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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

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. 
Tiny bio-robot is a germ suited-up with graphene quantum dots
by on Tue, 24 Mar 2015 14:07:23 EDT:
Researchers have created an electromechanical device -- a humidity sensor -- on a bacterial spore. Like other first-generation bio-robots, the new nanobot is a far cry from Robocop. It's a robotic germ.
Physicists solve low-temperature magnetic mystery
by on Tue, 24 Mar 2015 13:23:03 EDT:
Physicists have discovered the mechanism that drives the Kondo Effect, a phenomenon that may hold the key to the next generation of refrigeration technology.
'Tipping point' between quantum and classical worlds identified
by on Tue, 24 Mar 2015 13:22:34 EDT:
If we are ever to fully harness the power of light for use in optical devices, it is necessary to understand photons -- the fundamental unit of light. Achieving such understanding, however, is easier said than done. That's because the physical behavior of photons -- similar to electrons and other sub-atomic particles -- is characterized not by classical physics, but by quantum mechanics. Now, scientists have observed the point at which classical and quantum behavior converge.
Scientists build a nanolaser using a single atomic sheet
by on Tue, 24 Mar 2015 10:15:05 EDT:
Scientists have built a new nanometer-sized laser using a semiconductor that's only three atoms thick. It could help open the door to next-generation computing that uses light, rather than electrons, to transfer information.
Building shape inspires new material discovery
by on Tue, 24 Mar 2015 10:14:49 EDT:
Physicists inspired by the radical shape of a Canberra building have created a new type of material which enables scientists to put a perfect bend in light. The creation of a so-called topological insulator could transform the telecommunications industry's drive to build an improved computer chip using light.
Quantum experiment verifies Einstein's 'spooky action at a distance'
by on Tue, 24 Mar 2015 08:48:08 EDT:
Scientists have for the first time demonstrated Albert Einstein's original conception of 'spooky action at a distance' using a single particle.
Quantum correlation can imply causation
by on Mon, 23 Mar 2015 15:06:45 EDT:
Contrary to the statistician's slogan, in the quantum world, certain kinds of correlations do imply causation. New research shows that in quantum mechanics, certain kinds of observations will let you distinguish whether there is a common cause or a cause-effect relation between two variables. The same is not true in classical physics.
Magnets can control heat and sound: Experiment reveals new mysterious properties of sound waves
by on Mon, 23 Mar 2015 13:08:47 EDT:
Researchers have discovered how to control heat with a magnetic field. The study is the first ever to demonstrate that acoustic phonons -- the elemental particles that transmit both heat and sound -- have magnetic properties.
Have researchers discovered the sound of the stars?
by on Mon, 23 Mar 2015 07:57:53 EDT:
A chance discovery has provided experimental evidence that stars may generate sound. When examining the interaction of an ultra-intense laser with a plasma target, researchers observed something unexpected. Scientists realized that in the trillionth of a second after the laser strikes, plasma flowed rapidly from areas of high density to more stagnant regions of low density, in such a way that it created something like a traffic jam. Plasma piled up at the interface between the high and low density regions, generating a series of pressure pulses: a sound wave.
New approach uses 'twisted light' to increase efficiency of quantum cryptography systems
by on Fri, 20 Mar 2015 13:31:10 EDT:
Researchers have developed a way to transfer 2.05 bits per photon by using 'twisted light.' This remarkable achievement is possible because the researchers used the orbital angular momentum of the photons to encode information, rather than the more commonly used polarization of light. The new approach doubles the 1 bit per photon that is possible with current systems that rely on light polarization and could help increase the efficiency of quantum cryptography systems.
Superfast computers a step closer as a silicon chip's quantum capabilities are improved
by on Fri, 20 Mar 2015 09:13:07 EDT:
Research has demonstrated laser control of quantum states in an ordinary silicon wafer and observation of these states via a conventional electrical measurement. 
High temp superconductivity: You can't play checkers with charge ordering
by on Thu, 19 Mar 2015 16:55:52 EDT:
Physicists have observed the shape of a strange phenomenon that interferes with high-temperature superconductivity called charge ordering, discovering that it is stripy, not checkered, and settling a long-standing debate in the field.
