Month: January 2021

Taken from the January 2021 issue of Physics World. Members of the Institute of Physics can enjoy the full issue via the Physics World app. In this article (originally published in Lateral Thoughts, Physics World’s regular column of humorous and offbeat essays, puzzles, crosswords, quizzes and comics, which appears on the back page of the
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New research has revealed that quagga mussels have taken charge of circling phosphorus stored in North America’s great lakes, thereby decreasing the level of phosphorus.  Unquestionably North America’s lake is the largest connected water system in the world. In more than 30 years, the entirety of their biology has changed following the installation of intrusive
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WASHINGTON — NASA has issued a request for information for launch services for its Europa Clipper mission, a sign the agency is taking advantage of language in a recent appropriations bill that allows it to consider alternatives to the Space Launch System. The Jan. 26 request for information seeks data from companies that believe they
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Benjamin Thompson, Noah Baker, and Amy Maxmen discuss the latest COVID-19 news. Your browser does not support the audio element. Download MP3 On 30 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a ‘public health emergency of international concern’, or PHEIC, to raise the alarm of the imminent threat of a global coronavirus pandemic. Alongside
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WASHINGTON — A test flight of SpaceX’s Starship launch vehicle is on hold as the company awaits approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, a delay that has publicly aggravated the company’s chief executive. SpaceX had planned to perform a suborbital flight of its Starship SN9 vehicle at its Boca Chica, Texas, test site Jan. 28.
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NASA remembers the crews of Apollo 1, space shuttles Challenger and Columbia during the agency’s Day of Remembrance on Jan. 28, 2021, the 35th anniversary of the Challenger accident. NASA’s Day of Remembrance honors members of the NASA family who lost their lives while furthering the cause of exploration and discovery. Download Link: https://images.nasa.gov/details-NASA%20Remembers%20Fallen%20Heroes Producer
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The website of U.K. stock trading app Freetrade. Freetrade LONDON — British share trading app Freetrade told clients Friday that it had disabled purchases of U.S. stocks. Freetrade blamed the halt to U.S. stock purchases on a move by its currency exchange provider and their bank to limit the platform’s trading volume. Freetrade uses U.K.
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WASHINGTON — The second operational SpaceX commercial crew mission to the International Space Station will now launch in mid-April, carrying astronauts from Europe, Japan and the United States. NASA said Jan. 29 that it set a launch date of April 20 for the Crew-2 mission to the station. NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur
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SpaceX’s first high-altitude test flight of its Starship rocket, which exploded last month while attempting to land after an otherwise successful test launch, violated the terms of its Federal Aviation Administration test license, the Verge reported on Friday, citing sources. An investigation was opened that week focusing on the explosive landing and on SpaceX’s refusal
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A pedestrian wearing a protective mask crosses California Street in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020. David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images In late October, when San Francisco moved into California’s least-restrictive Covid-19 “yellow tier” — indicating minimal spread of the coronavirus — Lauren Crabbe was hopeful. Crabbe, the owner
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People await coronavirus vaccines at a hospital in Glasgow, UK.Credit: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty As evidence grows that new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus can evade immunity produced by vaccines or previous infections, scientists are exploring the idea of redesigning the vaccines currently being rolled out worldwide. Researchers are still debating whether the new variants could
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The experimental setup. Courtesy: Hajime Ishihara and Keiji Sasaki A method of optically selecting and sorting nanoparticles according to their quantum mechanical properties has been developed by researchers in Japan. The method could prove a crucial tool for makers of nanostructures that have applications in quantum sensing, biological imaging and quantum information technology. Scientists have
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The only change the Space Force made is in four categories of Air Force enlisted ranks called “airman.” The equivalent ranks in the Space Force will be “specialist.” WASHINGTON — It’s now official: There will be no admirals in the U.S. Space Force. The Space Force on Jan. 29 revealed its new rank structure for
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WASHINGTON — NASA will carry out a second hotfire test of the Space Launch System core stage, a move that makes it more likely the vehicle will miss its scheduled launch date of late this year. NASA announced late Jan. 29 that it will re-run the static-fire test of the core stage’s four RS-25 engines
