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Research Highlights

Published: Mon, 08/07/2017 - 12:00pm

The Sun isn’t working the way we thought it did. Many astrophysicists haven't actually understood one aspect of how the Sun worked––until former senior research associate Nick Featherstone and senior research associate Brad Hindman set the record straight.

Stars like the Sun have to get rid of the heat generated by thermonuclear reactions in their centers. The Sun’s secret is vigorous convection, particularly in the outer third of the Sun closest to its surface. Like a pot of boiling water, hot fluid moves upward and cooler fluid moves downward, carrying heat outwards toward the surface of the star. For a long time, astrophysicists thought these motions came in two different sizes called granules (because these megameter-sized structures looked like grains of rice through early telescopes) and giant cells.

The trouble with the giant cell idea is that while granules appear on the Sun’s surface, giant cells have never been seen in spite of the fact astronomers have been looking for them for a long time. And, if giant cells exist, they would be 200 megameters1 wide, which is...

Published: Aug 06, 2015

When an ordinary star like our Sun wanders very close to a supermassive black hole, it’s very...

Published: Jul 16, 2015

For astrophysicists like Fellow Jeff Linsky, the Lyman-α spectral line of atomic hydrogen is a...

Published: Jul 01, 2015

A grand challenge of ultracold physics is figuring out how fermions become bosons. This is an...

Published: May 11, 2015

A wildly successful JILA (Nesbitt Group)-NIH collaboration is opening the door to studies of RNA...

Published: Apr 30, 2015

For decades after the invention of the red ruby laser in 1960, bright laser-like beams were...

Published: Apr 21, 2015

The Ye group has just improved the accuracy of the world’s best optical atomic clock by another...

Published: Apr 20, 2015

The Ye Group recently investigated what first appeared to be a “bug” in an experiment and made...

Published: Mar 23, 2015

One of the great challenges in the semiconductor and electronics industries is that as nanoscale...

Published: Mar 11, 2015

Supermassive black holes at the center of active galaxies are known as blazars when they are...

Published: Mar 02, 2015

The photoelectric effect has been well known since the publication of Albert Einstein’s 1905...

Published: Feb 27, 2015

When the Rey theory group first modeled a quantum system at JILA, it investigated the...

Published: Jan 20, 2015

Because red fluorescent proteins are important tools for cellular imaging, the Jimenez group is...

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