News round-up: New elements, Olympicene, Venus, SpaceX & Neutrinos

Guest contributor Conor McKeever kicks off our new fortnightly round-up of the key science news of the last few weeks. Two more place cards at the Periodic Table Video: youtube | periodicvideos Scientists have officially named two elements whose discoveries were announced last year. Element 114, first detected in 1999 by scientists at Russia’s Joint […]

Grow Your Own Quantum Computer

Forget the huge factories of Apple, Samsung and HP: it seems that bacteria might be able to make faster, smaller and more powerful computers than we can. Biologically based wires and tiny hard-drives have been grown in the lab by a team from the University of Leeds and the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology. […]

1932: Physics goes ‘Anti’ – Part I

The word “anti” comes from ancient Greek, which literally translates as “against” or “opposite to” and nowadays is very commonly used in many contexts from social-politics (anti-social, anti-capitalism) to medicine (antibiotics, antidepressive) and even religion (Antichrist). In 1932 “anti” prefix officially entered in the world of physical science. Carl Anderson in Pasadena, California, had started […]

A new spin on computing

Spin, as anyone who has ever heard Alistair Campbell speak, is a tricky thing to figure out. Quantum spin – a property many subatomic particles have – is equally confounding, but, if understood, could lead to a powerful new breed of computer technology called spintronics. Despite its name, quantum spin does not actually refer to […]

Proofing the pudding

For something so small, it’s not shy of a big theory. In fact, the atom and its activity have a long history in the world of theoretical science, punctuated by the ideas of many a perplexed physicist. The birth of atomic theory takes us way, way back to ancient Greek times. Here, Democritus (460–370 BC), […]