Science X Newsletter Friday, Jan 22

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Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for January 22, 2021:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

A method to track the outdoor performance of perovskite solar minimodules

Astronomers discover first cloudless, Jupiter-like planet

Observing chiral edge states in gapped nanomechanical graphene

A quarter of known bee species haven't appeared in public records since the 1990s

How did forelimb function change as vertebrates acquired limbs and moved onto land?

Climate and carbon cycle trends of the past 50 million years reconciled

The seven rocky planets of TRAPPIST-1 seem to have very similar compositions

Creating a safe CAR T-Cell therapy to fight solid tumors in children

Scientists solve a 100-year-old mystery about cancer

Rhesus macaques develop promising immune response to SARS-CoV-2

Growing up in a bilingual home has lasting benefits

Raspberry unveils $4 Pi Pico microcontroller

Role of dams in reducing global flood exposure under climate change

MRI helps unravel the mysteries of sleep

Record-breaking laser link could provide test of Einstein's theory

Physics news

Record-breaking laser link could provide test of Einstein's theory

Scientists from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) and the University of Western Australia (UWA) have set a world record for the most stable transmission of a laser signal through the atmosphere.

The mystery of pointy oil droplets

A certain type of oil droplets changes shape when cooled and shrunk: from spherical through icosahedral to flat hexagonal. Two competing theories couldn't fully explain this, but now, a Physical Review Letter by Ireth García-Aguilar and Luca Giomi solves the mystery.

Using the unpredictable nature of quantum mechanics to generate truly random numbers

A team of researchers from the U.K., Germany and Russia has used the unpredictable nature of quantum mechanics to create a device capable of generating truly random numbers. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the group describes using aspects of quantum theory to develop a framework for building a truly random number generator.

New blueprint for more stable quantum computers

Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) have put forward a detailed plan of how faster and better defined quantum bits—qubits—can be created. The central elements are magnetic atoms from the class of so-called rare-earth metals, which would be selectively implanted into the crystal lattice of a material. Each of these atoms represents one qubit. The researchers have demonstrated how these qubits can be activated, entangled, used as memory bits, and read out. They have now published their design concept and supporting calculations in the journal PRX Quantum.

Researchers propose new method for accurate measurement of electro-optic coefficient

Recently, researchers from the Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics (SIOM) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) have proposed a novel measurement method of the electro-optic (EO) coefficient based on the χ(2) nonlinear optical technology to measure the linear EO coefficients of KH2PO4 (KDP) and K(H1−xDx)2PO4 (DKDP) precisely. Relevant results were published in Optics Express on Jan. 18, 2021.

Astronomy and Space news

Astronomers discover first cloudless, Jupiter-like planet

Astronomers at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian have detected the first Jupiter-like planet without clouds or haze in its observable atmosphere. The findings were published this month in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

The seven rocky planets of TRAPPIST-1 seem to have very similar compositions

The red dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 is home to the largest group of roughly Earth-size planets ever found in a single stellar system. Located about 40 light-years away, these seven rocky siblings provide an example of the tremendous variety of planetary systems that likely fill the universe.

Magnetic waves explain mystery of Sun's outer layer

The Sun's extremely hot outer layer, the corona, has a very different chemical composition from the cooler inner layers, but the reason for this has puzzled scientists for decades.

Astronomers unmask cosmic eruptions in nearby galaxies

A brief burst of high-energy light swept through the solar system on April 15, triggering many space-based instruments, including those aboard NASA and European missions. Now, multiple international science teams conclude that the blast came from a supermagnetized stellar remnant known as a magnetar located in a neighboring galaxy.

The Very Large Array: Astronomical shapeshifter

When the Very Large Array was completed forty years ago, it was a different kind of radio telescope. Rather than having a single antenna dish, the VLA has 27. The data these antennas gather is combined in such a way that they act as a single radio telescope. As a radio array, the virtual dish of the VLA can cover an area roughly the size of Disney World. But the VLA can also do something ordinary telescopes can't do: it can change shape.

The largest-ever catalog of gravitational waves released

One of humankind's greatest achievements was made on 14th Sept 2015 when the first direct detection of a gravitational wave event was made using the aLIGO observatories in Washington State and Louisana in the U.S.

Iodine thruster could slow space junk accumulation

For the first time ever, a telecommunications satellite has used an iodine propellant to change its orbit around Earth.

SpaceX to send TU Dresden satellite into space

TU Dresden's SOMP2b satellite will be lifted into orbit by SpaceX on January 22, 2021. It will be used to investigate new nanomaterials under the extreme conditions of space, to test systems for converting the sun's heat into electricity and to precisely measure the residual atmosphere around the satellite. SOMP2b will begin its journey around the Earth at an altitude of 500 km—slightly higher than the ISS space station. It will orbit the Earth in a special polar, sun-synchronous orbit, always flying over the TU Dresden ground station at approximately the same time of day and sending measurement data.

Technology news

A method to track the outdoor performance of perovskite solar minimodules

In recent years, researchers have been developing a wide range of technologies designed to convert renewable energy sources, such as sunlight and wind, into electrical energy. This includes solar or photovoltaic (PV) cells, devices that can convert light into electrical energy and are typically combined to form solar panels.

Raspberry unveils $4 Pi Pico microcontroller

Raspberry is introducing a new member to its family: a microcontroller. And its price won't set anyone back too much: The new Raspberry Pi Pico costs about the same as a box of fresh-picked raspberries at the grocery store, $4.

New study reveals secrets to solar success

A new study shows how researchers at The Australian National University (ANU) achieved a world record in solar cell efficiency.

AI trained to read electric vehicle charging station reviews to find infrastructure gaps

Although electric vehicles that reduce greenhouse gas emissions attract many drivers, the lack of confidence in charging services deters others. Building a reliable network of charging stations is difficult in part because it's challenging to aggregate data from independent station operators. But now, researchers reporting January 22 in the journal Patterns have developed an AI that can analyze user reviews of these stations, allowing it to accurately identify places where there are insufficient or out-of-service stations.

Google threatens to pull search engine in Australia

Google on Friday threatened to make its search engine unavailable in Australia if the government went ahead with plans to make tech giants pay for news content.

Embattled Intel says earnings better than expected

Intel said Thursday that earnings topped prior expectations, as the computer chip giant faces pressure to come up with bold ways to fend off fierce competition and an activist shareholder.

Air Force issues national call for 3-D scanner

Additive manufacturing and computer design experts, the Air Force needs your ideas.

Alphabet closes down internet balloon network project 'Loon'

Google parent company Alphabet announced Friday it was shutting down "Loon", a high-profile project aiming to deliver wireless internet via flying balloons in the stratosphere, because it is not commercially viable.

Hydrogen gas-fueled airships could spur development in remote communities

What do tomatoes, hemp and hydrogen gas have in common? Only one thing: they were all victims of misinformation that banned their use. Harmless products that could have had a positive role in the economy and society were shunned for generations.

Shining a light on the hidden shadows of the internet

The dark web began as an anonymous communication channel for the US government but is now a term used by the media and in Hollywood movies to refer to hidden online services where people primarily buy and sell items such as illegal drugs or distribute censored content.

EVgo latest in hot US electric auto sector to publicly list

California-based EVgo is set to join the parade of companies jumping on public equity markets following a transaction announced Friday to raise $575 million to accelerate the build-out of electric charging stations in the US.

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