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.

Black holes’ fatal attraction triggers galaxies’ change of heart

Supermassive black holes at the hearts of large galaxies merge when their host galaxies do, say Professor David Merritt of Rutgers University, New Jersey, and Professor Ron Ekers of CSIRO’s Australia Telescope National Facility in Sydney, Australia.

The astronomers make their claim in a paper published online in Science Express on August 1 [U.S. time].

Merritt and Ekers’ model is the strongest evidence to date that the black holes’ mutual attraction ends in an embrace rather than

The Semiconductor Devices of the Future

When physicists sandwiched together different types of semiconductor to create the first transistor in 1947, they made bulky vacuum valves obsolete and so revolutionised the electronics industry. Since then researchers have been pushing the boundaries of semiconductor technology hoping for another revolution. At the 26th International Conference on the Physics of Semiconductors in Edinburgh from 29 July to 2 August, progress towards ultra-high density magnetic recording, and a new branch of nanotech

Powerful electron beam generator could combat anthrax

A physics professor’s invention to decontaminate industrial wastewater could become a powerful new weapon against anthrax.

Peter McIntyre and a group of colleagues at Texas A&M University have developed a cost-effective device to produce high energy electron beams that can break down harmful organic molecules in water – and destroy bacteria such as anthrax in food – or even on mail.

“William Cooper at the University of North Carolina showed that high-powered beams of e

World Record Plasma Discharge in Tore Supra

On July 30th 2002, the engineers and scientists of the Association Euratom-CEA in Cadarache (France) have achieved a three and a half minutes long plasma discharge on Tore Supra, sustained by 3MW of current drive power, thus requiring to exhaust more than 600 Megajoules of thermal energy during the experiment. It establishes a new world record in this domain after the 280MJ discharges of 1996. Prior to the record discharge, a number of long pulse shots have been achieved, demonstrating the capability

Disks around Failed Stars – a Question of Age

First Ground-Based Mid-Infrared Observations of Brown Dwarfs [1]

A team of European astronomers [2] have observed eight Brown Dwarfs, i.e., small and faint objects also known as “failed stars”, with the TIMMI2 infrared sensitive instrument at the ESO 3.6-m telescope on La Silla.

From two of these, mid-infrared radiation is detected – for the first time ever from such objects with a ground-based telescope. While the younger Brown Dwarf, aged a few million years, is found

Moving a bit nearer to a quantum computer

By the time you`ve had your new computer for six months, much faster processors will already be on the market. But there is a limit to how fast conventional computers can become. This is because computers process information in a step-by-step fashion, carrying out each part of the process in turn. To make things work really fast, we need to build `quantum computers` instead. Computers today handle information in binary form, representing everything as zeros or ones. In order to process that

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