Physics

This year the Materials Research Society will replace its traditional Boston-based Fall Meeting with a virtual conference and exhibition Virtual exhibit: this year’s Spring and Fall Meetings of the Materials Research Society will be combined into one online event. (Courtesy: Shutterstock/Ambelrip) For nearly 50 years, researchers from around the world have converged in Boston for
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Wild Turkey / Image Credit: Andrea Westmoreland via Flickr There are 60-foot high balloons floating above packed city blocks, cranberries on the stove, inside-the-turkey stuffing, mashed potatoes, outside-the-turkey stuffing, football, abominably huge turkeys, and one lucky bird. The best part of Thanksgiving dinner? Leftover Thanksgiving dinner. But those leftovers take hard work– that hot, perfect,
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Random wavelengths: artist’s impression of a method for measuring and controlling quantum spins developed at Princeton University. (Courtesy: Rachel Davidowitz) The spin states of entangled erbium ions in a solid crystal can be controlled and read out individually  using a new technique developed by Jeff Thompson and colleagues at Princeton University in the US. In
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Who hasn’t wished the doctor would prescribe a week of vacation or a trip to Walt Disney World to cure an ailment? For patients with kidney stones, that might be just around the corner. According to research published in 2016 in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, a trip to your local amusement park might
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Confocal fluorescence image of gold nanotubes (green) in a mesothelioma cell. Scale bar: 20 µm. (Courtesy: Arsalan Azad) Gold nanotubes can destroy cancer cells, according to physicists and medical researchers at the University of Cambridge and the University of Leeds. They found that their nanotubes, which were tuned to have strong near-infrared absorption, can enter
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End of the line: the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico photographed before the recent cable failures. (Courtesy: NAIC) Officials at the US National Sci­ence Foundation have decided to decommission the iconic Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico after a second cable failure caused fresh damage to the telescope’s metal platform, which is suspended above the
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Too close for comfort: Artist’s impression of K2-141b. (Courtesy: McGill University/Julie Roussy) A fiery exoplanet located barely a million kilometres from its parent star is covered by magma oceans and has an atmosphere of vapourized rock on its “day” side, whilst its “night” side remains cold enough for glaciers to form. This is the finding
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Tis a magic place: scale model of Stonehenge showing (A) outer sarsen circle; (B) outer bluestone circle; (C) inner trilithon horseshoe and (D) inner bluestone oval. (Courtesy: T Cox, B Fazenda and S Greaney/Journal of Archaeological Science) It may look like something from the mockumentary This is Spinal Tap, but this 1:12 scale model of
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Join the audience for a live webinar at 3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. EST on 2 December 2020 exploring the physical principles of electrochemical acoustic interrogation Want to take part in this webinar? Acoustics and batteries. (Courtesy: Columbia Electrochemical Energy Centre) Although classic battery engineering is firmly rooted in chemical engineering and chemistry, the last decade
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By: Hannah Pell Two years ago on November 16th, 2018, representatives from more than 60 member nations of the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (International Bureau of Weights and Measures) convened in Versailles, France to make a very important decision. Representatives in attendance to the 26th General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM) unanimously
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Canek Fuentes-Hernandez holding a ring-shaped, large-area organic photodiode that has comparable performance to silicon-based photodiodes. Credit: Canek Fuentes-Hernandez, Georgia Tech Although silicon photodiodes are widely employed in a host of light-detection technologies, scaling them up is difficult and expensive. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in the US have now compared the
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Focused ultrasound can be used to open the blood–brain barrier, enabling delivery of drugs into the brain. (Courtesy: Kevin Van Paassen, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre) “Focused ultrasound is a rapidly expanding field – and if you look at research publications covering focused ultrasound in the brain, there’s an exponential rise in interest,” said Nir Lipsman,
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Pictorial representation of the molecule-based magnet and its magnetic properties. Credit: Rodolphe Clérac Researchers have shown that certain metal-organic materials can act as permanent magnets at temperatures of up to 242°C, while remaining magnetized in external magnetic fields as strong as 7500 oersteds – 25 times higher than other “molecular magnets” reported previously. Both values
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STREICHER Pilsen’s S-Cube modular vacuum chamber system can help scientific users to maximize research productivity while simplifying and future-proofing their vacuum infrastructure requirements Vacuum management: the S-Cube modular vacuum chamber system comes with an easy-to-use interface for vacuum process control and data visualization. (Courtesy: STREICHER Pilsen) Vacuum technology is a ubiquitous presence in all manner
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The twisted spirals made in this work exhibit interesting, tuneable superconductive properties. Courtesy: S Jin Researchers have found a way to grow layers of two-dimensional (2D) materials with predictable interlayer twists, dispensing with the need to stack and twist separately-grown layers by hand. The new technique uses curved growth surfaces and could provide a significant
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Firing synapse: artistic conception of a graphene-based memristor. (Courtesy: Jennifer M McCann/Penn State) A graphene-based memory resistor (memristor) that can exist in many different states has been designed and demonstrated by Thomas Schranghamer, Aaryan Oberoi and Saptarshi Das at Pennsylvania State University in the US. Using simulations and experiments, the team showed how the device
