Portal:Physics/2012 Selected pictures

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January[edit]

A laser beam towards the Milky Way centre. European Southern Observatory (ESO) Photo Ambassador Yuri Beletsky snapped this photo at ESO’s Paranal Observatory.


(Paranal Observatory) In mid-August 2010 a group of astronomers were observing the centre of the Milky Way using the laser guide star facility at Yepun, one of the four Unit Telescopes of the Very Large Telescope (VLT).

Yepun’s laser beam crosses the majestic southern sky and creates an artificial star at an altitude of 90 km high in the Earth's mesosphere. More background information can be found at "A Laser Beam Towards the Milky Way's Centre." from the European Southern Observatory web site.

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February[edit]

The Hubble Deep Field (HDF) is an image of a small region in the constellation Ursa Major, constructed from a series of observations by the Hubble Space Telescope. It covers an area 2.5 arcminutes across, two parts in a million of the whole sky

The Hubble Deep Field


Details from the Hubble Deep Field illustrate the wide variety of galaxy shapes, sizes and colours found in the distant universe.
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March[edit]

The Hubble Deep Field (HDF) is an image of a small region in the constellation Ursa Major, constructed from a series of observations by the Hubble Space Telescope. It covers an area 2.5 arcminutes across, two parts in a million of the whole sky

The Hubble Deep Field


Details from the Hubble Deep Field illustrate the wide variety of galaxy shapes, sizes and colours found in the distant universe.
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April[edit]

The Feynman Lectures on Physics including Feynman's Tips on Physics: The Definitive and Extended Edition (2nd edition, 2005)

The Feynman Lectures on Physics is a 1964 physics textbook by Richard P. Feynman, Robert B. Leighton and Matthew Sands, based upon the lectures given by Feynman to undergraduate students at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 1961–63.

It includes lectures on mathematics, electromagnetism, Newtonian physics, quantum physics, and the relation of physics to other sciences. Six readily accessible chapters were later compiled into a book entitled Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics Explained by Its Most Brilliant Teacher, and six more in Six Not So Easy Pieces: Einstein's Relativity, Symmetry and Space-Time.

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May[edit]

Animation of the act of unrolling a circle's circumference, illustrating the ratio π. This file has annotations. Move the mouse pointer over the image to see them

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June[edit]

Date 1535: "Representations to the Teaching of Optics" edited and printed by Johannes Petreius. This was originally printed on paper. See here for more information.
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July[edit]

Johannes Kepler (December 27, 1571 – November 15, 1630) was a German mathematician, astronomer and astrologer. A key figure in the 17th century scientific revolution, he is best known for his eponymous laws of planetary motion, codified by later astronomers, based on his works Astronomia nova, Harmonices Mundi, and Epitome of Copernican Astronomy. These works also provided one of the foundations for Isaac Newton's theory of universal gravitation. During his career, Kepler was a mathematics teacher at a seminary school in Graz, Austria. Later he became an assistant to astronomer Tycho Brahe, and eventually the imperial mathematician to Emperor Rudolf II and his two successors Matthias and Ferdinand II. He was also a mathematics teacher in Linz, Austria, and an adviser to General Wallenstein. Additionally, he did fundamental work in the field of optics, invented an improved version of the refracting telescope (the Keplerian Telescope), and mentioned the telescopic discoveries of his contemporary Galileo Galilei.

Images[edit]

A 1610 portrait of Johannes Kepler by an unknown artist
Kepler's Platonic solid model of the Solar system from Mysterium Cosmographicum (1600)
Close-up of inner section of the model (to the right).
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August[edit]

Discovery of Pluto's fifth moon:
Hubble Space Telescope discovery of Pluto's fifth moon.[a] (also informally known as P5) is a small natural satellite of Pluto whose discovery was announced on 11 July 2012. It is the fifth confirmed satellite of Pluto, and was found approximately one year after S/2011 (134340) 1 (or "P4"), Pluto's fourth discovered satellite. The moon is estimated to have a diameter of between 10 and 25 kilometers (6 and 16 mi), and orbital period of 20.2 ± 0.1 days.
  1. ^ 134340 is Pluto's Minor Planet Center number, assigned following its demotion from full planetary status in 2006.[1] "S/2012 P 1" is the format that would have been used without the demotion.
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September[edit]

Difference between classical and modern physics[edit]

The basic domains of physics

While physics aims to discover universal laws, its theories lie in explicit domains of applicability. Loosely speaking, the laws of classical physics accurately describe systems whose important length scales are greater than the atomic scale and whose motions are much slower than the speed of light. Outside of this domain, observations do not match their predictions. Albert Einstein contributed the framework of special relativity, which replaced notions of absolute time and space with spacetime and allowed an accurate description of systems whose components have speeds approaching the speed of light. Max Planck, Erwin Schrödinger, and others introduced quantum mechanics, a probabilistic notion of particles and interactions that allowed an accurate description of atomic and subatomic scales. Later, quantum field theory unified quantum mechanics and special relativity. General relativity allowed for a dynamical, curved spacetime, with which highly massive systems and the large-scale structure of the universe can be well-described. General relativity has not yet been unified with the other fundamental descriptions; several candidate theories of quantum gravity are being developed.

