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Photoacoustic technique 'hears' the sound of dangerous chemical agents

August 14, 2012 8:32 am | News | Comments

U.S. Army researchers have developed a new chemical sensor that can simultaneously identify a potentially limitless numbers of agents, in real time. The new system is based on a phenomenon discovered by Alexander Graham Bell known as the photoacoustic effect, in which the absorption of light by materials generates characteristic acoustic waves.

Gold production begins at Dominican Republic mine

August 14, 2012 7:40 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Barrick Gold Corp. said Tuesday that gold production has begun at a new mine in the Dominican Republic, with commercial production expected in the fourth quarter.Barrick owns 60 percent of the mine northwest of Santo Domingo. The rest is owned by Goldcorp Inc. of Vancouver, British Columbia. ...

Crown Holdings will buy shares from Merrill Lynch

August 14, 2012 6:40 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Crown Holdings Inc., which makes cans and other packaging, said Tuesday it agreed to buy back company shares from Merrill Lynch.Crown said it has already repurchased 5.1 million shares for $200 million. The full amount of shares Crown is buying will be based on the closing prices of Crown stock...

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Photos reflect light like 3D objects with novel printing technology

August 14, 2012 4:48 am | News | Comments

A novel printing method yields photos that respond to different angles of light the same way a 3D object does. The technique, which uses specially designed "reflectance paper" covered with thousands of tiny dimples, was developed by a team of researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz; Hewlett-Packard Laboratories; and 3M.

New insight into independent control of ionic, electronic conductivity of materials

August 14, 2012 4:19 am | News | Comments

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers have discovered a new method to independently control ionic and electronic conductivities in certain solids. The method, which uses tailored acceptor-donor co-doping to bind charged native vacancies and selectively modulate ionic but not electronic conductivity, was developed by using first-principles materials simulations.

Plants exhibit a wide range of mechanical properties, engineers find

August 14, 2012 4:01 am | News | Comments

A Massachusetts Institute of Technology researcher has complied data on the microstructure of a number of different plants and has found that plants exhibit an enormous range of mechanical properties, depending on the arrangement of a cell wall's main building blocks. This understanding of a plants' microscopic organization may help engineers design new, bio-inspired materials.

Angry miners attack journalists at S. Africa mine

August 14, 2012 2:40 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Angry miners at a South Africa platinum mine where nine people have been killed in violence are continuing protests and attacking journalists in vehicles at the site.The miners hit cars with sticks and pipes Tuesday at the Lonmin PLC mine outside of Marikana, about 70 kilometers (40 miles)...

IBM “waltzes” closer to using spintronics in computing

August 13, 2012 3:01 pm | News | Comments

Scientists at IBM Research and ETH Zurich in Switzerland report that they are the first to synchronize electron spins and image the formation of a persistent spin helix in a semiconductor. Until now, it was unclear whether electron spins could preserve encoded information long enough before rotating. This new work extends spin lifetime 30-fold, to 1.1 nanosec.

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Nano, photonic research gets boost from 3D visualization tech

August 13, 2012 2:55 pm | News | Comments

Scientists from Argonne National Laboratory have blended the advantages of 3D surface viewing from grazing-incident geometry scattering with the high-resolution capabilities of lensless X-ray coherent diffraction imaging. The result of their work is a way to view the surface of a material with X-rays that does not damage the sample.

Mosaic adds COO title for Joc O'Rourke

August 13, 2012 11:40 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Fertilizer maker The Mosaic Co. said on Monday that it has added the title of chief operating officer for Joc O'Rourke, who is the company's executive vice president for operations and chief operating officer.Mosaic said O'Rourke will continue to be responsible for its mining and manufacturing...

Physics researcher develops nanoparticle coating for solar panels

August 13, 2012 11:37 am | News | Comments

A University of Houston researcher has developed a nanoparticle coating for solar panels that makes it easier to keep the panels clean, which helps maintain their efficiency and reduces the maintenance and operations costs. The coating has successfully undergone testing at the Dublin Institute for Technology and will undergo field trials being conducted by an engineering firm in North Carolina.

Combined optical technique gives answers on graphene

August 13, 2012 9:08 am | by Erik Secula | News | Comments

In a successful effort to analyze a graphene-insulator-semiconductor structure, scientists at NIST’s Physical Measurement Laboratory developed a combined optical technique that uses both internal photoemission and spectroscopic ellipsometry. The new tool has allowed the team to determine graphene’s work function and the band alignment of the structure.

