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Top Stories

Time, Mechanics and Zeno Undergo Major Revision. Wellington - Aug 11, 2003 - A bold paper which has highly impressed some of the world's top physicists and been published in the August issue of Foundations of Physics Letters, seems set to change the way we think about the nature of time and its relationship to motion and classical and quantum mechanics. See

Changing Neutrinos:See what Hugh Ross says, 2/4/2003 audio (Consider the Ant) at 

Physics Central: A great online resource!

December 2003

December 21

Einstein Makes Extra Dimensions Toe The Line In Time. Greenbelt - Dec 17, 2003
Scientists say Albert Einstein's principle of the constancy of the speed of light holds up under extremely tight scrutiny, a finding that rules out certain theories predicting extra dimensions and a "frothy" fabric of space.

December 14

Centenary of particle pioneer
Cecil Powell won Nobel for discovering the pion and firing up a new field of physics.

December 7

Exploding black holes rain down on Earth
Mini black holes could explain mysterious observations from mountain-top experiments, and unveil hidden dimensions.

New Chemistry Could Overcome Nanotech Hurdles. Bloomington - Dec 03, 2003
According to the classic rules of physics, substances melt at a lower temperature when their sizes decrease. But scientists at Indiana University Bloomington have found that at least one substance, gallium, breaks the rules, remaining stable as a solid at temperatures as much as 400 degrees Fahrenheit above the element's normal melting point. Their report will be published in an upcoming issue of Physical Review Letters.

November 2003

November 30

The Science of Time Travel
A motion picture adaptation of Michael Crichton's time travel adventure story Timeline opens November 26. Crichton cites theoretical physicist Michio Kaku of the City University of New York as one inspiration for the science behind the story. Kaku, a string theorist, is the author of several physics books for a popular audience, and host of a weekly science radio show. He recently spoke with Scientific about the possibility of time travel and his thoughts on science and popular culture.

Tired of waiting for our fuel of the future to come of age?
Grab a cup of water and a 9-volt, and read on.

November 23

Quest Begins To Unmask Dark Matter-And Perhaps Supersymmetry. Batavia - Nov 13, 2003
Using detectors chilled to near absolute zero, from a vantage point half a mile below ground, physicists of the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search today (November 12) announced the launch of a quest that could lead to solving two mysteries that may turn out to be one and the same: the identity of the dark matter that pervades the universe, and the existence of supersymmetric particles predicted by particle physics theory.

Quantum Pileup: Ultracold molecules meld into oneness.
Scientists have for the first time transformed molecules into an exotic state of matter called a Bose-Einstein condensate.

November 2

The Future of String Theory
A Conversation with Brian Greene String theory used to get everyone all tied up in knots. Even its practitioners fretted about how complicated it was, while other physicists mocked its lack of experimental predictions. Scientists could scarcely communicate just why string theory was so exciting--why it could fulfill Einstein's dream of the ultimate unified theory, how it could give insight into such deep questions as why the universe exists at all. But in the mid-1990s the theory started to click together conceptually. It made some testable, if qualified, predictions. Few people can take more credit for demystifying string theory than Brian Greene, a Columbia University physics professor and a major contributor to the theory.

The Elegant Universe Of Brian Greene. Moffett Field - Oct 29, 2003
Brian Greene, Professor of Physics and Mathematics at Columbia University, is one of the world's leading string theorists. String theories are considered by many as the natural successor to Einstein's cosmological quest for a Unified Field Theory, or what has become known as the 'theory of everything', providing a united framework for combining all the known natural forces (weak and strong nuclear forces, electromagnetism and gravity).

Physicists Stop Polarized Light, Create Bit Of Quantum Memory Rubidium (October 30, 2003)
In a University of Nebraska-Lincoln laboratory earlier this year a team led by UNL physicist Herman Batelaan captured polarized light in a cell containing a vapor of atoms of the metal rubidium.

October 2003

October 19

Einstein Got It Quite Right. Durham - Oct 16, 2003
Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity states that information cannot travel faster than the speed of light in a vacuum. In some highly specialized "fast-light" media, however, some experimental physicists believe they have seen light travel faster.

New Quarktet: Subatomic oddity hints at pentaparticle family.
Evidence for the second particle ever found to include five of the fundamental building blocks known as quarks and antiquarks suggests that a whole family of such so-called pentaquarks exists.

New Material Breakthrough: Super-hard Graphite Cracks Diamond.
It is hard to imagine that graphite, the soft "lead" of pencils, can be transformed into a form that competes in strength with its molecular cousin diamond.

