Physics

NASA to Highlight Science on Next Resupply Mission to Space Station

NASA will host a media teleconference at 1 p.m. EST Wednesday, Nov. 29, to discuss a number of science investigations and instruments launching to the International Space Station on the next SpaceX commercial resupply mission.

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.

'Brazil nut effect' helps explain how rivers resist erosion, team finds

Pop the top off a can of mixed nuts and, chances are, Brazil nuts will be at the top. This phenomenon, of large particles tending to rise to the top of mixtures while small particles tend to sink down, is popularly known as the "Brazil nut effect" and more technically as granular segregation.

How disposable diapers can improve measurements of tumor growth

Catching cancer early can make all the difference for successful treatment. A common screening practice measures tumor growth with X-ray computed tomography (CT), which takes a series of cross-section images of the body.

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 from Amsterdam, including two FOM-funded PhD candidates, with collaborators in France, Switzerland and Germany 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.

Physicists design $100 handheld muon detector

At any given moment, the Earth's atmosphere is showered with high-energy cosmic rays that have been blasted from supernovae and other astrophysical phenomena far beyond the Solar System. When cosmic rays collide with the Earth's atmosphere, they decay into muons—charged particles that are slightly heavier than an electron.

New Challenges Await Competitors in NASA’s 25th Annual Human Exploration Rover Challenge

Registration is now open for the newly designed Human Exploration Rover Challenge. The new format requires teams to think like mission planners and explorers by giving them tasks to complete and the option to decide which tasks and obstacles to complete and which to bypass.

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