167 articles from WEDNESDAY 17.5.2023

Uncovering universal physics in the dynamics of a quantum system

New experiments using one-dimensional gases of ultra-cold atoms reveal a universality in how quantum systems composed of many particles change over time following a large influx of energy that throws the system out of equilibrium. A team of physicists at Penn State showed that these gases immediately respond, "evolving" with features that are common to all "many-body" quantum systems thrown out of...

'Charge density wave' linked to atomic distortions in would-be superconductor

What makes some materials carry current with no resistance? Scientists are trying to unravel the complex characteristics. Harnessing this property, known as superconductivity, could lead to perfectly efficient power lines, ultrafast computers, and a range of energy-saving advances. Understanding these materials when they aren't superconducting is a key part of the quest to unlock that potential.

Cleaning up ocean ‘garbage patches’ could destroy delicate ecosystems

Removing trash from the ocean may not be as harmless as it seems. That’s the conclusion of new research, which finds that marine dumps known as “garbage patches” are home to countless delicate creatures that could perish when people scoop debris from the sea. The oceans are home to five major garbage patches. They form far from land where strong currents swirl together,...

Climate change, habitat loss threaten East African bird populations

In recent decades, scientists have produced countless studies on the effects of one environmental factor or another—climate change, deforestation or pollution, for example—on wildlife and habitats around the world. But few have examined the interplay and overlap among multiple factors at the same time in the same location.

Fine particulate matter found to catalyze oxidative stress in the lungs

A new study conducted by a team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry (MPIC) reveals that the adverse health effects of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) are attributable to the conversion of peroxides into more reactive species such as the hydroxyl radical (OH) rather than the direct chemical production of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as previously thought.

Remembering Skylab’s launch, 50 years on

On May 14, 1973, watched by 25,000 rapt spectators, the last Saturn V patiently sat on Launch Pad 39A at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC). Atop the rocket was Skylab, the biggest, heaviest single object ever to be put into space and the nation’s first long-term, off-planet homestead. At 12:30 P.M. EDT, the Saturn’s fiveContinue reading "Remembering Skylab’s launch, 50 years on" The...

20 best deep-sky objects visible in the spring sky

Many amateur astronomers start observing with the Messier catalog, a list of “fuzzy” deep-sky targets that present wonderful sights through a telescope. Although Messier objects may be bright and well known, there’s so much more in the sky to enjoy. The following list of beautiful globular clusters, galaxies, and other celestial entities of the springContinue reading "20 best deep-sky...

ChatGPT as 'educative artificial intelligence'

With the advent of artificial intelligence (AI), several aspects of our lives have become more efficient and easier to navigate. One of the latest AI-based technologies is a user-friendly chatbot—ChatGPT, which is growing in popularity owing to its many applications, including in the field of education.

Origami heat shield: Reusable for reentries

A novel origami-based heat shield developed with ESA support is planned to be tested with an actual atmospheric reentry from space. Named Pridwen, after the legendary shield of King Arthur, this reusable design will spring out before a spacecraft reenters the atmosphere.

Machine learning model analyzes why couples break up

What does artificial intelligence offer that goes beyond traditional statistical models, such as regression analysis, to investigate the behavior of households, in particular the factors that cause the separation of couples and dissolution of the conjugal bond?