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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.


Scientists model the formation of multivalleys in semiconductor microcavities

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 09:20:53 EDT

Everything we experience is made of light and matter. And the interaction between the two can bring about fascinating effects. For example, it can result in the formation of special quasiparticles, called polaritons, which are a combination of light and matter. A team at the Center for Theoretical Physics of Complex Systems, within the Institute for Basic Science (IBS), modeled the behavior of polaritons in microcavities, nanostructures made of a semiconductor material sandwiched between special mirrors (Bragg mirrors). Published in Scientific Reports, this research brings new ideas to the emerging valleytronics field.

Physicist improves particle interaction modeling

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 07:00:04 EDT

Quantum electrodynamics is a lot like baking a cake, and then trying to take apart the individual ingredients. At least, that is what physicist Dr. Ulrich Jentschura equates to the process of creating an equation that can couple particles' and antiparticles' predicted masses at the same time.

'Quantum simulator' facilitates research into theoretical supermaterials

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 06:47:57 EDT

Physicists at Utrecht University have created a 'quantum simulator,' a model system to study theoretical prognoses for a whole new class of materials. These 'supermaterials' include graphene, which has a two-dimensional structure and unique characteristics. The experiments conducted in Utrecht not only confirm the theoretical physicists' predictions, but also provided new insights. They have discovered that at higher energy levels, a simple rectangular lattice has characteristics that are normally only observed in exotic materials. The results of their research are Published in Nature Physics of 24 April 2017.

New CERN results show novel phenomena in proton collisions

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 06:44:39 EDT

In a paper published today in Nature Physics , the ALICE collaboration reports that proton collisions sometimes present similar patterns to those observed in the collisions of heavy nuclei. This behaviour was spotted through observation of so-called strange hadrons in certain proton collisions in which a large number of particles are created. Strange hadrons are well-known particles with names such as Kaon, Lambda, Xi and Omega, all containing at least one so-called strange quark. The observed 'enhanced production of strange particles' is a familiar feature of quark-gluon plasma, a very hot and dense state of matter that existed just a few millionths of a second after the Big Bang, and is commonly created in collisions of heavy nuclei. But it is the first time ever that such a phenomenon is unambiguously observed in the rare proton collisions in which many particles are created. This result is likely to challenge existing theoretical models that do not predict an increase of strange particles in these events.

With new method, engineers can control and separate fluids on a surface using only visible light

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 05:38:36 EDT

A new system developed by engineers at MIT could make it possible to control the way water moves over a surface, using only light. This advance may open the door to technologies such as microfluidic diagnostic devices whose channels and valves could be reprogrammed on the fly, or field systems that could separate water from oil at a drilling rig, the researchers say.

Sex, lies and physics: 'Genius' drama is Einstein tell-all

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 16:25:16 EDT

The unparalleled brilliance and puckish wit? Check. The trademark wild mop of hair? Check. The marital infidelity and free-wheeling sex?

First-ever direct observation of chiral currents in quantum Hall atomic simulation

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 12:22:22 EDT

Using an atomic quantum simulator, scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have achieved the first-ever direct observation of chiral currents in the model topological insulator, the 2-D integer quantum Hall system.

Chip-based nanoscopy: Microscopy in HD quality

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 11:28:52 EDT

Physicists at Bielefeld University and the Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø have developed a photonic chip that makes it possible to carry out super-resolution light microscopy, also called 'nanoscopy,' with conventional microscopes. In nanoscopy, the position of single fluorescent molecules can be determined with a precision of just a few nano-meters, that is, to a millionth of a millimeter.

Nature plants a seed of engineering inspiration

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 11:27:33 EDT

Researchers in South Korea have quantitatively deconstructed what they describe as the "ingenious mobility strategies" of seeds that self-burrow rotationally into soil. This is an example of the many ways nature uses biological geometry to provide plants with muscle-like capabilities.

