Scientist of the century
Leonhard Euler was the greatest scientist of the 18th century. So claims Ed Sandifer in this month's Physics World where he looks at the achievements of the gifted Swiss scientist, who was born 300 years ago this month on 15 April 1707.
In an illustrious career that saw him write over 800 books and papers on optics and mechanics, Euler earned part of the famous longitude prize to help sailors navigate at sea, designed the fountains for Frederick the Great's palace in Potsdam and developed ways to build lenses for microscopes and telescopes that yielded images undistorted by coloured rainbow-like fringes. Even in retirement, when he went blind, Euler continued to carry out research, calculating the orbit of Uranus and working out the buoyancy of hot-air balloons on the very day he died. (p. 35)
We are the physics WAGs
Anyone who watched last years football World Cup in Germany will have been shocked at how poorly the England team performed. Off the pitch, however, the wives and girlfriends of the England players excelled, with the acronym "WAG" being coined in the light of their antics, usually involving drinking and shopping to excess. Welcome now to the "physics WAGs" - non-scientists like Laura Phillips, a librarian at the University of Bristol, who are attached to a physicist. She has found plenty of reasons to enjoy living with a physicist, including having a life "that takes on new depth and meaning" and having someone who "can answer all your 'why' questions". But physicists are far from nerdy, Phillips points out. "Most of my boyfriend’s colleagues are cool, interesting, fun people," she says. (p. 24)Also in this issue:
Helen MacBain | alfa
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Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods
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University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
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Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
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Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
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