Particle physics Current Affairs - 2020

International Astronomical Union names a star after Indian Woman Scientist

On December 17, 2019, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) named a white yellow star in Sextans Constellation as “Bhibha” and its planet as “Santamasa”

Highlights

The star has been named Bhibha honoring Indian Woman Scientist Bhibha Choudhury who discovered subatomic particle pi-meson. Bhibha means a bright beam of light in Bengali. The name Santamasa in Sanskrit means clouded. The name is appropriate as the planet’s atmosphere is clouded.

The IAU that celebrated its 100th birth anniversary on July 28, 2019, allowed every country to give a famous name to selected pair of exoplanet and its host star.

Bhibha star

Bhibha is an ageing star that is 6.2 billion years old and Santamsa is its only planet. The mass of the planet is expected to be 1.5 times as that of Jupiter and is very hot. Santamasa completed its revolution around its star in just about 2.1375 days.

Significantly, the 2019 nobel prize in Physics was awarded to the discovery of an exoplanet that is orbiting a star similar to that of the sun.

Pi Meson

In particle physics, pi meson or pion is a subatomic particle. They are unstable and existing with positive, negative and neutral charges. It means that they are present in proton, neutron and electron of an atom.

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Scientist create mini Saturns from charged liquid droplets

Scientists from Northwestern University in the United States have created miniature versions of Saturn, complete with rings, by electrifying tiny droplets of fluids.

Electrospraying Effect

When a drop of electrically conductive liquid is exposed to an electric field, the droplet responds by forming two electrically charged poles. In the previous research it was found that these poles can get pulled towards the sources of the electric field, taking on cone shapes. If the pull is strong enough, the tips of the cones can spray jets of droplets. This effect is known as electrospraying.

Latest Experiment

In the latest experiments, researchers explored the outcomes seen after drops of liquid is submerged in more electrically conductive fluids-specifically, drops of silicone oil suspended in castor oil. When an electric field is applied to drop of silicone oil, it was observed that drop flattens and emits rings of fluid from its equator that break up into droplets.

If an electric field is strong enough, the equators of these squashed drops emit concentric rings of droplets, making the drops look like miniature versions of Saturn. In these experiments, drops of silicone oil about 1 millimetre wide generated droplets that were about 100 times smaller.

Significance of Research

The future advance research may pave the way for generating microscopic and uniform particles and capsules which are used in products such as drugs, inks, cosmetics and paints. It will also explore new materials that can be used to produce “ring of particles” effect.

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