The "Science and Space" Thread #2

lotuseclat79

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Big Bang Conditions Created in Lab.

By smashing gold particles together at super-fast speeds, physicists have basically melted protons, creating a kind of "quark soup" of matter that is about 250,000 times hotter than the center of the sun and similar to conditions just after the birth of the universe.

-- Tom
 

lotuseclat79

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First bounds on the Higgs boson from hadron colliders.

The two experimental collaborations at the Fermilab Tevatron accelerator have published first results of searches for the Higgs boson, excluding parts of the otherwise allowed mass range.

3 PDF papers available at above link.


Global fit to all published data sensitive to the Higgs boson mass. This comprises direct searches as well as electroweak precision data. The left vertical axis shows goodness-of-fit relative to the minimum χ2 value, while the right vertical axis shows σ values as a function of Higgs mass. The dashed line shows the situation before the Tevatron publications, while they are included in the solid line. The left shaded portion is the mass range excluded by LEP, and the central shaded region is the range excluded by the Tevatron. High masses are excluded by precision measurements of the weak mixing angle and the W mass, leaving only the range 115–150 GeV/c2 for future searches if the standard model is the correct theory.

-- Tom
 

lotuseclat79

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Supermassive Black Holes Spinning Backwards Create Death Ray Jets?.

Why do some of the supermassive black holes in active galactic nuclei create back-to-back jets that can vaporize entire solar systems, while others have no jets at all?


Centaurus A. Image credit: NASA


Radio image of a typical DRAGN, showing the main features (Image credit:C. L. Carilli)


1477 MHz image of 3C 33 (Credit: Leahy & Perley (1991))

-- Tom
 

lotuseclat79

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Fish hold the key to better wind farms.

Wind farm power is significantly limited by how close one turbine can be to another. But a fish-like configuration could change all of that.



Wind farms traditionally use the horizontal axis (HAWTs). But by doing so, the maximum power a rotor can extract is proportional to the cube of the windspeed. More specifically, the power coefficient for HAWTs is defined as the mechanical power output of the turbine divided by the power of the free-stream air through the cross-sectional area of the rotor normal to the free-stream direction.

But since they slow the air passing through them, neighboring turbines need to be around 10 turbine diameters apart. This is a huge limit on what can be generated from a given area of land.
-- Tom
 

lotuseclat79

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Most precise test yet of Einstein's gravitational redshift.

While airplane and rocket experiments have proved that gravity makes clocks tick more slowly - a central prediction of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity - a new experiment in an atom interferometer measures this slowdown 10,000 times more accurately than before, and finds it to be exactly what Einstein predicted.


Cesium atom matter waves oscillate more slowly along the lower path because the gravitational field is stronger, which means time passes more slowly. In the experiment, laser pulses kicked half the atoms 0.1 mm higher than the others; a second laser sent them on a course to merge; and a third laser measured the phase difference between the interfering matter waves. (Courtesy of Nature magazine)

-- Tom
 

lotuseclat79

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Upside-down answer for deep Earth mystery: Clues point to 'density trap' in early mantle.

When Earth was young, it exhaled the atmosphere. During a period of intense volcanic activity, lava carried light elements from the planet's molten interior and released them into the sky. However, some light elements got trapped inside the planet. In this week's issue of Nature, a Rice University-based team of scientists is offering a new answer to a longstanding mystery: What caused Earth to hold its last breath?

-- Tom
 

lotuseclat79

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Chandra Reveals Origin of Key Cosmic Explosions.

New findings from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have provided a major advance in understanding a type of supernova critical for studying the dark energy that astronomers think pervades the universe. The results show mergers of two dense stellar remnants are the likely cause of many of the supernovae that have been used to measure the accelerated expansion of the universe.


Composite image of M31, also known as the Andromeda galaxy. Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/MPA/ M.Gilfanov & A.Bogdan; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ SSC; Optical: DSS

-- Tom
 

lotuseclat79

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Jurassic Space: Ancient Galaxies Come Together After Billions of Years.

Imagine finding a living dinosaur in your backyard. Astronomers have found the astronomical equivalent of prehistoric life in our intergalactic backyard: a group of small, ancient galaxies that has waited 10 billion years to come together. These "late bloomers" are on their way to building a large elliptical galaxy.


These four dwarf galaxies waited billions of years to come together, setting off a fireworks show as thousands of new star clusters come to life. The distorted galaxies are quickly producing massive, hot, young stars that are pumping out ultraviolet radiation, heating up surrounding gas clouds, and causing them to glow. Credit: NASA, ESA, S. Gallagher (The University of Western Ontario), and J. English (University of Manitoba)

-- Tom
 

lotuseclat79

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Chickens 'One-Up' Humans in Ability to See Color.

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have peered deep into the eye of the chicken and found a masterpiece of biological design.


All five cone types are interwoven together in the chicken retina so that all cone types are present throughout the retina, but two cones of the same type are never directly next to each other. (Credit: Joseph Corbo/Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis)

-- Tom
 

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