Researchers have developed a technique for controlling the surface tension of liquid metals by applying very low voltages, opening the door to a new generation of reconfigurable electronic circuits, antennas and other technologies. The technique hinges on the fact that the oxide “skin” of the metal — which can be deposited or removed — acts as a surfactant, lowering the surface tension between the metal and the surrounding fluid.
The American Physical Society and CERN announced a partnership to make all CERN-authored...
A tiny fragment of Martian meteorite 1.3 billion years old is helping to make the case for the...
Talk about a moving target. Scientists at the European Space Agency have announced the spot...
The central mystery of quantum mechanics is that small chunks of matter sometimes seem to behave like particles, sometimes like waves. For most of the past century, the prevailing explanation of this conundrum has been what’s called the “Copenhagen interpretation” — which holds that, in some sense, a single particle really is a wave, smeared out across the universe, which collapses into a determinate location only when observed.
NASA's effort to identify potentially dangerous space rocks has taken a hit. On September 15, 2014, the space agency's inspector general released a report blasting NASA's Near Earth Objects program, which is meant to hunt and catalog comets, asteroids and relatively large fragments of these objects that pass within 28 million miles of Earth. The purpose is to protect the planet against their potential dangers.
The interaction between atoms and light is well-known and has been studied extensively in the field of quantum optics. However, to achieve the same kind of interaction with sound waves has been a more challenging undertaking. In collaboration between experimental and theoretical physicists, Chalmers University of Technology researchers have succeeded in making acoustic waves couple to an artificial atom.
The destructive results of a powerful supernova explosion reveal themselves in a delicate tapestry of X-ray light, as seen in this image from NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory and the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton. The image shows the remains of a supernova that would have been witnessed on Earth about 3,700 years ago. The remnant is called Puppis A and is around 7,000 light years away and about 10 light years across.
Electrons that break the rules and move perpendicular to the applied electric field could be the key to delivering next generation, low-energy computers, a collaboration of scientists from The University of Manchester and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found. They report a material in which electrons move at a controllable angle to applied fields, similar to sailboats driven diagonally to the wind.
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has spotted an eruption of dust around a young star, possibly the result of a smashup between large asteroids. This type of collision can eventually lead to the formation of planets. Scientists had been regularly tracking the star, called NGC 2547-ID8, when it surged with a huge amount of fresh dust.
Some mysteries of science can only be explained on a nanometer scale — even smaller than a single strand of human DNA, which is about 2.5 nanometers wide. At this scale, scientists can investigate the structure and behavior of proteins that help our bodies fight infectious microbes, and even catch chemical reactions in action. To resolve these very fine details, they rely on synchrotron light sources like the ALS at Berkeley Lab.
In our vain struggle to kill flies, hands and swatters often come up lacking. This is due to no fault of our own, but rather to flies’ compound eyes. Arranged in a hexagonal, convex pattern, compound eyes consist of hundreds of optical units called ommatidia, which together bestow upon flies a nearly 360-degree field of vision. With this capability in mind, researchers are drawing on this structure to create miniature light-emitting devices
New research could lead to a generation of light detectors that can see below the surface of bodies, walls, and other objects. Using the special properties of graphene, a two-dimensional form of carbon that is only one atom thick, a prototype detector is able to see an extraordinarily broad band of wavelengths.
The sun emits a mid-level solar flare. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured images of the flare, which erupted on the left side of the sun. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however—when intense enough—they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is an area of environmental concern between Hawaii and California where the ocean surface is marred by scattered pieces of plastic. Scientists believe the garbage patch is but one of at least five, each located in the center of large, circular ocean currents called gyres that suck in and trap floating debris.
This 100X photo of Pearceite, an uncommon silver mineral, in beautiful hexagonal crystals, from a copper mine in Spain received an Image of Distinction designation in the 2013 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition, which recognizes excellence in photography with the optical microscope.
University of Hawaii at Manoa astronomer R. Brent Tully has led an international team of astronomers in defining the contours of the immense supercluster of galaxies containing our own Milky Way. They have named the supercluster “Laniakea,” meaning “immense heaven” in Hawaiian.
How do you prevent an earthquake from destroying expensive computer systems? That’s the question earthquake engineer Claudia Marin-Artieda aims to answer through a series of experiments conducted at the University at Buffalo.
Located in the Brabazon Range of southeastern Alaska, Yakutat Glacier is one of the fastest retreating glaciers in the world. It is the primary outlet for the 810-square kilometer (310-square mile) Yakutat ice field, which drains into Harlequin Lake and, ultimately, the Gulf of Alaska.
Ion channels are involved in many physiological and pathophysiological processes throughout the human body. A young team of researchers investigated how ion flux through a voltage gated sodium ion channel works in detail. Since this process is incredibly fast, computer simulations were performed to visualize sodium flux "in slow motion."
The first analysis of space dust collected by a special collector onboard NASA’s Stardust mission and sent back to Earth for study in 2006 suggests the tiny specks open a door to studying the origins of the solar system and possibly the origin of life itself.
NASA's Curiosity Mars rover used the camera at the end of its arm in April and May 2014 to take dozens of component images combined into this self-portrait where the rover drilled into a sandstone target called "Windjana." The camera is the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI).
Laser physicists have found a way to make atomic-force microscope probes 20 times more sensitive and capable of detecting forces as small as the weight of an individual virus. The technique, developed by researchers in the Quantum Optics Group of Australian National University’s Research School of Physics and Engineering, hinges on using laser beams to cool a nanowire probe to minus 265 degrees Celsius.
IBM announced it is collaborating with DESY, a national research center in Germany, to speed up management and storage of massive volumes of x-ray data. The planned Big Data and Analytics architecture can handle more than 20 gigabyte per second of data at peak performance and help scientists worldwide gain faster insights into the atomic structure of novel semiconductors, catalysts, biological cells and other samples.
The destructive results of a mighty supernova explosion reveal themselves in a delicate blend of infrared and X-ray light, as seen in this image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and Chandra X-Ray Observatory, and the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton. The bubbly cloud is an irregular shock wave, generated by a supernova that would have been witnessed on Earth 3,700 years ago.
Recently, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics unveiled an unprecedented simulation of the universe’s development. Called the Illustris project, the simulation depicts more than 13 billion years of cosmic evolution across a cube of the universe that’s 350-million-light-years on each side. But why was it important to conduct such a simulation?
New supercomputing calculations provide the first evidence that particles predicted by the theory of quark-gluon interactions, but never before observed, are being produced in heavy-ion collisions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. These heavy strange baryons, containing at least one strange quark, still cannot be observed directly, but instead make their presence known by lowering the temperature at which other baryons "freeze out"
There may be itsy-bitsy aliens among us. Scientists say seven microscopic particles collected by NASA's comet-chasing spacecraft, Stardust, appear to have originated outside our solar system. If confirmed, this would be the world's first sampling of contemporary interstellar dust.
Journalist and scientific organizations accused the EPA of attempting to muzzle its independent scientific advisers by directing them to funnel all outside requests for information through agency officials. In a letter on August 12, 2014, groups representing journalists and scientists urged the EPA to allow advisory board members to talk directly to news reporters, Congress and other outside groups without first asking for permission.
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