Scientists aim to use lasers to turn light into matter

March 20, 2018 by  
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Scientists at Imperial College London are attempting to use powerful lasers turn light into matter, potentially proving the 84-year-old theory known as the Breit-Wheeler process . According to this theory, it is technically possible to turn light into matter by smashing two photons to create a positron and an electron. While previous efforts to achieve this feat have required added high-energy particles, the Imperial scientists believe they have discovered a method that does not need additional energy to function. “This would be a pure demonstration of Einstein’s famous equation that relates energy and mass: E=mc2, which tells us how much energy is produced when matter is turned to energy,” explained Imperial Professor Steven Rose . “What we are doing is the same but backwards: turning photon energy into mass, i.e. m=E/c2.” The Imperial team’s system centers around two lasers , which create two different kinds of photons to be smashed. One photon has the energy equivalent to ten thousand times that produced by visible light, while the other has that of one billion times that of visible light. Both lasers are aimed at two small targets in the target chamber, where the charged particles are deflected and documented. The team will be observing the particles bouncing from the collision to see if they were successful in creating matter from light . Related: New quantum tunneling application captures electricity from Earth’s heat If the scientists successfully convert light into matter , they will have proven an old theory once thought impossible to confirm while offering a glimpse into the earliest moments of our universe. “When Gregory Breit and John Wheeler first proposed the mechanism in 1934, they used the then new theory of the interaction between light and matter known as quantum electrodynamics (QED),” explained study co-leader Dr. Stuart Mangles. “Whereas every other fundamental prediction of QED has since been demonstrated experimentally, the ‘two-photon Breit-Wheeler process’ has never been seen. If we can demonstrate it now, we would be recreating a process that was important in the first 100 seconds of the universe and that is also seen in gamma ray bursts, which are the biggest explosions in the universe and one of physics ‘ greatest unsolved mysteries.” Via Phys.org Images via Imperial College London

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Scientists aim to use lasers to turn light into matter

New evidence suggests a massive magma plume under Yellowstone Park

March 20, 2018 by  
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A new study reveals evidence of a massive plume of magma beneath Yellowstone National Park – and it could run all the way to Mexico. Scientists have debated the presence of a plume for years, and if one does exist, it would explain the heat that bubbles to the surface in the park. Researchers at the University of Texas found evidence for a plume under the park using seismic data obtained from listening stations across North America run by EarthScope’s USArray . Using this data, they found a long, thin 72 x 55-kilometer channel where seismic waves are slower. This indicates that the section of mantle is 600 to 800 degrees warmer than areas around it. Related: Scientists construct new theory of Yellowstone’s supervolcano hotspot This plume could be the cause of Yellowstone’s surface activity , although the scientists say that more research is needed. There is also more work to be done to understand the forces holding the plume in place in its current location. Via Phys.org Images via Nature and Deposit Photos

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New evidence suggests a massive magma plume under Yellowstone Park

Up Close and Personal with Zoo Animals Intrigued by Humans (Slideshow)

August 25, 2011 by  
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Screenshot: YouTube Can’t get yourself to move away from the fascinating world of the gorilla enclosure at your zoo or the underwater dreamscape of your city’s aquarium? You aren’t the only one hooked on getting a glimpse into another world: As these videos show, the animals on the other side of the glass are just as interested in you as you are in them.

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Up Close and Personal with Zoo Animals Intrigued by Humans (Slideshow)

5 Noteworthy Green Moments in Steve Jobs’ Time as Apple CEO

August 25, 2011 by  
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photo: Ben Stanfield / CC BY-SA Steve Jobs stepping down as CEO understandably has everyone buzzing, talking about the impact that Jobs and Apple has had on modern society. Indeed it would be hard to overstate the impact that Jobs has had on creating what we expect our computers and devices to do, how they look, and how we interact with them. So let’s do our part and take a look at some of the genuine green strides Apple has made in the past few years: … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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5 Noteworthy Green Moments in Steve Jobs’ Time as Apple CEO

Free the Jailed Hikers in Iran, Permaculture Community Pleads (Video)

August 25, 2011 by  
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Image credit: Free The Hikers From child labor in the cocoa industry to human rights issues in the oil industry , we’ve often reported on the intersect between environmentalism and social justice—but all too often environmentalism and human rights are considered too separate issues. I’m reminded once again that this is rarely the case—… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Free the Jailed Hikers in Iran, Permaculture Community Pleads (Video)

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