tech and geek stuff
Earth’s underwater dunes help explain Venus’s weird surface
Bahaman dunes may resemble those on VenusNASA/History Archive/REX/ShutterstockBy Mariam KhattabSand dunes that form on our ocean floors could help us understand the landscape of Venus. Our near-neighbour...
Is this the most charming particle in the universe?
A team of physicists at the Large Hadron Collider announced the discovery of the subatomic particle - which had previously been theorised but never proven to exist.While smashing particles into each other...
Synthetic fingerprints make plastic particles tiny security keys
Now found on tiny plastic particles tooClouds Hill Imaging Ltd/Science Photo LibraryBy Matt ReynoldsMicroscopic wrinkles squeezed onto the surface of tiny plastic particles could be used to create security...
Sound waves direct particles to self-assemble, self-heal
Scientists have demonstrated how floating particles will assemble and synchronize in response to acoustic waves. Their simple experiment provides a new framework for studying how seemingly lifelike behaviors...
Footballers move around pitch like chaotic particles in a fluid
Stop! It’s time to turn 120 degrees to the leftJoe Toth/BPI/REX/ShutterstockBy Leah CraneIf you’ve watched any England football games recently, this news might not surprise you. Footballers seem to move...
Heavy particles get caught up in the flow
By teasing out signatures of particles that decay just tenths of a millimeter from the center of a trillion-degree fireball that mimics the early universe, nuclear physicists smashing atoms at the Relativistic...
Large Hadron Collider gets a little brother
The newest particular accelerator at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) since the start-up of the LHC in 2008, is a 90-metre addition to the 27km atom collider built beneath Geneva,...
Pollution nanoparticles may enter your blood and cause disease
How many nanoparticles?Artur Debat /GettyBy Michael Le PageYou won’t breathe easy after reading this: a few of the nanoparticles in the air you are inhaling are entering your bloodstream and building...
Sands of Titan may dance to their own static electricity
Enlarge / The lakes of Titan may have highly charged dunes on their shores.NASA reader comments 2 Share this story Granular flows are, not to put too fine a point on it, horrible. In some situations,...
New portal to unveil the dark sector of the universe
Once upon a time, the Universe was just a hot soup of particles. In those days, together with visible particles, other particles to us hidden or dark might have formed. Billions of years later scientists...
Use of biofuel could reduce aviation-related emissions
Bill Abbott reader comments 3 Share this story Emissions from aviation often result in jet trails, a specific type of cloud formation. These clouds can influence climate through alteration of water vapor...
Cosmic popcorn effect helps space dust survive our atmosphere
Cosmic popcornTomas Kohout/University of HelsinkiBy Leah CraneLike tiny skydivers, particles of space dust use water to “parachute” safely to Earth. This helps wet particles withstand the plunge to Earth...
Starlight test shows quantum world has been weird for 600 years
Entanglement is written in the starsNarathip Ruska/AlamyBy Leah CraneOur universe has been ruled by weirdness for at least six centuries. If the quantum effects in a new experiment aren’t genuine, but...
LHC sees matter and antimatter misbehaving in alternate particle
Spot the baryonCERN/LHCbBy Lisa GrossmanA hint of matter and antimatter behaving differently to each other has been spotted in a new particle for the first time. If the find bears out, it could help explain...
'Ghost particles' could improve understanding the universe
New measurements of neutrino oscillations, observed at the IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole, have shed light on outstanding questions regarding fundamental properties of neutrinos. The findings...
Black hole and galaxy crash supercharge blazing-fast particles
Astronomers have discovered an immense surge of energy coming from a cosmic particle accelerator located about 2 billion light years from Earth. It’s powered by interactions between a supermassive black...
Dark matter that talks to itself could explain galaxy mystery
Spinning puzzleRobert Gendler/Science Photo LibraryBy Shannon HallDARK matter might talk to itself. The mysterious substance that outweighs all visible matter in the cosmos might be best explained if...
Cosmic dust grains found on city rooftops for the first time
The roofs of Paris are cosmic dust collectorsJames Farley/GettyBy New Scientist staff and Press AssociationCosmic dust raining down from space has been discovered on rooftops in three major cities. The...
NASA’s EM-drive still a WTF-thruster
EnlargeAurich Lawson / Thinkstock reader comments 35 Share this story For the past several years, a few corners of the Internet have sporadically lit up with excitement about a new propulsion system,...
