Popular Science articles about Physics & Chemistry

LIG, including the MSU scientists, announced a record of gravitational waves

The case was the first announced recording of space-time oscillations -- gravitational waves, reaching the Earth after a catastrophe that happened far in the Universe. That confirms a significant prediction made in the special theory of relativity made by Albert...

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UW scientists create ultrathin semiconductor heterostructures for new technologies

This is an illustration of the strong valley exciton interactions and transport in a 2-D semiconductor heterostructure.Heterostructures formed by different three-dimensional semiconductors form the foundation for modern electronic and photonic devices. Now, University of Washington scientists have successfully combined two different ultrathin semiconductors -- each just...

New lens ready for its close-up

University of Utah electrical and computer engineering professor Rajesh Menon holds up the prototype of the first flat thin camera lens that he and his team developed. Menon and his doctoral students, Peng Wang and Nabil Mohamma, have developed a new kind of optical lens that is flat and ultrathin instead of the traditionally curved lens but can still focus all the colors of light to one point. The new lens can be used in cameras and other devices such as smartphones where the lens does not have to jet out of the body.  Other applications of this potential lens system include medical devices in which thinner and lighter endoscopes can peer into the human body. It also could be used for drones or satellites with lighter cameras in which reducing weight is critical. Future smartphones could come with high-powered cameras that don't require the lens jetting out from the phone's thin body, such as the lens does now for the iPhone 6S.Imagine digital cameras or smartphones without the bulky lenses or eyeglasses with lenses that are paper thin.

'Lasers rewired': Scientists find a new way to make nanowire lasers

A nanowire, composed of cesium, lead and bromide (CsPbBr3), emits bright laser light after hit by a pulse from another laser source. The nanowire laser proved to be very stable, emitting laser light for over an hour. It also was demonstrated to be broadly tunable across green and blue wavelengths. The white line is a scale bar that measures 2 microns, or millionths of an inch.The nanowires, with diameters as small as 200 nanometers (billionths of a meter) and a blend of materials that has also proven effective in next-generation solar cell designs, were shown...

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Sneezing produces complex fluid cascade, not a simple spray

Here's some incentive to cover your mouth the next time you sneeze: New high-speed videos captured by MIT researchers show that as a person sneezes, they launch a sheet of...

The most accurate optical single-ion clock worldwide

Measuring the influence of thermal ambient radiation on the frequency of the trapped ion: the "clock laser" (blue beam) excites the trapped ion (yellow) with a special pulse sequence. The resonance frequency of the ion is influenced by infrared radiation (here by an infrared laser, red beam). This can be measured by means of the clock laser.Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) are the first research group in the world to have built an optical single-ion clock which attains an accuracy which had only been predicted theoretically so far....

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Cockroach inspires robot that squeezes through cracks

Three cockroaches squeeze though a 3 mm crevice under a room door at different stages of traversal.Our fear and disgust that cockroaches can quickly squeeze through the tiniest cracks are well justified, say University of California, Berkeley scientists.

Iowa State engineers develop hybrid technology to create biorenewable nylon

Zengyi Shao and Jean-Philippe Tessonnier, left to right, are combining their expertise in biocatalysis and chemical catalysis to produce a new type of biobased nylon.Engineers at Iowa State University have found a way to combine a genetically engineered strain of yeast and an electrocatalyst to efficiently convert sugar into a new type of nylon.

Why not recycled concrete?

From paper towels to cups to plastic bottles, products made from recycled materials permeate our lives. One notable exception is building materials. Why can't we recycle concrete from our deteriorating...

Scientists create laser-activated superconductor

Shining lasers at superconductors can make them work at higher temperatures, suggests new findings from an international team of scientists including the University of Bath.

Clean energy from water

Fuel cells generate electrical energy through a chemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen. To obtain clean energy, the splitting of water into its components of hydrogen and oxygen is critical....

Imaging with an 'optical brush'

Researchers at the MIT Media Lab have developed a new imaging device that consists of a loose bundle of optical fibers, with no need for lenses or a protective housing.

Graphene leans on glass to advance electronics

Study co-authors Nanditha Dissanayake, Matthew Eisaman, Yutong Pang, and Ahsan Ashraf are in a laser lab at Brookhaven.Graphene, the two-dimensional powerhouse, packs extreme durability, electrical conductivity, and transparency into a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon. Despite being heralded as a breakthrough "wonder material," graphene has been slow to...

A metal that behaves like water

In a new paper published in <i>Science</i>, researchers at the Harvard and Raytheon BBN Technology have advanced our understanding of graphene's basic properties, observing for the first time electrons in a metal behaving like a fluid.Graphene is going to change the world -- or so we've been told.

Bumpy liquid films could simplify fabrication of microlenses

Exploiting cellular convection in a thick liquid layer to pattern a polymer film is pictured.Have you ever noticed that when heated a film of oil in a pan doesn't remain completely flat? Instead, it forms a wavy pattern that resembles the exterior of an...

SLAC X-ray laser turns crystal imperfections into better images of important biomolecules

Artistic representation of an imperfect crystal, in which individual repeating units (represented here by ducks rather than biomolecules) are displaced from their ideal positions on a regular crystal lattice (tiles). In X-ray crystallography, researchers shine X-rays through crystals to determine the atomic structure of the crystals' units, such as complex biological molecules. A new study of imperfect crystals at SLAC's LCLS X-ray laser has shown that the imperfections can be exploited to obtain much higher-resolution images than with conventional methods.Often the most difficult step in taking atomic-resolution images of biological molecules is getting them to form high-quality crystals needed for X-ray studies of their structure. Now researchers have shown...

Body temperature triggers newly developed polymer to change shape

A time-lapse photo of a new shape-memory polymer reverting to its original shape after being exposed to body temperature.Polymers that visibly change shape when exposed to temperature changes are nothing new. But a research team led by Chemical Engineering Professor Mitch Anthamatten at the University of Rochester created...

The universe's primordial soup flowing at CERN

The figure shows how a small, elongated drop of quark-gluon plasma is formed when two atomic nuclei hit each other a bit off center. The angular distribution of the emitted particles makes it possible to determine the properties of the quark-gluon plasma, including the viscosity.Researchers have recreated the universe's primordial soup in miniature format by colliding lead atoms with extremely high energy in the 27 km long particle accelerator, the LHC at CERN in...

Getting more miles from plug-in hybrids

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have shown how to improve the efficiency of current PHEVs.RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) can reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions compared to their gas-only counterparts. Researchers at the University of California, Riverside's...

Cotton candy machines may hold key for making artificial organs

Cotton candy machines may hold the key for making life-sized artificial livers, kidneys, bones and other essential organs.

Chiral magnetic effect generates quantum current

This photos shows nuclear theorist Dmitri Kharzeev of Stony Brook University and Brookhaven Lab with Brookhaven Lab materials scientists Qiang Li, Genda Gu, and Tonica Valla in a lab where the team measured the unusual high conductivity of zirconium pentatelluride.Scientists at the U.S Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory and Stony Brook University have discovered a new way to generate very low-resistance electric current in a new class...

Using the physics of your perfect pancake to help save sight

This is an example of pancakes.Understanding the textures and patterns of pancakes is helping UCL scientists improve surgical methods for treating glaucoma.

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