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NASA astronaut Kate Rubins is a member of the Artemis Team, a select group of astronauts charged with focusing on the development and training efforts for early Artemis missions. Through the Artemis program NASA and a coalition of international partners will return to the Moon to learn how to live on other worlds for the
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Contrary to popular belief, a profitable business model for reused construction steel is not nearly as impossible as one may believe. Steelmakers have almost perfected the “recycle” element of the four hierarchical elements of the circular economy — reduce, reuse, remanufacture and recycle — with steel recycling rates of almost 90 percent. Despite the recycling
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Particles (green, artificially coloured) of the cold-causing coronavirus HCoV-229E, whose genome shows evidence of swift evolution of a key protein. Credit: Science Source/Science Photo Library Virology 29 January 2021 Mutations in ‘seasonal’ coronaviruses might explain why many people are re-infected time and again. At least two coronaviruses that cause the common cold can evolve to
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Click and release: Experimental set-up used to constrain click beetles during X-ray synchrotron imaging at the Advanced Photon Source. (Courtesy: John J Socha) Click beetles use the elastic recoil of a spring-like mechanism in their exoskeleton to throw themselves into the air. The mechanism of the insects’ motion was discovered using high-speed synchrotron X-ray imaging,
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New mosquito species from Asia is set to ignite major problems in East African cities. A new research release has shown that the Asian mosquito species are invariably vulnerable to the local strains of malaria in East Africa. Scientists have discovered that these species of Mosquitoes have invaded some major East African cities and are becoming
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WASHINGTON — NASA is considering changing the orbit of one of its oldest Mars spacecraft, a move intended to support the Mars 2020 mission after landing but which could affect both its science and support of other missions. NASA launched the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) in 2005 with a suite of six science instruments, including
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The co-CEO of DSM stressed the deep connection between climate change and food systems on Thursday, emphasizing the importance of moving fast and using technology to tackle the challenges they create. Speaking to CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe”, Geraldine Matchett said food systems were “one of the big causes of climate change, with about 25% of
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A chemical plant in Qingdao, China. Researchers observed the highest emissions of a newly detected ozone-degrading chemical in eastern China. Credit: Alamy Environmental sciences 28 January 2021 Emissions of puzzling compounds continue to rise, apparently from factories in East Asia. Scientists have spotted three mysterious ozone-depleting chemicals in Earth’s atmosphere. The 1987 pact called the
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DOUGLAS, U.K. — Glavkosmos, the commercial arm of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, has announced its intent to enter the space tourism market, selling a minimum of four Soyuz seats to commercial astronauts through 2023.  Roscosmos has previously sold such seats through a long-standing relationship with American company Space Adventures. In December, Glavkosmos tweeted its
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Numerous companies have set 100 percent recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging goals such as Colgate-Palmolive and Kellogg. Virtually all these companies, though, are not tracking whether their packaging is actually recycled and what new products their packaging becomes. Without this end-of-life tracking, they cannot determine the extent of the economic and environmental impact from how
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Novavax’s protein-based vaccine relies on tried-and-tested technology.Credit: PA Images/Alamy The biotech firm Novavax has unveiled that its experimental vaccine is effective against rapidly spreading variants of the coronavirus. But their data bring good news and bad news: although the vaccine was more than 85% effective against a COVID-19 variant identified in the United Kingdom, it
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A Falcon 9 rocket launches the Transporter-1 mission in January 2021. SpaceX The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating Elon Musk’s SpaceX over whether the company discriminates against non-U.S. citizens in its hiring practices, according to court documents filed on Thursday. The DOJ’s division of Immigrant and Employee Rights received a complaint of employment discrimination
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Gen. James Dickinson released a “commander’s strategic vision” document that lays out broad goals for Space Command. WASHINGTON — The commander of U.S. Space Command warns in a new document that keeping satellites safe from hostile attack will require a coordinated response involving all elements of the U.S. military and allies.  The U.S. military operates
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