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Physics Today

Physics Today     18.08.2018

The fat in a perfect croissant

The key ingredient in a croissant is the fat, typically butter. The rheological properties of the fat—that is, the way it deforms and flows—have a significant bearing on the quality of the croissant. A fat has to have...
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Physics Today     16.08.2018

Physics: The Musical?

In the years following World War II, the US government was pouring money into physics research. Not every physicist saw all that investment as a positive development. Arthur Roberts was worried about the direction...
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Physics Today     14.08.2018

Champagne acoustics

Popular lore has it that the quality of a sparkling wine can be determined by the characteristics of its bubbles: The smaller the bubbles, the better the wine. It turns out that one way to estimate the size of the...
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Physics Today     13.08.2018

Unraveling the mysteries of megadrought

During the first half of the second millennium CE, the American West experienced multiple droughts that endured for one, two, or even three decades. Some scientists suspect that these megadroughts were caused by an...
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Physics Today     10.08.2018

The Physics of the Sun and the Gateway to the Stars

The launch window opens tomorrow for the Parker Solar Probe, a NASA spacecraft that will travel through the Sun's atmosphere, closer than ever before to the solar surface. The probe is named after Eugene Parker, a...
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262
Physics Today     10.08.2018

Blueberry Earth: The Delicious Thought Experiment That's Roiling Planetary Scientists

Here's a question you didn't know you wanted answered: "What would happen if the Earth were replaced by an equal volume of closely packed but uncompressed blueberries?" Coming up with the answer, it turns out,...
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603
Physics Today     10.08.2018

Passive infrasound monitoring is an active area of study

In June infrasound sensors as far away as Washington State detected a fireball over western Russia. Several weeks earlier scientists in Oklahoma announced they had used infrasound to track and accurately predict the...
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Physics Today     10.08.2018

Dark Energy May Be Incompatible With String Theory | Quanta Magazine

String theory famously (or infamously) allows for some 10⁵⁰⁰ possible universes. But is our universe one of them? In two new papers, researchers argue that both inflation, which occurred just after the universe's...
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Physics Today     Just now

Will doubling magnetic field strength halve the time to fusion energy?

Commonwealth Fusion Systems in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Tokamak Energy near Oxford, UK, each plan to build, by the mid 2020s, nuclear fusion devices that can produce more energy than they consume. The companies...
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Physics Today     08.08.2018

Just what’s happened to our neighborhood’s most violent star, η Carinae?

In 1840, Eta Carinae started to get a lot brighter. It looked a lot like the star was going supernova but in the end it was just an unusual brightening that has been repeated several times since. But why it happens is...
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