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Colliding atom clouds bounce like billiard balls

Posted on 20 Apr 2011 in Journalism, Physics

No matter how long you gaze at the clouds in the sky, you’ll never spot them behaving like those in Martin Zwierlein’s lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Bizarrely, when two of Zwierlein’s clouds collide, they bounce off one another like billiard balls. The feat could aid our understanding of some of the most enigmatic systems in the universe. Image: Velo Steve

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Foreshocks may warn that a big quake is coming

Posted on 17 Feb 2011 in Earth Science, Journalism, Physics

Advance warning is the ultimate prize for earthquake studies. Now, for the first time, one study offers tantalising evidence that it may be possible to build such a system to warn of some impending large quakes about an hour before they strike. The finding comes from an analysis of the seismic record from the lead-up to a devastating earthquake that hit Turkey in 1999. Image: martinluff

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Can we grab electricity from muggy air?

Posted on 26 Aug 2010 in Journalism, Physics

A team of chemists think we can get power from air – if we don’t mind violating a long-held chemical principle. Read more…...

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Light-amplifying resin boosts invisibility cloaks

Posted on 5 Aug 2010 in Invisibility, Journalism, Physics

Metamaterials that act as invisibility cloaks give the game away by absorbing too much light – a light-amplifying resin may provide a...

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Magnetic fields may stop young stars self-destructing

Posted on 31 Oct 2007 in Journalism, Physics, Space

Unlike human infants, newborn stars seem to have a way to stop themselves getting too hyper for their own good. When stars form from a spinning disc of gas and dust, they should spin ever faster as gravity pulls this matter in towards the centre – just as pirouetting ice skaters spin faster as they retract their arms – and so throw material back out. Yet for some reason this doesn’t happen. Image: WilzDezign

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Tether mishap ‘slingshots’ capsule into space

Posted on 27 Sep 2007 in Space, Technology

New Scientist Image: bark A small space capsule has been lost in Earth orbit after a space tether experiment went awry on Tuesday. The...

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