The place where discoveries are born

28. 8. 2022 | News

Czech scientistsThe Faculty of Mathematics and Physics that belongs to Charles University is THE place where to go if you want to be part of big scientific discoveries. What are some of their most recent findings in the past few months?

Czech satellite will explore the Moon’s surroundings

The Czech scientists from MFF and CTU are part of a space mission! Their project LVICE2 (Lunar Vicinity Complex Environmental Explorer) is supposed to answer questions about the actual environment around the Moon like radiation, plasma physics and dust particles since NASA in collaboration with ESA are considering sending astronauts to the Moon again.

Czech academia has rich history with space exploration but this time the satellite will be completely manufactured in Czechia which is unprecedented. The expected launch is in 2026 and the satellite will carry scientific instruments that belong to the Czech Academy of Sciences. We’re so excited!

Single-Atom Catalysts

Precious metals coated on a surface of another metal often serve as catalysts for various chemical reactions used in technology or energetics. The scientists of MFF are currently researching the development of single-atom catalysts in which these precious metals are dispersed to single isolated atoms.

This is no easy task as it’s energetically very demanding to bond single atoms but the scientists revealed a set of atomic-level mechanisms that determine overall stability of single-atom catalysts. It now became possible to simulate structural changes and invent new ways of imploring control over the structure of single-atom catalysts and metal nanoparticles.

The search for dark matter

The standard cosmological model assumes that most galaxies are surrounded by invisible halos made of dark matter. However, there’s a new study which reveals that some dwarf galaxies don’t contain these halos. Dwarf galaxies are usually in close vicinity to big ones so they can be influenced by their gravity just as the Earth’s sea tide is influenced by the Moon.

Fornax is a constellation in the southern hemisphere that contains many dwarf galaxies. The problem is that these galaxies are deformed even though they should be protected the dark matter halo. “It denies the standard model,” Pavel Kroupa, the professor at Charles University and the University of Bonn, comments. It’s not the first time when studies admitted that cosmic observations are more understandable if they don’t take dark matter into account. The real principle for this phenomenon is still awaiting its discovery.

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