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Physics as we know it.
Everything from quantum through computational to astro - physics that is!
Curated by Gary Bamford
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60,000 miles up: Space elevator could be built by 2035, new study says

60,000 miles up: Space elevator could be built by 2035, new study says | Physics as we know it. | Scoop.it

Imagine a ribbon roughly one hundred million times as long as it is wide. If it were a meter long, it would be 10 nanometers wide, or just a few times thicker than a DNA double helix. Scaled up to the length of a football field, it would still be less than a micrometer across — smaller than a red blood cell. Would you trust your life to that thread? What about a tether 100,000 kilometers long, one stretching from the surface of the Earth to well past geostationary orbit (GEO, 22,236 miles up), but which was still somehow narrower than your own wingspan?

The idea of climbing such a ribbon with just your body weight sounds precarious enough, but the ribbon predicted by a new report from the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) will be able to carry up to seven 20-ton payloads at once. It will serve as a tether stretching far beyond geostationary (aka geosynchronous) orbit and held taught by an anchor of roughly two million kilograms. Sending payloads up this backbone could fundamentally change the human relationship with space — every climber sent up the tether could match the space shuttle in capacity, allowing up to a “launch” every couple of days.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald, Szabolcs Kósa
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Laura E. Mirian, PhD's curator insight, March 9, 12:49 AM

Think I will pass on this

Linda Liem's curator insight, March 9, 8:06 AM

Science fiction may be coming true.

Guillaume Decugis's curator insight, March 10, 10:41 PM

Hundreds of challenges remain to be solved but as even NASA struggles to maintain an edge, the pay-off of a Space Elevator has never been clearer. The original idea of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky which Arthur C. Clarke turned into a novel could be the revolution space exploration needs.

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Graphene - the new wonder material

Graphene - the new wonder material | Physics as we know it. | Scoop.it

The molecule is priceless but it is not a matter of cost – a few hundred dollars per kilo. The value lies in its potential. The molecule in question is called graphene and the EU is prepared to devote €1bn ($1.3bn) to it between 2013 and 2023 to find out if it can transform a range of sectorssuch as electronics, energy, health and construction. According to Scopus, the bibliographic database, more than 8,000 papers have been written about graphene since 2005.

 


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Thorium nuclear reactor trial begins, could provide cleaner, safer, almost-waste-free energy

Thorium nuclear reactor trial begins, could provide cleaner, safer, almost-waste-free energy | Physics as we know it. | Scoop.it

At a test site in Norway, Thor Energy has successfully created a thorium nuclear reactor — but not in the sense that most people think of when they hear the word thorium. The Norwegians haven’t solved the energy crisis and global warming in one fell swoop — they haven’t created a cold fusion thorium reactor. What they have done, though, which is still very cool, is use thorium instead of uranium in a conventional nuclear reactor. In one fell swoop, thorium fuel, which is safer, less messy to clean up, and not prone to nuclear weapons proliferation, could quench the complaints of nuclear power critics everywhere.


Via Szabolcs Kósa
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Monica S Mcfeeters's curator insight, July 19, 2013 3:01 AM

NEW, SAFER WAY TO GO NUCLEAR! Thank you Norway! Hope this proves out well.

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Integrated quantum circuit is most complex ever

Integrated quantum circuit is most complex ever | Physics as we know it. | Scoop.it

Researchers in the UK, Japan and the Netherlands have fabricated the most functionally complex integrated quantum circuit ever from a single material, capable of generating photons and entangling them at the same time. The circuit consists of two photon sources on a silicon chip that interfere quantum mechanically. Its inventors say that it could be used in quantum information processing applications and in complex on-chip quantum optics experiments.


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Incredible Technology: How Future Space Missions May Hunt for Alien Planets

Incredible Technology: How Future Space Missions May Hunt for Alien Planets | Physics as we know it. | Scoop.it

NASA's Kepler space telescope revolutionized the study of alien worlds after launching in 2009, and a number of other missions now stand poised to carry the burgeoning field into the future.

Over the next decade, NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) aim to launch a handful of spacecraft that should discover thousands of additional exoplanets and characterize some of the most promising — the most apparently Earthlike — new finds in detail.


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A Big Step Toward a Silicon Quantum Computer

A Big Step Toward a Silicon Quantum Computer | Physics as we know it. | Scoop.it

Quantum computers could more easily become a reality if they incorporated the silicon semiconductor processing used by the modern electronics industry. Physicists in Australia have recently taken a new step toward that vision by reading and writing the nuclear spin state of a single phosphorus atom implanted in silicon.

In a breakthrough reported in the 18 April edition of the journal Nature, physicists have finally achieved an idea first proposed in 1998 by Bruce Kane, a physicist at theUniversity of Maryland, in College Park. Such success could lead to quantum computers based on the same silicon-processing technology used for computer chips.


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