Popular Science articles about Physics & Chemistry

Engineers at The Ohio State University have invented a coating to help soap pour out of plastic bottles more easily. Here, a drop of shampoo slides off a piece of polypropylene.

Probing giant planets' dark hydrogen

This is an illustration of the layer of dark hydrogen the team's lab mimicry indicates would be found beneath the surface of gas giant planets like Jupiter, courtesy of Stewart McWilliams.Hydrogen is the most-abundant element in the universe. It's also the simplest--sporting only a single electron in each atom. But that simplicity is deceptive, because there is still so much...

Particle zoo in a quantum computer

Researchers simulated the creation of elementary particle pairs out of the vacuum by using a quantum computer.Elementary particles are the fundamental buildings blocks of matter, and their properties are described by the Standard Model of particle physics. The discovery of the Higgs boson at the CERN...

How chameleons capture their prey

This image shows <em>Chamaeleo calyptratus</em> by Aurelie Maillard.Despite their nonchalant appearance, chameleons are formidable predators, capturing their prey by whipping out their tongues with incredible precision. They can even capture preys weighing up to 30% of their...

Understanding rogue ocean waves may be simple after all

An international team of scientists has developed a relatively simple mathematical explanation for the rogue ocean waves that can develop seemingly out of nowhere to sink ships and overwhelm oil...

New electron microscope method detects atomic-scale magnetism

ORNL's Juan Carlos Idrobo helped develop an electron microscopy technique to measure magnetism at the atomic scale.Scientists can now detect magnetic behavior at the atomic level with a new electron microscopy technique developed by a team from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and...

How China can ramp up wind power

China has an opportunity to massively increase its use of wind power -- if it properly integrates wind into its existing power system, according to a newly published MIT study.

Doubled sensitivity could allow gravitational wave detectors to reach deeper into space

A new squeezed vacuum source could make gravitational wave detectors sensitive enough to study neutron stars.Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Australian National University have developed new technology that aims to make the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) even more sensitive...

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Dewatering natural fiber suspensions via compression

The removal of water from dense suspensions is a longstanding and perplexing industrial challenge -- one that's particularly important when it comes to papermaking and wastewater treatment.

Scientific gains may make electronic nose the next everyday device

Dr. Navneet Sharma (left) and Qian Zhong of UT Dallas are part of a research team working to create an affordable electronic nose that can improve breath analysis. Sharma is the lead author of a new study that reveals the benefits of using CMOS integrated circuits technology in the device.Researchers at the Texas Analog Center of Excellence (TxACE) at UT Dallas are working to develop an affordable electronic nose that can be used in breath analysis for a wide...

How do hydrogen droplets behave when hydrogen-oxygen aerosol mixtures burn?

Modern rockets and their launch vehicles commonly rely on hydrogen-oxygen mixtures as propellant, but this combination is highly explosive. The Challenger space shuttle catastrophe of 1986 is associated with self-ignition...

Coal to solar: Retraining the energy workforce

Joshua Pearce's lab at Michigan Tech focuses on the accessibility of solar and 3-D printing technologies.As more coal-fired power plants are retired, industry workers are left without many options. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, though.

Researchers discover new chemical sensing technique

University of Houston researchers report that for the first time, surface-enhanced near-infrared absorption (SENIRA) spectroscopy has been demonstrated for high sensitivity chemical detection.Researchers from the University of Houston have reported a new technique to determine the chemical composition of materials using near-infrared light.

Shedding light on an assistant protein

The combination of a dye molecule and tryptophan opens up wholly new insights into the movements of the protein Hsp90.Proteins are among the functional key elements of life. Made up of long chains of amino acids, they fold to form highly organised, three-dimensional structures much like an origami creation....

Tracking the aluminum used to purify tap water

This is an analysis using 27Al qNMR (quantitative NMR) spectroscopy. Each spectrum can be measured in just three minutes.A Kobe University research group including Associate Professor Maki Hideshi (Center for Environmental Management), PhD candidate Sakata Genki (Graduate School of Engineering, Department of Chemical Science and Engineering, currently employed...

Chemists find new way to recycle plastic waste into fuel

A new way of recycling millions of tons of plastic garbage into liquid fuel has been devised by researchers from the University of California, Irvine and the Shanghai Institute of...

Scientists glimpse why life can't happen without water

Researchers led by Dongping Zhong, the Robert Smith Professor of physics at The Ohio State University, are getting closer to directly observing how and why water is essential to life as we know it.Scientists are getting closer to directly observing how and why water is essential to life as we know it.

Stanford researchers find new ways to make clean hydrogen and rechargable zinc batteries

Stanford engineers created arrays of silicon nanocones to trap sunlight and improve the performance of solar cells made of bismuth vanadate (1&mu;m=1,000 nanometers).A Stanford University research lab has developed new technologies to tackle two of the world's biggest energy challenges - clean fuel for transportation and grid-scale energy storage.

A new trick for controlling emission direction in microlasers

This is an artist's view showing the control of the emission direction of lasing at exceptional points in a whispering gallery mode microlaser. The tori and the spheres represent the microtoroid resonators and the scatterers, respectively. With two scatterers with appropriate sizes and locations in the field of the resonator, light is emitted in only one direction. The lasing is bidirectional when there is one or no scatterer.Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have found a way to give photons, or light packets, their marching orders.

Pitch range produced by vocal cords

An illustration of the concept that a pair of human vocal cords can produce the same range of frequencies as a piano.Picture a singer, accompanied by a grand piano. As the singer's voice dances through multiple octaves of range, the pianist's fingers trip from one end of the keyboard to the...

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Let there be light

University of Utah materials science and engineering associate professor Mike Scarpulla stands next to a solar panel made of the compound semiconductor, cadmium telluride. Scarpulla along with 
Kirstin Alberi of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have developed a theory that adding light during the manufacturing of semiconductors can reduce defects in the materials, leading to more efficient solar cells and better LEDs.University of Utah materials science and engineering associate professor Mike Scarpulla wants to shed light on semiconductors -- literally.

On the path toward bionic enzymes

This is a graphic of an artificial metalloenzyme. Within the protein (grey) is a porphyrin (red), a component of natural heme proteins, with iridium as the active site (purple). The enzyme converts the molecules at the top to those at the bottom by reaction at a carbon-hydrogen bond (left) and carbon-carbon double bond (right), respectively.There may soon be a new way to make molecules to form the basis of pharmaceuticals, fuels, agrochemicals, materials, and an array of other products in our modern life. Chemists...

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