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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.


Cooling materials super-quickly

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 07:14:39 EDT

Cooling materials super-quickly, called rapid solidification, prevents the normal crystalline structures of materials from forming, often creating unique properties in the process. If single crystal growth techniques sit at one end of the materials synthesis spectrum, promoting the growth of that material's equilibrium crystalline structure, rapid solidification techniques promote the opposite effect, cooling the material so quickly from liquid to solid, that the crystals formed are small, or in some cases non-existent, becoming amorphous or glass-like with no discernable crystalline pattern to their overall molecular structure.

The role of single crystals in creating new materials

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 07:13:22 EDT

When it comes to creating new materials, single crystals play an important role in presenting a clearer picture of a material's intrinsic properties. A typical material will be comprised of lots of smaller crystals and the grain boundaries between these crystals can act as impediments, affecting properties such as electrical or thermal resistance.

Scientists discovered tip induced unconventional superconductivity on Weyl semimetals

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 05:56:55 EDT

Recently, Prof. Jian Wang and collaborators discovered tip-induced unconventional superconductivity by hard point contact on Weyl semi-metal TaAs crystals, which might be topologically non-trivial. Topological superconductors have attracted great attention for their ability to host Majorana zero modes, which could be used in topological quantum computation. Therefore, this discovery not only opens a new route in investigating the novel superconducting states based on Weyl materials, but also demonstrates a new method to induce potential topological superconductivity by hard-point contact modulation on non-superconducting topological materials. This work has been published in Science Bulletin.

New insight into superfluids reveals a storm at the surface

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 19:00:01 EDT

The discovery of a 'storm' layer created when superfluid helium flows across a rough surface has turned a century of understanding about one of the most important discoveries in quantum physics on its head.

Physicists settle controversy over identical particle entanglement

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 12:30:01 EDT

(—In a new study, physicists have shown a way to establish real entanglement between two identical particles—a topic that has been disputed until now. The results provide a better understanding of the fundamental nature of entanglement between identical particles and have potential applications in quantum information processing.

Tracking real-time proton induced radiation chemistry in water

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 11:06:08 EDT

Proton therapy is a promising form of radiation treatment used to kill cancerous cells and effectively halt their rapid reproduction. While this treatment can also be delivered in different modalities (i.e. electrons and X-rays), proton therapy limits damage to healthy tissue by depositing energy in a highly localized dose volume.

Freely diffusing cellular proteins reach the leading edge faster

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 08:37:30 EDT

According to a theoretical model developed by LMU physicists, in cell protrusions, cargo-transporting motor proteins often get in each other's way. The upshot is that freely diffusing proteins reach the leading edge faster.

Quantum computers may have higher 'speed limits' than thought

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 08:17:59 EDT

How fast will a quantum computer be able to calculate? While fully functional versions of these long-sought technological marvels have yet to be built, one theorist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has shown that, if they can be realized, there may be fewer limits to their speed than previously put forth.

Signature of one-dimensional electronic behaviour detected in K2Cr3As3 crystals

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 07:14:58 EDT

The recently-discovered material K2Cr3As3 has a structure consisting of parallel Cr-As chains, which gives an opportunity to study the exotic behaviour which is predicted to occur when electrons are effectively confined to move only in one-dimension. Its peculiar properties, having an unusual metallic state before superconducting at 7 K, have made researchers curious about how best to describe the conduction electrons in the system.

Surprising twist in confined liquid crystals: A simple route to developing new sensors

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 20:20:02 EDT

Researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology have found a material used for decades to color food items ranging from corn chips to ice creams could potentially have uses far beyond food dyes.

In a quantum race everyone is both a winner and a loser

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 14:00:01 EDT

Our understanding of the world is mostly built on basic perceptions, such as that events follow each other in a well-defined order. Such definite orders are required in the macroscopic world, for which the laws of classical physics apply. The current work by a team of physicists from the University of Vienna is the first experimental quantification of such a superposition. It will be published in an upcoming issue of Science Advances.

Researchers grow a versatile diamond foil in a test reactor

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 10:51:45 EDT

Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen Nürnberg (FAU) researchers have come a step closer to their goal of providing large diamond foils for practical applications. In a test reactor, they have succeeded in producing the world's largest diamond foil with a diameter of 28 centimetres. Diamond foils can be used as ultimate wear protection in industrial applications and for research into thermoelectric power generation - an emerging market.

Parallel computation provides deeper insight into brain function

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:42:25 EDT

Unlike experimental neuroscientists who deal with real-life neurons, computational neuroscientists use model simulations to investigate how the brain functions. While many computational neuroscientists use simplified mathematical models of neurons, researchers in the Computational Neuroscience Unit at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) develop software that models neurons to the detail of molecular interactions with the goal of eliciting new insights into neuronal function. Applications of the software were limited in scope up until now because of the intense computational power required for such detailed neuronal models, but recently Dr. Weiliang Chen, Dr. Iain Hepburn, and Professor Erik De Schutter published two related papers in which they outline the accuracy and scalability of their new high-speed computational software, "Parallel STEPS". The combined findings suggest that Parallel STEPS could be used to reveal new insights into how individual neurons function and communicate with each other.

