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There’s an apocryphal story claiming that, aerodynamically speaking, honeybees should not be able to fly. Obviously, they can, but it’s true that a small, flapping creature and a large, fixed-wing aircraft will not generate lift exactly the same way. NYU professor Leif Ristroph has a lot of projects exploring flapping flight on smaller scales, as seen in this video. His oscillatory fliers and rotating flapping flight simulator have both been featured previously. Part of the beauty of these projects is their size; in a field that’s historically required giant wind tunnels and room-length wave tanks, Ristroph’s work provides insight into long-standing problems using apparatuses that fit on a countertop. (Video credit: Cool Hunting/L. Ristroph et al.)

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LHCb confirms existence of exotic hadrons | CERN


Following on from the excitement of the IOP conference, the LHCb experiment at CERN has today released results which appear to conclusively reveal a four-quark state of matter in the Universe.

This resonance had been seen back in 2008 by the BELLE Collaboration, and LHCb has unambiguously confirmed that the resonance is a particle with four quarks inside. This confirmation is very important as it has been found by two independent groups and datasets.

Our current understanding of hadrons, that is to say bound quark states confined by the nature of the strong nuclear force, is that they are composed of a quark-antiquark pair (meson) or are composed of three quarks (or three antiquarks) (baryons). This state of matter has been shown to have four quarks which will either hint at a bound state of two mesons, or some hitherto undefined state of two quarks and two antiquarks bound together by the strong nuclear force.

The interesting result here is that the quark structure has been probed by LHCb to show the particle consists of a charm, an anti-charm, a down and an anti-up quark.

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