physics
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Why This Drop Of Liquor Looks Like A Galaxy

Anyone who’s imbibed a glass of ouzo — the licorice-flavoured spirit that is practically the national drink of Greece — may be familiar with how it turns cloudy when the liquor is mixed with water. But there are still some mysteries about how such mixed liquids behave.


Engineer Discovers Something Amazing In Da Vinci's 'Irrelevant Scribbles'

Never assume that Leonardo Da Vinci’s doodles are meaningless. That, at least, is the takeaway of a new study out of the University of Cambridge, which shows that a page of Leonardo’s scribbled notes from 1493 — previously dismissed as “irrelevant” by art historians — is actually the first written demonstration of the laws of friction.


Mysterious Dark Matter Remains Maddeningly Elusive

The hunt for the elusive dark matter received yet another blow yesterday at an international conference in Sheffield, England. Scientists with the Large Underground Xenon (LUX) dark matter experiment announced that they found no hints of dark matter particles in their latest analysis, despite increasing the sensitivity of the experiment fourfold for its final run.


French Physicists Unravel The Secrets Of The Knuckleball  

Knuckleballs are mostly associated with baseball in the United States, but this devilishly unpredictable ball motion also shows up in soccer, cricket, and volleyball. Yet it’s never seen in other sports like squash, basketball, and table tennis. A team of French scientists think they have finally figured out why and describe their conclusions in the New Journal of Physics.


The Right Vibrations Will Make Particles In Liquid Break Into A Circle Dance

Chances are you’ve seen the gorgeous patterns that sound waves produce when sand is sprinkled on a vibrating metal plate. Now French physicists have produced inverse versions of these patterns using microbeads suspended in a liquid. They described their work in a recent paper in Physical Review Letters.


Hundreds Of New Galaxies Detected In First Image From Super Telescope

The MeerKAT radio telescope isn’t even finished being built, but it’s already released its first image: a small patch of sky showcasing 1,300 galaxies.


The Maths Behind The Perfect Climbing Rope

Rock and mountain climbers rely on strong, yet elastic ropes to keep them safe should they happen to fall. Now mathematicians at the University of Utah have come up with an equation to design an ideal climbing rope — one that would be safer and more durable. They described this perfect rope, and a promising class of materials that might be used to make it, in a recent paper in the Journal of Sports Engineering and Technology.


Scientists Are One Step Closer To An Invisibility Cloak, But Don't Get Out Your Wands Yet

Since the Harry Potter books first hit bookshelves, the world has been getting little pieces of J.K. Rowling’s universe. Universal Studios allows you to explore Diagon Alley, you can make your own butterbeer at home, and maybe, in your lifetime, you can experience a working invisibility cloak.


Pitching The Perfect Curveball Takes Just The Right Mix Of Skill and Physics

Among a baseball pitcher’s arsenal of tricks is the infamous curveball, whereby the baseball takes a sudden dive downward just before it reaches the plate, faking out the batter. A new “History Minute” video from the US National Institute of Standards and Technology takes a look at the physics behind this longstanding bane of batters.


CERN Physicists Have Discovered A Batch Of New Exotic Particles

Scientists working at CERN have found four new “tetraquark” particles comprised of the same four subatomic building blocks. These exotic particles don’t last very long, and they probably don’t play an important cosmological role, but the discovery reveals the surprising diversity of the tetraquark family.


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