Physics

Articles from General Physics News Phys.org

Solving the riddle of the snow globe

If you've shaken a snow globe, you've enjoyed watching its tiny particles slowly sink to the bottom. But do all small objects drift the same way and at the same pace?

Research makes topological insulators magnetic well above room temperatures

In the world of electronics, where the quest is always for smaller and faster units with infinite battery life, topological insulators (TI) have tantalizing potential.

Researchers discover way to make solar cells more efficient

When it comes to improving the efficiency of solar cells, a group of University of Wyoming professors has discovered a way to do so by adding manganese atoms—an alternate metal—to the mix. Doing so, they found, dramatically increases solar cell energy conversion by an average 300 percent and, in some cases, up to 700 percent.

One-dimensional crystals for low-temperature thermoelectric cooling

Thermoelectric cooling is a solid-state refrigeration process where the heat in an electrically conductive material is transferred using the material's own conduction electrons without any need for the gaseous coolants, such as chlorofluorocarbons, that are used in conventional refrigeration. Coolers based on thermoelectric technology can be scaled down in size without changing their thermal-to-electrical energy conversion efficiency and this is a major advantage for localized cooling of tiny electronic devices.

Chemical potential effect found to depend on electronic structure of material

The chemical potential is a fundamental concept in condensed matter physics. While the relevant equations which define it can be found in any undergraduate physics textbook, its temperature dependence in systems which are good conductors is usually insignificant. As a result, despite intensive research interest in FeSe, an unconventional superconductor exhibiting several extraordinary properties, the temperature dependence of the chemical potential has been previously overlooked.

Understanding stars: How tornado-shaped flow in a dynamo strengthens the magnetic field

The massive, churning core of conducting liquids in stars and some planets creates a dynamo that generates the planetary body's magnetic field. Researchers aim to better understand these dynamos through computer simulations and by recreating them in the laboratory using canisters of rapidly spinning, liquid sodium.

New blackbody force depends on spacetime geometry and topology

(Phys.org)—In 2013, a group of physicists from Austria proposed the existence of a new and unusual force called the "blackbody force." Blackbodies—objects that absorb all incoming light and therefore appear black at room temperature—have long been known to emit blackbody radiation, which repels small nearby objects such as atoms and molecules. But the physicists showed that blackbodies theoretically also exert an attractive force on these objects.

High voltage for tomorrow's particle accelerator

On behalf of CERN, researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a high-tech device for the production of extremely precise, high voltage pulses that could be used in the next generation of particle accelerators.

Astronomers use bubbles to look for WIMPs

Invisible, imperceptible and yet far more common than ordinary matter, dark matter makes up an astounding 85 percent of the universe's mass. Physicists are slowly but steadily tracking down the nature of this unidentified substance. The latest result from the PICO experiment places some of the best limits yet on the properties of certain types of dark matter.

Weyl fermions exhibit paradoxical behavior

Theoretical physicists have found Weyl fermions to exhibit paradoxical behavior in contradiction to a 30-year-old fundamental theory of electromagnetism. The discovery has possible applications in spintronics. The study has been published in Physical Review Letters.

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