List of unsolved problems in physics Some of the major unsolved problems in physics are theoretical, meaning that existing theories seem incapable of explaining a certain observed phenomenon or experimental result. The others are experimental, meaning that there is a difficulty in creating an experiment to test a proposed theory or investigate a phenomenon in greater detail. Unsolved problems by subfield The following is a list of unsolved problems grouped into broad area of physics. Cosmology, and general relativity Cosmic inflation Is the theory of cosmic inflation correct, and if so, what are the details of this epoch? Horizon problem Electroweak Horizon Problem Why aren't there obvious large-scale discontinuities in the electroweak vacuum, if distant parts of the observable universe were causally separate when the electroweak epoch ended? Future of the universe Is the universe heading towards a Big Freeze, a Big Rip, a Big Crunch or a Big Bounce? Gravitational wave Can gravitational waves be directly detected? .
Names Proposed for New Elements on Periodic Table The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry — the scientific body that is the keeper of the list of elements — unveiled Thursday the proposed names for elements 114 and 116: flerovium (atomic symbol Fl) and livermorium (atomic symbol Lv). If you do not like them, now is the time to voice your objections. The chemistry union will have a five-month comment period open to anyone. “We believe we have to let the world respond,” said Terry A. Renner, the chemistry union’s executive director. The chemistry union, along with its physics counterpart, spent years checking data before finally accepting in June that the two elements had indeed been created in collaborative experiments by the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia, and the in Livermore, Calif. The process of coming up with what to call them was nearly as arduous. Through all of human history, only 114 elements have been named, and the chemistry union has finicky rules about what is an acceptable name.
How to turn darkness into light Quantum mechanics tells us that the vacuum is not empty but is filled with virtual particles that pop into and out of existence. Normally these particles are hidden from our view, but now a team of physicists has used the electrical equivalent of an ultrafast mirror to convert virtual photons into real electromagnetic radiation. Known as the dynamical Casimir effect, it was first predicted more than 40 years ago. The static Casimir effect, put forward by Dutch physicist Hendrik Casimir in 1948, involves two perfectly reflecting parallel mirrors that, when placed in a vacuum, will be attracted to one another. The dynamical effect was proposed by Gerald Moore in 1970 and is caused by a mismatch of modes in time. High-speed challenge The researchers place a tiny device used for measuring extremely weak magnetic fields – a superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) – at one end of an electrical transmission line. Quarter the speed of light "Beautiful experiment"
3 New Heavy Elements Named: Darmstadtium, Roentgenium, Copernicium This article was updated Sunday 11/6 2:00pm. The periodic table of elements just got a bit heftier today (Nov. 4), as the names of three new elements were approved by the General Assembly of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics. Elements 110, 111 and 112 have been named darmstadtium (Ds), roentgenium (Rg) and copernicium (Cn). These elements are so large and unstable they can be made only in the lab, and they fall apart into other elements very quickly. The General Assembly approved these name suggestions proposed by the Joint Working Party on the Discovery of Elements, which is a joint body of IUPAP and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). World revolves around Copernicium Temporarily called ununbium, copernicium, the new element 112, was named for Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543), who first suggested that the Earth revolves around the sun, not the other way around, and starting the "Copernican Revolution."
Creating Quantum Matter By Marlene Cimons, National Science Foundation Experimental physicist Markus Greiner always is searching for new and interesting states of matter. “In the long run, these states of matter might lead to new materials with fantastic properties you can’t even imagine yet,” he says. Greiner, associate physics professor at Harvard University and the recent winner of a prestigious $500,000 “no strings attached” MacArthur Fellowship--popularly known as a “genius” grant--wants to better understand the spatial organization of ultra cold atoms with the goal of learning more about condensed matter physics and quantum mechanics. “It’s pretty cool stuff,” he says, no pun intended. Ultimately, the research could lead to new materials for more effective superconductors, as well as new magnetic substances that could speed up computer development. He has created a quantum gas microscope that allows direct visualization of each individual atom within the two-dimensional optical lattice.
Physicists chip away at mystery of antimatter imbalance (PhysOrg.com) -- Why there is stuff in the universe—more properly, why there is an imbalance between matter and antimatter—is one of the long-standing mysteries of cosmology. A team of researchers working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology has just concluded a 10-year-long study of the fate of neutrons in an attempt to resolve the question, the most sensitive such measurement ever made. The universe, they concede, has managed to keep its secret for the time being, but they’ve succeeded in significantly narrowing the number of possible answers. Though the word itself evokes science fiction, antimatter is an ordinary—if highly uncommon—material that cosmologists believe once made up almost exactly half of the substance of the universe. “The question is, why was there an excess of one over the other in the first place?” “We have placed very tight constraints on what these theories can say,” Mumm says. More information: H.P.
7 Man-Made Substances that Laugh in the Face of Physics Odds are pretty good that some of you are reading this on an LCD screen while the rest of us are trying to make it out on the 13-inch monochrome monitor that came with our garage sale Commodore 64. But even with the LCD, some laptops still weigh over 10-pounds. And while that doesn't seem like much, the level of muscle atrophy experienced by the average Warcraft addict makes that weight a thousand times heavier. Also, oooohhh. Elastic conductors are made of "ionic liquid" mixed with carbon nanotubes. What the Hell is it Used For? In addition to making screens that can be rolled up and stuck in our back pocket, a lot of scientists and doctors want to use elastic conductors to make flexible-lensed cameras... to be fitted to the back of the eyeball. Girlfriends the world over will actually start recording their boyfriend's every word and guys at urinals will become infinitely more paranoid if they catch another guy's eye. Our friends in the military want to use them for body armor.
Amusement Park Physics -- Design a Roller Coaster Design a Roller Coaster Try your hand at designing your own roller coaster. You will be building a conceptual coaster using the physics concepts that are used to design real coasters. You won't need to compute any formulas. You will decide the following - the height of the first hill, the shape of the first hill, the exit path, the height of the second hill, and the loop. When you're done, your coaster will need to pass an inspection for both safety and fun. Here we go! First you need to determine the height of the first hill. Note: We'll assume that your coaster is a single-car coaster running on a frictionless track.
The Physics Classroom