High-temperature superconductors exhibit a frustratingly varied catalog of odd behavior, such as electrons that arrange themselves into stripes or refuse to arrange themselves symmetrically around atoms. Now two physicists propose that such behaviors, and superconductivity itself, can all be traced to a single starting point, and they explain why there are so many variations.
A collaboration of physicists and engineers has...
A famous math problem that has vexed...
Crop growers can benefit from water sensors for accurate, steady and numerous moisture readings. But current sensors are large, may cost thousands of dollars and often must be read manually. Now, Cornell Univ. researchers have developed a microfluidic water sensor within a fingertip-sized silicon chip that is a hundred times more sensitive than current devices.
Anxiety? No problem. An electric vest can rub away your stress-filled day. Three Cornell Univ. students have developed a garment, embedded with piezoelectric cells and tiny motors, that gently massages the back and shoulders, mimicking a human touch.
Combining experiment and theory, Cornell Univ. researchers have shown that when grown in stacked layers, graphene produces some specific defects that influence its conductivity. Previously it was thought that when perfectly stacked in layers, graphene would be defect-free. Instead, it ripples. The finding could influence efforts to make graphene act like a semiconductor.
DNA sometimes twists itself into supercoils, an phenomenon caused by enzymes that travel along DNA’s helical groove and exert force and torque as they move. For the first time, these tiny torques have been measured using an instrument called an angular optical trap. Researchers at Cornell University have reported direct measurements of the torque generated by a motor protein as it traverses supercoiled DNA.
A Cornell Univ. study offers further proof that the divergence of humans from chimpanzees some 4 to 6 million years ago was profoundly influenced by mutations to DNA sequences that play roles in turning genes on and off. The study provides evidence for a 40-year-old hypothesis that regulation of genes must play an important role in evolution since there is little difference between humans and chimps in the proteins produced by genes.
A chemical that’s often the key ingredient in improvised explosive devices can be quickly and safely detected in trace amounts by a new polymer created by a team of Cornell Univ. chemists. The polymer, which potentially could be used in low-cost, handheld explosive detectors and could supplement or replace bomb-sniffing dogs, was invented in the lab of William Dichtel, assistant professor of chemistry and chemical biology.
The quintessential piece of origami might be a decorative paper crane, but in the hands of an interdisciplinary Univ. of Pennsylvania research team, it could lead to a drug-delivery device, an emergency shelter or even a space station. Collaborating with researchers at Cornell Univ., the Penn team will share in a $2 million, four-year grant from the NSF’s Div. of Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation.
Growing thin films out of nanoparticles in ordered, crystalline sheets would be a boon for materials researchers, but the physics is tricky because particles of that size don’t form crystals the way individual atoms do. Using bigger particles as models, physicists have predicted some unusual properties of nanoparticle crystal growth.
Like picking a career or a movie, cells have to make decisions—and cancer results from cells making wrong decisions. At the cellular level, wrong decisions can be made right. A team has discovered that colon cancer stem cells, a particularly malignant population of cancer cells, are able to switch between the decision to proliferate or to remain constant—and this “switch” is controlled by a little-studied molecule called microRNA.
Like spreading a thin layer of butter on toast, Cornell University scientists have helped develop a novel process of spreading extremely thin organic transistors, and used synchrotron X-rays to watch how the films crystallize. The coating procedure, called solution shearing, is like the buttering of a slice of toast.
To make better mind maps, a group of French scientists—building on prototypes developed at the Cornell University NanoScale Science and Technology Facility—have produced the world’s first microscopic, organic transistors that can amplify and record signals from within the brain itself.
Cornell University researchers have created a pore in “Cornell Dots”—brightly glowing nanoparticles nicknamed C-Dots—that can carry medicine. This new and improved nanoscale courier may help light up cancer cells and provide a new patient-friendly, viable option to battle cancer.
