मासिक आर्काइव: September 2016

Physicists have figured out how to create matter and antimatter using light

A team of researchers from the Institute of Applied Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IAP RAS) has just announced that they managed to calculate how to create matter and antimatter using lasers. This means that, by focusing high-powered laser pulses, we might soon be able to create matter and antimatter using light. To break this down a bit, light is made of high-energy photons. When high-energy photons go through strong electric fields, they lose enough radiation that they become gamma rays and create electron-positron pairs, thus creating a new state of matter. “A strong electric field can, generally speaking, ‘boil the vacuum,’ which is full of ‘virtual particles,’ such as electron-positron pairs. The field can convert these types of particles from a virtual state, in which the particles aren’t directly observable, to a real one,” says Igor Kostyukov of IAP RAS, who references their calculations on the concept of quantum electrodynamics (QED). NASA Astrophysics A QED cascade is a series of processes that starts with electrons and positrons accelerating within a laser field. It will then be followed by the release of high-energy photons, electrons, and positrons. As high-energy photons decay, it will produce electron-positron pairs. Essentially, a …

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The world’s first hydrogen-powered passenger train is coming to Germany The future is here.

The world’s first hydrogen-powered passenger train has been unveiled this week by French transport company Alstom, which will be operating the incredibly quiet and environmentally friendly ‘Coradia iLint’ in Germany from next year. The best thing about the Coradia iLint train is that it only leaks excess steam and condensed water into the atmosphere, which means it offers a zero-emissions alternative to Germany’s 4,000-strong fleet of diesel trains. The train was presented to the public for the first time last week at Berlin’s InnoTrans trade show. Nicknamed the hydrail, it’s set to become the first hydrogen-powered passenger train to regularly operate over long distances. The iLint is expected to run on the Buxtehude-Bremervörde-Bremerhaven-Cuxhaven regional line in the northwestern German state of Lower Saxony, with testing and approval procedures to be carried out later this year, and public access to open up by December 2017. According to German newspaper Die Welt, Lower Saxony’s local transportation authority has so far ordered 14 iLint trains from Alstom, and if they prove to be a success, more will likely be seen in other regional areas of the country. Interest in the train has also been expressed by leaders in the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway. The iLint …

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New evidence is forcing scientists to reconsider how the Moon was formed

  New evidence is forcing scientists to reconsider how the Moon was formed Things just got complicated. BEC CREW 13 SEP 2016 For decades, scientists have been debating what it would have looked like when a chunk of Earth broke off and formed our Moon some 4.5 billion years ago. And now new chemical evidence suggests that things were way more violent than we’d assumed, with researchers suggesting that the impact that set our Moon free was “like a sledgehammer hitting a watermelon”. It’s well-established that the Moon was once a part of Earth before it was sloughed off the side and thrown into our orbit, but the circumstances in which this ‘great uncoupling’ occurred has been a topic of heated debate. Until recently, the most widely accepted hypothesis for how the Moon was formed suggested that a Mars-sized object (sometimes called Theia) once collided with the still-developing Earth, about 20 to 100 million years after the Solar System first came together. While our young planet appears to have come out of the collision fairly unscathed, the impact would have caused Theia’s core and most of its mantle to sink into and merge with Earth’s own core and mantle. Of …

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