Physics and Astronomy
This area deals with the fundamental laws and building blocks of nature and how they interact, the properties and the behavior of matter, and research into space and time and their structures.
innovations-report provides in-depth reports and articles on subjects such as astrophysics, laser technologies, nuclear, quantum, particle and solid-state physics, nanotechnologies, planetary research and findings (Mars, Venus) and developments related to the Hubble Telescope.
At this week’s First Pan American/Iberian Meeting on Acoustics in Cancun, researchers presented results on acoustic microscopy, a burgeoning technique that could provide new kinds of medically useful information on biological tissue. Unlike many other microscopy techniques, acoustical microscopy can be performed on living tissue and even inside the body, with the use of small ultrasound probes. And unlike optical microscopy of biological specimens, acoustic microscopy does not require tis sue stain
The internal state of an atom can change by absorbing or emitting bits of light. In a warm gas or plasma the electrons are frequently shuttling back and forth from one state to another. Some of these states are longer lived than others, though, because of extenuating circumstances. For instance, many transitions from an excited state to the ground state occur in nanoseconds, but some can last for tens of seconds or longer. Measuring the true lifetime of the longer-lived of these transitions is diff
Astronomers think big all the time: its their job. And on 13th December, at a meeting hosted by the Royal Astronomical Society in London, a group of them will juggle with some truly astounding large numbers. On this occasion, though, they wont be discussing the distances to remote galaxies, but the phenomenal sizes of the telescopes they want to build so they can explore the universe to a level of detail previous generations of astronomers would never have dreamt possible. Announcing a si
When it comes to miniature electronics, scientists have seen the shape of things to come -- and that shape is a fractal.
People most often see fractals in the familiar, irregular branching shapes of nature -- a leaf, or tree, or snowflake. A repeating pattern of ever-smaller branches gives these structures a unique profile that defies classical geometry.
Now a study suggests that magnetic fields can take the form of fractals, too -- if a magnet is made of plastic molecules t
An accepted assumption in astrophysics holds that it takes more than 1 million years for gas giant planets such as Jupiter and Saturn to form from the cosmic debris circling a young star. But new research suggests such planets form in a dramatically shorter period, as little as a few hundred years.
The forming planets have to be able to survive the effects of nearby stars burning brightly, heating and dispersing the gases that accumulate around the giant planets. If the process takes too lo
VLT Interferometer Measures the Size of Proxima Centauri and Other Nearby Stars  At a distance of only 4.2 light-years, Proxima Centauri is the nearest star to the Sun currently known . It is visible as an 11-magnitude object in the southern constellation of Centaurus and is the faintest member of a triple system, together with Alpha Centauri, the brightest (double) star in this constellation. Proxima Centauri is a very-low-mass star, in fact barely massive enough to bu
What kind of mysteries and scientific intrigue await the European Space Agencys Venus Express once it has left Earth for its nearest planetary neighbour in 2005? A closer inspection promises to reveal a planet that is hugely different from our own despite a few similarities.
Astronomers often call Venus the Earths twin because both are about the same size and have the same mass. In other ways, however, Venus seems to be an altogether different class of planet. Scientists are keen
VLT Images Intergalactic Shock The Universe is a violent place - as astronomers use increasingly sensitive means and methods to study the diverse processes out there, they become aware of the extraordinary forces acting in the space that surrounds us. With larger telescopes and ever-more sophisticated instruments, new information is gained about remote celestial objects and their behaviour. Among the most intriguing ones are the radio galaxies which emit prodiguous amounts of
Record-high magnetic fields in the lab, almost a Gigagauss in magnitude, have been achieved by aiming intense laser light at a dense plasma, expanding the possibilities for laboratory re-creations of astrophysical events.
At last weeks APS Division of Plasma Physics Meeting in Orlando, researchers from Imperial College, London, and the Rutherford Appleton Lab in the UK announced evidence of super-strong magnetic fields that are hundreds of times more intense than any previous magnetic
The measured abundance of helium in the universe (about 25% of all normal matter) suggests that there is about one proton for every 1010 photons. This in turn suggests that at some earlier phase of the universe an almost equal number of protons and anti-protons existed and gradually annihilated, but that because of some fundamental asymmetry (at the level of one part per ten billion) in the way that the weak nuclear force treats matter and antimatter, protons but not anti-protons survived to the pre
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...