Physics World Highlights 04/07
Coming up this month in Physics World . . .
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:
Linear collider faces lengthy delay
Quantum computing - a commercial reality?
Teacher training goes online
Big labs - a gift to the economy
The unitarity triangle: a triangle that matters
Plasma - a view from space
A tale of two Germans
Helen MacBain | alfa
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...