The planet Earth will die – if not before, then when the Sun collapses. This is going to happen in approximately seven billion years. In the universe however the death of suns and planets is an everyday occurance and our solar system partly consists of their remnants.
The end of stars – suns – rich in mass is often a neutron star. These “stars' liches“ demonstrate a high density, in which atoms are extremely compressed. Such neutron stars are no bigger than a small town, but heavier than our sun, as physicist PD Dr. Axel Maas of the Jena University (Germany) points out. He adds: “The atomic nuclei are very densely packed.“ Compared to atoms, like water, the nuclei of neutron stars are as tightly packed as a bus with 1.000 passengers crowded together in comparison to a bus with only the driver on board. In these densely packed atomic nuclei, so-called “nuclear forces“ are at work. They keep the neutron star together and are responsible for its “eternal life“ – and for the last 35 years the strong nuclear interactions were amongst the greatest challenges of theoretical physics.
Together with colleagues from the Universities of Jena and Darmstadt (both Germany) Axel Maas has succeeded in simulating the strong atomic nuclear interactions to enable its calculability while at the same time preserving the typical characteristics of a neutron star. “It is the first theory for such a tight package,“ the Jena Physicist says. Previously simulations trying to specify the matter inside of neutron stars collapsed far too much in size and yielded the wrong properties time and again – even on the most powerful computers. “These simulations didn't work because there are too many atomic nuclei,“ Maas explains the problem, whose solution the world of physics has come closer to due to the calculations of the Jena researchers. To get there, the scientists did so many calculations at the Loewe Center for Science Computing (CSC) in Frankfurt, that it would have taken a single PC approximately 2.500 years to do the same.
“We weren't able to solve the initial problem either,“ Axel Maas concedes, as algorithms are not (yet) powerful enough. However, the Jena physicist who had been researching this problem since 2007 and his colleagues “reached a new level of quality“. They found a “modification of the theory for such a tight package“, Maas says. And thus they enabled nuclear material to be simulated. Most characteristics of the neutron star are being preserved with the Jena method, but now they enabled its calculability.The team accomplished this big step forward by intelligently modifying the nuclear forces and by solving the stacking problem of the atoms. That they were at the same time ’cheating a bit‘, the physicists freely admit. However, Maas firmly believes: “We found the best possible shortcut“. Now they know “what is relevant for the original simulation“.
Hubble observes one-of-a-kind star nicknamed 'Nasty'
22.05.2015 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Basel Physicists Develop Efficient Method of Signal Transmission from Nanocomponents
22.05.2015 | Universität Basel
Physicists have developed an innovative method that could enable the efficient use of nanocomponents in electronic circuits. To achieve this, they have developed a layout in which a nanocomponent is connected to two electrical conductors, which uncouple the electrical signal in a highly efficient manner. The scientists at the Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel have published their results in the scientific journal “Nature Communications” together with their colleagues from ETH Zurich.
Electronic components are becoming smaller and smaller. Components measuring just a few nanometers – the size of around ten atoms – are already being produced...
Development and implementation of an advanced automobile parking navigation platform for parking services
To fulfill the requirements of the industry, PolyU researchers developed the Advanced Automobile Parking Navigation Platform, which includes smart devices,...
The world's first electrical car and passenger ferry powered by batteries has entered service in Norway. The ferry only uses 150 kWh per route, which...
On Tuesday, 19 May 2015 the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its home port in Bremerhaven, setting a course for the Arctic. Led by Dr Ilka Peeken from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) a team of 53 researchers from 11 countries will investigate the effects of climate change in the Arctic, from the surface ice floes down to the seafloor.
RV Polarstern will enter the sea-ice zone north of Spitsbergen. Covering two shallow regions on their way to deeper waters, the scientists on board will focus...
Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego developed a gel filled with toxin-absorbing nanosponges that could lead to an effective treatment for skin and wound infections caused by MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), an antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This "nanosponge-hydrogel" minimized the growth of skin lesions on mice infected with MRSA - without the use of antibiotics. The researchers recently published their findings online in Advanced Materials.
To make the nanosponge-hydrogel, the team mixed nanosponges, which are nanoparticles that absorb dangerous toxins produced by MRSA, E. coli and other...
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22.05.2015 | Materials Sciences