At very low temperatures, close to absolute zero, chemical reactions may proceed at a much higher rate than classical chemistry says they should—because in this extreme chill, quantum effects enter the picture. A Weizmann Institute team has now confirmed this experimentally; their results would not only provide insight into processes in the intriguing quantum world in which particles act as waves, it might explain how chemical reactions occur in the vast frigid regions of interstellar space.
At very low temperatures, close to absolute zero, chemical reactions may proceed at a much higher rate than classical chemistry says they should—because in this extreme chill, quantum effects enter the picture. With a new experiment, a research team in Israel has now confirmed this elusive process in a chemical reaction they performed at chilling temperatures of just a fraction of a degree above the absolute zero: 0.01 K.
A new approach, developed by researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, that allows objects to become "invisible" has now been applied to an entirely different area: letting particles "hide" from passing electrons, which could lead to more efficient thermoelectric devices and new kinds of electronics.
Making uniform coatings is a common engineering challenge, and, when working at the nanoscale, even the tiniest cracks or defects can be a big problem. New research from University of Pennsylvania engineers has shown a new way of avoiding such cracks when depositing thin films of nanoparticles based on spin-coating.
For anyone who has ever struggled while attempting to solve a Sudoku puzzle, University of Notre Dame researchers are riding to the rescue. They can not only explain why some Sudoku puzzles are harder than others, they have also developed a mathematical algorithm that solves Sudoku puzzles very quickly, without any guessing or backtracking.
Researchers around the world are working on an efficient, reliable way to contain the plasma used in fusion reactors, potentially bringing down the cost of this promising but technically elusive energy source. A new finding from the University of Washington could help contain and stabilize the plasma using as little as 1% of the energy required by current methods.
A group of researchers have proposed creating a new Web-based data network to help researchers and policymakers worldwide turn existing knowledge into real-world applications and technologies and improve science and innovation policy.
The colors of a butterfly's wings are unusually bright and beautiful and are the result of an unusual trait: The way they reflect light is fundamentally different from how color works most of the time. A team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania has found a way to generate this kind of "structural color" that has the added benefit of another trait of butterfly wings: superhydrophobicity, or the ability to strongly repel water.
University of Queensland physicists are on a quest to build the world's most accurate thermometer. After receiving a $150,000 Precision Measurement Grant for 2012, the research team is joining the world race to improve the accuracy of temperature measurement by using quantum mechanics to create a thermometer capable of measuring temperature to an accuracy of better than one part in a million.
Researchers from North Carolina State University have created flower-like structures out of germanium sulfide (GeS)—a semiconductor material—that have extremely thin petals with an enormous surface area. The GeS flower holds promise for next-generation energy storage devices and solar cells.
Mathematicians have developed a powerful tool to quantify the spread and infectiousness of viruses like the pandemic H1N1 flu strain, which can be used together with modern laboratory techniques to help the health care system plan its response to disease outbreaks.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers have combined the best properties of heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysts by encapsulating metallic nanoclusters within the branched molecular arms of dendrimers. The results are heterogenized homogeneous nanocatalysts that are sustainable and feature high reactivity and selectivity.
One of the key achievements of the nanotechnology era is the development of manufacturing technologies that can fabricate nanostructures formed from multiple materials. While there have been significant breakthroughs in nanomanufacturing, there has been much less progress on measurement technologies that can provide information about nanostructures made form multiple integrated materials. Researchers now report a new diagnostic tools that can support nanomanufacturing.
A careful mix of quality instrumentation, business strategy, and expert help is bringing nanotechnology products to the marketplace.
Dynamic light scattering is increasingly important for determining nanoparticle size, but researchers also want to know about zeta potential.
Materials scientists at Rice University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created very thin color-changing films that may serve as part of inexpensive sensors. The new work combines polymers into a unique, self-assembled metamaterial that, when exposed to ions in a solution or in the environment, changes color depending on the ions' ability to infiltrate the hydrophilic layers.
In awarding to Americans the Nobel Prize in chemistry Wednesday, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka had made groundbreaking discoveries, mainly in the 1980s, on an important family of receptors, known as G-protein-coupled receptors. Studies of these protein receptors have been key for developing better drugs.
University of Adelaide applied mathematicians have extended Einstein's theory of special relativity to work beyond the speed of light. Einstein's theory holds that nothing could move faster than the speed of light, but the mathematicians have developed new formulas that extend special relativity to a situation where the relative velocity can be infinite, and can be used to describe motion at speeds faster than light.
A phased approach to product development, including models, can help reduce risks and end in rewards.
Simulation-based engineering design helped generate a first physical prototype of a microchannel heat exchanger.
Millions of flat-screen monitors and television sets will soon become obsolete, posing environmental hazards, and Purdue University researchers are developing tools to help industry efficiently recycle the products. The researchers are producing equipment and tools specifically designed to disassemble liquid-crystal displays with acceptable labor cost while recovering high-value components and reducing environmental hazards.
The majority of languages—roughly 85% of them—can be sorted into two categories: those in which the basic sentence form is subject-verb-object and those in which the basic sentence form is subject-object-verb. Researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology believe that information theory—the discipline that gave us digital communication—can explain differences between human languages.
Laser machine tools can help speed product development cycles for a range of materials.
Simulation tools have evolved from complicated, pricey programs to intelligent tools for use throughout the R&D process.
In the past, designers relied on numerous prototype rounds and tests to determine a design's feasibility. Despite technological advancements, many organizations continue to rely on spreadsheets or hand calculations during the design process. This approach may have worked in the past, but modern business speeds require a more efficient approach to product design.