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From the College of Natural Sciences
Texas Astronomers Help Find Earth’s Older, Bigger Cousin

Texas Astronomers Help Find Earth’s Older, Bigger Cousin

University of Texas at Austin astronomers working with NASA’s Kepler mission have helped to discover the first near-Earth-sized planet around a Sun-like star in the “habitable zone,” the range of distances where liquid water could pool on a planet’s surface. They used the university’s McDonald Observatory to help confirm the finding, which has been accepted for publication in The Astronomical Journal.

2015 Summer Blockbusters: Meet Our Science Truth Detector

2015 Summer Blockbusters: Meet Our Science Truth Detector

With summer movie season in full swing, cinema-goers are leaving theaters with one big question in mind: “Wait, could that really happen?”

Researchers Build World's Thinnest Light Bulb from Graphene

Researchers Build World's Thinnest Light Bulb from Graphene

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A team of scientists and engineers from Columbia University, Seoul National University (SNU), Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science (KRISS) and The University of Texas at Austin have demonstrated — for the first time — a visible light source using graphene, an atomically thin form of carbon. This new type of light source could form the basis of faster communications devices and computer displays that are thin, flexible and transparent.

Astronomers Discover Ancient Solar System with Five Earth-sized Planets

Astronomers Discover Ancient Solar System with Five Earth-sized Planets

A team of scientists including The University of Texas at Austin’s Dr. William Cochran has discovered a solar system similar to our own dating back to the dawn of our Milky Way galaxy. They are reporting the find of five planets with sizes between Mercury and Venus orbiting the Sun-like star Kepler-444 in today’s issue of The Astrophysical Journal.

Black Hole Chokes on a Swallowed Star

Black Hole Chokes on a Swallowed Star

A five-year analysis of an event captured by a tiny telescope at McDonald Observatory and followed up by telescopes on the ground and in space has led astronomers to believe they witnessed a giant black hole tear apart a star. The work is published this month in The Astrophysical Journal.

New Research Points Way to Less Vulnerable Computer Memory

New Research Points Way to Less Vulnerable Computer Memory

Have you ever been working on a document on your computer and it suddenly crashes? Maybe the power goes out or there's a software glitch that causes it to freeze and you lose everything you've been working on for the past hour. New research published today in the journal Nature Communications might eventually lead to computers and other electronic devices that don't have this vulnerability.

Capping Decades of Searching, Scientists Observe Elusive Particle That is its own Antiparticle

Capping Decades of Searching, Scientists Observe Elusive Particle That is its own Antiparticle

Scientists at The University of Texas at Austin and Princeton University have observed an exotic particle that behaves simultaneously like matter and antimatter, a breakthrough that could eventually enable powerful computers based on quantum mechanics.

Novel Method for Isotope Enrichment

Novel Method for Isotope Enrichment

Mark Raizen and his colleagues have developed a new method for enriching stable isotopes, a group of the world’s most expensive chemical commodities which are vital to medical imaging and nuclear power. The work has attracted some attention from the science and medical world.

Backstage Pass to the Texas Pettawatt Laser

Backstage Pass to the Texas Pettawatt Laser

Science writer and UT Austin alumnus Joe Hanson (Ph.D. '13) takes us on a tour of the Texas Center for High Intensity Laser Science, home of the Texas Pettawatt Laser. Photos by Robert Schults evoke the awe and mystery of this fundamental research. Read the article in the July/August 2014 edition of the Alcalde: 1,000,000,000,000,000 Wat...
Improved Method for Isotope Enrichment Could Secure a Vital Global Commodity

Improved Method for Isotope Enrichment Could Secure a Vital Global Commodity

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have devised a new method for enriching a group of the world’s most expensive chemical commodities, stable isotopes, which are vital to medical imaging and nuclear power, as reported this week in the journal Nature Physics.