Sharper nanoscopy: What happens when a quantum dot looks in a mirror?
by on Thu, 19 Mar 2015 14:34:22 EDT:
The advent of super-resolved microscopy with visible light won this year's chemistry Nobel. Scientists have now discovered how to make nanoscale images even sharper.
Scientists decipher the spectrum of CH5+ for the first time
by on Thu, 19 Mar 2015 14:33:27 EDT:
For the first time ever, scientist have succeeded in understanding the spectrum of the highly fluxional molecule CH5+. This insight was made possible by the extreme cooling of this enigmatic molecule and a highly accurate measurement of its vibrational transitions.
Quantum computing: One step closer with defect-free logic gate
by on Thu, 19 Mar 2015 09:22:20 EDT:
What does hair styling have in common with quantum computing? The braiding pattern has inspired scientists as a potential new approach to quantum calculation. But due to their tight assembly, such braids are much more difficult to destabilize and less error-prone. Yet, local defects can still arise along nanowires. A new study identifies potential sources of computer errors arising from these defects.
Quantum dots 'breathe' in response to stress
by on Thu, 19 Mar 2015 09:19:42 EDT:
Researchers have watched nanoscale semiconductor crystals expand and shrink in response to powerful pulses of laser light. This ultrafast "breathing" provides new insight about how such tiny structures change shape as they start to melt -- information that can help guide researchers in tailoring their use for a range of applications.
Buckyballs become bucky-bombs, when aimed at cancer cells
by on Wed, 18 Mar 2015 18:43:59 EDT:
Scientists have built nanoscale explosives out of buckyballs that could one day be used to eliminate cancer cells without damaging surrounding tissue.
Fine-tuning quantum dots from coal
by on Wed, 18 Mar 2015 14:06:56 EDT:
The size of graphene quantum dots made from coal can be finely tuned in a single step for electronic and fluorescent properties, according to scientists.
Superradiant matter: A new paradigm to explore dynamic phase transitions
by on Wed, 18 Mar 2015 10:13:55 EDT:
In a new approach to understand dynamic phase transitions an experimental and theoretical effort was undertaken using a novel type of quantum matter in a so-called superradiant state.
30 years after C60: Fullerene chemistry with silicon opens new possibilities in semiconductor industry
by on Wed, 18 Mar 2015 08:47:08 EDT:
Chemists have managed to synthesize a compound featuring an Si20 dodecahedron. The long strived-for silicon dodecahedron has been synthesized at room temperature.
Light as puppeteer: Controlling single, micron-sized particles with light
by on Wed, 18 Mar 2015 07:42:36 EDT:
Researchers have demonstrated a more robust method for controlling single, micron-sized particles with light.
Novel water-splitting photocatalyst operable over wide range of the visible light spectrum
by on Wed, 18 Mar 2015 07:42:30 EDT:
Clean renewable energy can be produced by photocatalytically splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen with solar energy. Most of the conventionally developed water-splitting photocatalysts, however, were only active under UV irradiation, and only a few have been demonstrated to operate under visible light, at up to 500 nm. For making high-efficiency use of solar energy, it was necessary to develop a photocatalyst that can utilize longer wavelength light. Scientists have now developed a water-splitting photocatalyst that is operable over a wider range of the visible light spectrum than before.
Advancing accelerator science using Mira
by on Tue, 17 Mar 2015 14:24:48 EDT:
Physicists are performing complex accelerator simulations aimed at reducing the risks and costs involved in developing the world's highest intensity particle beams.
Graphene 'gateway' discovery opens possibilities for improved energy technologies
by on Tue, 17 Mar 2015 12:24:50 EDT:
Graphene, a strong, lightweight carbon honeycombed structure, only one atom thick, holds great promise for energy research and development. Recently scientists revealed graphene can serve as a proton-selective permeable membrane, providing a new basis for streamlined and more efficient energy technologies such as improved fuel cells.
Nanospheres cooled with light to explore the limits of quantum physics
by on Tue, 17 Mar 2015 10:41:18 EDT:
Scientists have developed a new technology which could one day create quantum phenomena in objects far larger than any achieved so far. The team successfully suspended glass particles 400 nanometers across in a vacuum using an electric field, then used lasers to cool them to within a few degrees of absolute zero. These are the key prerequisites for making an object behave according to quantum principles.
