tech and geek stuff
Galaxy 5 billion light-years away shows we live in a magnetic universe
A chance combination of a gravitational lens and polarized waves coming from a distant quasar gave astronomers the tool needed to make a measurement important to understanding the origin of magnetic fields...
China’s quantum submarine detector could seal South China Sea
Tailed by a SQUID Snaprender/Alamy Stock PhotoBy David HamblingOn 21 June, the Chinese Academy of Sciences hailed a breakthrough – a major upgrade to a kind of quantum device that measures magnetic fields....
Reed warblers have a sense for magnetic declination
Researchers recently showed that migratory reed warblers depend on an internal geomagnetic map to guide them on their long-distance journeys. But it wasn't clear how the birds were solving the difficult...
Tethered satellites could see the moon’s weird swirls up close
Mystery swirls on the lunar surfaceNASABy Leah CraneA satellite on a leash could help us learn about strange bright patterns on the moon’s surface. By connecting two small CubeSats with a tether 180 kilometres...
Tiny robots swim the front crawl through your veins
Michael Phelps: Faster than a nano-swimmer but won’t fit in your veinsFrancois Xavier Marit/AFP/Getty ImagesBy Leah CraneIt’s no Michael Phelps, but this tiny magnetic robot swims the front crawl at 10...
Uranus’s crooked, messy magnetic field might open and shut daily
An open and shut case? Uranus seen in the infraredUniversal History Archive/Getty ImagesBy Leah CraneUranus has the weirdest magnetic field in our solar system, and it just got weirder. A new model suggests...
DIY auroras: how to make your own space weather
If you've ever taken a trip to Iceland, northern Norway or Canada in the hope of catching a glimpse of the aurora borealis and left disappointed, then I've got some good news for you. It's possible to...
Auroras from Jupiter's volcano moon shine light on its interior
A volcanic plume ejects gas and particles about 60 miles (100 kilometers) above the surface of Jupiter’s moon Io, the most volcanically active body in the solar system. NASA/JPL/University of Arizona The...
Upper part of Earth’s magnetic field reveals details of a dramatic past
Satellites have been mapping the upper part of the Earth magnetic field by collecting data for three years and found some amazing features about the Earth’s crust. The result is the release of highest...
Magnetic storage reaches the atomic level
Enlarge / It's quite a bit smaller than these relics.Washington Secretary of State reader comments 12 Share this story Data storage needs to keep up with our desire to snap pictures, download clips from the...
Fastest magnetic read/write ever is incredibly energy efficient
Enlarge / Magnets, how do they work?Paul Downey (Flickr) reader comments 7 Share this story Magnetic media, in the form of disk and tape drives, has been the dominant way of storing bits. But the speed...
A really obscure forgotten audio format: “Talking rubber”
reader comments 1 Share this story “Hi, you’ve reached Eran. Please leave a message, and I’ll get back to you.” That’s my voicemail message on my cell phone that I recorded in high school and can’t figure...
New, old science combine to make faster medical test
Magnetic nanoparticles are coated with an antibody, then aligned in formation within a magnetic field and tallied under laser optics. The result could lead to speedy diagnoses for infectious diseases....
Molten iron river discovered speeding beneath Russia and Canada
A river of magma flows beneath Earth’s mantleMick Roessler/GettyBy Andy CoghlanDeep below our planet’s surface a molten jet of iron nearly as hot as the surface of the sun is picking up speed. This stream...
Neutrons identify key ingredients of the quantum spin liquid recipe
Researchers used neutrons to examine the origins of unusual magnetic behavior in a rare earth-based metal oxide, ytterbium-magnesium-gallium-tetraoxide (YbMgGaO4). The material, discovered in 2015, is...
High-precision magnetic field sensing
Researchers have succeeded in measuring tiny changes in strong magnetic fields with unprecedented precision. In their experiments, the scientists magnetized a water droplet inside a magnetic resonance...
Quantum particles seen aligning light from a neutron star
Not empty spaceESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2By Leah CraneThe vacuum of space isn’t as empty as it seems. Astronomers using the Very Large Telescope in Chile have just watched virtual particles in space acting...
Getting ahead of the 'curve' in magnetic study
Scientists noticed that magnetic skyrmions – small electrically uncharged circular structures with a spiraling magnetic pattern – do get deflected by an applied current, much like a curveball gets deflected...
Twin jets pinpoint the heart of an active galaxy
Two particle jets shoot out from the heart of active galaxy NGC 1052 at the speed of light, apparently originating in the vicinity of a massive black hole. Researchers have now measured the magnetic fields...
