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Description: Physics News and Research. Why is the universe more partial to matter than antimatter? How could fuel cells be more efficient? Read current science articles on physics.

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ScienceDaily: Physics News

Microscopy pencils patterns in polymers at the nanoscale
by on Wed, 17 Dec 2014 15:39:06 EST:
Scientists have used advanced microscopy to carve out nanoscale designs on the surface of a new class of ionic polymer materials for the first time.
The simplest element: Turning hydrogen into 'graphene'
by on Tue, 16 Dec 2014 12:38:29 EST:
New work delves into the chemistry underlying some surprising recent observations about hydrogen, and reveals remarkable parallels between hydrogen and graphene under extreme pressures.
Scientists trace nanoparticles from plants to caterpillars: Are nanoparticles getting in our food?
by on Tue, 16 Dec 2014 12:38:23 EST:
In one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind, scientists tracked uptake and accumulation of quantum dot nanoparticles from water to plant roots, plant leaves and leaf-eating caterpillars.
Exact solution to model Big Bang and quark gluon plasma
by on Tue, 16 Dec 2014 12:38:17 EST:
Scientists have published an exact solution that applies to a wide array of physics contexts and will help researchers to better model galactic structure, supernova explosions and high-energy particle collisions, such as those studied at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland.
Researchers generate tunable photon-pair spectrum using room-temperature quantum optics silicon chip
by on Tue, 16 Dec 2014 10:07:17 EST:
A team of researchers have demonstrated a way to emit and control quantum light generated using a chip made from silicon -- one of the most widely used materials for modern electronics.
Is the Higgs Boson a piece of the matter-antimatter puzzle?
by on Tue, 16 Dec 2014 10:04:39 EST:
Several experiments, including the BaBar experiment have helped explain some – but not all – of the imbalance between matter and antimatter in the universe. Now theorists have laid out a possible method for determining if the Higgs Boson is involved. Why there's more matter than antimatter is one of the biggest questions confounding particle physicists and cosmologists, and it cuts to the heart of our own existence.
Mathematicians prove the Umbral Moonshine Conjecture
by on Mon, 15 Dec 2014 11:48:16 EST:
Monstrous moonshine, a quirky pattern of the monster group in theoretical math, has a shadow -- umbral moonshine. Mathematicians have now proved this insight, known as the Umbral Moonshine Conjecture, offering a formula with potential applications for everything from number theory to geometry to quantum physics.
Control of shape of light particles opens the way to 'quantum internet'
by on Mon, 15 Dec 2014 08:44:11 EST:
In the same way as we now connect computers in networks through optical signals, it could also be possible to connect future quantum computers in a ‘quantum internet’. The optical signals would then consist of individual light particles or photons. One prerequisite for a working quantum internet is control of the shape of these photons. Researchers have now succeeded for the first time in getting this control within the required short time.
Scientists measure speedy electrons in silicon
by on Thu, 11 Dec 2014 14:24:33 EST:
Attosecond lasers provide the shortest light pulses yet, allowing observation of nature's most short-lived events. Researchers have used these lasers for the first time to take snapshots of electrons jumping from silicon atoms into the conduction band of a semiconductor, the key event behind the transistor. They clocked the jump at 450 attoseconds and saw the rebound of the crystal lattice 60 femtoseconds later: a delay 120 times longer than the jump itself.
Researchers detect possible signal from dark matter
by on Thu, 11 Dec 2014 11:55:20 EST:
Scientists have picked up an atypical photon emission in X-rays coming from space, and say it could be evidence for the existence of a particle of dark matter. If confirmed, it could open up new perspectives in cosmology.
Stacking two-dimensional materials may lower cost of semiconductor devices
by on Thu, 11 Dec 2014 11:55:16 EST:
A team of researchers has found that stacking materials that are only one atom thick can create semiconductor junctions that transfer charge efficiently, regardless of whether the crystalline structure of the materials is mismatched -- lowering the manufacturing cost for a wide variety of semiconductor devices such as solar cells, lasers and LEDs.
New way to plug 'leaky' light cavities demonstrated
by on Wed, 10 Dec 2014 14:08:42 EST:
Engineers have demonstrated a new and more efficient way to trap light, using a phenomenon called bound states in the continuum that was first proposed in the early days of quantum wave mechanics.