October 12

Physicists Close In on a New State of Matter
It occurs in objects as diverse as superconductors, atomic nuclei and neutron stars. Several research groups are in a race to recreate it in the laboratory in microscopic specks of ultracold gas. If they succeed, it will enable experimental studies of processes that have heretofore been the domain of theorists. "It" is a superfluid state of matter predicted to occur when quantum particles that normally shun one another pair up and behave en masse as a single body of fluid. This superfluid state involves a broad class of quantum particles called fermions. According to quantum mechanics, all particles in nature are either bosons or fermions.

New Glass Can Replace Expensive Crystals In Some Lasers And Bring High Power To Small Packages (October 8, 2003)
Researchers have developed a new family of glasses that will bring higher power to smaller packages in lasers and optical devices and provide a less-expensive alternative to many other optical glasses and crystals, like sapphire. Called REAlTM Glass (Rare-earth – Aluminum oxide), the materials are durable, provide a good host for atoms that improve laser performance, and may extend the range of wavelengths that a single laser can currently produce.

September 2003

September 28

A test of general relativity using radio links with the Cassini spacecraft Nature September 23, 2003

August 2003

August 24

Element 110 Is Named Darmstadtium
At the 42nd General Assembly in Ottawa, Canada, the IUPAC Council officially approved the name for element of atomic number 110, to be known as darmstadtium, with symbol Ds.

August 17

Time, Mechanics and Zeno Undergo Major Revision. Wellington - Aug 11, 2003 - A bold paper which has highly impressed some of the world's top physicists and been published in the August issue of Foundations of Physics Letters, seems set to change the way we think about the nature of time and its relationship to motion and classical and quantum mechanics. See

August 10

General relativity sinks submarine
Gravity solves paradox raised by Einstein's theory. According to the theory, objects travelling at close to the speed of light appear to get shorter when viewed by stationary observers. But from the viewpoint of those on the moving object, the observers - who are receding at close to the speed of light - appear shortened instead. Other dimensions remain the same. See

July 2003

July 6

Experiments Validate 50-Year-Old Liquid Metal Hypothesis. Huntsville - Jul 02, 2003 - NASA-funded researchers recently obtained the first complete proof of a 50-year-old hypothesis explaining how liquid metals resist turning into solids. See

Pentaquark discovery confounds sceptics
A brand sub-atomic new particle - whose mass was predicted six years ago - is detected at labs in Japan and the US. See 

Learning A Little More About Nothing, Gets Thrown A Spin. Newport News - Jul 03, 2003 - Measurements taken using Jefferson Lab's CEBAF Large Acceptance Spectrometer (CLAS) are telling us more about how matter is produced from "nothing," that is, the vacuum. See

June 2003

June 22

Deuteron-Gold Collisions Intensify Search For New Form Of Matter. Upton - Jun 18, 2003 - The latest results from the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), the world's most powerful facility for nuclear physics research, strengthen scientists' confidence that RHIC collisions of gold ions have created unusual conditions and that they are on the right path to discover a form of matter called the quark-gluon plasma, believed to have existed in the first microseconds after the birth of the universe. See

Berkeley Lab Physicist Challenges Speed Of Gravity Claim
Albert Einstein may have been right that gravity travels at the same speed as light but, contrary to a claim made earlier this year, the theory has not yet been proven. A scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) says the announcement by two scientists, widely reported this past January, about the speed of gravity was wrong. See

June 15

How were the speed of sound and the speed of light determined and measured? Chris Oates, a physicist in the Time and Frequency Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, explains. See

High-energy physics: Into the fifth dimension 695 Nature
Particles such as the proton can be imagined as vibrating strings. We also know that protons contain smaller, point-like particles, going against the string theory. But in five dimensions, the contradiction disappears. doi:10.1038/423695a Full Text (subscription needed)

Scientists Hunt For Universe's Primordial Matter: Exciting First Results From Deuteron-Gold Collisions At Brookhaven
The latest results from the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), the world’s most powerful facility for nuclear physics research, strengthen scientists’ confidence that RHIC collisions of gold ions have created unusual conditions and that they are on the right path to discover a form of matter called the quark-gluon plasma, believed to have existed in the first microseconds after the birth of the universe. See

June 8

Observing The 'Wings" Of Atoms: Study Indicates It Is Possible To See Electrons' Orbital Paths Around Atoms
By crunching numbers on a supercomputer for six months, University of Utah researchers showed it is possible for an atomic force microscope to make images of the wing-shaped paths of minuscule electrons as they orbit atoms.

