CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--Composite materials such as fiberglass, which take on a mix of properties of their constituent compounds, have been around for decades. Now, an MIT materials scientist is taking composites to the nanoscale, where entirely new properties, not found in any of the original compounds, can emerge.

NEWPORT NEWS, VA, June 29, 2009 – A new calculation clarifies the complicated relationship between protons and neutrons in the atomic nucleus and offers a fascinating resolution of the famous NuTeV Anomaly.

The calculation, published in the journal Physical Review Letters on June 26, was carried out by a collaboration of researchers from the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, Tokai University and the University of Washington. It grew out of attempts to make sense of the complex environment found in the nucleus of the atom.

At a recent physics seminar at the Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Fermilab physicist Pat Lukens of the CDF experiment announced the observation of a new particle, the Omega-sub-b. The particle contains three quarks, two strange quarks and a bottom quark (s-s-b). It is an exotic relative of the much more common proton and has about six times the proton's mass.

New Haven, Conn.—A team led by Yale University researchers has created the first rudimentary solid-state quantum processor, taking another step toward the ultimate dream of building a quantum computer.

They also used the two-qubit superconducting chip to successfully run elementary algorithms, such as a simple search, demonstrating quantum information processing with a solid-state device for the first time. Their findings will appear in Nature's advanced online publication June 28.

AMES, Iowa – Declining wind speeds in parts of the United States could impact more than the wind power industry, say Iowa State University climate researchers.

Three Iowa State researchers contributed their expertise in modeling North America's climate to a study to be published in the Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres. The study – led by Sara C. Pryor, a professor of atmospheric science at Indiana University Bloomington – found that wind speeds across the country have decreased by an average of .5 percent to 1 percent per year since 1973.

Rising carbon dioxide levels in the ocean have been shown to adversely affect shell-forming creatures and corals, and now a new study by researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego has shown for the first time that CO2 can impact a fundamental bodily structure in fish.

The mysterious 1908 Tunguska explosion that leveled 830 square miles of Siberian forest was almost certainly caused by a comet entering the Earth's atmosphere, says new Cornell University research. The conclusion is supported by an unlikely source: the exhaust plume from the NASA space shuttle launched a century later.

University of Chicago researchers recently showed that dry granular materials such as sands, seeds and grains have properties similar to liquid, forming water-like droplets when poured from a given source. The finding could be important to a wide range of industries that use "fluidized" dry particles for oil refining, plastics manufacturing and pharmaceutical production.

Better understanding of the laws of physics motivates the Chicago experiments. Their results have also drawn the attention of a leading industrial firm, Particulate Solid Research Inc.

A group of University of Oklahoma researchers led by Dr. James P. Shaffer, Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy, have discovered giant Rydberg molecules with a bond as large as a red blood cell. Determining how Rydberg molecules interact is important because Rydberg atoms are a key ingredient in atom based quantum computation schemes.

Beware rushed solutions to problems exaggerated in the media. Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) were once touted as the solution for ozone-depleting hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) since they don't have the impact on the ozone layer that HCFCs do, even though they allowed for the phaseout of chlorofluorocarbons(CFCs) which replaced ammonia in refrigeration and spray cans.

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Archaeologists have used stone tools to answer many questions about human ancestors in both the distant and near past and now they are analyzing the origin of obsidian flakes to better understand how people settled and interacted in the inhospitable Kuril Islands.

An artificial underground cave, the largest in Israel, has been exposed in the Jordan Valley in the course of a survey carried out by the University of Haifa's Department of Archaeology. Prof. Adam Zertal, who headed the excavating team, reckons that this cave was originally a large quarry during the Roman and Byzantine era and was one of its kind. Various engravings were uncovered in the cave, including cross markings, and it is assumed that this could have been an early monastery. "It is probably the site of "Galgala" from the historical Madaba Map," Prof. Zertal says.

In a paper in Nature Geoscience, a team from the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOCS), along with colleagues from Tübingen (Germany) and Bristol presents a novel continuous reconstruction of sea level fluctuations over the last 520 thousand years.