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Archive for the ‘particle physics’ category

Jun 17, 2018

Combining Laser And Particle Beams For Interstellar Travel

Posted by in categories: engineering, particle physics, space travel

By jan mcharg, texas A&M university college of engineering

A new technology combining a laser beam and a particle beam for interstellar propulsion could pave the way for space exploration into the vast corners of our universe. This is the focus of PROCSIMA, a new research proposal by Dr. Chris Limbach and Dr. Ken Hara, assistant professors in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University.

NASA has chosen the proposal “PROCSIMA: Diffractionless Beam Propulsion for Breakthrough Interstellar Missions,” for the 2018 NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) phase 1 study. PROCSIMA stands for Photon-paRticle Optically Coupled Soliton Interstellar Mission Accelerator, and is meant to evoke the idea that interstellar travel is not so far away.

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Jun 16, 2018

A New Study Details Everything That Would Be Needed For An Interstellar Journey To Proxima Centauri

Posted by in categories: particle physics, space travel

Scientists have determined the minimum amount of crew members needed for a 6,300-year journey to Proxima b.

A team of French scientists have recently published a new study detailing everything that would be needed if humans were to one day make the long interstellar journey to Proxima Centauri to start a new life and civilization. The research went to great lengths to determine the correct amount of people that would ensure a successful voyage to Proxima b.

The study was conducted by particle physicist Dr. Camille Beluffi and Dr. Frederic Marin from the Astronomical Observatory of Strasbourg and marks the second study conducted on such an interstellar journey to Proxima b, as ScienceAlert reported.

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Jun 15, 2018

£720m Large Hadron Collider upgrade ‘could upend particle physics’

Posted by in category: particle physics

Collider will be far more sensitive to anomalies that could lead to entirely new theories of the universe.

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Jun 14, 2018

Brains May Teeter Near Their Tipping Point

Posted by in categories: neuroscience, particle physics

In a renewed attempt at a grand unified theory of brain function, physicists now argue that brains optimize performance by staying near — though not exactly at — the critical point between two phases.

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Jun 14, 2018

Scientists Have Found Interstellar Dust on Earth That’s Older Than Our Solar System

Posted by in categories: particle physics, space travel

This ancient interstellar dust formed the Earth and the solar system.


Particles collected from Earth’s upper atmosphere, originally deposited by comets, are older than our Solar System, scientists say – and these fine bits of interstellar dust could teach us about how planets and stars form from the very beginning.

These cosmic particles have lived through at least 4.6 billion years and travelled across incredible distances, according to the new research into their chemical composition.

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Jun 12, 2018

The KATRIN Tritium Neutrino experiment: A giant scale for the tiniest particles starts

Posted by in category: particle physics

Neutrinos are so tiny and inconspicuous that physicists believed for a long time they had no mass. Now, a massive device that scientists say will determine the mass of neutrinos has begun operation in Karlsruhe.

What is the exact mass of the three known kinds of neutrinos? Any answers? No? Well, don’t worry, because nobody knows. Not yet. Electron, muon and tau neutrinos are simply too difficult to grasp for scientists.

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Jun 6, 2018

The LHC Has Detected The Higgs Boson Again, This Time With a Massive Twist

Posted by in category: particle physics

What would it say about the fundamental structure of the universe?


Physicists working at the Large Hadron Collider have made a major new detection of the famous Higgs boson, this time catching details on a rare interaction with one of the heaviest fundamental particles known to physics — the top quark.

The brief mingling of these incredibly rare encounters has provided physicists with important information on the nature of mass, and whether there is more to physics than the existing model predicts.

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Jun 5, 2018

The Higgs Boson Has a New Friend

Posted by in category: particle physics

The Higgs boson appeared again at the world’s largest atom smasher — this time, alongside a top quark and an antitop quark, the heaviest known fundamental particles. And this new discovery could help scientists better understand why fundamental particles have the mass they do.

When scientists at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) first confirmed the Higgs’ existence back in 2013, it was a big deal. As Live Science reported at the time, the discovery filled in the last missing piece of the Standard Model of physics, which explains the behavior of tiny subatomic particles. It also confirmed physicists’ basic assumptions about how the universe works. But simply finding the Higgs didn’t answer every question scientists have about how the Higgs behaves. This new observation starts to fill in the gaps.

As the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), the scientific organization that operates the LHC, explained in a statement, one of the most significant mysteries in particle physics is the major mass differences between fermions, the particles that make up matter. An electron, for example, is a bit less than one three-millionth the mass of a top quark. Researchers believe that the Higgs boson, with its role (as Live Science previously explained) in giving rise to mass in the universe, could be the key to that mystery. [Top 5 Implications of Finding the Higgs Boson ].

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Jun 2, 2018

A Major Physics Experiment Just Detected A Particle That Shouldn’t Exist

Posted by in category: particle physics

Scientists have produced the firmest evidence yet of so-called sterile neutrinos, mysterious particles that pass through matter without interacting with it at all.

The first hints these elusive particles turned up decades ago. But after years of dedicated searches, scientists have been unable to find any other evidence for them, with many experiments contradicting those old results. These new results now leave scientists with two robust experiments that seem to demonstrate the existence of sterile neutrinos, even as other experiments continue to suggest sterile neutrinos don’t exist at all.

That means there’s something strange happening in the universe that is making humanity’s most cutting-edge physics experiments contradict one another. [The 18 Biggest Unsolved Mysteries in Physics].

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Jun 1, 2018

Evidence Found for a New Fundamental Particle

Posted by in category: particle physics

An experiment at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Chicago has detected far more electron neutrinos than predicted — a possible harbinger of a revolutionary new elementary particle called the sterile neutrino, though many physicists remain skeptical.

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