Physics News of the Week (November 11-18)

| November 18, 2012 | 0 Comments

It’s that time of the week again when we take a look at what happened in the world of science. As always I collected a few of the top news, which I thought were important or simply interesting and worth to know. If you would to receive the weekly news straight to your inbox please register for our RSS email newsletter. So when that’s out of the way, let’s head straight to the news.

1. New Power Generation Technique Discovered (November 12)

A University of Texas at Arlington physics professor Long Que has helped create a hybrid nanomaterial that can be used to convert light and thermal energy into electrical current, surpassing earlier methods that used either light or thermal energy, but not both. Professor Long Que and his team used the nanomaterial to build a prototype thermoelectric generator that they hope can eventually produce milliwatts of power. Paired with microchips, the technology could be used in devices such as self-powering sensors, low-power electronic devices and implantable biomedical micro-devices. Read the full report here.

Work by Andrew Baggaley brings us one step close to understanding Turbulence

2. Higgs Boson Still Behaving Nicely (November 14)

So now that Higgs Boson’s discovery is confirmed, scientists are exploring the features of this famous particle.  Interestingly, the world’s favourite particle is proving far too well-behaved for physicists’ liking. The first major update from the Large Hadron Collider since a particle resembling the Higgs boson was discovered in July rules out one way in which the boson might open the door to new physics. Since the Higgs is credited with giving mass to other elementary particles, a well-behaved one might seem like a good thing. The trouble is that the particle is predicted by the standard model, which must be incomplete as it doesn’t contain any mention of dark matter and gravity. Read the full article here.

 3. Mathematician Makes Breakthrough in Understanding of Turbulence (November 15)

Believe it or not there are important unsolved problems in the classical physics, one of which is related to turbulence. Dr Andrew Baggaley from Glasgow University’s School of Mathematics and Statistics, has published a paper in the journal Physical Review Letters, which extends our understanding of the chaotic motion of fluids, commonly known as turbulence. Dr Baggaley has developed a mathematical model of how liquid helium behaves on the quantum scale when cooled to just a few degrees above absolute zero (-273°C). ”Nearly every fluid in the universe is affected by turbulence, just like the water in the pool. Although our understanding of the nature of turbulence is improving, the random, chaotic motion of those liquids and gases can’t currently be entirely predicted,” Dr. Baggaley explained. A better understanding of turbulence in fluids would be tremendously helpful to a wide range of fields including weather forecasting, aerospace engineering and astronomy. Read the full article here.




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