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Scientists create ultracold molecules

June 10, 2015 7:21 am | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | News | Comments

The air around us is a chaotic superhighway of molecules whizzing through space and constantly colliding with each other at speeds of hundreds of miles per hour. Such erratic molecular behavior is normal at ambient temperatures. But scientists have long suspected that if temperatures were to plunge to near absolute zero, molecules would come to a screeching halt, ceasing their individual chaotic motion and behaving as one collective body.

Scientists observe photographic exposure live at the nanoscale

June 9, 2015 10:27 am | News | Comments

Scientists have now monitored the chemical processes during a photographic exposure at the level of individual nanoscale grains in real-time. The advanced experimental method enables the investigation of a broad variety of chemical and physical processes in materials with millisecond temporal resolution.

Injectable electronics hold promise for basic neuroscience, treatment of neuro-degenerative diseases

June 9, 2015 9:45 am | News | Comments

It's a notion that might be pulled from the pages of science-fiction novel — electronic devices that can be injected directly into the brain, or other body parts, and treat everything from neuro-degenerative disorders to paralysis. It sounds unlikely, until you visit Charles Lieber's lab.


Futuristic components on silicon chips

June 8, 2015 11:09 am | by Jason Socrates Bardi, American Institute of Physics | News | Comments

A team of IBM researchers has developed a relatively simple, robust and versatile process for growing crystals made from compound semiconductor materials that will allow them be integrated onto silicon wafers. This is an important step toward making future computer chips that will allow integrated circuits to continue shrinking in size and cost even as they increase in performance.

Getting to the heart of the matter

June 8, 2015 10:24 am | by Univ. of York | News | Comments

A nuclear physicist and an archaeologist at the Univ. of York have joined forces to produce a unique appraisal of the cultural significance of one of the world's most important locations for scientific inquiry. In a paper published in Landscapes, the two men have investigated CERN, the home of the Large Hadron Collider on the Franco-Swiss border.

What happened to MH370?

June 8, 2015 7:57 am | by Texas A&M Univ. | News | Comments

The plight of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 (MH370) is one of the biggest mysteries in aviation history, but an interdisciplinary research team has theorized the ill-fated plane plunged vertically into the southern Indian Ocean in March 2014. The researchers' computer simulations lead to the forensic assertion that a 90-degree nosedive explains the lack of debris or spilled oil in the water near where the plane is presumed to have crashed.

Scientists see ripples of particle-separating wave in primordial plasma

June 8, 2015 7:40 am | by Karen McNulty Walsh, Brookhaven National Laboratory | News | Comments

Scientists in the STAR collaboration at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), a particle accelerator exploring nuclear physics and the building blocks of matter at Brookhaven National Laboratory, have new evidence for what’s called a “chiral magnetic wave” rippling through the soup of quark-gluon plasma created in RHIC’s energetic particle smashups.

Vanishing friction

June 5, 2015 9:51 am | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | Videos | Comments

Friction is all around us, working against the motion of tires on pavement, the scrawl of a pen across paper and even the flow of proteins through the bloodstream. Whenever two surfaces come in contact, there is friction, except in very special cases where friction essentially vanishes, a phenomenon, known as “superlubricity,” in which surfaces simply slide over each other without resistance.

a team of Canadian researchers from the University of British Columbia and National Research Council of Canada is studying the role that methane nanobubbles might play in the formation and dissociation of natural gas hydrate

Nanobubbles: The invisible key to methane hydrates

June 4, 2015 11:26 am | by Laurel Hamers, American Institute of Physics (AIP) | News | Comments

Like carbon dioxide in a fizzing glass of soda, most bubbles of gas in a liquid don't last long. But nanobubbles persist. These bubbles are thousands of times smaller than the tip of a pencil lead, and their stability makes them useful in a variety of applications, from targeted drug delivery to water treatment procedures. Researchers are studying the role methane nanobubbles might play in formation and dissociation of natural gas hydrate

From an insurance point of view, resulting damage often proves to be well beyond any statistical prediction.

Are rogue waves predictable?

June 4, 2015 10:55 am | by Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. (FVB) | News | Comments

A comparative analysis of rogue waves in different physical systems comes to the surprising conclusion that these rare events are not completely unpredictable. Metereological events often prove to be rather unpredictable, i.e., the "storm of the century" may well prove to be surpassed by yet another storm in the subsequent year. From an insurance point of view, resulting damage often proves to be well beyond any statistical prediction.

Mixing liquid in microchannels: How to cut a vortex into slices

June 4, 2015 10:35 am | by Lomonosov Moscow State University | News | Comments

A lot of problems, associated with the mixing liquid in microchannels, could be solved via proper organization of the inhomogeneous slip on the walls of these channels. This is the conclusion made by the joint group of Russian and German scientists. This work is related to the field of microfluidics, which is promising and rapidly developing interdisciplinary field of research, studying the fluid flow in the microchannels.

Scanning electron microscope image of an individual nano-spiral. Courtesy of Haglund Laboratory, Vanderbilt University

World’s smallest spirals guard against identity theft

June 3, 2015 11:54 am | by David Salisbury, Vanderbilt University | News | Comments

Take gold spirals about the size of a dime…and shrink them down about six million times. The result is the world’s smallest continuous spirals: “nano-spirals” with unique optical properties that would be almost impossible to counterfeit if they were added to identity cards, currency and other important objects.

