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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

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.
Improved nanomaterials: Understanding surface structure of quantum dots will aid design of new solar devices
by on Thu, 20 Nov 2014 15:39:48 EST:
A potential path to identify imperfections and improve the quality of nanomaterials for use in next-generation solar cells has just emerged.
Quantum mechanical calculations reveal the hidden states of enzyme active sites
by on Thu, 20 Nov 2014 13:34:24 EST:
Enzymes carry out fundamental biological processes such as photosynthesis, nitrogen fixation and respiration, with the help of clusters of metal atoms as 'active' sites. But scientists lack basic information about their function because the states thought to be critical to their chemical abilities cannot be experimentally observed. Now, researchers have reported the first direct observation of the electronic states of iron-sulfur clusters, common to many enzyme active sites.
New technique allows ultrasound to penetrate bone, metal
by on Thu, 20 Nov 2014 11:34:49 EST:
Researchers have developed a technique that allows ultrasound to penetrate bone or metal, using customized structures that offset the distortion usually caused by these so-called 'aberrating layers.'
Physicists discover new subatomic particles
by on Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:09:20 EST:
Physicists have discovered two never-before-seen baryonic particles. The finding is expected to have a major impact on the study of quark dynamics.
Thin film produces new chemistry in 'nanoreactor'
by on Wed, 19 Nov 2014 13:25:58 EST:
Physicists have discovered a new manganese compound that is produced by tension in the crystal structure of terbium manganese oxide. The technique they used to create this new material could open the way to new nanoscale circuits.
Field-emission plug-and-play solution for microwave electron guns
by on Tue, 18 Nov 2014 14:16:02 EST:
On a quest to design an alternative to the two complex approaches currently used to produce electrons within microwave electron guns, a team of researchers has demonstrated a plug-and-play solution capable of operating in this high-electric-field environment with a high-quality electron beam.
Physicists suggest new way to detect dark matter
by on Tue, 18 Nov 2014 10:56:26 EST:
For years physicists have been looking for the universe's elusive dark matter, but so far no one has seen any trace of it. Maybe we are looking in the wrong place? Now physicists propose a new technique to detect dark matter.
Fundamental constants are still constant: Atomic clocks prove stability of mass ratio of protons to electrons
by on Tue, 18 Nov 2014 07:27:44 EST:
Are the fundamental constants really constant? Recent investigations have shown that one essential fundamental constant -- namely the mass ratio of protons to electrons -- can have changed only by a maximum of one part in a million over the age of our solar system (i.e. extrapolated over approx. 5 billion years). Previously, scientists deemed the possible changes to be twice as high. To obtain this result, physicists from PTB compared caesium and ytterbium atomic clocks with each other for 7 years.
Method to measure residual stress in 3-D printed metal parts
by on Mon, 17 Nov 2014 15:47:24 EST:
Researchers have developed an efficient method to measure residual stress in metal parts produced by powder-bed fusion additive manufacturing.
Hiding in plain sight: Elusive dark matter may be detected with GPS satellites
by on Mon, 17 Nov 2014 15:47:22 EST:
The everyday use of a GPS device might be to find your way around town or even navigate a hiking trail, but for two physicists, the Global Positioning System might be a tool in directly detecting and measuring dark matter, so far an elusive but ubiquitous form of matter responsible for the formation of galaxies.
Scientists X-ray tiny cell organelles responsible for carbon fixation
by on Mon, 17 Nov 2014 13:07:29 EST:
Scientists have developed a high-throughput method of imaging biological particles using an X-ray laser. The images show projections of the carboxysome particle, a delicate and tiny cell compartment in photosynthetic bacteria.
Researchers create and control spin waves, lifting prospects for enhanced information processing
by on Mon, 17 Nov 2014 11:06:54 EST:
Physicists have developed a method to control the movements occurring within magnetic materials, which are used to store and carry information. The breakthrough could simultaneously bolster information processing while reducing the energy necessary to do so.
