Science X Newsletter Week 09

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for week 09:

A potential model for a real physical warp drive

A pair of researchers at Applied Physics has created what they describe as the first general model for a warp drive, a model for a space craft that could travel faster than the speed of light, without actually breaking the laws of physics. Alexey Bobrick, and Gianni Martire have written a paper describing their ideas for a warp drive and have published it in IOP's Classical and Quantum Gravity.

Extinct atom reveals the long-kept secrets of the solar system

Using the extinct niobium-92 atom, ETH researchers have been able to date events in the early solar system with greater precision than before. The study concludes that supernova explosions must have taken place in the birth environment of our sun.

Organic materials essential for life on Earth are found for the first time on the surface of an asteroid

New research from Royal Holloway, has found water and organic matter on the surface of an asteroid sample returned from the inner Solar System. This is the first time that organic materials, which could have provided chemical precursors for the origin of life on Earth, have been found on an asteroid.

Source of hazardous high-energy particles located in the Sun

The source of potentially hazardous solar particles, released from the Sun at high speed during storms in its outer atmosphere, has been located for the first time by researchers at UCL and George Mason University, Virginia, U.S.

Scientists discover why blood type may matter for COVID infection

(HealthDay)—A new study provides further evidence that people with certain blood types may be more likely to contract COVID-19.

Astrophysicist's 2004 theory confirmed: Why the Sun's composition varies

About 17 years ago, J. Martin Laming, an astrophysicist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, theorized why the chemical composition of the Sun's tenuous outermost layer differs from that lower down. His theory has recently been validated by combined observations of the Sun's magnetic waves from the Earth and from space.

Rare earth unlocks copper, gold and silver secrets

A study by Monash scientists has found that a rare earth affects the fate of a key reaction with copper, gold, silver, and uranium mineralisation.

Neandertals had the capacity to perceive and produce human speech

Neandertals—the closest ancestor to modern humans—possessed the ability to perceive and produce human speech, according to a new study published by an international multidisciplinary team of researchers including Binghamton University anthropology professor Rolf Quam and graduate student Alex Velez.

New study suggests humans evolved to run on less water than our closest primate relatives

When you think about what separates humans from chimpanzees and other apes, you might think of our big brains, or the fact that we get around on two legs rather than four. But we have another distinguishing feature: water efficiency.

Photon-photon polaritons: the intriguing particles that emerge when two photons couple

Scientists at the University of Bath in the UK have found a way to bind together two photons of different colors, paving the way for important advancements in quantum-electrodynamics—the field of science that describes how light and matter interact. In time, the team's findings are likely to impact developments in optical and quantum communication, and precision measurements of frequency, time and distances.

The human brain grew as a result of the extinction of large animals

A new paper by Dr. Miki Ben-Dor and Prof. Ran Barkai from the Jacob M. Alkow Department of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University proposes an original unifying explanation for the physiological, behavioral and cultural evolution of the human species, from its first appearance about two million years ago, to the agricultural revolution (around 10,000 BCE). According to the paper, humans developed as hunters of large animals, causing their ultimate extinction. As they adapted to hunting small, swift prey animals, humans developed higher cognitive abilities, evidenced by the most obvious evolutionary change—the growth of brain volume from 650cc to 1,500cc. To date, no unifying explanation has been proposed for the major phenomena in human prehistory. The novel theory was published in Quaternary Journal.

Neanderthal and early modern human stone tool culture co-existed for over 100,000 years

The Acheulean was estimated to have died out around 200,000 years ago but the new findings suggest it may have persisted for much longer, creating over 100,000 years of overlap with more advanced technologies produced by Neanderthals and early modern humans.

Simulations suggest Earth's oxygen-rich atmosphere will last only another billion years

A pair of researchers from Toho University and NASA Nexus for Exoplanet System Science has found evidence, via simulation, that Earth will lose its oxygen-rich atmosphere in approximately 1 billion years. In their paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience, Kazumi Ozaki and Christopher Reinhard describe the factors that went into their simulation and what it showed.

The Large Hadron Collider's official tally: 59 new hadrons and counting

How many new particles has the LHC discovered? The most widely known discovery is of course that of the Higgs boson. Less well known is the fact that, over the past 10 years, the LHC experiments have also found more than 50 new particles called hadrons. Coincidentally, the number 50 appears in the context of hadrons twice, as 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of hadron colliders: on 27 January 1971, two beams of protons collided for the first time in CERN's Intersecting Storage Rings accelerator, making it the first accelerator in history to produce collisions between two counter-rotating beams of hadrons.

Study shows that the GW190521 event could be explained by primordial black holes

In September 2020, the LIGO/Virgo collaboration, a large team of scientists working at different universities worldwide, announced that they had detected most massive gravitational wave binary signal observed to date, which they called GW190521. In a paper published in Physical Review Letters, they explored the hypothesis that this signal was produced by the merger of two black holes, with at least the primary component mass in the mass gap predicted by the pair-instability supernova theory.

The collapse of Northern California kelp forests will be hard to reverse

Satellite imagery shows that the area covered by kelp forests off the coast of Northern California has dropped by more than 95 percent, with just a few small, isolated patches of bull kelp remaining. Species-rich kelp forests have been replaced by "urchin barrens," where purple sea urchins cover a seafloor devoid of kelp and other algae.

New quantum theory heats up thermodynamic research

Researchers have developed a new quantum version of a 150-year-old thermodynamical thought experiment that could pave the way for the development of quantum heat engines.

Super-Earth discovered: Data will characterize planetary atmosphere models

During the past 25 years astronomers have discovered a wide variety of exoplanets, made of rock, ice and gas, thanks to the construction of astronomical instruments designed specifically for planet searches. Also, using a combination of different observing techniques they have been able to determine a large number of masses, sizes, and hence densities of the planets, which helps them to estimate their internal composition and raises the number of planets which have been discovered outside the Solar System.

Researchers unveil issues with nuclear theory, observe no magic behavior at N=32 in charge radii of potassium isotopes

Measuring the size of atomic nuclei has sometimes been useful to probe aspects of nucleon-nucleon interaction and the bulk properties of nuclear matter. The charge radius of atomic nuclei, which can be extracted using laser spectroscopy techniques, is sensitive to both the bulk properties of nuclear matter and particularly subtle details of the interactions between protons and neutrons.

NASA's new Mars rover hits dusty red road, 1st trip 21 feet

NASA's newest Mars rover hit the dusty red road this week, putting 21 feet on the odometer in its first test drive.

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