Department of Physics and Astronomy News
Physics and astronomy are two of the most basic and fundamental sciences. Physics is the study of matter, energy, motion, and force. Its concepts help us understand how the universe behaves. Astronomy studies the universe beyond the earth’s atmosphere, including celestial objects and the formation and development of the universe.
Current Physics and Astronomy News
A collection of news stories highlighting UNLV’s commitment to community, health care, and research.
UNLV astrophysicist Bing Zhang contributes to understanding the physical mechanisms of fast radio bursts in three papers published in Nature.
The discovery, reported in the journal Nature, opens door for reimagining the energy grid, technology, society
UNLV astrophysicist Bing Zhang contributes to study offering new, most complete start-to-finish view of neutron star merger.
As summer heats up, so do the accomplishments on UNLV’s campus.
A collection of news stories featuring the people and programs of UNLV.
Physics and Astronomy In The News
Fast radio bursts, or FRBs - powerful, millisecond-duration radio waves coming from deep space outside the Milky Way Galaxy - have been among the most mysterious astronomical phenomena ever observed. Since FRBs were first discovered in 2007, astronomers from around the world have used radio telescopes to trace the bursts and look for clues on where they come from and how they're produced.
Magnetars, short for “magnetic stars,” are ultra-dense corpses of dead stars surrounded by intense magnetic fields. And according to new research, magnetars also appear to be the cause of at least some mysterious fast radio bursts, or FRBs, which astronomers have detected for more than a decade. So, by studying FRBs, scientists think they might be able to peel back the onion on magnetars.
For more than 13 years, astronomers have been trying to determine the source of extremely powerful radio bursts that can travel billions of kilometres through space but only last a fraction of a second.
For the first time ever, astronomers have linked an actual object to those mysterious radio bursts they’ve been detecting since 2007. The culprit in this case, as suspected, is a super-dense object known as a magnetar, but the finding has prompted an entirely new set of questions.
For around a decade, mysterious flashes from deep space have puzzled radio astronomers. The explosions of radio waves last for just a few thousandths of a second, and they appear to shine from galaxies billions of light years away—too far to get a good look at what’s making them. Researchers have detected about 120 such “Fast Radio Bursts” to date, and have come up with nearly half as many explanations. Theorists have floated ideas including exotic stars collapsing, neutron stars crashing into black holes, and even alien civilizations pushing starships around on energy beams.
Mysterious superpowerful blasts of radio waves once seen only outside the galaxy have for the first time been detected within the Milky Way, new studies find.