Physicists work out exactly when fruit display will come tumbling down

Computer simulations reveal the precise conditions when removing an orange from a display would cause a fruit avalanche Physics 19 June 2022 A fruit avalanche could happen at any moment Giancarlo Liguori / Alamy Stock Photo How many oranges can you remove from an angled fruit display before they all tumble down in a fruit […]

Long covid risk with omicron variant may be half what it is with delta

After analysing a symptom-tracking app, researchers found 4.5 per cent of users who were infected when the omicron variant was dominant had symptoms at least four weeks later, compared with 10.8 per cent of the users who probably caught delta Health 17 June 2022 By Clare Wilson A person collects a covid-19 lateral flow test […]

How do we sense time? The brain’s specialist cells that order our memories

Recent studies suggest there is not one part of the brain dedicated to measuring duration, as there is for senses like taste and smell. Instead, the passage of time is tracked by a network of “time cells” Mind 15 June 2022 By Helen Thomson ZEPHYR/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EVER WALKED INTO the kitchen at the exact […]

England food strategy ducks big questions on health and environment

A major policy paper fails to address big health and environmental issues it was supposed to tackle, such as how to enable the diet changes needed to reach net zero Environment | Analysis 13 June 2022 By Adam Vaughan A tractor cultivates the ground in West Sussex, UK DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images A new […]

Quantum boomerang: Physicists observe strange effect for first time

Hundreds of thousands of lithium atoms cooled to near absolute zero exhibit a strange quantum effect a bit like a boomerang Physics 11 June 2022 By Karmela Padavic-Callaghan A hundred thousand lithium atoms held in a vacuum exhibited the quantum boomerang effect Tony Mastres/David Weld Lab at University of California, Santa Barbara Researchers have managed […]

Quantum computers could create completely new forms of matter

The way we can tweak interactions between qubits in quantum computers means the machines could help us create novel structures with weird properties we have never seen in nature Technology 9 June 2022 By Alex Wilkins Solids such as crystals of zinc sulphate have regular repeating structures, but quantum computers could create structures with totally […]

Climate change: The world’s 1.5°C goal is slipping out of reach – so now what?

Scientists say it is still theoretically possible to limit global warming to 1.5°C, but realistically that now seems practically impossible. Should we admit our failure and double down on holding warming below 2°C? Environment 7 June 2022 By Adam Vaughan Houses in Ilulissat, Greenland, near the Jakobshavn glacier Ashley Cooper/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images For almost a […]

Black hole paradox: Hot plasma mirror may help solve major physics problem

A few particles of light bouncing off a flying mirror made of charged particles may reveal whether or not black holes destroy information, a famous problem in physics Physics 3 June 2022 By Karmela Padavic-Callaghan Can a plasma mirror solve the black hole information paradox Andrezej Wojcicki/Science Photo Library A flying mirror made by blasting […]

Child development: Traffic noise at schools may hinder memory and attentiveness

Students who were exposed to the highest level of outdoor noise pollution while at school showed slower improvements in memory and attentiveness Health 2 June 2022 By Carissa Wong A stock image of children walking into school martinedoucet/Getty Images Road traffic noise outside schools may impair the development of a child’s attention span and short-term […]