On Wednesday, CERN is expected to announce that the Large Hadron Collider has found evidence that the Higgs boson exists with something on the order of 99.99% certainty. The Standard Model of particle physics has predicted the existence of the Higgs since 1967, so why is finding it such a big deal?
Quantum cryptography may be theoretically secure, but in practice, there are certain limitations that allow clever attackers to read encrypted messages. A new system that ditches quantum mechanics for classical mechanics may prove to be even more secure, backed up by the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
Shut the windows, lock the doors, and prepare to use your children as human shields, because the Germans have gone and developed a quantum rainbow photon gun. That shoots quantum rainbow photons. EVERYBODY RAINBOW PANIC!
Electrons are generally known as "fundamental particles," meaning they're not made up of anything: you can't smash an electron to bits, because there are no bits to smash it into. Under the right circumstances, electrons can be broken up into quasiparticles, and the third one of these has just been identified: the orbiton.
Big news! Scientists at TU Delft's Kavli Institute and the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter have detected a Marjorana particle for the very first time, causing "great excitement among scientists!" Woohoo! So what the heck is a Majorana fermion, anyway?
Physicists hellbent on destroying the universe have come up with a tiny LED that produces 69 picowatts of light while using just 30 picowatts of power. That's an efficiency of above 100%, which should be impossible, but isn't. And in other breaking news, up is down, black is white, and zebras look the same.
Physicists have just created a working transistor out of a tiny phosphorous atom placed within atomic scale electrodes all within a silicon crystal. It's the precision with which the atom and the other constructs are placed that is key to this breakthrough.
Italian astrophysicists, well-known as the party animals of their field, have decided that it would be fun to launch a disco ball into orbit and then shoot lasers at it. Besides giving the astronauts on the ISS a good excuse to get their boogie on (like they need one), the disco ball should also help measure one of the weirdest effects of general relativity to an accuracy of 1%.
Though not all art needs to be checked for forgery, it remains a problem in the art world that, until now, was combated mostly by art historians (and their studied but subjective knowledge). Now, ion beam accelerators allow scientists to take a crack at quelling art forgeries.
In order to predict when a volcano is going to erupt, and how bad that eruption is going to be, it's helpful to have a picture of what's going on deep down inside the thing. Seeing as we don't have any volcano-sized x-ray tables lying around, scientists have simply started using the entire universe, and the cosmic rays that it produces, as an imaging system.