Physics News of the Week (November 25 – December 2)

| December 2, 2012 | 0 Comments


Another week has passed and once again we’ll have a look at the most important, interesting or simply fun events that happened this week. As always, if you would like to receive these news straight to your email every week, consider registering for our RSS email newsletter.

1. Scientists are Coming Closer to Solving the Mystery of Dark Matter (November 26)

“The leading experiments aimed at detecting dark matter are just starting to operate at sensitivity levels thought to be sufficient to detect signals from these particles, and their results should be in within about three or four years,” Bauer said. According to the scientist, who works on one of these experiments in Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois, we are getting closer to finding the answer of what dark matter really is.

A few of these experiments in search for the elusive dark matter include CDMS (which stands for the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search), a newer, more sensitive version of the same project in Minnesota’s Soudan Mine and XENON100. These underground experiments are in search for the likely candidates of being dark matter called WIMPs (weakly interacting massive particles). For more info about the running experiments and other candidates for being dark matter, read the full article here.

2. A New Paradigm to Analyze the Early Universe (November 28)

A new paradigm for understanding the earliest era in the history of the universe has been developed by scientists at Penn State University. Using techniques from an area of modern physics called loop quantum cosmology, developed at Penn State, the scientists now have extended analyses that include quantum physics farther back in time than ever before—all the way to the beginning. The achievement also provides new opportunities for testing competing theories of modern cosmology against breakthrough observations expected from next-generation telescopes. For the full article head here.

Dark matter: what is hiding in the darkness?

3. Yet Another Step Closer to Building a Quantum Computer (November 28)

Quantum computers that could incredibly outperform the modern non-quantum counterparts might be reality faster than you think. A team led by Princeton’s Associate Professor of Physics Jason Petta made a finding that could eventually allow engineers to build a working quantum computer. By using principles radically different from classical physics, quantum computers would allow mathematicians to solve problems impossible to approach with standard computers: factoring immense numbers, cracking codes or simulating molecular behaviour.

A Quantum computer would take advantage of the strange behaviour of subatomic particles like electrons. By harnessing electrons as they spin, scientists could use the particles to form the basis for a new type of computing. The problem, however, is that these incredibly tiny electrons are hard to control. So far, scientists have only been able to harness extremely small numbers of them. Read the full article here.

 

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