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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

How to maximize the superconducting critical temperature in a molecular superconductor
by on Fri, 17 Apr 2015 14:52:05 EDT:
An international research team has investigated the electronic properties of the family of unconventional superconductors based on fullerenes which have the highest known superconducting critical temperature among molecular superconductors.
Detector at the South Pole explores the mysterious neutrinos
by on Thu, 16 Apr 2015 11:52:17 EDT:
Neutrinos are a type of particle that pass through just about everything in their path from even the most distant regions of the universe. The giant IceCube experiment at the South Pole can detect when there is a collision between neutrinos and atoms in the ice using detectors. New research results from the Niels Bohr Institute have measured the neutrinos and calculated some of the physical properties of the otherwise exotic and poorly understood particles.
A 'pin ball machine' for atoms and photons
by on Thu, 16 Apr 2015 09:39:24 EDT:
A team of physicists proposes the combination of nano-photonics with ultracold atoms for simulating quantum many-body systems and creating new states of matter.
Novel plasma diagnostics method
by on Thu, 16 Apr 2015 08:41:55 EDT:
Physicists have now devised an elegant plasma pressure diagnostic method by studying forces akin to the pressure change at the inner walls of energy saving light bulb when the light is switched on. Could the mundane action of switching on an energy saving light bulb still hold secrets? It does, at least for physicists. These bulbs are interesting because they contain low-temperature plasma - a gas containing charges from ions and electrons. Now, a German team has developed a method that could be used for measuring the increase in the plasma force on the inner side of such a light bulb when the light is switched on.
Sputtering start for flat materials
by on Wed, 15 Apr 2015 13:36:30 EDT:
A simple method for creating high-quality two-dimensional materials could enable industrial-scale production.
Quantum cryptography at the speed of light: Researchers design first all-photonic repeaters
by on Wed, 15 Apr 2015 09:28:39 EDT:
Engineers bring perfectly secure information exchanges one step to reality. They have now designed the first all-photonic quantum repeaters -- protocols that ensure data can be carried reliably and securely across longer distances when using quantum cryptography.
Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider smashes record for polarized proton luminosity
by on Tue, 14 Apr 2015 21:25:27 EDT:
Thanks to accelerator advances, the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, a powerful nuclear physics research facility has just shattered its own record for producing polarized proton collisions at 200-giga-electron-volt collision energy. The improvement will generate high volumes of data rapidly, giving physicists time to achieve several high-priority science goals in a single run at Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider.
Harvesting energy from electromagnetic waves
by on Tue, 14 Apr 2015 12:58:13 EDT:
Researchers have developed a novel design for electromagnetic energy harvesting based on the "full absorption concept." This involves the use of metamaterials that can be tailored to produce media that neither reflects nor transmits any power -- enabling full absorption of incident waves at a specific range of frequencies and polarizations.
Quantum Hall effect: Quantization of 'surface Dirac states' could lead to exotic applications
by on Tue, 14 Apr 2015 08:53:52 EDT:
Researchers have uncovered the first evidence of an unusual quantum phenomenon -- the integer quantum Hall effect -- in a new type of film, called a 3-D topological insulator. This discovery could help move science forward toward the goal of dissipationless electronics -- electronic devices that can operate without producing the vast amounts of heat generated by current silicon-based semiconductors.
Model for a perfect human pyramid, six tiers high
by on Tue, 14 Apr 2015 08:37:11 EDT:
Student study suggests that the perfect human pyramid consists of men, women and children and could achieve six 'tiers' in height.
Scientists create invisible objects in the microwave range without metamaterial cloaking
by on Mon, 13 Apr 2015 21:32:56 EDT:
Physicists have managed to make homogenous cylindrical objects completely invisible in the microwave range. Contrary to the now prevailing notion of invisibility that relies on metamaterial coatings, the scientists achieved the result using a homogenous object without any additional coating layers. The method is based on a new understanding of electromagnetic wave scattering.
Gold by special delivery intensifies cancer-killing radiation
by on Mon, 13 Apr 2015 18:42:37 EDT:
Researchers have demonstrated what could become a more precise method for targeting cancer cells for radiation. The method would use cancer-seeking peptides to ferry nanoparticles of gold to the site. The gold then helps focus radiation on the cancer cells.
