Top Science Stories This Week

Posted: Aug 20 2016, 2:53pm CDT | by , Updated: Aug 20 2016, 9:51pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News


Top Science Stories This Week
First quantum satellite lauched by China. Credit: China Daily

Fifth Force of Nature May Have Been Discovered by Scientists 

Scientists believe that fifth force of nature may have existed and a previously unknown subatomic particle may provide clues on this force.

There are basically four confirmed forces that are working at the cosmos: gravitation, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces. If the existence of fifth force is confirmed by further experiments, it could prove a turning point in understating universe and its other forces.  And discovery of subatomic particle can lead us to this potentially fifth fundamental force.

The subatomic particle was discovered while studying experimental nuclear physics at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and this particle possibly holds many surprises for scientists. 

China Launches First Quantum Satellite 

China has just launched the first satellite using quantum technology. The satellite is designed to make communications safe from hackers and could be a game changer in the field.

The satellite which weighs 631 kilograms is named after a Chinese scientists and philosopher called Micius. It is expected to orbit roughly 500 kilometers above Earth for the next two years.

Quantum technology is considered very safe because quantum information cannot be copied while information stored on their systems can be easily shared or replicated. If successful, China will become the first country to have such type of satellite and it will give the country an advantage in the race of computer or IT security.

Magnetic Sensing Equipment Helps Detect Oldest Oceanic Crust in Mediterranean Sea

Scientists have finally uncovered the world’s oldest ocean crust and it has been lying in the Mediterranean Sea.

The crust is estimated to be 340 million years old and has been tracked using sensing data – a technology used to peer through the structures obscured by overlying materials. Previously, the crust could not be measured due to the extremely thick sedimentary overlying it but new technology reveals that the patch of oceanic crust inside Herodotus basin is actually older than oceanic crust found in any other ocean. To put things into perspective, the oceanic crust in the west Pacific and north-west Atlantic is around 180 to 200 million years old while the crust on eastern Mediterranean is almost 140 million years older than that of both of these oceans. 

Explores Discover Second-Oldest Shipwreck in Great Lakes

A three-member team of explorers have discovered an 18th century shipwreck in the depths of Lake Ontario, which is also the second-oldest confirmed shipwreck in Great Lakes.

The ship called “Washington,” was built in Pennsylvania in 1798 and was used to transport people and goods between Pennsylvania and Ontario. Washington sank in a fierce storm in 1802 and was never seen again until June this year when the team was exploring historic shipwrecks of Lake Ontario. The ship was surprisingly fully intact. 

According to National Museum of the Great Lakes, Washington is one of an estimated 6,000 to 8,000 ships that have been lost in Great Lakes and around 600 of them wrecked on Lake Ontario. 

New Tiny Device Purifies Water Using Sunlight 

Scientists from Stanford University have found a new solution to water purification and it’s a tiny device that can reportedly kill 99.999 percent of bacteria in water within just 20 minutes. The process would otherwise take couple of days if ultraviolent light from the sun is used for purifying water. The device is also activated by sunlight but is constructed in such a way that it speeds up the whole process. The device triggers the formation of hydrogen peroxide and other disinfectant chemicals within the water. Once all the bacteria are killed, chemicals disappear, leaving nothing but pure water behind.

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The Author

Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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