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October[edit]

Magnetosphere of Jupiter[edit]

The magnetosphere of Jupiter is the cavity created in the solar wind by the planet's magnetic field. Extending up to seven million kilometers in the Sun's direction and almost to the orbit of Saturn in the opposite direction, Jupiter's magnetosphere is the largest and most powerful of any planetary magnetosphere in the Solar System, and by volume the largest known continuous structure in the Solar System after the heliosphere. Wider and flatter than the Earth's magnetosphere, Jupiter's is stronger by an order of magnitude, while its magnetic moment is roughly 18,000 times larger. The existence of Jupiter's magnetic field was first inferred from observations of radio emissions at the end of the 1950s and was directly observed by the Pioneer 10 spacecraft in 1973.
The main driver of Jupiter's magnetosphere is the planet's rotation. In this respect Jupiter is similar to a device called a Unipolar generator. When Jupiter rotates, its ionosphere moves relatively to the dipole magnetic field of the planet. Because the dipole magnetic moment points in the direction of the rotation, the Lorentz force, which appears as a result of this motion, drives negatively charged electrons to the poles, while positively charged ions are pushed towards the equator. As a result, the poles become negatively charged and the regions closer to the equator become positively charged. Since the magnetosphere of Jupiter is filled with highly conductive plasma, the electrical circuit is closed through it.
The Io plasma torus is in yellow. Jupiter's volcanically active moon Io is a strong source of plasma in its own right, and loads Jupiter's magnetosphere with as much as 1,000 kg of new material every second. Strong volcanic eruptions on Io emit huge amounts of sulfur dioxide, a major part of which is dissociated into atoms and ionized by the solar ultraviolet radiation, producing ions of sulfur and oxygen: S+, O+, S2+ and O2+. These ions escape from the satellite's atmosphere and form the Io plasma torusIo's interaction with Jupiter's magnetosphere. As a result of several processes, the plasma slowly leaks away from Jupiter
Bow shock
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November[edit]

Difference between classical and modern physics[edit]

The basic domains of physics

While physics aims to discover universal laws, its theories lie in explicit domains of applicability. Loosely speaking, the laws of classical physics accurately describe systems whose important length scales are greater than the atomic scale and whose motions are much slower than the speed of light. Outside of this domain, observations do not match their predictions. Albert Einstein contributed the framework of special relativity, which replaced notions of absolute time and space with spacetime and allowed an accurate description of systems whose components have speeds approaching the speed of light. Max Planck, Erwin Schrödinger, and others introduced quantum mechanics, a probabilistic notion of particles and interactions that allowed an accurate description of atomic and subatomic scales. Later, quantum field theory unified quantum mechanics and special relativity. General relativity allowed for a dynamical, curved spacetime, with which highly massive systems and the large-scale structure of the universe can be well-described. General relativity has not yet been unified with the other fundamental descriptions; several candidate theories of quantum gravity are being developed.

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December[edit]

James Clark Maxwell

James Clerk Maxwell FRS FRSE (13 June 1831 – 5 November 1879) was a Scottish[2] theoretical physicist.[3] His most prominent achievement was formulating classical electromagnetic theory. This unites all previously unrelated observations, experiments, and equations of electricity, magnetism, and optics into a consistent theory.[4] Maxwell's equations demonstrate that electricity, magnetism and light are all manifestations of the same phenomenon, namely the electromagnetic field. Subsequently, all other classic laws or equations of these disciplines became simplified cases of Maxwell's equations. Maxwell's achievements concerning electromagnetism have been called the "second great unification in physics",[5] after the first one realised by Isaac Newton.

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  1. ^ "Pluto is Now Just a Number: 134340". Purch. September 11, 2006. Retrieved August 19, 2014. 
  2. ^ "James Clerk Maxwell". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 24 February 2010. Scottish physicist best known for his formulation of electromagnetic theory 
  3. ^ James Clerk Maxwell
  4. ^ "James Clerk Maxwell". IEEE Global History Network. 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-21. 
  5. ^ Nahin, P.J. (1992). "Maxwell's grand unification". Spectrum, IEEE. 29 (3): 45. doi:10.1109/6.123329.