Popular Science articles about Physics & Chemistry

Goddard engineers Lance Oh is one of several technologists developing a next-generation microshutter array technology originally developed for the James Webb Space Telescope.

Optimum inertial self-propulsion design for snowman-like nanorobot

Scale plays a major role in locomotion. Swimming microorganisms, such as bacteria and spermatozoa, are subjected to relatively small inertial forces compared to the viscous forces exerted by the surrounding...

Researchers discover cool-burning flames in space, could lead to better engines on earth

These are screen shots taken during one of the FLEX experiments.A team of international researchers has discovered a new type of cool burning flames that could lead to cleaner, more efficient engines for cars. The discovery was made during a...

Mineral magic? Common mineral capable of making and breaking bonds

A team of ASU researchers has demonstrated that a particular mineral, sphalerite, can affect the most fundamental process in organic chemistry: carbon-hydrogen bond breaking and making. This is a sample of gem-quality sphalerite in a quartz matrix.Reactions among minerals and organic compounds in hydrothermal environments are critical components of Earth's deep carbon cycle, they provide energy for the deep biosphere, and may have implications for the...

Stanford team achieves 'holy grail' of battery design: A stable lithium anode

Engineers across the globe have been racing to design smaller, cheaper and more efficient rechargeable batteries to meet the power storage needs of everything from handheld gadgets to electric cars.

New approach to form non-equilibrium structures

Although most natural and synthetic processes prefer to settle into equilibrium -- a state of unchanging balance without potential or energy -- it is within the realm of non-equilibrium conditions...

Atomic structure of key muscle component revealed in Penn study

This is a representation of the atomic structure of tropomodulin at the minus end of the actin filament in muscle sarcomeres. Tropomodulin interacts with the first three actin subunits of the filament. The regions of tropomodulin that interact with actin are colored magenta, and the three actin subunits involved in this interaction are represented by two shades of blue, and purple for the interacting surface of the third subunit. Other subunits of the filament are colored gray. The actin filament also has two tropomyosin coiled coils bound symmetrically on each side (orange). At the minus end, tropomodulin also interacts with the tropomyosin coiled coils, and the region responsible for this interaction is colored green.Actin is the most abundant protein in the body, and when you look more closely at its fundamental role in life, it's easy to see why. It is the basis...

Cost-effective, solvothermal synthesis of heteroatom (S or N)-doped graphene developed

A research team led by group leader Yung-Eun Sung has announced that they have developed cost-effective technology to synthesize sulfur-doped and nitrogen-doped graphenes which can be applied as high performance...

How honey bees stay cool

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.Honey bees, especially the young, are highly sensitive to temperature and to protect developing bees, adults work together to maintain temperatures within a narrow range. Recently published research led by...

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,...

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...

Tough foam from tiny sheets

An electron microscope image of foam created at Rice University shows layers of graphene oxide stacked to form a three-dimensional structure with the help of hexagonal boron nitride linkers.Tough, ultralight foam of atom-thick sheets can be made to any size and shape through a chemical process invented at Rice University.

Microscopic rowing -- without a cox

The background is the instantaneous fluid velocity field of one flagellum, color-coded by magnitude, with overlaid arrows showing flow direction.Many different types of cell, including sperm, bacteria and algae, propel themselves using whip-like appendages known as flagella. These protrusions, about one-hundredth of a millimetre long, function like tiny oars,...

Refrigerator magnets

The magnets cluttering the face of your refrigerator may one day be used as cooling agents, according to a new theory formulated by MIT researchers.

Measuring the smallest magnets

This is an illustration showing the magnetic field lines of two electrons, arranged so that their spins point in opposite directions. The image comes from the lab of Dr. Roee Ozeri.Imagine trying to measure a tennis ball that bounces wildly, every time to a distance a million times its own size. The bouncing obviously creates enormous "background noise" that interferes...

Magnets for fusion energy: A revolutionary manufacturing method developed

This is the cross-section of the conductor sample.The National Institute for Fusion Science (NIFS), of the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) in Japan, has achieved an electrical current of 100,000 amperes, which is by far the...

ORNL study reveals new characteristics of complex oxide surfaces

An Oak Ridge National Laboratory study combined microscopy and data processing to provide an unprecedented look at the surface of a magnanite material known for its unusual properties. The resulting "distortion maps" (right) brought into view structural areas called domains that were not easily identified in the raw images (left).A novel combination of microscopy and data processing has given researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory an unprecedented look at the surface of a material known...

Discovery is key to metal wear in sliding parts

This sequence of images reveals surprising fluid-like behavior in a solid piece of metal sliding over another, forming defects leading to wear in metal parts. (Top) Two image frames of the material flow showing how these defects are spawned in the wake of the contact. (Bottom) Scanning electron microscope pictures of the corresponding wear surfaces showing a tear and a crack. Wear particles are formed when the tears and cracks detach from the surfaces.Researchers have discovered a previously unknown mechanism for wear in metals: a swirling, fluid-like microscopic behavior in a solid piece of metal sliding over another.

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 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.

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...

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...

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