June 1

The Dark Dimensions Of Deep Time. Gainesville -May 19, 2003 - A team of scientists that includes a University of Florida physicist has suggested that two of the biggest mysteries in particle physics and astrophysics -- the existence of extra time and space dimensions and the composition of an invisible cosmic substance called dark matter -- may be connected. See

Alchemy with light A new technique providing us with the ultimate control over light has been uncovered. It offers a way to shift the frequency of light beams to any desired colour, with almost 100% accuracy. And if the effect can be harnessed, it could revolutionise a range of fields, from turning heat into light, or even into prized terahertz rays - which hold great promise for medical imaging. It could also allow us to focus a wide range of frequencies into a narrow band, make devices such as light bulbs and solar cells more efficient, and help to keep optical telecommunications networks moving. See

Frozen Light May Make Computer Tick Later This Century. Boston - May 22, 2003 - NASA-funded research at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., that literally stops light in its tracks, may someday lead to breakneck-speed computers that shelter enormous amounts of data from hackers. See

May 2003

May 11

Lab tests tenets' limits
If the fundamental constants of physics change, they do so too slowly for us to detect. After years of careful bench-top experiments, two groups of physicists have put limits on just how constant nature's constants really are1,2. Until now, physicists had to look to the stars to set their boundaries. Everything in the Universe seems to be predicated on a handful of numbers: the fundamental constants. These numbers determine, for instance, the strength of gravity and electromagnetism, and the mass of the subatomic particles. They mean that atoms are stable, stars shine, and life is possible. If the fundamental constants were just a little different, the Universe might never have amounted to more than a formless morass of matter and energy. Nonetheless, over the past few years, scientists have begun to wonder whether these constants have really been the same since time and space began about 13 billion years ago. After all, current theories that attempt to reconcile relativity with quantum mechanics - one of the outstanding challenges of modern physics - predict that the fundamental constants might, perhaps even must, vary over time. See 

New subatomic particle found
Mysterious quark blend hints at what holds atoms together. Researchers have stumbled across a new subatomic particle. The mysterious body is causing theorists to rethink their ideas about the strong force, which binds subatomic particles together into atoms. Dubbed 'Ds (2317)', the new-found particle is probably an unusual configuration of quarks - the entities that, in trios, form protons and neutrons. It could be one quark orbiting another, or perhaps a sort of molecule of four quarks. See

Cornell Team Turn To Plasma For X-Ray Fusion System. Ithaca - May 07, 2003 - Cornell University is leading a newly formed international consortium of six universities and institutes collaborating on high-energy density plasma research, with the aim of developing a promising fusion power source. See

May 4

Physicists have found a new subatomic particle, named Ds (2317). It will help them better understand the building blocks of matter. The particle consists of an unusual combination of more fundamental particles - quarks. Two quarks form Ds (2317) and, curiously, its properties are not what theory predicted. See

WIMPS. In theory WIMPS - or weakly interacting massive particles - could solve two of physics' biggest headaches. They could identify the Universe's elusive dark matter and unify the laws of quantum physics and general relativity into the long sought-after theory of everything. If, that is, they actually exist. As their name suggests, WIMPs should be heavy enough to account for the 90% of our galaxy's mass that is invisible, as hinted at by other experiments. Yet they must be able to throw their weight around in the subtlest of ways otherwise we would have spotted them before. See

April 2003

April 20

The edge of Physics: Special Edition of Scientific American on the latest in physics, antimatter, wormholes, and a unified theory. See

Light rambles through room-temperature ruby. Researchers have dramatically slowed light within a solid at room temperature. See

Parallel Universes April 14, 2003. Not just a staple of science fiction, other universes are a direct implication of cosmological observations. See

April 13

New Fusion Method Offers Hope of New Energy Source
April 8, 2003 By KENNETH CHANG
Scientists from Sandia National Laboratories have reported that they achieved thermonuclear fusion, in essence detonating a tiny hydrogen bomb. See

Double coup for nuclear physicists. Rare reactions give glimpse of Universe's beginnings. See

Scientists Produces Fusion Neutrons In Sandia's Z Machine. Philadelphia - Apr 08, 2003 - Throwing its hat into the ring of machines that offer the possibility of achieving controlled nuclear fusion, Sandia National Laboratories' Z machine has created a hot dense plasma that produces thermonuclear neutrons, Sandia researchers announced today at a news conference at the April meeting of the American Physical Society in Philadelphia. See

