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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


Evidence mounts for quantum criticality theory
by on Fri, 30 Jan 2015 21:14:01 EST:
A new study adds to the growing evidence supporting a theory that strange electronic behaviors -- including high-temperature superconductivity and heavy fermion physics -- arise from quantum fluctuations of strongly correlated electrons.
New method allows for greater variation in band gap tunability
by on Fri, 30 Jan 2015 13:28:47 EST:
If you can't find the ideal material, then design a new one. By manipulating the ordered arrangement of atoms in layered complex oxide materials, scientists have found a way to control their electronic band gaps, which determines the electrical behavior of the material and how it interacts with light.
Crystal light: New family of light-converting materials points to cheaper, more efficient solar power and LEDs
by on Thu, 29 Jan 2015 17:03:25 EST:
Engineers have shone new light on an emerging family of solar-absorbing materials that could clear the way for cheaper and more efficient solar panels and LEDs. The materials, called perovskites, are particularly good at absorbing visible light, but had never been thoroughly studied in their purest form: as perfect single crystals. Using a new technique, researchers grew large, pure perovskite crystals and studied how electrons move through the material as light is converted to electricity.
Generating Mobius strips of light
by on Thu, 29 Jan 2015 15:16:21 EST:
Physicists have experimentally produced Möbius strips from the polarization of light, confirming a theoretical prediction that it is possible for light's electromagnetic field to assume this peculiar shape.
Nanomedicines of the future will build on quantum chemistry
by on Thu, 29 Jan 2015 09:41:12 EST:
Quantum chemical calculations have been used to solve big mysteries in space. Soon the same calculations may be used to produce tomorrow’s cancer drugs, experts say.
Could a new proposed particle help to detect Dark Matter?
by on Thu, 29 Jan 2015 09:41:10 EST:
Researchers have proposed a new fundamental particle which could explain why no one has managed to detect 'Dark Matter', the elusive missing 85 per cent of the Universe's mass. Dark Matter is thought to exist because of its gravitational effects on stars and galaxies, gravitational lensing (the bending of light rays) around these, and through its imprint on the Cosmic Microwave Background (the afterglow of the Big Bang). Despite compelling indirect evidence and considerable experimental effort, no one has managed to detect Dark Matter directly.
Spiky 'hedgehog particles' for safer paints, fewer VOC emissions
by on Wed, 28 Jan 2015 13:12:57 EST:
A new process that can sprout microscopic spikes on nearly any type of particle may lead to more environmentally friendly paints and a variety of other innovations.
Demystifying nanocrystal solar cells
by on Wed, 28 Jan 2015 12:54:16 EST:
Researchers have developed a comprehensive model to explain how electrons flow inside new types of solar cells made of tiny crystals. The model allows for a better understanding of such cells and may help to increase their efficiency.
Researchers use sound to slow down, speed up, and block light
by on Wed, 28 Jan 2015 09:35:53 EST:
How do you make an optical fiber transmit light only one way? Researchers have experimentally demonstrated, for the first time, the phenomenon of Brillouin Scattering Induced Transparency (BSIT), which can be used to slow down, speed up, and block light in an optical waveguide. The BSIT phenomenon permits light to travel in the forward direction while light traveling in the backward direction is strongly absorbed. This non-reciprocal behavior is essential for building isolators and circulators.
Nanoscale mirrored cavities amplify, connect quantum memories
by on Wed, 28 Jan 2015 08:18:47 EST:
Constructing tiny "mirrors" to trap light increases the efficiency with which photons can pick up and transmit information about electronic spin states -- which is essential for scaling up quantum memories for functional quantum computing systems and networks.
Researchers tune friction in ionic solids at the nanoscale
by on Tue, 27 Jan 2015 16:49:47 EST:
New experiments have uncovered a way of controlling friction on ionic surfaces at the nanoscale using electrical stimulation and ambient water vapor.
New pathway to valleytronics: Femtosecond laser used to manipulate valley excitons
by on Tue, 27 Jan 2015 12:24:57 EST:
Researchers have uncovered a promising new pathway to valleytronics, a potential quantum computing technology in which information is coded based on the wavelike motion of electrons moving through certain 2-D semiconductors.