Physicists explain puzzling particle collisions
by on Wed, 10 Dec 2014 13:13:54 EST:
An anomaly spotted at the Large Hadron Collider has prompted scientists to reconsider a mathematical description of the underlying physics. By considering two forces that are distinct in everyday life but unified under extreme conditions, they have simplified one description of the interactions of elementary particles. Their new version makes specific predictions about events that future experiments should observe and could help to reveal 'new physics,' particles or processes that have yet to be discovered.
Theory details how 'hot' monomers affect thin-film formation
by on Wed, 10 Dec 2014 12:14:42 EST:
Researchers have devised a mathematical model to predict how 'hot' monomers on cold substrates affect the growth of thin films being developed for next-generation electronics.
Where are the helium atoms in the molecule? As in a cloud
by on Wed, 10 Dec 2014 09:59:57 EST:
Physicists have now resolved a disputed matter of theoretical physics. Science has long since known that, contrary to the old school of thought, helium forms molecules of two, three or even more atoms. Exactly what helium consisting of three atoms looks like, however, has been disputed by theoretical physicists for about 20 years. Besides the intuitive assumption that the three identical components form an equilateral triangle, there was also the hypothesis that the three atoms are arranged linearly, in other words in a row. Scientists, using the COLTRIMS reaction microscope, were able to demonstrate that the truth lies somewhere in between.
Defects are perfect in laser-induced graphene
by on Wed, 10 Dec 2014 08:07:42 EST:
Researchers use lasers to create graphene foam from inexpensive polymers in ambient conditions. The laser-induced graphene may be suitable for electronics and energy storage.
Scientists resolve spin puzzle
by on Wed, 10 Dec 2014 08:06:11 EST:
Scientists have helped to uncover the properties of defects in the atomic structure of magnetite, potentially opening the way for its use in producing more powerful electronic devices.
New technique could harvest more of the sun's energy
by on Tue, 09 Dec 2014 10:18:55 EST:
As solar panels become less expensive and capable of generating more power, solar energy is becoming a more commercially viable alternative source of electricity. However, the photovoltaic cells now used to turn sunlight into electricity can only absorb and use a small fraction of that light, and that means a significant amount of solar energy goes untapped. A new technology represents a first step toward harnessing that lost energy.
Nanoscale resistors for quantum devices
by on Tue, 09 Dec 2014 08:19:07 EST:
The electrical characteristics of new thin-film chromium oxide resistors can be tuned by controlling the oxygen content. Researchers have made new compact, high-value resistors for nanoscale quantum circuits. The resistors could speed the development of quantum devices for computing and fundamental physics research.
Composite materials can be designed in a supercomputer 'virtual lab'
by on Tue, 09 Dec 2014 08:18:03 EST:
Scientists have shown how advanced computer simulations can be used to design new composite materials. Nanocomposites, which are widely used in industry, are revolutionary materials in which microscopic particles are dispersed through plastics. But their development until now has been largely by trial and error.
Major milestone in development of interband cascade lasers
by on Tue, 09 Dec 2014 08:10:51 EST:
Scientists have reached a major milestone in the development of interband cascade lasers by creating a robust technology that operates at room temperature and works continuously -- an important component for building practical systems.
World record for compact particle accelerator: Researchers ramp up energy of laser-plasma 'tabletop' accelerator
by on Mon, 08 Dec 2014 13:56:41 EST:
Using one of the most powerful lasers in the world, researchers have accelerated subatomic particles to the highest energies ever recorded from a compact accelerator. The team used a specialized petawatt laser and a charged-particle gas called plasma to get the particles up to speed. The setup is known as a laser-plasma accelerator, an emerging class of particle accelerators that physicists believe can shrink traditional, miles-long accelerators to machines that can fit on a table.
High photosensitivity 2D-few-layered molybdenum diselenide phototransistors
by on Mon, 08 Dec 2014 10:54:27 EST:
Researchers have fabricated High photosensitivity back-gated field-effect phototransistors made of only 20 nanometer thick molybdenum diselenide crystals by facile mechanical cleavage and transfer of MoSe2 flakes onto a silicon wafers for next generation for photodetector applications.
Nanoparticle cluster manufacturing technique using DNA binding protein developed
by on Fri, 05 Dec 2014 17:51:30 EST:
Scientists have used the zinc finger protein to develop a new manufacturing technique for size-controllable magnetic nanoparticle clusters.
