Last Year’s Best: Phys.org’s Top Articles of 2022

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It was a good year for research of all kinds as three men shared the Nobel Prize in Physics for their work showing that small molecules separated from each other at great distances can become entangled. Alan Aspect, John Clauser, and Anton Zellinger won the award for their work showing that the irrational field of quantum entanglement is also real and provable.

A team at the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution has made significant progress in determining the origins of life on Earth, and possibly Mars as well. They found that RNA can spontaneously form on basalt lava glass. Such glass was plentiful on early Earth at the time when scientists thought life first appeared – and basaltic lava glass is found on Mars today.

As the year began, a team including members of institutions in France, Spain, Mexico and Switzerland found that a spike protein on SARS-CoV-2 activates human endogenous retroviruses in blood cells. The finding helped explain many of the common pathological features of the virus. More specifically, they found evidence that the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein activates the coat protein encoded by HERV-W in blood cells.

Also, this past spring, a joint team of archaeologists from Germany and Iraq unearthed a 3,400-year-old city dating back to the era of the Mitanni Empire that was located on the Tigris River. The settlement appeared due to the prolonged drought in the area surrounding the Mosul Reservoir, which led to a significant decrease in the water level. Studies of the artifacts at the site showed that they were made by the Zakhiko, an ancient people who lived in the area over the years from 1550 to 1350 BC.

And last winter, researchers working at the Polar Monitoring Center and with modeling and the British Antarctic Survey reported that satellite images showed a “massive iceberg” called A68A that released nearly 152 billion tons of fresh water into the ocean as it scraped past icebergs. South Atlantic island in southern Georgia. Note that it was cut off from the Larsen C ice shelf.

Also, last spring, an international team of researchers analyzing audio recordings received from two microphones aboard the Perseverance rover found that, as expected, sound travels more slowly on Mars than on Earth, and also has two speeds, depending on the degree of Voice – Higher sounds travel faster than lower sounds.

In September, two researchers, one from Uppsala University in Sweden and one from the University of Oviedo in Spain, found that they could observe evolution in action by studying black toads in areas affected by the Chernobyl nuclear plant meltdown. Pablo Buraco and Germain Orizaola found that before radiation was released into the area, the frogs were all green.

A joint team of researchers from the Florida Museum of Natural History and the Georgia Museum of Natural History, by studying DNA from a domesticated American horse that once occupied what is now an abandoned Caribbean colony, has established that the horses on Assateague Island came from Spanish explorers, likely due to a wreck. boat.

And just a few months ago, a joint team of researchers from Liverpool John Moores University and the University of Montpellier discovered that massive stars give off a warning when they are about to explode. They found that stars in the solar mass range 8 to 20 dim sharply a few months before the explosion due to the accumulation of material in the vicinity that obscures the view.

Last February, a team of researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst developed a new material that can absorb and release massive amounts of energy. They described the solid, rubber-like material as similar to a “super rubber band”, storing large amounts of energy when stretched and subsequently released.

An international team of researchers has used AI procedures compressed into four equations, a quantitative problem that previously required 100,000 equations to fully describe. They noted that in addition to making it easier to deal with the problem, the approach could revolutionize the way other problems are addressed in the future.

Over the summer, a team of physicists affiliated with several institutions in the United States found that by shining a laser at a group of atoms arranged in a sequence inspired by Fibonacci numbers, they could create a new phase of matter that behaves as if it does. in two time dimensions. This, despite the fact that there is still a single flow of time in the system.

Last spring, a team at Universiteit Amsterdam, working with a colleague at the University of Amsterdam Medical Centre, found microplastic particles in human blood for the first time. The discovery highlights the ubiquity of tiny particles, many of which are nearly invisible to the naked eye. The team in the Netherlands found particles in about 80% of the samples they tested.

Also, last fall, a team of researchers affiliated with multiple institutions in the United States discovered the first definitive evidence of elusive imprints at sea level—sea levels oscillating between regions close to melting ice sheets and regions farther away. The swing is caused by changes and subsequent differences in the force of gravity as the ice breaks away from the ice shelf and then melts over time.

A Colorado State University atmospheric scientist confirmed his discovery of the bioluminescent “Milky Sea” event through testimony from crew on a private yacht. Stephen Miller discovered the event while studying satellite imagery and got confirmation from a crew on a yacht that happened to be sailing in the area at the time.

A team in Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Department of Computer Science, Computation, and Statistics found a flaw in a model developed by Riemann and enhanced by Helmholtz and Schrödinger that has been used for more than a century to describe how the eye distinguishes color. The use of the corrected version is expected to improve visualization in the electronics and coatings industries.

Last summer, a team from the University of Cambridge’s Department of Archeology found that Augustinian monks living in medieval Cambridge were twice as likely to contract intestinal parasites as others in the same city. The result was surprising because conditions in the monasteries at the time were thought to be more hygienic than in the city and because the monks used both toilets and hand-washing facilities.

Last summer, scientists working with data from the James Webb Space Telescope and NASA began preparing to get a better look at an exoplanet called 55 Cancri e, a planet orbiting so close to its star that some in the field have compared it to descriptions of Hell in the Bible. . At only 1.5 million miles from its sun, it does not rotate. Thus, one side is always expected to burn.

A Northwestern University team has developed a simple way to quickly and easily destroy so-called chemicals for good. Known as PFAS, the chemicals can degrade using some cheap reagents at low temperatures, leaving behind only benign end products, according to the researchers.

A team of members from several institutions in Japan and one in Taiwan discovered an unknown structure in galaxy 3C273 using high-contrast imaging. They found a faint radio emission covering a giant galaxy with an active black hole at its centre. They also found that the emission was created as gas from inside the black hole and suggested using this technique to learn more about quasars.

In July, mankind sets a dubious milestone—by the 28th of that month, humanity has collectively consumed everything the planet can sustainably produce for the year. Dubbed the Earth Overrun Day, the date marked a turning point that could not last year after year. It highlights the fact that humans use more than the planet can produce, and unless ameliorative measures are taken, shortages will become the norm.

In the same month, a team of physicists at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Physics and Astronomy used mathematical calculations to show that quantum communication through interstellar space should be possible. The result, they note, suggests that interstellar contacts with extraterrestrials should be possible — if at all.

In August, a team at Cornell University reported on an experiment they had sent to the International Space Station that confirmed a theory by a team member who had recently passed away. Experiments have shown that water droplets oscillate and scatter across solid surfaces in microgravity — a finding that could have an impact on the way 3D sprays and other applications here on Earth work.

And a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University’s Center for Mathematical and Application Sciences answered a 150-year-old chess problem this past January — how to solve a n-queens mathematical problem. It is found that the equation (0.143 n)n It can be used to describe the number of ways in which queens can be placed on the chessboard so that none of them attack anything else on the nxn chessboards.

Finally, in July, miners in Angola announced that they had discovered the largest pure pink diamond ever found in 300 years. Turns out, the diamond weighed 170 carats and was named the Lulo Rose, after the mine in Australia where it was discovered. This find represents one of the rarest and purest forms of natural stone. Its owners, the Lucapa Diamond Company and the Angolan government, have announced that it will be sold as soon as possible to the highest bidder.

K BonusThere was alsoBest videoThis year. Scientists at Durham University’s Institute of Computational Cosmology used a supercomputer to simulate an alternative explanation regarding the origin of the moon. They ran hundreds of simulations and then used the results to create a video showing an object called Theia hitting Earth early on. Earth.






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