A new model for dark matter

Dark matter remains one of the greatest mysteries of modern physics. It is clear that it must exist, because without dark matter, for example, the motion of galaxies cannot be explained. But it has never been possible to ...

The Kibble-Zurek mechanism for nonequilibrium phase transitions

The Kibble-Zurek (KZ) mechanism, confirmed experimentally only for equilibrium phase transitions, is also applicable for non-equilibrium phase transitions, as is now shown by Tokyo Tech researchers in a new study. The KZ ...

New tool allows scientists to peer inside neutron stars

Imagine taking a star twice the mass of the sun and crushing it to the size of Manhattan. The result would be a neutron star—one of the densest objects found anywhere in the universe, exceeding the density of any material ...

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Phase transition

A phase transition is a natural physical process. It has the characteristic of taking a given medium with given properties and transforming some or all of that medium, into a new medium with new properties. Phase transitions occur frequently and are found everywhere in the natural world. Some engineering techniques exploit certain types of phase transition.

In thermodynamics, a phase transition is the transformation of a thermodynamic system from one phase to another.

At a phase transition point, physical properties may undergo abrupt change: for instance, the volume of the two phases may be vastly different as is illustrated by the boiling of liquid water to form steam.

The term is most commonly used to describe transitions between solid, liquid and gaseous states of matter, in rare cases including plasma.

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