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Physics News - Physics News, Material Sciences, Science News, Physics provides the latest news on physics, materials, nanotech, science and technology. Updated Daily.


Research team simulates the inner strain on the brain to better plan surgery

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 07:43:53 EDT

A team of researchers led by Stanford engineers has moved a step closer to helping surgeons more safely perform a life-saving procedure for victims of brain trauma.

X-ray laser speeds up the process of determining protein structures

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 07:31:20 EDT

An international team of scientists has learned how to determine the spatial structure of a protein obtained with an X-ray laser using the sulfur atoms it contains. This development is the next stage in the project of a group led by Vadim Cherezov to create an effective method of studying receptor proteins. A detailed description of the study has been published in the journal Science Advances.

Scientists visualise quantum behaviour of hot electrons for first time

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 07:12:54 EDT

Scientists have, for the first time, identified a method of visualising the quantum behaviour of electrons on a surface. The findings present a promising step forward towards being able to manipulate and control the behaviour of high energy, or 'hot', electrons.

Creating antimatter via lasers?

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 14:47:11 EDT

Dramatic advances in laser technologies are enabling novel studies to explore laser-matter interactions at ultrahigh intensity. By focusing high-power laser pulses, electric fields (of orders of magnitude greater than found within atoms) are routinely produced and soon may be sufficiently intense to create matter from light.

High-tech future early warning system for hurricanes, tornados and volcanic eruptions

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 11:00:06 EDT

Earlier this year, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) was able to detect a gravity wave wafting through space from two colliding black holes billions of years ago.

Quantum computing advances with control of entanglement

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 11:00:04 EDT

When the quantum computer was imagined 30 years ago, it was revered for its potential to quickly and accurately complete practical tasks often considered impossible for mere humans and for conventional computers. But, there was one big catch: Tiny-scale quantum effects fall apart too easily to be practical for reliably powering computers.

Cosmic dust demystified

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 11:00:03 EDT

The solar system is a dusty environment, with trillions of cosmic dust particles left behind by comets and asteroids that orbit the sun. All this dust forms a relatively dense cloud through which the Earth travels, sweeping up the interplanetary dust particles very effectively.

Physicists develop a more sensitive microscope

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 10:16:52 EDT

Anyone who has taken a photo in a poorly lit restaurant or dim concert venue knows all too well the grainy, fuzzy outcomes of low-light imaging. Scientists trying to take images of biological specimens encounter the same issue because they tend to work in low light to avoid damaging delicate samples. The resulting grainy images can make it hard to distinguish the intricate proteins and internal structures they are trying to study.

First quantum photonic circuit with an electrically driven light source

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 10:03:53 EDT

Whether for use in safe data encryption, ultrafast calculation of huge data volumes or so-called quantum simulation of highly complex systems: Optical quantum computers are a source of hope for tomorrow's computer technology. For the first time, scientists now have succeeded in placing a complete quantum optical structure on a chip, as outlined Nature Photonics. This fulfills one condition for the use of photonic circuits in optical quantum computers.

Quantum computing a step closer to reality

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 09:52:07 EDT

Physicists at the Australian National University (ANU) have brought quantum computing a step closer to reality by stopping light in a new experiment.

A new device fills missing space in optics' arsenal of light measurement

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 07:57:00 EDT

Interferometers have myriad uses, from detecting gravitational waves to teasing apart the interactions of molecules within our bodies. The instruments make such minute measurements by manipulating beams of light using an optical delay—an effect that's typically achieved by adding length to one of the beam's path, which slows the signal down. The development opens up new ways of analyzing light beams in space instead of time. Now, a team of research teams from the University of Central Florida, Florida, USA and the University of Rochester, New York, USA have found a way to introduce a delay that's unrelated to time.

Shape-programmable miniscule robots

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 06:33:38 EDT

One day, microrobots may be able to swim through the human body like sperm or paramecia to carry out medical functions in specific locations. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart have developed functional elastomers, which can be activated by magnetic fields to imitate the swimming gaits of natural flagella, cilia and jellyfish. Using a specially developed computer algorithm, the researchers can now automatically generate the optimal magnetic conditions for each gait for the first time. According to the Stuttgart-based scientists, other applications for this shape-programming technology include numerous other micro-scale engineering applications, in which chemical and physical processes are implemented on a miniscule scale.

Turning particle detectors into weapons detectors

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 06:24:13 EDT

Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE) graduate student Jayson Vavrek got his start in high-energy particle physics looking for the smallest forms of matter in the universe. Now at MIT, he uses the same tools and principles to verify nuclear weapons.

Collaboration seeks to enhance accelerator technology, lower costs

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 05:03:17 EDT

The University of Chicago is part of a collaboration that has been awarded $23 million by the National Science Foundation to increase the intensity of beams of charged particles, while lowering the costs of key accelerator technologies. This Science and Technology Center will contribute to scientific advances in many disciplines, including physics, chemistry and mathematics, by enhancing accelerator capabilities.

