News 2019



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Materials Science - Physics - 26.12.2019
How a ’vegetable ion’ helped scientists unlock theory behind transitions of materials
A puddle freezing on the sidewalk, your humidifier pumping out water vapor, salt trucks melting icy streets-wintertime in Chicago is full of examples of a physics phenomenon called a "phase transition," in which a material changes state. Physicists are fascinated by this phenomenon, which is useful in technology from the basic steam turbine all the way to MRIs.

Physics - Computer Science - 23.12.2019
First chip-to-chip quantum teleportation harnessing silicon photonic chip fabrication
The development of technologies which can process information based on the laws of quantum physics are predicted to have profound impacts on modern society. For example, quantum computers may hold the key to solving problems that are too complex for today's most powerful supercomputers, and a quantum internet could ultimately protect the worlds information from malicious attacks.

Physics - 23.12.2019
"Tweezer Clock" May Help Tell Time More Precisely
Atomic clocks are used around the world to precisely tell time. Each "tick" of the clock depends on atomic vibrations and their effects on surrounding electromagnetic fields. Standard atomic clocks in use today, based on the atom cesium, tell time by "counting" radio frequencies. These clocks can measure time to a precision of one second per every hundreds of millions of years.

Physics - Chemistry - 23.12.2019
Scientists create a ’crystal within a crystal’ for new electronic devices
Breakthrough from Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering lets scientists tailor blue phase crystals Liquid crystals have enabled new technologies, like LCD screens, through their ability to reflect certain color wavelengths. Researchers at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory have developed an innovative way to sculpt a liquid "crystal within a crystal." These new crystals could be used for next-generation display technologies or sensors that consume very little energy.

Physics - 23.12.2019
In Tooth Enamel, Slight Crystal Misorientations Stop Cracks in Their Tracks
In Tooth Enamel, Slight Crystal Misorientations Stop Cracks in Their Tracks
Adult teeth can last a lifetime, withstanding enormous chewing pressures applied hundreds of times each day for decades. In a recent study published , researchers discovered a natural toughening mechanism: small misorientations among the nanocrystal building blocks of human tooth enamel. Enamel is composed of hydroxyapatite, a biomineral that forms long and thin 50-nanometer wide nanocrystals, bundled into rods like uncooked spaghetti in tubes.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 20.12.2019
Supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy may have a friend
Smadar Naoz is an associate professor of physics and astronomy in the UCLA College. She wrote this article for The Conversation. Do supermassive black holes have friends' The nature of galaxy formation suggests that the answer is yes, and in fact, pairs of supermassive black holes should be common in the universe.

Physics - Computer Science - 20.12.2019
The Quantum Information Edge Launches to Accelerate Quantum Computing R&D for Breakthrough Science
A nationwide alliance of national labs, universities, and industry launched today to advance the frontiers of quantum computing systems designed to solve urgent scientific challenges and maintain U.S. leadership in next-generation information technology. The Quantum Information Edge strategic alliance is led by two of the U.S. Department of Energy's national laboratories: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and Sandia National Laboratories.

Physics - 20.12.2019
No storm in a teacup - it's a cyclone on a silicon chip
No storm in a teacup - it’s a cyclone on a silicon chip
University of Queensland researchers have combined quantum liquids and silicon-chip technology to study turbulence for the first time, opening the door to new navigation technologies and improved understanding of the turbulent dynamics of cyclones and other extreme weather. Professor Warwick Bowen, from UQ's Precision Sensing Initiative and the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems said the finding was "a significant advance" and provided a new way to study turbulence.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 19.12.2019
Ultrashort x-ray technique will probe conditions found at the heart of planets
Combining powerful lasers and bright x-rays, Imperial and STFC researchers have demonstrated a technique that will allow new extreme experiments. The new technique would be able to use a single x-ray flash to capture information about extremely dense and hot matter, such as can be found inside gas giant planets or on the crusts of dead stars.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 18.12.2019
New image of candy cane-shaped feature in the center of our galaxy
A team of astronomers has produced a new image of an arc-shaped object in the center of our Milky Way galaxy. The feature, which resembles a candy cane, is a magnetic structure that covers an enormous region of some 160 light-years. A light-year is the distance light travels in one year — almost 6 trillion miles.

