So it has been a very interesting week full of astounding discoveries, which I would like to briefly discuss in another edition of “Physics News of the Week”. As always, if you would like to receive these news every week straight to your inbox register for our RSS email newsletter.
1. A New Experiment Confirms Time Asymmetry (November 19)
Time marches relentlessly forward for everyone. That’s why watching a movie in reverse wouldn’t make much sense. But from the point of view of a single, isolated particle, the passage of time looks the same in either direction. For instance, a movie of two particles scattering off of each other would look just as sensible in reverse — a concept known as time reversal symmetry. Now a new experiment has demonstrated a long-theorized exception to this rule. The so called “BaBar” experiment Department of Energy’s (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has made the first direct observation of this exception. Researchers found that certain particle types change into one another much more often in one way than they do in the other — a violation of time reversal symmetry. This led to a conclusion that some subatomic processes have a preferred direction of time. For the full article head here.
Time appears to have a direction even in the micro world. Or does it?
2. Dark matter detector nearing activation in US mine (November 20)
Scientists hoping to detect dark matter deep in a former South Dakota gold mine have taken the last major step before flipping the switch on their delicate experiment and say they may be ready to begin collecting data as early as February. Full article here.
3. A Simple Experiment to Detect the Foam-Like Structure of the Universe (November 23)
Prominent physicist Jacob D. Bekenstein has proposed a simple experiment (arXiv), that he says could be used to measure quantum foam. Instead of looking to ever faster particle accelerators, he proposes using an ordinary block of glass, a laser and a detector. This could significantly reduce the price and difficulty of the search for quantum foam using the ever more powerful accelerators. Read the full article here.