Ultrafast complex molecular simulations by ‘cutting up molecules’
by on Fri, 05 Dec 2014 17:51:28 EST:
Scientists have developed an ultrafast quantum chemical method, which allows rapid and accurate simulations of complex molecular systems consisting of thousands of molecules.
45-year physics mystery shows a path to quantum transistors
by on Fri, 05 Dec 2014 14:24:32 EST:
An odd, iridescent material that's puzzled physicists for decades turns out to be an exotic state of matter that could open a new path to quantum computers and other next-generation electronics.
New technique offers spray-on solar power
by on Fri, 05 Dec 2014 12:43:49 EST:
Pretty soon, powering your tablet could be as simple as wrapping it in cling wrap. Scientists have just invented a new way to spray solar cells onto flexible surfaces using miniscule light-sensitive materials known as colloidal quantum dots (CQDs) -- a major step toward making spray-on solar cells easy and cheap to manufacture.
New research paves the way for nano-movies of biomolecules
by on Fri, 05 Dec 2014 10:03:37 EST:
Scientists have caught a light sensitive biomolecule at work using an X-ray laser. Their new study proves that high speed X-ray lasers can capture the fast dynamics of biomolecules in ultra slow-motion, revealing subtle processes with unprecedented clarity.
Light propagation in solar cells made visible
by on Fri, 05 Dec 2014 09:37:52 EST:
How can light which has been captured in a solar cell be examined in experiments? Scientists have succeeded in looking directly at light propagation within a solar cell by using a trick. The photovoltaics researchers are working on periodic nanostructures that efficiently capture a portion of sunlight which is normally only poorly absorbed.
Rattled atoms mimic high-temperature superconductivity
by on Thu, 04 Dec 2014 16:03:29 EST:
An experiment has provided the first fleeting glimpse of the atomic structure of a material as it entered a state resembling room-temperature superconductivity – a long-sought phenomenon in which materials might conduct electricity with 100 percent efficiency under everyday conditions.
A new look at the finer details of rust show an assumed atomic structure has been wrong all along
by on Thu, 04 Dec 2014 14:26:35 EST:
Scientists have been studying the behavior of iron oxide surfaces. The atomic structure of iron oxide, which had been assumed to be well-established, turned out to be wrong. The behavior of iron oxide is governed by missing iron atoms in the atomic layer directly below the surface. This is a big surprise with potential applications in chemical catalysis, electronics or medicine.
New revelations on dark matter and relic neutrinos
by on Thu, 04 Dec 2014 12:13:56 EST:
Satellite have been studying relic radiation (the most ancient light in the Universe). This light has been measured precisely across the entire sky for the first time, in both intensity and polarization, thereby producing the oldest image of the Universe. This primordial light lets us "see" some of the most elusive particles in the Universe: dark matter and relic neutrinos. Between 2009 and 2013, the Planck satellite observed relic radiation, sometimes called cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation. Today, with a full analysis of the data, the quality of the map is now such that the imprints left by dark matter and relic neutrinos are clearly visible.
Controlled emission and spatial splitting of electron pairs demonstrated
by on Thu, 04 Dec 2014 07:40:20 EST:
In quantum optics, generating entangled and spatially separated photon pairs (e.g. for quantum cryptography) is already a reality. So far, it has, however, not been possible to demonstrate an analogous generation and spatial separation of entangled electron pairs in solids. Physicists have now taken a decisive step in this direction. They have demonstrated for the first time the on-demand emission of electron pairs from a semiconductor quantum dot and verified their subsequent splitting into two separate conductors.
Laser sniffs out toxic gases from afar: System can ID chemicals in atmosphere from a kilometer away
by on Wed, 03 Dec 2014 16:11:32 EST:
Scientists have developed a way to sniff out tiny amounts of toxic gases -- a whiff of nerve gas, for example, or a hint of a chemical spill -- from up to one kilometer away. The new remote sensing technology can discriminate one type of gas from another with greater specificity than most -- even in complex mixtures of similar chemicals -- and under normal atmospheric pressure, something that wasn't thought possible before.
Upsetting the stability of super-small gold clusters generates multifaceted nanocrystals with potent catalytic properties
by on Wed, 03 Dec 2014 16:01:01 EST:
Researchers have devised a way to destabilize gold nanoclusters so that they form tiny atomic nuclei that then grow together into perfectly proportioned, 12-sided dodecahedron crystals. These unique polyhedra have energy-rich surfaces that can boost the catalytic efficiency of important chemical reactions and serve as potential adsorption sites for targeted sensor devices.
