This week there are some great news from nanoscientists and the Mars rover Curiosity. As always, here’s a short summary of these top news of the week. For more news check out our news section. Also, to receive these news to your email, register for our email newsletter.
1. Never-Before-Seen Form of Matter Created (September 25)
Harvard and MIT scientists have managed to bind photons together creating a state of matter, which, until recently, has been purely theoretical.
“Most of the properties of light we know about originate from the fact that photons are massless, and that they do not interact with each other,” said Mikhail Lukin from Harvard University. “What we have done is create a special type of medium in which photons interact with each other so strongly that they begin to act as though they have mass, and they bind together to form molecules. This type of photonic bound state has been discussed theoretically for quite a while, but until now it hadn’t been observed.” Read more here.
2. Curiosity Finds Water (September 26)
In the first scoop of soil from the surface of Mars, Curiosity found clear traces of water. Laurie Leshin, the lead author of the study published in Science commented: “One of the most exciting results from this very first solid sample ingested by Curiosity is the high percentage of water in the soil. About 2 percent of the soil on the surface of Mars is made up of water, which is a great resource, and interesting scientifically.” Read the full article here.
3. Accelerator on a Chip (September 27)
A new advancement of accelerators by the scientists from U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University has been reported in Nature. The new technology, as explained in the new paper, could reduce the size of the particle accelerators making them cheaper and more efficient.
“We still have a number of challenges before this technology becomes practical for real-world use, but eventually it would substantially reduce the size and cost of future high-energy particle colliders for exploring the world of fundamental particles and forces,” said Joel England, the SLAC physicist who led the experiments. Read the full report here.