Scientists move closer to 'two for one deal' on solar cell efficiency
by on Mon, 16 Mar 2015 13:54:42 EDT:
The underlying mechanism behind an enigmatic process called 'singlet exciton fission,' which could enable the development of significantly more powerful solar cells, has been identified by scientists in a new study.
New remote control for molecular motors
by on Mon, 16 Mar 2015 12:25:14 EDT:
Magnetic molecules can be considered as nanoscale magnets. Remotely controlling the direction in which they rotate may intuitively be difficult to achieve. However, physicists have just demonstrated that it is theoretically possible to do so. They have shown that a change of direction in the circular polarization of an external magnetic field leads to a change in the direction of the mechanical rotation of the molecule.
Uncovering the secrets of super solar power perovskites
by on Mon, 16 Mar 2015 12:12:44 EDT:
In a scant five years of development, hybrid perovskite solar cells have attained power conversion efficiencies that took decades to achieve with the top-performing conventional materials, but scientists have lacked a clear understanding of the precise goings on at the molecular level. New findings help fill that void.
Fusion researchers make breakthrough: Control intense heat bursts in fusion experiments
by on Fri, 13 Mar 2015 17:17:40 EDT:
Researchers have made a breakthrough in understanding how to overcome obstacle to controlled fusion reactions.
Bond and bond alike: Unlikely hydrogen bond discovered
by on Fri, 13 Mar 2015 10:18:38 EDT:
As with magnets and alternating current, positively charged molecules never aim for one another. Indeed, similarly charged poles are repelled. Nevertheless, scientists have managed to bond positively charged phosphorus atoms with positively charged hydrogen ones. Their insight may prove pivotal to understanding how biologically important molecules such as DNA and proteins form properly.
Frozen highly charged ions for highest precision spectroscopy
by on Thu, 12 Mar 2015 14:29:11 EDT:
Scientists have demonstrated for the first time Coulomb crystallization of highly charged ions (HCIs). The new method opens the field of laser spectroscopy of HCIs providing the basis for novel atomic clocks and high-precision tests of the variability of natural constants.
Laser-assisted fabrication process enables of heat-resistant, crack-free materials
by on Thu, 12 Mar 2015 14:25:22 EDT:
A fabrication technique that uses lasers to deposit superalloys with fewer cracks and excellent mechanical properties has been developed by researchers. Alloys are mixtures of two or more metallic elements. The composition of an alloy can be tuned to give the material the best possible properties. For example, the metals chromium, cobalt, molybdenum, titanium and aluminum are added to nickel-based superalloys to impart them with excellent mechanical strength, high creep resistance at elevated temperatures and superior surface stability as well as good resistance to both corrosion and oxidation.
Shaken, not stirred, is best for cancer imaging
by on Thu, 12 Mar 2015 14:25:20 EDT:
Fluorescent probes currently used for bioimaging (for example, cadmium selenide quantum dots) fluoresce brightly enough to show up on detectors but may be toxic and thus unsuitable for use in the body. Now scientists have found that tiny conjugated polyelectrolyte-nanoparticle probes produced by ultrasonication prove superior to commercial products.
How does order emerge?
by on Thu, 12 Mar 2015 10:04:47 EDT:
Scientists have analyzed how fast order can appear in a quantum-mechanical system. During the freezing of water, the initially unordered molecules start to form an ordered crystal, namely ice. During this phase transition, they rearrange from an unordered into a more ordered state. This setting naturally poses one important question: How long does this phase transition take, i.e. how long does it take for each molecule to find its place in the crystal?
New 2-color x-ray laser technique could reveal atomic detail of medically important proteins
by on Wed, 11 Mar 2015 14:06:35 EDT:
A unique X-ray laser innovation may make it easier and faster for scientists to fully map medically important proteins whose structures have remained stubbornly out of reach.
