Physics

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The ancient Romans were masters of building and engineering, perhaps most famously represented by the aqueducts. And those still functional marvels rely on a unique construction material: pozzolanic concrete, a spectacularly durable concrete that gave Roman structures their incredible strength. Even today, one of their structures – the infamous Pantheon, still intact and nearly 2,000
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Fractal patterns can be found everywhere from snowflakes to lightning to the jagged edges of coastlines. Beautiful to behold, their repetitive nature can also inspire mathematical insights into the chaos of the physical landscape. A new example of these mathematical oddities has been uncovered in a type of magnetic substance known as spin ice, and
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The US Department of Energy said Sunday it would announce a “major scientific breakthrough” this week after media reported a federal laboratory had recently achieved a major milestone in nuclear fusion research. The Financial Times reported Sunday that scientists in the California-based Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) had achieved a “net energy gain” from an
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An alloy of chromium, cobalt, and nickel has just given us the highest fracture toughness ever measured in a material on Earth. It has exceptionally high strength and ductility, leading to what a team of scientists has called “outstanding damage tolerance”. Moreover – and counterintuitively – these properties increase as the material gets colder, suggesting
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For the first time, scientists have created a quantum computing experiment for studying the dynamics of wormholes – that is, shortcuts through spacetime that could get around relativity’s cosmic speed limits. Wormholes are traditionally the stuff of science fiction, ranging from Jodie Foster’s wild ride in Contact to the time-bending plot twists in Interstellar. But
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Scientists and government representatives meeting at a conference in France voted on Friday to scrap leap seconds by 2035, the organization responsible for global timekeeping said. Similar to leap years, leap seconds have been periodically added to clocks over the last half century to make up for the difference between exact atomic time and the
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Another record has been broken on the way to fully operational and capable quantum computers: the complete control of a 6-qubit quantum processor in silicon. Researchers are calling it “a major stepping stone” for the technology. Qubits (or quantum bits) are the quantum equivalents of classical computing bits, only they can potentially process much more
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A core principle of Einstein’s general theory of relativity has just passed its most stringent test yet. Using a specially designed satellite, an international team of scientists measured the accelerations of pairs of free-falling objects in Earth’s orbit. Results based on five months’ worth of data indicated the accelerations didn’t differ by more than one
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Korea’s ‘artificial Sun’ reactor has made headlines this week by officially sustaining plasma at a temperature of 100 million degrees Celsius for more than 20 seconds. The team at the Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR) device reached an ion temperature of above 100 million degrees Celsius (180 million degrees Fahrenheit). According to New Scientist,
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It could be raining diamonds on planets throughout the Universe, scientists suggested Friday, after using common plastic to recreate the strange precipitation believed to form deep inside Uranus and Neptune. ​Scientists had previously theorized that extremely high pressure and temperatures turn hydrogen and carbon into solid diamonds thousands of kilometers below the surface of the