This Week in Physics: Chiral Magnetic Waves and Physics of Basketball

| June 15, 2015 | 0 Comments

New Evidence for Chiral Magnetic Waves (June  8)

Researchers from the STAR collaboration at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, a particle accelerator dedicated to exploring nuclear physics and the building blocks of matter, found new evidence for what’s called a “chiral magnetic wave” rippling through the soup of quark-gluon plasma created in an energetic particle smashups. Read the full story here.

Probing What Happens to Plutonium During a Nuclear Explosion (June 10)

New experiments dedicated to nuclear explosion research have started at the National Ignition Facility. “The focus of the experiments that we’re doing at NIF is to develop a better understanding of the material properties of plutonium in conditions that are relevant to nuclear weapons,” said Michael Dunning, principal deputy for weapons and complex integration at LLNL. Read the full article here.

In Basketball (and Other Team Sports) Physics Predicts How Big of a Lead is Needed to Win (June 12)

A group of physicists analyzed lead changes in team sports, including basketball as fell as hokey and football, and discovered that in basketball especially, the number of lead changes within a game closely follows the mathematical rules governing what’s called a “random walk,” or a path that consists of a series of random steps. Mathematical analysis of such random walk can be used to statistically predict how likely a given team is to win, given a certain lead. Read the full story here.

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