XL-Calibur telescope launched to study black holes

Scientists from Washington University in St. Louis have launched a balloon-borne telescope to unlock the secrets of astrophysical black holes and neutron stars, some of the most extreme objects in the universe. The device known as XL-Calibur was launched from the Swedish Space Corporation’s Esrange Space Center, situated north of the Arctic Circle near Kiruna, Sweden, July 9.

How do neural networks learn? A mathematical formula explains how they detect relevant patterns

Researchers found that a formula used in statistical analysis provides a streamlined mathematical description of how neural networks, such as GPT-2, a precursor to ChatGPT, learn relevant patterns in data, known as features. This formula also explains how neural networks use these relevant patterns to make predictions. The team presented their findings in the March 7 issue of the journal Science.

Getting X-rays at the Dentist? It’s Safer Than You Realize

Since dental X-rays became commonplace some seven decades ago, dentists and hygienists have been draping their patients with protective gear to shield them from the possibility of radiation exposure to body parts other than the jaw. But experts in dental radiology at Tufts University say it’s time to hang up those lead aprons for good.

First-of-its-kind instrument officially ushers in new era of X-ray science

Arizona State University has officially begun a new chapter in X-ray science with a newly commissioned, first-of-its-kind instrument that will help scientists see deeper into matter and living things. The device, called the compact X-ray light source (CXLS), marked a major milestone in its operations as ASU scientists generated its first X-rays on the night of Feb. 2.

Advanced Light Source Upgrade Approved to Start Construction

Berkeley Lab’s ALS has received federal approval to begin construction on an upgrade that will boost the brightness of its X-ray beams at least a hundredfold. Scientists will use the improved beams for research into new materials, chemical reactions, and biological processes. This construction milestone enables the lab’s biggest project in three decades to move from planning to execution.

Polarized X-rays reveal shape, orientation of extremely hot matter around black hole

Researchers’ recent observations of a stellar-mass black hole called Cygnus X-1 reveal new details about the configuration of extremely hot matter in the region immediately surrounding the black hole. Matter is heated to millions of degrees as it is pulled toward a black hole. This hot matter glows in X-rays. Researchers are using measurements of the polarization of these X-rays to test and refine models that describe how black holes swallow matter, becoming some of the most luminous sources of light — including X-rays — in the universe.

WVU scientist says NASA’s Webb Telescope will boost space research at University, Green Bank Observatory

The first photos from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope have given researchers the deepest and clearest infrared look into space to date. West Virginia University researcher Maura McLaughlin, distinguished professor of physics and astronomy at the Eberly College of Arts…

Accelerator Makes Cross-Country Trek to Enable Laser Upgrade

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility has shipped the final new section of accelerator that it has built for an upgrade of the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS). The section of accelerator, called a cryomodule, has begun a cross-country road trip to DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, where it will be installed in LCLS-II, the world’s brightest X-ray laser.

Artificial Intelligence Enables Rapid COVID-19 Lung Imaging Analysis at UC San Diego Health

With support from Amazon Web Services, UC San Diego Health physicians are using AI in a clinical research study aimed at speeding the detection of pneumonia, a condition associated with severe COVID-19.

Science Snapshots From Berkeley Lab

This edition of Science Snapshots highlights the discovery of an investigational cancer drug that targets tumors caused by mutations in the KRAS gene, the development of a new library of artificial proteins that could accelerate the design of new materials, and new insight into the natural toughening mechanism behind adult tooth enamel.

The Chemistry of Art: Scientists Explore Aged Paint in Microscopic Detail to Inform Preservation Efforts

To learn more about the chemical processes in oil paints that can damage aging artwork, a team led by researchers at the National Gallery of Art and the National Institute of Standards and Technology conducted a range of studies that included 3D X-ray imaging of a paint sample at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source.

Mineral Discovery Made Easier: X-Ray Technique Shines a New Light on Tiny, Rare Crystals

Berkeley Lab scientists participate in the discovery of ognitite; other candidate new-mineral studies in progress Like a tiny needle in a sprawling hayfield, a single crystal grain measuring just tens of millionths of a meter – found in a borehole sample…