Growth under pressure: New metamaterial designed with counterintuitive property

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 11:24:49 EDT

In the not-too-distant future, it may be possible to 3-D print virtually anything. Consider standard printers, which "synthesize" thousands of colors by using only three color cartridges. By analogy, future 3-D printers may be capable of synthesizing thousands of different material properties with a mere handful of material cartridges.

New approach to improve detection of landfill-related pollution

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 11:17:36 EDT

Numerous hazardous substances seep from landfills into soil and groundwater, threatening human health and the environment. However, current methods for monitoring these substances are cumbersome and can create additional hazardous chemicals.

Clarifying the mechanism for suppressing turbulence through ion mass

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 10:25:38 EDT

Seeking to further improve plasma performance, from March 7, 2017, plasma experiments utilizing deuterium ions, which have twice the mass of hydrogen, were initiated in the Large Helical Device (LHD) at the National Institute for Fusion Science (NIFS). In numerous plasma experiments being conducted in countries around the world, the use of deuterium is improving the confinement of heat and particles. That is, the phenomenon called "ion mass effect," in which plasma performance is improved, is observed. However, we do not yet understand the detailed physical mechanism of how the increase in ion mass is linked to performance improvement. This has been one of the most important unsolved problems in plasma physics and fusion research from its beginning.

New camera system inspired by animal vision

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 08:30:06 EDT

Scientists have taken inspiration from how animals' eyes work to create a new way for computer-controlled cameras to 'see'.

Revealing polymeric fluids behavior at the microscopic scale

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 08:19:57 EDT

An important concept in future healthcare is the development of devices called "lab on a chip." These "chips," not related to the electronic ones found in computers, are small devices in which biological fluids – blood or urine for example – are injected to fill specifically designed microscopic channels. These channels would contain biosensors which could detect for example specific markers for diseases within the fluid and provide a quick diagnosis. A large array of analyses could be performed on a device a few centimeters square. However, an arising issue is the size of the fluid sample injected inside the chip, with tiny volumes down to a billionth of a liter. Due to lack of available technologies, researchers do not yet fully understand how fluids – particularly complex ones of biological origins - behave at such small scales.

Scientists engaged holography in fast estimating particles in media

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 07:33:53 EDT

Optical engineers from ITMO University in Saint Petersburg developed an express method for estimating the distribution of particles in optically transparent media based on correlation analysis of holograms. As a big part of the study, they created an algorithm capable of image processing in a few seconds. The new method can be applied to engineering devices for monitoring metal shavings in engine oil, studying a plankton in water, or tracking viruses in living cells. The work was published in Scientific Reports.

Researchers develop faster biosensor platform using a magnetic field

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 06:06:54 EDT

A research team led by Professor CheolGi Kim has developed a biosensor platform using magnetic patterns resembling a spider web with detection capability 20 times faster than existing biosensors.

Two-dimensional melting of hard spheres experimentally unravelled after 60 years

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 14:44:50 EDT

After extensive research, scientists from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Oxford have found experimental evidence that sheds new light on the melting of two-dimensional substances. Findings from the study could be used to support technological improvements to thin film materials such as graphene.

Nanoimprinted hyperlens array: Paving the way for practical super-resolution imaging

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 09:57:57 EDT

The concept of a perfect lens that can produce immaculate and flawless images has been the Holy Grail of lens makers for centuries. In 1873, a German physicist and optical scientist by the name of Ernst Abbe discovered the diffraction limit of the microscope. In other words, he discovered that conventional lenses are fundamentally incapable of capturing all the details of any given image. Since then, there have been numerous advances in the field to produce images that appear to have higher resolution than allowed by diffraction-limited optics.

Physicists demonstrate new way to violate local causality

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 09:30:01 EDT

(—For the first time, physicists have experimentally demonstrated the violation of "bilocal causality"—a concept that is related to the more standard local causality, except that it accounts for the precise way in which physical systems are initially generated. The results show that it's possible to violate local causality in an entirely new and more general way, which could lead to a potential new resource for quantum technologies.

