Science X Newsletter Week 26

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for week 26:

Physicists observationally confirm Hawking's black hole theorem for the first time

There are certain rules that even the most extreme objects in the universe must obey. A central law for black holes predicts that the area of their event horizons—the boundary beyond which nothing can ever escape—should never shrink. This law is Hawking's area theorem, named after physicist Stephen Hawking, who derived the theorem in 1971.

UN confirms 18.3C record heat in Antarctica

The United Nations on Thursday recognised a new record high temperature for the Antarctic continent, confirming a reading of 18.3 degrees Celsius (64.9 degrees Fahrenheit) made last year.

A white dwarf living on the edge

Astronomers have discovered the smallest and most massive white dwarf ever seen. The smoldering cinder, which formed when two less massive white dwarfs merged, is heavy, "packing a mass greater than that of our Sun into a body about the size of our Moon," says Ilaria Caiazzo, the Sherman Fairchild Postdoctoral Scholar Research Associate in Theoretical Astrophysics at Caltech and lead author of the new study appearing in the July 1 issue of the journal Nature. "It may seem counterintuitive, but smaller white dwarfs happen to be more massive. This is due to the fact that white dwarfs lack the nuclear burning that keep up normal stars against their own self gravity, and their size is instead regulated by quantum mechanics."

'There may not be a conflict after all' in expanding universe debate

Our universe is expanding, but our two main ways to measure how fast this expansion is happening have resulted in different answers. For the past decade, astrophysicists have been gradually dividing into two camps: one that believes that the difference is significant, and another that thinks it could be due to errors in measurement.

Astronomers uncover evidence that there could be many more Earth-sized planets than previously thought

Some exoplanet searches could be missing nearly half of the Earth-sized planets around other stars. New findings from a team using the international Gemini Observatory and the WIYN 3.5-meter Telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory suggest that Earth-sized worlds could be lurking undiscovered in binary star systems, hidden in the glare of their parent stars. As roughly half of all stars are in binary systems, this means that astronomers could be missing many Earth-sized worlds.

The world's thinnest technology—only two atoms thick

Researchers from Tel Aviv University have engineered the world's tiniest technology, with a thickness of only two atoms. According to the researchers, the new technology proposes a way for storing electric information in the thinnest unit known to science, in one of the most stable and inert materials in nature. The allowed quantum-mechanical electron tunneling through the atomically thin film may boost the information reading process much beyond current technologies.

Paleonursery offers rare, detailed glimpse at life 518 million years ago

All life on Earth 500 million years ago lived in the oceans, but scientists know little about how these animals and algae developed. A newly discovered fossil deposit near Kunming, China, may hold the keys to understanding how these organisms laid the foundations for life on land and at sea today, according to an international team of researchers.

'Lonely cloud' bigger than Milky Way found in a galaxy 'no-man's land'

A scientifically mysterious, isolated cloud bigger than the Milky Way has been found by a research team at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) in a "no-man's land" for galaxies.

Researchers document quantum melting of Wigner Crystals

In 1934, physicist Eugene Wigner made a theoretical prediction based on quantum mechanics that for 87 years went unseen.

New molecule found in chestnut leaves disarms dangerous staph bacteria

Scientists have isolated a molecule, extracted from the leaves of the European chestnut tree, with the power to neutralize dangerous, drug-resistant staph bacteria. Frontiers in Pharmacology has published the finding, led by scientists at Emory University.

A crystal made of electrons

Researchers at ETH Zurich have succeeded in observing a crystal that consists only of electrons. Such Wigner crystals were already predicted almost ninety years ago but could only now be observed directly in a semiconductor material.

Shock find brings extinct mouse back from the dead

An Australian mammal thought to have been wiped out over 150 years ago can now be crossed off our list of extinct animals, following a new study.

Giant comet found in outer solar system by Dark Energy Survey

A giant comet from the outskirts of our solar system has been discovered in six years of data from the Dark Energy Survey. Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein is estimated to be about 1000 times more massive than a typical comet, making it arguably the largest comet discovered in modern times. It has an extremely elongated orbit, journeying inward from the distant Oort Cloud over millions of years. It is the most distant comet to be discovered on its incoming path, giving us years to watch it evolve as it approaches the Sun, though it's not predicted to become a naked-eye spectacle.

'Lakes' under Mars' south pole: A muddy picture?

Two research teams, using data from the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter, have recently published results suggesting that what were thought to be subsurface lakes on Mars may not really be lakes at all.

Scientists obtain magnetic nanopowder for 6G technology

Material scientists have developed a fast method for producing epsilon iron oxide and demonstrated its promise for next-generation communications devices. Its outstanding magnetic properties make it one of the most coveted materials, such as for the upcoming 6G generation of communication devices and for durable magnetic recording. The work was published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry C, a journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Earth's cryosphere is shrinking by 87,000 square kilometers per year

The global cryosphere—all of the areas with frozen water on Earth—shrank by about 87,000 square kilometers (about 33,000 square miles, an area about the size of Lake Superior) per year on average between 1979 and 2016, as a result of climate change, according to a new study. This research is the first to make a global estimate of the surface area of the Earth covered by sea ice, snow cover and frozen ground.

Observation, simulation, and AI join forces to reveal a clear universe

Japanese astronomers have developed a new artificial intelligence (AI) technique to remove noise in astronomical data due to random variations in galaxy shapes. After extensive training and testing on large mock data created by supercomputer simulations, they then applied this new tool to actual data from Japan's Subaru Telescope and found that the mass distribution derived from using this method is consistent with the currently accepted models of the Universe. This is a powerful new tool for analyzing big data from current and planned astronomy surveys.

Why does Mercury have such a big iron core? Magnetism!

A new study disputes the prevailing hypothesis on why Mercury has a big core relative to its mantle (the layer between a planet's core and crust). For decades, scientists argued that hit-and-run collisions with other bodies during the formation of our solar system blew away much of Mercury's rocky mantle and left the big, dense, metal core inside. But new research reveals that collisions are not to blame—the sun's magnetism is.

A new piece of the quantum computing puzzle

Research from the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis has found a missing piece in the puzzle of optical quantum computing.

Fibromyalgia likely the result of autoimmune problems

New research from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King's College London, in collaboration with the University of Liverpool and the Karolinska Institute, has shown that many of the symptoms in fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) are caused by antibodies that increase the activity of pain-sensing nerves throughout the body.


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