Science X Newsletter Week 10

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Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for week 10:

World's first dinosaur preserved sitting on nest of eggs with fossilized babies

The fossil in question is that of an oviraptorosaur, a group of bird-like theropod dinosaurs that thrived during the Cretaceous Period, the third and final time period of the Mesozoic Era (commonly known as the 'Age of Dinosaurs') that extended from 145 to 66 million years ago. The new specimen was recovered from uppermost Cretaceous-aged rocks, some 70 million years old, in Ganzhou City in southern China's Jiangxi Province.

Physics undergraduate proposes solution to quantum field theory problem

When physicists need to understand the quantum mechanics that describe how atomic clocks work, how your magnet sticks to your refrigerator or how particles flow through a superconductor, they use quantum field theories.

Insatiable demand for cannabis has created a giant carbon footprint

It's no secret that the United States' $13 billion cannabis industry is big business. Less obvious to many is the environmental toll this booming business is taking, in the form of greenhouse gas emissions from commercial, mostly indoor production.

Neanderthals disappeared from Europe earlier than thought, says study

Neanderthal fossils from a cave in Belgium believed to belong to the last survivors of their species ever discovered in Europe are thousands of years older than once thought, a new study said Monday.

Gigantic jet spied from black hole in early universe

Astronomers have discovered evidence for an extraordinarily long jet of particles from a supermassive black hole in the early Universe, using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Astronomers detect a black hole on the move

Scientists have long theorized that supermassive black holes can wander through space—but catching them in the act has proven difficult.

Earth-sized exoplanet may have lost its original atmosphere, but gained a second one through volcanism

Orbiting a red dwarf star 41 light-years away is an Earth-sized, rocky exoplanet called GJ 1132 b. In some ways, GJ 1132 b has intriguing parallels to Earth, but in other ways it is very different. One of the differences is that its smoggy, hazy atmosphere contains a toxic mix of hydrogen, methane and hydrogen cyanide. Scientists using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have found evidence this is not the planet's original atmosphere, and that the first one was blasted away by blistering radiation from GJ 1132 b's nearby parent star. The so-called "secondary atmosphere" is thought to be formed as molten lava beneath the planet's surface continually oozes up through volcanic fissures. Gases seeping through these cracks seem to be constantly replenishing the atmosphere, which would otherwise also be stripped away by the star. This is the first time a secondary atmosphere has been detected on a world outside our solar system.

Perseverance rover's SuperCam science instrument delivers first results

The first readings from the SuperCam instrument aboard NASA's Perseverance rover have arrived on Earth. SuperCam was developed jointly by the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in New Mexico and a consortium of French research laboratories under the auspices of the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES). The instrument delivered data to the French Space Agency's operations center in Toulouse that includes the first audio of laser zaps on another planet.

Research shows we're surprisingly similar to Earth's first animals

The earliest multicellular organisms may have lacked heads, legs, or arms, but pieces of them remain inside of us today, new research shows.

Breaking the warp barrier for faster-than-light travel

If travel to distant stars within an individual's lifetime is going to be possible, a means of faster-than-light propulsion will have to be found. To date, even recent research about superluminal (faster-than-light) transport based on Einstein's theory of general relativity would require vast amounts of hypothetical particles and states of matter that have 'exotic' physical properties such as negative energy density. This type of matter either cannot currently be found or cannot be manufactured in viable quantities. In contrast, new research carried out at the University of Göttingen gets around this problem by constructing a new class of hyper-fast 'solitons' using sources with only positive energies that can enable travel at any speed. This reignites debate about the possibility of faster-than-light travel based on conventional physics. The research is published in the journal Classical and Quantum Gravity.

Microscopic wormholes possible in theory

Wormholes play a key role in many science fiction films—often as a shortcut between two distant points in space. In physics, however, these tunnels in spacetime have remained purely hypothetical. An international team led by Dr. Jose Luis Blázquez-Salcedo of the University of Oldenburg has now presented a new theoretical model in the science journal Physical Review Letters that makes microscopic wormholes seem less far-fetched than in previous theories.

How a ladybug warps space-time

Researchers at the University of Vienna and the Austrian Academy of Sciences, led by Markus Aspelmeyer have succeeded in measuring the gravitational field of a gold sphere, just 2 mm in diameter, using a highly sensitive pendulum—and thus the smallest gravitational force. The experiment opens up new possibilities for testing the laws of gravity on previously unattained small scales. The results are published in the journal Nature.

Massive stars in the early universe may have been progenitors of super-massive black holes

Recent observations have shown that there is a supermassive black hole at the center of each galaxy. However, what is the origin of these supermassive black holes? It is still a mystery today. An international research team led by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA) in Taiwan has predicted an extreme supernova from a supermassive star, possible the progenitor of supermassive black holes. Their calculation suggested that this supernova can be observed by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) that will be launched by the end of 2021.

Geologists discover powerful 'river of rocks' below Caribbean

Geologists have long thought tectonic plates move because they are pulled by the weight of their sinking portions and that an underlying, hot, softer layer called asthenosphere serves as a passive lubricant. But a team of geologists at the University of Houston has found that layer is actually flowing vigorously, moving fast enough to drive plate motions.

Large asteroid to pass by Earth on March 21: NASA

The largest asteroid to pass by Earth this year will approach within some 1.25 million miles (two million kilometers) of our planet on March 21, NASA said Thursday.

Oil in the ocean photooxidizes within hours to days, new study finds

A new study led by scientists at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science demonstrates that under realistic environmental conditions oil drifting in the ocean after the DWH oil spill photooxidized into persistent compounds within hours to days, instead over long periods of time as was thought during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. This is the first model results to support the new paradigm of photooxidation that emerged from laboratory research.

Russia deploys giant space telescope in Lake Baikal

Russian scientists on Saturday launched one of the world's biggest underwater space telescopes to peer deep into the universe from the pristine waters of Lake Baikal.

Researchers solve more of the mystery of Laos megalithic jars

New research conducted at the UNESCO World Heritage listed 'Plain of Jars' in Laos has established the stone jars were likely placed in their final resting position from as early as 1240 to 660 BCE.

Earth's deep mantle may have proton rivers made of superionic phases

Pierfranco Demontis said in 1988, "Ice becomes a fast-ion conductor at high pressure and high temperatures," but his prediction was only hypothetical until recently. After 30 years of study, superionic water ice was verified experimentally in 2018. Superionicity may eventually explain the strong magnetic field in giant planetary interiors.

Playing games with quantum interference

As Richard Feynman famously put it, "the double slit experiment is absolutely impossible to explain in any classical way and has in it the heart of quantum mechanics. In reality, it contains the only mystery."


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