Physics

Gases from grasses: Simulations on Ranger supercomputer help researchers understand biofuel reactions

Researchers used computer simulations and laboratory experiments to discover a reaction site on gold-titanium oxides that is responsible for high rates of catalysis relevant to biofuel and fuel cell reactions. The findings help scientists understand the principle of the catalysis and choose the right catalysts for certain reactions.

Dance of quantum tornadoes: Quantum fluid trapped on top of semiconductor chip

Tornado-like vortexes can be produced in bizarre fluids which are controlled by quantum mechanics, completely unlike normal liquids. New research demonstrates how massed ranks of these quantum twisters line up in rows, and paves the way for engineering quantum circuits and chips measuring motion ultra-precisely.

Webcams offer a low-cost way to tune lasers for serious science

Using a handful of inexpensive components -- including an off-the-shelf computer webcam and a small diffraction grating, a device for splitting and diffracting light into several beams -- researchers have built a diffraction spectrometer that can tune lasers with better than one part-per-million accuracy.

Experiment confirms existence of odd particle

Scientists working on the CMS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider have confirmed the existence of an odd, puzzling particle first observed a few years ago at DOE's Tevatron particle collider. Members of the CMS collaboration announced on Nov. 14 that they had spotted the curious object, dubbed Y(4140), which scientists had discovered at the CDF experiment at Fermilab.

Neutrons confirm their potential to probe nanomagnets and the future of quantum computing

(Phys.org)—Neutron scientists at the ILL have partnered with researchers from the University of Manchester, the University of Parma, the Rutherford Laboratory and the University of Bern to investigate molecular nanomagnets, materials composed of only a few atoms carrying magnetic moments. Their findings have been published in Nature Physics.

Go with the flow in flood prediction

Floods have once again wreaked havoc across the country and climate scientists and meteorologists suggest that the problem is only going to get worse with wetter winters and rivers bursting their banks becoming the norm. A team based at Newcastle University and their colleagues in China have developed a computer model that can work out how the flood flow will develop and where flooding will be worst based on an understanding of fluid dynamics and the underlying topology of a region.

Webcams offer a low-cost way to tune lasers for serious science

Every photon in a laser beam marches in lockstep, at an identical wavelength that depends on what the laser is used for – for example, infrared lasers that drive the optic fiber internet. For many applications, lasers need to be precisely tuned to those wavelengths, and the wavelength-measuring instruments can be more expensive than the lasers themselves.

2012 Awards Presented For Achievements in Earth Remote Sensing

NASA and the Department of the Interior's U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) presented the 2012 William T. Pecora awards for achievement in earth remote sensing to Gilberto Camara of Brazil's National Institute for Space Research and Leung Tsang of the University of Washington in Seattle.

NASA'S John Grunsfeld Speaks With Media About New Mars Mission

NASA's associate administrator for science, astronaut John Grunsfeld, today announced plans for a robust multi-year Mars program, including a new robotic science rover to launch in 2020.

NASA Announces Robust Multi-Year Mars Program; New Rover To Close Out Decade Of New Missions

Building on the success of Curiosity's Red Planet landing, NASA has announced plans for a robust multi-year Mars program, including a new robotic science rover set to launch in 2020.

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