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Latest University of Vienna Stories

2012-04-20 09:39:16

A pan-European study published in Science shows that mountain plants across the continent are moving to higher altitudes. This often results in raised species numbers on mountain tops, when colonizers from lower down start to dwell on the summits. This study, however, also shows that upward shifts can lead to a reduction in species richness. The paper is based on detailed surveys of 66 mountain summits distributed between the north of Europe and the southern Mediterranean Sea. An...

Looking At Quantum Gravity In A Mirror
2012-03-21 04:10:14

Einstein's theory of gravity and quantum physics are expected to merge at the Planck-scale of extremely high energies and on very short distances. At this scale, new phenomena could arise. However, the Planck-scale is so remote from current experimental capabilities that tests of quantum gravity are widely believed to be nearly impossible. Now an international collaboration between the groups of Caslav Brukner and Markus Aspelmeyer at the University of Vienna and Myungshik Kim at Imperial...

Image 1 - Climate Change Alters Mountain Vegetation At Large Scale
2012-01-09 04:52:05

Climate change is having a more profound effect on alpine vegetation than at first anticipated, according to a study carried out by an international group of researchers and published in Nature Climate Change. The first ever pan-European study of changing mountain vegetation has found that some alpine meadows could disappear within the next few decades. Led by researchers from the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the University of Vienna, biologists from 13 different countries in Europe...

Ravens Use Gestures To Signal Potential Partners
2011-11-30 06:37:06

Ravens use their beaks and wings to point and hold up objects in order to attract attention, much like humans use our hands to make gestures, according to a new study by German and Austrian experts. The study is the first time researchers have observed such gestures in the wild by animals other than primates, suggesting that ravens (Corvus corax) may be far more intelligent than previously believed. Simone Pika from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology and Thomas Bugnyar from the...

2011-10-20 22:45:18

Even though previous studies have been shown the link between regular exercises and improved health the exact dose-response relation remains unclear. Guenther Samitz, researcher in physical activity and public health at the Centre for Sports Sciences and University Sports of the University of Vienna has investigated this relationship with a meta-study representing more than 1.3 million participants. The research project was carried out in collaboration with public health scientists and...

1 Clock With 2 Times
2011-10-19 13:50:06

When quantum mechanics meets general relativity The unification of quantum mechanics and Einstein's general relativity is one of the most exciting and still open questions in modern physics. General relativity, the joint theory of gravity, space and time gives predictions that become clearly evident on a cosmic scale of stars and galaxies. Quantum effects, on the other hand, are fragile and are typically observed on small scales, e.g. when considering single particles and atoms. That is...

Laser Light Used To Cool Object To Quantum Ground State
2011-10-06 04:28:08

For the first time, researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), in collaboration with a team from the University of Vienna, have managed to cool a miniature mechanical object to its lowest possible energy state using laser light. The achievement paves the way for the development of exquisitely sensitive detectors as well as for quantum experiments that scientists have long dreamed of conducting. "We've taken a solid mechanical system–one made up of billions of...

Image 1 - The Turbulent Lives Of Stars
2011-09-16 07:43:58

  The stars are boiling! The reason is the energy generated in the center of the star that wants to escape. If this does not happen quickly enough, the star starts to ℠boil´ in the outer layers causing vibrations that result in light variations, like in the Sun. Such oscillations have now been discovered by Victoria Antoci and collaborators using the NASA spacecraft Kepler, but in a much hotter star. The scientists publish this in the most recent issue of...

2011-08-08 12:18:17

A liquid does not have to be a disordered bunch of particles: A team of researchers at Vienna University of Technology (TU Vienna) and the University of Vienna has discovered intriguing structures formed by tiny particles floating in liquids. Under mechanical strain, particle clusters in liquids can spontaneously form strings and dramatically alter the properties of the liquid. What is common to blood, ink and gruel? They are all liquids in which tiny particles are suspended "“ so...


Word of the Day
caparison
  • A cloth or covering, more or less ornamented, laid over the saddle or furniture of a horse, especially of a sumpter-horse or horse of state.
  • Clothing, especially sumptuous clothing; equipment; outfit.
  • To cover with a caparison, as a horse.
  • To dress sumptuously; adorn with rich dress.
This word ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin 'cappa,' cloak.
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