Latest News

Our pick of the latest physics stories from around the world wide web.

CERN lab set for beam milestone


A vast physics experiment - the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) - reaches a key milestone this weekend ahead of an official start-up on 10 September.

Artificial eyeball does away with distortion


Mimicking the curves of a human retina has enabled a digital image sensor to take wide-angle pictures without distortion.

Teacher finds new cosmic object


A new class of cosmic object has been found by a Dutch schoolteacher, through a project which allows the public to take part in astronomy research online.

Found: The hottest water on Earth


At over 3 kilometres beneath the surface, sitting atop what could be a huge bubble of magma, it's the hottest water ever found on Earth. The fluid is in a "supercritical" state that has never before been seen in nature.

Electrode lights the way to artificial photosynthesis


A material that splits water into oxygen and hydrogen at room temperature using relatively little electricity could be an important step toward affordable chemical storage of solar power.

Marine burglar alarm squawks at the sound of bubbles


A submarine alarm can identify the telltale sounds of approaching shipwreck looters in the hubbub of the oceans.

Barred spiral galaxies becoming more common


Small spiral galaxies with bars at their centres are three times more common today than they were 7 billion years ago, a new study reveals. The research bolsters the idea that bars signal a galactic "coming of age".

Branson unveils space tourism jet


The British business tycoon, Richard Branson, has unveiled an aircraft in the US that will be used for his project to launch tourists into space.

Beam sharpener produces laser 'knife'


You may think of lasers as needle-like crisp beams. But the semiconductor lasers used for everything from CDs to fibre-optic broadband are more like the fuzzy, spreading beams from a flashlight.

Total eclipse to pass over China and Siberia


Researchers and sky watchers are en route to remote regions of the Earth to catch a glimpse of a total solar eclipse.

Newtonian invention makes for greener TV screens


Building the pixels of flat-panel displays like tiny telescopes could make them much more power efficient, or make screens easier to read in direct sunlight.

CERN lab goes colder than space


The vast physics experiment built in a tunnel below the French-Swiss border is fast becoming one of the coolest places in the Universe.

First tidal power turbine plugged in


An underwater turbine that generates electricity from tidal streams has been plugged into the UK's national grid.

China 'could reach moon by 2020'


China is capable of sending a manned mission to the Moon within the next decade, if it so wishes, Nasa administrator Michael Griffin has said.

Organic dye lets window panes harvest the Sun


Harvesting sunlight before turning it into electricity could become easier thanks to an exotic organic dye developed in the US.

Pre-quake changes seen in rocks


Scientists have made an important advance in their efforts to predict earthquakes thanks to underground sensors.

Embracing icebergs sing eerie duets


They travel from Antarctica to Tahiti, can sound like laughing monkeys, or barking dogs, and some were triggered by the December 2004 tsunami: they are the eerie songs made by some of Antarctica's largest icebergs.