Results of a recent experiment conducted at the Large Hadron Collider may have generated the smallest drops of liquid ever produced in a laboratory. Evidence of the minuscule droplets was extracted from the results of colliding protons with lead ions at velocities approaching the speed of light. According to the scientists’ calculations, these short-lived droplets are the size of three to five protons.
In a quest to develop low-friction components for ever smaller mechanical systems, a team of physicists in Germany has recently discovered a previously unknown type of friction that they call “desorption stick.” The researchers examined how and why single polymer molecules in various solvents slide over or stick to certain surfaces. They found that an unexpected factor was responsible for the friction they observed.
Your brain often works on autopilot when it comes to grammar. That theory has been around for years, but University of Oregon neuroscientists have captured elusive hard evidence that people indeed detect and process grammatical errors with no awareness of doing so.
According to recent research at Rice University, bovine serum albumin (BSA) forms a protein “corona” around gold nanoparticles that keeps them from aggregating, particularly in high-salt environments like seawater. The discovery could lead to improved biomedical applications and contribute to projects that use nanoparticles in harsh environments.
In the curling sport, the players shoot their stones along the ice so that they slowly slide towards the target area, almost 30 m away. The game has its name from the slightly curved "curled" path taken by the stone, when released with a slow rotation. Researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden can now reveal the mechanism behind this curving path.
Researchers at the University of Bristol in the U.K. have led a new enquiry into how extremely small particles of silica (sand) can be used to design and construct artificial protocells in the laboratory. By attaching a thin polymer layer to the external surface of an artificial inorganic protocell built from silica nanoparticles, the scientists have potentially the problem of controlling membrane permeability.
A team of scientists have improved the performance of one of the most potent possible sensors of magnetic fields on the nanoscale—a diamond defect no bigger than a pair of atoms, called a nitrogen vacancy (NV) center. Nitrogen-vacancy centers are defects in which a nitrogen atom substitutes for a carbon atom in the lattice and a vacancy left by a missing carbon atom is immediately adjacent.
Physicists in Switzerland have demonstrated one of the quintessential effects of quantum optics—known as the Hong-Ou-Mandel effect—with microwaves, which have a frequency that 100,000 times lower than that of visible light. The experiment takes quantum optics into a new frequency regime and could eventually lead to new technological applications.
Swedish and Spanish engineers have created a system of sensors that detects fruit odors more effectively than the human sense of smell. For now, the device, which has 32 sensors and can process scent data in real time, can distinguish between the odorous compounds emitted by pears and apples, but the system can be tailored to other applications.
An international team of physicists working at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia has demonstrated that chaos can beat order—at least as far as light storage is concerned. The researchers deformed mirrors in order to disrupt the regular light path in an optical cavity and, surprisingly, the resulting chaotic light paths allowed more light to be stored than with ordered paths.
It's not a "Star Trek" tricorder, but by hooking a variety of gadgets onto a smartphone you could almost get a complete physical—without the paper gown or even a visit to the doctor's office. Companies are rapidly developing miniature medical devices that tap the power of the ubiquitous smartphone in hopes of changing how people monitor their own health.
National Institutes of Health researchers have used the popular anti-wrinkle agent Botox to discover a new and important role for a group of molecules that nerve cells use to quickly send messages. This novel role for the molecules, called SNARES, may be a missing piece that scientists have been searching for to fully understand how brain cells communicate under normal and disease conditions.
Even without certification by Guinness World Records, it would be easy to believe a short, 250-frame film recently created by an IBM Research team is the world’s smallest. Named “A Boy and His Atom,” the movie was created by precisely placing thousands of atoms using a scanning tunneling microscope. This type of atomic-level control is the result of years of efforts by IBM to determine the lower limits for storing data.
Scientists at Princeton University used off-the-shelf printing tools to create a functional ear that can "hear" radio frequencies far beyond the range of normal human capability. Standard tissue engineering involves seeding types of cells onto a scaffold of a polymer material called a hydrogel. But this method is not useful for complex 3D shapes, which is why researchers turned to 3D printing methods.
On March 29, 2012, the science team for NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope learned that a defunct Cold-War spy satellite would pass too close for comfort on April 4. The two spacecraft were expected to occupy the same point in space within 30 milliseconds of each other. The story of how it sidestepped a potential disaster offers a glimpse at an underappreciated aspect of managing a space mission.
According to researchers from Penn State University, who presented their findings at the 2013 Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Paris today, people who have embraced computers and smart phones are likely to give their blessing other smart objects, like talking tissue boxes or tweeting refrigerators. Their tests involved the use of actual talking, interacting objects.
Hannah Warren has been unable to breathe, eat, drink or swallow on her own since she was born in South Korea in 2010. Until the operation at a central Illinois hospital, she had spent her entire life in a hospital in Seoul. Now, the 2-year-old girl born without a windpipe now has a new one grown from her own stem cells, the youngest patient in the world to benefit from the experimental treatment.
Antimatter is strange stuff. It has the opposite electrical charge to matter and, when it meets its matter counterpart, the two annihilate in a flash of light. Four University of California, Berkeley, physicists are now asking whether matter and antimatter are affected differently by gravity as well. Could antimatter fall upward—that is, exhibit anti-gravity—or fall downward at a different rate?
Using uniquely sensitive experimental techniques, scientists have found that laws of quantum physics—believed primarily to influence at only sub-atomic levels—can actually impact on a molecular level. The study shows that movement of the ring-like molecule pyrrole over a metal surface runs counter to the classical physics that govern our everyday world.
At a conference this week in Europe on human-machine interfaces, a research team from the U.K. will introduce the concept of “shape resolution”, which it has used to compare the resolution of six prototypes built using new technologies in shape-changing material, such as shape memory alloy and electro active polymer. One example is the Morphees, a self-actuated flexible mobile device that can change shape on-demand.
Recent work by University of Washington climate scientists have provided new insights into how to keep a drink cold on a hot day. Their work shows that, in sultry weather, condensation on the outside of a canned beverage doesn’t just make it slippery: those drops can provide more heat than the surrounding air, meaning the drink would warm more quickly.
Scientists at the world's biggest atom smasher have found further reasons for the apparent lack of antimatter in the universe. A team working with data from CERN's Large Hadron Collider says it has discovered a particle that decays unevenly into matter and antimatter. The laboratory near Geneva said Wednesday that the particle called 'B0s' is the fourth sub-atomic particle known to prefer matter over antimatter.
An international team of physicists have successfully staged “thought experiment” formulated in 1905 by Albert Einstein stating that the reflection from a mirror moving close to the speed of light could, in principle, result in bright light pulses in the short wavelength range.
Astronomers have found a galaxy turning gas into stars with almost 100% efficiency, a rare phase of galaxy evolution that is the most extreme yet observed. The findings come from the IRAM Plateau de Bure interferometer in the French Alps, NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, and NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.
For the first time, human embryonic stem cells have been transformed into nerve cells that helped mice regain the ability to learn and remember. The study at the University of Wisconsin began with deliberate damage to a part of the brain that is involved in learning and memory.