The physics that stops a bullet also makes your car more fuel efficient

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 08:50:01 EDT

You don't need to stand in front of a rifle to see the same physics of resistance in action – you can see it through everyday activities like riding your bike, or hopping in your car, or less everyday activities like going on a return trip to space.

Upgrading the CERN LHC's CMS experiment detector

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 07:37:33 EDT

Sometimes big questions require big tools. That's why a global community of scientists designed and built gigantic detectors to monitor the high-energy particle collisions generated by CERN's Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland. From these collisions, scientists can retrace the footsteps of the Big Bang and search for new properties of nature.

Inventing a new kind of matter

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 05:44:07 EDT

Imagine a liquid that could move on its own. No need for human effort or the pull of gravity. You could put it in a container flat on a table, not touch it in any way, and it would still flow.

Insights may lead to design and development of superior metallic alloys

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 05:27:31 EDT

An international research collaboration led by scientists at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has explained a long-standing thermodynamic inconsistency in the formation of a class of metallic glass that may lead to the development of new, better metallic alloys.

A robust, two-ion quantum logic gate that operates in a microsecond is designed

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 05:27:03 EDT

The theory group led by Gonzalo Muga of the UPV/EHU's Department of Physical Chemistry has teamed up with the experimental group of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, United States, led by David Wineland, the 2012 Nobel Physics Laureate, to design a two-ion, robust, ultrarapid quantum logic gate capable of functioning in less than a microsecond. This study was published in February in the journal Physical Review A.

Researchers make flexible glass for tiny medical devices

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 15:12:08 EDT

Brigham Young University researchers have developed new glass technology that could add a new level of flexibility to the microscopic world of medical devices.

Researchers discover new type of memory effect in transition metal oxides

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 11:30:53 EDT

Transition metal oxides (TMO) are extensively studied, technologically important materials, due to their complex electronic interactions, resulting in a large variety of collective phenomena. Memory effects in TMO's have garnered a huge amount of interest, being both of fundamental scientific interest and technological significance.

New portal to unveil the dark sector of the Universe

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 11:26:45 EDT

Once upon a time, the Universe was just a hot soup of particles. In those days, together with visible particles, other particles to us hidden or dark might have formed. Billions of years later scientists catalogued 17 types of visible particles, with the most recent one being the Higgs boson, creating the 'Standard Model'. However, they are still struggling to detect the hidden particles, the ones that constitute the dark sector of the Universe.

Where does laser energy go after being fired into plasma?

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 11:25:43 EDT

An outstanding conundrum on what happens to the laser energy after beams are fired into plasma has been solved in newly-published research at the University of Strathclyde.

Physicists prove that it's impossible to cool an object to absolute zero

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 09:30:01 EDT

(—In 1912, chemist Walther Nernst proposed that cooling an object to absolute zero is impossible with a finite amount of time and resources. Today this idea, called the unattainability principle, is the most widely accepted version of the third law of thermodynamics—yet so far it has not been proved from first principles.

Physicist develops drip-free wine bottle

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 08:50:16 EDT

Drips are the bane of every wine drinker's existence. He or she uncorks a bottle of wine, tips it toward the glass, and a drop, or even a stream, runs down the side of the bottle. Sure, you could do what sommeliers in restaurants do, wrapping a napkin around the neck of the bottle to catch the liquid, but who has time for that? Much more likely, you'll ruin the tablecloth.

New low-cost method to produce light-based lab-on-a-chip devices for fast medical tests

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 17:20:18 EDT

A new fabrication process could make it easier and less expensive to incorporate optical sensing onto lab-on-a-chip devices. These devices integrate laboratory functions onto a plastic or glass "chip" typically no more than a few square centimeters in size, allowing automated testing in the doctor's office or various types of chemical or biological analysis with portable instruments.

Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 14:04:35 EDT

Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a technique that uses light to get two-dimensional (2-D) plastic sheets to curve into three-dimensional (3-D) structures, such as spheres, tubes or bowls.

Scientists evade the Heisenberg uncertainty principle

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 14:00:08 EDT

ICFO Researchers report the discovery of a new technique that could drastically improve the sensitivity of instruments such as magnetic resonance imagers (MRIs) and atomic clocks. The study, published in Nature, reports a technique to bypass the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. This technique hides quantum uncertainty in atomic features not seen by the instrument, allowing the scientists to make very high precision measurements.

ATP hydrolysis energy explained through large-scale hybrid quantum / classical simulations

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 09:40:05 EDT

In ATP hydrolysis, water is used to split apart adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to create adenosine diphosphate (ADP) to get energy. ATP hydrolysis energy (AHE) is then used in the activities of living cells.

Visualizing nuclear radiation: Team images gamma rays to help decontaminate Fukushima

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 09:38:40 EDT

Extraordinary decontamination efforts are underway in areas affected by the 2011 nuclear accidents in Japan. The creation of total radioactivity maps is essential for thorough cleanup, but the most common methods, according to Kyoto University's Toru Tanimori, do not 'see' enough ground-level radiation.

A novel 'soft' magnetic material could enable faster computer memory

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 08:50:01 EDT

Magnetic materials are a vital ingredient in the components that store information in computers and mobile phones. Now, A*STAR researchers have developed a material that could help these magnetic-based memory devices to store and retrieve data faster while using less power.