One billion suns: World’s brightest laser sparks new behavior in light

Using the brightest light ever produced on Earth, physicists have changed the way light behaves.

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Topsy-turvy motion creates light switch effect at Uranus

Uranus’ magnetosphere, the region defined by the planet’s magnetic field and the material trapped inside it, gets flipped on and off like a light switch every day as it rotates along with the planet, scientists have discovered. It’s ‘open’ in one orientation, allowing solar wind to flow into the magnetosphere; it later closes, forming a shield against the solar wind and deflecting it away from the planet. …

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Atomic imperfections move quantum communication network closer to reality

An international team of scientists has discovered how to manipulate a weird quantum interface between light and matter in silicon carbide along wavelengths used in telecommunications.

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Cool power: Breakthroughs in solar panel cooling technology

Breakthroughs in solar panel cooling tech will help keep NASA’s Parker Solar Probe operating at peak performance — even while flying through the sun’s corona …

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Meteorite mystery solved with research on high pressure

A research group has found a long-sought explanation for the apparent contradictions implicit in the composition of lunar and Martian meteorites. They were able to demonstrate how meteorites could contain within narrow spaces minerals whose formation conditions are quite different. These findings provide new impetus for meteorite research. …

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Does dark matter annihilate quicker in the Milky Way?

A new theory predicts how dark matter may be annihilating much more rapidly in the Milky Way, than in smaller or larger galaxies and the early Universe. …

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Juan Maldacena, Pondering Quantum Gravity by the Pond

One of the world’s preeminent theoretical physicists seeks a quiet place to think. …

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Origins of Sun’s swirling spicules discovered

For the first time, a computer simulation — so detailed it took a full year to run — shows how spicules form, helping scientists understand how spicules can break free of the sun’s surface and surge upward so quickly. …

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Single electron’s tiny leap sets off ‘molecular sunscreen’ response

Scientists have seen the first step of a process that protects a DNA building block called thymine from sun damage: When it’s hit with ultraviolet light, a single electron jumps into a slightly higher orbit around the nucleus of a single oxygen atom.

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Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

In an arranged marriage of optics and mechanics, physicists have created microscopic structural beams that have a variety of powerful uses when light strikes them.

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