World’s fastest 2-D camera, 100 billion frames per second, may enable new scientific discoveries
by on Wed, 03 Dec 2014 14:24:18 EST:
A team of biomedical engineers has developed the world’s fastest receive-only 2-D camera, a device that can capture events up to 100 billion frames per second.
Powerful new technique simultaneously determines nanomaterials' chemical makeup, topography
by on Tue, 02 Dec 2014 18:32:11 EST:
Researchers have devised a powerful technique that simultaneously resolves the chemical characterization and topography of nanoscale materials down to the height of a single atom.
New method to determine surface properties at the nanoscale
by on Mon, 01 Dec 2014 13:25:39 EST:
As machines get smaller, knowing characteristics can make huge engineering differences. Engineers have now developed a method for characterizing the surface properties of materials at different temperatures at the nanoscale.
Physicists create new kind of pasta to explain mysterious, ring-shaped polymers
by on Mon, 01 Dec 2014 11:34:04 EST:
Physicists have taken to the kitchen to explain the complexity surrounding what they say is one of the last big mysteries in polymer physics.
Magnetic memory filmed in super slow motion
by on Mon, 01 Dec 2014 10:04:25 EST:
Researchers have used high-speed photography to film one of the candidates for the magnetic data storage devices of the future in action. The film was taken using an X-ray microscope and shows magnetic vortices being formed in ultrafast memory cells. The work provides a better understanding of the dynamics of magnetic storage materials. Magnetic memory cells are found in every computer hard drive.
Single-atom gold catalysts may offer path to low-cost production of fuel and chemicals
by on Thu, 27 Nov 2014 21:23:48 EST:
New catalysts designed and investigated by engineering researchers have potential to greatly reduce processing costs in future fuels like hydrogen. The catalysts are composed of a unique structure of single gold atoms bound by oxygen to sodium or potassium atoms, supported on non-reactive silica materials. They demonstrate comparable activity and stability with catalysts comprising precious metal nanoparticles on rare earth and other reducible oxide supports when used in producing highly purified hydrogen.
Scanning tunneling microscopy: Computer simulations sharpen insights into molecules
by on Thu, 27 Nov 2014 08:23:05 EST:
The resolution of scanning tunneling microscopes can be improved dramatically by attaching small molecules or atoms to their tip. The resulting images were the first to show the geometric structure of molecules and have generated a lot of interest among scientists over the last few years.
Heat-conducting plastic: 10 times better than conventional counterparts
by on Wed, 26 Nov 2014 17:16:20 EST:
The spaghetti-like internal structure of most plastics makes it hard for them to cast away heat, but a research team has made a plastic blend that does so 10 times better than its conventional counterparts.
High-tech mirror beams heat away from buildings into space
by on Wed, 26 Nov 2014 13:38:21 EST:
Engineers have invented a material designed to help cool buildings. The material reflects incoming sunlight, and it sends heat from inside the structure directly into space as infrared radiation.
Laser physicists 'see' how electrons make atomic and molecular transitions
by on Wed, 26 Nov 2014 12:44:13 EST:
By solving a six-dimensional equation that had previously stymied researchers, physicists have pinpointed the characteristics of a laser pulse that yields electron behavior they can predict and essentially control.
Engineers make sound loud enough to bend light on a computer chip: Device could improve wireless communications systems
by on Wed, 26 Nov 2014 12:44:09 EST:
Engineering researchers have developed a chip on which both sound wave and light wave are generated and confined together so that the sound can very efficiently control the light.
The mysterious 'action at a distance' between liquid containers
by on Wed, 26 Nov 2014 10:38:59 EST:
For several years, it has been known that superfluid helium housed in reservoirs located next to each other acts collectively, even when the channels connecting the reservoirs are too narrow and too long to allow for substantial flow. A new theoretical model reveals that the phenomenon of mysterious communication 'at a distance' between fluid reservoirs is much more common than previously thought.
Particles, waves and ants
by on Wed, 26 Nov 2014 09:42:44 EST:
Particles or waves traveling through disordered media are scattered at small impurities. Surprisingly, the density of these impurities does not affect the overall dwell time the particle -- or wave -- spends inside the medium. This remarkable finding applies not only to particles and waves, but also to crawling ants or drunken sailors hitting streetlamps.