En route to better transformers
Researchers have found a way of looking inside the iron core of transformers. Transformers are indispensable in regulating electricity both in industry and in domestic households. The better their iron...
Magnetism under the magnifying glass
Being able to determine magnetic properties of materials with sub-nanometer precision would greatly simplify development of magnetic nano-structures for future spintronic devices. In a new article, physicists...
Asymmetrical magnetic microbeads transform into micro-robots
Janus particles are asymmetrical microscopic spheres with both a magnetic and a non-magnetic half. A new study reveals that the dynamics of such assemblies can be predicted by modelling the interaction...
Brilliant hard drive quality with magnetic field sensors made of diamond
Quantum mechanics is not only of high interest in fundamental research. The current progress in quantum technologies promises numerous innovations of industrial relevance, which will be transferred into...
Electric fields could help us wage war on destructive feral pigs
Cute but costlyRichard Nowitz/National Geographic/GettyBy Conor GearinWhich way does a pig point? The answer, it turns out, is north – or south. Many organisms ranging from birds and bees to bacteria...
Looking Into Your Brain Just Became Easier
Researchers and engineers keep improving the machines that help doctors better understand and diagnose conditions that affect our brains. One of the goals is to find causes of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s...
Skyrmions à la carte
Magnetic vortices -- so-called skyrmions -- are stable, can have a diameter of just a few nanometres, and can be moved efficiently by electrical currents. Therefore, they are presently being discussed...
Hyperloop company “exclusively licensed” passive magnetic levitation system
Hyperloop Levitation On Monday, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) announced that it had “exclusively licensed” a technology that could help it bring the transit system idea, popularized by SpaceX...
From the lab: Solar flares- Taking the heat off
Comments Updated: May 1, 2016 1:54 am The research: Understanding the processes that trigger a solar flare through a computer simulation model, so that these can be predicted On November 4 last year,...
NASA reveals how the Moon got its mysterious tattoos
Comments By: PTI | Washington | Published:April 30, 2016 7:02 pm NASA scientists have found new insights into how the Moon got its mysterious tattoos NASA scientists have found new insights into how the...
Seeing double: NASA missions measure solar flare from 2 spots in space
Solar flares are intense bursts of light from the sun. They are created when complicated magnetic fields suddenly and explosively rearrange themselves, converting magnetic energy into light through a process...
Generation of tailored magnetic materials
Physicists are interested in a generation of artificial materials, the properties of which can be controlled. Researchers have now succeed in manipulating the properties of oxides which make up the artificial...
All it takes is one (very carefully located) atom to make a magnet
George Mason UniversityMagnetic media, in the form of tapes and disks, have had a long run as the primary means of digital storage. In this hardware, clusters of magnetic atoms are set in a single magnetic...
A future factory takes off the wheels - CNET
Greg Henderson's Arx Pax might be the most ambitious startup you've never heard of. James Martin/CNET You know that saying, "Don't reinvent the wheel"?Greg Henderson never got the memo because that's how...
NASA's first wide-field soft X-ray camera is a gift that keeps giving
NASA recently selected a miniaturized version of the original X-ray camera to fly as a CubeSat mission to study Earth's magnetic cusps -- regions in the magnetic cocoon around our planet near the poles...
Magnetic mind control works in live animals, makes mice happy
Windell OskayFor a bunch of mind-controlled mice, walking into a magnetic field has never felt sooo good. The imperceptible force that the genetically tweaked rodents wandered through fired up the reward-related...
Magnetic vortices as data storage media of the future: Controlled movement of skyrmions
Magnetic skyrmions are special spin configurations that can occur in materials and particularly in thin layer structures when the inversion symmetry is broken. With regard to the systems that are of interest...
Nasa data helps decode interstellar magnetic field
WASHINGTON: Using data from Nasa's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX), scientists have determined the strength and direction of the magnetic field outside the heliosphere, giving us a peek into the...
NASA's IBEX observations pin down interstellar magnetic field
A new study uses IBEX data and simulations of the interstellar boundary -- which lies at the very edge of the giant magnetic bubble surrounding our solar system called the heliosphere - to better describe...
Magnetoreception molecule found in the eyes of dogs, primates
The magnetic sense in migratory birds has been studied in considerable detail: unlike a boy scout's compass, which shows the compass direction, a bird's compass recognizes the inclination of the magnetic...
Dogs and primates have 'magnetic sensors' in their eyes
The reason birds are able to so accurately navigate themselves around the world is down to their ability to perceive magnetic fields. Now, new research suggests that animals including dogs, foxes and bears...
