Week in Review: 3/5/17 – 3/11/17


Winning ‘hearts and minds’ in Afghanistan carries risks for civilians

The international community has poured billions of dollars into aid, services and protection for civilians in Afghanistan, hoping that winning their support would help the fight against insurgents.

But new research shows that strategy has an unintended consequence: villages where residents support the international forces are more likely to face attacks from the Taliban-led insurgency.


$4.2M to design new rocket engines that don’t blow up

The problem has haunted the space program since Apollo: the flame inside the rocket engine literally spirals out of control, producing forces that can cause the engine to explode. It’s one of the reasons why some U.S. military and commercial satellite launches rely on Russian rocket engines to take them to space.


A New Era for Physics? With Creation of New Form of Matter, a Time Crystal, It Just Might Be

Salt, snowflakes and diamonds are all crystals, meaning their atoms are arranged in 3-D patterns that repeat. Today scientists are reporting in the journal Nature on the creation of a phase of matter, dubbed a time crystal, in which atoms move in a pattern that repeats in time rather than in space.


Sub-Second System Seizures

Professor Neil Johnson, a physicist at the University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences, is interested in complex networks. He studies how fast-moving packets of information spread and interact in large networks like stock markets and the human brain, and what makes the overall system then behave in ways that are unexpected.

UI researchers propose technique for measuring weak or nonexistent magnetic fields

Physicists at the University of Iowa have proposed a new technique to detect and measure materials that give off weak magnetic signals or have no magnetic field at all. Their solution would use a noninvasive probe to induce a magnetic response in the material being studied and then detect how that response changes the probe’s own magnetic field.