The laser pulse that gets shorter all by itself
by on Tue, 27 Jan 2015 11:10:33 EST:
A new method of creating ultra short laser pulses has been created: Just by sending a pulse through a cleverly designed fiber, it can be compressed by a factor of 20.
Researchers make magnetic graphene
by on Mon, 26 Jan 2015 09:59:43 EST:
Graphene has many desirable properties. Magnetism alas is not one of them. Magnetism can be induced in graphene by doping it with magnetic impurities, but this tends to disrupt graphene's electronic properties. Now physicists have found a way to induce magnetism in graphene while also preserving graphene's electronic properties. They have accomplished this by bringing a graphene sheet very close to a magnetic insulator -- an electrical insulator with magnetic properties.
Visualizing interacting electrons in a molecule
by on Mon, 26 Jan 2015 09:59:13 EST:
Scientists have succeeded in directly imaging how electrons interact within a single molecule. Understanding this kind of electronic effects in organic molecules is crucial for their use in optoelectronic applications, for example in organic light-emitting diodes, organic field-effect transistors and solar cells.
Entanglement on a chip: Breakthrough promises secure communications and faster computers
by on Mon, 26 Jan 2015 09:57:07 EST:
A team of scientists has developed, for the first time, a microscopic component that is small enough to fit onto a standard silicon chip that can generate a continuous supply of entangled photons.
Infrared imaging technique operates at high temperatures
by on Fri, 23 Jan 2015 19:02:59 EST:
A research team took advantage of superlattice architecture and new materials to develop a detector that does not require low temperatures to operate.
Cherenkov emissions provide investigators real-time tool for quality assurance in radiation therapy
by on Fri, 23 Jan 2015 19:01:41 EST:
Using a simple camera and water tank, investigators demonstrated that induced Cherenkov light can be imaged and used to confirm that the complex spatial dose distribution imparted in dynamic treatment plans is being delivered correctly.
Scientists set quantum speed limit
by on Thu, 22 Jan 2015 15:48:47 EST:
The flip side of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, the energy time uncertainty principle, establishes a speed limit for transitions between two states. Physical chemists have now proved this principle for transitions between states that are not entirely distinct, allowing the calculation of speed limits for processes such as quantum computing and tunneling. The proof puts on sound footing a relationship that most physicists use daily.
Exotic, gigantic molecules fit inside each other like Russian nesting dolls
by on Thu, 22 Jan 2015 13:27:30 EST:
Scientists have experimentally observed for the first time a phenomenon in ultracold, three-atom molecules predicted by Russian theoretical physicist Vitaly Efimov in 1970.
Wild west physics: Bridging the gap between the study of 'outer space' and 'inner space'
by on Thu, 22 Jan 2015 11:43:54 EST:
The next frontier in physics may require teeny-tiny answers to big questions, and vice versa. Call it macro-micro physics: the study of the huge paired with the study of the very, very small.
Is glass a true solid? New research suggests it is
by on Thu, 22 Jan 2015 08:48:59 EST:
Does glass ever stop flowing? Researchers have combined computer simulation and information theory, originally invented for telephone communication and cryptography, to answer this puzzling question.
Graphene brings quantum effects to electronic circuits
by on Wed, 21 Jan 2015 13:07:50 EST:
Scientists have revealed a superfluid phase in ultra-low temperature 2D materials, creating the potential for electronic devices which dissipate very little energy.
Individual protons and neutrons in atomic nuclei do not behave according to predictions
by on Wed, 21 Jan 2015 11:50:11 EST:
Individual protons and neutrons in atomic nuclei turn out not to behave according to the predictions made by existing theoretical models. This surprising conclusion, reached by an international team of physicists, forces us to reconsider how we have been describing large atomic nuclei for the past several decades.
