Science Marches On

It’s been a hectic day here, so I haven’t had time to do any substantive blogging. I did want to quickly note a couple of stories presenting marked improvements in experiments I’ve written up here in the past:

1) In the “self-evident title” category, there’s Confinement of antihydrogen for 1000 seconds, which extends last year’s antihydrogen trapping to times a factor of 6000 longer than the previous record. That’s very good, and a good sign for plans to do precision spectroscopy and other such experiments. As always, Physics World offers a nice write-up.

2) As noted in the comments of Monday’s ResearchBlogging post about Brownian motion, the same group has a new experiment extending their previous work. They’ve beefed up their detection system to the point where they can measure displacements in picometers, and used it to observe the jittering of a glass bead suspended in water. In this case, because the time scales involved are much shorter, they see both the “ballistic” behavior and the more traditional Brownian motion described by Einstein’s model. It’s a really nice experiment, if you have access to the paper.

That’s science for you– just when I think I’ve written the definitive blog post on a subject, researchers go and improve their experiment by three orders of magnitude…

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