Popular Science articles about Physics & Chemistry

The five cross-shaped devices are the Xmon variant of the transmon qubit placed in a linear array.

Mantis shrimp stronger than airplanes

This is a mantis shrimp in the lab of David Kisailus.Inspired by the fist-like club of a mantis shrimp, a team of researchers led by University of California, Riverside, in collaboration with University of Southern California and Purdue University, have...

WSU innovation improves drowsy driver detection

Researchers at Washington State University Spokane have developed a new way to detect when drivers are about to nod off behind the wheel.

High-performance, low-cost ultracapacitors built with graphene and carbon nanotubes

A scanning electron microscope image shows the ultracapacitor's composite film containing graphene flakes and single-walled carbon nanotubes.By combining the powers of two single-atom-thick carbon structures, researchers at the George Washington University's Micro-propulsion and Nanotechnology Laboratory have created a new ultracapacitor that is both high performance and...

Like a hall of mirrors, nanostructures trap photons inside ultrathin solar cells

In the quest to make sun power more competitive, researchers are designing ultrathin solar cells that cut material costs. At the same time they're keeping these thin cells efficient by...

Bulletproof nuclei? Stem cells exhibit unusual absorption property

Stem cells -- the body's master cells -- demonstrate a bizarre property never before seen at a cellular level, according to a study published today from scientists at the University...

'Dressed' laser aimed at clouds may be key to inducing rain, lightning

This shows University of Central Florida College of Optics and Photonics graduate students Matthew Mills and Ali Miri.The adage "Everyone complains about the weather but nobody does anything about it" may one day be obsolete if researchers at the University of Central Florida's College of Optics &...

'Exotic' material is like a switch when super thin

Researchers from Cornell University and Brookhaven National Laboratory have shown how to switch a particular transition metal oxide, a lanthanum nickelate (LaNiO3), from a metal to an insulator by making...

MRI, on a molecular scale

For decades, scientists have used techniques like X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMR) to gain invaluable insight into the atomic structure of molecules, but such efforts have long...

Surprising material could play role in saving energy

One strategy for addressing the world's energy crisis is to stop wasting so much energy when producing and using it, which can happen in coal-fired power plants or transportation. Nearly...

Information storage for the next generation of plastic computers

Inexpensive computers, cell phones and other systems that substitute flexible plastic for silicon chips may be one step closer to reality, thanks to research published on April 16 in the...

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Breakthrough harnesses light for controlled chemical reaction

When chemist Tehshik Yoon looks out his office window, he sees a source of energy to drive chemical reactions. Plants "learned" to synthesize chemicals with sunlight eons ago; Yoon came to the field a bit more recently.

Halving hydrogen

Neutron crystallography shows this iron catalyst gripping two hydrogen atoms (red spheres). This arrangement allows an uncommon dihydrogen bond to form between the hydrogen atoms (red dots).Like a hungry diner ripping open a dinner roll, a fuel cell catalyst that converts hydrogen into electricity must tear open a hydrogen molecule. Now researchers have captured a view...

Vacuum ultraviolet lamp of the future created in Japan

A team of researchers in Japan has developed a solid-state lamp that emits high-energy ultraviolet (UV) light at the shortest wavelengths ever recorded for such a device, from 140 to...

RNA shows potential as boiling-resistant anionic polymer material for nanoarchitectures

The creation of boiling-temperature-resistant RNA nanoparticles opens a new dimension of RNA as a special polymer, feasible in industrial and nanotechnological applications.A team of nanotechnology researchers at the University of Kentucky has discovered new methods to build heat resistant nanostructures and arrays using RNA.

Progress made in developing nanoscale electronics

A single layer of organic molecules connects the positive and negative electrodes in a molecular-junction OLED.Scientists are facing a number of barriers as they try to develop circuits that are microscopic in size, including how to reliably control the current that flows through a circuit...

Under some LED bulbs whites aren't 'whiter than white'

Kevin Houser, Professor of Architectural Engineering at Penn State, sorts cards in a light box in the departments illuminating engineering lab for observation under several light sources.For years, companies have been adding whiteners to laundry detergent, paints, plastics, paper and fabrics to make whites look "whiter than white," but now, with a switch away from incandescent...

Gecko-like adhesives now useful for real world surfaces

To substantiate their claims of Geckskin's properties, the UMass Amherst team compared three versions to the abilities of a living Tokay gecko on several surfaces. As predicted by their theory, one Geckskin version matches and even exceeds the gecko's performance on all tested surfaces.The ability to stick objects to a wide range of surfaces such as drywall, wood, metal and glass with a single adhesive has been the elusive goal of many research...

Impurity size affects performance of emerging superconductive material

Research from North Carolina State University finds that impurities can hurt performance -- or possibly provide benefits -- in the key superconductive material Bi2212 (shown here), which is expected to find use in a host of applications, including future particle colliders. The size of the impurities determines whether they help or hinder the material's performance.Research from North Carolina State University finds that impurities can hurt performance -- or possibly provide benefits -- in a key superconductive material that is expected to find use in...

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

A University of Arizona-led research team has discovered a simple process for making a new lightweight plastic from the inexpensive and abundant element sulfur. This plastic can be molded into easy-to-make, lightweight lenses that transmit infra-red light.Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team has found.

Chiral breathing: Electrically controlled polymer changes its optical properties

Halves of a new polymer are connected at a single point and can be rotated with respect to each other by applying electric potential. Depending on the orientation of the halves, the new polymer either assumes or looses chirality. The polymer model is presented by Prof. Włodzimierz Kutner from the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw.Electrically controlled glasses with continuously adjustable transparency, new polarisation filters, and even chemosensors capable of detecting single molecules of specific chemicals could be fabricated thanks to a new polymer unprecedentedly...

Progress in the fight against quantum dissipation

Scientists at Yale have confirmed a 50-year-old, previously untested theoretical prediction in physics and improved the energy storage time of a quantum switch by several orders of magnitude. They report...

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