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.

A sharper look at near Earth asteroid 2002 NY40

The Near Earth Asteroid 2002 NY40 was observed with the William Herschel Telescope on La Palma, Canary Islands, on the night of August 17 to 18, 2002. The asteroid was imaged just before its closest approach to Earth, using the Adaptive Optics system NAOMI. These are the first images of a Near Earth Asteroid obtained with an Adaptive Optics system. During these observations the asteroid was 750,000 kilometres away, twice the distance to the Moon, and moving very rapidly across the sky (crossing a di

Women Physicists Challenge Family Unfriendly Fellowships & Ask Leadership of Science Bodies to Job Share

The team of senior women physicists (including the University of Warwick’s Professor Sandra Chapman) who represented the UK at the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics first international conference on Women in Physics, looking at the under-representation of women in physics world-wide, have now produced a detailed report entitled “Women Physicists Speak” on the issue with recommendations including: Action to involve more women physicists in science leadership. Key science bodies s

The Sun`s Twisted Mysteries

Solar physicists at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL, University College London) in Surrey have found new clues to the thirty year old puzzle of why the Sun ejects huge bubbles of electrified gas, laced with magnetic field, known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs). In a paper published this month in the Journal of Solar Physics, they explain that the key to understanding CMEs, which can cause electricity black outs on Earth, may be due to twisted magnetic fields originating deep within the he

Green light for fusion energy with PetaWatt lasers

The production of fusion energy with a PetaWatt laser is a step closer now that a team of scientists from Japan and the UK has demonstrated that the physics works. Using the GEKKO XII laser system at the Osaka University in Japan, the team has successfully conducted experiments at laser powers equivalent to those required for a full-scale ignition system, and the results will be published in Nature on Thursday 29 August 2002.

“We carried out a first “proof of principle” experiment in 2001 th

UCI gold chain study gets to heart of matter

Discovery reveals smallest size molecules form functional structures; nanotechnology, research implications may be significant

While it may not make much of an anniversary present, a gold chain built atom by atom by UC Irvine physicist Wilson Ho offers an answer to one of the basic questions of nanotechnology—how small can you go?

In the first study of its kind, Ho and his colleagues have discovered the molecular phase when a cluster of atoms develops into a solid structur

Biggest ever Gamma Ray search starts in Namibia

The world’s most sensitive Gamma Ray telescopes are being inaugurated in Namibia (in Southwest Africa) on September 3rd. The High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.), a European/African collaboration in which the UK is a partner, will look for Gamma Rays produced by the most energetic particles in the Universe. The array initially consists of four telescopes, the first of which will become operational next week. This one telescope alone is more sensitive than any other existing ground-based array o

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