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Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 30.11.2022
Mysteriously bright flash is a black hole jet pointing straight toward Earth, astronomers say
Mysteriously bright flash is a black hole jet pointing straight toward Earth, astronomers say
Astronomers have determined the source of an incredibly bright X-ray, optical and radio signal appearing from halfway across the Universe. The signal, named AT 2022cmc, was discovered earlier this year by the Zwicky Transient Facility in California. Findings published today in Nature Astronomy, suggest that it is likely from a jet of matter, streaking out from a supermassive black hole at close to the speed of light.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 28.11.2022
Non-detection of key signal allows astronomers to determine what the first galaxies were - and weren't - like
Non-detection of key signal allows astronomers to determine what the first galaxies were - and weren’t - like
Researchers have been able to make some key determinations about the first galaxies to exist, in one of the first astrophysical studies of the period in the early Universe when the first stars and galaxies formed, known as the cosmic dawn.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 24.11.2022
Shock waves trigger black holes' powerful jets
Shock waves trigger black holes’ powerful jets
Powerful jets of material released by black holes are accelerated far into space by shock waves within the jets, an international collaboration involving UCL researchers has found. The study, published in Nature , helps to solve a decades-old mystery about how these jets are produced. The research team was able to rule out alternative causes of the jets - such as magnetic reconnection - and, out of a number of theoretical models of how the particles in the jets are accelerated, showed that just one model was correct.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 22.11.2022
New era of exoplanet exploration begins with 'remarkable' JWST study of WASP-39b
New era of exoplanet exploration begins with ’remarkable’ JWST study of WASP-39b
Studies of one exoplanet's atmosphere using James Webb Space Telescope instruments have revealed the detection of new molecules and cloud structures. In a suite of studies across five papers, a large international team including Imperial College London researchers has demonstrated the power of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) for investigating exoplanets.

Physics - Chemistry - 22.11.2022
Can a new technique for capturing 'hot' electrons make solar cells more efficient?
Can a new technique for capturing ’hot’ electrons make solar cells more efficient?
A Bath discovery opens a new route for measuring and controlling hot electrons. The hope is that more energy will be available to power solar cells. A new way of extracting quantitative information from state-of-the-art single molecule experiments has been developed by physicists at the University of Bath.

Health - Physics - 18.11.2022
Fusion surprises and COVID scars: News from the College
Here's a batch of fresh news and announcements from across Imperial. From research into how ions behave in fusion reactions, to a study on why some people develop scar tissue in their lungs following severe COVID-19 infection, here is some quick-read news from across the College. Fusion surprises Ions may behave differently in fusion reactions than previously expected, providing important insights for the future design of a laser-fusion energy source.

Computer Science - Physics - 09.11.2022
Spiderweb-like lasers can emit light in controlled colours
Researchers have created a laser system based on a network like a spider's web, which can be precisely controlled to produce different light colours. The system, invented by a team led by researchers at Imperial College London with partners in Italy and Switzerland, could be used in new sensing and computing applications.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 03.11.2022
Magnetism could help explain Earth’s formation
A peculiar property of the Earth's magnetic field could help us to work out how our planet was created 4.5 billion years ago, according to a new scientific assessment. There are several theories about how the Earth and the Moon were formed, most involving a giant impact. They vary from a model where the impacting object strikes the newly formed Earth a glancing blow and then escapes, through to one where the collision is so energetic that both the impactor and the Earth are vaporized.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 03.11.2022
Can cosmic inflation be ruled out?
Can cosmic inflation be ruled out?
Astrophysicists say that cosmic inflation - a point in the Universe's infancy when space-time expanded exponentially, and what physicists really refer to when they talk about the -Big Bang can in principle be ruled out in an assumption-free way. Is it possible in principle to test cosmic inflation in a model-independent way? Sunny Vagnozzi The astrophysicists, from the University of Cambridge, the University of Trento, and Harvard University, say that there is a clear, unambiguous signal in the cosmos which could eliminate inflation as a possibility.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 03.11.2022
Magnetised dead star likely has solid surface
Magnetised dead star likely has solid surface
A signature in the X-ray light emitted by a highly magnetised dead star known as a magnetar suggests the star has a solid surface with no atmosphere, according to a new study by an international collaboration co-led by UCL researchers. The study, published in the journal Science , uses data from a NASA satellite, the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE), which was launched last December.

