Friction Found in Superfluid Helium near Absolute Zero

Friction shouldn't appear in superfluid helium at temperatures near absolute zero, but that's just what researchers at Aalto University in Finland report observing in a new experiment. Understanding the causes and effects of the friction could pave the way for explorations into the composition of neutron stars and our universe, according to the research team, and could also be invaluable for curtailing the production of heat and unwanted glitches in quantum computer components.

First APAs Delivered for ProtoDUNE Detectors

The first prototype Anode Plane Assemblies (APAs) for ProtoDUNE have arrived at CERN, where two large liquid argon detectors are under construction to test the engineering specifications for the US-based Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE). Scientists will use the APA screens to record streaks of ionization charge inside the detectors.

WSU Recreates Titan Seas for NASA Submarine Mission

NASA's Cassini spacecraft ended its exploration of Saturn in 2017, but the space agency is already planning a more immersive return mission, aiming to plunge a submarine into the seas of Titan, the largest of Saturn’s many moons. Researchers at Washington State University are working with NASA, replicating the moon's harsh liquid methane/ethane seas in a test chamber at the WSU cryogenics lab.

Cryo-EM Advances Fight Against Hepatitis B

Indiana University researchers used cryo-electron microscopy to make an important step forward in the design of drugs that fight the hepatitis B virus, known to cause liver failure and liver cancer. A vaccine exists, but there is no cure. The study explains how the structure of the hepatitis B virus changes when bound to an experimental drug, suggesting that the new drug could both prevent replication and kill new copies of the virus.

Physicists Create New Form of Light

A research team led by scientists at MIT and Harvard has observed groups of three photons interacting and, in effect, sticking together to form a completely new kind of photonic matter. The behavior could open a path toward using photons in quantum computing, according to the team, or even more fanciful science fiction applications like—you guessed it—lightsabers.