Physics

Researchers solve 'four-phonon' thermal-conductivity obstacle key to tech applications

New findings have solved a longstanding obstacle in research to understand the effects of heat conduction in solid materials, a critical issue in many applications, from energy conversion to electronics cooling.

Scientists create single device capable of dual transistor operation

Transistors, the building blocks of modern devices, act like electronic switches controlling the flow of current across circuits. In the last few decades, they have shrunk more than 1000 times in size, making devices such as laptops and smartphones faster and more compact.

CMS releases more than one petabyte of open data

The CMS Collaboration at CERN have just made public around half of the data collected in 2012 by the CMS detector at the Large Hadron Collider. This release includes sets used to discover the Higgs boson, and is being shared through the CERN Open Data portal.

'Hot' electrons heat up solar energy research

Solar and renewable energy is getting hot, thanks to nanoscientists—those who work with materials smaller than the width of a human hair—at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory who have discovered new, better and faster ways to convert energy from light into energetic electrons. Their innovative methods could provide new opportunities and greater efficiencies for solar energy conversion applications.

NASA Invests in Concept Development for Missions to Comet, Saturn Moon Titan

NASA has selected two finalist concepts for a robotic mission planned to launch in the mid-2020s: a comet sample return mission and a drone-like rotorcraft that would explore potential landing sites on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan.

Using the dark side of excitons for quantum computing

A dark exciton can store information in its spin state, analogous to how a regular, classical bit stores information in its off or on state, but dark excitons do not emit light, making it hard to determine their spins and use them for quantum information processing. In new experiments, however, researchers can read the spin states of dark excitons, and do it more efficiently than before.

The coldest chip in the world

Physicists have succeeded in cooling a nanoelectronic chip to a temperature lower than 3 millikelvin. The scientists used magnetic cooling to cool the electrical connections as well as the chip itself.

Light-erasable memory promising for system-on-panel displays

Researchers have designed a memory device based on atomically thin semiconductors and demonstrated that, in addition to exhibiting a good performance in general, the memory can also be fully erased with light, without any electrical assistance. The new memory has potential applications for system-on-panel technology, in which all of the components of an electronic device are integrated onto a display panel, resulting in ultrathin devices for automobiles, cell phones, and other applications.

The coldest chip in the world

Physicists at the University of Basel have succeeded in cooling a nanoelectronic chip to a temperature lower than 3 millikelvin. The scientists from the Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute set this record in collaboration with colleagues from Germany and Finland. They used magnetic cooling to cool the electrical connections as well as the chip itself. The results were published in the journal Applied Physics Letters.

Large-scale simulations of quarks promise precise view of reactions of astrophysical importance

The fusion of two protons initiates the primary nuclear cycle that powers the Sun. The rate of this low-energy, weak-interaction fusion is too small to be measured in the laboratory. While nuclear model predictions for this reaction are impressive, calculations without models would reduce uncertainties and offer a more accurate view of proton-proton fusion and related processes.

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