Articles from General Physics News

Physicists contribute to dark matter detector success

In researchers' quest for evidence of dark matter, physicist Andrea Pocar of the University of Massachusetts Amherst and his students have played an important role in designing and building a key part of the argon-based DarkSide-50 detector located underground in Italy's Gran Sasso National Laboratory.

Unprecedented single-digit-nanometer magnetic tunnel junction demonstrated

A research group from Tohoku University has revealed ultra-small magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) down to a single-digit-nanometer scale that have sufficient retention properties and yet can be switched by a current.

Some black holes erase your past

In the real world, your past uniquely determines your future. If a physicist knows how the universe starts out, she can calculate its future for all time and all space.

Laser-ranged satellite measurement now accurately reflects Earth's tidal perturbations

Tides on Earth have a far-reaching influence, including disturbing satellites' measurements by affecting their motion. This disturbance can be studied using a model for the gravitational potential of the Earth, taking into account the fact that Earth's shape is not spherical. The LAser RElativity Satellite (LARES), is the best ever relevant test particle to move in the Earth's gravitational field. In a new study published in EPJ Plus, LARES proves its efficiency for high-precision probing of General Relativity and fundamental physics.

New method to determine molecule chirality

Identifying right-handed and left-handed molecules is a crucial step for many applications in chemistry and pharmaceutics. An international research team (CELIA-CNRS/INRS/Berlin Max Born Institute/SOLEIL) has now presented a new original and very sensitive method. The researchers use laser pulses of extremely short duration to excite electrons in molecules into twisting motion, the direction of which reveals the molecules' handedness. The research results appear in Nature Physics.

Using organoids to understand how the brain wrinkles

A team of researchers working at the Weizmann Institute of Science has found that organoids can be used to better understand how the human brain wrinkles as it develops. In their paper published in the journal Nature Physics, the team describes how they used a modified form of organoid development to study the development of brain wrinkles. Larry Taber with Washington University offers a News & Views piece on the work done by the team in the same journal issue.

Pattern formation—the paradoxical role of turbulence

The formation of self-organizing molecular patterns in cells is a critical component of many biological processes. Researchers from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have proposed a new theory to explain how such patterns emerge in complex natural systems.

Converting heat into electricity with pencil and paper

Thermoelectric materials can use thermal differences to generate electricity. Now there is an inexpensive and environmentally friendly way of producing them with the simplest tools: a pencil, photocopy paper, and conductive paint. These are sufficient to convert a temperature difference into electricity via the thermoelectric effect, which has now been demonstrated by a team at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.

When collective spins in a double domain system relax towards a negative-temperature state

A team of researchers from several institutions in Japan has described a physical system that can be described as existing above "absolute hot" and also below absolute zero. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the group outlines their ideas on collective spins in double domain systems and the interesting situations that can occur within them.

Group uses computer simulations to theorize characteristics of heaviest element oganesson

A team of researchers from the U.S., New Zealand and Norway has used computer simulations to predict several characteristics of the heaviest element, oganesson. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the group explains the factors that went into the simulation and discuss what it showed.