Physicists cross hurdle in quantum manipulation of matter

Finding ways to control matter at the level of single atoms and electrons fascinates many scientists and engineers because the ability to manipulate single charges and single magnetic moments (spins) may help researchers penetrate deep into the …

How can we use neutrinos to probe dark matter in the sun?

The existence of Dark Matter particles in the Sun’s interior seems inevitable, despite dark matter never having been observed (there or elsewhere), despite intensive ongoing searches. Once gravitationally captured by the Sun, these particles tend to…

Microbial breakthrough impacts health, agriculture, biofuels

URBANA — For the first time ever, University of Illinois researchers have discovered how microbes break down hemicellulose plant matter into simple sugars using a cow rumen bacterium as a model.
“This is ground-breaking research,” said Isaac Ca…

Scientists reproduce matter as it first appeared after Big Bang

Recent results of a joint experiment conducted by 460 physicists from 57 research institutions in 12 countries strongly indicate that the scientists have succeeded in reproducing matter as it first appeared in the universe; this matter is called the quark-gluon plasma. The experiment, called PHENIX and conducted at the Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island, New York, has brought together physicists from Brazil, China, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Sweden and the United States. The Israeli team is led by Prof. Itzhak Tserruya, head of the Weizmann Institute’s Particle Physics Department. Tserruya and his colleagues have designed and built unique particle detectors that are a central part of PHENIX’s detecting system.

Rivers of gas could provide part of universe's 'missing matter'

An Ohio astronomer and her colleagues have detected a type of hot gas in space that could account for part of the “missing” matter in the universe. A gas cloud, one trillion times more massive than our sun and more than 150 times hotter, surrounds our local group of galaxies, the astronomers reported in the journal Nature. Though vast, this gas cloud is only part of larger rivers of gas that wind between all the galaxies of the universe.

Toy choice among boys, girls a matter of monkey business

Sure Santa Claus asks boys and girls what toys they want, but why they want them is a better question. The answer may have to do with a biological pre-wiring that influences boys’ and girls’ preferences based on the early roles of males and females. It’s commonly believed that boys and girls learn what types of toys they should like based solely on society’s expectations, but psychologist Gerianne Alexander’s work with vervet monkeys is challenging that notion. Alexander examined the monkeys as they interacted with toys. She and her collaborator, Melissa Hines of the University of London, found that the monkeys’ toy preferences were consistent along gender lines with those of human children. Though the monkeys had no concept of a “boy” toy and a “girl” toy, they still showed the same gender preferences in playing with the toys, Alexander says. That is, compared to female monkeys, male monkeys spent more time with “boy” toys, and the female monkeys, compared to their male counterparts, spent more time with “girl” toys.

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