On the road to spin-orbitronics: New way to manipulate magnetic domain walls
by on Mon, 13 Apr 2015 16:13:12 EDT:
Researchers have discovered a new way of manipulating the magnetic domain walls in ultrathin magnets that could one day revolutionize the electronics industry through a technology called “spin-orbitronics.”
Quantum computing: Bounds on the quantum information 'speed limit' tightened
by on Mon, 13 Apr 2015 09:52:02 EDT:
Physicists have narrowed the theoretical limits for where the 'speed limit' lies for quantum computers. The findings, which offer a better description of how quickly information can travel within a system built of quantum particles, implies that quantum processors will work more slowly than some research has suggested.
Long-sought magnetic mechanism observed in exotic hybrid materials
by on Mon, 13 Apr 2015 09:16:41 EDT:
Scientists have measured a subatomic phenomenon first predicted more than 60 years ago. This so-called van Vleck magnetism is the key to harnessing topological insulators -- hybrid materials that are both conducting and insulating -- and could lead to quantum computers, spintronics, and superior semiconductors.
Electrical control of quantum bits in silicon paves the way to large quantum computers
by on Fri, 10 Apr 2015 16:53:18 EDT:
Scientists have encoded quantum information in silicon using simple electrical pulses for the first time, bringing the construction of affordable large-scale quantum computers one step closer to reality.
The new cool: Physicist discovers new material set to change cooling industry
by on Fri, 10 Apr 2015 16:52:24 EDT:
Refrigeration and air conditioning may become more efficient and environmentally friendly thanks to the patent-pending work of physicists. The team has discovered a breakthrough magnetocaloric material that may change the energy industry, including air conditioning and food refrigeration.
Insulator-to-metal transition of vanadium dioxide
by on Fri, 10 Apr 2015 16:51:54 EDT:
When heated to just above room temperature, the electrical conductivity of vanadium dioxide abruptly increases by a factor of 10,000. Unusually large lattice vibrations, which are the oscillations of atoms about their equilibrium positions, stabilize this highly conductive metallic phase.
Researchers create tool to predict avian flu outbreaks
by on Fri, 10 Apr 2015 11:36:01 EDT:
A simple and effective portable tool to predict avian flu outbreaks on farms has been created . The researchers devised a real-time way to analyze chickens and other farm birds for avian flu. The tool uses a small blood sample and relies on a simple chemical color change to see not only whether a chicken has avian flu but also what viral strain is involved.
Research could usher in next generation of batteries, fuel cells
by on Fri, 10 Apr 2015 08:35:56 EDT:
Scientists have made a discovery that could dramatically improve the efficiency of batteries and fuel cells. The research involves improving the transport of oxygen ions, a key component in converting chemical reactions into electricity.
New insights into graphene and organic composites in electronics
by on Fri, 10 Apr 2015 08:35:18 EDT:
Chemists have reviewed the potential for graphene-organic composite materials in electronics. The researchers show how organic semiconductors can be used to better process graphene, and to tune its properties for particular applications.
How many gold atoms make gold metal?
by on Fri, 10 Apr 2015 08:35:16 EDT:
Researchers have shown that dramatic changes in the electronic properties of nanometer-sized chunks of gold occur in well-defined size range. Small gold nanoclusters could be used, for instance, in short-term storage of energy or electric charge in the field of molecular electronics. The researchers have been able to obtain new information which is important, among other things, in developing bioimaging and sensing based on metal-like clusters.
Graphene looking promising for future spintronic devices
by on Fri, 10 Apr 2015 08:33:00 EDT:
Researchers have discovered that large area graphene is able to preserve electron spin over an extended period, and communicate it over greater distances than had previously been known. This has opened the door for the development of spintronics, with an aim to manufacturing faster and more energy-efficient memory and processors in computers.
Chemists create tiny gold nanoparticles that reflect nature's patterns
by on Thu, 09 Apr 2015 14:31:39 EDT:
Our world is full of patterns, from the twist of a DNA molecule to the spiral of the Milky Way. New research from chemists has revealed that tiny, synthetic gold nanoparticles exhibit some of nature's most intricate patterns.
