Tuesday, June 18

Science

The galactic anomalies hinting dark matter is weirder than we thought
Science

The galactic anomalies hinting dark matter is weirder than we thought

Dark matter halos (yellow) form around galaxiesRalf Kaehler/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory Delicate might not be the first word that springs to mind when you think of the Milky Way. But when Mariangela Lisanti started tinkering with the recipe for our galaxy, she found it surprisingly fragile. Lisanti, a particle physicist at Princeton University, was simulating what would happen if dark matter – the mysterious stuff thought to account for over 80 per cent of all the matter in the universe – was more exotic than researchers typically assume. She swapped a small fraction of standard dark matter with something more complex. “We thought, we’re only adding 5 per cent, everything will be fine,” she says. “And then we just broke the galaxy.” There is good reason for su...
Pakistani Protestors Demand Autonomy – State of the Planet
Science

Pakistani Protestors Demand Autonomy – State of the Planet

Over the past three months, tens of thousands of protestors have filled the streets of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB). Chants like “Hai Haq Hamra Khudmuktari!” (“Autonomy is our right!”) rang through the air. People from across the country came together in unprecedented numbers to demand change in this glaciated region of northern Pakistan. Since Pakistan’s independence from Britain in 1947, GB has lacked political representation in the national parliament. Despite its historical struggle to end this inequality with other regions, GB does not have seats in either of the two houses of parliament. In the 1970s, the Pakistani government began providing GB with a wheat subsidy which allowed for the purchase of wheat at one-fourth of the world price. Such subsidies are common in developing countr...
PsiQuantum: Australia places A$1 billion bet on quantum computing
Science

PsiQuantum: Australia places A$1 billion bet on quantum computing

A silicon photonic chip from PsiQuantumPsiQuantum The Australian government has announced it will invest nearly A$1 billion into the development of quantum computers, staking a claim in a race currently dominated by the US and China. PsiQuantum, which is headquartered in the US but was co-founded by a team including two Australian researchers, will get A$470 million from both Australia’s federal government and the state government of Queensland, totalling A$940m ($613m). In return, the company will build and operate successive generations of its quantum computers in Brisbane, Australia. Stephen Bartlett at the University of Sydney says the announcement amounts to Australia staking a claim to sovereign capability in quantum computing and building up a quantum tech...
Quantum forces used to automatically assemble tiny device
Science

Quantum forces used to automatically assemble tiny device

Triangular gold flakes can be manipulated using mysterious quantum forcesGeorge Zograf/CC BY-NC 4.0 Tiny gold devices for controlling light have been built using strange quantum effects that hide in seemingly empty space. In 1948, physicist Hendrik Casimir theorised that some objects experience a very weak attraction when they are held close to one another in space because of the imperceptible flickers of quantum fields in the gap between them. Researchers have since confirmed this Casimir effect in the lab. Betül Küçüköz at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden and her colleagues have now found a way to make it useful. They wanted to build a light-trapping cavity using two pieces of gold positioned parallel to one another, between which light would bounce ...
A Sustainability Student’s Quest for a Greener Future – State of the Planet
Science

A Sustainability Student’s Quest for a Greener Future – State of the Planet

Brian Kim, a current M.S. in Sustainability Management (SUMA) student, was already working as a health physicist in Columbia University’s Environmental Health and Safety department, concentrating on enhancing safety measures and fostering sustainability within the university’s research facilities, when he applied to the SUMA program to further integrate his interests with climate solutions. Courtesy of Brian Kim No stranger to multitasking, Kim worked for the College of Engineering Leadership Academy and Center for Civic Engagement while studying nuclear engineering during his undergraduate education at Oregon State. It was this variety of experiences that helped him navigate his path to New York City and the SUMA program. As a current student, Kim is an active member of various cam...