Physics - Materials Science - 25.10.2022
New approach to 'cosmic magnet' manufacturing could reduce reliance on rare earths in low-carbon technologies
New approach to ’cosmic magnet’ manufacturing could reduce reliance on rare earths in low-carbon technologies
Researchers have discovered a potential new method for making the high-performance magnets used in wind turbines and electric cars without the need for rare earth elements, which are almost exclusively sourced in China.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 17.10.2022
This Sussex Life. Physicist Prof Xavier Calmet: 'I'm glad I didn't listen to my father.'
This Sussex Life. Physicist Prof Xavier Calmet: ’I’m glad I didn’t listen to my father.’
Physicist Professor Xavier Calmet describes how the ill advice of his father sent him on a journey to black holes - and a scientific breakthrough. I had a telescope in the back yard when I was a child . It was enough to dream, to look at the stars and wonder what could be out there. I had a broad interest in science, but I always thought it was so beautiful to watch the stars and to realise that we were so little and there's so much out there that we don't understand.

Physics - Computer Science - 14.10.2022
Making quantum computing more resilient
Quantum computing systems could be made more stable and efficient thanks to a discovery about the way some atomic particles behave. The University of Leeds' Theoretical Physics Research Group has come up with a new way of making quantum particles defy the rules of statistical physics by utilising a special quantum computing device.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 12.10.2022
’Wobbling black hole’ most extreme example ever detected
Researchers at Cardiff University have identified a peculiar twisting motion in the orbits of two colliding black holes, an exotic phenomenon predicted by Einstein's theory of gravity. Their study, which is published in Nature and led by Professor Mark Hannam, Dr Charlie Hoy and Dr Jonathan Thompson, reports that this is the first time this effect, known as precession, has been seen in black holes, where the twisting is 10 billion times faster than in previous observations.

Physics - Chemistry - 07.10.2022
They can pull water molecules apart using graphene electrodes
They can pull water molecules apart using graphene electrodes
Researchers from University of Manchester used graphene as an electrode to measure both the electrical force applied on water molecules and the rate at which these break in response to such force. The researchers found that water breaks exponentially faster in response to stronger electrical forces.

Chemistry - Physics - 28.09.2022
How fish survive extreme pressures of ocean life
Scientists have discovered how a chemical in the cells of marine organisms enables them to survive the high pressures found in the deep oceans. The deeper that sea creatures live, the more inhospitable and extreme the environment they must cope with. In one of the deepest points in the Pacific - the Mariana Trench, 11 kilometers below the sea surface - the pressure is 1.1 kbar or eight tons per square inch.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 26.09.2022
Deep space: Massive light burst detected on Earth came from 'infant' Universe
Deep space: Massive light burst detected on Earth came from ’infant’ Universe
Astrophysicists have discovered that a gamma-ray burst detected on earth came from an explosion that occurred when the Universe was only 880 million years old. On September 5, 2021, light from a very energetic gamma-ray burst (GRB) - an immensely energetic explosion that occurred in a distant galaxy - reached our planet.

Physics - Health - 20.09.2022
Explosives detection improved by new X-ray technique
Explosives detection improved by new X-ray technique
Illegal and dangerous items, such as explosives, could be detected with 100% efficiency, using artificial intelligence (AI) and a new X-ray approach developed by a team led by UCL academics. Some explosives can be difficult to spot using conventional X-ray alone, and the new method could revolutionise how illicit materials such as narcotics, illegal wildlife and explosives are detected.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 20.09.2022
Satellite mission confirms cornerstone of general relativity is unshakeable
Satellite mission confirms cornerstone of general relativity is unshakeable
The MICROSCOPE mission has confirmed the 'equivalence principle' with unprecedented accuracy, bolstering Einstein's general relativity. The result, announced this month by a team led by the French space agency CNES and including an Imperial College London researcher, is a triumph for Einstein's general relativity.

Physics - Chemistry - 18.08.2022
New evidence shows water separates into two different liquids at low temperatures
Fresh evidence that water can change from one form of liquid into another, denser liquid, has been uncovered by researchers. The research was carried out at the University of Birmingham and Sapienza UniversitÓ di Roma. A new kind of 'phase transition' in water was first proposed 30 years ago in a study by researchers from Boston University.
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