Global quantum communications: No longer the stuff of fiction?
by on Wed, 26 Nov 2014 09:42:40 EST:
Neither quantum computers nor quantum cryptography will become prevalent technologies without memory systems able to manipulate quantum information easily and effectively. Scientists have recently made inroads into popularizing quantum information technologies by creating an atomic memory with outstanding parameters and an extremely simple construction.
It's particle-hunting season! Scientists launch Higgs Hunters Project
by on Wed, 26 Nov 2014 09:40:53 EST:
Scientists have launched the Higgs Hunters project, which will allow members of the general public to study images recorded at the Large Hadron Collider and to help search for previously unobserved particles.
Van der Waals force re-measured: Physicists verified nonlinear increase with growing molecular size
by on Wed, 26 Nov 2014 07:51:01 EST:
Van der Waals forces act like a sort of quantum glue on all types of matter. Using a new measuring technique, scientists experimentally determined for the first time all of the key details of how strongly the single molecules bind to a surface. With an atomic force microscope, they demonstrated that the forces do not just increase with molecular size, but that they even grow disproportionately fast.
Physicists bind single-atom sheets with the same force geckos use to climb walls
by on Tue, 25 Nov 2014 13:19:21 EST:
The approach is to design synergistic materials by combining two single-atom thick sheets, for example, that act as a photovoltaic cell as well as a light-emitting diode, converting energy between electricity and radiation.
Physicists predict fano resonance in lead-free relaxors: Discovery advances knowledge of poorly understood materials
by on Tue, 25 Nov 2014 12:48:00 EST:
Scientists predicts that a phenomenon known in physics as Fano resonance can exist in materials that are used in electronic devices. The discovery advances the fundamental understanding of ferroelectric relaxors, which were discovered in the early 1960s but whose properties are still poorly understood.
Physicists and chemists work to improve digital memory technology
by on Mon, 24 Nov 2014 14:36:06 EST:
Researchers are studying graphene and ammonia to develop high-speed, high-capacity random access memory. The team engineered and tested improvements in the performance of a memory structure known as a ferroelectric tunnel junction.
Ultra-short X-ray pulses explore the nano world
by on Mon, 24 Nov 2014 14:36:04 EST:
Ultra-short and extremely strong X-ray flashes, as produced by free-electron lasers, are opening the door to a hitherto unknown world. Scientists are using these flashes to take 'snapshots' of the geometry of tiniest structures, for example the arrangement of atoms in molecules. To improve not only spatial but also temporal resolution further requires knowledge about the precise duration and intensity of the X-ray flashes. An international team of scientists has now tackled this challenge.
Magnetic fields and lasers elicit graphene secret
by on Mon, 24 Nov 2014 12:53:43 EST:
Scientists have studied the dynamics of electrons from the 'wonder material' graphene in a magnetic field for the first time. This led to the discovery of a seemingly paradoxical phenomenon in the material. Its understanding could make a new type of laser possible in the future.
Cooling with the coldest matter in the world
by on Mon, 24 Nov 2014 11:18:21 EST:
Physicists have developed a new cooling technique for mechanical quantum systems. Using an ultracold atomic gas, the vibrations of a membrane were cooled down to less than 1 degree above absolute zero. This technique may enable novel studies of quantum physics and precision measurement devices.
Scientists do glass a solid, with new theory on how it transitions from a liquid
by on Mon, 24 Nov 2014 09:23:32 EST:
How does glass transition from a liquid to its familiar solid state? How does this common material transport heat and sound? And what microscopic changes occur when a glass gains rigidity as it cools? A team of researchers offers a theoretical explanation for these processes.
New terahertz device could strengthen security
by on Fri, 21 Nov 2014 14:12:32 EST:
We are all familiar with the security hassles that accompany air travel. Now a new type of security detection that uses terahertz radiation is looking to prove its promise. Researchers have developed a room temperature, compact, tunable terahertz source that could lead to advances in homeland security and space exploration. Able to detect explosives, chemical agents and dangerous biological substances from safe distances, devices using terahertz waves could make public spaces more secure than ever.
'Mind the gap' between atomically thin materials
by on Fri, 21 Nov 2014 14:11:17 EST:
For the first time, researchers have grown a single atomic layer of tungsten diselenide on a one- atom-thick substrate of graphene with pristine interfaces between the two layers using an industrially scalable technique.