No Signs of Aliens Yet, But This Mysterious Star Continues to Baffle Astronomers

A new report indicates that Tabby’s Star is dramatically decreasing in brightness, raising more questions about the mechanism behind the fluctuations. A STRANGE STAR Last fall, an unassuming star called KIC 8462852 became a hot topic among astronomers and astronomy fans after the planet-hunting Kepler telescope showed unusual light fluctuations in the area. At the […]

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Seeing quantum motion

Consider the pendulum of a grandfather clock. If you forget to wind it, you will eventually find the pendulum at rest, unmoving. However, this simple observation is only valid at the level of classical physics—the laws and principles that appear to explain the physics of relatively large objects at human scale. However, quantum mechanics, the […]

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Fabrication and Deformation of Three-Dimensional Hollow Ceramic Nanostructures

The lightweight skeletons of organisms such as sea sponges display a strength that far exceeds that of manmade products constructed from similar materials. Scientists have long suspected that the difference has to do with the hierarchical architecture of the biological materials—the way the silica-based skeletons are built up from different structural elements, some of which […]

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When galaxies switch off

Some galaxies hit a point in their lives when their star formation is snuffed out, and they become “quenched”. Quenched galaxies in the distant past appear to be much smaller than the quenched galaxies in the Universe today. This has always puzzled astronomers — how can these galaxies grow if they are no longer forming […]

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Nano Insights Could Lead to Improved Nuclear Reactors

In order to build the next generation of nuclear reactors, materials scientists are trying to unlock the secrets of certain materials that are radiation-damage tolerant. Now researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have brought new understanding to one of those secrets—how the interfaces between two carefully selected metals can absorb, or heal, radiation […]

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