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Stanford articles

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Upgraded mirror coatings improve gravitational wave detectors

Upgraded mirror coatings improve gravitational wave detectors
Stanford scientists will lead a national cooperative effort, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration Center for Coatings Research, to improve detection of gravitational waves at the twin LIGO facilities. LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, has a problem of scale: galaxy-shaking events like the recent collision of two neutron stars happened so far away that the echoes took 130 million years to travel to our planet. A collision of black holes detected in 2015 was even farther, 1.3 billion light years away.
9th November 2017

AI analyses gravitational lenses 10 million times faster

AI analyses gravitational lenses 10 million times faster
  Researchers from the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have for the first time shown that neural networks – a form of artificial intelligence – can accurately analyse the complex distortions in spacetime known as gravitational lenses 10 million times faster than traditional methods.
1st September 2017

Artificial eclipse will help image extrasolar planets

Artificial eclipse will help image extrasolar planets
In our hunt for Earth-like planets and extraterrestrial life, we’ve found thousands of exoplanets orbiting stars other than our sun. The caveat is that most of these planets have been detected using indirect methods. Similar to how a person can’t look at anything too close to the sun, current telescopes can’t observe potential Earth-like planets because they are too close to the stars they orbit, which are about 10 billion times brighter than the planets that surround them.
7th August 2017


Technique elucidates formation of extraterrestrial ice

Technique elucidates formation of extraterrestrial ice
Stanford researchers have for the first time captured the freezing of water, molecule-by-molecule, into a strange, dense form called ice VII (“ice seven”), found naturally in otherworldly environments, such as when icy planetary bodies collide. In addition to helping scientists better understand those remote worlds, the findings – published in Physical Review Letters – could reveal how water and other substances undergo transitions from liquids to solids.
13th July 2017

Gecko-inspired robotic gripper cleans up space debris

Gecko-inspired robotic gripper cleans up space debris
Researchers combine gecko-inspired adhesives and a custom robotic gripper to create a device for grabbing space debris. They tested their gripper in multiple zero gravity settings, including the International Space Station. Right now, about 500,000 pieces of human-made debris are whizzing around space, orbiting our planet at speeds up to 17,500 miles per hour. This debris poses a threat to satellites, space vehicles and astronauts aboard those vehicles.
30th June 2017


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