Navigation Links
Changing fine structure constant, packing spheres tighter, and mimicking complex birdsongs

Is the Fine Structure Constant truly constant?

J. K. Webb, J. A. King, M. T. Murphy, V. V. Flambaum, R. F. Carswell, and M. B. Bainbridge

Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 191101 (2011)

One of the most cherished principles in science - the constancy of physics apparently may not be true. A new study, using data from the world's largest optical telescopes, suggests that one of the four fundamental forces of Nature, electromagnetism - measured by the so-called fine-structure constant and denoted by the symbol alpha - seems to vary across the Universe. The discovery, if confirmed, has profound implications for our understanding of space and time and violates one of the fundamental principles underlying Einstein's General Relativity theory. The continuous drift in alpha may also imply a much larger universe than our observable patch, possibly infinite and also offer a natural explanation for a question that puzzled scientists for decades: why do the laws of physics seem to be so finely-tuned for the existence of life?

New way to pack marbles and buckyballs

Ho-Kei Chan

Physical Review E (forthcoming)

Spherical objects inside a cylinder can now be packed more efficiently than ever. With a suitable template, the densest packings can surprisingly be obtained from a very simple deposition procedure. The findings will have a broad range of applications in physics, from the macro- to the nano-scale, and also in commercial packaging.

Separating the instrument from the instructions in complex birdsong

Yonatan Sanz Perl, Ezequiel M. Arneodo, Ana Amador, Franz Goller and Gabriel B. Mindlin

Physical Review E (forthcoming)

Behavior emerges from the interaction between a nervous system and a peripheral bio-mechanical device executing those instructions. In that perspective, how much of the complexity is coded in the driving commands, and how much results from the design of the physical device? New research delves into the song the Zebra finch to test the hypothesis that much of its acoustic complexity is due to the nonlinear nature of the avian vocal organ. A version of the song created with simple numerical model, and compared with direct measurements of the physiological parameters driving the vocal organ, shows that simple instructions can closely mimic the peculiar and acoustically rich song of the Zebra finch. The research suggests that the design of a bird's vocal instrument is crucial to creating distinctive birdsongs, in much the same way that identical notes played on a piano and violin sound very different.

Contact: James Riordon
American Physical Society

Related biology news :

1. Himalaya -- Changing Landscapes photo exhibition draws attention to the impacts of climate change
2. Fitness in a changing world
3. Global warming is changing organic matter in soil
4. Biogeography, changing climates and niche evolution
5. CSHL researchers map changing epigenetic modifications that enable transposons to run amok
6. Honey bees on cocaine dance more, changing ideas about the insect brain
7. Survival in a Changing World: The Journal of Experimental Biology 2009 symposium
8. Dont go changing: New chemical keeps stem cells young
9. National Science Foundation forum to address ecological connectivity and climate in a changing world
10. Changing sexes on the sea floor
11. Satellite snow maps help reindeer herders adapt to a changing Arctic
Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/11/2017)... No two people are believed to ... York University Tandon School of Engineering and Michigan ... partial similarities between prints are common enough that ... and other electronic devices can be more vulnerable ... in the fact that fingerprint-based authentication systems feature ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... YORK , April 5, 2017 Today ... is announcing that the server component of the HYPR ... known for providing the end-to-end security architecture that empowers ... HYPR has already secured over 15 million ... makers including manufacturers of connected home product suites and ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... -- On April 6-7, 2017, will host the world,s ... at Microsoft,s headquarters in Redmond, Washington ... health and wellness apps that provide a unique, personalized ... is the first hackathon for personal genomics and the ... the genomics, tech and health industries are sending teams ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/9/2017)... , ... October 09, 2017 , ... At its national ... Christopher Stubbs, a professor in Harvard University’s Departments of Physics and Astronomy, has been ... a member of the winning team for the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental physics ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 09, ... ... published on October 5, 2017, in the medical journal, Epilepsia, Brain Sentinel’s ... the gold standard, video EEG, in detecting generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) using ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 06, ... ... leader in Hi-C-based genomic technologies, launched its ProxiMeta™ Hi-C metagenome deconvolution product, ... Hi-C kit and accompanying cloud-based bioinformatics software to perform Hi-C metagenome deconvolution ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... , ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... within the healthcare and technology sector at their fourth annual Conference where founders, ... 30 inspiring speakers and the ELEVATE pitch competition showcasing early stage digital health ...
Breaking Biology Technology: