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PROTON PROTON Department of Physics, PO Box 118440, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611 P - 352-392-0521 F- 352-392-0524 [email protected] http://www.phys.ufl.edu A PHYSICS DEPARTMENT PUBLICATION AUGUST 2008 P HYSICS R EPORT O N T HINGS O F N OTE V OLUME 7 N UMBER 6 Scientists edge closer to unlocking secrets of mysterious Crab Pulsar Source: UF News Like a celestial top, the spinning neutron star known as the Crab Pulsar is slowing, a phenomenon that astronomers have yet to fully understand. Now, researchers with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory Scientific Collaboration — an international collaboration headed by a University of Florida physicist — have ruled out one long-hypothesized cause: emission of gravitational waves. “We can now say definitively that gravitational waves play only a minor role at best in this phenomenon,” says David Reitze , a UF professor of physics and spokesperson for the collaboration. “’Our measurements tell us that no more than 4 percent of the energy loss of the pulsar is caused by the emission of gravitational waves.’” Read full article at : http://news.ufl.edu/2008/06/02/crab-pulsar/ Sun Might Hold Secret of Dark Matter Source: Space.com The identity of the mysterious dark matter thought to pervade the universe has eluded astrophysicists for decades. Now, for the first time a team hopes to look inside the sun for one of the prime candidates. The invisible stuff called dark matter is thought to make up as much as 90 percent of the universe's matter. To date, astrophysicists have only inferred the existence of some mysterious substance by identifying its gravitational effects on visible matter such as stars and galaxies. (For instance, dark matter makes galaxies spin faster than otherwise expected.) Two hypothetical particles have become the prime suspects to explain the fundamental make-up of dark matter: so-called axions and WIMPs ( Weakly Interacting Massive Particles). Tens of teams are on the hunt for the heavyweight WIMPs, such as the GLAST team, which hopes to detect the gamma rays produced when, hypothetically, WIMPs and their antimatter selves annihilate each other. Only a handful of groups are searching for the lightweight particles called axions. For both sociological and technical reasons, WIMP searches far outnumber axion ones, according to David Tanner , a physicist at the University of Florida, and others. For instance, he said, detectors for WIMPs build more on the expertise of many astrophysicists. In addition, these massive particles are more fantastical. “WIMPS also imply things about supersymmetry and extra dimension,” Tanner told SPACE.com. “And so if they were detected, they would give theorists lots of new toys to play with, and new ideas to follow. Read full article at:
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This note was uploaded on 12/15/2011 for the course PHY 2053 taught by Professor Buchler during the Fall '06 term at University of Florida.

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