Science X Newsletter Week 33

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for week 33:

Hubble finds that Betelgeuse's mysterious dimming is due to a traumatic outburst

Recent observations of Betelgeuse have revealed that the star's unexpected and significant dimming periods in late 2019 and early 2020 were most likely caused by the ejection and cooling of dense hot gases, and that the star may be going through another dimming period more than a year early.

Warming Greenland ice sheet passes point of no return

Nearly 40 years of satellite data from Greenland shows that glaciers on the island have shrunk so much that even if global warming were to stop today, the ice sheet would continue shrinking.

Scientists discover way to make quantum states last 10,000 times longer

If we can harness it, quantum technology promises fantastic new possibilities. But first, scientists need to coax quantum systems to stay yoked for longer than a few millionths of a second.

Black silicon photodetector breaks the 100% efficiency limit

Aalto University researchers have developed a black silicon photodetector that has reached above 130% efficiency. Thus, for the first time, a photovoltaic device has exceeded the 100% limit, which has earlier been considered as the theoretical maximum for external quantum efficiency.

200,000 years ago, humans preferred to sleep in beds

Researchers in South Africa's Border Cave, a well-known archeological site perched on a cliff between eSwatini (Swaziland) and KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, have found evidence that people have been using grass bedding to create comfortable areas for sleeping and working on at least 200,000 years ago.

Dwarf planet Ceres is an ocean world: study

The dwarf planet Ceres—long believed to be a barren space rock—is an ocean world with reservoirs of sea water beneath its surface, the results of a major exploration mission showed Monday.

Time-reversal of an unknown quantum state

Physicists have long sought to understand the irreversibility of the surrounding world and have credited its emergence to the time-symmetric, fundamental laws of physics. According to quantum mechanics, the final irreversibility of conceptual time reversal requires extremely intricate and implausible scenarios that are unlikely to spontaneously occur in nature. Physicists had previously shown that while time-reversibility is exponentially improbable in a natural environment—it is possible to design an algorithm to artificially reverse a time arrow to a known or given state within an IBM quantum computer. However, this version of the reversed arrow-of-time only embraced a known quantum state and is therefore compared to the quantum version of pressing rewind on a video to "reverse the flow of time."

Research exposes new vulnerability for SARS-CoV-2

Northwestern University researchers have uncovered a new vulnerability in the novel coronavirus' infamous spike protein—illuminating a relatively simple, potential treatment pathway.

New study warns: We have underestimated the pace at which the Arctic is melting

Arctic sea ice is melting more quickly than once assumed. Today's climate models have yet to incorporate the steep rise in temperatures that have occurred over the past 40 years. This, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Copenhagen and other institutions.

Scientists create compact particle accelerators that drive electron beams nearer speed of light

Scientists have successfully developed a pocket-sized particle accelerator capable of projecting ultra-short electron beams with laser light at more than 99.99% of the speed of light.

Quantum researchers create an error-correcting cat

Yale physicists have developed an error-correcting cat—a new device that combines the Schrödinger's cat concept of superposition (a physical system existing in two states at once) with the ability to fix some of the trickiest errors in a quantum computation.

Physicists calculate when the last supernova ever will happen

The end of the universe as we know it will not come with a bang. Most stars will slowly fizzle as their temperatures fade to zero.

Pfizer's COVID vaccine shows 'robust' results in early trial

(HealthDay)—A vaccine based on cutting-edge RNA gene technology showed promising potency against the new coronavirus in an early trial, scientists report.

Uranium reveals its true nature

Most people are familiar with uranium as a fuel for nuclear power plants. And while that's the most common application, this element is also used in many other fields, such as dyes, medical devices, and weapons. Scientists at EPFL's Environmental Microbiology Laboratory (EML) have recently made an important discovery about uranium that could have major implications for soil and groundwater remediation as well as radioactive waste management. Their research has just been published in Nature Communications.

New species of dinosaur discovered on Isle of Wight

A new study by Palaeontologists at the University of Southampton suggests four bones recently found on the Isle of Wight belong to new species of theropod dinosaur, the group that includes Tyrannosaurus rex and modern-day birds.

Ancient genomes suggest woolly rhinos went extinct due to climate change, not overhunting

The extinction of prehistoric megafauna like the woolly mammoth, cave lion, and woolly rhinoceros at the end of the last ice age has often been attributed to the spread of early humans across the globe. Although overhunting led to the demise of some species, a study appearing August 13 in the journal Current Biology found that the extinction of the woolly rhinoceros may have had a different cause: climate change. By sequencing ancient DNA from 14 of these megaherbivores, researchers found that the woolly rhinoceros population remained stable and diverse until only a few thousand years before it disappeared from Siberia, when temperatures likely rose too high for the cold-adapted species.

Physicists accelerate the hunt for revolutionary artificial atomic materials

Scientists at the University of Bath have taken an important step towards understanding the interaction between layers of atomically thin materials arranged in stacks. They hope their research will speed up the discovery of new, artificial materials, leading to the design of electronic components that are far tinier and more efficient than anything known today.

Third breakthrough demonstrates photosynthetic hacks can boost yield, conserve water

Plants are factories that manufacture yield from light and carbon dioxide—but parts of this complex process, called photosynthesis, are hindered by a lack of raw materials and machinery. To optimize production, scientists from the University of Essex have resolved two major photosynthetic bottlenecks to boost plant productivity by 27 percent in real-world field conditions, according to a new study published in Nature Plants. This is the third breakthrough for the research project Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE); however, this photosynthetic hack has also been shown to conserve water.

Digital content on track to equal half Earth's mass by 2245

As we use resources, such as coal, oil, natural gas, copper, silicon and aluminum, to power massive computer farms and process digital information, our technological progress is redistributing Earth's matter from physical atoms to digital information—the fifth state of matter, alongside liquid, solid, gas and plasma.

Discovery of massless electrons in phase-change materials provides next step for future electronics

Researchers have found electrons that behave as if they have no mass, called Dirac electrons, in a compound used in rewritable discs, such as CDs and DVDs. The discovery of 'massless' electrons in this phase-change material could lead to faster electronic devices.


This email is a free service of Science X Network
You received this email because you subscribed to our list.
If you do not wish to receive such emails in the future, please unsubscribe here.
You are subscribed as phys.org@quicklydone.com. You may manage your subscription options from your Science X profile

ga