Acoustic waves move fluids at the nanoscale
A team of mechanical engineers has successfully used acoustic waves to move fluids through small channels at the nanoscale. The breakthrough is a first step toward the manufacturing of small, portable...
Cone or flask? The shape that detects confinement
In physics, confinement of particles is such an important phenomenon that the Clay Mathematics Institute has even pledged an award of a million dollars to anyone who can give a convincing and exhaustive...
A military poison gas detector could help find life on Mars
For several years now, the US military has monitored the air in certain highly-populated locations for potentially life-threatening chemicals, toxins or pathogens released either by accident or as part...
Can we vacuum pollution out of the air?
Tech start-up Envinity Group shows posing next to a system created by van Wees to filter fine and ultrafine particles from ambient air. Picture: Menno Ringnalden DUTCH inventors have unveiled what they...
Semi-volatile organic compounds diffuse between atmospheric particles
Semi-volatile organic compounds can readily diffuse into the billions of tiny atmospheric particles that inhabit the air, easily moving among them, researchers have discovered. The findings provide greater...
A perfect sun-storm
A geomagnetic storm on January 17, 2013, provided unique observations that finally resolved a long-standing scientific problem. For decades, scientists had asked how particles hitting Earth's magnetosphere...
Experiments Suggest Quantum Encryption Is Feasible
NEWS ANALYSIS: Scientists have shown that some subatomic particles exhibit quantum entanglement, which potentially enables unhackable communications that may be able to travel faster than the speed of...
Not just Apple? 14 of the latest gadgets you’ll want on your shopping list
Samsung unveiled the 88-inch KS9800 TV at IFA. It uses quantum dot technology , which is different to the OLED material used by LG. Liquid crystal display (LCD) TVs work by a backlight shining through...
Top tips to avoid getting metal pollution in your brain
Stand well back Francis DEMANGE/GettyBy Clare WilsonBarbara Maher at Lancaster University in the UK has found that tiny particles of iron oxide in our brains probably come from the traffic fumes we breathe....
Air pollution is sending tiny magnetic particles into your brain
Better to hold your breath?Brett Gundlock/Redux/EyevineBy Clare WilsonTraffic fumes go to your head. Tiny specks of metal in exhaust gases seem to fly up our noses and travel into our brains, where they...
LHC-style supercolliders are entering a make or break phase
Maximilien Brice/CERNBy Gavin Hesketh Particle physics finds itself in testing times. This branch of science aims to describe the universe by pulling it apart into its most fundamental building blocks,...
CERN confirms: Hints of hypothetical particle have disappeared
Reconstruction of a collision inside the CMS detector.Brookhaven National Lab reader comments 5 Share this story Toward the end of last year, the people behind the Large Hadron Collider announced that...
Ghost particles may explain why gravity is so surprisingly weak
Spot the strange particlesESO/T.PreibischGhostly particles could be haunting our universe. A new theory claims that the cosmos is full of unseen particle families that don’t interact with each other....
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...
Dark matter no-show puts favoured particles on death row
The LUX detector has sensitive eyes, but still hasn’t seen dark matterC.H. FahamBy Jacob AronOne of the world’s leading dark matter detectors has wrapped up a nearly two-year-long search for the mysterious...
The Large Hadron Collider is quietly having a phenomenal year
Enlarge / A measure of the number of collisions already obtained at the LHC's CMS detector.CMS/CERNWe tend to only pay attention to particle physics when scientists announce that they've found something...
Magnets could pull oil out of ocean before wildlife is harmed
Magnets offer a slick solutionSean Gardner/ReutersBy Alice KleinIt’s an attractive idea. Magnets could be used to pull oil from spills out of the water, with the help of iron oxide nanoparticles. The...
Microplastic particles threaten fish larvae
Researchers have found that larval fish exposed to microplastic particles during development displayed changed behaviors and stunted growth which lead to greatly increased mortality rates. The researchers...
Startup aims to produce man-made meteor showers
Could the night sky light up with man-made meteor showers? A startup company in Japan says the answer is yes -- and they're closer to reality than you might think.The company, ALE, has an ambitious plan...
Traveling wave drives magnetic particles
As our technology downsizes, scientists often operate in microscopic-scale jungles, where modern-day explorers develop new methods for transporting microscopic objects of different sizes across non uniform...
Look up at the sky tonight!
Expect to see a tonne of shooting stars when you look up into the sky over the next few nights. Picture: Tucker Hammerstrom / Flickr SKY watchers and those wanting to wish upon a shooting star will be...
