Physics

Physicists with green fingers estimate tree spanning rate in random networks

Networks are often described as trees with spanning branches. How the tree branches out depends on the logic behind the network's expansion, such as random expansion. However, some aspects of such randomly expanding networks are invariant; in other words, they display the same characteristics, regardless of the network's scale. As a result, the entire network has the same shape as one or more of its parts.

From a model of fluids to the birth of a new field in computational physics

It may sound like the stuff of fairy tales, but in the 1950s two numerical models initially developed as a pet project by physicists led to the birth of an entirely new field of physics: computational statistical mechanics. This story has recently appeared in a paper published in EPJ H, authored by Michel Mareschal, an Emeritus Professor of Physics at the Free University of Brussels, Belgium.

Neutrons by the numbers—New counting technique delivers unprecedented accuracy

After years of research, scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed and demonstrated a way to count the absolute number of neutrons in a beam that is four times more accurate than their best previous results, and 50 times more accurate than similar measurements anywhere else in the world.

NASA Invites Media to View New Mission to Study the Frontier of Space

Media will have the opportunity June 4-5 for tours, interviews and photographs of NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) as it prepares to leave Vandenberg Air Force Base in California for a scheduled mid-June launch from Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

A better way to control crystal vibrations

The vibrational motion of an atom in a crystal propagates to neighboring atoms, which leads to wavelike propagation of the vibrations throughout the crystal. The way in which these natural vibrations travel through the crystalline structure determine fundamental properties of the material. For example, these vibrations determine how well heat and electrons can traverse the material, and how the material interacts with light.

A better way to control crystal vibrations

The vibrational motion of an atom in a crystal propagates to neighboring atoms, which leads to wavelike propagation of the vibrations throughout the crystal. The way in which these natural vibrations travel through the crystalline structure determine fundamental properties of the material. Now, researchers have shown that by swapping out just a small fraction of a material's atoms with atoms of a different element, they can control the speed and frequencies of these vibrations.

Steve Jurczyk Appointed NASA Associate Administrator; Krista Paquin Retires; Melanie W. Saunders Named Acting Deputy Associate Administrator

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has named Steve Jurczyk as associate administrator, the agency's highest-ranking civil servant position

Flexible, highly efficient multimodal energy harvesting

A 10-fold increase in the ability to harvest mechanical and thermal energy over standard piezoelectric composites may be possible using a piezoelectric ceramic foam supported by a flexible polymer support, according to researchers.

Turning entanglement upside down

Physicists have come up with a surprisingly simple idea to investigate quantum entanglement of many particles. Instead of digging deep into the properties of quantum wave functions - which are notoriously hard to experimentally access - they propose to realize physical systems governed by the corresponding entanglement Hamiltonians. By doing so, entanglement properties of the original problem of interest become accessible via well-established tools.

Quantum effects observed in photosynthesis

Molecules that are involved in photosynthesis exhibit the same quantum effects as non-living matter, concludes an international team of scientists. This is the first time that quantum mechanical behavior was proven to exist in biological systems that are involved in photosynthesis. The interpretation of these quantum effects in photosynthesis may help in the development of nature-inspired light-harvesting devices.

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