Lancaster Ultra-Low Temperature Group in Nature Physics
Story supplied by LU Press Office
Low-temperature physicists at Lancaster University may have found a laboratory test of the 'untestable' string theory.
The test - which uses two distinct phases of liquid helium - is reported online this week in Nature Physics (published 23 December). Their paper will also be published as the cover article in the paper edition of Nature Physics in January.
String theory is a multidimensional theory based on vibrating strings, as opposed to the point particles described in the Standard Model.
Within string theory, a brane is a large surface embedded in higher dimensional space - our Universe could occupy such a brane.
A collision between a brane and an antibrane can leave behind topological defects, including perhaps the Big Bang itself. But however elegant this theory, it makes no falsifiable predictions, or at least none using current technology.
Richard Haley and the ULT Group have taken a lateral step to address this barrier. They cool the helium-3 isotope to a superfluid state - that is, a quantum fluid with non-classical properties such as completely frictionless flow. Adding a magnetic field creates a second superfluid phase, and the interface between these two phases behaves like a two-dimensional brane.
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Lancaster Physics graduates have produced an excellent description of the use of scientific method in the search for the Higgs Boson.
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Congratulations to fourth year Physics student, Jorden Senior, for winning first prize for his blog entry into The Ogden Trust’s annual ‘Blogden’ competition.
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Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mark E Smith, recently visited CERN, to see the important research being conducted by Lancaster staff. Joined by Professor Peter Ratoff, Professor Roger Jones and Dr Graeme Burt who are leading CERN based projects, Professor Smith was given a VIP tour of CERN including the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) and the ATLAS Collaboration visitor centre.
Fri 20 February 2015
Lancaster University is enhancing its position as a global leader in cyber security research by agreeing links with Japan’s national ICT institute.
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