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Lasers—used in medicine, manufacturing and made wildly popular by science fiction—are finding a new use in particle physics.

Fermilab scientists and engineers have developed a tool called a laser notcher, which takes advantage of the laser's famously precise targeting abilities to do something unexpected: boost the number of particles that accelerators send to experiments. It's cranked up the lab's particle output considerably—by an incredible 15 percent—giving scientists more opportunities to study nature's tiniest constituents.

Read more: https://phys.org/news/2018-06-laser-technology-
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On the dwarf planet Ceres, organic molecules are more abundant than scientists originally suspected.

Last year, NASA's Dawn spacecraft detected organics, or carbon-based compounds, on the surface of Ceres. The exciting discovery raised the possibility that Ceres might be habitable and even that life could have once existed on the rocky world. And now, a new analysis of the mission data suggests that the patches on the surface of Ceres shown to contain organic material likely harbor even more of those molecules than researchers first thought.

Read more: https://www.space.com/40934-dwarf-p
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Last week, SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced bold plans to combine the technologies of his two biggest companies by placing rocket thrusters on future specialized models of Tesla’s Roadster. The thrusters won’t actually combust, according to Musk; instead, they will expel highly pressurized cold air, giving the Tesla an extra boost in acceleration. It’s a move the might technically work, but it also baffles industry experts and engineers: the thrusters won’t be very efficient and probably won’t be street legal.

Read more: https://www.theverge.com/2018/6/16/17459224/tesla-roadster-elo
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I stand in front of a lanky two-legged robot stomping along a treadmill. I watch, all impressed, until the researcher next to me tells me to trip it. The thing looks expensive, so I hesitate. Really, he tells me, it’s OK. And he probably knows better than I do, so I drag my boot along its shin like a good soccer trip.

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The levels of X-ray radiation streaming from Alpha Centauri A and B — two of the three stars in the nearest solar system to our own — are comparable to those emitted by our own sun, a new study reports.