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Extremely Rare Particle Decay Detected for the First Time at the Large Hadron Collider




B_s meson decaying into two muons in the CMS detector, at the Large Hadron Collider.

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has recently come back online after two years of maintenance and upgrading, however scientists are still sifting through the huge amount of information gathered in experiments prior to the shutdown. By analyzing data from as far back as 2011 and 2012, physicists have found evidence of an incredibly rare kind of particle decay, observed in experiments attempting to put our fundamental understanding of physics to the test.

In an article published this week in the journal Nature, scientists at CERN have described the extremely rare decay of the B0s (pronounced B-sub-s) particle into two muon particles. According to the Standard Model (our best theory of particle physics so far), this happens about three or four times in seven billion (!) decays, so it’s not surprising it has never been observed before. An even rarer event, the decay of the B0 particle (which happens once per 10 billion mesons), might also have been detected.

Both the B0s and B0 are mesons, highly unstable subatomic particles made up of a quark and an antiquark, bound together by the strong force. These kinds of exotic particles are only produced in high-energy collisions, either in particle accelerators like the LHC, or in nature, in cosmic ray interactions.

The discovery is the result of the collaboration between the CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) and LHCb (Large Hadron Collider beauty) experiments at CERN and is based on data gathered in 2011 and 2012. The two teams found that the B0s and B0 mesons decay into two muons in a way which is consistent with the Standard Model’s predictions. Experiments like these are designed to test the limits of the Standard Model and even venture beyond it, into the realm of dark matter or supersymmetry. While it’s great to know the Standard Model is holding fast, scientists are always looking for that result which just doesn’t fit, because it’s these kinds of discoveries which open the door to new and exciting physics.

None of that for now, however, but the new and improved LHC is bound to give us plenty to talk about in the months and years to come.

Who doesn’t enjoy listening to a good story. Personally I love reading about the people who inspire me and what it took for them to achieve their success. As I am a bit of a self confessed tech geek I think there is no better way to discover these stories than by reading every day some articles or the newspaper . My bookcases are filled with good tech biographies, they remind me that anyone can be a success. So even if you come from an underprivileged part of society or you aren’t the smartest person in the room we all have a chance to reach the top. The same message shines in my beliefs. All it takes to succeed is a good idea, a little risk and a lot of hard work and any geek can become a success. VENI VIDI VICI .


The phenomenon of a magnetic avalanche caused by quantum processes, known as ‘Barkhausen noise’, has been observed for the first time





Iron screws and other ferromagnetic materials consist of atoms with electrons that behave as miniature magnets. Typically, the magnets’ orientations are aligned within a specific region of the material, but they vary between different regions. Imagine groups of tourists in Times Square, eagerly gesturing towards the various billboards that surround them. However, with the application of a magnetic field, the spins of the magnets in the various regions align, resulting in the material becoming completely magnetized. It’s as if all the tourists suddenly synchronized their movements to point at the same sign.

The alignment of spins, however, does not occur instantaneously. Instead, when a magnetic field is present, neighboring regions, known as domains, interact with each other, causing changes to propagate unevenly throughout the material. Scientists often draw parallels between this phenomenon and the cascading of snow in an avalanche, where a single piece of snow initiates the movement, exerting force on neighboring pieces until the entire mountainside of snow is in motion, all heading in the same direction.

In 1919, Heinrich Barkhausen showcased the avalanche effect in magnets, providing a groundbreaking demonstration. Through the clever use of a coil and a magnetic material connected to a loudspeaker, it was demonstrated that these fluctuations in magnetism produce an audible crackling sound, now referred to as Barkhausen noise.

A recent study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals that Barkhausen noise can be generated not just by conventional methods but also by quantum mechanical phenomena.

Experimental detection of quantum Barkhausen noise is a groundbreaking achievement. This research signifies a significant breakthrough in the field of physics and holds potential for future applications in the development of quantum sensors and electronic devices.

“Barkhausen noise is the result of the small magnets flipping together,” explains Christopher Simon, the lead author of the paper and a postdoctoral scholar in the lab of Thomas F. Rosenbaum, a professor of physics at Caltech, the president of the Institute, and the Sonja and William Davidow Presidential Chair.

“We are conducting a familiar experiment, but with a twist—in a quantum material.” We are observing that quantum effects can result in significant changes at a macroscopic level.

Typically, magnetic flips occur in a classical manner, through thermal activation. In this process, particles must temporarily acquire sufficient energy to overcome an energy barrier. However, the new study reveals that these flips can also happen through a process called quantum tunneling, which operates on a quantum level.

In the phenomenon of tunneling, particles have the ability to traverse an energy barrier by seemingly bypassing it altogether. If this effect could be applied to everyday objects, such as golf balls, it would be as if the golf ball effortlessly passed through a hill instead of having to ascend it to reach the other side.


“In the quantum realm, the ball doesn’t need to traverse a hill as it transforms into a wave-like particle, with a portion already present beyond the hill,” explains Simon.

Furthermore, the latest research reveals a fascinating co-tunneling phenomenon, where clusters of tunneling electrons interact and coordinate to induce simultaneous flips in the direction of their spins.

“Traditionally, every individual mini avalanche, where clusters of spins flip, would occur independently,” explains co-author Daniel Silevitch, a research professor of physics at Caltech. “However, it has been discovered that, by means of quantum tunneling, two avalanches occur simultaneously.” This phenomenon arises from the interaction between two extensive collections of electrons, which communicate with each other and, as a consequence of their interactions, bring about these alterations. This unexpected co-tunneling effect quite surprised me.

Members of the team utilized a pink crystalline material known as lithium holmium yttrium fluoride, which was cooled to temperatures close to absolute zero (-273.15°C) for their experiments. They placed a coil around it, applied a magnetic field, and then observed small changes in voltage, similar to Barkhausen’s experiment in 1919.

The voltage spikes that are observed indicate the moments when clusters of electron spins change their magnetic orientations. When the groups of spins flip, one after the other, we can observe a series of voltage spikes known as the Barkhausen noise.

Through careful analysis of the noise, the researchers demonstrated the occurrence of a magnetic avalanche, even in the absence of classical effects. They demonstrated that these effects remained unaffected by variations in the material’s temperature. Through careful analysis, they reached the conclusion that quantum effects were the underlying cause of the significant transformations.

Scientists have found that these regions can hold an astonishing number of spins, far more than the rest of the crystal.

“We are observing this quantum behavior in materials containing an incredibly large number of spins.” Ensemblies of microscopic objects are all behaving in a coherent manner,” Rosenbaum says. “This work exemplifies the core focus of our lab: isolating and comprehending quantum mechanical effects.”

Researchers in Rosenbaum’s lab recently published another paper in PNAS that examines the fascinating connection between minute quantum effects and their influence on larger-scale phenomena. In the earlier study, scientists looked at the element chromium and showed how two different types of charge modulation—one involving ions and the other involving electrons—interact with each other at different length scales using quantum mechanics.

“Chromium has been a subject of study for quite some time,” remarks Rosenbaum, “yet only recently have we come to fully grasp this particular facet of quantum mechanics.” This is yet another instance of designing uncomplicated systems to uncover quantum phenomena that can be observed on a larger scale.

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Anyone willing to pay can now access the Tesla FSD driver assistance beta





Elon Musk announced in a tweet that Tesla is opening up its so-called full self-driving (FSD) beta to anyone who has paid for it after gradually opening it up over the past few years. In North America, he added, “Tesla Full Self-Driving Beta is now available to anyone who requests it from the car screen, assuming you have purchased this option.”

With automated features like automated city steering, automatic parking, smart vehicle summoning, and traffic light/stop sign recognition, FSD builds on Tesla’s “Autopilot” driver-assist feature. The feature is a paid upgrade that costs $15,000 after a $3,000 price increase in September.

Tesla initially stated that it would introduce fully autonomous driving features in 2018, but they didn’t actually do so until July 2021, to a select group of “careful and expert drivers.” The version 9.0 beta saw a wider release, but testers could only participate in an early access program. Tesla removed the requirements for at least 100 Autopilot miles and an 80 safety score on the most recent FSD release, so now anyone can get it.

However, Tesla is widely implementing FSD at a time when regulators are closely monitoring it. In a recent expansion of its investigation into a string of Tesla crashes involving first responders, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is now looking at most models. It is also looking into more than 30 incidents involving Autopilot in a separate investigation.

Musk has long promised fully autonomous vehicles without a human driver. Most recently, he said he believed it might come this year, but in Tesla’s most recent earnings report, he backtracked on those statements. Following Elon Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, the price of Tesla’s stock has been falling precipitously recently.

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Importance of Physics in Different Fields





Physics is the foundation of other sciences, technology, and most engineering, which develops mathematical literacy. The most common complaint of a student usually sounds like this: “Why do I need to study this subject if I’m not going to do it after school” or “What are my benefits from studying this subject in the future”.  This is due to the fact students face difficulties in physics studying during classrooms and in most cases, they require physics homework help online from real assignment experts.

Indeed, does a student need to cram formulas and deal with the laws of Newton and Faraday? Maybe, let’s do something interesting better? Surprisingly, even many adults do not understand why they taught physics at school and sincerely do not see the connection between this entertaining science and everyday life. Let’s find this connection.

So why do we need this science? Its task is to understand how certain phenomena occur, and why specific processes are formed. It also helps predict certain events. Have a look at the elevator, which quickly and easily takes you to the desired floor, different means of transport, computers, tablets, and phones – all of them won’t work without physics.

It is not just a school subject, it is something more. Many natural projects are performed with the assistance of physics, e.g. the simplest example of a physics process in life is the brewing of tea. This process is called diffusion. Weather is another great example: rainbow, shadow, refraction of light are all wonderful sciences. If physics did not exist in life, it is unlikely we would have such a convenient life now. This science is an irreplaceable thing in the life of every person.

Physics and Other Sciences

Physics is the basis for STEM subjects that are studied at a technical university. For example, electronics is a synthesis of several branches of physics: electromagnetism, solid-state and gases, etc. Even the queen of sciences – mathematics is a tool for physical research. Lasers are the physics of the stimulated emission of atoms and molecules. Holography is a technical use of the phenomenon of interference and diffraction of electromagnetic waves.

Chemistry is influenced by physics more than any other science. All chemical processes are the formation or destruction of bonds between valence electrons. In essence, theoretical chemistry is all physics.

Astronomy is older than physics, but it became a science when experts were able to explain why the planets and stars move exactly the way and not otherwise. The most startling discovery of astronomy was the fact that stars are made of the same atoms as Earth. This has been proven by spectroscopic physicists. Where do stars get their energy from? This became clear only by 1940, after the discovery of the fission reaction and thermonuclear fusion.

Furthermore,  with the help of knowledge of physics and thanks to physical equipment helpers used in biology, the mechanism of all biological processes can be understood at the molecular and intracellular levels.  DNA was discovered with the help of electron microscopes. What about the most complex processes of nervous activity? These are electromagnetic phenomena.

Dust Removal

Clean air is required not only for a person but also for technological processes. Due to the presence of a large amount of dust, all equipment becomes unusable ahead of time. Escaping dust with gases is a very valuable process. This is since the purification of various industrial gases is extremely necessary today. Now, this problem is very easily solved by an electric field. How does it work?

Inside the metal pipe, there is a special wire that plays the role of the first electrode. The walls of the pipe provide the second electrode service. Due to the electric field, the gas in it begins to ionize. Negatively charged ions begin to attach to the particles of smoke, which comes along with the gas itself. Thus, they are being charged and begin to move to set on the pipe walls. After purification, the gas moves to the exit.

Health Monitoring

Thanks to physics, a huge contribution to the development of medicine has been made. The discovery of X-rays made it possible to identify various diseases of human internal organs and detect bone fractures. Specialists can measure blood pressure, use electric currents and magnetic fields for treatment, and other lasers and optical devices. Still,  this is not a complete list of the greatest achievements and possibilities of physics in medicine.

Gravity, Momentum, and Other Availability

Physics discovers the principles of the law of gravitation. That is, we already know that if you throw an object, it will fall on the ground. What does it mean? The planet Earth pulls down us and all things. Moreover, it pulls down even such a heavy space object as the Moon. Also, any things that we throw on the floor, do not hang in the air because thrown objects are affected upon by acceleration created by gravitational and friction forces.

Therefore, knowing about these laws, you can understand what happens if you jump with a parachute. Is the area of the parachute related to the slowdown in the fall rate? Maybe you should ask for a larger parachute? How does the impulse work on your knees, and why can’t you land on straight legs?

How to choose alpine skiing? Are you a professional skater or an amateur? Think about friction, check these parameters for your new skis. If you are a beginner and have a lack of physics knowledge, then more likely you’ll probably make a mistake in ski selection.

Okay, you are not going to skydive, and you don’t want to know anything about alpine skiing. Let’s get back to everyday life. Here is a nut and a wrench in front of you. What part of the wrench should you grab to apply maximum force to the nut? Those who had physics assignments studied will take the wrench as far from the nut as possible. To open a heavy door, you need to press on it from the very edge, away from the hinges. Do we need to talk about the lever and the fulcrum that Galileo lacked so much? It is almost impossible to overestimate the importance of physics in all spheres of life. After all, it is everywhere: beginning from household and telephone to jetliners and space flights. It should be remembered that all the benefits of civilization became possible thanks to scientific discoveries.

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