Biggest Breakthroughs in Physics in 2020

Physics, like other areas of science, is ever evolving. Discoveries continue that explain phenomenon that may have existed or are new. And, these changes and discoveries are happening faster than ever. If Physics interests you, we have compiled a list of the biggest breakthroughs in Physics in 2020.

Hope you learn something new!

  • Higgs Decay: The first Higgs particle was detected in 2012 at the LHC, Cern, Geneva. It is also known as “God’s Particle”. Now, scientists at LHC have also observed the ultra-rare phenomenon of the decay of the Higgs Boson into two elementary particles. These particles are called muons. The discovery has advanced the knowhow of the Standard Model of Particle Physics.
  • Quantum Teleportation: Scientists at the Fermilab in the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science national laboratory have successfully teleported data via entangled photons. The fidelity is reported to be greater than 90% and over a distance of 44 kms (~~27 miles). Technically, quantum teleportation uses entangled photons to transfer a quantum bit from one location to another in that instant. Now, scientists are working toward building a quantum internet that will be super-fast.
  • Detection of Sun-Made Neutrinos: In 2020, physicists detected neutrinos that can be traced to carbon-nitrogen-oxygen fusion inside the sun for the first time ever. In fact, this finding is considered one of the greatest discoveries in physics of the current millennium. The scientists used ultrasensitive Borexino detector. The detection was conducted at the INFN’s Gran Sasso particle physics laboratory in central Italy, the largest underground research center in the world.
  • X(6900) Tretraquark Detection: In addition to Higgs Decay, LHC & CERN also discovered a new particle called a “tetraquark.” These particles are not new per se, however, the latest tetraquark, also known as X(6900), is made up entirely of “heavy quarks.” It is interesting because it is made up of four quarks of the same kind wherein usually, protons and neutrons at the nucleus of an atom are generally made up of three quarks. The discovery contributes towards advancing our understanding of atomic physics.
  • Measuring a Moment: In 2020, physicists in Germany set a record for the shortest measured unit of time. They measured how long it takes for a photon to traverse a hydrogen molecule. The final measurement shared by them was 247 zeptoseconds or 247 trillionths of a billionth of a second.

We hope you enjoyed reading this blog and acquired new information about the world of Physics.

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Witnessing the Magic of Science in Our Daily Lives

The moment we think about science, we are flooded with thoughts of laws of physics or the periodic table. Science, for many of us, appears to be a subject which requires cramming up of formulae to get by in school. But we are here to tell you otherwise. Science is a subject we witness in our day-to-day lives. If we just pause and observe some phenomenon, we will realize how science is around us a lot more than we think.

So, we thought of putting together a list of common things we see or do in our everyday routine which has simple mechanics of science behind it. Here are some examples:

  • Cooking: While cooking, the heat energy is transferred to the cooking vessel in the form of convection, conduction, and radiation. Thereafter, various ingredients in the vessel begin to break down and form new bonds which results in cooked food as we know it. This involves principles of chemistry and physics.
  • Walking: The simple act of walking can be understood using the principles of biology and physics. Let’s understand how physics is involved. Basically, walking can be understood as Newton’s Third Law, that is, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Hence, when you put force on the ground, the ground applies equal force on your foot in the opposite direction, which pushes your forward. In terms of biology, walking is known to mobilize changes in the structure of our brain and increase volume in areas associated with learning and memory.
  • Driving: The process of driving any motor vehicle (car, motorcycle, truck, bus, etc.) uses the principles of chemistry and physics. The fuel in the vehicle is burnt and converted into energy. This process is called combustion. Thereafter, this heat energy is converted into electrical and mechanical energy which helps us drive the vehicle.
  • Cleaning: Yes, cleaning is a science and pure play of chemistry. If you ever read the label of a cleaning agent, you’ll see a list of chemicals. But how do they really help in cleaning? Essentially, these substances have elements that can break down or loosen common stains (such as food, dust, etc.). As a result, we are able to remove these stains easily thereby making washing and cleaning a less tedious task.
  • Reading: The principle involved in reading is called phenome awareness. It refers to the awareness of sounds that make up spoken words. Phenome awareness is critical to connect spellings and phonics which further decode the words and allow people to read.

Do you see how these five things we do in our daily lives are nothing but simple principles of science? Hence, it is best to approach science by using examples which are tangible and known to us. This can help students grasp the concepts better and even garner interest in the subject. Next time a science equation makes your head spin, think about its application in real life.

Leave a comment if you want to know more about this topic or the use of science in other phenomena you see.