According to a study by Cornell University neuroscientist Nathan Spreng and his colleagues, it is possible to tell who a person is thinking about by analyzing images of his or her brain. Our mental models of people produce unique patterns of brain activation, which can be detected using advanced imaging techniques such as functionalized magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
Salt lowers water's melting point, which is why it's useful for de-icing roads. And the higher the solute concentration, the slower ice forms. That's why solutes, or cryoprotectants, are added to proteins, cells, tissues, and even dead bodies to slow down ice formation during cryopreservation. Intrigued by this rather poorly understood process, Cornell University physicists have discovered that, for a variety of common cryoprotectants, the time for ice to form has a simple exponential variation with concentration.
Physicians at Weill Cornell Medical College and biomedical engineers at Cornell University have succeeded in building a facsimile of a living human ear that looks and acts like a natural ear. Researchers believe their bioengineering method will finally succeed in the long quest by scientists and physicians to provide normal looking "new" ears to thousands of children born with a congenital ear deformity.
Scientists may be a step closer to cracking one of the world's most compelling mysteries: the impossible complexity of the brain and its billions of neurons. Cornell University researchers have demonstrated a new way of taking high-resolution, 3D images of the brain's inner workings through a three-fold improvement in the depth limits of multiphoton microscopy, a fluorescence-based imaging technique with Cornell roots.
When it comes to high-temperature superconductors, a class of materials called cuprates is king, and it is science's ongoing quest to determine their exact physical subtleties. Cornell University physicists and materials scientists have now verified that cuprates respond differently when adding electrons versus removing them, resolving a central issue about the compounds' most fundamental properties.
Synchronization phenomena are everywhere in the physical world—from circadian rhythms to side-by-side pendulum clocks coupled mechanically through vibrations in the wall. Cornell University researchers have now demonstrated synchronization at the nanoscale, using only light, not mechanics.
Light isn’t always cooperative, and one it’s least favorite things to go around corners. In photonics chips, direction changes are crucial for manipulating light for the purpose of carrying information. Researchers recently have devised a solution—an irregularly-shaped waveguide— that tricks light into thinking it’s going in a straight line.
A bit reminiscent of the Terminator T-1000, a new material created by Cornell University researchers is so soft that it can flow like a liquid and then, strangely, return to its original shape. Rather than liquid metal, it is a hydrogel, a mesh of organic molecules with many small empty spaces that can absorb water like a sponge. It qualifies as a "metamaterial" with properties not found in nature and may be the first organic metamaterial with mechanical metaproperties.
"Avalanches"—the crackling behavior of materials under slowly increasing stress, like crumpling paper or earthquakes—may have a novel facet previously unknown, say Cornell University researchers. Their study employs both theory and experiment to describe never-before-seen oscillatory behavior of microcrystal plastic bursts at very small scales, under highly controlled conditions.
Synchrotron-based imaging has helped develop enhanced light-emitting diode (LED) displays using bottom-up engineering methods. Collaborative work between researchers from the University of Florida and Cornell University has produced a new way to make colloidal "superparticles" from oriented nanorods of semiconducting materials.
An electron, as well as other subatomic particles with an electric charge, is actually a little magnet—it spins like a top, giving it its own magnetic moment. It's the subtle change in this magnetic moment caused by emission and reabsorption of photons, a quantum phenomenon called the anomalous magnetic moment, that has interested a Cornell University professor. And now, a team at Cornell has calculated the value of the anomalous magnetic moment of the electron and muon to the most precise degree known to physics.
Materials called transition metal oxides have physicists intrigued by their potentially useful properties. By combining two sophisticated experimental tools, researchers have gained the first insights into quantum interactions in transition metal oxide superlattices, which are artificial stacked layers of alternating materials, each just a few atoms thick.
Most major Websites maintain huge databases. Almost any transaction on a shopping site, travel site, or social networking site require multiple database queries, which can slow response time. Now, researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a system that automatically streamlines Websites' database access patterns, making the sites up to three times as fast.
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