Imagine an electronic display nearly as clear as a window, or a curtain that illuminates a room, or a smartphone screen that doubles in size, stretching like rubber. Now imagine all of these being made from the same material. Researchers from Univ. of California, Los Angeles have developed a transparent, elastic OLED that could one day make all these possible.
Fiber optics has made communication faster than ever, but the next step involves a quantum leap. In order to improve the security of the transfer of information, scientists are working on how to translate electrical quantum states to optical quantum states in a way that would enable ultrafast, quantum-encrypted communications. A research team has demonstrated the first and arguably most challenging step in the process.
Using low-frequency laser pulses, a team of researchers has carried out the first measurements that reveal the detailed characteristics of a unique kind of magnetism found in a mineral called herbertsmithite. In this material, the magnetic elements constantly fluctuate, leading to an exotic state of fluid magnetism called a “quantum spin liquid.”
Water pours into a cup at about the same rate regardless of whether the water bottle is made of glass or plastic. But at nanometer-size scales, material type does make a significant difference. A new study shows that in nanoscopic channels, the effective viscosity of water in channels made of glass can be twice as high as water in plastic channels, potentially affecting a variety of research approaches.
Scientists at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have found a new method to create coherent beams of twisted light—light that spirals around a central axis as it travels. It has the potential to generate twisted light in shorter pulses, higher intensities and a much wider range of wavelengths, including x-rays, than is currently possible.
At some point in elementary school you were shown that opposite charges attract and like charges repel. This is a universal scientific truth—except when it isn’t. A research team led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory chemist Richard Saykally and theorist David Prendergast, working at the Advanced Light Source, has shown that, when hydrated in water, positively charged ions (cations) can actually pair up with one another.
Physicists at JILA have created a crystal-like arrangement of ultracold gas molecules that can swap quantum "spin" properties with nearby and distant partners. The novel structure might be used to simulate or even invent new materials that derive exotic properties from quantum spin behavior, for electronics or other practical applications.
To get a better understanding of the subatomic soup that filled the early universe, and how it “froze out” to form the atoms of today’s world, scientists are taking a closer look at the nuclear phase diagram. Like a map that describes how the physical state of water morphs from solid ice to liquid to steam with changes in temperature and pressure, the nuclear phase diagram maps out different phases of the components of atomic nuclei.
An international collaboration at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Advanced Light Source has induced high-temperature superconductivity in a toplogical insulator, an important step on the road to fault-tolerant quantum computing.
Researchers have developed a new theoretical model that will speed the development of new nanomaterial alloys that retain their advantageous properties at elevated temperatures. Nanoscale materials are made up of grains that are less than 100 nm in diameter. These materials are of interest to researchers because two materials can have the same chemical composition but very different mechanical properties depending on their grain size.
The stage is now set for superconductivity to branch out and meet some of the biggest challenges facing humanity today. This is according to a topical review, published in Superconductor Science and Technology, which explains how superconducting technologies can move out of laboratories and hospitals and address wider issues such as water purification, earthquake monitoring and the reduction of greenhouse gases.
Using colloidal lead sulfide nanocrystal quantum dot (QD) substances, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) research scientists and engineers have recorded an open-circuit voltage of 692 mV using the QD bandgap of a 1.4 eV under one-sun illumination. The achievement highlights the potential for improvements in QD solar cells by employing smaller quantum dots.
Researchers from the Univ. of Pennsylvania have demonstrated a new mechanism for extracting energy from light, a finding that could improve technologies for generating electricity from solar energy and lead to more efficient optoelectronic devices used in communications.
Commercial uses for ultraviolet (UV) light are growing, and now a new kind of light-emitting diode (LED) under development at The Ohio State Univ. could lead to more portable and low-cost uses of the technology. The patent-pending LED creates a more precise wavelength of UV light than today’s commercially available UV LEDs, and runs at much lower voltages.
An experiment at the Vienna Univ. of Technology has directly observed the emergence and the spreading of a temperature in a quantum system. Remarkably, the quantum properties are lost, even though the quantum system is completely isolated and not connected to the outside world.
North Carolina State Univ. researchers have come up with a new technique for improving the connections between stacked solar cells, which should improve the overall efficiency of solar energy devices and reduce the cost of solar energy production. The new connections can allow these cells to operate at solar concentrations of 70,000 suns worth of energy without losing much voltage as “wasted energy” or heat.
Using detailed topographic information obtained from the U.S. Space Shuttle, a joint Australian-German research team has created the highest-resolution maps of Earth’s gravity field to date. The maps feature more than 3 billion points and show gravitational variations up to 40% larger than previously assumed.
Biological cells are surrounded by a membrane, which researchers in Denmark have can contain beautiful, mysterious patterns. Formed by highly organized lipids, the patterns vary according to conditions such as temperature and the type of lipid molecules. Extremely difficult to detect, these patterns have as yet no known biological function.
Quantum point contacts in electrical circuits are narrow constrictions that can impede the passage of electrons in unexpected ways. Using a combination of experimental measurements and numerical modeling, physicists have recently provided the first detailed microscopic explanation of the associated conductance anomalies.
As blind people can testify, humans can hear more than one might think. The blind learn to navigate using as guides the echoes of sounds they themselves make. This enables them to sense the locations of walls and corners by tapping a stick to generate sound waves that bounce off surfaces. Biologists in Germany have now shown that sighted people can also learn to echolocate objects in space.
Physicists have reproduced a pattern resembling the cosmic microwave background radiation in a laboratory simulation of the Big Bang, using ultracold cesium atoms in a vacuum chamber at the Univ. of Chicago. According to the researchers, this is the first time an experiment like this has simulated the evolution of structure in the early universe.
The combined computing power of 200,000 private PCs helps astronomers take an inventory of the Milky Way. The Einstein@Home project connects home and office PCs of volunteers from around the world to a global supercomputer. Using this computer cloud, an international team analyzed archival data to discover 24 pulsars which has been previously missed by astronomers.
This week, Thermo Fisher Scientific announced that it would allocate nearly $700,000 per year to support science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) scholarships at some of the world’s most prestigious universities. The company has established a competitive program to provide financial assistance to students who are pursuing an undergraduate degree or equivalent in a STEM field.
A simple pendulum has two equilibrium points, “down” and “up”. The “up”, or inverted, position is dynamically unstable, but it has been known that an inverted pendulum can be stabilized by vibrating the pivot point. This non-intuitive phenomenon is known as dynamic stabilization, and researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have utilized the phenomenon to steady an unstable quantum system by applying bursts of microwave radiation.
On Aug.13, 2013, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's National Ignition Facility (NIF) focused all 192 of its ultrapowerful laser beams on a tiny deuterium-tritium filled capsule. In the nanoseconds that followed, the capsule imploded and released a neutron yield of nearly 3x1015, or approximately 8,000 joules of neutron energy, approximately three times NIF's previous neutron yield record for cryogenic implosions.