Quantum physics: Hot and cold at the same time
by on Thu, 09 Apr 2015 14:30:37 EDT:
Temperature is a statistical concept. Very small systems, consisting of a small number of particles, are not usually described statistically. Scientists have now measured how quantum systems reach a state with well defined statistical properties -- and surprisingly, they found out that quantum systems can have several temperatures at once. The connection between small quantum systems and large systems obeying the laws of classical physics is one of the big open questions in physics.
Holometer extends limit on knowable universe
by on Thu, 09 Apr 2015 13:32:08 EDT:
The Holometer experiment is sensitive to gravitational waves at frequencies in the range of a million cycles per second. Thus it addresses a spectrum not covered by experiments such as the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, which searches for lower-frequency waves to detect massive cosmic events such as colliding black holes and merging neutron stars.
Optimizing atomic neighborhoods for speedier chemical reactions
by on Thu, 09 Apr 2015 12:00:36 EDT:
Scientists discovered that for palladium-nickel catalysts, certain surface characteristics, measured at the atomic level, sped the creation of carbon dioxide from carbon monoxide.
New understanding of electromagnetism could enable 'antennas on a chip'
by on Thu, 09 Apr 2015 08:32:13 EDT:
New understanding of the nature of electromagnetism could lead to antennas small enough to fit on computer chips -- the 'last frontier' of semiconductor design -- and could help identify the points where theories of classical electromagnetism and quantum mechanics overlap.
Quantum interference links the fate of two atoms
by on Thu, 09 Apr 2015 08:14:36 EDT:
For the first time, physicists have achieved interference between two separate atoms: when sent towards the opposite sides of a semi-transparent mirror, the two atoms always emerge together. This type of experiment, which was carried out with photons around thirty years ago, had so far been impossible to perform with matter, due to the extreme difficulty of creating and manipulating pairs of indistinguishable atoms.
Unravelling relativistic effects in the heaviest actinide element: First ionization energy of lawrencium determined
by on Thu, 09 Apr 2015 08:14:34 EDT:
Scientists have achieved the ionization potential measurement of lawrencium (element 103) with a novel-type technique at the JAEA tandem accelerator. Based on the empirically developed "actinide concept", and in agreement with theoretical calculations, in today’s Periodic Table the series of actinide elements terminates with element 103, lawrencium (Lr). Now researchers have measured the first ionization potential of Lr, which reflects the binding energy of the most weakly-bound valence electron in lawrencium’s atomic shell.
Why is there more matter than antimatter? For ultra-cold neutrino experiment, a successful demonstration
by on Thu, 09 Apr 2015 08:13:19 EDT:
Nuclear physicists announced the first scientific results from the Cryogenic Underground Observatory for Rare Events (CUORE) experiment. CUORE is designed to confirm the existence of the Majorana neutrino, which scientists believe could hold the key to why there is an abundance of matter over antimatter.
Unraveling the origin of the pseudogap in a charge density wave compound
by on Wed, 08 Apr 2015 12:46:22 EDT:
By combining a variety of different experimental techniques and theory, researchers obtained unique insights into the nature of the pseudogap state in a canonical charge density wave material.
A glass fiber that brings light to a standstill
by on Wed, 08 Apr 2015 10:26:59 EDT:
Light has been slowed down by coupling atoms to glass fibers. This technology is an important prerequisite for a future worldwide quantum internet.
Reducing energy usage with nano-coatings
by on Wed, 08 Apr 2015 09:03:40 EDT:
Thermochromic nano-coatings employed appropriately can help reduce energy usage and generate savings. The coatings either absorb heat or permit its reflection, depending on their temperature.
'Phonon tunneling' explains heat flow across nanometer-wide gaps
by on Tue, 07 Apr 2015 14:13:33 EDT:
Researchers have developed a model that explains how heat flows between objects separated by gaps of less than a nanometer. The team has developed a unified framework that calculates heat transport at finite gaps, and has shown that heat flow at sub-nanometer distances occurs not via radiation or conduction, but through 'phonon tunneling.'
Carbon nanotube computing?
by on Tue, 07 Apr 2015 12:31:09 EDT:
Scientists are using single-walled carbon nanotube composites (SWCNTs) as a material in "unconventional" computing. By studying the mechanical and electrical properties of the materials, they discovered a correlation between SWCNT concentration/viscosity/conductivity and the computational capability of the composite.
