Popular Science articles about Physics & Chemistry

The top panel depicts the experimental hive. It shows that the high heat area, colored red, grew within three minutes of cooling and disappeared within nine minutes. The bottom panel shows how the control panel gradually dissipated heat. There, heat persisted after 18 minutes of cooling.

A crystal wedding in the nanocosmos

Indium arsenide (green-cyan) is perfectly integrated into the silicon nanowire (blue). (Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy).Researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), the Vienna University of Technology and the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University Lublin have succeeded in embedding nearly perfect semiconductor crystals into a silicon nanowire. With...

The birth of topological spintronics

This illustration shows the crystal structure of the topological insulator bismuth selenide, Se-Bi-Se-Bi-Se, consisting of five atomic layers ('quinlayers') of alternating selenide (Se) and bismuth (Bi).The discovery of a new material combination that could lead to a more efficient approach to computer memory and logic will be described in the journal Nature on July 24,...

Scientists find way to maintain quantum entanglement in amplified signals

This is a picture of optical fiber. Normally, transmission of entangled photons through optical fiber ruins the entanglement.Physicists Sergei Filippov (MIPT and Russian Quantum Center at Skolkovo) and Mario Ziman (Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic, and the Institute of Physics in Bratislava, Slovakia) have found a...

'Comb on a chip' powers new NIST/Caltech atomic clock design

This image depicts NIST physicists Scott Diddams (left) and Scott Papp with a prototype atomic clock based on a chip-scale frequency comb. Diddams is holding the silicon chip, which fits into the clock apparatus on the table. With performance improvements and further reductions in size, the technology might eventually be used to make portable tools for measuring time and frequency.Researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have demonstrated a new design for an atomic clock that is based on a...

Creating optical cables out of thin air

This is an illustration of an air waveguide. The filaments leave 'holes' in the air (red rods) that reflect light. Light (arrows) passing between these holes stays focused and intense.Imagine being able to instantaneously run an optical cable or fiber to any point on Earth, or even into space. That's what Howard Milchberg, professor of physics and electrical and...

Tiny laser sensor heightens bomb detection sensitivity

The plasmon laser sensor consists of a 50-nanometer-thick semiconductor separated from the metal surface by an 8-nanometer-thick dielectric gap layer. Surface defects on the semiconductor interact with molecules of the explosive DNT.New technology under development at UC Berkeley could soon give bomb-sniffing dogs some serious competition.

Bubble wrap serves as sheet of tiny test tubes in resource-limited regions

Popping the blisters on the bubble wrap might be the most enjoyable thing about moving. But now, scientists propose a more productive way to reuse the popular packing material --...

Improving tumour radiation therapy: When basic ions break DNA down

Scientists now have a better understanding of how short DNA strands decompose in microseconds. A European team found new fragmentation pathways that occur universally when DNA strands are exposed to...

Rice nanophotonics experts create powerful molecular sensor

Nanophotonics experts at Rice University have created a unique sensor that amplifies the optical signature of molecules by about 100 billion times. Newly published tests found the device could accurately...

Smallest Swiss cross -- Made of 20 single atoms

20 bromine atoms positioned on a sodium chloride surface using the tip of an atomic force microscope at room temperature, creating a Swiss cross with the size of 5.6nm. The structure is stable at room temperature and was achieved by exchanging chlorine with bromine atoms.The manipulation of atoms has reached a new level: Together with teams from Finland and Japan, physicists from the University of Basel were able to place 20 single atoms on...

The physics of lead guitar playing

String bends, tapping, vibrato and whammy bars are all techniques that add to the distinctiveness of a lead guitarist's sound, whether it's Clapton, Hendrix, or BB King.

Spinach could lead to alternative energy more powerful than Popeye

Purdue physics professor Yulia Pushkar (left) and postdoctoral researcher Lifen Yan work in Pushkar's laser lab. Pushkar and Yan are part of an international team using spinach to study the proteins involved in photosynthesis.Spinach gave Popeye super strength, but it also holds the promise of a different power for a group of scientists: the ability to convert sunlight into a clean, efficient alternative...

The electric slide dance of DNA knots

This image depicts a simulation of a knotted DNA chain under mechanical tension.DNA has the nasty habit of getting tangled and forming knots. Scientists study these knots to understand their function and learn how to disentangle them (e.g. useful for gene sequencing...

Law of physics governs airplane evolution

This graph shows how -- as the years have passed -- bigger and bigger airplanes have joined the ranks of their behemoth brothers.Researchers believe they now know why the supersonic trans-Atlantic Concorde aircraft went the way of the dodo -- it hit an evolutionary cul-de-sac.

Self-cooling solar cells boost power, last longer

This drawing demonstrates how solar cells cool themselves by shepherding away unwanted thermal radiation. The pyramid structures made of silica glass provide maximal radiative cooling capability.Scientists may have overcome one of the major hurdles in developing high-efficiency, long-lasting solar cells -- keeping them cool, even in the blistering heat of the noonday sun.

Oregon chemists eye improved thin films with metal substitution

Maisha K. Kamunde-Devonish, a doctoral student at the University of Oregon, led a study that led to a low-energy, solution-based mineral substitution process for making a precursor to transparent thin films. The paper was featured on the cover of the ACS journal Inorganic Chemistry.The yield so far is small, but chemists at the University of Oregon have developed a low-energy, solution-based mineral substitution process to make a precursor to transparent thin films that...

Efficient structures help build a sustainable future

This is a cable structural system for Functional Unit 2 (3 bays or units).When envisioning a new structure, engineers often have to balance design choices against the environmental impact of materials used. It is estimated that 40 to 50 percent of greenhouse gases...

An anti-glare, anti-reflective display for mobile devices?

If you've ever tried to watch a video on a tablet on a sunny day, you know you have to tilt it at just the right angle to get rid...

Self-assembling nanoparticle could improve MRI scanning for cancer diagnosis

Scientists have designed a new self-assembling nanoparticle that targets tumours, to help doctors diagnose cancer earlier.

Directly visualizing hydrogen bonds

The hydrogen-bonding interaction causes the atoms on each individual N-methylacetamide molecule to vibrate in unison.Using a newly developed, ultrafast femtosecond infrared light source, chemists at the University of Chicago have been able to directly visualize the coordinated vibrations between hydrogen-bonded molecules -- the first...

The world's first photonic router

This image depicts from left to right Serge Rosenblum, Yulia Lovsky, Orel Bechler and Itay Shomroni.Weizmann Institute scientists have demonstrated for the first time a photonic router -- a quantum device based on a single atom that enables routing of single photons by single photons....

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