Physics News of the Week: Magnets from Heat and the Coronal Heating Mystery

| October 20, 2013 | 0 Comments

Here’s another summary of the top physics news of the week. As always, if you’d like to receive these news straight to your email, please register for our email newsletter.

1. Clues to the Decades-Long Coronal Heating Mystery (15 October)

Research scientists Michael Hahn and Daniel Wolf Savin from Columbia University  recently presented evidence that magnetic waves in a polar coronal hole contain enough energy to heat the corona. This insightful discovery gives important clues to the 70 year old solar physics problem — the unexplained extreme temperature of the Sun’s corona. Hahn and Savin reached this discovery by analyzing data from the Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrometer onboard the Japanese satellite Hinode.

More mysteries of the sun cracked

2. Using Heat to Make Magnets (17 October)

Recently, EPFL scientists have provided the first evidence ever that it is possible to generate a magnetic field by using heat instead of electricity. Theoretically, it has been shown that it is possible to generate a magnetic field by using a temperature difference across an electrical insulator (‘thermomagnetism’). Now, for the first time, EPFL scientists experimentally verified the existence of the Magnetic Seebeck effect, which means the beginning of magnets created from heat. The discovery could have a tremendous impact on future devices based on spintronics.

3. New Particle Might Make Quantum Condensation at Room Temperature Possible (18 October)

In quantum condensation state microscopic particles collapse into a single macroscopic quantum state, in which particles can no longer be distinguished. In such state quantum effects become apparent on a macroscopic scale.

Now, in a recent paper, researchers from FOM Institute AMOLF, Philips Research, and the Autonomous University of Madrid have identified new particles called PEPs, which could be used to create quantum condensation at room temperature. Scientists managed to create PEPs and demonstrated that they are suitable candidates for quantum condensation. However, the particles have a short lifespan, which makes keeping them around long enough a challenge.

More news:

Sun’s Magnetic Field Going to Flip Soon
Feynman Wasn’t Joking: Modeling Quantum Dynamics with Ground State Wavefunctions
New Light On Star Death: Super-Luminous Supernovae May Be Powered by Magnetars

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