Physics

NASA Invites Media to View Orion Heat Shield Near Boston

NASA officials will visit Textron Defense Systems in Wilmington, Mass., Wednesday, July 17, to view progress being made on the heat shield for the agency's Orion spacecraft.

Researchers perform first direct measurement of Van der Waals force

(Phys.org) —Researchers working at the French National Center for Scientific Research have for the first time, directly measured the Van der Waals force between two atoms. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the team describes how they used lasers to hold two atoms steady and a third laser to measure the Van der Waals force between them.

Buckling up to turn: Marine microbes change swimming direction via a high-speed mechanical instability

Bacteria swim by rotating the helical, hairlike flagella that extend from their unicellular bodies. Some bacteria, including the Escherichia coli (E. coli) living in the human gut, have multiple flagella that rotate as a bundle to move the cell forward. These cells turn somewhat acrobatically by unbundling their flagella, causing the cell to tumble, reorient and strike out in another direction.

Scientists solve titanic puzzle of popular photocatalyst

A breakthrough in our understanding of the properties of titania (titanium dioxide) -- the basis of self-cleaning window technology -- has been made by scientists, uncovering a decades old misunderstanding that has clouded our knowledge of how mixed phase titania catalysts operate.

Researchers develop light transistor

TU Vienna has managed to turn the oscillation direction of beams of light – simply by applying an electrical current to a special material. This way, a transistor can be built that functions with light instead of electrical current.

Unlikely competitor for diamond as best thermal conductor: Boron arsenide potential for cooling applications

Researchers report the potential for boron arsenide to challenge the extraordinarily high thermal conductivity of diamond, which could pave the way for a more plentiful and affordable alternative to cooling high tech devices.

Matter-antimatter asymmetry: Using the sun to illuminate a basic mystery of matter

Antimatter has been detected in solar flares via microwave and magnetic-field data, according to researchers. The finding sheds light on the puzzling strong asymmetry between matter and antimatter by gathering data on a very large scale using the Sun as a laboratory.

Detection of single photons via quantum entanglement

Almost 200 years ago, Bavarian physicist Joseph von Fraunhofer discovered dark lines in the sun's spectrum. It was later discovered that these spectral lines can be used to infer the chemical composition and temperature of the sun’s atmosphere. Today we are able to gain information about diverse objects through light measurements in a similar way. Because often very little light needs to be detected for this, physicists are looking for ever more sensitive spectroscopy methods.

The most accurate million-volt measurement carried out in High Voltage Laboratory

Researchers have developed a mobile million-volt DC voltage divider, coordinated by the Finnish centre for metrology and accreditation, MIKES.

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