Best of Last Year: The top Phys.org articles of 2019

It was a great year for research of all kinds as a team of astronomers from around the globe delivered the first photo of a black hole. Over several days in April 2017, eight radio telescopes in Hawaii, Arizona, Spain, Mexico, ...

Tiny quantum sensors watch materials transform under pressure

Since their invention more than 60 years ago, diamond anvil cells have made it possible for scientists to recreate extreme phenomena—such as the crushing pressures deep inside the Earth's mantle—or to enable chemical ...

Interstellar comet 2I/Borisov swings past sun

When astronomers see something in the universe that at first glance seems like one-of-a-kind, it's bound to stir up a lot of excitement and attention. Enter comet 2I/Borisov. This mysterious visitor from the depths of space ...

The mathematics of prey detection in spider orb-webs

Spider webs are one of nature's most fascinating manifestations. Many spiders extrude proteinaceous silk to weave sticky webs that ensnare unsuspecting prey who venture into their threads. Despite their elasticity, these ...

Deadly 'superbugs' destroyed by molecular drills

Molecular drills have gained the ability to target and destroy deadly bacteria that have evolved resistance to nearly all antibiotics. In some cases, the drills make the antibiotics effective once again.

NASA's Operation IceBridge completes 11 years of polar surveys

For eleven years from 2009 through 2019, the planes of NASA's Operation IceBridge flew above the Arctic, Antarctic and Alaska, gathering data on the height, depth, thickness, flow and change of sea ice, glaciers and ice sheets.Designed ...

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