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Researchers reveal new electron ring formations

August 12, 2015 1:30 pm | by Breanna Bishop, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory | Comments

Laser wakefield acceleration, a process where electron acceleration is driven by high-powered lasers, is well-known for being able to produce high-energy beams of electrons in tabletop-scale distances. However, in recent experiments, a team of scientists revealed new, never-before-seen electron ring formations in addition to the typically observed beams.

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Microresonators could bring optical sensors, communications

August 12, 2015 11:40 am | by Emil Venere, Purdue Univ. | Comments

Researchers have solved a key obstacle in creating the underlying technology for miniature optical sensors to detect chemicals and biological compounds, high-precision spectroscopy, ultra-stable microwave sources and optical communications systems that transmit greater volumes of information with better quality.

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Better estimates of worldwide mercury pollution

August 12, 2015 7:51 am | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | Comments

Once mercury is emitted into the atmosphere from the smokestacks of power plants, the pollutant has a complicated trajectory; even after it settles onto land and sinks into oceans, mercury can be re-emitted back into the atmosphere repeatedly. This so-called “grasshopper effect” keeps the highly toxic substance circulating as “legacy emissions” that, combined with new smokestack emissions, can extend the environmental effects of mercury.

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CMR induced in pure lanthanum manganite

August 12, 2015 7:39 am | by Carnegie Institute | Comments

Colossal magnetoresistance is a property with practical applications in a wide array of electronic tools including magnetic sensors and magnetic RAM. New research from a team has successfully used high-pressure conditions to induce colossal magnetoresistance, for the first time, in a pure sample of a compound called lanthanum manganite, LaMnO3.

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Sustainability matters even in complex networks

August 12, 2015 7:30 am | by Thea Singer, Northeastern Univ. | Comments

You’re dri­ving down the highway in your Honda Civic. You press the pedal to the metal and the speedometer flips to 90 as you torque into the fast lane. How much effort have you, and the car, expended? No, this is not a pop quiz in a physics class.

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How graphene nanoribbons could enable faster, more efficient electronics

August 11, 2015 6:30 pm | by Adam Malecek, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison | Comments

Graphene, an atom-thick material with extraordinary properties, is a promising candidate for the next generation of dramatically faster, more energy-efficient electronics. However, scientists have struggled to fabricate the material into ultra-narrow strips, called nanoribbons, that could enable the use of graphene in high-performance semiconductor electronics.

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Paving the way for a faster quantum computer

August 11, 2015 2:00 pm | by Stephan Brodicky, Univ. of Vienna | Comments

Since its conception, quantum mechanics has defied our natural way of thinking, and it has forced physicists to come to grips with peculiar ideas. Although they may be difficult to digest, quantum phenomena are real. What's more, in the last decades, scientists have shown that these bizarre quantum effects can be used for many astonishingly powerful applications.

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The brain isn’t as cramped as we thought

August 11, 2015 1:15 pm | by EPFL | Comments

Using an innovative method, EPFL scientists show that the brain is not as compact as we have thought all along. To study the fine structure of the brain, including its connections between neurons, the synapses, scientists must use electron microscopes. However, the tissue must first be fixed to prepare it for this high magnification imaging method.

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New mathematics advances the frontier of macromolecular imaging

August 11, 2015 10:30 am | by Linda Vu, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | Comments

A comprehensive understanding of complex nanostructures could lead to breakthroughs in some of the most challenging problems in biology and medicine. But because these objects are a thousand times smaller than the width of human hair, scientists can’t directly see into them to determine their shape and function.

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Research provides guidance to clean plumbing systems

August 11, 2015 8:15 am | by Emil Venere, Purdue Univ. | Comments

A new study provides guidance to health officials and drinking water providers on how to decontaminate plumbing systems. The study is the first step toward science-based flushing protocols that can be applied to recover from a drinking water contamination incident.

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A new look at superfluidity

August 11, 2015 8:11 am | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | Comments

Massachusetts Institute of Technology physicists have created a superfluid gas, the so-called Bose-Einstein condensate, for the first time, in an extremely high magnetic field. The magnetic field is a synthetic magnetic field, generated using laser beams, and is 100 times stronger than that of the world’s strongest magnets. Within this magnetic field, the researchers could keep a gas superfluid for a tenth of a second.

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Vibrations identify materials’ composition

August 11, 2015 8:03 am | by Mark Schlueb, Univ. of Central Florida | Comments

A researcher now at the Univ. of Central Florida has developed a new method for identifying materials’ unique chemical “fingerprints” and mapping their chemical properties at a much higher spatial resolution than ever before. It’s a discovery that could have promising implications for fields as varied as biofuel production, solar energy, opto-electronic devices, pharmaceuticals and medical research.

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Traitors in our midst

August 11, 2015 7:47 am | by Emily Caldwell, Ohio State Univ. | Comments

Researchers who have revealed a highly efficient way that bacteria use toxins to interrupt the immune response say that until now, the trickery of these toxins has been underappreciated in science. Bacteria harm the body by releasing toxins. Always targeting essential molecules, toxins typically go after molecules that are either scarce or whose role is to send important signals.

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2 Russian cosmonauts on ISS conduct spacewalk

August 10, 2015 1:04 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

Two Russian crewmembers at the International Space Station have begun a spacewalk to install new equipment and inspect the orbiting outpost's exterior.

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Mysterious fungus killing snakes in at least 9 states

August 10, 2015 12:56 pm | by Wilson Ring, Associated Press | Comments

Hidden on hillsides in a remote part of western Vermont, a small number of venomous timber rattlesnakes slither among the rocks, but their isolation can't protect them from a mysterious fungus spreading across the eastern half of the country that threatens to wipe them out.

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