How'd 2019 go for physics and astronomy?

A brief look at the top news in physics from 2019.


The past year was an eventful one, with several groundbreaking discoveries in astronomy, some bold and futuristic inventions in physics, and more. This is a brief look at all that happened in 2019 and what's to come in 2020.

Race for quantum supremacy

➠IBM unveiled 20 qubit computer Q System One, its first integrated quantum computing system for commercial use on January 8 2019.
➠Google declared in October that its 53 qubit Sycamore processor has performed a specific task in 200 seconds that would take the world's best computers 10,000 years to complete.

New molecules discovered

➠Scientists unveiled new form of DNA named Hachimoji DNA on Feb 21 made up of four natural and four artificial nucleobases. Such an eight base DNA system may enhance the ability to store digital data.
➠On 17 April, after a long search, astronomers detected the primordial molecule helium hydride in outer space which is thought to have been formed 100,000 years after the Big Bang.

Notable results in astronomy

➠Scientists from the event horizon telescope project declared the first ever image of a black hole on April 10 2019, located 54 million light years away in the center of the M87 galaxy.
➠Physics and astronomy united as astrophysicist James Peebles, astronomers Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz won the Nobel Prize in physics on October 8, 2019 for contributions to our understanding of the universe.

Quantum mechanics at work

➠Scientists reported the first successful teleportation of three dimensional quantum states or qutrits which are more complex than two dimensional qubits on 23 August 2019.
➠Physicists from University of Glasgow reported for the first time capturing an image of spooky action at a distance or quantum entanglement between two photons on 12 July.

New breakthroughs in physics

➠On 28 August, physicists reported the discovery of a new electromagnetic wave, named DV wave which results from a particular manipulation of the earth crystals.
➠On Feb 7, discovery of a new type of magnet in a Uranium compound which has fields that pop in and out of existence. This could prove beneficial for the performance of computers.

Perish or colonize Mars?

➠Scientists reported on Dec 10 substantial amounts of water ice is readily available just below the surface on the planet mars. The outlined box represents the ideal region to send astronauts for them to be able to dig up water ice.


➠Didier Queloz said on Dec 7, “I think we should not have any serious hope to escape the Earth. We’re not built to survive on any other planet than this one so we’d better spend our time and energy trying to fix it.”

What is upcoming in 2020?

➠July 25: ESA's ExoMars rover will be launched to Mars.
➠July: The UAE will launch a probe, The Hope, to Mars.
➠July to August: Planned launch of NASA's Mars 2020 mission to study the habitability of Mars and prepare for future human missions.
➠Japan will host a World Robot Summit in August and October.
➠KAGRA, Japan plans to join LIGO and Virgo in the search for more gravitational wave events.
➠The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope is expected to achieve first light in 2020.

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