Physics

Researchers Generate Electricity from Americium

Researchers in the United Kingdom have extracted americium from a plutonium stockpile and used the heat generated from this radioactive element to generate enough electric current to light up a small lightbulb. The breakthrough means potential use of americium in radioisotope power systems for missions which would use the heat …

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Gravitational Waves Leave Observable Aftereffects in Universe

Gravitational waves are ‘ripples’ in space-time caused by some of the most violent and energetic processes in the Universe. Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves in 1916 in his general theory of relativity. New research shows those waves leave behind plenty of ‘memories’ that could help detect them …

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LIGO and Virgo Observatories Detect Two New Gravitational Waves

On April 25 and 26, 2019, NSF’s Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and the European-based Virgo detector registered two new gravitational waves, the ripples in space-time predicted by Albert Einstein. The first was from a neutron star crashing into another neutron star 500 million light-years away, and the second was …

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Massive 10-Petawatt Laser Can Vaporize Matter

  A laser one-tenth of the sun’s power on Earth officially debuted in March when researchers in Romania ran the first successful test at 10 petawatts (PW). The laser is one of three in an international project in Europe known as Extreme Light Infrastructure. To date, it is the most …

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What Was Universe Like before Big Bang?

Professor Avi Loeb of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and colleagues have proposed a new test for inflation, the theory that our Universe dramatically expanded in size in a fleeting fraction of a second right after the Big Bang. The team’s paper was published in the journal Physical Review Letters. …

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