APS Weekly NewsBrief
Aug. 10, 2010

Antarctica experiment discovers puzzling space ray pattern
A puzzling pattern in the cosmic rays bombarding Earth from space has been discovered by an experiment buried deep under the ice of Antarctica.More

With a glimmer of a chance, stardust is identified
The New York Times
Three specks of matter captured by the NASA spacecraft Stardust may be stardust that has just entered our solar system. "They have all the hallmarks of interstellar dust," said Andrew Westphal of the Space Sciences Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley.More

Fluid defences
The Economist
A suit of armor that is lightweight and flexible, yet capable of absorbing the impact of a bullet, is an idea that seems to come from the future -- a bit like the liquid skin of the cyborg in "The Terminator." More

Fluorescent dye boosts metamaterial performance
Physicists in the US have overcome a major problem that has plagued the designers of "invisibility cloaks" by creating the first negative-index metamaterial (NIM) with a built-in amplifier. It compensates for the strong absorption of light that occurs in optical NIMs, severely limiting their practical use. More

Physicists get political over Higgs
Nature News
It hasn't even been found yet, but the elusive Higgs particle is already generating controversy. As feelings run high over a recent conference in France, the particle physics community is split over who should get credit out of the six theoretical physicists who developed the mechanism behind its existence.More

What to do with a degree in physics
The Guardian
Openings for physicists will not just be in the science sector. A grounding in advanced maths and proven skill at problem-solving will appeal.More

Writing nanopatterns with light
Researchers in the U.S. have invented a new and very fast way of creating nanometer-sized features over large surface areas. The optical nanolithography technique could be used to rapidly prototype miniature devices, such as photomasks, circuits and photonic components. To prove that the technique works, the team used it to "draw" 15,000 identical tiny Chicago skylines. More

Continuous quantum variables for computing, communications
Ars Technica
Quantum computers aren't limited to the discrete ones and zeroes of digital computers. Instead, they may incorporate the sorts of continuous variables typical of analog computers. Read the associated Physical Review Letters article.More

Scientists are ready to build some galaxies
Discover Magazine
Thanks to recent observations and telescopes that will come online soon, a detailed account of the 13.7-billion-year history of the cosmos is finally within reach.More

Odd and ends
The Economist
For those who enjoy the occasional wager, but know more about quark-gluon plasmas and minimal supersymmetry than they do about thoroughbreds or penalty shootouts, the Large Hadron Collider provides an ideal opportunity to pit their wits against those of the bookmakers. More