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225,570 articles from PhysOrg

Image: Smoke billows from fires in Turkey

Captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission on 30 July 2021, this image shows smoke billowing from several fires along the southern coast of Turkey. Turkey has been battling deadly wildfires since last week. Over the weekend, tourists and local residents had to be evacuated from Bodrum and Marmaris, with some fleeing by boat as the flames crept closer to the shoreline. Southeast Europe is...

Psychologist explains why spite could destroy liberal democracy

As communism imploded in 1989, the American political scientist Francis Fukuyama asked if liberal democracy was "the end of history," being the form all societies were destined to take. The past decades have suggested not. Illiberal democracies and hybrid democratic-authoritarian regimes continue to emerge.

Are women climate scientists judged for speaking out? Not so much, research suggests

Many scientists are likely to be invited for media appearances in the run up to COP26, the international negotiations on global heating that will take place in Glasgow in November 2021. Journalists will ask climate scientists to help place the talks in context and to discuss the value of particular options for reducing emissions, or to explain how climate change may have contributed to particular...

Running quantum software on a classical computer

Two physicists, from EPFL and Columbia University, have introduced an approach for simulating the quantum approximate optimization algorithm using a traditional computer. Instead of running the algorithm on advanced quantum processors, the new approach uses a classical machine-learning algorithm that closely mimics the behavior of near-term quantum computers.

Mimicking brain functions with graphene-diamond junctions

The human brain holds the secret to our unique personalities. But did you know that it can also form the basis of highly efficient computing devices? Researchers from Nagoya University, Japan, recently showed how to do this, through graphene-diamond junctions that mimic some of the human brain's functions.

Ability of urban trees, soils to maintain critical ecosystem services

If you're a tree, country life is much easier than city living. Rural trees—which can live long, productive lives of sometimes more than 100 years—draw on vast resources of an extensive forest network of nearby trees. In urban areas, friendly, neighboring trees can be few and far between. Heat island effects and variation in nutrient levels leave urban trees more vulnerable to natural...

Agent-based modeling for archaeology can simulate the complexity of societies

The more we learn about the past, the more we come to understand that ancient societies share some striking similarities to our own. From the first waves of migration out of Africa to the Ancestral Pueblo, the peoples of the past created art, migrated to new lands, fought wars, raised families, and exploited natural resources for housing, food, and tools—just like we do. With the help of a...

New method to solve the plastics sustainability problem

Plastics sustainability has come a long way in recent years thanks in large part to scientific advances. But even as plastics become more and more environmentally friendly, the world continues to be polluted as many industries rely on them for their widely used products.

TED talks seek to inject optimism into pandemic gloom

A TED conference under the theme "The Case for Optimism" on Monday threw down the gauntlet for a return to face-to-face gatherings, despite the daunting challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and deep political divides.

Sierra Nevada red fox to be listed as federally endangered

The slender, bushy-tailed Sierra Nevada red fox will be listed as an endangered species, federal wildlife officials announced Monday, saying its population has dipped to just 40 animals in area of California stretching from Lake Tahoe to south of Yosemite National Park.


Trapped saltwater caused mangrove death after Hurricane Irma

When Hurricane Irma hit southern Florida in September of 2017, the storm buffeted coastal mangrove forests with winds over 116 mph—strong enough to rip off leaves, break branches, and snap tree trunks in half. Of the mangrove forest damaged by Hurricane Irma, about 83% recovered after the first year. But the rest didn't, leaving scientists wondering why some trees didn't bounce back.

Deep learning and holography create a better point-of-care sensor

Agglutination assays are widely used immunological sensors based on antigen-antibody interactions that result in clumping of antibody-coated microscopic particles. Once the sample—for example, a patient's serum—is introduced, the corresponding target antigens in the sample rapidly attach to the antibody binding sites and the particles start to form clusters due to the target antigen's...

Finding the cause of a fatal problem in rocket engine combustors

Rocket engines contain confined combustion systems, which are essentially combustion chambers. In these chambers, nonlinear interactions among turbulent fuel and oxidizer flows, sound waves, and heat produced from chemical reactions cause an unstable phenomenon called "combustion oscillations." The force of these oscillations on the body of the combustion chamber—the mechanical stress on the...

How we see better by 'looking away'

When we fixate an object, its image does not appear at the place where photoreceptors are packed most densely. Instead, its position is shifted slightly nasally and upwards from the cellular peak. This is shown in a recent study conducted at the University of Bonn (Germany), published in the journal Current Biology. The researchers observed such offsets in both eyes of 20 healthy subjects, and...

New model tracks carbon in agroecosystems

Carbon is everywhere. It's in the atmosphere, in the oceans, in the soil, in our food, in our bodies. As the backbone of all organic molecules that make up life, carbon is a very accurate predictor of crop yields. And soil is the largest carbon pool on earth, playing an important role in keeping our climate stable.

Researchers use virtual reality to demonstrate effectiveness of 3D visualization as a learning tool

Researchers from the Neuroimaging Center at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) and Wisconsin Institute for the Discovery at University Wisconsin-Madison have developed the UW Virtual Brain Project, producing unique, interactive, 3D narrated diagrams to help students learn about the structure and function of perceptual systems in the human brain. A new study exploring how students responded to these lessons on...

Why is this weird, metallic star hurtling out of the Milky Way?

About 2,000 light-years away from Earth, there is a star catapulting toward the edge of the Milky Way. This particular star, known as LP 40−365, is one of a unique breed of fast-moving stars—remnant pieces of massive white dwarf stars—that have survived in chunks after a gigantic stellar explosion.

Overfishing and other human pressures are severely harming marine protected areas worldwide

A new study by Tel Aviv University reveals significant ecological damage to many MPAs around the world. The study findings point to a strong "edge effect" in MPAs, i.e. a sharp 60% reduction in the fish population living at the edges of the MPA (up to a distance of 1-1.5 km within the MPA) compared to core areas. The "edge effect" significantly diminishes the effective size of the MPA, and largely...

Pulsed lasers in liquids speed up the hunt for effective catalysts

Chemical catalysts are the change agents behind the production of just about everything we use in our daily lives, from plastics to prescription drugs. When the right catalysts are mixed with the right chemical compounds, molecules that would otherwise take years to interact do so in mere seconds.

Punishment enforces cooperation in the fig-wasp mutualism: The exception proves the rule

Removal of an offender's hand, tongue or ear: punishments described in Babylon's Hammurabi Code, depended on the nature of the crime. Published in 1771 B.C., the code set the first formal standards for business interactions. But scientists disagree about whether punishment is necessary to maintain mutually-beneficial interactions between animals and plants in nature. In a new study in Proceedings...