Rice University physicist Qimiao Si began mapping quantum criticality more than a decade ago, and he’s finally found a traveler that can traverse the final frontier.
The traveler is an alloy of cerium palladium and aluminum, and its journey is described in a study published online this week in Nature Physics by Si, a theoretical physicist and director of the Rice Center for Quantum Materials (RCQM), and colleagues in China, Germany and Japan.
Si’s map is a graph called a phase diagram, a tool that condensed-matter physicists often use to interpret what happens when a material changes phase, as when a solid block of ice melts into liquid water.
Finally, the future that children of the ’80s want to see is on its way. NASA is working on its very own Transformer — a bot called Shapeshifter, made up of smaller robots which can combine into different configurations to roll, swim, fly, and float.
Shapeshifter is a prototype for exploring Saturn’s moon Titan. Before it ended its mission by burning up in Saturn’s rings, the Cassini probe flew by Titan more than one hundred times, observing the moon which is surprisingly similar to Earth. It has rivers, lakes, and rain, but instead of being made of water, these bodies are made of liquid methane and ethane. On Earth, these are gases, but in the freezing temperatures of Titan, they are liquid. Cassini collected mapping data of the surface, and scientists have been keen to discover more since then.
“We have very limited information about the composition of the surface [of Titan],” Ali Agha, Principal Investigator at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), said in a statement. “Rocky terrain, methane lakes, cryovolcanoes — we potentially have all of these, but we don’t know for certain. So we thought about how to create a system that is versatile and capable of traversing different types of terrain but also compact enough to launch on a rocket.”
Caves on the #Moon? This is a 100 m deep pit in the Sea of Tranquility, potentially an entrance to a tunnel system. We’re seeking innovative ideas for how to explore #lunar caves, via the Open Space Innovation Platform 👉 http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Preparing_for_the_Future/Discovery_and_Preparation/Seeking_innovative_ideas_for_exploring_lunar_caves (📷 NASA/GSFC/Ariz. State Univ.)
How would you design a system to detect, map and explore caves on the Moon? Our latest hunt for ideas is seeking novel initiatives that address this question.
While the surface of the Moon has been well-documented with cameras on board several satellite missions, relatively little is known about the presence and nature of subsurface cavities. In volcanic areas of the lunar maria, planetary geologists have identified pits that could be related to the collapse of cavities such as lava tubes – where lava once flowed under the lunar surface.
“Exploring and mapping these tubes could provide new information about the Moon’s geology, but they could also be an interesting option as long-term shelter for future human visitors to the Moon,” explains Franceso Sauro, Director of ESA’s PANGAEA planetary geology astronaut training. “They would shield astronauts from cosmic radiation and micrometeorites and possibly provide access to icy water and other resources trapped underground.”
Researchers have launched a new database dedicated to mapping and understanding the complexity of cellular senescence in a bid to help us fully understand this age-related phenomenon.
Introducing the CellAge database
The Human Ageing Genomic Resources ( HAGR ) is a series of databases and tools that have been developed to aid researchers on aging and help them study the genetic elements of human aging. The databases utilize modern techniques, such as functional genomics, network analyses, systems biology, and evolutionary analyses, to build what is one of the most valuable resources available today.
One of the biggest mysteries out there in the Universe is inching closer to answers. An astonishing eight new repeating radio signals known as fast radio bursts (FRBs) have been detected flaring from deep space.
July 20, 2019 marked the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Navy Veteran Neil Armstrong, and Air Force Veterans Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins manned the mission.
The National Air and Space Museum displayed full-motion projection-mapping artwork on the Washington Monument. The 17 minute long show, “Apollo 50: Go for the Moon”, included a true-to-scale 363 foot Saturn V lift off, various stages of the rocket separation, the lunar landing, the first step on the moon, re-entry, and splash down back to earth.
Scientists seeking to bring to Earth the fusion that powers the sun and stars must control the hot, charged plasma—the state of matter composed of free-floating electrons and atomic nuclei, or ions—that fuels fusion reactions. For scientists who confine the plasma in magnetic fields, a key task calls for mapping the shape of the fields, a process known as measuring the equilibrium, or stability, of the plasma. At the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), researchers have proposed a new measurement technique to avoid problems expected when mapping the fields on large and powerful future tokamaks, or magnetic fusion devices, that house the reactions.
Such tokamaks, including ITER, the large international experiment under construction in France, will produce neutron bombardments that could damage the interior diagnostics now used to map the fields in current facilities. PPPL is therefore proposing use of an alternative diagnostic system that could operate in high-neutron environments.
Robocars need to park sometimes, and find places to drop off and pick up passengers. The vast array of rules for public and private parking and pick-up spaces is more complex than the rules of the road, so a public and private mapping system is called for.