Surprise To Physicists -- Protons Aren't Always Shaped Like A Basketball
When Gerald A. Miller first saw the experimental results from the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, he was pretty sure they couldn't be right. If they were, it meant that some long-held notions about the proton, a primary building block of atoms, were wrong. But in time, the findings proved to be right, and led physicists to the conclusion that protons aren't always spherically shaped, like a basketball. See

Strung Out on the Universe: Interview with Raphael Bousso: The Holy Grail for many of today's theoretical physicists is a complete quantum mechanical theory of gravity--useful for understanding the behavior of black holes, big bangs, and whole universes. But bridging the gap between the smallest and largest constituents of reality will probably require a few totally new concepts (and shake our faith in some old ones). One researcher looking for these missing pieces is Raphael Bousso of Harvard University. See

Einstein not yet displaced 
GEORGE ELLIS reviews Faster Than the Speed of Light: The Story of a Scientific Speculation by Joćo Magueijo
Controversial theory of varying speed of light still lacks a solid foundation.
Full Text for members only.

Atomic physics: A new spin on magnetometry 
The capability to measure small, localized magnetic fields is valuable in biology as well as physics. A new device, based on spin-polarized alkali atoms, achieves better sensitivity and resolution than before. Full Text for members only.

April 6

Ultra-Simple Desktop Device Slows Light to a Crawl: Rochester - Apr 01, 2003 - Though Einstein put his foot down and demanded that nothing can move faster than light, a new device developed at the University of Rochester may let you outpace a beam by putting your foot down on the gas pedal. See

March 2003

March 23

Was Einstein Wrong? By Tim Folger
The unchanging speed of light is the heart of Einstein's theory of relativity—the c in E = mc2. Now a brilliant young physicist says it may not be so constant after all. See

How does relativity theory resolve the Twin Paradox?: Ronald C. Lasky of Dartmouth College explains. See

Let there be light: What do you get if you give a delicate thread of spider's silk a glassy coating - and then remove the silk by baking? The answer is ultra-thin, hollow optical fibres, which are narrow enough to carry light beams around the fastest nanoscale optical circuits, says Yushan Yan from the University of California at Riverside. New Scientist reveals how a little arachnid help may finally solve a major problem in photonics. See

Experiment May Help Size Up Neutrinos: Rehovot - Mar 19, 2003 - Our planet is bombarded every second with a large number of chargeless, seemingly massless, particles that originate in nuclear fusion reactions that power the sun. They're called neutrinos. See

Physics Central: A great online resource!

March 16

Breaking the old speed limit posted by one Albert Einstein in his 20s, this book deploys a racy and provocative text to convey its popularized content of a new cosmology. See

March 9

New Gravity Measurements Constrain String Theory Forces: Ever since the proverbial apple fell on Sir Isaac Newton's head, scientists have been able to calculate the force of gravity over a variety of distances. The first measurement of the gravitational constant came more than 100 years later, but testing gravity over very short distances has proved difficult. Now scientists have examined the gravitational attraction between two objects just a tenth of a millimeter apart--the smallest gap yet for such trials. The findings set upper limits for some of the forces predicted by string theory. See

February 2003

February 2

ANTINEUTRINOS CAUGHT IN VANISHING ACT: Disappearance of nuclear reactors' subatomic particles confirms theory. See 

Blinded By The Light At 20,000 THz: Oak Ridge - Jan 31, 2003 - Experiment generates THz radiation 20,000 times brighter than anyone else; breakthrough lights way for application development. An experiment conducted with Jefferson Lab's Free-Electron Laser has shown how to make a highly useful form of light -- called terahertz radiation -- 20,000 times brighter than ever before. Jefferson Lab is a Department of Energy laboratory located in Newport News, Virginia. See 

January 2003

January 19

PHYSICIST PROPOSES DEEPER LAYER OF REALITY: New theory takes the chance out of quantum mechanics. God does not play dice, but he might just as well do, a Dutch physicist is suggesting. Returning to Einstein's nagging doubts about quantum mechanics, Nobel laureate Gerard 't Hooft of Utrecht University has begun to outline a way in which its apparent play of chance might be underpinned by precise physical laws that describe the way the world works. See 

SPEED OF GRAVITY AND LIGHT EQUAL: Einstein's theory of general relativity passes quasar test. See 

Gravity experiment sparks spat between physicists: See
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Optical atomic clocks: The times, they are a-changin'
More accurate timepieces could lead to better global positioning systems, insights into fundamental physics and a redefinition of the second. David Adam rates the runners in the race to build tomorrow's atomic clocks. See
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