The Physics World 2014 Breakthrough of the Year goes to ESA’s Rosetta mission for being the first to land a spacecraft on a comet.
The other nine honorees include:
Light on the cosmic web: Researchers used the radiation emitted by a quasar as a “cosmic flashlight” to illuminate the hidden tendrils of dark matter that underlie the visible Universe.
Neutrinos from the Sun: The Borexino experiment in Italy detected neutrino particles from the main nuclear reaction that powers the Sun. The number of neutrinos it saw agrees with theories, suggesting we do understand what’s going on inside our parent star.
Laser fusion milestone: Scientists at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) in California made a breakthrough in the long road to self-sustaining fusion when they managed to get more energy out of fusion reactions than was deposited in the fuel by NIF’s powerful laser.
Supernovas in the lab: The Vulcan Laser Facility in Oxfordshire was used to recreate miniature star explosions, offering a window into some of the most powerful and unpredictable events in the cosmos.
Electron magnetism: Researchers in Israel were the first to measure the extremely weak magnetic interaction between two separate electron particles.
Better fiber for images: Scientists in the US used a physical effect called Anderson Localization to develop a better optical fiber for transmitting images.
Holographic memory: American and Russian physicists built a new type of holographic memory device that stores data in the form of magnetic “bits”.
Quantum compression:: The ability to compress quantum information was demonstrated for the first time by physicists in Canada and Japan.
Ok, I couldn’t find a good image of quantum compression, so you will have to imagine the cat as a qubit.
– Ex astris, scientia –
I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine. As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +, or by email.