University of Washington physicists are part of a team that made a step forward in their efforts to pin down the mass of a neutrino, an elusive subatomic particle that played a role in the formation of the universe.
A team of astronomers using ground-based telescopes in Hawaii, California, and Arizona recently discovered a planetary system orbiting a nearby star that is only 54 light-years away. All three planets orbit their star at a distance closer than Mercury orbits the sun, completing their orbits in just 5, 15, and 24 days.
A year before Albert Einstein came up with the special theory of relativity, or E=mc2, physicists predicted the existence of something else: cyclotron radiation. Scientists predicted this radiation to be given off by electrons whirling around in a circle while trapped in a magnetic field. Over the last century, scientists have observed this radiation from large ensembles of electrons but never from individual ones. Until now.
Computer science researchers have turned to unlikely sources - including Enron - for assembling huge collections of spreadsheets that can be used to study how people use this software. The goal is for the data to facilitate research to make spreadsheets more useful.
Human chromosomes are much bigger and more complex than proteins, but like proteins, they appear to fold and unfold in an orderly process as they carry out their functions in cells. Rice University biophysicist Peter Wolynes and postdoctoral fellow Bin Zhang have embarked upon a long project to define that order.
Most people are naturally adept at reading facial expressions — from smiling and frowning to brow-furrowing and eye-rolling — to tell what others are feeling. Now scientists have developed ultra-sensitive, wearable sensors that can do the same thing.
The global industrial sector accounts for more than half of the total energy used every year. Now scientists are inventing a new artificial photosynthetic system that could one day reduce industry’s dependence on fossil fuel-derived energy by powering part of the sector with solar energy and bacteria.
If Mars is the Red Planet, then Mercury is the Rainbow Planet. The MESSENGER spacecraft is the first ever to orbit the planet Mercury, and the spacecraft's seven scientific instruments and radio science investigation are unraveling the history and evolution of the solar system's innermost planet, unveiling beautiful images at the same time.
Researchers from the University of Liverpool have used mathematical equations to shed new light on how flowing fluid hinders the movement of bacteria in their search for food. Mathematicians developed a new set of equations to study how flowing fluid affected the movement of bacteria and how the swimming behavior of the bacteria themselves affected their travel.
To directly observe chemical processes in unusual, new materials is a scientific dream, made possible by modern microscopy methods: researchers at Kiel University have, for the first time, captured video images of the attachment of molecules in an ionic liquid onto a submerged electrode. The images from the nanoscale world provide detailed information on the way in which chemical components reorganize when a voltage is applied.
By opening up the possibility of economical asteroid water mining, the electric solar wind sail (E-sail) enables frequent and affordable manned Mars flights. The E-sail is a novel propellantless technology that was invented in Finland in 2006. The E-sail utilizes long, charged tethers to convert natural solar wind momentum flux into spacecraft thrust.
As microchip feature dimensions approach atomic scale, it becomes formidably difficult to measure their size and shape. According to the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors, within the next couple of years the typical length of a transistor’s “gate”—its on-off switch—will be less than 20 nanometers (nm, billionths of a meter).
Quantum particles behave in strange ways and are often difficult to study experimentally. Using mathematical methods drawn from game theory, LMU physicists have shown how bosons, which like to enter the same state, can form multiple groups.
Blocked blood vessels can quickly become dangerous. It is often necessary to replace a blood vessel—either by another vessel taken from the body or even by artificial vascular prostheses. Tesearchers have developed artificial blood vessels made from a special elastomer material, which has excellent mechanical properties. Over time, these artificial blood vessels are replaced by endogenous material.
Physicists have shown how heat can be used to control the magnetic properties of matter. The finding helps in the development of more efficient mass memories. In the study, the researchers showed how heat is converted into a spin current in magnetic superconductors. Magnetic superconductors can be fabricated by placing a superconducting film on top of a magnetic insulator.