Here’s an overview of the physics news of the week including short summaries and links. For more news visit our news section. Also, to subscribe to these news and other posts register for our email newsletter.
1. Weak Charge of Proton Determined (September 17)
Scientists at Jefferson Lab have, for the first time, experimentally determined the weak charge of a proton. The results published at Physical Review Letters also include the values for the neutron and top and down quarks.
“Readers should view this result primarily as a first determination of the weak charge of the proton. Our final publication will be focused on implications with respect to potential new physics,” says Roger Carlini, a Jefferson Lab staff scientist. Read the full report here.
2. Lens Combine Human and Insect Vision (September 18)
The Ohio State University scientists invented a special lens, which combines the focusing ability of a human eye with a wide view of an insect eye. The result of such discovery could be an improvement of smartphone cameras and advanced surgical imagining.
“Our eye can change focus. An insect eye is made of many small optical components that can’t change focus but give a wide view. We can combine the two,” explained Yi Zhao, associate professor of biomedical engineering and ophthalmology at Ohio State. Read more here.
3. Unusual Ring of Radiation in Space Explained (September 22)
The Van Allen radiation belts were, which were discovered back in 1958, are two doughnut shaped rings made out of charged particles. The phenomena is relatively well understood, however, in the beginning of this year another belt was observed. The new narrow ring has appeared between the two other rings and stayed there for nearly a month.
Now, in the new paper, a team of UCLA space scientists have successfully explained the strange behavior of the third ring. Apparently, the ring was made out of extremely energetic relativistic electrons — the reason why the ring behaves differently from the typical Van Allen belts. A better understanding of these rings will help protecting satellites, which could be damaged by such radiation. Read more here.