Better sensors for medical imaging, contraband detection
by on Mon, 06 Apr 2015 14:46:06 EDT:
A new, ultrasensitive magnetic-field detector has been developed that is 1,000 times more energy-efficient than its predecessors. It could lead to miniaturized, battery-powered devices for medical and materials imaging, contraband detection, and even geological exploration.
Accelerating materials discovery with world's largest database of elastic properties
by on Mon, 06 Apr 2015 13:36:23 EDT:
Scientists have published the world's largest set of data on the complete elastic properties of inorganic compounds, increasing by an order of magnitude the number of compounds for which such data exists.
'Explosive' atom movement is new window into growing metal nanostructures
by on Mon, 06 Apr 2015 12:08:59 EDT:
Scientists expected to see slow, random movement when they dropped lead atoms on a lead-on-silicon surface. But they saw instead? Fast, organized atoms. The unusual “explosive” movement may represent a new way to grow perfect, tiny metal nanostructures for nanostransistors and nanomagnets.
Restart of the Large Hadron Collider
by on Mon, 06 Apr 2015 08:32:58 EDT:
Yesterday, the world's most powerful particle accelerator began its second act. After two years of upgrades and repairs, proton beams once again circulated around the Large Hadron Collider, located at the CERN laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland.
Magnet designed for Large Hadron Collider upgrade achieves high-field milestone
by on Mon, 06 Apr 2015 07:09:44 EDT:
Last month, a new superconducting magnet reached its design field of 11.5 Tesla at a temperature nearly as cold as outer space. It is the first successful twin-aperture accelerator magnet made of niobium-3-tin in the world.
Physicists create new molecule with record-setting dipole moment
by on Fri, 03 Apr 2015 23:37:09 EDT:
A proposed pathway to construct quantum computers may be the outcome of research by a physics team that has created a new molecule based on the interaction between a highly-excited type of atom known as a Rydberg atom and a ground-state atom. A unique property of the molecule is the large permanent dipole moment, which reacts with an electric field much like a bar magnet reacts with a magnetic field.
Quantum material, frustrated magnets: New experiment reveals clues to their discontent
by on Fri, 03 Apr 2015 15:07:08 EDT:
An experiment has revealed an unlikely behavior in a class of materials called frustrated magnets, addressing a long-debated question about the nature of these discontented quantum materials. The work represents a surprising discovery that down the road may suggest new research directions for advanced electronics. The study also someday may help clarify the mechanism of high-temperature superconductivity, the frictionless transmission of electricity.
Widest possible photosynthesis, absorbing any color of sunlight, from oranges through near-infrared
by on Thu, 02 Apr 2015 16:13:37 EDT:
A small team of chemists, having learned the secrets of light absorption from chlorophylls a and b, can now tune molecules to absorb anywhere in the solar spectrum. They are using this facility to synthesize pigments that fill gaps in the sunlight absorbed by native pigments and to push deeper into the infrared than any native pigment.
Black holes don’t erase information, scientists say
by on Thu, 02 Apr 2015 13:27:08 EDT:
Shred a document, and you can piece it back together. But send information into a black hole, and it's lost forever. A new study finds that -- contrary to what some physicists have argued for the years -- information is not lost once it has entered a black hole. The research presents explicit calculations showing how information is, in fact, preserved.
Unique observation in semiconductors: New charge transport phenomenon
by on Thu, 02 Apr 2015 08:18:00 EDT:
Researchers have collaborated in the study of the movement of charges over interfaces of semiconductor materials. The group noticed a new kind of transport phenomenon for charges. In the phenomenon, a pair formed by a negative electron and a positive charge moves onto an interface, after which its 'message' is passed on to the other side of the interface, where it is carried on by a similar pair. The new theoretical result opens up interesting prospects for carrying out logical operations in electronics.
Mind the gap: Nanoscale speed bump could regulate plasmons for high-speed data flow
by on Wed, 01 Apr 2015 16:16:36 EDT:
The name sounds like something Marvin the Martian might have built, but the 'nanomechanical plasmonic phase modulator' is not a doomsday device. The innovation harnesses tiny electron waves called plasmons. It's a step towards enabling computers to process information hundreds of times faster than today's machines.
