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Here is your customized Phys.org Newsletter for week 20:
New principle may help explain why nature is quantum
Like small children, scientists are always asking the question 'why?'. One question they've yet to answer is why nature picked quantum physics, in all its weird glory, as a sensible way to behave. Researchers Corsin Pfister and Stephanie Wehner at the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore tackle this perennial question in a paper published today in Nature Communications.
Earth's center is out of sync
(Phys.org) �We all know that the Earth rotates beneath our feet, but new research from ANU has revealed that the center of the Earth is out of sync with the rest of the planet, frequently speeding up and slowing down.
SheerWind claims its INVELOX wind turbine produces 600% more power
(Phys.org) �SheerWind Inc. of Chaska, Minnesota is claiming in a press release that its newly developed funnel-based wind turbine system is capable of producing 600 percent more power than conventional wind turbines. The new design uses funnels to channel wind to a ground-based turbine.
Mathematician proves there are infinitely many pairs of prime numbers less than 70 million units apart
(Phys.org) �Mathematician Yitang Zhang of the University of New Hampshire, appears to have taken a major step in solving the twin prime conjecture. He's come up with a mathematical proof that shows that the number of pairs of prime numbers that exist that are less than 70 million units apart is infinite. His proof is currently under review for publication in the journal Annals of Mathematics.
Researchers successfully convert human skin cells into embryonic stem cells
Scientists at Oregon Health & Science University and the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC) have successfully reprogrammed human skin cells to become embryonic stem cells capable of transforming into any other cell type in the body. It is believed that stem cell therapies hold the promise of replacing cells damaged through injury or illness. Diseases or conditions that might be treated through stem cell therapy include Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, cardiac disease and spinal cord injuries.
Study reveals scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change
A comprehensive analysis of peer-reviewed articles on the topic of global warming and climate change has revealed an overwhelming consensus among scientists that recent warming is human-caused.
Researchers suggest Victorian-era people more intelligent than modern-day counterparts
(Phys.org) �In a new study, a European research team suggests that the average intelligence level of Victorian-era people was higher than that of modern-day people. They base their controversial assertion on reaction times (RT) to visual stimuli given as tests to people from the late 1800s to modern times�the faster the reaction time, they say, the smarter the person.
IceCube Neutrino Observatory reports first evidence for extraterrestrial high-energy neutrinos
(Phys.org) �A massive telescope in the Antarctic ice reports the detection of 28 extremely high-energy neutrinos that might have their origin in cosmic sources. Two of these reached energies greater than 1 petaelectronvolt (PeV), an energy level thousands of times higher than the highest energy neutrino yet produced in a manmade accelerator.
Making gold green: New non-toxic method for mining gold
Northwestern University scientists have struck gold in the laboratory. They have discovered an inexpensive and environmentally benign method that uses simple cornstarch�instead of cyanide�to isolate gold from raw materials in a selective manner.
Samsung announces 5G data breakthrough
Samsung Electronics said Monday it had successfully tested super-fast fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology that would eventually allow users to download an entire movie in one second.
Researchers report first fully integrated artificial photosynthesis nanosystem
(Phys.org) �In the wake of the sobering news that atmospheric carbon dioxide is now at its highest level in at least three million years, an important advance in the race to develop carbon-neutral renewable energy sources has been achieved. Scientists with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have reported the first fully integrated nanosystem for artificial photosynthesis. While "artificial leaf" is the popular term for such a system, the key to this success was an "artificial forest."
Quantum dot LED approaches theoretical maximum efficiency
(Phys.org) �Quantum dot LEDs (QLEDs) are a promising technology for creating large-area displays that could have applications for TVs, cell phones, and digital cameras. So far, however, the highest efficiencies of QLEDs have fallen short of those of organic LEDs (OLEDs), another large-area LED technology. Now in a new study, researchers have developed a new type of QLED with an efficiency and luminance that are the highest reported to date and comparable to state-of-the-art phosphorescent OLEDs. The new QLED's external quantum efficiency of 18% more than doubles the current highest value of which the researchers are aware, which is 8%. The efficiency is also close to the theoretical maximum for any planar thin-film LED, which is 20%.
Solar panels as inexpensive as paint? It's possible due to new research
(Phys.org) �Most Americans want the U.S. to place more emphasis on developing solar power, recent polls suggest. A major impediment, however, is the cost to manufacture, install and maintain solar panels. Simply put, most people and businesses cannot afford to place them on their rooftops.
Using analog computation circuits, engineers design cells that can compute logarithms, divide and take square roots
MIT engineers have transformed bacterial cells into living calculators that can compute logarithms, divide, and take square roots, using three or fewer genetic parts. Inspired by how analog electronic circuits function, the researchers created synthetic computation circuits by combining existing genetic "parts," or engineered genes, in novel ways.
Team uncovers fundamental property of astatine, rarest atom on Earth
An international team of scientists, including a University of York researcher, has carried out ground-breaking experiments to investigate the atomic structure of astatine (Z=85), the rarest naturally occurring element on Earth.
New method of finding planets scores its first discovery
(Phys.org) �Detecting alien worlds presents a significant challenge since they are small, faint, and close to their stars. The two most prolific techniques for finding exoplanets are radial velocity (looking for wobbling stars) and transits (looking for dimming stars). A team at Tel Aviv University and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) has just discovered an exoplanet using a new method that relies on Einstein's special theory of relativity.
New method proposed for detecting gravitational waves from ends of universe
A new window into the nature of the universe may be possible with a device proposed by scientists at the University of Nevada, Reno and Stanford University that would detect elusive gravity waves from the other end of the cosmos. Their paper describing the device and process was published in the prestigious physics journal Physical Review Letters.
Ecologists warn of overreliance on unvetted computer source code by researchers
(Phys.org) �A team of scientists, led by ecologist Lucas Joppa of Microsoft Research, has published a commentary piece in the journal Science, highlighting what they say is a growing problem in research efforts. They suggest that an overreliance on source code that has not been properly vetted is increasingly leading to incorrect research effort results.
A new laser paradigm: An electrically injected polariton laser
Engineering researchers at the University of Michigan have demonstrated a paradigm-shifting "polariton" laser that's fueled not by light, but by electricity.
Beautiful 'flowers' self-assemble in a beaker
By simply manipulating chemical gradients in a beaker of fluid, materials scientists at Harvard have found that they can control the growth behavior of crystals to create precisely tailored structures�such as delicate, micron-scale flowers.
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