Articles from Science Daily Physics News

How the Earth stops high-energy neutrinos in their tracks

For the first time, a science experiment has measured Earth's ability to absorb neutrinos -- the smaller-than-an-atom particles that zoom throughout space and through us by the trillions every second at nearly the speed of light. The experiment was achieved with the IceCube detector, an array of 5,160 basketball-sized sensors frozen deep within a cubic kilometer of very clear ice near the South Pole.

Lightning, with a chance of antimatter

Researchers find that lightning strikes causes photonuclear reactions in the atmosphere, creating antimatter.

Nano-watch has steady hands

A new nanomechanical hand shows the time of an electronic clock, by spinning a tiny cylinder using light. A silicon nanorod, less than a thousandth of a millimetre long, can be trapped in thin air using focused laser beams, and spun to follow the ticking of a clock, losing only one-millionth of a second over four days.

Topological insulators: One glimpse is enough

The Nobel Prize for physics in 2016 was awarded for the theory of topological matter. Topological insulators are new materials with special electronic properties and are of great fundamental and applications-oriented interest. Nevertheless, physicists have wrestled with a ten-year-old puzzle in which the results from the two best methods to probe their electronic states disagree. Researchers now know exactly why.

Physicists design $100 handheld muon detector

Physicists have designed a pocket-sized cosmic ray muon detector to track these ghostly particles. The detector can be made with common electrical parts, and when turned on, it lights up and counts each time a muon passes through. The relatively simple device costs just $100 to build, making it the most affordable muon detector available today.

Quantum dots amplify light with electrical pumping

In a breakthrough development, scientists have shown that they can successfully amplify light using electrically excited films of the chemically synthesized semiconductor nanocrystals known as quantum dots.

A curious quirk brings organic diode lasers one step closer

Since their invention in 1962, semiconductor diode lasers have revolutionized communications and made possible information storage and retrieval in CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray devices. These diode lasers use inorganic semiconductors grown in elaborate high vacuum systems. Now, a team of researchers has taken a big step toward creating a diode laser from a hybrid organic-inorganic material that can be deposited from solution on a laboratory benchtop.

Spin current from heat: New material increases efficiency

Electronic devices such as computers generate heat that mostly goes to waste. Physicists have found a way to use this energy: They apply the heat to generate magnetic signals known as 'spin currents'. In future, these signals could replace some of the electrical current in electronic components.

Transparent, incredibly water repellent coatings for everyday applications

Water- and dirt-repellent sportswear and outdoor clothing, or anti-fog windshields – there are many everyday products that can profit from highly hydrophobic coatings. For such coatings, researchers have created Fluoropor, a material that is both transparent and abrasion-resistant and that consists of a fluorinated polymer foam with continuous nano/micro-structure.

Hydrogen fuel from water by harnessing red and near-infrared regions of sunlight

Scientists have synthesized a compound that absorbs near-infrared light to produce hydrogen from water. The compound contains three ruthenium atoms connected by an organic molecule. The absorbed light stimulates electrons to 'jump' into orbitals that do not exist in other, similar compounds. This is the first successful use of infrared light to reduce water into hydrogen, which can be used for energy conversion and storage, and other industrial purposes in a future sustainable energy society.