Latest press releases

Nearby pulsars shed light on the antimatter puzzle

16 November 2017

There are too many high-energy positrons in the cosmic rays reaching the Earth. These positrons (particles that are antimatter equivalents of electrons) could be being produced by pulsars in our vicinity. The most recent measurements from the HAWC Observatory in Mexico have practically excluded this possibility, strengthening the competing and much more exotic hypothesis concerning the origin of the excess positrons.

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The most exotic fluid has an unexpectedly low viscosity

26 October 2017

Collisions of lead nuclei in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) particle accelerator take place at such great energies that quarks that are normally confined inside nucleons are released and, together with the gluons that hold them together, form a stream of particularly exotic fluid: quark-gluon plasma. A new, more detailed theoretical model for this plasma, presented by a group of physicists from Poland and the USA, predicts that it has a much lower viscosity than previously estimated.

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Chaos reigns even in simple electronic

18 October 2017

It's really surprising: it turns out that among simple electronic circuits, built of just a few components, many of them behave chaotically, in an extremely complicated, practically unpredictable manner. Physicists from the Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences in Cracow have discovered, examined and described dozens of new, unusual circuits of this type. What is especially interesting is that one of the circuits generates voltage pulses very similar to those produced by neurons, only it does so a thousand times faster.

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From galaxies far far away!

28 September 2017

In a paper published in Science on 22 September, the Pierre Auger Collaboration reports observational evidence demonstrating that cosmic rays with energies a million times greater than that of the protons accelerated in the Large Hadron Collider come from much further away than from our own Galaxy.

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The doubly magic nucleus of lead-208 – it spins, though it shouldn't!

7 September 2017

We generally imagine atomic nuclei to be more or less spherical, but always relatively chaotic, clusters of protons and neutrons. Experiments at the Argonne National Laboratory, inspired by physicists from the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Cracow, are trying to verify these simple ideas. Using an astronomical analogy we can say that in as much as the majority of nuclei are similar in outline to rocky objects such as moons or asteroids of different shapes, then nuclei of lead-208 under certain conditions resemble planets surrounded by a dense atmosphere that can move around a rigid core.

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A revolution in lithium-ion batteries is becoming more realistic

5 September 2017

The modern world relies on portable electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, cameras or camcorders. Many of these devices are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which could be smaller, lighter, safer and more efficient if the liquid electrolytes they contain were replaced by solids. A promising candidate for a solid-state electrolyte is a new class of materials based on lithium compounds, presented by physicists from Switzerland and Poland.

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