Popular Science articles about Physics & Chemistry

This image depicts Geoffrey K. Aguirre, MD, PhD, a behavioral neurologist and associate professor in the department of Neurology; Manuel Spitschan, a Penn graduate student in psychology; and David Brainard, PhD, RRL professor of Psychology, director of the Vision Research Center and director of the Institute for Research in Cognitive Science; found that melanopsin, a protein and short wave-sensitive S-cones, both in the retina, have opposite effects and compete for control of the pupil in response to blue light.

Imaging electric charge propagating along microbial nanowires

UMass Amherst researchers recently provided stronger evidence than ever before to support their claim that the microbe <i>Geobacter</i> produces tiny electrical wires, called microbial nanowires, along which electric charges propagate just as they do in carbon nanotubes, a highly conductive man-made material.The claim by microbiologist Derek Lovley and colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Amherst that the microbe Geobacter produces tiny electrical wires, called microbial nanowires, has been mired in controversy...

Magnetic mirrors enable new technologies by reflecting light in uncanny ways

This is an artist's impression of a comparison between a magnetic mirror with cube-shaped resonators (left) and a standard metallic mirror (right). The incoming and outgoing electric field of light (shown as alternating red and white bands) illustrates that the magnetic mirror retains light's original electrical signature while a standard metallic mirror reverses it upon reflection.As in Alice's journey through the looking-glass to Wonderland, mirrors in the real world can sometimes behave in surprising and unexpected ways, including a new class of mirror that works...

Brain surgery through the cheek

This is a mockup of a patient in an MRI machine shows how the surgical robot that can perform epilepsy surgery through the cheek is set up.For those most severely affected, treating epilepsy means drilling through the skull deep into the brain to destroy the small area where the seizures originate -- invasive, dangerous and with...

New light on the 'split peak' of alcohols

In this picture the resonant inelastic soft x-ray scattering (RIXS) spectrometer in the foreground and the liquid jet sample delivery system in the background.For scientists probing the electronic structure of materials using a relatively new technique called resonant inelastic soft X-ray scattering (RIXS) in the last few years, a persistent question has been...

Unique catalysts for hydrogen fuel cells synthesized in ordinary kitchen microwave oven

This is a portrait photo of Thomas W&#229;gberg, Umea University.Swedish and Chinese researchers show how a unique nano-alloy composed of palladium nano-islands embedded in tungsten nanoparticles creates a new type of catalysts for highly efficient oxygen reduction, the most...

Stanford scientists create a 'smart' lithium-ion battery that warns of fire hazard

Stanford scientists have developed a lithium-ion battery that alerts users of potential overheating and fire. The early-warning system uses an ultrathin copper sensor deposited atop a conventional battery separator (white square).Stanford University scientists have developed a "smart" lithium-ion battery that gives ample warning before it overheats and bursts into flames.

A novel platform for future spintronic technologies

Spintronics is an emerging field of technology where devices work by manipulating the spin of electrons rather than their charge. The field can bring significant advantages to computer technology, combining...

Rare 'baby rattle' molecules reveal new quantum properties of H2O and H2

The experiments were carried out on endofullerenes, molecules of C60 into which smaller molecules of hydrogen (H2) had been inserted. The results, published in Physical Review Letters, represent the first...

Unstoppable magnetoresistance

This image shows the crystal structure of WTe2.Mazhar Ali, a fifth-year graduate student in the laboratory of Bob Cava, the Russell Wellman Moore Professor of Chemistry at Princeton University, has spent his academic career discovering new superconductors,...

Nanoparticle research could enhance drug delivery through skin

Scientists at the University of Southampton have identified key characteristics that enhance a nanoparticle's ability to penetrate skin, in a milestone study which could have major implications for the delivery...

Crystallizing the DNA nanotechnology dream

DNA has garnered attention for its potential as a programmable material platform that could spawn entire new and revolutionary nanodevices in computer science, microscopy, biology, and more. Researchers have been working to master the ability to coax DNA molecules to...

Light bending material facilitates the search for new particles

This is Philippe Tassin, assistant professor, Dep of Applied Physics, Chalmers University of Technology.Particle physicists have a hard time identifying all the elementary particles created in their particle accelerators. But now researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have designed a material that makes...

Cosmic jets of young stars formed by magnetic fields

This is an artist's rendering showing the birth of a star: A dust and gas cloud is forming a spiraling disk around a massive baby star while jets of material shoot from its core.Astrophysical jets are counted among our Universe's most spectacular phenomena: From the centers of black holes, quasars, or protostars, these rays of matter sometimes protrude several light years into space....

Researchers develop world's thinnest electric generator

This is a cartoon showing positive and negative polarized charges are squeezed from a single layer of atoms of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), as it is being stretched.Researchers from Columbia Engineering and the Georgia Institute of Technology report today that they have made the first experimental observation of piezoelectricity and the piezotronic effect in an atomically thin...

Scientists create new protein-based material with some nerve

The height of the new protein brush, made from the neurofilament-derived proteins, can be precisely controlled with protein-digesting enzymes, or proteases. The protease thrombin, shown at the top, cut the brush superficially at the red cross marks, resulting in a negligible change to the height of the brush. The protease clostripain cut the brush much more deeply at the yellow cross marks and thus had a more measurable effect on height.Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have taken proteins from nerve cells and used them to create a "smart" material that is extremely sensitive to its environment. This marriage...

Balancing renewable energy costs

Increasing reliance on renewable energies is the way to achieve greater CO2 emission sustainability and energy independence. As such energies are yet only available intermittently and energy cannot be stored...

Australian teams set new records for silicon quantum computing

Two research teams working in the same laboratories at UNSW Australia have found distinct solutions to a critical challenge that has held back the realisation of super powerful quantum computers.

Mineralization of sand particles boosts microbial water filtration

Mineral coatings on sand particles actually encourage microbial activity in the rapid sand filters that are used to treat groundwater for drinking, according to a paper published ahead of print...

Stanford team invents sensor that uses radio waves to detect subtle changes in pressure

Stanford Chemical Engineering Professor Zhenan Bao points to a diagram of a rubber molecule, indicating the springy feature exploited by her team's wireless pressure sensor.Stanford engineers have invented a wireless pressure sensor that has already been used to measure brain pressure in lab mice with brain injuries.

Of bio-hairpins and polymer-spaghetti

This is a 3-D confocal microscopic image of fluorescently labelled F-actin filaments, one of which is fully analyzed, in an entangled solution of unlabelled F-actin subjected to shear flow.When a basically sturdy material becomes soft and spongy, one usually suspects that it has been damaged in some way. But this is not always the case, especially when it...

A cost-effective and energy-efficient approach to carbon capture

Carbon capture is a process by which waste carbon dioxide (CO2) released by factories and power plants is collected and stored away, in order to reduce global carbon emissions. There...

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