news 2020



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Physics - Mathematics - 18.12.2020
UofG researchers set out for New Horizons
Researchers from the University of Glasgow's College of Science & Engineering are sharing in new funding for adventurous, high-risk research. Four projects from three Schools have received support from the £25.5m New Horizons fund, administered by the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC).

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 15.12.2020
How heavy is Dark Matter? Scientists radically narrow the potential mass range for the first time
How heavy is Dark Matter? Scientists radically narrow the potential mass range for the first time
Scientists have calculated the mass range for Dark Matter - and it's tighter than the science world thought. Their findings - due to be published in Physical Letters B in March - radically narrow the range of potential masses for Dark Matter particles, and help to focus the search for future Dark Matter-hunters.

Physics - 14.12.2020
Transforming detection with quantum-enabled radar
Radars are being installed at the top of an engineering building at the University of Birmingham as part of a demonstration intended to test and prove the precision of quantum-enabled radar detection capabilities. A key part of keeping everyday life secure is being able to detect dangerous or unsafe situations before they occur.

Physics - Environment - 09.12.2020
Hidden symmetry could be key to more robust quantum systems, researchers find
Researchers have found a way to protect highly fragile quantum systems from noise, which could aid in the design and development of new quantum devices, such as ultra-powerful quantum computers. Until we can find a way to make quantum systems more robust, their real-world applications will be limited Shovan Dutta The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, have shown that microscopic particles can remain intrinsically linked, or entangled, over long distances even if there are random disruptions between them.

Physics - Materials Science - 30.11.2020
Magnetic vortices come full circle
The first experimental observation of three-dimensional magnetic 'vortex rings' provides fundamental insight into intricate nanoscale structures inside bulk magnets and offers a fresh perspective for magnetic devices. One of the main puzzles was why these structures are so unexpectedly stable - like smoke rings, they are only supposed to exist as moving objects Claire Donnelly Magnets often harbour hidden beauty.

Health - Physics - 25.11.2020
Quantum nanodiamonds may help detect disease earlier
The quantum sensing abilities of nanodiamonds can be used to improve the sensitivity of paper-based diagnostic tests, potentially allowing for earlier detection of diseases such as HIV, according to a study led by UCL researchers in the i-sense McKendry group. Paper-based lateral flow tests work the same way as a pregnancy test in that a strip of paper is soaked in a fluid sample and a change in colour - or fluorescent signal - indicates a positive result and the detection of virus proteins or DNA.

Physics - Materials Science - 23.11.2020
Moths strike out in evolutionary arms race with sophisticated wing design
Ultra-thin, super-absorbent and extraordinarily designed to detract attention, the wings of moths could hold the key for developing technological solutions to survive in a noisy world. As revealed in a new study published today in PNAS [date tbc], researchers from the University of Bristol have discovered the precise construction of moths wings that have enabled the species to evade its most troublesome predator in a 65 million-year-old evolutionary arms race.

Health - Physics - 23.11.2020
Magnetic brain waves to detect injury and disease
Scientists at the University of Birmingham have developed a new sensor to measure weak magnetic signals in the brain, which has the potential to increase understanding of connectivity in the brain, and detect signs of traumatic brain injury, dementia and schizophrenia. Magnetic signals in the brain are measured by magnetoencephalography (MEG).

Physics - Electroengineering - 09.11.2020
Combining electronic and photonic chips enables new record in super-fast quantum light detection
Bristol researchers have developed a tiny device that paves the way for higher performance quantum computers and quantum communications, making them significantly faster than the current state-of-the-art. Researchers from the University of Bristol's Quantum Engineering Technology Labs (QET Labs) and Université Côte d‘Azur have made a new miniaturized light detector to measure quantum features of light in more detail than ever before.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 29.10.2020
Einstein’s zoo: LIGO and Virgo confirm gravitational waves from 50 cosmic collisions
The LIGO and Virgo Collaborations, which includes researchers from the University of Birmingham, have announced a further 39 gravitational-wave events, bringing the total number of confident detections to 50. These 50 events include the mergers of binary black hole, binary neutron stars and, possibly, neutron star-black holes.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 29.10.2020
LIGO and Virgo announce new detections in updated gravitational-wave catalogue
The publication of a new catalogue of gravitational wave detections from the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration is providing valuable new insight into the workings of the universe. The catalog contains 39 new signals from black-hole or neutron-star collisions detected between April 1 and October 1, 2019, which more than triples the number of confirmed detections since the first detection of gravitational waves in September 2015.

Chemistry - Physics - 13.10.2020
Turning plastic waste into hydrogen and high-value carbons
The ever-increasing production and use of plastics over the last half century has created a huge environmental problem for the world.

Electroengineering - Physics - 13.10.2020
Easy-to-make, ultra-low power electronics could charge out of thin air
Researchers have developed a new approach to printed electronics which allows ultra-low power electronic devices that could recharge from ambient light or radiofrequency noise. The approach paves the way for low-cost printed electronics that could be seamlessly embedded in everyday objects and environments.

Computer Science - Physics - 12.10.2020
New virtual reality software allows scientists to ’walk’ inside cells
Virtual reality software which allows researchers to 'walk' inside and analyse individual cells could be used to understand fundamental problems in biology and develop new treatments for disease.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 12.10.2020
Death by Spaghettification: Scientists Record Last Moments of Star Devoured by a Black Hole
A rare blast of light, emitted by a star as it is sucked in by a supermassive black hole, has been spotted by scientists using telescopes from around the world. The phenomenon, known as a tidal disruption event, is the closest flare of its kind yet recorded, occurring just 215 million light-years from Earth.

Physics - Materials Science - 12.10.2020
Upper limit for the speed of sound
A research collaboration between the University of Cambridge, Queen Mary University of London and the Institute for High Pressure Physics in Troitsk has discovered the fastest possible speed of sound. The result - about 36 km per second - is around twice as fast as the speed of sound in diamond, the hardest known material in the world.

Materials Science - Physics - 05.10.2020
Squeezing light inside memory devices could help improve performance
Researchers have developed a method to 'squeeze' visible light in order to see inside tiny memory devices. The technique will allow researchers to probe how these devices break down and how their performance can be improved for a range of applications. The team, led by the University of Cambridge, used the technique to investigate the materials used in random access memories, while in operation.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 01.10.2020
Detection of gravitational wave ’lensing’ could be some way off
Gravitational wave scientists looking for evidence of ‘lensing', in which the faintest gravitational wave signals become amplified, are unlikely to make these detections in the near future according to new analysis by scientists at the University of Birmingham. A team in the University's School of Physics and Astronomy and the Institute for Gravitational Wave Astronomy has analysed currently available gravitational wave data to predict that these elusive signals are likely to remain undetected by the instruments currently operated by the LIGO and Virgo Collaboration.

Physics - Earth Sciences - 23.09.2020
Scientists shine light on tiny crystals behind unexpected violent eruptions
This image shows the usual, gentle effusive eruption typical of Mt Etna (Italy). The erupted Etna rock is melted in a wire furnace on the synchrotron beamline at Diamond Light Source. Richard Brooker Nanolite 'snow' surrounding an iron oxide microlite 'Christmas tree'. Even these small 50 nm spheres are actually made up of even smaller nanolites aggregated into clumps.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 14.09.2020
Hints of life on Venus
Synthesized false colour image of Venus, using 283-nm and 365-nm band images taken by the Venus Ultraviolet Imager (UVI). JAXA / ISAS / Akatsuki Project Team An international team of astronomers, led by Professor Jane Greaves of Cardiff University, today announced the discovery of a rare molecule - phosphine - in the clouds of Venus.
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