Physics News of the Week (November 4-11)

| November 11, 2012 | 0 Comments


It’s that time of the week again when we take a look at some of the most important, unique or simply fun news from the world of physics. This time we’re gonna see how the good old astronomers are doing in their ever going search for extraterrestrial live, how guys at the Duke University are developing an invisibility cloak and what’s going on with neutrinos. If you like what you read on our website be sure to subscribe to our RSS email newsletter and support us with your likes and tweets.

1. A New Exoplanet with Earth-like Climate Found  (November 8)

The planet, which is several times more massive than the Earth, lies just the right distance from its star to allow the existence of liquid surface water. This ”super-Earth” that has been discovered in a multi-world solar system 42 light years from the Sun could have a life-supporting climate. Professor Hugh Jones, from the University of Hertfordshire, a member of the international team, said: ”The longer orbit of the new planet means that its climate and atmosphere may be just right to support life.” Read the full report here.

2. Physicists Investigate the Mysteries of Neutrinos (November 9)

Scientists at the University of Huddersfield are collaborating with experts at some of the world’s leading research institutes in an attempt to unravel the mysteries of a particle that played a role in the creation of the universe. A group of scientists from the University of Huddersfield is part of an international project to design and construct a new accelerator which will use a low-energy cyclotron to direct proton beams at a target consisting of a cylinder of beryllium-9, itself surrounded by a refrigerator-sized cylinder of lithium-7. This would result in the continuous creation of lithium-8 isotopes that would rapidly decay, producing huge numbers of anti-neutrinos, which could then be used in practical experiments. Dr Bungau, who is a part of the group from Huddersfield believes passionately that improved understanding of particles will open up fresh horizons. “It is all about pushing the limits of science,” says Dr Bungau. For the full article explaining the implications of the new accelerators head here.

The search for exoplanets is gaining momentum

3. Developing the Invisibility Cloak (November 11)

The first functional “cloaking” device was created by Duke University electrical engineers in 2006. Despite its success it had some flaws, which were recently removed when a new design was released by the Duke University scientists. ”One issue, which we were fully aware of, was loss of the waves due to reflections at the boundaries of the device,” Nathan Landy said. He explained that it was much like reflections seen on clear glass. The viewer can see through the glass just fine, but at the same time the viewer is aware the glass is present due to light reflected from the surface of the glass.  Landy has now reduced the occurrence of reflections by using a different fabrication strategy. To find out more use this link.

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