Physics - Computer Science - 18.12.2019
Researchers Develop New Quantum Algorithm
Quantum computers, just like classical computers, are only as good as the instructions that we give them. And although quantum computing is one of the hottest topics in science these days, the instructions, or algorithms, for quantum computers still have a long way to go to become useful. Garnet Chan , Caltech's Bren Professor of Chemistry, is tackling this problem.

Materials Science - Physics - 18.12.2019
New coating hides temperature change from infrared cameras
An ultrathin coating developed by University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers upends a ubiquitous physics phenomenon of materials related to thermal radiation: The hotter an object gets, the brighter it glows. The new coating - engineered from samarium nickel oxide, a unique tunable material - employs a bit of temperature trickery.

Earth Sciences - Physics - 18.12.2019
Submarine Cables to Offshore Wind Farms Transformed into a Seismic Network
An international team of geoscientists led by Caltech has used fiber optic communications cables stationed at the bottom of the North Sea as a giant seismic network, tracking both earthquakes and ocean waves. The project was, in part, a proof of concept. Oceans cover two-thirds of the earth's surface, but placing permanent seismometers under the sea is prohibitively expensive.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 18.12.2019
A sign that aliens could stink
A sign that aliens could stink
A molecule that's known for its smelly and poisonous nature on Earth may be a sure-fire sign of extraterrestrial life. Phosphine is among the stinkiest, most toxic gases on Earth, found in some of the foulest of places, including penguin dung heaps, the depths of swamps and bogs, and even in the bowels of some badgers and fish.

Physics - Life Sciences - 16.12.2019
Researchers observe brain-like behavior in nanoscale device
UCLA scientists James Gimzewski and Adam Stieg are part of an international research team that has taken a significant stride toward the goal of creating thinking machines. Led by researchers at Japan's National Institute for Materials Science, the team created an experimental device that exhibited characteristics analogous to certain behaviors of the brain — learning, memorization, forgetting, wakefulness and sleep.

Physics - Chemistry - 16.12.2019
Physicist taps quantum mechanics to crack molecular secrets
There are few scientists who would describe condensed matter physics-a branch that studies the behavior of solid matter-as "simple." But to Prof. Giulia Galli, it's less complex than the problems she works on at the University of Chicago.  "Problems like water and energy are much more complicated than what I was trained for in condensed matter physics," she said.

Physics - 16.12.2019
What happens to gold nanoparticles in cells?
What happens to gold nanoparticles in cells?
Gold nanoparticles, which are supposed to be stable in biological environments, can be degraded inside cells. This research conducted by teams from the CNRS, l'Université de Paris, Sorbonne Université, and l'Université de Strasbourg will be published in PNAS on December 16 2019, and reveals the ability of cells to metabolize gold, which is nevertheless not essential for their functioning.

Chemistry - Physics - 16.12.2019
Chemists glimpse the fleeting
Chemists glimpse the fleeting "transition state" of a reaction
New technique for observing reaction products offers insights into the chemical mechanisms that formed them. During a chemical reaction, the molecules involved in the reaction gain energy until they reach a "point of no return" known as a transition state. Until now, no one has glimpsed this state, as it lasts for only a few femtoseconds (quadrillionths of a second).

Chemistry - Physics - 13.12.2019
Hydrogen as a Climate-neutral Fuel
A team of researchers from Freie Universität Berlin, the University of Bochum, and the University of Linz has succeeded in observing the transfer of protons in a hydrogenase reaction. No 391/2019 from Dec 13, 2019 Scientists from Freie Universität Berlin, the University of Bochum, and the University of Linz have found evidence for the design of so-called biomimetic catalysts.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 12.12.2019
A quantum leap that’s been decades in the making
Science enthusiasts and the general public have become accustomed to finding out about cataclysmic events in space such as black holes colliding, as though spotting them was as easy as riding a bike. In fact, scientists only detected ripples from such an event for the first time about four years ago.
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