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Liquid metals normally form a spherical shape due to their large surface tension. By applying a small voltage to the metal in water, a surface oxide forms on the surface of the metal and lowers the surface tension. Reversing the bias can remove the oxide

Researchers Control Movement of Liquid Metals with Less than One Volt

September 19, 2014 4:56 pm | by North Carolina State University | News | Comments

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.

CERN Articles in American Physical Society Collection to be Open Access

September 18, 2014 2:43 pm | by CERN | News | Comments

The American Physical Society and CERN announced a partnership to make all CERN-authored...

Martian Meteorite Yields More Evidence of the Possibility of Life on Mars

September 18, 2014 2:05 pm | by University of Manchester | News | Comments

A tiny fragment of Martian meteorite 1.3 billion years old is helping to make the case for the...

European Space Agency Picks Site for Comet Landing

September 16, 2014 2:22 pm | by Frank Jordans, Associated Press | News | Comments

Talk about a moving target. Scientists at the European Space Agency have announced the spot...

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Close-ups of an experiment conducted by John Bush and his student Daniel Harris, in which a bouncing droplet of fluid was propelled across a fluid bath by waves it generated. Courtesy of Dan Harris

Fluid Mechanics: New Math Suggests Alternative to Quantum Orthodoxy

September 15, 2014 3:43 pm | by Larry Hardesty, MIT | News | Comments

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.

Observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope reveal new information about the structure of 2011 MD, a small asteroid being considered by NASA for its proposed Asteroid Redirect Mission, or ARM. Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA Inspector Blasts Asteroid Protection Program

September 15, 2014 3:24 pm | by Marcia Dunn, AP Aerospace Writer | News | Comments

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.

On the right, an artificial atom generates sound waves consisting of ripples on the surface of a solid. The sound, known as a surface acoustic wave (SAW) is picked up on the left by a "microphone" composed of interlaced metal fingers. According to theory,

Sound of an Atom Captured

September 12, 2014 3:16 pm | by Johanna Wilde and Martin Gustafsson, Chalmers University of Technology | News | Comments

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.

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Supernova Remains -- Courtesy of  NASA/CXC/IAFE/G.Dubner et al & ESA/XMM-Newton

Unprecedented X-ray View of Supernova Remains

September 12, 2014 11:50 am | by NASA | News | Comments

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.

It is extremely rare to come across with a phenomenon that bridges materials science, particle physics, relativity and topology.

New Species of Electrons Can Lead to Better Computing

September 11, 2014 4:18 pm | by The University of Manchester | News | Comments

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.

As the scientists observe the star system, the infrared signal from this cloud varies based on what is visible from Earth. By studying the oscillations, the team is gathering first-of-its-kind data on the detailed process and outcome of collisions that cr

Spitzer Telescope Witnesses Asteroid Smashup

September 10, 2014 4:01 pm | by Caltech | News | Comments

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.

The Department of Energy’s Advanced Light Source (ALS) Beamline 7.3.3 (SAXS/WAXS/GISAXS/GIWAXS) and endstation at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Courtesy of Roy Kaltschmidt

Tools for Reducing, Managing, Analyzing and Visualizing Data Transform Beamline Science

September 10, 2014 3:48 pm | by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | News | Comments

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.

The position and structure at the micron- and nano-scales of the compound eyes of flies provide them a wide angular field of view. Courtesy of D.P. Pulsifer/PSU

Pesky Insect Inspires Practical Technology

September 9, 2014 3:41 pm | by American Institute of Physics (AIP) | News | Comments

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

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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

Ultra-Thin Detector Captures Unprecedented Range of Light

September 9, 2014 10:09 am | by The College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences | News | Comments

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 grou

Late Summer Flare-Up … Ouch!

September 8, 2014 8:20 am | News | Comments

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 cente

Giant Garbage Patches Help Redefine Ocean Boundaries

September 5, 2014 11:25 am | by Catherine Meyers, American institute of Physics | News | Comments

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 excellenc

Hexagonal Silver Crystals

September 5, 2014 8:33 am | News | Comments

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

Mapping Laniakea, Our Home Supercluster of Galaxies

September 4, 2014 9:08 am | by Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii | News | Comments

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.

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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.

Can a stack of computer servers survive an earthquake?

September 3, 2014 4:13 pm | by Cory Nealon, University at Buffalo | News | Comments

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,

Retreat of Yakutat Glacier

September 3, 2014 3:56 pm | by Adam Voiland, NASA | News | Comments

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

Computer Simulations Visualize Ion Flux

September 3, 2014 9:24 am | by University of Vienna | News | Comments

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 its

Mysteries of Space Dust Revealed

September 2, 2014 11:17 am | by Argonne National Laboratory | News | Comments

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

Mars Rover Selfie

August 28, 2014 12:09 pm | News | Comments

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).

Ph.D. students Giovanni Guccione (L) and Harry Slatyer examine their gold-coated silver gallium nanowire in the Quantum Optics labs. Courtesy of Quantum Optics Group, ANU

Laser Makes Atomic-force Microscopes 20 Times More Sensitive

August 26, 2014 4:12 pm | by Australian National University | News | Comments

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.

DESY's 1.7 mile-long PETRA III accelerator is a super microscope that speeds up electrically charged particles nearly to the speed of light.

20 GB Data per Second Shared with 2000+ Scientists Worldwide

August 22, 2014 12:02 pm | by IBM | News | Comments

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.

Supernova Seen in Two Lights -- Courtesy of NASA/ESA/JPL-Caltech/GSFC/IAFE

Supernova Seen in Two Lights

August 22, 2014 11:49 am | by NASA | News | Comments

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.

This still from a KIPAC visualization shows a jet of energy and particles streaming from a black hole. (Visualization: Ralf Kaehler / Simulation: Jonathan McKinney, Alexander Tchekhovskoy, and Roger Blandford)

Dramatically Intricate 3-D Universes Tell Important Stories about the Cosmos

August 21, 2014 3:16 pm | by Kelen Tuttle, Kavli Foundation | Articles | Comments

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?

Brookhaven theoretical physicist Swagato Mukherjee explains that 'invisible' hadrons are like salt molecules floating around in the hot gas of hadrons, making other particles freeze out at a lower temperature than they would if the 'salt' wasn't there.

Invisible Particles Provide First Indirect Evidence of Strange Baryons

August 20, 2014 10:17 am | by Brookhaven National Laboratory | News | Comments

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"

A picokeystone extracted from an aerogel tile from the Stardust interstellar dust collector. Scientists said seven microscopic particles collected by NASA's comet-chasing spacecraft, Stardust, appear to have originated outside our solar system. The dust c

Specks Returned from Space may be Alien Visitors

August 15, 2014 2:28 pm | by Marcia Dunn, AP Aerospace Writer | News | Comments

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.

An April memo from the EPA's chief of staff said that "unsolicited contacts" need to be "appropriately managed" and that committee members should refrain from directly responding to requests about committees' efforts to advise the agency.

Groups to EPA: Stop Muzzling Science Advisers

August 13, 2014 12:39 pm | by Dina Cappiello, Associated Press | News | Comments

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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