Violence at South Africa mine kills 9

August 13, 2012 8:40 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Officials say ongoing violence at a platinum mine in South Africa has killed at least nine people.The violence is happening at a Lonmin PLC mine near Marikana, a town about 70 kilometers (40 miles) northwest of Johannesburg. In a statement Monday, Lonmin said at least four of the mine's workers...

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Scientists' gold discovery sheds light on catalysis

August 13, 2012 7:20 am | News | Comments

An international team of researchers has discovered that the catalytic activity of nanoporous gold originates from high concentrations of surface defects present within its complex 3D structure. The research has the potential to assist in the development of more efficient and durable catalytic converters and fuel cells because nanoporous gold is a catalytic agent for oxidizing carbon monoxide.

Researchers make optical fibers from common materials

August 13, 2012 5:58 am | News | Comments

Clemson University researchers are taking common materials to uncommon places by transforming easily obtainable and affordable materials into fiber. The research team found that sapphire possesses extraordinary properties that make it exceptionally valuable for high-power lasers in which the light intensity interacts with sound waves in the glass and leads to diminished power-handling capabilities.

Physicists explore spin properties of electrons in graphene

August 13, 2012 4:44 am | News | Comments

The electric charge is the basis of most electronic devices, but spin forms the basis of new "spintronic" devices. Using microwave energy, scientists in Georgia have found a new way to examine the spin properties of electrons in graphene, which is being examined as a potential key material in future spintronic innovations.

Most powerful X-ray laser beam becomes even more precise

August 13, 2012 4:41 am | News | Comments

With a thin sliver of diamond, scientists at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have transformed the Linac Coherent Light Source into an even more precise tool for exploring the nanoworld. The improvements, which include a process called "self-seeding", yield laser pulses focused to higher intensity in a much narrower band of X-ray wavelengths, and may enable experiments that have never before been possible.

Unraveling intricate interactions, one molecule at a time

August 13, 2012 4:37 am | News | Comments

A team of researchers at Columbia Engineering, in collaboration with Brookhaven National Laboratory, has succeeded in performing the first quantitative characterization of van der Waals interactions at metal/organic interfaces at the single-molecule level.

New bacteria-resistant materials discovered

August 13, 2012 3:53 am | News | Comments

Using state-of-the-art technology, scientists at The University of Nottingham have discovered a new class of polymers that are resistant to bacterial attachment. These new materials could lead to a significant reduction in hospital infections and medical device failures.

Graphene's behavior depends on where it sits

August 13, 2012 3:41 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

When you look at a gift-wrapped present, the basic properties of the wrapping paper are not generally changed by the nature of the gift inside. But surprising new experiments conducted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology show that graphene behaves quite differently depending on the nature of material it's wrapped around. When sheets of graphene are placed on substrates made of different materials, fundamental properties can be drastically different, depending on the nature of the underlying material.

Visteon CEO Don Stebbins steps down

August 13, 2012 3:40 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

VAN BUREN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Auto parts supplier Visteon says its Chairman, President and CEO Don Stebbins has stepped down.The company, which earlier this month cut its full-year sales forecast because of expected production cuts in Europe, South America and China, said Monday that board...

Tito Bothelo Martins Junior leaving Hydro board

August 13, 2012 2:40 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Tito Bothelo Martins Junior, who recently left Vale S.A to pursue a position outside the Vale-group, has resigned from the Board of Directors of Norsk Hydro ASA with immediate effect. Martins has been on Hydro's Board of Directors since 2011. This information is...

Mining returns to Nevada's historic Comstock

August 11, 2012 10:40 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Mining has returned to Nevada's historic Comstock more than 150 years after the discovery of one of the world's richest silver veins touched off a frenzy that drew thousands of people west.But unlike the hard rock miners in the 1800s, the modern day operation involves huge trucks that haul ore...

Research provides new insights into actinide electronic structure

August 10, 2012 5:20 am | News | Comments

A team of researchers studying the fundamental properties of the actinide elements has significantly advanced the understanding of the electronic structure of elements that have electrons occupying f-orbitals.

Discovery a big step toward room-temperature multiferroics

August 10, 2012 4:24 am | News | Comments

Multiferroics are expected to be applied to a new type of memory devices in which dielectric polarization is controlled by a magnetic field and magnetization is controlled by an electric field. However, multiferroic materials that function at room temperature are rare. In a breakthrough toward this goal, a  team in Japan and the U.K. have achieved ferroelectric polarization without a magnetic field after discovering that they could swap out atoms and still maintain control of the multiferroic’s dielectric and magnetic properties.

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