Spiral laser beam creates quantum whirlpool
by on Mon, 17 Nov 2014 09:33:36 EST:
Physicists have engineered a spiral laser beam and used it to create a whirlpool of hybrid light-matter particles called polaritons, hybrid particles that have properties of both matter and light and could link electronics with photonics.
Researchers discern the shapes of high-order Brownian motions
by on Mon, 17 Nov 2014 08:47:49 EST:
For the first time, scientists have vividly mapped the shapes and textures of high-order modes of Brownian motions -- in this case, the collective macroscopic movement of molecules in microdisk resonators.Engineers used a record-setting scanning optical interferometry technique.
'Topological insulators' promising for spintronics, quantum computers
by on Thu, 13 Nov 2014 19:51:56 EST:
Researches have uncovered 'smoking-gun' evidence to confirm the workings of an emerging class of materials that could make possible 'spintronic' devices and practical quantum computers far more powerful than today's technologies.
Atomic timekeeping, on the go: New approach may enable more stable and accurate portable atomic clocks
by on Wed, 12 Nov 2014 20:33:49 EST:
What time is it? The answer, no matter what your initial reference may be -- a wristwatch, a smartphone, or an alarm clock -- will always trace back to the atomic clock. Now researchers have come up with a new approach to atomic timekeeping that may enable more stable and accurate portable atomic clocks, potentially the size of a Rubik's cube.
A piece of the quantum puzzle
by on Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:48:37 EST:
Scientists have been exploring qubits (quantum bits) for quantum simulation. In this work, researchers have demonstrated a quantum version of Gauss's law. The novelty of the experiment is how the curvature was measured.
Shaking the topological cocktail of success
by on Wed, 12 Nov 2014 13:21:01 EST:
Take ultracold potassium atoms, place a honeycomb lattice of laser beams on top of them and shake everything in a circular motion: this recipe enabled researchers to implement an idea for a new class of materials first proposed in 1988 in their laboratory.
All 'quantum weirdness' may be caused by interacting parallel worlds, physicist theorizes
by on Wed, 12 Nov 2014 13:19:27 EST:
A new theory of quantum mechanics was developed by Bill Poirier, a chemical physicist. The theory discusses parallel worlds' existence and the quantum effects observed in nature.
Twisted light waves sent across Vienna
by on Tue, 11 Nov 2014 19:22:33 EST:
A group of researchers from Austria have sent twisted beams of light across the rooftops of Vienna. It is the first time that twisted light has been transmitted over a large distance outdoors, and could enable researchers to take advantage of the significant data-carrying capacity of light in both classical and quantum communications.
Creating bright X-ray pulses in the laser lab
by on Tue, 11 Nov 2014 10:52:02 EST:
To create X-rays -- short wave radiation -- scientists have started out with very long wavelengths -- infrared laser. Long wavelength laser pulses rip atoms out of metal and accelerate them, which leads to emission of X-rays.
Noise in a microwave amplifier is limited by quantum particles of heat
by on Mon, 10 Nov 2014 12:40:07 EST:
Scientists have demonstrated how noise in a microwave amplifier is limited by self-heating at very low temperatures. The findings can be of importance for future discoveries in many areas of science such as quantum computers and radio astronomy. Many significant discoveries in physics and astronomy are dependent upon registering a barely detectable electrical signal in the microwave regime.
Good vibrations give electrons excitations that rock an insulator to go metallic
by on Mon, 10 Nov 2014 12:35:01 EST:
Scientists have made an important advancement in understanding a classic transition-metal oxide, vanadium dioxide, by quantifying the thermodynamic forces driving the transformation.
