The 2nd week of the year has passed and, once again, we take a look at the top news of physics. Here are 3 top news plus extra links. For more news and other free stuff register for our email newsletter.
It has now been 10 years since NASA’s rover “Spirit” landed on the surface of Mars. Spirit was launched in July of 2003 and since then it has sent back important data on the conditions on the surface of Mars. Throughout the 5 years of operation, Spirit also sent back important evidence on the previous existence of water on the surface of the red planet and also inspired the creation of the future Mars rovers.
Might a simple yet elegant experiment proove string theory?
String theory is famous for being one of the candidates for the so-called theory of everything, however, testing the theory is extremely difficult with the current instrumentation. The problem is that the energy level and size scale to see the effects of string theory are too extreme.
Recently, however, scientists at Towson University in Towson, Maryland have came up with a practical way of testing this exotic theory. “What we have identified is a straightforward method to detect cracks in general relativity that could be explained by string theory, with almost no strings attached,” said Dr. James Overduin. The idea is that string theory predicts violations of the equivalence principle, which could be tested by precision measurements of the motion of the solar-system bodies.
Thanks to the initiative organized by CERN, a huge number of particle physics research papers has become available to everyone, free of charge. The scheme called The Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics (or SCOAP3) saves money due to reduced subscription fees for libraries and uses it to pay publishers to publish open access articles. For more information visit SCOAP3.