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Tiny drops of early universe “perfect” fluid

September 1, 2015 1:00 pm | by Karen McNulty Walsh, Brookhaven National Laboratory | Comments

The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) smashes large nuclei together at close to the speed of light to recreate the primordial soup of fundamental particles that existed in the very early universe. Experiments at RHIC have shown that this primordial soup, known as quark-gluon plasma, flows like a nearly friction free "perfect" liquid.

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Giant galaxy collision triggered “radio phoenix”

September 1, 2015 12:00 pm | by Anne Stark, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory | Comments

Astronomers have found evidence for a faded electron cloud “coming back to life,” much like the mythical phoenix, after two galaxy clusters collided. This “radio phoenix,” so-called because the high-energy electrons radiate primarily at radio frequencies, is found in Abell 1033. The system is located about 1.6 billion light-years from Earth.

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Possible new weapon against PTSD

September 1, 2015 11:00 am | by Anne Trafton, MIT News Office | Comments

About 8 million Americans suffer from nightmares and flashbacks to a traumatic event. This condition, known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), is particularly common among soldiers who have been in combat, though it can also be triggered by physical attack or natural disaster.

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Team observes x-ray phenomenon for first time

September 1, 2015 10:14 am | by Leslie Reed, Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln Communications | Comments

Using an enormous x-ray laser, Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln physicist Matthias Fuchs and scientists from around the world beat formidable odds to observe one of the most fundamental interactions between x-rays and matter. The findings can aid future studies and may lead to novel new ways to diagnose matter in the future.

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Magnetic fields provide new way to communicate wirelessly

September 1, 2015 9:00 am | by Liezel Labios, Univ. of California, San Diego | Comments

Electrical engineers at the Univ. of California, San Diego demonstrated a new wireless communication technique that works by sending magnetic signals through the human body. The new technology could offer a lower power and more secure way to communicate information between wearable electronic devices, providing an improved alternative to existing wireless communication systems, researchers said.

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First global antineutrino emission map highlights Earth’s energy budget

September 1, 2015 8:00 am | by Univ. of Maryland | Comments

The neutrino and its antimatter cousin, the antineutrino, are the tiniest subatomic particles known to science. These particles are byproducts of nuclear reactions within stars, supernovae, black holes and human-made nuclear reactors. They also result from radioactive decay processes deep within the Earth, where radioactive heat and the heat left over from the planet's formation fuels plate tectonics, volcanoes and Earth's magnetic field.

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Distant planet’s interior chemistry may differ from our own

September 1, 2015 7:26 am | by Carnegie Institution | Comments

As astronomers continue finding new rocky planets around distant stars, high-pressure physicists are considering what the interiors of those planets might be like and how their chemistry could differ from that found on Earth. New work from a team including three Carnegie scientists demonstrates that different magnesium compounds could be abundant inside other planets as compared to Earth.

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New material science research may advance tech tools

August 31, 2015 4:30 pm | by Alison Satake, Louisiana State Univ. | Comments

Hard, complex materials with many components are used to fabricate some of today’s most advanced technology tools. However, little is still known about how the properties of these materials change under specific temperatures, magnetic fields and pressures. Researchers conducted research on materials that separate into different regions through a process called electronic phase separation, which is poorly understood.

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Engineered surface unsticks sticky water droplets

August 31, 2015 3:30 pm | by Walt Mills, Penn State Univ. | Comments

The leaves of the lotus flower, and other natural surfaces that repel water and dirt, have been the model for many types of engineered liquid-repelling surfaces. As slippery as these surfaces are, however, tiny water droplets still stick to them. Now, researchers have developed nano/micro-textured, highly slippery surfaces able to outperform these naturally inspired coatings, particularly when the water is a vapor or tiny droplets.

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Gaming computers offer huge, untapped energy savings potential

August 31, 2015 2:30 pm | by Jon Weiner, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | Comments

In the world of computer gaming, bragging rights are accorded to those who can boast of blazing-fast graphics cards, the most powerful processors, the highest-resolution monitors, and the coolest decorative lighting. They are not bestowed upon those crowing about the energy efficiency of their system.

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Mouth guard monitors health markers

August 31, 2015 1:30 pm | by Ioana Patringenaru, Univ. of California, San Diego | Comments

Engineers have developed a mouth guard that can monitor health markers, such as lactate, cortisol and uric acid, in saliva and transmit the information wirelessly to a smartphone, laptop or tablet. The technology, which is at a proof-of-concept stage, could be used to monitor patients continuously without invasive procedures, as well as to monitor athletes’ performance or stress levels in soldiers and pilots.

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Using ultra-thin sheets to discover new class of wrapped shapes

August 31, 2015 12:20 pm | by Univ. of Massachusetts at Amherst | Comments

Materials scientists seeking to encapsulate droplets of one fluid within another often use molecules like soap or micro- or nanoparticles to do it. One distinct way of wrapping a droplet is to use a thin sheet that calls on capillary action to naturally wrap a droplet in a blanket of film, but because it takes some force to bend a sheet around a drop, there were thought to be limits on what can be accomplished by this process.

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Lab research mimics blast-induced brain trauma in soldiers

August 31, 2015 11:30 am | by Emil Venere, Purdue Univ. | Comments

Researchers have developed a procedure to mimic in laboratory experiments a form of brain trauma commonly seen in combat veterans, and findings suggest a new diagnostic tool for early detection and a potential treatment.

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Seeing quantum motion

August 31, 2015 10:30 am | by Jessica Stoller-Conrad, Caltech | Comments

Consider the pendulum of a grandfather clock. If you forget to wind it, you will eventually find the pendulum at rest, unmoving. However, this simple observation is only valid at the level of classical physics. However, quantum mechanics, the underlying physical rules that govern the fundamental behavior of matter and light at the atomic scale, state that nothing can quite be completely at rest.

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Hearing Loss Drug Trial Takes Place at Firing Range

August 31, 2015 10:00 am | by Ryan Bushey, Associate Editor | Comments

An experimental drug trial is underway at the Fort Jackson military base in South Carolina.

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