The search for deviations from standard quantum mechanics

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 08:48:24 EDT

Physicists have searched for deviations from standard quantum mechanics, testing whether quantum mechanics requires a more complex set of mathematical rules. To do so a research team led by Philip Walther at the University of Vienna designed a new photonic experiment using exotic metamaterials, which were fabricated at the University of California Berkeley. Their experiment supports standard quantum mechanics and allows the scientists to place bounds on alternative quantum theories. The results, which are published in Nature Communications, could help to guide theoretical work in a search for a more general version of quantum mechanics.

New laser technique improves neutron yield

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 08:30:01 EDT

(—A team of researchers from several institutions in China has developed a new way to produce neutrons that they claim improves on conventional methods by a factor of 100. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the team describes the new method and the results they obtained when testing it.

Optical micro-oscillator could lead to next-generation timing, navigation and sensing applications

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 07:11:06 EDT

A team of engineering researchers from UCLA and OEWaves has developed an optical micro-oscillator, a key time-keeping component of clocks that could vastly improve the accuracy of time-keeping, which is essential for use in spacecraft, automobile sensing or satellite communications.

Crystals grown aboard space station provide radiation detecting technology

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 17:22:49 EDT

Research into crystal growth in microgravity was one of the earliest investigations conducted aboard the International Space Station and is continued to this day. The unique microgravity environment of space provides an ideal setting for producing crystals that are more perfect than their terrestrial-grown counterparts. The Crystal Growth of Cs2LiYCl6:Ce Scintillators in Microgravity (CLYC-Crystal Growth), a Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS)-sponsored investigation, will study the potential benefits of growing the CYLC crystal in microgravity.

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 14:00:08 EDT

Physicists at the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter at Caltech have discovered the first three-dimensional quantum liquid crystal—a new state of matter that may have applications in ultrafast quantum computers of the future.

Finding order and structure in the atomic chaos where materials meet

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 12:48:51 EDT

Materials science researchers have developed a model that can account for irregularities in how atoms arrange themselves at the so-called "grain boundaries" - the interface where two materials meet. By describing the packing of atoms at these interfaces, the tool can be used to help researchers determine how grain boundaries affect the properties of metal alloys and other materials.

By listening to optical 'noise,' researchers discover new way to track hidden objects

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 10:22:58 EDT

Researchers have developed a new solution to tracking objects hidden behind scattering media by analyzing the fluctuations in optical "noise" created by their movement. In The Optical Society's journal for high impact research, Optica, researchers from the University of Central Florida (CREOL) demonstrate their technique by tracking the location of an object as it is moved within an enclosed box.

Can we see a singularity, the most extreme object in the universe?

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 10:22:10 EDT

A team of scientists at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai, India, have found new ways to detect a bare or naked singularity, the most extreme object in the universe.

Widely used engineering technique has unintended consequences new research reveals

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 09:20:45 EDT

A technique that revolutionised scientists' ability to manipulate and study materials at the nano-scale may have dramatic unintended consequences, new Oxford University research reveals.

Researchers harness mysterious Casimir force for tiny devices

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 08:47:25 EDT

Getting something from nothing sounds like a good deal, so for years scientists have been trying to exploit the tiny amount of energy that arises when objects are brought very close together. It's a source of energy so obscure it was once derided as a fanciful source of "perpetual motion." Now, a research team including Princeton scientists has found a way to harness a mysterious force of repulsion, which is one aspect of that force.

3-D printing glass objects

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 08:30:02 EDT

(—A team of researchers at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany has developed a way to 3-D print objects made of pure glass. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the group describes their technique and the ways they believe their new approach could be used. Karl Ziemelis, Physical, Chemical and Earth Sciences editor for Nature offers a News & Views piece on the work done by the team in the same edition.