics, Chemistry, Condensed Matter
  • News in Brief

    Third kind of quasicrystal found in Russian meteorite

    Another “impossible” crystal has been found locked inside a Russian meteorite.

    The specimen is a quasicrystal, a type of material that shatters the rules of crystallography by having an ordered — yet never-repeating — arrangement of atoms. The new find is only the third natural quasicrystal ever found and is the first discovered in nature before being synthesized in a lab, researchers...

    12/08/2016 - 09:00 Earth, Chemistry, Condensed Matter
  • News

    Despite lack of free electrons, bismuth superconducts

    An oddball superconductor is the first of its kind — and if scientists are lucky, its discovery may lead to others.

    At a frigid temperature 5 ten-thousandths of a degree above absolute zero, bismuth becomes a superconductor — a material that conducts electricity without resistance — physicists from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai, India, report online December 1 in...

    12/01/2016 - 14:00 Condensed Matter, Physics, Materials
  • News

    Supersolids produced in exotic state of quantum matter

    A mind-bogglingly strange state of matter may have finally made its appearance. Two teams of scientists report the creation of supersolids, which are both liquid and solid at the same time. Supersolids have a crystalline structure like a solid, but can simultaneously flow like a superfluid, a liquid that flows without friction.

    Research teams from MIT and ETH Zurich both produced...

    11/07/2016 - 12:23 Condensed Matter, Physics
  • News

    Nobel awarded for using math of shapes to explain exotic matter

    Bagels and pretzels have a lot in common with the physics of certain materials: The snacks illustrated the mathematics behind theoretical descriptions of exotic states of matter, work which won the 2016 Nobel Prize in physics on October 4. David Thouless of the University of Washington in Seattle, J. Michael Kosterlitz of Brown University and Duncan Haldane of Princeton University received the...

    10/04/2016 - 14:46 Condensed Matter, Physics, Materials
  • Feature

    The pressure is on to make metallic hydrogen

    In a few highly specialized laboratories, scientists bombard matter with the world’s most powerful electrical pulses or zap it with sophisticated lasers. Other labs squeeze heavy-duty diamonds together hard enough to crack them.

    All this is in pursuit of a priceless metal. It’s not gold, silver or platinum. The scientists’ quarry is hydrogen in its most elusive of forms.

    Several...

    08/10/2016 - 09:00 Physics, Materials, Condensed Matter
  • News

    Electrons have potential for mutual attraction

    Standoffish electrons typically keep one another at arm’s length, repelling their neighbors. But surprisingly, under certain circumstances, this repulsion can cause pairs of electrons to soften their stance toward one another and attract instead, new research shows. The effect may be the key to someday producing a new type of high-temperature superconductor, scientists report in the July 21...

    07/20/2016 - 13:01 Physics, Condensed Matter