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Cosmology

Testing Einstein's famous equation E=mc2 in outer space

According to the Theory of General Relativity, objects curve the space around them. UA physicist Andrei Lebed has proposed an experiment using a space probe carrying hydrogen atoms to test his finding that the equation E=mc2 is correct in flat space, but not in curved space. (Credit: Illustration by NASA)

Jan. 8, 2013 — University of Arizona physicist Andrei Lebed has stirred the physics community with an intriguing idea yet to be tested experimentally: The world's most iconic equation, Albert Einstein's E=mc2, may be correct or not depending on where you are in space.

With the first explosions of atomic bombs, the world became witness to one of the most important and consequential principles in...

'Gusty winds' in space turbulence: First direct measurement of its kind in the lab

A solar prominence erupts into the sun's atmosphere, or corona. Credit: NASA.A solar prominence erupts into the sun's atmosphere, or corona. (Credit: Image courtesy of NASA)

Dec. 17, 2012 — Imagine riding in an airplane as the plane is jolted back and forth by gusts of wind that you can't prove exist but are there nonetheless.

Similar turbulence exists in space, and a research team led by the University of Iowa reports to have directly measured it for the...

Passing the alcohol test: Fundamental properties of molecules have not changed during the past seven billion years

Schematic image of the methanol molecule. The black sphere represents the central carbon atom, the red one an oxygen atom and the grey spheres represent hydrogen atoms. The yellow arrow represents the internal rotation of the molecule, whose impediment causes a quantum tunnel effect. (Credit: VU University of Amsterdam / Paul Jansen)

Dec. 14, 2012 — The mass ratio of protons and electrons is deemed to be a universal constant. And rightly so, as the latest...

Complex chemistry within the Martian soil: No definitive detection of organics yet

Scoop Marks in the Sand at 'Rocknest': This is a view of the third (left) and fourth (right) trenches made by the 1.6-inch-wide (4-centimeter-wide) scoop on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity in October 2012. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

BestAstronomy (Dec. 3, 2012) — NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has used its full array of instruments to analyze Martian soil for the first time, and found a complex chemistry within the Martian soil. Water and sulfur and chlorine-containing...

Graphite experiment shines new light on giant planets, white dwarfs and laser-driven fusion

Graphite experiment suggests that white dwarfs may fade faster than we thought. (Credit: Mark Garlick space-art.co.uk University of Warwick)

BestAstronomy (Nov. 28, 2012) — An international team led by researchers from the University of Warwick and Oxford University is now dealing with unexpected results of an experiment with strongly heated graphite (up to 17,000 Kelvin). The findings may pose a new problem for physicists working in laser-driven nuclear fusion and...

Human brain, Internet, and cosmology: Similar laws at work?

Simple mapping between the two surfaces representing the geometries of the universe and complex networks proves that their large-scale growth dynamics and structures are similar. (Credit: Image courtesy of CAIDA/SDSC)

BestAstronomy (Nov. 19, 2012) — The structure of the universe and the laws that govern its growth may be more similar than previously thought to the structure and growth of the human brain and other complex networks, such as the Internet or a social...

Dawn sees 'young' surface on giant asteroid Vesta

This image from NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows a close up of part of the rim around the crater Canuleia on the giant asteroid Vesta. Canuleia, about 6 miles (10 kilometers) in diameter, is the large crater at the bottom-left of this image. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/PSI/Brown)

BestAstronomy (Oct. 31, 2012) — Like a Hollywood starlet constantly retouching her makeup, the giant asteroid Vesta is constantly stirring its outermost layer to present a young face...

Looking beyond space and time to cope with quantum theory

Trying to explain quantum “spooky action at a distance” using any kind of signal pits Einstein’s relativity against our concept of a smooth spacetime. (Credit: Timothy Yeo / CQT, National University of Singapore)

BestAstronomy (Oct. 28, 2012) — Physicists have proposed an experiment that could force us to make a choice between extremes to describe the behaviour of the Universe.

The proposal comes from an international team of researchers...

Physicists explain how nonlinear dust acoustic waves arise in dusty plasmas

BestAstronomy (Oct. 16, 2012) — Dusty plasmas can be found in many places both in space and in the laboratory. Due to their special properties, dust acoustic waves can propagate inside these plasmas like sound waves in air, and can be studied with the naked eye or with standard video cameras. The RUB physicists Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Padma Kant Shukla and Dr. Bengt Eliasson from the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy have published a model with which they describe how large amplitude dust...