Particle jets reveal the secrets of the most exotic state of matter
by on Wed, 11 Mar 2015 12:46:49 EDT:
Shortly following the Big Bang, the Universe was filled with a chaotic primordial soup of quarks and gluons, particles which are now trapped inside of protons and neutrons. Study of this quark-gluon plasma requires the use of the most advanced theoretical and experimental tools. Physicists have taken one crucial step towards a better understanding of the plasma and its properties.
Polymers designed for protection
by on Wed, 11 Mar 2015 12:46:41 EDT:
Scientists are investigating a possible solution to help polymers stand up to the kinds of threats Army Soldiers could face in future conflicts. Researchers want to start by unraveling the complex relationship between polymer chemistry, microstructure and energy absorption.
Physicists propose new classification of charge density waves
by on Wed, 11 Mar 2015 09:10:42 EDT:
Physicists have proposed a new classification of Charge Density Waves. Charge Density Waves, or CDWs, are observed in many solids, especially in low-dimensional systems.
Theoretical physicists design 'holy grail' of materials science
by on Wed, 11 Mar 2015 08:17:06 EDT:
Graphene is a form of carbon in which the atoms are connected in a honeycomb structure. The possible ‘holy grail’ has this same structure, but is made of nanocrystals of mercury and tellurium. In their paper, theoretical physicists show that this material combines the properties of graphene with the qualities graphene misses. At room temperature, it is a semiconductor instead of a conductor, so that it can be used as a field-effect transistor. And it fulfils the conditions required to realise quantum spintronics, because it may host the quantum spin Hall effect at room temperature.
Researchers snap-shot fastest observations of superconductivity yet
by on Tue, 10 Mar 2015 16:02:13 EDT:
An international team of researchers has used infinitely short light pulses to observe ultrafast changes in the electron-level properties of superconductors, setting a new standard for temporal resolution in the field.
Mid-IR frequency combs enable high resolution spectroscopy for sensitive and accurate gas sensing
by on Tue, 10 Mar 2015 12:32:04 EDT:
Scientists have developed a frequency comb light source in the mid-IR wavelength band. These frequency comb light sources with an extended spectrum can be used for real-time, extremely high resolution spectroscopy, e.g. to measure the presence and concentration of gas molecules in analytes.
The chameleon reorganizes its nanocrystals to change colors
by on Tue, 10 Mar 2015 12:31:58 EDT:
Many chameleons have the remarkable ability to exhibit complex and rapid color changes during social interactions. Biologists have now unveiled the mechanisms that regulate this phenomenon. They have demonstrated that the changes take place via the active tuning of a lattice of nanocrystals present in a superficial layer of dermal cells called iridophores. The researchers also reveal the existence of a deeper population of iridophores with larger and less ordered crystals that reflect the infrared light. The organisation of iridophores into two superimposed layers constitutes an evolutionary novelty and it allows the chameleons to rapidly shift between efficient camouflage and spectacular display, while providing passive thermal protection.
Solving the riddle of neutron stars
by on Tue, 10 Mar 2015 07:41:05 EDT:
It has not yet been possible to measure the gravitational waves predicted by Einstein's theory of general relativity. They are so weak that they get lost in the noise of the measurements. But thanks to the latest simulations of the merging of binary neutron star systems, the structure of the sought-after signals is now known. As theoretical astrophysicists report, gravitational waves have a characteristic spectrum that is similar to the spectral lines of atoms.
New angle on x-ray measurements
by on Mon, 09 Mar 2015 13:51:36 EDT:
Criminal justice, cosmology and computer manufacturing may not look to have much in common, but these and many other disparate fields all depend on sensitive measurement of X-rays. Scientists have developed a new method to reduce uncertainty in X-ray wavelength measurement that could provide improvements awaited for decades. Accurate measurement of X-ray wavelength depends critically on the ability to measure angles very accurately and with very little margin for error.
Quantum sensor's advantages survive entanglement breakdown
by on Mon, 09 Mar 2015 13:50:50 EDT:
The extraordinary promise of quantum information processing -- solving problems that classical computers can't, perfectly secure communication -- depends on a phenomenon called "entanglement," in which the physical states of different quantum particles become interrelated. But entanglement is very fragile, and the difficulty of preserving it is a major obstacle to developing practical quantum information systems.
