Physics

Chemists cook up three atom-thick electronic sheets

Making thin films out of semiconducting materials is analogous to how ice grows on a windowpane: When the conditions are just right, the semiconductor grows in flat crystals that slowly fuse together, eventually forming a continuous film. This process of film deposition is common for traditional semiconductors like silicon or gallium arsenide -- the basis of modern electronics -- but scientists are now pushing the limits for how thin they can go.

Chemistry, topography and mechanics probed with one instrument

Scientists have combined atomic force microscopy and mass spectrometry into one instrument that can probe a polymer sample in three dimensions and overlay information about the topography of its surface, the atomic-scale mechanical behavior of the bulk sample, and subsurface chemistry.

Flowing against the stream: Inanimate beads behave in lifelike ways

Synthetic microscopic beads sense changes in their environment and self-propel to migrate upstream, a step toward the realization of biomimetic microsystems with the ability to sense and respond to environmental changes.

Occam's razor redux: A simple mathematical approach to designing mechanical invisibility cloaks

Metamaterials – engineered materials with properties not found in nature – have led to an astounding range of optical, acoustic, thermodynamic, two-dimensional solid mechanics, and other types of invisibility cloaks that render the cloaked object indistinguishable from the environment around them – but the ability to cloak three-dimensional solid mechanics has proven elusive.

Giant electromagnet arrives at Brookhaven Lab to map melted matter

Why did the 40,000-pound superconducting magnet cross the country? The full answer to this twist on the old joke is complicated, but here's the short version: to unlock the secrets of the atom.

Dark-matter labs become subterranean centres for science

Deep beneath our feet, below mountains and mine shafts, a scientific transformation is taking place.

Promising new X-ray microscope poses technical challenges

You may think the aisles in your neighborhood convenience store are crowded, but they'd look positively spacious compared to the passageways in the NIF target bay.

7 Remarkable Lessons from Messenger's Mission to Mercury

Through most of its life, NASA's scrappy Messenger probe was something of a unsung hero. The first spacecraft ever to orbit Mercury didn't have the you-are-there appeal of a Mars rover, the daredevil appeal of landing on a comet, or the romance of visiting a beautiful ringed planet. But with today's death--the result of a long-anticipated crash into the planet it studied--we can clearly see what an incredibly successful explorer Messenger was.

Mercury has long been a solar-system enigma.

NASA Administrator Statement on House Authorization Bill

Statement from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on the House of Representatives’ NASA authorization bill

NASA Invests in Hundreds of U.S. Small Businesses to Enable Future Missions

NASA has selected research and technology proposals from 254 small businesses and 39 research institutions in the United States for grants to develop new technologies that will further NASA's journey to Mars.

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