Chemical composition of dust from beyond the solar system analyzed
A dust detector on the Cassini space probe -- known as the cosmic dust analyzer (CDA) -- has identified several extremely rare and minuscule particles of interstellar dust from outside our solar system,...
Saturn probe Cassini hoovers up dust from distant stars
Circle game: Cassini catches the starter stuff of the solar systemNASA/JPL-CaltechBy Rebecca BoyleCatch a fallen star. The Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn has picked up three dozen specks of stardust...
Black carbon ages once it hits the atmosphere
The spread of black carbon around the globe.NASA Scientific Visualization StudioBlack carbon particles are composed of pure carbon, linked via several types of bonds. The particles are formed by the incomplete...
Dust grains could be remnants of stellar explosions billions of years ago
Microscopic dust particles have been found in meteoritic material on Earth, particles that were likely formed in stellar explosions that occurred long before the creation of our star, the sun. Whether...
Simulation analyzes cosmic rays
When cosmic rays hit the Earth’s atmosphere, their high-energy primary particles generate an “air shower” of secondary particles. These cascades of particles provide information on the physical properties...
The world's newest atom-smasher achieves its 'first turns'
One of the world's top particle accelerators has reached a milestone, achieving its 'first turns' -- circulating beams of particles for the first time. Japan's SuperKEKB accelerator is at the forefront...
Old Tevatron data turns up new four-quark particle
The mystery particle (red X) manages to travel a bit from the site of the collision before starting a decay chain.FermilabThe particles known as quarks were suggested as a way of making sense of a large...
Nanoparticles on nanosteps
New technologies are starved for efficient and inexpensive catalysts. The best materials are made up of nanoparticles, whose properties are the result of their small size. The single catalyst particles...
Industry hard selling diesel at the cost of public health: CSE
Not only the diesel emissions have been put in the list of class 1 carcinogen for strong link with the lung cancer, several studies now show diesel particles are more dangerous than particles from other...
You've heard of dark matter, but what about 'dark light'?
While scientists continue looking skyward to find more insight into the mysteries of dark matter, some have begun looking to the sun for "dark light."It's currently believed that dark matter makes...
‘Dark sunshine’ could illuminate the search for dark matter
Illuminating experimentNASAThe hunt for dark matter could be lit up by the sun. These mysterious particles, which are thought to make up around 85 per cent of the matter in the universe, might be hiding...
High-performance material polyimide for the first time with angular shape
Salt crystals which can be turned into polyimide Using a new synthesis procedure developed at TU Wien, it is now possible to produce the extremely resistant material polyimide in the form of angular particles...
Students design 'plant backpack' to combat air pollution
A woman wears "The Plant Bag", a backpack fitted with a breathing mask connected to the pack which contains a plant on January 18, 2016 in Delft Five Dutch students have hit on a unique idea to replace...
Cosmic particles may hold clues about Egyptian pyramids
CAIRO -- An international team of researchers said Sunday they will soon begin analyzing cosmic particles collected inside Egypt's Bent Pyramid to search for clues as to how it was built and learn more...
Particles could reveal clues to how Egypt pyramid was built
An international team of researchers said Sunday they will soon begin analyzing cosmic particles collected inside Egypt's Bent Pyramid to search for clues as to how it was built and learn more about the...
Scientists create lithium-ion battery that won't catch fire
Concerned about the batteries that power the hoverboard you got for Christmas overheating and possibly catching fire? Well, Stanford researchers have created a lithium-ion battery that shuts down before...
New battery design could keep hoverboards from catching on fire - CNET
The hoverboards that you may have seen during the recent holiday shopping season don't actually hover, but they do sometimes catch fire or explode -- a problem that could have been prevented with new battery...
New battery shuts down at high temperatures and restarts when it cools
Stanford researchers have developed a thin polyethylene film that prevents a lithium-ion battery from overheating, then restarts the battery when it cools. The film is embedded with spiky nanoparticles...
Success in observing a two-phonon quantum interference: A world first
A research group has succeeded in observing at the intended timing two-phonon quantum interference by using two cold calcium ions in ion traps, which spatially confine charged particles. A phonon is a...
Magnetic fields in powerful radio jets
Super-massive black holes at the centers of galaxies can spawn tremendous bipolar jets when matter in the vicinity forms a hot, accreting disk around the black hole. The rapidly moving charged particles...
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