Physics

Articles from Science Daily Physics News

Magnetic switch turns strange quantum property on and off

A research team has developed the first switch that turns on and off a quantum behavior called the Berry phase. The discovery promises to provide new insight into the fundamentals of quantum theory and may lead to new quantum electronic devices.

Unveiling the quantum necklace

The quantum world is both elegant and mysterious. It is a sphere of existence where the laws of physics experienced in everyday life are broken -- particles can exist in two places at once, they can react to each other over vast distances, and they themselves seem confused over whether they are particles or waves.

Nanoalloys ten times as effective as pure platinum in fuel cells

A new type of nanocatalyst can result in the long-awaited commercial breakthrough for fuel cell cars. Research results show that it is possible to significantly reduce the need for platinum, a precious and rare metal, by creating a nanoalloy using a new production technique. The technology is also well suited for mass production.

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

Certain materials can be used to rotate the direction in which the light is oscillating. This is known as a 'magneto-optical' effect. One variant of this type of effect has now been demonstrated for the first time. Rather than switching the direction of the light wave continually, special materials called 'topological insulators' do so in quantum steps. This could give us a new method to measure fundamental constants of nature.

Nanoalloys ten times as effective as pure platinum in fuel cells

A new type of nanocatalyst can result in the long-awaited commercial breakthrough for fuel cell cars. Research results show that it is possible to significantly reduce the need for platinum, a precious and rare metal, by creating a nanoalloy using a new production technique. The technology is also well suited for mass production.

A fresh look inside the protein nano-machines

Proteins perform vital functions, they digest food and fight infections. They are in fact nano-machines, each one of them designed to perform a specific task. But how did they evolve to match those needs, how did the genes encode the structure and function of proteins? Researchers have conducted a study that tackles this yet unanswered question.

Medical gamma-ray camera is now palm-sized

Researchers invented a Compton camera of 580g which visualizes gamma rays of arbitrary energies, and succeeded in achieving a high-resolution, multicolor 3-D molecular image of a live mouse administered with three different radioactive tracers in just two hours. The results of this study imply possibilities for producing new tracers of wide energy range at reduced costs and enabling the simultaneous imaging of multiple tracers which provide multilateral information on disease in target organs.

Atomic structure of irradiated materials is more akin to liquid than glass

Materials exposed to neutron radiation tend to experience significant damage. At the nanoscale, these incident neutrons collide with a material's atoms, which then collide with each other. The resulting disordered atomic network resembles those seen in some glassy materials, which has led many in the field to use them in nuclear research. But the similarities between the materials may not be as useful as previously thought.

Neptune: Neutralizer-free plasma propulsion

Plasma propulsion concepts are gridded-ion thrusters that accelerate and emit more positively charged particles than negatively charged ones. To enable the spacecraft to remain charge-neutral, a 'neutralizer' injects electrons to exactly balance the positive ion charge in the exhaust beam, but this neutralizer requires additional power from the spacecraft. Researchers are investigating how the radio-frequency self-bias effect can be used to remove the neutralizer altogether.

New gravitational wave characteristics uncovered, researchers report

Researchers have identified a new concept -- 'orphan memory' -- which changes the current thinking around gravitational waves.

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