Popular Science articles about Physics & Chemistry

These are virus-avidin nanoparticle crystal structures.

Watching the structure of glass under pressure

Glass has many applications that call for different properties, such as resistance to thermal shock or to chemically harsh environments. Glassmakers commonly use additives such as boron oxide to tweak these properties by changing the atomic structure of glass. Now researchers at UC Davis have for the first time captured atoms in borosilicate glass flipping from a flat triangular configuration with three oxygen atoms around one boron to a tetrahedron, via a pyramidal intermediate.Glass has many applications that call for different properties, such as resistance to thermal shock or to chemically harsh environments. Glassmakers commonly use additives such as boron oxide to tweak...

Breakthrough in light sources for new quantum technology

This is an illustration of the single-photon cannon. A quantum dot (illustrated with the yellow symbol) emits one photon (red wave packet) at a time. The quantum dot is embedded in a photonic-crystal structure, which is obtained by etching holes (black circles) in a semiconducting material (light grey). Due to the holes, the photons are not emitted in all directions, but only along the channel where there are no holes. Only 1.6 percent of the emitted photons will be emitted in other directions (illustrated by the upward moving photon) and is thus lost, while 98.4 percent are emitted in the desired direction.Electronic circuits are based on electrons, but one of the most promising technologies for future quantum circuits are photonic circuits, i.e. circuits based on light (photons) instead of electrons. First,...

New analytical technology reveals 'nanomechanical' surface traits

A new research platform uses a laser to measure the 'nanomechanical' properties of tiny structures undergoing stress and heating, an approach likely to yield insights to improve designs for microelectronics and batteries. Clockwise from upper left, graphics of the instrument setup, and at bottom right a scanning electron microscope image of the tiny silicon cantilever used in the research.A new research platform uses a laser to measure the "nanomechanical" properties of tiny structures undergoing stress and heating, an approach likely to yield insights to improve designs for microelectronics...

Novel 'butterfly' molecule could build new sensors, photoenergy conversion devices

Exciting new work by a Florida State University research team has led to a novel molecular system that can take your temperature, emit white light, and convert photon energy directly...

Do we live in a 2-D hologram?

A Fermilab scientist works on the laser beams at the heart of the Holometer experiment. The Holometer will use twin laser interferometers to test whether the universe is a 2-D hologram.A unique experiment at the U.S. Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory called the Holometer has started collecting data that will answer some mind-bending questions about our universe --...

Competition for graphene

This is an illustration of a MoS2/WS2 heterostructure with a MoS2 monolayer lying on top of a WS2 monolayer. Electrons and holes created by light are shown to separate into different layers.A new argument has just been added to the growing case for graphene being bumped off its pedestal as the next big thing in the high-tech world by the two-dimensional...

Symphony of nanoplasmonic and optical resonators produces laser-like light emission

This is the hybrid optoplasmonic system showing the operation of amplification.By combining plasmonics and optical microresonators, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have created a new optical amplifier (or laser) design, paving the way for power-on-a-chip applications.

Key to speed? Elite sprinters are unlike other athletes -- deliver forceful punch to ground

Ken Clark, researcher in the SMU Locomotor Performance Laboratory, observes a world-class sprinter as she runs at top speed on the lab's custom high-speed force treadmill that allows the lab's researchers to capture and analyze hundreds of footfalls at precisely controlled speeds.The world's fastest sprinters have unique gait features that account for their ability to achieve fast speeds, according to two new studies from Southern Methodist University, Dallas.

Tilted acoustic tweezers separate cells gently

This is a schematic illustration of working principle and device structure for a tilted-angle standing surface acoustic wave-based cell-separation device.Precise, gentle and efficient cell separation from a device the size of a cell phone may be possible thanks to tilt-angle standing surface acoustic waves, according to a team of...

Biomimetic photodetector 'sees' in color

This image depicts Naomi Halas.Rice University researchers have created a CMOS-compatible, biomimetic color photodetector that directly responds to red, green and blue light in much the same way the human eye does.

Argonne scientists pioneer strategy for creating new materials

Making something new is never easy. Scientists constantly theorize about new materials, but when the material is manufactured it doesn't always work as expected. To create a new strategy for designing materials, scientists at the Department of Energy's Argonne National...

Penn-NIH team discover new type of cell movement

Penn and NIH researchers measured the internal pressure of individual fibroblast cells (in orange) moving through a three-dimensional matrix (in blue). They found that, in this environment, the cells' nuclei operate like an engine's piston to push the cell forward.For decades, researchers have used petri dishes to study cell movement. These classic tissue culture tools, however, only permit two-dimensional movement, very different from the three-dimensional movements that cells make...

New technique uses fraction of measurements to efficiently find quantum wave functions

The result of every possible measurement on a quantum system is coded in its wave function, which until recently could be found only by taking many different measurements of a...

Rubber meets the road with new ORNL carbon, battery technologies

ORNL researchers' goal is to scale up the recovery process and demonstrate applications as anodes for lithium-ion batteries in large-format pouch cells.Recycled tires could see new life in lithium-ion batteries that provide power to plug-in electric vehicles and store energy produced by wind and solar, say researchers at the Department of...

Breaking benzene

Aromatic compounds are found widely in natural resources such as petroleum and biomass, and breaking the carbon?carbon bonds in these compounds plays an important role in the production of fuels...

Introducing the multi-tasking nanoparticle

Kit Lam and colleagues from UC Davis and other institutions have created dynamic nanoparticles (NPs) that could provide an arsenal of applications to diagnose and treat cancer. Built on an...

Sorting cells with sound waves

Researchers from MIT, Pennsylvania State University, and Carnegie Mellon University have devised a new way to separate cells by exposing them to sound waves as they flow through a tiny...

A glucose meter of a different color provides continuous monitoring

Professor Paul Braun and graduate student Chunjie Zhang developed a continuous glucose-monitoring system that changes color when glucose levels rise.University of Illinois engineers are bringing a touch of color to glucose monitoring.

Duality principle is 'safe and sound'

Decades of experiments have verified the quirky laws of quantum theory again and again. So when scientists in Germany announced in 2012 an apparent violation of a fundamental law of...

Singaporean university launches world's 1st ZigBee-based inter-satellite comms system

This image depicts VELOX-I before and after deployment and a picosatellite.Engineers at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore have successfully piloted the world's first ZigBee-based inter-satellite communication system.

Physics research removes outcome unpredictability of ultracold atomic reactions

Probability density -- given by the radius of the surface points to the origin -- of an Efimov trimer state at different three-body geometries that are characterized by the polar angle -- indicated by the trimer legends. The azimuthal angle characterizes the permutation of three atoms. The key feature in the probability density is that unlike ordinary molecular binding that mostly has a single geometry, the Efimov trimer covers have a broad range of geometries. The atoms in such states behave more like in a fluid drop.Findings from a physics study by a Kansas State University researcher are helping scientists accurately predict the once unpredictable.

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