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Physics (PHY) Discoveries

NSF's public investment in science, engineering, education and technology helps to create knowledge and sustain prosperity. Read here about the Internet, microbursts, Web browsers, extrasolar planets, and more... a panoply of discoveries and innovations that began with NSF support.

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Image showing the red and blue letters retrieved from a data cube. New Record for World's Smallest Letters
Stanford University breaks record set in 1991, promises denser information storage
Released  March 10, 2009
Illustration of a highly-magnetized neutron star undergoing a "starquake." Shockwave of X-ray Starquake Enthralls Scientists
For postdoctoral researcher Andrew Steiner and other astrophysicists, the shockwave that jolted the Earth in late December 2005 was a lucky find, providing new data on neutron stars
Released  March 2, 2009
Illustration showing information from left atom teleported to right atom three feet away. How to Teleport Quantum Information from One Atom to Another
Researchers have shown for the first time how to use a process called teleportation to transfer a quantum state over a significant distance from one atom to another
Released  February 25, 2009
Photo of end-on view of high numerical aperture custom lens system used to trap and image an atom. Excited Atoms Advance Quantum Computing
Scientists using a single atom to control another with the Rydberg Blockade principle have moved a step closer to unimaginable computing power
Released  February 24, 2009
Photo of researchers Bret Flanders and Prem Thapa in their laboratory at Kansas State University. Electrical Nanowires Probe Individual Cells
Radically new technology for studying and controlling cells at the nanoscale
Released  February 20, 2009
Illustration showing one sphere being repelled from a plate and the other sphere being attracted. Nanoscale Repulsion
Tiny quantum force, measured for the first time, could be an aid to nanodevice designers
Released  February 19, 2009
Image showing ball and stick model of two crossing carbon nanotubes on a graphite surface. Measuring Excitement for Carbon Nanotubes
Studying light pulses in nanoscale molecules brings scientists closer to understanding properties that may lead to a multitude of applications
Released  February 10, 2009
Illustration of the inside of the vacum chamber showing the spectrometer. For the "Few-Body Problem," a Solution From Another Plane
Complex ionization collisions can be explained with a "simple" classical model
Released  December 29, 2008
Photo of Ben Arend installing a detector during the reconfiguration of the NSCL's experimental area. Unlocking the Secrets of Atomic Nuclei
Rare isotope research at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory leads to important new applications in areas such as medical treatments and security technology
Released  November 13, 2008
artist's rendition of polar gas molecules First Ultracold Polar Molecule Gas Ready for Research
Groundbreaking technique could lead to quantum computers, molecular clocks and super-efficient power plants
Released  October 29, 2008
Photograph of the compact muon solenoid detector at CERN. Physicists Gear Up for Huge Data Flow
University of Nebraska researchers build a computer center to handle the flood of data expected from the world's next-generation particle accelerator
Released  August 7, 2008
Computer graphic showing quantum vortices formed when atoms expand for 50 thousandths of a second. Beyond Cold: How the World Works at Minus 459 Degrees
Graduate student David McKay describes how atoms are cooled to near absolute zero for research using an approach called quantum simulation
Released  July 25, 2008
Photo of the detector slice from the back, at the surface. Building a Machine to Search for Cosmic Secrets
Katherine McAlpine describes the intricate lowering into place of the last large piece of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) detector, part of the Large Hadron Collider
Released  April 2, 2008
Photo of Matt Johnson, NSCL staff engineer, inspecting a 45-degree dipole magnet Nuclear Scientists Explore the Core of Existence
A journalist at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory describes physicists' experiments to understand the neutron dripline and some surprising results
Released  March 24, 2008
2007 In Review 2007: Year in Review
A look back at some of the NSF-supported advances and activities reported last year
Released  January 30, 2008
Photo shows Exotic Beam Summer School students viewing progress of their experiments. Nuclear Physics Boot Camp Preps Future Scientists
Exotic Beam Summer School stimulates new learning and discoveries in nuclear physics students.
Released  October 19, 2007
Photo of the ATLAS Barrel Toroid Magnet and a person standing in the center UltraLight Project: Moving Huge Amounts of Data
In spring 2008, the largest particle accelerator in the world will be completed
Released  August 24, 2007
An artist's rendition of the proposed Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory design. Team Selected for the Proposed Design of the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory
Released  July 10, 2007
The NuMI beam line is the business end of Fermilab's neutrino "gun." First Result from New Experiment Confirms Neutrino Oscillation
Studies may aid understanding of all matter
Released  March 30, 2006
Vortices in rotating superfluids MIT Group Creates a High-Temperature Superfluid
Released  June 22, 2005
A bubble grows and collapses due to ultrasound A Bubble Full of Sunshine
Temperatures inside bursting bubbles can be four times hotter than the Sun
Released  March 3, 2005
NSF and the Ford Motor Company Fund have provided funding for Mr. Kumah and other undergraduates at High Energy Physics Center Attracts U.S. Undergrads to Summer in Switzerland
Apprenticeship at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland
Released  January 27, 2005
NSF South Pole research station Cold Flashes: Astrophysics at the South Pole
What one scientist calls the world’s weirdest telescope was built to detect high-energy particles, not the light from distant stars. In 1997, AMANDA recorded the first precise map of neutrinos from outer space as they zipped through Antarctic ice.
Released  October 13, 2004
illustration of Hydrogen atom and its antimatter mirror image Researchers Get First Look into Antimatter Atoms
Physicists have probed the properties of whole atoms of antimatter, the "mirror image" of matter, providing the first look inside an antimatter atom and taking a big step on the way to testing standard theories of how the universe operates.
Released  July 30, 2004
The waveguide as it appears within the femtosecond laser amplifier system. Breakthrough Brings Laser Light to New Regions of the Spectrum
Researchers have created a "waveguide" that coaxes extreme-ultraviolet light waves into forming a tightly focused laser-like beam that will allow researchers to "see" tiny features and carve miniature patterns.
Released  December 9, 2003

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