An international team of astronomers, led by scientists at the University of Manchester have produced new evidence that most of the energy in the Universe is in the form of the mysterious "Dark Energy". The new evidence comes from a 10-year census of the sky for examples of gravitational lenses, which are seen when a galaxy bends the light from a distant quasar to form several images of the same quasar. Linking the number of lenses they found with the latest information on the numbers of galaxies, the scientists have been able to infer that most of the energy in the Universe is likely to be in an invisible, and presently unknown, form.
Dark Energy is closely related to the idea of a Cosmological Constant introduced by Einstein over 80 years ago, but most astronomers, including Einstein himself, have always strongly doubted its reality. However, in the past 5 years several independent groups of astronomers have amassed evidence suggesting that Dark Energy exists and could well dominate the total energy of the Universe.
Dark Energy only affects the properties of the Universe over very large distances. As a result, the observations which are sensitive to its presence, in particular studies of exploding stars in distant galaxies, are all close to the limit of current capabilities. Astronomers have therefore been keen to exploit many different tests and Dr. Ian Browne makes the point that "the new gravitational lens test is based on completely different physical arguments to the previous ones and so provides independent evidence in support of Dark Energy".
Ian Browne | alfa
Hamburg and Kiel researchers observe spontaneous occurrence of skyrmions in atomically thin cobalt films
23.08.2019 | Universität Hamburg
Building an atomic-scale vacuum trap for spin-polarized electrons
23.08.2019 | University of Hamburg Sonderforschungsbereich 668
Since their experimental discovery, magnetic skyrmions - tiny magnetic knots - have moved into the focus of research. Scientists from Hamburg and Kiel have now been able to show that individual magnetic skyrmions with a diameter of only a few nanometres can be stabilised in magnetic metal films even without an external magnetic field. They report on their discovery in the journal Nature Communications.
The existence of magnetic skyrmions as particle-like objects was predicted 30 years ago by theoretical physicists, but could only be proven experimentally in...
Theoretical physicists at Trinity College Dublin are among an international collaboration that has built the world's smallest engine - which, as a single calcium ion, is approximately ten billion times smaller than a car engine.
Work performed by Professor John Goold's QuSys group in Trinity's School of Physics describes the science behind this tiny motor.
Together with the University of Innsbruck, the ETH Zurich and Interactive Fully Electrical Vehicles SRL, Infineon Austria is researching specific questions on the commercial use of quantum computers. With new innovations in design and manufacturing, the partners from universities and industry want to develop affordable components for quantum computers.
Ion traps have proven to be a very successful technology for the control and manipulation of quantum particles. Today, they form the heart of the first...
Experimental progress towards engineering quantized gauge fields coupled to ultracold matter promises a versatile platform to tackle problems ranging from condensed-matter to high-energy physics
The interaction between fields and matter is a recurring theme throughout physics. Classical cases such as the trajectories of one celestial body moving in the...
Soft robots have a distinct advantage over their rigid forebears: they can adapt to complex environments, handle fragile objects and interact safely with humans. Made from silicone, rubber or other stretchable polymers, they are ideal for use in rehabilitation exoskeletons and robotic clothing. Soft bio-inspired robots could one day be deployed to explore remote or dangerous environments.
Most soft robots are actuated by rigid, noisy pumps that push fluids into the machines' moving parts. Because they are connected to these bulky pumps by tubes,...
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23.08.2019 | Life Sciences