Tsunami on demand: Nanoscale rogue waves research sheds light on power to harness catastrophic events
by on Mon, 09 Mar 2015 12:41:19 EDT:
A new study features a nano-optical chip that makes possible generating and controlling nanoscale rogue waves. The innovative chip was developed by an international team of physicists and is expected to have significant applications for energy research and environmental safety.
Quantum mechanic frequency filter for atomic clocks
by on Mon, 09 Mar 2015 10:28:10 EDT:
In an atomic clock, electrons jumping from one orbit to another decides the clock's frequency. To get the electrons to jump, researchers shine light on the atoms using stabilized laser light. It is however challenging to get the laser light frequency ultra precise -- there will always be a little 'noise.' Now researchers have developed a method that reduces the noise so that it is up to 100 times quieter.
Graphene meets heat waves
by on Fri, 06 Mar 2015 11:20:11 EST:
Researchers have shed new light on the fundamental mechanisms of heat dissipation in graphene and other two-dimensional materials. They have shown that heat can propagate as a wave over very long distances. This is key information for engineering the electronics of tomorrow.
A new way to control information by mixing light and sound
by on Fri, 06 Mar 2015 09:16:13 EST:
For once, slower is better in a new piece of technology. Scientists have developed a new, radio frequency processing device that allows information to be controlled more effectively, opening the door to a new generation of signal processing on microchips. One of the keys to the technology involves slowing information down.
Breakthrough in nonlinear optics research
by on Thu, 05 Mar 2015 11:06:07 EST:
A method to selectively enhance or inhibit optical nonlinearities in a chip-scale device has been developed by scientists. To achieve their result the scientists investigated a specific optical nonlinearity that deals with the interaction between light and sound on chip scale devices.
Einstein put to the test: Satellite mission on dark energy and theory of gravitation
by on Thu, 05 Mar 2015 11:03:46 EST:
Physicists have gained new insights into dark energy and the theory of gravitation by analyzing data from the "Planck" satellite mission of the European Space Agency (ESA). Their results demonstrate that the standard model of cosmology remains an excellent description of the universe. Yet when the Planck data is combined with other astronomical observations, several deviations emerge. Further studies must determine whether these anomalies are due to measurement uncertainties or undiscovered physical correlations, which would also challenge Einstein's theory of gravitation. Thus, the analysis of the Planck data gives major impetus for research during future space missions.
Strength in numbers: First-ever quantum device that detects and corrects its own errors
by on Wed, 04 Mar 2015 15:26:21 EST:
When scientists develop a full quantum computer, the world of computing will undergo a revolution of sophistication, speed and energy efficiency that will make even our beefiest conventional machines seem like Stone Age clunkers by comparison.
Computer simulator will improve radiation therapy for cancer patients, experts say
by on Tue, 03 Mar 2015 09:57:17 EST:
A project to develop a computer simulator of dual foil scattering systems used in radiation therapy is underway. "The user user-friendly interface and real-time nature of the simulator also make it an effective educational tool for gaining a better understanding of the effects that various system parameters have on dose profiles," an author said. "In other words, it will help medical physicists and linear accelerator designers to better understand the physics behind the equipment with which they will be working."
New data on the nature of dark matter
by on Tue, 03 Mar 2015 07:53:22 EST:
Recent research contributes to the effort to determine the nature of dark matter, one of the most important mysteries in physics. As indirect evidence provided by its gravitational effects, dark matter amounts to more than 80% of the universe.
Breakthrough in particle control creates special half-vortex rotation
by on Tue, 03 Mar 2015 07:51:43 EST:
A breakthrough in the control of a type of particle known as the polariton has created a highly specialised form of rotation.
The taming of magnetic vortices: A unified theory for skyrmion-materials
by on Tue, 03 Mar 2015 07:51:33 EST:
Magnetic vortex structures, so-called skyrmions, could in future store and process information very efficiently. They could also be the basis for high-frequency components. For the first time, a team of physicists succeeded in characterizing the electromagnetic properties of insulating, semiconducting and conducting skyrmion-materials and developed a unified theoretical description of their behavior. This lays the foundation for future electronic components with purpose-designed properties.