New method to generate arbitrary optical pulses
by on Wed, 21 Jan 2015 11:47:11 EST:
Scientists have developed a new technique to generate more powerful, more energy efficient and low-cost pulsed lasers. The technique has potential applications in a number of fields that use pulsed lasers including telecommunications, metrology, sensing and material processing. Any application that requires optical pulses typically needs waveforms of a specific repetition rate, pulse duration, and pulse shape. It is often challenging to design and manufacture a laser with these parameters exactly as required. Even when a suitable solution exists, the size, the complexity and ease of operation of the laser are further critical considerations. he new method works on a fundamentally different principle to existing pulsed lasers.
Nano-beaker offers insight into the condensation of atoms
by on Wed, 21 Jan 2015 08:36:44 EST:
Physicists have succeeded in mapping the condensation of individual atoms, or rather their transition from a gaseous state to another state, using a new method.The team was able to monitor for the first time how xenon atoms condensate in microscopic measuring beakers, or quantum wells, thereby enabling key conclusions to be drawn as to the nature of atomic bonding.
Graphene enables all-electrical control of energy flow from light emitters
by on Tue, 20 Jan 2015 11:18:02 EST:
Scientists have now demonstrated active, in situ electrical control of the energy flow from erbium ions into photons and plasmons. The experiment was implemented by placing the erbium emitters a few tens of nanometers away from the graphene sheet, whose carrier density is electrically controlled.
New signal amplification process set to transform communications, imaging, computing
by on Tue, 20 Jan 2015 11:12:33 EST:
A new signal amplification process is now poised to fuel new generations of electrical and photonic devices -- transforming the fields of communications, imaging and computing.
Atoms can be in two places at the same time
by on Tue, 20 Jan 2015 08:59:19 EST:
Can a penalty kick simultaneously score a goal and miss? For very small objects, at least, this is possible: according to the predictions of quantum mechanics, microscopic objects can take different paths at the same time.  The world of macroscopic objects follows other rules: the football always moves in a definite direction. But is this always correct? Physicists have constructed an experiment designed to possibly falsify this thesis. Their first experiment shows that Caesium atoms can indeed take two paths at the same time.
A contractile gel that stores light energy
by on Tue, 20 Jan 2015 08:58:15 EST:
Living systems have the ability to produce collective molecular motions that have an effect at the macroscale, such as a muscle that contracts via the concerted action of protein motors. In order to reproduce this phenomenon, scientists have made a polymer gel that is able to contract through the action of artificial molecular motors. When activated by light, these nanoscale motors twist the polymer chains in the gel, which as a result contracts by several centimeters. Another advantage is that the new material is able to store the light energy absorbed.
Making waves with lasers could enhance solar cell efficiency
by on Tue, 20 Jan 2015 08:45:39 EST:
Laser processing produces deep ripples in silicon over a wide area — something that could enhance solar cell efficiency.
New laser could upgrade the images in tomorrow's technology
by on Mon, 19 Jan 2015 15:45:11 EST:
A new semiconductor laser has the potential to significantly improve the imaging quality of the next generation of high-tech microscopes, laser projectors, photolithography, holography and biomedical imaging.
Self-destructive effects of magnetically-doped ferromagnetic topological insulators
by on Mon, 19 Jan 2015 15:43:18 EST:
A new atomic-scale study of the surface properties of certain ferromagnetic topological insulators reveals that these materials exhibit extreme, unexpected, and self-destructive electronic disorder.
New composite protects from corrosion from high mechanical stress
by on Mon, 19 Jan 2015 08:30:04 EST:
A new composite material prevents metal corrosion in an environmentally friendly way, even under extreme conditions. It can be used wherever metals are exposed to severe weather conditions, aggressive gases, salt, heavy wear or high pressures.
Solving an organic semiconductor mystery
by on Fri, 16 Jan 2015 11:03:15 EST:
The mysterious source of performance issues in organic semiconductors have been uncovered by scientists -- nanocrystallites cluttering domain interfaces.
Shining a light on quantum dots measurement
by on Thu, 15 Jan 2015 16:35:39 EST:
Using the cadmium selenide quantum dot, researchers collaborated to understand how protein corona forms and what is different about the quantum dot before and after the formation of the corona.
