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APS Physics - Weekly NewsBrief
July 7, 2009
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Mass Mismatch Makes Mystery for Proton's Strange Cousin
from ScienceNews
A heavy, strange cousin of the proton has been seen a second time, but it seems to have lost a little weight. The omega-b-minus, also called the omega-sub-b baryon, is a three-quark particle related to protons and neutrons. Full Article

Laser Light Switch Could Leave Transistors in the Shade
from NewScientist
An optical transistor that uses one laser beam to control another could form the heart of a future generation of ultrafast light-based computers, say Swiss researchers. Full Article

New Class of Black Holes Discovered
from Wired
Only two sizes of black holes have ever been spotted: small and super-massive. Scientists have long speculated that an intermediate version must exist, but they've never been able to find one until now. Full Article

Snowfall on Mars? NASA's Phoenix Lander Recorded It
from Ars Technica
The first batch of papers resulting from the Mars Phoenix Lander mission have appeared in the new issue of Science, with the most striking of them describing what appears to be night-time snow falling on the landing site. Full Article

Berkeley Lab Builds a Desktop Particle Accelerator
from Popular Science
Giant particle accelerators like the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) have become the poster children for big science. Immense in size, cost and ambition, these gargantuan structures hurl particles at velocities close to the speed of light, in the hopes of uncovering the most basic constituents of matter and energy. Full Article

The State of the Climate and of Climate Science
from Discover Magazine
In the list of world challenges, global warming might be at once the most alarming and the most controversial. According to some predictions, climate change caused by human activity could cause mass extinction in the oceans, redraw the planet's coastlines, and ravage world food supplies. Full Article

Now You Can Use Quantum Physics to Send Top Secret Messages Online
from io9
In a breakthrough in quantum cryptography, a team of 41 institutions has created the world's largest quantum key distribution network. The network enables them to create the most foolproof system in history for sending secret messages. Full Article

New Materials for Renewable Energy
from The Economist
Big improvements in the production of energy, especially from renewable sources, are expected over the coming years. Safer nuclear-power stations, highly efficient solar cells and the ability to extract more energy from the wind and the sea are among the things promised. Full Article

Planck Achieves Ultra-cold State
from BBC News
Europe's Planck observatory has reached its operating temperature, making it the coldest object in space. Full Article

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