On-demand conductivity for graphene nanoribbons
by on Mon, 10 Nov 2014 11:02:51 EST:
Physicists have devised a theoretical model to tune the conductivity of graphene zigzag nanoribbons using ultra-short pulses. Physicists have, for the first time, explored in detail the time evolution of the conductivity, as well as other quantum-level electron transport characteristics, of a graphene device subjected to periodic ultra-short pulses. To date, the majority of graphene studies have considered the dependency of transport properties on the characteristics of the external pulses, such as field strength, period or frequency.
On the Trail of Proteins: Scientists electrochemically detect protein binding on semiconductors
by on Fri, 07 Nov 2014 13:17:24 EST:
Scientists have succeeded in electrochemically detecting protein binding on semiconductor materials for the first time, thanks to a newly developed investigative method based on differences in electrical charge. Now the physicists are working on an optical process to detect and localize protein binding directly under a microscope, for example, a method that could launch new applications in medical research and diagnostics.
Maybe it wasn't the Higgs particle after all
by on Fri, 07 Nov 2014 11:10:27 EST:
Last year CERN announced the finding of a new elementary particle, the Higgs particle. But maybe it wasn't the Higgs particle, maybe it just looks like it. And maybe it is not alone.
Thermomagnetic processing method provides path to new materials
by on Thu, 06 Nov 2014 15:23:35 EST:
For much the same reason LCD televisions offer eye-popping performance, a thermomagnetic processing method can advance the performance of polymers.
How to make mobile batteries last longer by controlling energy flows at nano-level
by on Thu, 06 Nov 2014 08:26:26 EST:
Electronic devices waste a lot of energy by producing useless heat. This is one of the main reasons our mobiles use up battery power so quickly. Researchers have now made a leap forward in understanding how this happens and how this waste could be reduced by controlling energy flows at a molecular level. This would make our technology cheaper to run and more durable.
'Direct writing' of diamond patterns from graphite a potential technological leap
by on Wed, 05 Nov 2014 20:35:49 EST:
What began as research into a method to strengthen metals has led to the discovery of a new technique that uses a pulsing laser to create synthetic nanodiamond films and patterns from graphite, with potential applications from biosensors to computer chips.
Milestone in accelerating particles with plasma: Technique is powerful, efficient enough to drive future particle accelerators
by on Wed, 05 Nov 2014 13:19:43 EST:
Scientists have shown that a promising technique for accelerating electrons on waves of plasma is efficient enough to power a new generation of shorter, more economical accelerators. This could greatly expand their use in areas such as medicine, national security, industry and high-energy physics research.
Measuring nano-vibrations
by on Wed, 05 Nov 2014 11:26:22 EST:
Researchers have fabricated carbon nanotube mechanical resonators capable of exhibiting the highest quality factors to date.
The Peres conjecture is false, experts say
by on Wed, 05 Nov 2014 09:34:58 EST:
Since 1999, the conjecture by Asher Peres, who invented quantum teleportation, has piqued the interest of many scientists in the field. According to his hypothesis, the weakest form of quantum entanglement can never result in the strongest manifestation of the phenomenon. Today, scientists have proven this conjecture to be false, thus solving one of the most famous problems in quantum information physics.
Dark matter may be massive: Theorists suggest the standard model may account for the stuff
by on Tue, 04 Nov 2014 11:16:29 EST:
Instead of WIMPS or axions, dark matter may be made of macroscopic objects as small as a few ounces up to the size of a good asteroid, and probably as dense as a neutron star or the nucleus of an atom, researchers suggest.
Physicists narrow search for solution to proton spin puzzle
by on Tue, 04 Nov 2014 11:11:50 EST:
Results from recent experiments reveal new insights about how quarks and gluons, the subatomic building blocks of matter, contribute to proton “spin.”
String field theory could be the foundation of quantum mechanics: Connection could be huge boost to string theory
by on Mon, 03 Nov 2014 14:23:26 EST:
Scientists propose a link between string field theory and quantum mechanics that could open the door to using string field theory as the basis of all physics. Their calculations "could solve the mystery of where quantum mechanics comes from," said a co-author.
