(The XVIth edition of "Neutrino Telescopes" is going on in Venice this week. The writeup below is from a talk by M.Nakahata at the morning session today. For more on the conference and the results shown and discussed there, see the conference blog.)

During the first afternoon session of the XVI Neutrino Telescopes conference (here is the conference blog, which contains a report of most of the lectures and posters as they are presented) Francis Halzen gave a very nice account of the discovery of cosmogenic neutrinos by the IceCube experiment, and its implications. Below I offer a writeup - apologizing to Halzen if I misinterpreted anything.

The XVI edition of "Neutrino Telescopes" is about to start in Venice today. In the meantime, I have started to publish in the conference blog a few excerpts of the posters that compete for the "best poster award" at the conference this week. You might be interested to check them out:

International researchers have reported a nanoparticle (74 nm in diameter) that can be used as a contrast agent for six different medical imaging techniques:
  1. Near IR
  2. CT Scanning
  3. Fluorescence Imaging
  4. Photoacoustic Imaging
  5. PET Scanning
  6. Cerenkov-Luminescence Imaging
The core of the particle is covered by a porphyrin-phospholipid (PoP) wrapper. The initial tests were conducted on a turkey breast as the closest simulator to the human breast tissue.

Astrophysicists from USA and Germany have discovered the first strange non-chaotic attractor1 in space: a star, name KIC 5520878 - a part of the variable star2 family, that pulsates at characteristic frequencies3 fitting the Golden Ratio of 1.62.
The discovery was made when the researchers were scanning data from the Kepler Telescope for evidence supporting that advanced extra-terrestrial civilizations use variable stars2 for inter-galaxy communication.


By Gabriel Popkin, Inside Science

(Inside Science) -- For all the progress physicists have made in figuring out the universe, they still don't know some pretty basic things. Why, for example, do fundamental particles possess the specific values of mass that they have? Presently, physicists have no explanation for this and similar questions.



Feb 28 2015 | 0 comment(s)

This week I was traveling in Belgium so my blogging activities have been scarce. Back home, I will resume with serious articles soon (with the XVI Neutrino Telescopes conference next week, there will be a lot to report on!). In the meantime, here's a list of short news you might care about as an observer of progress in particle physics research and related topics.

It has long been accepted that large power output requires big-sized fusion reactors. But, based on calculations performed on beta plasma parameter1 by researchers from Tokamak Energy, UK, a company that builds compact tokamaks, size is not a significant issue when it comes to Fusion Power Gain2.

There is apossiblity of building lower power, smaller and cheaper fusion reactors than currently planned.
US firm, Lockheed Martin, has already declared its plan to build a compact fusion reactor the size of a truck by 2019. After this research by Tokamak Energy, more such projects may be possible.

An international team of physicists from Russia and Germany have successfully applied a theory from 2009 to cool a relatively large macroscopic mirror (1.2 millimeters across) with lower fundamental frequency (~136 kHz) from room temperature to 126 mK.

The team applied a novel use of quantum noise, which usually contributes to temperature raise. But destructive interference of noise on its path to the mirror prevented its heating while allowing for energy loss, thereby creating a stronger cooling effect.
The paper to read today is one from the ATLAS collaboration at the CERN Large Hadron Collider -my competitors, as I work for the other experiment across the ring, CMS. ATLAS has just produced a new article which describes the search for the CP-odd A boson, a particle which arises in Supersymmetry as well as in more generic extensions of the Standard Model called "two-higgs doublet models". What are these ?