Femto-snapshots of reaction kinetics
by on Wed, 01 Apr 2015 13:30:31 EDT:
Following six years' work, an international team comprising 11 research institutions has been successful in observing precisely how light affects the outer electrons of a metallic compound and activates this compound as a catalyst. They developed their own experiment for this investigation, which provided time resolutions down to 100 femtoseconds, and the synchrotron radiation source BESSY II.
Quantum teleportation on a chip: Significant step towards ultra-high speed quantum computers
by on Wed, 01 Apr 2015 11:45:19 EDT:
The core circuits of quantum teleportation, which generate and detect quantum entanglement, have been successfully integrated into a photonic chip by an international team of scientists. These results pave the way to developing ultra-high-speed quantum computers and strengthening the security of communication.
Wrapping carbon nanotubes in polymers enhances their performance
by on Mon, 30 Mar 2015 14:11:25 EDT:
Scientists say polymer-wrapped carbon nanotubes hold much promise in biotechnology and energy applications.
Super sensitive measurement of magnetic fields
by on Mon, 30 Mar 2015 12:24:43 EDT:
There are electrical signals in the nervous system, the brain and throughout the human body and there are tiny magnetic fields associated with these signals that could be important for medical science. Researchers have just developed a method that could be used to obtain extremely precise measurements of ultra-small magnetic fields.
Next important step toward quantum computer
by on Mon, 30 Mar 2015 08:27:42 EDT:
Physicists have succeeded in linking two completely different quantum systems to one another. In doing so, they have taken an important step forward on the way to a quantum computer.
First glimpse inside a macroscopic quantum state
by on Fri, 27 Mar 2015 09:10:12 EDT:
Scientists report on the detection of particle entanglement in a beam of squeezed light. Researchers were able to observe effects of entanglement monogamy, where particles can be strongly entangled only if they have few entanglement partners.
Using magnetic fields to understand high-temperature superconductivity
by on Thu, 26 Mar 2015 15:23:21 EDT:
Taking our understanding of quantum matter to new levels, scientists are exposing high-temperature superconductors to very high magnetic fields, changing the temperature at which the materials become perfectly conducting and revealing unique properties of these substances.
Theory of the strong interaction verified: Supercomputer calculates mass difference between neutron and proton
by on Thu, 26 Mar 2015 15:16:07 EDT:
The fact that the neutron is slightly more massive than the proton is the reason why atomic nuclei have exactly those properties that make our world and ultimately our existence possible. Eighty years after the discovery of the neutron, a team of physicists has finally calculated the tiny neutron-proton mass difference. The findings are considered a milestone by many physicists and confirm the theory of the strong interaction.
Magnetic quantum crystals
by on Thu, 26 Mar 2015 15:16:03 EDT:
In experiments with ultracold rubidium atoms scientists create magnetic quantum crystals made of gigantic Rydberg atoms.
Desalination with nanoporous graphene membrane
by on Wed, 25 Mar 2015 21:03:30 EDT:
Desalination is an energy-intensive process, which concerns those wanting to expand its application. Now, a team of experimentalists has demonstrated an energy-efficient desalination technology that uses a porous membrane made of strong, slim graphene -- a carbon honeycomb one atom thick.
Thousands of atoms entangled with a single photon
by on Wed, 25 Mar 2015 15:19:03 EDT:
Physicists have developed a new technique that can successfully entangle 3,000 atoms using only a single photon. The results represent the largest number of particles that have ever been mutually entangled experimentally.
New form of ice: Square ice filling for a graphene sandwich
by on Wed, 25 Mar 2015 14:02:21 EDT:
Water exists in myriad forms, and for poets and scientists alike this structurally simple yet at the same time behaviourally complex molecule never fails to fascinate. In our everyday lives we are familiar with water in its more common liquid, ice and vapour forms. Scientists also study water under more extreme conditions, including at high pressures, where it can exist in the solid state even at room temperature.
The first observation of the effect of electron spin of molecular oxygen on the surface oxidation reaction
by on Wed, 25 Mar 2015 08:20:37 EDT:
Scientists have presented the first spin-controlled oxygen adsorption experiment indicating that the rate of surface oxidation is strongly affected by the electron spin of oxygen.