Physics

3-D inks that can be erased selectively

3-D printing by direct laser writing enables production of micro-meter-sized structures for many applications, from biomedicine to microelectronics to optical metamaterials. Researchers have now developed 3-D inks that can be erased selectively. This allows specific degradation and reassembly of highly precise structures on the micrometer and nanometer scales.

Magnetic antiparticles offer new horizons for information technologies

Nanosized magnetic particles called skyrmions are considered highly promising candidates for new data storage and information technologies. Now, physicists have revealed new behavior involving the antiparticle equivalent of skyrmions in a ferromagnetic material. The researchers demonstrated their findings using advanced computer simulations that can accurately model magnetic properties of nanometer-thick materials.

What do physicists mean when they talk about nothing?

Philosophers have debated the nature of "nothing" for thousands of years, but what has modern science got to say about it? In an interview with The Conversation, Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal and Emeritus Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics at the University of Cambridge, explains that when physicists talk about nothing, they mean empty space (vacuum). This may sound straightforward, but experiments show that empty space isn't really empty – there's a mysterious energy latent in it which can tell us something about the fate of the universe.

Neutron stars may hold an answer to neutron puzzle on Earth

According to University of Illinois physicist Douglas H. Beck, "Neutrons play some unusual roles in our world. Free neutrons decay in about 900 s but, bound in nuclei, they are stable and make up somewhat more than half the mass of the visible universe."

Researchers suggest phonons may have mass and perhaps negative gravity

A trio of physicists with Columbia University is making waves with a new theory about phonons—they suggest they might have negative mass, and because of that, have negative gravity. Angelo Esposito, Rafael Krichevsky and Alberto Nicolis have written a paper to support their theory, including the math, and have uploaded it to the xrXiv preprint server.

How hot is Schrödinger's coffee?

A new uncertainty relation, linking the precision with which temperature can be measured and quantum mechanics, has been discovered.

Ancient natural fission reactor offers clues on how to store modern nuclear waste

A team of researchers from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory and Washington University has learned more about possible ways to store modern nuclear waste by studying an ancient natural fission reactor. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their study of cores taken from the natural Oklo nuclear reactor and what they found.

Terahertz technology creates new insight into how semiconductor lasers work

Pioneering engineers working with terahertz frequency technology have been researching how individual frequencies are selected when a laser is turned on, and how quickly the selection is made.

Protons may have an outsize influence on the properties of neutron stars and other neutron-rich objects

Neutron stars are the smallest, densest stars in the universe, born out of the gravitational collapse of extremely massive stars. True to their name, neutron stars are composed almost entirely of neutrons—neutral subatomic particles that have been compressed into a small, incredibly dense celestial package.

Magnetic vortices observed in haematite

Vortices are common in nature, but their formation can be hampered by long range forces. In work recently published in Nature Materials, an international team of researchers has used mapped X-ray magnetic linear and circular dichroism photoemission electron microscopy to observe magnetic vortices in thin films of antiferromagnetic haematite, and their transfer to an overlaying ferromagnetic sample.

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