Physics

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Is there a “fourth phase of water”? From time to time you might see people talking up the health benefits of so-called hexagonal water, or structured water, or exclusion-zone (EZ) water. A few weeks ago Kourtney Kardashian’s Poosh website was spruiking a US$2,500 “structured water filter”. Last weekend even Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald got in
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Physicists have just caught light acting the part of ‘glue’ between atoms, in a kind of loosely bonded molecule. “We have succeeded for the first time in polarizing several atoms together in a controlled way, creating a measurable attractive force between them,” says University of Innsbruck physicist Matthias Sonnleitner. Atoms connect to form molecules in a
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Grab any physics textbook and you’ll find formula after formula describing how things wobble, fly, swerve and stop. The formulas describe actions we can observe, but behind each could be sets of factors that aren’t immediately obvious. Now, a new AI program developed by researchers at Columbia University has seemingly discovered its own alternative physics.
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Before quantum computers and quantum networks can fulfil their huge potential, scientists have got several difficult problems to overcome – but a new study outlines a potential solution to one of these problems. As we’ve seen in recent research, the silicon material that our existing classical computing components are made out of has shown potential for storing
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For the first time, physicists have witnessed something incredibly exciting: electrons forming whirlpools just like a fluid. This behavior is one that scientists have long predicted, but never observed before. And it could be the key to developing more efficient and faster next-generation electronics. “Electron vortices are expected in theory, but there’s been no direct
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Physicists say they’ve found evidence in data from Europe’s Large Hadron Collider for three never-before-seen combinations of quarks, just as the world’s largest particle-smasher is beginning a new round of high-energy experiments. The three exotic types of particles – which include two four-quark combinations, known as tetraquarks, plus a five-quark unit called a pentaquark – are totally
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When disordered magnetic materials are cooled to just the right temperature, something interesting happens. The spins of their atoms ‘freeze’ and lock into place in a static pattern, exhibiting cooperative behavior not usually displayed. Now for the first time, physicists have seen the opposite. When fractionally heated, the naturally occurring magnetic element neodymium freezes, turning
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Australian scientists have created the world’s first-ever quantum computer circuit – one that contains all the essential components found on a classical computer chip but at the quantum scale.  The landmark discovery, published in Nature today, was nine years in the making.  “This is the most exciting discovery of my career,” senior author and quantum
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There’s a revolution underway in astronomy. In fact, you might say there are several. In the past ten years, exoplanet studies have advanced considerably, gravitational wave astronomy has emerged as a new field, and the first images of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) have been captured. A related field, interferometry, has also advanced incredibly thanks to highly-sensitive
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Fast radio bursts are one of the biggest cosmic mysteries of our time. They’re extremely powerful but extremely brief explosions of electromagnetic radiation in radio wavelengths, discharging in milliseconds as much energy as 500 million Suns. For years, scientists puzzled over what could be causing these brief outbursts, detected in galaxies millions to billions of
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A particle accelerator that slams electrons together here on Earth has achieved temperatures colder than those of outer space. Using the X-ray free-electron laser at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory  –  part of an upgrade project to the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), called LCLS II  – scientists chilled liquid helium to minus 456 degrees
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The world’s largest particle collider is getting ready to smash atoms harder than ever before. Following a three-year break of scheduled maintenance, upgrades, and pandemic delays, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is preparing to power up for its third, and most powerful yet, experimental period. If all initial tests and checks starting this month go well, scientists