Sunday, April 16, 2006

Latest PhysicsWeb Summaries


Veneto Nanotech Launches the 2nd Edition of Nanochallenge Enter your
nanotechnology business plan to Nanochallenge 2006 and you could win the
grand prize of Euro 300,000. The competition seeks commercially viable
business plans for innovative start-ups to produce and commercialize
products and services in the nanotechnology industry. Find out more at



Physics goes to the movies (Apr 11)
The popularity of a particular film largely depends on word-of-mouth
recommendations according to a new study by statistical physicists in
the US and Chile. César Hidalgo of the University of Notre Dame and
colleagues have also developed a quantitative indicator of a film's
quality, which they say could be used by film producers and studios to
estimate the commercial value of a movie (New J. Phys. 8 52).

Fermilab probes matter-antimatter transitions (Apr 12)
The international CDF collaboration at Fermilab has made the most
precise measurement to date of the extremely rapid transitions between
matter and antimatter. The experiment has found that certain B mesons
spontaneously turn into their own antiparticle equivalents -- anti-B
mesons -- and back again at a rate of three trillion times per second.
The result agrees well with the Standard Model of particle physics and
confirms yet again the existence of CP violation -- the reason why there
is more matter than antimatter in the universe.

Putting equilibrium on hold (Apr 13)
Physicists in the US have made the first gas that never reaches
equilibrium. David Weiss and colleagues at Penn State University
performed their experiment with a one-dimensional Bose gas of ultracold
rubidium atoms. According to the team, the gas behaves like a "quantum
Newton's cradle" -- the atomic equivalent of the popular desk toy that
has five steel balls suspended from strings in a straight line. The work
could help us better understand the behaviour of many-particle systems
and even be used in practical applications like ultrasenstive force
detectors (Nature 440 900).


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