Plasma: Casimir and Yukawa mesons
by on Mon, 03 Nov 2014 08:25:20 EST:
The Casimir electromagnetic fluctuation forces across plasmas are analogous to so-called weak nuclear interaction forces according to new research. A new theoretical work has established a long-sought-after connection between nuclear particles and electromagnetic theories. Its findings suggest that there is an equivalence between generalized Casimir forces and those that are referred to as weak nuclear interactions between protons and neutrons.
Ultracold disappearing act: 'Matter waves' move through one another but never share space
by on Sun, 02 Nov 2014 16:01:09 EST:
How can two clumps of matter pass through each other without sharing space? Physicists have documented a strange disappearing act by colliding Bose Einstein condensates that appear to keep their distance even as they pass through one another.
Step toward quantum computers: Two photons strongly coupled by glass fiber
by on Sun, 02 Nov 2014 16:01:05 EST:
Usually, light waves do not interact with each other. Coupling of photons with other photons is only possible with the help of special materials and very intense light. Scientists have now created the strongest possible coupling of only two photons -- an important achievement for quantum optics.
Universe may face a darker future: Is dark matter being swallowed up by dark energy?
by on Fri, 31 Oct 2014 08:20:21 EDT:
New research offers a novel insight into the nature of dark matter and dark energy and what the future of our Universe might be. Scientists have found hints that dark matter, the cosmic scaffolding on which our Universe is built, is being slowly erased, swallowed up by dark energy.
Lord of the microrings: Breakthrough in microring laser cavities reported
by on Thu, 30 Oct 2014 15:08:58 EDT:
Researchers report a significant breakthrough in laser technology with the development of a unique microring laser cavity that can produce single-mode lasing on demand. This advance holds ramifications for a wide range of optoelectronic applications including metrology and interferometry, data storage and communications, and high-resolution spectroscopy.
Scientists propose existence and interaction of parallel worlds: Many Interacting Worlds theory challenges foundations of quantum science
by on Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:16:54 EDT:
Academics are challenging the foundations of quantum science with a radical new theory on parallel universes. Scientists now propose that parallel universes really exist, and that they interact. They show that such an interaction could explain everything that is bizarre about quantum mechanics.
Physicists pave the way for quantum interfaces
by on Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:12:20 EDT:
Researchers have controlled interplay of light and matter at the level of individual photons emitted by rubidium.
Can the wave function of an electron be divided and trapped?
by on Tue, 28 Oct 2014 21:41:29 EDT:
Electrons are elementary particles -- indivisible, unbreakable. But new research suggests the electron's quantum state -- the electron wave function -- can be separated into many parts. That has some strange implications for the theory of quantum mechanics.
Postcards from the plasma edge: How lithium conditions the volatile edge of fusion plasmas
by on Tue, 28 Oct 2014 12:26:12 EDT:
For magnetic fusion energy to fuel future power plants, scientists must find ways to control the interactions that take place between the volatile edge of the plasma and the walls that surround it in fusion facilities. Such interactions can profoundly affect conditions at the superhot core of the plasma in ways that include kicking up impurities that cool down the core and halt fusion reactions.
Laser experiments mimic cosmic explosions and planetary cores
by on Tue, 28 Oct 2014 12:26:10 EDT:
Researchers are finding ways to understand some of the mysteries of space without leaving earth. Using high-intensity lasers focused on targets smaller than a pencil's eraser, they conducted experiments to create colliding jets of plasma knotted by plasma filaments and self-generated magnetic fields, reaching pressures a billion times higher than seen on earth.
Helping upgrade the U.S. power grid: Advanced power-conversion switch
by on Tue, 28 Oct 2014 12:26:08 EDT:
When researchers at General Electric Co. sought help in designing a plasma-based power switch, they turned to the U.S. Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. The proposed switch could contribute to a more advanced and reliable electric grid and help to lower utility bills.
