As the UK prepares to celebrate Einstein Year in 2005, a physicist from Bristol University is looking for stories that can be used to tell taxi drivers what physics is all about. Sir Michael Berry, whose own father was a London cabbie, thought of the idea after failing to give a taxi driver a clear explanation of what it is that physicists actually do. Berry realized that physicists need a stock of good and convincing stories that show how physics affects peoples lives. Looking back, he now wishes that he had told the driver how physics has democratized music, by creating the laser, which allows music to be played on a CD almost anywhere. Berry also wishes that he had said how physics has led to GPS navigation devices - the first consumer product to take advantage of Einsteins general theory of relativity. The best stories will be published in a future issue of Physics World.
Radiation – how much is good for you?
Anti-nuclear activists have always argued that even a tiny dose of radiation is bad for the human body. But according to a radiation biologist at Washington State University in the US, that view may be wrong. Antone (Tony) Brooks, who is involved in a low-dose research programme sponsored by the US government, says that the impact of small amounts of radiation is much more complicated than previously suspected. They have a cocktail-like mixture of beneficial and harmful effects that can, on balance, be harmless below a certain threshold. As Robert P Crease explains, this change of view could have huge social and economic consequences.
Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy
24.03.2017 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core
24.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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27.03.2017 | Life Sciences