Together with his son Niklas Prof. Dr. Steffen Glaser (Technische Universitaet Muenchen) developed an app that visualizes quantum-mechanical properties of spin systems in the form of three-dimensional, droplet like objects. Courtesy of Steffen Glaser / TU

Visualizing the matrix: App provides insight into quantum world of coupled nuclear spins

June 3, 2015 11:43 am | by Technische Universitaet Muenchen | News | Comments

Magnetic resonance tomography images are an important diagnostic tool. The achievable contrast depends on how well the nuclear spins that form the basis of the imaging signals can be controlled. Mathematically, the properties of nuclear spins are described by special matrices. Now, researchers developed an intuitive graphical representation of the information contained in these matrices for coupled spins in arbitrary quantum states.

Display of a proton-proton collision event recorded by ATLAS on 3 June 2015, with the first LHC stable beams at a collision energy of 13 TeV. Tracks reconstructed from hits in the inner tracking detector are shown as arcs curving in the solenoidal magneti

U.S. joins the world in new era of research at Large Hadron Collider

June 3, 2015 11:20 am | by Brookhaven National Laboratory | News | Comments

On June 3, 2015, scientists at the Large Hadron Collider started recording data from the highest-energy particle collisions ever achieved on Earth. This new proton collision data, the first recorded since 2012, will enable an international collaboration of researchers that includes more than 1,700 U.S. physicists to study the Higgs boson, search for dark matter and develop a more complete understanding of the laws of nature.

Andrea Damascelli researches quantum materials with superconductive properties. Courtesy of Hogan Wong / The Ubyssey

Physicists map electron structure of superconductivity’s ‘doppelgänger’

June 3, 2015 11:08 am | by University of British Columbia | News | Comments

Physicists have painted an in-depth portrait of charge ordering—an electron self-organization regime in high-temperature superconductors that may be intrinsically intertwined with superconductivity itself. In two complementary studies, researchers confirm that charge ordering forms a predominantly one dimensional ‘d-wave pattern.

Measuring the mass of molecules on the nanoscale

June 2, 2015 11:47 am | by American Institute of Physics | News | Comments

Working with a device that slightly resembles a microscopically tiny tuning fork, researchers at the Univ. of Tsukuba in Japan have recently developed coupled microcantilevers that can make mass measurements on the order of nanograms with only a 1% margin of error, potentially enabling the weighing of individual molecules in liquid environments.

Simulating the behavior of “active matter”

June 2, 2015 8:43 am | by Kevin Stacey, Brown Univ. | News | Comments

From flocks of starlings to schools of fish, nature is full of intricate dynamics that emerge from the collective behavior of individuals. In recent years, interest has grown in trying to capture similar dynamics to make self-assembling materials from so-called “active matter.” Brown Univ. researchers have shed new light on a particular class of active matter called active colloids.

Plasmoids could simplify the design of future tokamaks

June 2, 2015 8:31 am | by Raphael Rosen, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory | News | Comments

Researchers at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory have, for the first time, simulated the formation of structures called "plasmoids" during Coaxial Helicity Injection (CHI), a process that could simplify the design of fusion facilities known as tokamaks. The findings involve the formation of plasmoids in the hot, charged plasma gas that fuels fusion reactions.

Entangled photons unlock super-sensitive characterization of quantum tech

June 1, 2015 9:49 am | by Univ. of Bristol | News | Comments

A new protocol for estimating unknown optical processes, called unitary operations, with precision enhanced by the unique properties of quantum mechanics has been demonstrated by scientists and engineers from the Univ. of Bristol and the Centre for Quantum Technologies in Singapore. The work could lead to both better sensors for medical research and new approaches to benchmark the performance of ultra-powerful quantum computers.

X-ray lens sharpens view into the nano world

June 1, 2015 8:04 am | by Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY | News | Comments

A team led by DESY scientists has designed, fabricated and successfully tested a novel x-ray lens that produces sharper and brighter images of the nano world. The lens employs an innovative concept to redirect x-rays over a wide range of angles, making a high convergence power. The larger the convergence the smaller the details a microscope can resolve, but as is well known it is difficult to bend x-rays by large enough angles.

Technique harnesses everyday seismic waves to image the Earth

May 29, 2015 11:30 am | by Ker Than, Stanford Univ. | News | Comments

A new technique developed at Stanford Univ. harnesses the buzz of everyday human activity to map the interior of the Earth. Using tiny ground tremors generated by the rumble of cars and trucks across highways, the activities within offices and homes, pedestrians crossing the street and even airplanes flying overhead, a Stanford Univ. team created detailed three-dimensional subsurface maps of the California port city of Long Beach.

Microscopic sonic screwdriver invented

May 29, 2015 7:56 am | by Univ. of Bristol | News | Comments

A team of engineers have created tiny acoustic vortices and used them to grip and spin microscopic particles suspended in water. The researchers have shown that acoustic vortices act like tornados of sound, causing microparticles to rotate and drawing them to the vortex core. Like a tornado, what happens to the particles depends strongly on their size.

Physicists precisely measure interaction between atoms, carbon surfaces

May 29, 2015 7:36 am | by Peter Kelley, Univ. of Washington | News | Comments

Physicists at the Univ. of Washington have conducted the most precise and controlled measurements yet of the interaction between the atoms and molecules that comprise air and the type of carbon surface used in battery electrodes and air filters; key information for improving those technologies.

Donuts, math and superdense teleportation of quantum information

May 28, 2015 12:26 pm | by Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign | News | Comments

Putting a hole in the center of the donut allows the deep-fried pastry to cook evenly, inside and out. As it turns out, the hole in the center of the donut also holds answers for a type of more efficient and reliable quantum information teleportation, a critical goal for quantum information science.

Spiraling laser pulses could change graphene

May 28, 2015 11:46 am | by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory | News | Comments

A new study predicts that researchers could use spiraling pulses of laser light to change the nature of graphene, turning it from a metal into an insulator and giving it other peculiar properties that might be used to encode information. The results pave the way for experiments that create and control new states of matter with this specialized form of light, with potential applications in computing and other areas.

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