Popular Science articles about Physics & Chemistry

A mollusk of a different stripe

The blue-rayed limpet is a tiny mollusk that lives in kelp beds along the coasts of Norway, Iceland, the United Kingdom, Portugal, and the Canary Islands. These diminutive organisms -- as small as a fingernail -- might escape notice entirely,...

A simple way to make and reconfigure complex emulsions

MIT researchers have devised a new way to make complex liquid mixtures, known as emulsions, that could have many applications in drug delivery, sensing, cleaning up pollutants, and performing chemical...

Using 'fuzzy logic' to optimize hybrid solar/battery systems

This image shows the fuzzy logic algorithm which reads the consumption energy and the monthly average of daily solar radiation and gives the output of the system which is the PVP surface and the battery capacity.How did fuzzy logic help a group of researchers in Tunisia and Algeria create an ideal photovoltaic system that obeys the supply-and-demand principle and its delicate balance?

Why a latte is less likely to spill than a coffee

Just a few layers of foam are enough to significantly decrease the height of the waves in a sloshing fluid.Carrying a full cup of coffee from the kitchen to the dining room can be precarious for a sleepy-eyed caffeine addict who might accidentally send a wave of java sloshing...

Novel pretreatment could cut biofuel costs by 30 percent or more

This is Charles Wyman, the Ford Motor Company Chair in Environmental Engineering at UC Riverside.Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have invented a novel pretreatment technology that could cut the cost of biofuels production by about 30 percent or more by dramatically reducing...

Radio chip for the 'Internet of things'

At this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the big theme was the "Internet of things" -- the idea that everything in the human environment, from kitchen appliances to...

New nanogel for drug delivery

Scientists are interested in using gels to deliver drugs because they can be molded into specific shapes and designed to release their payload over a specified time period. However, current...

Scientists identify mineral that destroys organic compounds, with implications for Mars Curiosity mission

Scientists have discovered that the mineral jarosite breaks down organic compounds when it is flash-heated, with implications for Mars research.

New solder for semiconductors creates technological possibilities

Semiconductor devices like this one now can be joined electronically with a new solder developed by chemistry Professor Dmitri Talapin's research group at the University of Chicago.A research team led by the University of Chicago's Dmitri Talapin has demonstrated how semiconductors can be soldered and still deliver good electronic performance.

A new spin on spintronics

A laser pulse is split into two paths:  circularly polarized pump (blue) and linearly polarized probe (red).  The pump's path length is adjustable using a delay stage so that the relative arrival time between the pump and probe can be adjusted.  After the probe is reflected from the sample surface, the light is passed through a Walloston Prism and sent to a balanced photo-diode bridge.  This allows for very sensitive measurements of the Faraday rotation due to electron spin polarizations.A team of researchers from the University of Michigan and Western Michigan University is exploring new materials that could yield higher computational speeds and lower power consumption, even in harsh...

See here now: Telescopic contact lenses and wink-control glasses

This is the latest version of the telescopic contact lens, with a quarter for scale.An estimated 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide. Age-related macular degeneration alone is the leading cause of blindness among older adults in the Western world. But this week at...

New research predicts when, how materials will act

In science, it's commonly known that materials can change in a number of ways when subjected to different temperatures, pressures or other environmental forces.

Easy on the eyes: How eyelash length keeps your eyes healthy

Giraffes and 21 other mammals, including humans, all eyelashes that are one third the width of their eye.It started with a trip to the basement of the American Museum of Natural History in New York to inspect preserved animal hides. Later, Georgia Institute of Technology researchers built...

Dendrite eraser: New electrolyte rids batteries of short-circuiting fibers

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has developed a new electrolyte that allows lithium-sulfur, lithium-metal and lithium-air batteries to operate well without growing dendrites, tiny pin-like fibers that short-circuit rechargeable batteries. Shown here are two scanning electron microscope images that illustrate how a traditional electrolyte can cause dendrite growth (a, left), while PNNL's new electrolyte instead causes the growth of smooth nodules that don't short-circuit batteries (b, right).Dendrites -- the microscopic, pin-like fibers that cause rechargeable batteries to short circuit -- create fire hazards and can limit the ability of batteries to power our smart phones and...

Optical nanoantennas set the stage for a NEMS lab-on-a-chip revolution

This is a schematic representation of unidirectional cubic nanoantennas inducing directionality to omnidirectional nanoemitters (light sources, e.g., spasers, quantum dots), to precisely focus light with adjustable beam width and intensity, which can be tuned by adjusting the length of nanocube chain or intercube spacing. These ultra-narrow directional beams can play multiple roles in lab-on-a-chip devices such as illumination sources in microfluidic analysis or minute deflection registers in nanocantilever based sensors. All these signals are further detected in the photodetectors and get processed by on-chip signal processing circuitry for bio-molecular identification.Newly developed tiny antennas, likened to spotlights on the nanoscale, offer the potential to measure food safety, identify pollutants in the air and even quickly diagnose and treat cancer, according...

Building tailor-made DNA nanotubes step by step

Researchers at McGill University have developed a new, low-cost method to build DNA nanotubes block by block -- a breakthrough that could help pave the way for scaffolds made from...

Fever alarm armband: A wearable, printable, temperature sensor

The armband is 30 cm long and 18 cm wide, and can be worn either directly on the skin or on top of clothing. The device is designed so that the thermal sensor is located between the arm and the body. The organic power supply circuit is located under the piezo film speaker to reduce surface area.University of Tokyo researchers have developed a "fever alarm armband," a flexible, self-powered wearable device that sounds an alarm in case of high body temperature. This armband will be presented...

Researchers build atomically thin gas and chemical sensors

Alexander Balandin is a professor of electrical and computer engineering.The relatively recent discovery of graphene, a two-dimensional layered material with unusual and attractive electronic, optical and thermal properties, led scientists to search for other atomically thin materials with unique...

New paper-like material could boost electric vehicle batteries

These are scanning electron microscope images of (a) SiO2 nanofibers after drying, (b) SiO2 nanofibers under high magnification (c) silicon nanofibers after etching, and (d) silicon nanofibers under high magnification.Researchers at the University of California, Riverside's Bourns College of Engineering have developed a novel paper-like material for lithium-ion batteries. It has the potential to boost by several times the...

Novel solid-state nanomaterial platform enables terahertz photonics

This schematic shows nanowire detectors coupled with THz quantum cascade lasers.Compact, sensitive and fast nanodetectors are considered to be somewhat of a "Holy Grail" sought by many researchers around the world. And now a team of scientists in Italy and...

Light reveals new details of Gauguin's creative process

This image is by Paul Gauguin. Nativity (Mother and Child Surrounded by Five Figures), c. 1902.French artist Paul Gauguin is well known for his colorful paintings of Tahitian life -- such as the painting that sold recently for nearly $300 million -- but he also...

New self-stretching material developed at University of Rochester

Although most materials slightly expand when heated, there is a new class of rubber-like material that not only self-stretches upon cooling; it reverts back to its original shape when heated,...

More news about Physics & Chemistry

Breaking science news from the newsfeed about Physics & Chemistry