Using a new observatory, a team of Chinese astronomers have found over a dozen sources of ultra-high energy cosmic rays. And those sources aren’t from some distant, exotic corner of the cosmos. They come from our own backyard.Continue reading “Astronomers Have Tracked Down the Source of High Energy Cosmic Rays to Regions Within the Milky Way Itself”
Electromagnetism is one of the fundamental forces of the universe, responsible for everything from electric and magnetic fields to light. Originally, scientists believed that magnetism and electricity were separate forces. But by the late 19th century, this view changed, as research demonstrated conclusively that positive and negative electrical charges were governed by one force (i.e. magnetism).
Since that time, scientists have sought to test and measure electromagnetic fields, and to recreate them. Towards this end, they created electromagnets, a device that uses electrical current to induce a magnetic field. And since their initial invention as a scientific instrument, electromagnets have gone on to become a regular feature of electronic devices and industrial processes.
The number of protons defines an element, but the number of neutrons can vary. We call these different flavors of an element isotopes, and use these isotopes to solve some challenging mysteries in physics and astronomy. Some isotopes occur naturally, and others need to be made in nuclear reactors and particle accelerators.
Here’s another great video from Sixty Symbols featuring professor Ed Copeland giving his entertaining description of CERN, the “Mecca for physicists” and home of the famous Large Hadron Collider. (Hopefully it will tide you over until the latest news is presented on July 4 regarding the ongoing hunt for the ever-elusive Higgs field!) Enjoy.
“On each of these experiments there are something like 3,000 physicists involved. So they’re not all here at the same time, of course… the cafeteria would be a nightmare if that was the case.”
– Prof. Ed Copeland