Physics

  So called "memristors" are an intriguing hot topic in electronics and nanotechnology, and highly controversial to boot. A certain type of memristor device was predicted to exist in 1971. Being perhaps a simple electrical component much like a resistor or capacitor, HP claimed to have discovered the missing memristor in 2008, except, "The Missing Memristor has Not been Found" [Nature Publishing Group’s Scientific Reports 5, 11657 (1215)]

A three inch long equation (or according to Kaku one inch) is the holy grail of post modern theoretical physics.  We all want one equation from which one can derive all known physical laws. I don't have that.  What I have today is a three inch equation which goes a step towards unifying gravity and the standard model of particle physics.  It will allow one to predict the gravitational corrections to standard model interactions. Not only do I have a theory to present, but an experiment to propose which could test this theory.

One of the nice things about the 2012 discovery of the Higgs boson is that the particle has been found at a very special spot - that is, with a very special mass. At 125 GeV, the Higgs boson has a significant probability to decay into a multitude of different final states, making the hunt for Higgs events entertaining and diverse.




 


 

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On these hot days of August one is led to remember the lyrics of Elton John's 1972 hit "Rocket Man": "and all that science I don't understand... It's just my job five days a week". Indeed, being a scientist should not be considered a mission, something you work at 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We do have our lives and attend to them... more or less.

Scientists on the NuMI Off-Axis Electron Neutrino Appearance (NOvA) experiment saw their first evidence of oscillating neutrinos, confirming that the extraordinary detector built for the project not only functions as planned but is also making great progress toward its goal of a major leap in our understanding of these ghostly particles.


Exotic baryons, what are they ? But first of all, what is a baryon ? Well, it depends whom you ask the question to. In the context of the static quark model, a baryon is a particle composed of a triplet of quarks, as opposed to a meson, which is a particle composed of a quark-antiquark pair. But the quark model is fifty years old, and nowadays we know better: baryons and mesons do not just contain a triplet or a duo of quarks; they are in fact a soup of quarks and gluons. What is still true is that their intrinsic properties are distinguished by the _valence_ quarks they contain.
Meteorites - stones that fall on Earth from space - are quite rare, but not so much as to make their possession impossible. In fact I know a few collectors of these strange bits of matter; and I find the very strange-looking stones quite fascinating. I myself own a small piece of tectite fallen somewhere in South Africa a few decades ago; but it is just an odd bit in a larger collection of minerals and crystals that formed on Earth (yes, I find those even more fascinating; but that's just me).
The 13 TeV data from LHC collisions taken this summer is quickly going through analysis programs and being used for new physics results, and everybody is wondering whether there are surprises in store... Of course that will require some more time to be ascertained.
For the time being, I can offer a couple of very inspiring pictures. CMS recorded a spectacular event featuring two extremely high-energy jets in the first 40 inverse picobarns of data that was collected and reconstructed by the experiment with all detector component properly working.

There have been many news stories saying that the EM Drive will solve almost all problems in interplanetary travel, permit low cost flying cars and who knows what else. Other stories say that it is flat out impossible and we shouldn't spend a single publicly funded research dollar on it. But I haven't seen a single article with the rather boring suggestion that perhaps in this case the research community has got it exactly right. That it's not a perpetual motion machine, doesn't deserve to be dismissed out of hand. But it's far too soon to justify huge research programs into it, even if it is a real effect. We just have to be patient and see how the experiment develops. So, here is a news story to say - that. In detail: