- After 15 years of struggling with a measurement discrepancy, physicists might soon uncover precisely how long it takes a neutron to die.
- Neutrons are stable inside atoms, but on their own they decay in about 15 minutes. Since 2005, there have been two measuring methods which - replicated in various labs across the world - generate results different by 8 seconds.
- Solving this mystery will help scientists understand how much hydrogen, helium, and other light elements were created in the first few minutes after the Big Bang.
- They could also hunt for new types of physics, as knowing the neutron’s lifetime would help constrain measurements of other subatomic particles.
- Researchers have found that exposing manipulative marketing techniques to teens can help them reduce unhealthy food intake.
- In the study, a group of teenagers read an article about marketing techniques used by big food companies.
- Then they drew on ads in order to transform them from false to true to reinforce the negative portrayal of food marketing.
- The first big finding is that this exercise generated long-term lasting effects.
- Secondly, boys, in particular, were more responsive, reducing unhealthy drink and snack purchases by 31%.
- A team led by Harvard physicist Daniel Jafferis developed a new theory which connects gravity with quantum mechanics.
- Using quantum field theory tools, the team shows that tunnels in curved space-time connecting two distant places can exist, and be used for travel.
- The theory is based on a setup created by Einstein and Rosen - a connection between two black holes now known as a wormhole.
- The problem is the direct connection between black holes is shorter than the wormhole connection, so it wouldn’t be very useful.
- The main benefits of this study are new insights into quantum mechanics.
- A new device - snow-based triboelectric nanogenerator, or snow TENG - creates electricity from falling snow, among other potential uses.
- Richard Kaner (highly influential and cited scientist) and team used 3D printing to design a device that combines silicone with an electrode.
- Thanks to “the ease of fabrication and the availability of silicone” the device, which is essentially a small sheet of plastic, could be produced at low cost.
- It can work in remote areas, doesn’t need batteries, and could be used in solar panels, or self-powered wearables for tracking athletes.
- A scientist from a tobacco research center estimates that US medical insurance could save $2.6 billion per year if just 1% of insured people in each state quit smoking.
- The author used previous research which showed that a 1% reduction in smoking is associated with 0.118% smaller health care spending per capita.
- Total Medicaid (a federal and state program that helps with medical costs in the US) costs in 2017 were $577 billion, so these savings would still be a drop in the ocean.
- The study indicates that US health care officials might need to push harder against smoking.