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Counting the cost: The, Arecibo Observatory is a crucial instrument in radio astronomy, but the failure of two supporting cables, the first of which broke in August (pictured). is putting the telescope in peril. (Courtesy: Univeristy of Central Florida) A second cable has failed at the iconic Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico – and engineering teams
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Glowing orb: artist’s impression of how the night-side of Europa could appear. (Courtesy: NASA/JPL-Caltech) Ice on the night-side surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa could emit a unique glow, according to US-based scientists Murthy Gudipati, Bryana Henderson at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Fred Bateman at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The researchers did
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Marginalia: this copy of Principia is owned by Caltech. In the 18th century, it belonged to French mathematician and natural philosopher Jean-Jacques d’Ortous de Mairan, whose signature can be seen in the left margin of the title page. More recently, it was in the collection of Caltech physicist Earnest Watson. (Courtesy: Caltech Archives) I think
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Examples of patients with large vessel occlusions correctly predicted by the deep-learning model. Top row: CT angiography slices; middle row: maximal intensity projection images; bottom row: heatmaps showing the most discriminative regions, which strongly correlate with occlusion location. (Courtesy: RSNA) Strokes are life-threatening medical emergencies where urgent treatment is essential. They occur when part of
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Just outside the town of Oracle, Arizona, nestled between the seemingly endless plains of the Sonaran desert and the cactus-pocked foothills of Mount Lemmon, stands an enormous glass ziggurat: Biosphere 2. Built in the late ‘80s at the behest of an oil tycoon, the structure was intended to be a small-scale model of a self-contained
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Lasting legacy: Masatoshi Koshiba was instrumental in the construction of the Kamiokande neutrino experiment in central Japan. (Courtesy: CERN/Patrice Loïez) The Japanese physicist Masatoshi Koshiba, who shared 2002 Nobel prize for the detection of cosmic neutrinos, died on 12 November aged 94. One of the founders of neutrino astronomy, Koshiba’s most famous work involved detecting
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This episode of the Physics World Weekly podcast features an interview with Carol Marsh, who was recently honoured by the UK’s Queen Elizabeth II for her work on diversity and inclusion. Edinburgh-based Marsh talks about her role as deputy head of electronics engineering at the aerospace and defence company Leonardo and about her efforts to
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A crystal lattice of strontium ruthenate responding to various sound waves as the material cools through its superconducting transition. Courtesy: Cornell University Superconducting materials are traditionally classed into two types: s-wave and d-wave. A third type, p-wave, has long been predicted. Now, however, researchers in the US, Germany and Japan say they may have discovered a
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Left: CT angiogram showing an aneurysm of 2 mm maximum diameter on the left posterior cerebral artery (arrow). Right: volume-rendered 3D reconstruction image. The aneurysm was missed in the initial report but successfully detected with the deep-learning algorithm. (Courtesy: Radiological Society of North America) Researchers in China have developed a deep-learning-based algorithm that could help
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Experimental data: excitations in a lattice of optical waveguides. (Courtesy: Eran Lustig et al./Physical Review Letters; data from J Noh et al./Nature Physics) A machine-learning tool called diffusion maps has been used to identify topological phase transitions in experimental data. The research was done by teams led by Mordechai Segev and Ronen Talmon at the
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Chilling out: radiative cooling could boost solar cell performance. (Courtesy: Shutterstock/ermess) Cheap and simple radiative cooling technologies can significantly increase the performance and lifespan of concentrated photovoltaic systems, according to researchers in the US. They found that a simple radiative cooling structure can increase the voltage produced by the solar cells by around 25%. It
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Taken from the November 2020 issue of Physics World. Members of the Institute of Physics can enjoy the full issue via the Physics World app. When a PhD student called Joseph Valasek discovered ferroelectricity exactly 100 years ago, few people realized the enormous impact it would have on science and technology. Amar S Bhalla and
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ELF source: an exotic low-mass field (ELF) signal could be created when two black holes merge. (Courtesy: Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes/CC-A-SA) Global networks of quantum sensors could be used to search for hypothetical exotic low-mass field (ELF) signals that could be created during black-hole mergers and other violent astrophysical events. The proposal from a team of
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Concerns have been raised over the analysis that pointed to phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus. (Courtesy: NASA/JPL) Doubt has been cast on the supposed discovery of phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus after several papers were published on the arXiv preprint server, challenging the result. The discovery had been announced in September when a
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The flow of optical power in and around the seven-nanoparticle “gear” of the optical matter machine. Courtesy: N Scherer A new device that converts laser light into mechanical work could be used to manipulate nano-scale objects for applications in nanofluidics and particle sorting. The device, which is based on a self-assembled hexagonal array of nanoparticles
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Artistic representation of OSIRIS-REx over the asteroid Bennu. NASA/GODDARD/University of Arizona. In 2016, the OSIRIS-REx probe left Earth but unlike most other probes on their journey out to space, OSIRIS-REx does intend to return home. If all goes well, OSIRIS-REx will return to its home in 2023 carrying a precious sample. As of 2018, OSIRIS-REx
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