Tag Archives: equation

Greenland Ice Stores Liquid Water Year-Round

Potential for Storing Meltwater Important for Calculating Sea-Level Rise

Researchers at the University of Utah have discovered a new aquifer in the Greenland Ice Sheet that holds liquid water all year long in the otherwise perpetually frozen winter landscape. The aquifer is extensive, covering 27,000 square miles.

The reservoir is known as a “perennial firn aquifer” because water persists within the firn – layers of snow and ice that don’t melt for at least one season. Researchers believe it figures significantly in understanding the contribution of snowmelt and ice melt to rising sea levels. (more…)

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How Computers Push on the Molecules They Simulate

Berkeley Lab bioscientists and their colleagues decipher a far-reaching problem in computer simulations

Because modern computers have to depict the real world with digital representations of numbers instead of physical analogues, to simulate the continuous passage of time they have to digitize time into small slices. This kind of simulation is essential in disciplines from medical and biological research, to new materials, to fundamental considerations of quantum mechanics, and the fact that it inevitably introduces errors is an ongoing problem for scientists.

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have now identified and characterized the source of tenacious errors and come up with a way to separate the realistic aspects of a simulation from the artifacts of the computer method. The research was done by David Sivak and his advisor Gavin Crooks in Berkeley Lab’s Physical Biosciences Division and John Chodera, a colleague at the California Institute of Quantitative Biosciences (QB3) at the University of California at Berkeley. The three report their results in Physical Review X. (more…)

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Fast Times in Physics

A U physicist will help determine if neutrinos can outrace light

Back in 2007, a physics experiment clocked elusive subatomic particles called neutrinos going faster than light.

That wasn’t supposed to happen. If the speed of light in a vacuum—denoted “c” by physicists—isn’t the universal speed limit, it would mean that Einstein put the wrong number in his famous E=mc2 equation.

University of Minnesota physicist Marvin Marshak was part of the experiment, called MINOS. It clocked beams of neutrinos shot from Fermilab, a national physics lab near Chicago, to a detector 457 miles away in the Soudan Underground Laboratory in northern Minnesota. (more…)

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Money isn’t Everything for Well-Being, Study Finds

The Pew Research Center recently reported that the wealth gap between American whites and blacks is the widest since the United States began tracking the statistic in 1984 — with whites, on average, having 20 times the net worth of blacks. However, another recent study contends traditional measures of prosperity that only look at economic factors, while important, are not the best gauges of overall well-being.

Tomas J. Philipson, the Daniel Levin Professor of Public Policy Studies in the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy Studies, co-authored the latter study, “Health and Wealth Disparities in the United States.” It shows that when health is taken into account in addition to income, the prosperity gap between blacks and whites shrinks. (more…)

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