apr 062012
CERN revs up hopes for smashing year for physics

Scientists came closer than ever to witnessing “Big Bang”-style conditions on Thursday after revving up the Large Hadron Collider at the CERN research centre to smash sub-atomic particles together faster and harder than ever before. A simulated event in the CMS detector, featuring the appearance of the Higgs boson Physicists in the control rooms punched [continue reading]

apr 042012
Highlights from the American Physical Society April Meeting, Atlanta

 String theory weighs in on Higgs An illustration of the Higgs–Boson particle. A typical “candidate event” in the Higgs-hunting CMS experiment. Red lines represent high-energy proton beams while yellow lines show the tracks of particles produced in the collision. Illustration courtesy CERN ATLANTA – Physicists working on big experiments at particle colliders aren’t the only ones who [continue reading]

apr 042012
Cosmic 'Leaf Blower' Robs Galaxy of Star-Making Fuel

Supernova explosions and the jets of a monstrous black hole are scattering a galaxy’s star-making gas like a cosmic leaf blower, a new study finds. The findings, which relied on ultraviolet observations from NASA’s Galaxy Evolution Explorer and a host of other instruments, fill an important gap in the current understanding of galactic evolution. Time [continue reading]

apr 022012
New Cosmological Insights from the South Pole Telescope

Analysis of data from the 10-meter South Pole Telescope (SPT) is providing new support for the most widely accepted explanation of dark energy – the mysterious force that is responsible for the accelerating expansion of the universe. The data strongly support Einstein’s cosmological constant, even though the analysis was based on only a fraction of [continue reading]

apr 022012
Black Holes Grow... By Eating Binary Star Partners

A study led by a University of Utah astrophysicist found a new explanation for the growth of supermassive black holes in the center of most galaxies: they repeatedly capture and swallow single stars from pairs of stars that wander too close. Artist’s conception of a supermassive black hole (lower left) with its tremendous gravity capturing [continue reading]

mrt 312012
Recycling galaxies caught in the act

When astronomers add up all the gas and dust contained in ordinary galaxies like our own Milky Way, they stumble on a puzzle: There is not nearly enough matter for stars to be born at the rates that are observed. Part of the solution might be a recycling of matter on gigantic scales – veritable [continue reading]