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The search for supernovae with the re-purposed Kepler – K2

The latest supernovae survey reveals the crucial importance in furthering our understanding of supernovae and reaching confident conclusions as soon as possible.

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Speculative wormhole echoes could revolutionize astrophysics

Structure at the horizon scale of black holes would give rise to echoes of the gravitational wave signal associated with the post-merger ringdown phase in binary coalescences. A new study examines the waveform of echoes in static and stationary, traversable wormholes in which perturbations are governed by a symmetric effective potential. The waveform of echoes is also predicted for rotating wormholes, also known as Kerr-like wormholes. The study generates predictions of what waveforms should be examined to determine if there are echoes occurring after merger of black holes. If such echoes are identified, it would suggest that there is structure at the black hole horizon and these are more accurately called exotic compact objects (ECOs), like wormholes.

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Saturn’s rings reveal sought after spin rate

The rotation speed – spin rate – of Saturn was previously found through observations of its magnetic field. Now, scientists have determined the spin rate through ripples in its rings!

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Two different forms of water isolated for first time

Scientists have isolated the two different forms of water molecule for the first time. Water molecules were known to exist as two distinct “isomers”, or types, based on their slightly different properties at the atomic level.

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Back to the future as researchers invent real-life flux capacitor

Time-reversal symmetry is a seemingly indelible facet of quantum mechanics and physics in general. Particle-to-particle interactions look the same whether they are run “forward” in time or “backwards” in time, this is time-symmetry, and had been an inviolate feature of physics until recent experiments, such as the time crystal, have shown violation of time-reversal symmetry. In a recent report researchers propose another device that may exhibit time-reversal symmetry breaking.

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Dark matter particles elude scientists in the biggest search of its kind

The largest particle detector of its kind has failed to turn up any hints of dark matter, despite searching for about a year.

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Static Orbits in Rotating Spacetimes: Detection may Reveal Key Characteristics of Black Holes

Under certain conditions an axisymmetric rotating spacetime contains a ring of points in the equatorial plane, where a particle at rest with respect to an asymptotic static observer remains at rest in a static orbit. Researchers illustrate the emergence of such orbits for boson stars. Further examples are wormholes, hairy black holes, and Kerr-Newman solutions.

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Ultrafast X-ray Laser Reveals Intricate Hydrogen-bond Network of Water Molecules

In the not-so-distant past is was “crack-pot” science to talk about water structure, and its related property of water memory. Despite this wide-spread perspective, scientific investigation into the actual nature of water, of which remarkably little was known, has revealed that undoubtedly water has a specific geometry and that this coherent molecular structure formed form long-range coordination of hydrogen bonds determines many of water’s remarkable properties. The key to understanding water on a molecular level is watching the changes of the hydrogen-bond network, which can play a major role in biological activity and life as we know it.

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Cosmic dawn could now be in sight

Cosmic dawn, the epoch given to the point in time when the first ever stars formed, may now just be in sight.

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Weak charge of the proton measured for the first time

Charge – that is the degree to which an entity is affected by an external force – comes in all shapes in sizes. Now for the first-time scientists have been able to determine the weak charge of the proton.

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Detection of echoes of gravitational waves support Planck-scale structure of spacetime predicted by quantum gravity

If gravitational-wave echoes exist, it would suggest that black holes are not bounded by a classical event horizon but instead by a quantum-mechanical Planck-scale structure. Gravitational-wave echoes would be created thanks to the presence of the Planck-scale structure, or “membrane”, and what is known as the angular momentum barrier. The latter is a boundary lying around 1.5 times as far as the event horizon (typically around 200 km from the centre of a black hole) that is predicted by relativity and which partially confines gravitational waves. Any outgoing wave generated between the event horizon and the barrier would normally bounce off the barrier and then pass through the horizon, never to be seen again. But the membrane, lying within a Planck length of the horizon, would instead reflect the wave back, allowing it to either bounce off the barrier again or, less likely, pass through the barrier into space.

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Big Bell Test: Human Free Will Verifies Quantum Violation of Local Realism

The Big Bell Test Collaboration has put quantum entanglement to the test with help from about 100,000 computer gamers worldwide. Run by an international team of physicists, the experiment used decisions by members of the public to close the “freedom of choice loophole” in several different Bell tests – which show that the quantum entanglement of two systems violates local realism.

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Breakthrough bioelectronic medicine discovery made by decoding immune system’s neural signals

Bioelectronic medicine is a potentially powerful medical technology for treating chronic pain. For people suffering from chronic conditions, these small, implantable devices could be life changing. These new electronic devices would be implanted via standard keyhole surgery, working by altering the messages sent by your nerves, so that you feel relief. While using electrical stimulation to treat pain isn’t a new concept, bioelectronics takes simple simulation a step further. Bioelectronics can target electrical signals between the brain and all organs that contribute to chronic conditions by utilizing the peripheral nervous system, which includes all of the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord.

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Taming the multiverse: Stephen Hawking’s final theory about the big bang

The prevailing theory of the big bang is called eternal inflation. It says that out of the Big Bang not only our own universe arose, but also many other universes – the so called multiverse. You can picture the multiverse as a mosaic of pocket universes, somewhat like bubbles in boiling water. The laws of physics and chemistry can differ from one pocket universe to another. Some pocket universes contain stars and harbour life, others are nearly empty. The problem with the prevailing theory is that it doesn’t predict much about our own universe. If the scala of different pocket universes in the multiverse is large or even infinite as some suggest then anything is possible. Therefore the theory can’t be properly tested. The key challenge facing modern fundamental cosmology is to turn the multiverse into a proper verifiable scientific framework.

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