Using radio waves to control the density in a fusion plasma
by on Tue, 28 Oct 2014 12:26:06 EDT:
Experiments show how heating the electrons in the center of a hot fusion plasma with high power microwaves can increase turbulence, reducing the density in the inner core.
Lithium injections show promise for optimizing the performance of fusion plasmas
by on Tue, 28 Oct 2014 11:48:28 EDT:
Experiments have now demonstrated the ability of lithium injections to transiently double the temperature and pressure at the edge of the plasma and delay the onset of instabilities and other transients.
'Reverse engineering' materials for more efficient heating and cooling
by on Tue, 28 Oct 2014 11:47:16 EDT:
If you’ve gone for a spin in a luxury car and felt your back being warmed or cooled by a seat-based climate control system, then you’ve likely experienced the benefits of a class of materials called thermoelectrics. Thermoelectric materials convert heat into electricity, and vice versa, and have many advantages over traditional heating and cooling systems. Recently, researchers have observed that the performance of some thermoelectric materials can be improved by combining different solid phases.
Physicists' simple solution for quantum technology challenge
by on Tue, 28 Oct 2014 10:48:08 EDT:
A solution to one of the key challenges in the development of quantum technologies has been proposed by physicists. Scientists show how to make a new type of flexibly-designed microscopic trap for atoms.
First observation of electronic structure in Ag-Rh alloy nanoparticles having hydrogen absorbing/storage property
by on Tue, 28 Oct 2014 10:11:14 EDT:
Chemists have made the first observation of the electronic structure in silver-rhodium (Ag-Rh) alloy nanoparticles to investigate why the alloy possesses a hydrogen absorbing/storage property like palladium (Pd) does, given that bulk Ag and Rh do not form an alloy, and that neither element alone is a hydrogen absorbing/storage metal. It is expected that these results will further promote the creation of novel functional materials through the fusion of different elements, a technique likened to 'modern-day alchemy.'
Ultrafast electron diffraction experiments open a new window on the microscopic world
by on Mon, 27 Oct 2014 18:22:25 EDT:
Researchers have succeeded in simultaneously observing the reorganizations of atomic positions and electron distribution during the transformation of the “smart material” vanadium dioxide from a semiconductor into a metal – in a timeframe a trillion times faster than the blink of an eye.
Turning loss to gain: Cutting power could dramatically boost laser output
by on Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:53:28 EDT:
Re-examining longstanding beliefs about the physics of lasers, engineers have shown that carefully restricting the delivery of power to certain areas within a laser could boost its output by many orders of magnitude.
New evidence for an exotic, predicted superconducting state
by on Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:53:26 EDT:
Physicist have produced new evidence for an exotic superconducting state, first predicted a half-century ago, that can arise when a superconductor is exposed to a strong magnetic field.
Li-ion batteries contain toxic halogens, but environmentally friendly alternatives exist
by on Fri, 24 Oct 2014 11:19:17 EDT:
Physics researchers have discovered that most of the electrolytes used in lithium-ion batteries -- commonly found in consumer electronic devices -- are superhalogens, and that the vast majority of these electrolytes contain toxic halogens.
Molecular structure of water at gold electrodes revealed
by on Thu, 23 Oct 2014 14:23:08 EDT:
Researchers have recorded the first observations of the molecular structure of liquid water at a gold electrode under different battery charging conditions.
National Synchrotron Light Source II achieves 'first light'
by on Thu, 23 Oct 2014 14:20:51 EDT:
The National Synchrotron Light Source II detects its first photons, beginning a new phase of the facility’s operations. Scientific experiments at NSLS-II are expected to begin before the end of the year.
New compounds for tunable OLED devices manufacturing
by on Thu, 23 Oct 2014 11:10:01 EDT:
New organic compounds characterized by a higher modularity, stability and efficiency, have been developed by researchers. These compounds could be applicable in the semiconductors industry for using them in electronics or lighting.