Scientific American

In a First, Physicists Glimpse a Quantum Ghost

The wave function—an abstract concept used to predict the behavior of quantum particles—is the bedrock on which physicists have built their understanding of quantum mechanics. But this bedrock itself is not something physicists have a perfect grasp of, literally or philosophically. A wave function is not something one can hold in their hand or put under a microscope. And confusingly, some of its properties simply seem not to be real. In fact, mathematicians would openly label them as imaginary: so-called imaginary numbers—which arise from seemingly nonsensical feats such as taking the square roots of negative integers—are an important ingredient of a wave function’s well-proved power to forecast the results of real-world experiments. In short, if a wave function can be said to “exist” at all, it does so at the hazy crossroads between metaphysical mathematics and physical reality.
Picture for In a First, Physicists Glimpse a Quantum Ghost

Physicists discover special transverse sound wave

Can you imagine sound traveling in the same way as light does? A research team at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has discovered a new type of sound wave: The airborne sound wave vibrates transversely and carries both spin and orbital angular momentum like light does. The findings shattered scientists' previous beliefs about the sound wave, opening an avenue to the development of novel applications in acoustic communications, acoustic sensing and imaging.
Picture for Physicists discover special transverse sound wave

A 1000-Year-Old Textbook May Help Astrophysicists Understand The Most Explosive Supernovae

Even in the 21st century, astronomers still turn to ancient texts to help them study supernovae, the explosive deaths of distant stars. Ancient and medieval stargazers didn’t yet have enough information to fully understand what they saw when a bright new star appeared in the night sky, but many were keen observers. Their descriptions of when and where a “guest star” appeared in the sky can point the way to the cosmic debris left behind by a supernova – a cloud of expanding gas called a nebula. And by describing details like color and brightness, they offer clues about how giant stars collapse and how nebulae evolve over time.
Picture for A 1000-Year-Old Textbook May Help Astrophysicists Understand The Most Explosive Supernovae

Physicists just gifted us ‘quantum spin liquid,’ a weird new state of matter

Physicists just gifted us ‘quantum spin liquid,’ a weird new state of matter. Harvard researchers observe a state of matter predicted and hunted for 50 years but never previously observed . In 1973, physicist Philip W. Anderson theorized the existence of a new state of matter that has been a major focus of the field, especially in the race for quantum computers. This bizarre state of matter is called a quantum spin liquid.
National Science Foundation (press release)

Theoretical physicists observe rare phenomenon in simple material for the first time

Quantum autonomous Hall effect thought to be specific to complex, delicate materials. Theoretical physicists conducting research at The University of Texas at Dallas have observed a rare phenomenon called the quantum anomalous Hall effect in a very simple material. Previous experiments to detect the effect -- when a material exhibits ferromagnetism and ferroelectricity simultaneously -- only rarely found the phenomena in complex materials.

The Wondrous Physics of Spinning Tops

(Inside Science) -- Like millions of people around the world, myself included, Kenneth Brecher grew up spinning dreidels and gambling chocolate money this time of year at his local synagogue. In his youth, the age-old tradition was little more than a game to Brecher. "I would say I had never...

Does anti-gravity explain dark matter?

Why do we have both positive and negative electric charges, but not both positive and negative masses? Could there be negative masses out there which anti-gravitate? How much such anti-gravitating matter behave? Why don’t physicists look for it? Could anti-matter anti-gravitate? So many questions! At the end of today’s video you will know all that physicists know about this.

Physicists create new model to hunt for colliding neutron stars

University of Alberta physicists have created a new, simpler way to model collisions between neutron stars. The model will enable scientists to predict the brightness of early neutron star mergers more reliably than before – allowing telescopes to gain more information from these events. “Studying the light and electromagnetic waves...

Physicists Begin Detecting Indicators of Neutrinos At Giant Hadron Collider

“The worldwide Ahead Search Experiment crew, led by physicists on the College of California, Irvine, has achieved the first-ever detection of neutrino candidates produced by the Giant Hadron Collider on the CERN facility close to Geneva, Switzerland,” reviews Lengthy-time Slashdot reader fahrbot-bot shared their report:. In a paper revealed...

Physicists have created a new type of diamond by crushing buckyballs

A new form of diamond created in the lab is as strong as natural diamond and better able to withstand heat. A new form of diamond has been created. Its unique structure gives it properties that are similar to those of natural diamonds, but it is more stable under extreme heat, so may be useful in tools that operate in hot conditions.

Physicists create 3D light

The creators hope to use this light to store and process data on quantum computers. According to the journal Nature Communications, physicists were able to create three-dimensional light similar to what is called a skirmone, a type of magnetic vortex that appears intermittently inside certain objects. Studying this will help in discovering new data storage systems.

The Algorithm That Lets Particle Physicists Count Higher Than Two

Thomas Gehrmann remembers the deluge of mathematical expressions that came cascading down his computer screen one day 20 years ago. He was trying to calculate the odds that three jets of elementary particles would erupt from two particles smashing together. It was the type of bread-and-butter calculation physicists often do to check whether their theories match the results of experiments. Sharper predictions require lengthier calculations, though, and Gehrmann was going big.

Physicists: Climate Model Error Overestimates CO2 Impact On Global Temps By Factor Of 5

A new study suggests CO2 molecules have little consequential impact affecting outgoing radiation, and that climate models attribute global temperature effects to CO2 that are fundamentally erroneous. Russian physicists (Smirnov and Zhilyaev, 2021) have published a peer-reviewed paper in the Advances in Fundamental Physics Special Issue for the journal Foundations.

MIT Physicists Manage to Turn Matter Invisible

If you’re also one of those folks hoping to turn invisible so that you’ll have access to a concert undetected, you’re in luck. No, scientists didn’t manage to turn a person invisible, but one recent achievement could be a huge step in that direction. Let’s not forget that some of the chemical elements from our composition as humans are also present in entire planets, stars, and galaxies. At least when we’re thinking about hydrogen, that element is everywhere in the Universe!

At Mind Matters News: Does science disprove free will? A physicist says no

From Michael Egnor: Marcelo Gleiser notes that the mind is not a solar system with strict deterministic laws:. One of the most disturbing implications of materialism in modern science is the inference that science disproves the existence of free will. Of course, this is not actually the case, but even the mistaken denial of free will has profound and very disturbing implications for our social structure, our criminal justice system, and our way of government. People who are assumed to lack free will are ultimately little more than cattle to be herded and, as philosopher Hannah Arendt, has observed, the denial of free will — and the denial of individual responsibility that follows on it — is a cornerstone of totalitarianism. At Big Think, physicist and philosopher Marcelo Gleiserpoints to the fallacy that physics and neuroscience disprove free will:

MIT Physicists Use Fundamental Atomic Property To Turn Matter Invisible – SciTechDaily

A new study confirms that as atoms are chilled and squeezed to extremes, their ability to scatter light is suppressed. An atom’s electrons are arranged in energy shells. Like concertgoers in an arena, each electron occupies a single chair and cannot drop to a lower tier if all its chairs are occupied. This fundamental property of atomic physics is known as the Pauli exclusion principle, and it explains the shell structure of atoms, the diversity of the periodic table of elements, and the stability of the material universe.