Razor-sharp optics on ground-based telescopes now allows astronomers to peer at events occurring near the very edge of our galaxys central black hole, providing new clues about the massive but invisible object at the core of the Milky Way.
The whirling accretion disk surrounding the supermassive black hole (center) at the core of the Milky Way Galaxy. As hot gas falls into the black hole, the energy is converted into radiation which is emitted in sudden bursts. The infrared emissions detected recently may accompany blobs of gas ejected from the disk (purple) or come from sparks that occur randomly in the accreting gas (yellow). (Courtesy of Nature, based on image created by Michael P. Owen)
In a paper in this weeks issue of Nature, a team led by University of California, Berkeley, physicist Reinhard Genzel, who also directs the Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) in Garching, Germany, reports the detection of powerful infrared flares from a region just outside the supermassive black hole.
If the black hole, which has a mass about 3.6 million times that of the sun, were at the center of our solar system, the flares would have come from somewhere within the orbit of Earth.
Robert Sanders | UC Berkeley News
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DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
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MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
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Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
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The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
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