Rice-sized laser, powered one electron at a time, bodes well for quantum computing
by on Thu, 15 Jan 2015 14:23:53 EST:
Researchers have built a rice grain-sized microwave laser, or 'maser,' powered by single electrons that demonstrates the fundamental interactions between light and moving electrons. It is a major step toward building quantum-computing systems out of semiconductor materials.
Physicists detect 'charge instability' across all flavors of copper-based superconductors
by on Thu, 15 Jan 2015 14:17:04 EST:
Physicists have detected 'charge ordering' in electron-doped cuprate superconductors for the first time. Charge ordering is a ripple-like instability at the electron level that competes with superconductivity and likely suppresses the temperature at which materials demonstrate superconducting properties. Until now, researchers had only observed the phenomenon in other forms of cuprate materials.
Physicists observe light-matter interaction of two atoms for the first time
by on Thu, 15 Jan 2015 08:30:42 EST:
If two children splash in the sea high water waves will emerge due to constructive superposition. Different observations are made for the microscopic world in an experiment where physicists used a laser beam to generate light waves from two cesium atoms. The light waves were reflected back from two parallel mirrors. It turned out that this experimental arrangement suppressed the emergence of high light waves. With their experiment the scientists observed the most fundamental scenario of light-matter interaction with two atoms.
Improved interface for a quantum internet
by on Thu, 15 Jan 2015 08:30:34 EST:
A quantum network requires efficient interfaces over which information can be transferred from matter to light and back. Physicists now show how this information transfer can be optimized by taking advantage of a collective quantum phenomenon.
Race of the electrons: Laser pulses can be used to track the motion of electrons in metals with attosecond precision
by on Wed, 14 Jan 2015 14:05:25 EST:
Light can rip electrons out of a piece of metal. This 'photoelectric effect' is extremely fast. But now modern attosecond technology can resolve the time evolution of such processes. A new article discusses the race of electrons in a layered structure made of magnesium and tungsten.
Laser-induced graphene 'super' for electronics: Flexible, 3-D supercapacitors tested
by on Wed, 14 Jan 2015 11:55:23 EST:
Scientists show the practicality of turning laser-induced graphene into portable, flexible devices by making stacked supercapacitors.
A new step towards using graphene in electronic applications
by on Wed, 14 Jan 2015 10:16:40 EST:
Scientists have managed, with atomic precision, to create nanostructures combining graphene ribbons of varying widths.
Decoding the gravitational evolution of dark matter halos
by on Tue, 13 Jan 2015 11:15:35 EST:
Researchers have revealed that considering environmental effects such as a gravitational tidal force spread over a scale much larger than a galaxy cluster is indispensable to explain the distribution and evolution of dark matter halos around galaxies. A detailed comparison between theory and simulations made this work possible.
Wonder material silicene still stands just out of reach
by on Mon, 12 Jan 2015 18:10:01 EST:
Silicene is the thinnest form of silicon. It is metallic, has graphene-like mobile carriers and can behave like a semiconductor. The wonder material could lead to even smaller electronics but challenges remain.
Physicist makes the case for studying the strong nuclear force
by on Mon, 12 Jan 2015 15:44:07 EST:
Physicists are making the case for nuclear physics and its big experiments. A proton- and nuclei-smashing PHENIX Experiment is helping physicists study a new state of matter and the basic bits and forces of nature.
New superconducting hybrid crystals
by on Mon, 12 Jan 2015 13:54:34 EST:
A new type of 'nanowire' crystals that fuses semiconducting and metallic materials on the atomic scale could lay the foundation for future semiconducting electronics.
Water, water, everywhere: Controlling the properties of nanomaterials
by on Mon, 12 Jan 2015 13:39:23 EST:
Properties of water molecules on the surface of metal oxides can be used to better control these minerals and use them to make products such as more efficient semiconductors for organic light emitting diodes and solar cells, safer vehicle glass in fog and frost, and more environmentally friendly chemical sensors for industrial applications.
