NIST has released a new standard reference material (SRM) to aid in the detection of two explosive compounds that are known to be used by terrorists. Researchers designed the new test samples to simulate the size and behavior of residues that remain after handling the explosives PETN (pentaerythritol tetranitrate) and TATP (triacetone triperoxide).
Researchers at NIST have published their first archival paper based on data from the institute's new hydrogen test facility. The paper examines the embrittling effect of pressurized hydrogen gas on three different types of pipeline steel, an important factor for the design of future hydrogen transportation and delivery systems.
Researchers from Michigan State University, the NIST Center for Neutron Research, and the NIST Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology have discovered the key to controlling and enhancing the lossless flow of a current with a single electron spin state in a standard superconducting device.
A NIST researcher has devised a new humidity generator that enables dew point measurements up to 98 C—a substantial extension above the previous limit of 80 C—and provides expanded calibration services for hygrometers in a variety of industries.
Space may be the final frontier. But often a few trips to NIST's Physical Measurement Laboratory are necessary before things can get off the ground. One recent case in point is the test of an instrument called the Extreme Ultraviolet Monitor, which will soon be heading for Mars to help answer a vexing question in planetary science: Where did the Red Planet’s once-dense atmosphere go?
Researchers at NIST have developed and published a new protocol for communicating with biometric sensors over wired and wireless networks—using some of the same technologies that underpin the Web.
Using a refined technique for trapping and manipulating nanoparticles, researchers at NIST have extended the trapped particles' useful life more than tenfold. This new approach, which one researcher likens to "attracting moths," promises to give experimenters the trapping time they need to build nanoscale structures and may open the way to working with nanoparticles inside biological cells without damaging the cells with intense laser light.
Researchers at NIST have developed a prototype bioreactor that both stimulates and evaluates tissue as it grows, mimicking natural processes while eliminating the need to stop periodically to cut up samples for analysis. Tissue created this way might someday be used to replace, for example, damaged or diseased cartilage in the knee and hip.
A new study by a team including scientists from NIST indicates that thin polymer films can have different properties depending on the method by which they are made. The results suggest that deeper work is necessary to explore the best way of creating these films, which are used in applications ranging from high-tech mirrors to computer memory devices.
Physicists at NIST have built a quantum simulator that can engineer interactions among hundreds of quantum bits (qubits)—10 times more than previous devices. As described in a recent study, the simulator has passed a series of important benchmarking tests and scientists are poised to study problems in material science that are impossible to model on conventional computers.
A miniature atom-based magnetic sensor developed by NIST has passed an important research milestone by successfully measuring human brain activity. Experiments reported this week verify the sensor's potential for biomedical applications such as studying mental processes and advancing the understanding of neurological diseases.
Clinicians who treat severe wounds may soon have powerful new diagnostic tools in the form of hyperspectral imaging devices, calibrated to new NIST standard reference spectra, which will provide unprecedented perspective on the physiology of tissue injury and healing.
Scientists in NIST's Physical Measurement Laboratory's Quantum Measurement Division have produced the first superluminal light pulses made by using a technique called four-wave mixing, creating two separate pulses whose peaks propagate faster than the speed of light in a vacuum.
An ordinary laser relies on millions of particles of light (photons) ricocheting back and forth between two mirrors. This doesn’t happen in a new JILA laser that relies on a million rubidium atoms working in synchrony to boost photon emissions rates by a factor of 10,000. With such technology, even a highly stable, low-power laser can be superradiant.
A new online tool can help small companies and entrepreneurs evaluate their awareness of intellectual property (IP)—trade secrets, company data, and more—and learn how to protect it. The NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office teamed up to create the IP Awareness Assessment, which is available at no cost to users.
Memory devices based on magnetism are one of the core technologies of the computing industry, and engineers are working to develop new forms of magnetic memory that are faster, smaller, and more energy efficient than today's flash and SDRAM memory. They now have a new tool developed by a team from NIST, the University of Maryland Nanocenter, and the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden.
Measurements taken by a team including NIST scientists show that a newly devised material has the ability to separate closely related components of natural gas from one another, a task that currently demands a good deal of energy to accomplish. The results might improve the efficiency of the distillation process.
Why does inhaling anesthetics cause unconsciousness? New insights into this century-and-a-half-old question may spring from research performed at NIST. Scientists from NIST and the National Institutes of Health have found hints that anesthesia may affect the organization of fat molecules, or lipids, in a cell's outer membrane—potentially altering the ability to send signals along nerve cell membranes.
It turns out you can be too thin—especially if you're a nanoscale battery. A team of researchers built a series of nanowire batteries to demonstrate that the thickness of the electrolyte layer can dramatically affect the performance of the battery, effectively setting a lower limit to the size of the tiny power sources.
Using specialized X-ray lasers, scientists at the University of Colorado, Boulder and NIST have revealed the secret inner life of magnets, a finding that could lead to faster and smarter computers. Using a light source that creates X-ray pulses only one quadrillionth of a second in duration, the team was able to observe how magnetism in nickel and iron atoms works, and they found that each metal behaves differently.
NIST has released a new certified reference material to support the federal government's Natural Resources Assessment (NRDA) in the wake of the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill 40 miles off the Louisiana coast. The material will be used as a quality control material for the ongoing environmental impact analyses for the NRDA effort.
Organic solar cells may be a step closer to market because of measurements taken at NIST and the United States Naval Research Laboratory, where a team of scientists has developed a better fundamental understanding of how to optimize the cells' performance.
The reliability of trapped-ion quantum information systems can be dramatically improved by giving the trap electrodes a good scrub. That's the conclusion of NIST Physical Measurement Laboratory researchers who found that cleaning the electrode surfaces of a room-temperature, gold-film trap with a beam of argon ion produced a 100-fold decrease in thermal jitter of the trapped ions, a phenomenon called anomalous heating.
Sometimes knowing that a new technology works is not enough. You also must know why it works to get marketplace acceptance. New information from NIST about how layered switching devices for novel computer memory systems work, for example, may now allow these structures to come to market sooner, helping bring about faster, lower-powered computers.
Filtering carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, from factory smokestacks is a necessary, but expensive part of many manufacturing processes. However, a collaborative research team from NIST and the University of Delaware has gathered new insight into the performance of a material called a zeolite that may stop carbon dioxide in its tracks far more efficiently than current scrubbers do.