Construction of world's most sensitive dark matter detector moves forward

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 12:38:52 EDT

LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ), a next-generation dark matter detector that will be at least 100 times more sensitive than its predecessor, has cleared another approval milestone and is on schedule to begin its deep-underground hunt for theoretical particles known as WIMPs, or weakly interacting massive particles, in 2020.

Photons do the twist, and scientists can now measure it

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 12:00:00 EDT

Researchers in the University of Minnesota's College of Science and Engineering have measured the twisting force, or torque, generated by light on a silicon chip. Their work holds promise for applications such as miniaturized gyroscopes and torsional sensors to measure magnetic field, which can have significant industrial and consumer impact.

Intern helped get robotic arm on PPPL's PTOLEMY experiment up and running

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 11:15:29 EDT

Deep in a laboratory tucked away in the basement of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), intern Mark Thom punched commands into a computer as two other students checked a chamber where a silver robotic arm extended from a small port.

How to merge two black holes in a simple way

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 09:47:18 EDT

The merger of two black holes, such as the one which produced the gravitational waves discovered by the LIGO Observatory, is considered an extremely complex process that can only be simulated by the world's most powerful supercomputers. However, two theoretical physicists from the University of Barcelona (Spain) have demonstrated that what occurs on the space-time boundary of the two merging objects can be explained using simple equations, at least when a giant black hole collides with a tiny black hole.

Physicists create nanoscale mirror with only 2000 atoms

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 06:12:11 EDT

Mirrors are the simplest means to manipulate light propagation. Usually, a mirror is a macroscopic object composed of a very large number of atoms. In the September 23th issue of the Physical Review Letters, Prof. Julien Laurat and his team at Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris (Laboratoire Kastler Brossel-LKB) report that they have realized an efficient mirror consisting of only 2000 atoms. This paper is accompanied by a "Focus" item in APS-Physics.

Materials scientists prove 70-year-old tensile deformation prediction

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 09:11:32 EDT

Imagine pulling or compressing a block of soft material—like rubber—equally in all directions. You wouldn't expect the block to deform much because of the nature of the material. However, in 1948, an applied mathematician named Ronald Rivlin predicted that with the right amount of tensile force, a thick cube of soft material would suddenly deform into a thin, flat plate.

Strongest magnetic field trapped in a superconductor is a world record

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 08:58:35 EDT

A world record for a trapped field in a superconductor, was achieved in 2014 by a team of engineers led by Professor David Cardwell.

New superconductive material for long-distance energy transmission

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 06:39:37 EDT

The energy landscape in Europe is changing rapidly and the percentage of renewables is steadily increasing. For example, in Germany, solar and wind power provided an average of 33% of the total electricity production in 2015. And the phase-out of nuclear power, as part of the country's energy transition or Energiewende, will result in the expansion of the local electricity grid.

Researchers figure out how to improve centrifuge efficiency

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 06:39:20 EDT

MEPhI researchers have created the world's first formula to describe the separative power of a concurrent centrifuge for binary mixture, which will improve the devices' efficiency.

Pioneering California physicist dies; built important tool (Update)

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 15:38:43 EDT

A pioneering physicist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who helped build a key tool for studying the universe and played a role in the project that created the first atomic bomb has died, a lab official said Thursday.

Many theories predict existence of magnetic monopoles, but experiments have yet to see them

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 14:22:50 EDT

If you chop a magnet in half, you end up with two smaller magnets. Both the original and the new magnets have "north" and "south" poles.

X-ray laser glimpses how electrons dance with atomic nuclei in materials

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 13:42:23 EDT

From hard to malleable, from transparent to opaque, from channeling electricity to blocking it: Materials come in all types. A number of their intriguing properties originate in the way a material's electrons "dance" with its lattice of atomic nuclei, which is also in constant motion due to vibrations known as phonons.

Great expectations from fewer collisions

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 09:50:02 EDT

Usually, the motto of the LHC is 'maximum luminosity' (in other words, as many collisions as possible).

Scientists confirm the universe has no direction

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 09:04:24 EDT

The universe is not spinning or stretched in any particular direction, according to the most stringent test yet.

Shaping sound waves in 3-D could be useful for medical ultrasound applications

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 05:39:05 EDT

Sound can now be structured in three dimensions. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems and the University of Stuttgart have found a way of generating acoustic holograms, which could improve ultrasound diagnostics and material testing. The holograms can also be used to move and manipulate particles.

Team ahead of the 'curve' in magnetic study

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 17:36:27 EDT

When a baseball pitcher uncorks a nasty curveball, the spinning motion of the ball forces air to flow around it at different speeds, causing the ball to "break" in one direction.