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.
Eureka! Quarkonium! We've found it! While it's not a Higgs boson or anything, it's still pretty cool that the Large Hadron Collider has finally found something that's both brand new and named after everyone's second-favorite Ferengi.
At CERN today, home of the Large Hadron Collider, particle physicists announced the most recent (and most tantalizing) results in their search for the Higgs Boson. They haven't nailed down the elusive particle quite yet, but they're closer than ever before, and they may now know just exactly where it's hiding.
Creating light is something that's usually done with a light switch, right? But what if you didn't have a light switch? A team of Swedish physicists were presented with such a conundrum, so they've gone and convinced a bunch of photons to spontaneously create themselves out of nothingness.
Bill Nye. Neil deGrasse Tyson. Pamela Gay. Lawrence Krauss. Phil Plait. If you're not totally geeking out right now, I don't know what the heck is wrong with you. These luminaries all got together at TAM11 in July to talk about Our Future in Space, and the video is worth watching if you like science. SCIENCE!
Those weird faster-than-light neutrinos that CERN thought they saw last month may have just gotten slowed down to a speed that'll keep them from completely destroying physics as we know it. In an ironic twist, the very theory that these neutrinos would have disproved may explain exactly what happened.
Nothing can travel faster than light. It's one of the fundamental constants of our universe, and as such, it's kind of a big deal. We've got a bit of an issue here, then, since scientists at CERN have just announced that they've spotted some subatomic particles blowing past the light speed barrier. Physics, we have a problem.
It's not very likely that you'll be around to witness the end of time for yourself, but physicists have helpfully devised an experiment to simulate it using metamaterials.