Search Content | Science News

Support Science Journalism

Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.

Search Content

E.g., 06/15/2019
E.g., 06/15/2019
Your search has returned 464 images:
  • solar satellite
  • Kibble balance
  • atomic clock
Your search has returned 3724 articles:
  • 50 years ago, scientists wanted to build solar panels on the moon

    Solar power from moon to Earth —

    An almost unlimited supply of electricity could be generated on the moon’s surface by huge arrays of solar cells and beamed to Earth by laser. Sunlight falling on a crater … could produce from 10,000 to 100,000 megawatts of power. By comparison, a large hydroelectric dam on Earth produces about 100 megawatts. Solar cells would be more efficient on...

    06/07/2019 - 08:00 Astronomy, Technology, History of Science
  • News in Brief

    This tabletop device turns the quantum definition of a kilogram into a real mass

    It’s mass for the masses.

    A tabletop device makes the new definition of the kilogram more accessible. Previously, the kilogram had been equal to the mass of a special metal cylinder kept in a vault near Paris. But researchers did away with that standard on May 20, pegging the kilogram instead to a quantum mechanical number known as the Planck constant (SN Online: 5/20/19).

    Using...

    06/03/2019 - 07:00 Physics, Technology
  • Letters to the Editor

    Questions about solar storms, slingshot spiders and more reader feedback

    Blast from the past

    Ice core and tree ring data indicate that nearly 3,000 years ago, Earth was blasted with one of the strongest solar storms ever to pummel the planet, Carolyn Gramling reported in “One of the strongest known solar storms blasted Earth in 660 B.C.” (SN: 4/13/19, p. 15).

    Reddit user diffcalculus wondered what kind of damage such a storm would cause today.

    Earth...

    05/29/2019 - 16:05 Astronomy, Robotics, Animals
  • News

    A new optical atomic clock’s heart is as small as a coffee bean

    Portable atomic clocks are on their way to an upgrade.

    Today’s small, battery-operated atomic clocks track time by counting oscillations of light absorbed by cesium atoms (SN: 9/4/04, p. 50). That light oscillates billions of times per second. Now, a miniature version of a type of atomic clock called an optical clock uses light tuned to rubidium atoms, and beats trillions of times per...

    05/28/2019 - 08:00 Physics, Technology
  • News

    Mathematicians report possible progress on proving the Riemann hypothesis

    Researchers have made what might be new headway toward a proof of the Riemann hypothesis, one of the most impenetrable problems in mathematics. The hypothesis, proposed 160 years ago, could help unravel the mysteries of prime numbers.

    Mathematicians made the advance by tackling a related question about a group of expressions known as Jensen polynomials, they report May 21 in Proceedings...

    05/24/2019 - 12:03 Numbers
  • News in Brief

    Spherical flames in space could solve the mystery of soot-free fires

    Solving this burning question requires starting fires in space.

    Ongoing experiments on the International Space Station could help resolve a scientific debate about why some fires burn without producing soot. Made of carbon particles created when fuel fails to burn completely, soot is a pollutant. The particles are linked to health issues, including cancer (SN: 8/4/07, p. 69), and...

    05/23/2019 - 09:00 Physics, Technology
  • News

    The kilogram just got a revamp. A unit of time might be next

    The new kilogram has finally arrived.

    Updates to scientists’ system of measurement went into force May 20, redefining the kilogram and several other units in the metric system. The revamp does away with some outdated standards — most notably, a metal cylinder kept in a vault near Paris that has defined the kilogram for 130 years (SN: 12/8/18, p. 7).

    Tinkering with units allows...

    05/20/2019 - 07:00 Physics, Numbers
  • Feature

    AI can learn real-world skills from playing StarCraft and Minecraft

    Dario Wünsch was feeling confident. The 28-year-old from Leipzig, Germany, was about to become the first professional gamer to take on the artificial intelligence program AlphaStar in the rapid-fire video game StarCraft II. Wünsch had been professionally playing StarCraft II, in which competitors command alien fleets vying for territory, for nearly a decade. No way could he lose this five-...

    05/14/2019 - 12:07 Artificial Intelligence, Computing, Robotics
  • News

    A new AI acquired humanlike ‘number sense’ on its own

    Artificial intelligence can share our natural ability to make numeric snap judgments.

    Researchers observed this knack for numbers in a computer model composed of virtual brain cells, or neurons, called an artificial neural network. After being trained merely to identify objects in images — a common task for AI — the network developed virtual neurons that respond to specific quantities....

    05/13/2019 - 07:00 Artificial Intelligence, Neuroscience
  • Feature

    The search for new geologic sources of lithium could power a clean future

    The future of lithium is electrifying. Cars and trucks powered by lithium batteries rather than fossil fuels are, to many people, the future of transportation. Rechargeable lithium batteries are also crucial for storing energy produced by solar and wind power, clean energy sources that are a beacon of hope for a world worried about the rapidly changing global climate.

    Prospecting for new...

    05/07/2019 - 14:09 Earth, Technology, Sustainability