New ways to construct contactless magnetic gears
The new milk frother you are using to prepare your cappuccino is likely using magnetic gears. Magnetic gears transmit rotary motion like mechanical gears but instead of teeth they use magnetic attraction...
Spin waves out of waste heat: Researchers present new findings on magnetic spin waves
Principles of the conversion from heat currents to magnonic spin currents have been discovered by researchers. Spin waves, or magnons, are fundamental excitations in magnetic materials which transport...
These magnetic headphones may revolutionize audio
Planar Magnetic drivers in a portable on-ear package.(Photo: Chris Thomas, Reviewed.com) Headphone maker Audeze is well-respected for its ultra-expensive headphones featuring fancy planar magnetic drivers....
Video to 'see' Sun's magnetic field released by Nasa
WASHINGTON: Nasa has created a video to 'see' and understand the Sun's invisible magnetic field, that may be crucial for future deep space travel, by combining real time observations and computer simulations...
First Laser Measurements of Magnetic Fields of Single Nerves
Physicists have worked out how to measure the magnetic fields generated by single nerves from outside the body and at room temperature.Biologists have known that nerves produce and respond to electrical...
MRIs could soon be quicker and safer
While MRI scans may not expose patients to the ionizing radiation found in X-rays, they still are potentially harmful. This is because the increased radiofrequency energy absorption associated with newer...
Astronomers detect ultra-weak magnetic fields in two metallic-line stars
(Phys.org)—A team of astronomers led by Aurore Blazère of the Paris Observatory has discovered ultra-weak magnetic fields in metallic-line stars Beta Ursae Majoris and Theta Leonis. Motivated by a recent...
Use a magnetic knife strip to organize bathroom drawers - CNET
Your bathroom drawers are a mess. They're packed with items you rarely use, and the important items sink to the bottom and are practically impossible to find when you need them.Luckily, there's an easy...
Strong magnetic fields discovered in majority of stars
Stars like the Sun puff up and become red giants towards the end of theirlives. The red giants ('old' Suns) of the same mass as the Sun do not showstrong magnetic fields in their interior, but for stars...
Use a magnet to find out if a pan will work with your induction stove - CNET
Samsung Chef Collection Induction Range Samsung If you have an induction stove, you probably know that induction cook tops use magnetic fields to generate heat. Because of this all pots and pans used on...
Magnetic reconnection: Magnetic explosions in Northern lights and solar flares
Just under four months into the science phase of the mission, NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale, or MMS, is delivering promising early results on a process called magnetic reconnection -- a kind of magnetic...
MMS mission delivers promising initial results
Just under four months into the science phase of the mission, NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale, or MMS, is delivering promising early results on a process called magnetic reconnection—a kind of magnetic...
Magnetic nanoparticle chains offer new technique for controlling soft robots
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a technique for using chains of magnetic nanoparticles to manipulate elastic polymers in three dimensions, which could be used to remotely...
Team reveals the physics for the mechanism of slow change in microscopic magnetic structures
The research group of Professor Hideo Ohno and Associate Professor Shunsuke Fukami of Tohoku University has studied in detail, a slow change of microscopic magnetic structures in metallic wires induced...
HGST beats Seagate to market with helium-filled 10TB hard drive
Western Digital's HGST division has released the world's first helium-filled 10TB hard drive for everyday use—assuming you have about £600 burning a hole in your pocket, anyway. Meanwhile, despite reiterating that...
Magnetic protein may provide animals with navigation information
What do monarch butterflies, salmon, lobsters, bats, mole rats, and marine nudibranch mollusks have in common? As I'm sure you already knew, all of these species (among others) can sense and use magnetic...
Scientists explain the theory behind Ising superconductivity
Superconductivity is a fascinating quantum phenomenon in which electrons form pairs and flow with zero resistance. However, strong enough magnetic field can break electron pairs and destroy superconductivity....
Cool, dim dwarf star is magnetic powerhouse
Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have discovered that a dim, cool dwarf star is generating a surprisingly powerful magnetic field, one that rivals the most intense...
NASA video: Magnetic loops, front and right
Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory, NASA. Two active regions sported coils of bundled, magnetic loops spiraling above them (Nov. 11-12, 2015) over 16 hours. Charged particles spinning along the magnetic...
Watch swirling magnetic loops on the sun in mesmerizing NASA video - CNET
For the giant, chaotic, swirling mass of fire and poison gas that our sun is, it sure can be beautiful and graceful. Case in point -- the video released by NASA today that shows "arches of bundled magnetic...
I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its component fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers. That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark