BURSTER — This double-star system, located approximately 28,000 light-years away in the constellation Sagittarius, is a source of powerful bursts of X-ray emission. Argonne physicists have made precise measurements of exotic isotopes that explain the characteristic X-ray spectrum and luminosities of such "X-ray bursters." Illustration courtesy Dana Berry, Space Telescope Science Institute.
Argonne physicists have precisely measured the masses of nuclear isotopes that exist for only fractions of a second or can only be produced in such tiny amounts as to be almost nonexistent in the laboratory. Some isotopes had their masses accurately measured for the first time.
The results help explain the characteristic X-ray spectrum and luminosities of strange astronomical objects called "X-ray bursters."
X-ray bursters comprise a normal star and a neutron star. Neutron stars are as massive as our sun but collapsed to 10 miles across. The neutron star’s ferocious gravitational field pulls gas from its companion until the neutron star’s surface ignites in a runaway fusion reaction. For a few tens of seconds, the light from the explosion may be the most brilliant source of X-rays in the sky.
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In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
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A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
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In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
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