It is Sunday once again so, as always, let’s take a look at some of the most important, interesting and fun physics news of the week. If you would like to receive these physics news of the week and other good stuff straight to your email, consider registering for our email newsletter. Also, for other news of the week, visit our news section.
1. A Simple Theory That Might Explain Dark Matter (June 10)
Most of the universe is made of out dark matter and dark energy rather than ordinary matter, despite this, scientists still don’t know what dark matter really is. The newest possible solution to the mystery of dark matter is a theory by a pair of theoretical physicists at Vanderbilt University: Professor Robert Scherrer and post-doctoral fellow Chiu Man Ho. The idea of the scientists is that dark matter posses a rare form of electromagnetism. In particular, the physicists propose that dark matter may be made out of a type of basic particle called the Majorana fermion. The particle’s existence was predicted in the 1930’s but has stubbornly resisted detection. Read more about it here. Also, you can find the paper here.
Mysteries of opera Médée revealed using x-rays
2. X-Rays Resurrect 200 Year Old Lost Aria (June 11)
Classical music lovers should be thankful to the physicists from the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, who, with a help of x-rays, helped the restoration of the “Du Trouble Affreux Qui Me Dévore” aria. The last pages of the 1797 Luigi Cherubini opera Médée are covered in thick smudges of carbon completely blacking out the closing lines. Fortunately, scientists working with x-rays were able to recover the ending of the opera. More info here.
3. A New Material Displays Bizarre Properties (June 12)
Scientists at the Chicago laboratory have seemingly defied the laws of physics and found a way to apply pressure to make a material expand instead of compressing. “Materials are supposed to become denser and more compact under pressure. We are seeing the exact opposite. The pressure-treated material has half the density of the original state. This is counterintuitive to the laws of physics.” said Karina Chapman. More info about the discovery here.