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Neutrino from shredded star reveals gigantic cosmic particle accelerator

Neutrino from shredded star reveals gigantic cosmic particle accelerator

Science
Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Astrophysicists have traced a subatomic particle called a neutrino to its cosmic origins, a tidal disruption event located some 700 million light-years from Earth. The new research -- published Monday in the journal Nature Astronomy -- suggests the violent destruction of a faraway star by a supermassive black hole was powerful enough to send a tiny, near-frictionless particle racing across space. Advertisement The neutrino's 700-million-mile journey was sparked by what scientists call a cosmic particle accelerator, a phenomenon born of a tidal disruption event. When a star ventures too close to supermassive black hole, the black hole's powerful gravitational pull acts more strongly on the side of the star closest to the black hole. As a result, the star becomes pulled and...
Astronauts conduct first in series of complex spacewalks to fix cosmic particle detector on ISS

Astronauts conduct first in series of complex spacewalks to fix cosmic particle detector on ISS

Science
Nov. 15 (UPI) -- NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan and European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano are back inside the space station after a spacewalk that lasted six hours and 39 minutes. The spacewalk switched their spacesuits to battery power at 6:39 a.m. ET on Friday morning, starting the clock on the first in a series of challenging spacewalks. They returned to the space station and removed their spacesuits at 1:18 p.m. During their time outside the International Space Station, Morgan and Parmitano began preliminary work related to the repair of the cosmic particle detector. Their efforts were broadcast live on NASA TV. The duo didn't actually fix the device, but their work will make it possible to fix the detector during future spacewalk missions -- spacewalks that NASA says will be ...
New technology to power pocket-sized particle accelerator

New technology to power pocket-sized particle accelerator

Science
Aug. 9 (UPI) -- New particle acceleration technology promises to shrink the amount of space required to study exotic particles. "With this new accelerator method, we could drastically reduce the size and the cost of antimatter acceleration," physicist Aakash Sahai said in a news release. "What is now only possible by using large physics facilities at tens of million-dollar costs could soon be possible in ordinary physics labs." The world's most powerful particle accelerators are found in vast, underground facilities. They require more than a mile of space. Scientists at Imperial College London have developed a method for accelerating positrons to extreme speeds in a space 1,000-times smaller than the world's largest accelerators. "The technologies used in facilities like the Large Hadron...
Source of cosmic 'ghost' particle revealed

Source of cosmic 'ghost' particle revealed

Science
Ghost-like particles known as neutrinos have been puzzling scientists for decades.Part of the family of fundamental particles that make up all known matter, neutrinos hurtle unimpeded through the Universe, interacting with almost nothing. The majority shoot right through the Earth as though it isn't even there, making them exceptionally difficult to detect and study.Despite this, researchers have worked out that many are created by the Sun and even in our own atmosphere. But the source of one high energy group, known as cosmic neutrinos, has remained particularly elusive.Now, in the first discovery of its kind, it turns out that a distant galaxy powered by a supermassive black hole may be shooting a beam of these cosmic neutrinos...
Three-dimensional skyrmion: Scientists observe theoretical particle for first time

Three-dimensional skyrmion: Scientists observe theoretical particle for first time

Science
March 2 (UPI) -- Forty years after scientists first theoretically predicted the existence of a three-dimensional skyrmion, scientists have observed the particle in the lab.The particle, observed cold quantum gas, isn't a normal particle composed of electrons, protons and electrons. It is a quantum particle, the energy signature created by the interactions between a particle and the surrounding system.In this instance, the quantum particle is a tangled knot of magnetic moments in the quantum gas."The quantum gas is cooled down to a very low temperature where it forms a Bose-Einstein condensate: all atoms in the gas end up in the state of minimum energy," David Hall, a professor of quantum physics at Amherst College, said in a news release. "The state does not behave like an ordinary gas any...