Here’s a short overview of the most important physics news headlines from this week. To receive physics news of the week straight to your email, you can register for our email newsletter.
1. Unifying General Relativity and Quantum Theory Through Spectral Geometry (April 29)
One of the most interesting ways of unifying quantum theory and relativity could be by using so called spectral geometry. It is a field of mathematics which concerns the relationship between geometric structures of manifolds and spectra of canonically defined differential operators. According to the article, spectral geometry may play a role in resolving the long-standing quandary by allowing spacetime to be treated as simultaneously continuous and discrete — a key in unifying quantum mechanics and relativity. More about it here.
Anti-matter — still not completely understood
2. About the Direct Evidence of how Antimatter Interacts with Gravity (April 30)
One of the biggest mysteries regarding antimatter is how exactly it interacts with gravity. Until now there has been only indirect evidence that gravity affects antimatter in the same way as it affects normal matter. This week, however, a new experimental method was described in Nature, which enable scientists to test the effect of gravity on antimatter. Joel Fajans and Jonathan Wurtele, leading members of CERN’s international ALPHA experiment, came up with a technique of answering the question by analyzing data of 434 anti-atoms. More about this discovery here.
3. New Experiments to Detect Gravitational Waves (May 3)
Gravitational waves, which were predicted by Einstein’s general theory of relativity, are distortions in the fabric of space-time. One of the main aims of observational astrophysics has been detecting and investigating these waves. In this new article Mansi Kasliwal, an astronomer with the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution for Science located in Pasadena, California, describes the near-future plans regarding the new gravitational wave observatories. Kasliwal reports that the new highly sensitive interferometers, which will detect gravitational waves, will start operating sometime in 2017. More info here.
Physicists present a non-destructive technique for measuring at the atomic scale
IBM creates world’s smallest movie using individual atoms
COUPP-60: New dark matter detector begins search for invisible particles