Solar cell polymers with multiplied electrical output
by on Mon, 12 Jan 2015 13:39:15 EST:
Scientists paired up photovoltaic polymers that produce two units of electricity per unit of light instead of the usual one on a single molecular polymer chain. Having the two charges on the same molecule means the light-absorbing, energy-producing materials work efficiently when dissolved in liquids, which opens the way for a wide range of industrial scale manufacturing processes, including "printing" solar-energy-producing material like ink.
From the bottom up: Manipulating nanoribbons at the molecular level
by on Mon, 12 Jan 2015 13:39:13 EST:
Researchers have developed a new precision approach for synthesizing graphene nanoribbons from pre-designed molecular building blocks. Using this process the researchers have built nanoribbons that have enhanced properties--such as position-dependent, tunable bandgaps--that are potentially very useful for next-generation electronic circuitry.
Toward quantum chips: Packing single-photon detectors on an optical chip is crucial for quantum-computational circuits
by on Fri, 09 Jan 2015 10:10:47 EST:
A team of researchers has built an array of light detectors sensitive enough to register the arrival of individual light particles, or photons, and mounted them on a silicon optical chip. Such arrays are crucial components of devices that use photons to perform quantum computations.
From the lab to your digital device, quantum dots have made quantum leaps
by on Fri, 09 Jan 2015 04:51:36 EST:
Quantum dots have not only found their way into tablets, computer screens, and TVs, they are also used in biological and medical imaging tools, and now researchers are exploring them for solar cell as well as brain imaging applications.
Quantum optical hard drive breakthrough
by on Thu, 08 Jan 2015 10:06:58 EST:
Scientists developing a prototype optical quantum hard drive have improved storage time by a factor of over 100. The team's record storage time of six hours is a major step towards a secure worldwide data encryption network based on quantum information which could be used for banking transactions and personal emails.
Magic numbers of quantum matter revealed by cold atoms
by on Thu, 08 Jan 2015 08:44:39 EST:
Topology, a branch of mathematics classifying geometric objects, has been exploited by physicists to predict and describe unusual quantum phases: the topological states of matter. These intriguing phases, generally accessible at very low temperature, exhibit unique conductivity properties which are particularly robust against external perturbations, suggesting promising technological applications. The great stability of topological states relies on a set of magic integers, the so-called Chern numbers, which remain immune to defects and deformations. For the first time scientists have succeeded in measuring the topological Chern number in a non-electronic system with high precision.
Shedding light on why blue LEDS are so tricky to make
by on Wed, 07 Jan 2015 12:39:36 EST:
Scientists have uncovered the mystery of why blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are so difficult to make, by revealing the complex properties of their main component -- gallium nitride -- using sophisticated computer simulations.
New light shed on electron spin flips
by on Wed, 07 Jan 2015 10:11:49 EST:
Researchers have derived a new set of equations that allows for calculating electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) transition probabilities with arbitrary alignment and polarization of the exciting electromagnetic radiation.
Doing more with less: Steering a quantum path to improved internet security
by on Wed, 07 Jan 2015 08:22:23 EST:
New research may lead to greatly improved security of information transfer over the internet. Physicists have demonstrated the potential for 'quantum steering' to be used to enhance data security over long distances, discourage hackers and eavesdroppers and resolve issues of trust with communication devices.
'Iron Sun' is not a rock band, but a key to how stars transmit energy
by on Tue, 06 Jan 2015 12:15:07 EST:
Creating the conditions of the sun, researchers for the first time have been able to experimentally revise figures used by theorists to define iron's key role in passing sunlight from the sun's core to its radiative surface.
Electromagnetic waves linked to particle fallout in Earth's atmosphere, new study finds
by on Mon, 05 Jan 2015 12:59:14 EST:
In a new study that sheds light on space weather's impact on Earth, researchers show for the first time that plasma waves buffeting the planet's radiation belts are responsible for scattering charged particles into the atmosphere.
Acoustic levitation made simple
by on Mon, 05 Jan 2015 11:25:44 EST:
Scientists have developed a new levitation device that can hover a tiny object with more control than any instrument that has come before.