Best of Last Week – Sound waves carrying mass, strength of asteroids and taking protein before bed to boost muscle mass

March 11, 2019 by Bob Yirka
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

It was another good week for physics as a team at Caltech discovered surprisingly complex states emerging from simple synchronized networks and suggested their findings could lead to new tools for controlling them. Also, a team at Columbia University found more evidence of sound waves carrying mass using effective field theory techniques. And Elisabetta Matsumoto of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta explored the science of knitting and came to see that understanding how stitch types govern shape and stretchiness will likely be important when designing new "tunable" materials.

It was also a big week for space news as a team at Johns Hopkins University found that asteroids are stronger and harder to destroy than previously thought—which means it would take more energy than previously thought to deter one should it become necessary to prevent a collision with the Earth. Also, a team at NASA's Godard Space Flight Center reported on Hubble's dazzling display of two colliding galaxies. And Israel's first lunar spacecraft sent back a selfie that included the Earth in the background. Also, another team at NASA announced that they had captured unprecedented images of supersonic shockwaves created by supersonic aircraft. The pictures were part of an effort by the agency to develop planes that can fly faster than sound without creating sonic booms.

In other news, a team at Colgate University proposed a way to improve solar cell efficiency with a bucket of water at this year's American Physical Society meeting. The design is meant to help those living in third world countries. And a team with members from Abramson Cancer Center and the University of Pennsylvania announced that cancer most frequently spreads to the liver—and why it does so. They reported that it was due to the nature of .

And finally, if you are someone who works out and is looking for a way to build your muscles, you might want to check out a report by a team at Maastricht University—they found that consuming protein before bedtime led to bigger gains in muscle mass and strength following a workout.

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