Physics

Magnetic fingerprints of interface defects in silicon solar cells detected

Using a highly sensitive method of measurement, HZB physicists have managed to localize defects in amorphous/crystalline silicon heterojunction solar cells. Now, for the first time ever, using computer simulations at Paderborn University, the scientists were able to determine the defects' exact locations and assign them to certain structures within the interface between the amorphous and crystalline phases.

Engineers enable 'bulk' silicon to emit visible light for the first time

Electronic computing speeds are brushing up against limits imposed by the laws of physics. Photonic computing, where photons replace comparatively slow electrons in representing information, could surpass those limitations, but the components of such computers require semiconductors that can emit light. Now, new research has enabled "bulk" silicon to emit broad-spectrum, visible light for the first time, opening the possibility of using the element in devices that have both electronic and photonic components.

X-ray laser pulses in two colors

(Phys.org) —SLAC researchers have demonstrated for the first time how to produce pairs of X-ray laser pulses in slightly different wavelengths, or colors, with finely adjustable intervals between them – a feat that will allow them to watch molecular motion as it unfolds and explore other ultrafast processes.

INSPIRE Students Speak Out - 2013

Meet six INSPIRE students and find out how their participation in a NASA educational project made a difference in their lives.

NASA Selects Integrated Program Support Service Providers

NASA has selected seven small businesses to provide a variety of program support services for the agency's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

NASA, SpaceX Discuss Dragon Mission to Space Station

NASA and SpaceX will host a teleconference for news media at 1 p.m. EDT, Thursday, March 28, to discuss the Tuesday return of the company's Dragon spacecraft from a cargo mission to the International Space Station.

Simulations uncover obstacle to harnessing laser-driven fusion

(Phys.org) —A once-promising approach for using next-generation, ultra-intense lasers to help deliver commercially viable fusion energy has been brought into serious question by new experimental results and first-of-a-kind simulations of laser-plasma interaction.

Simulations uncover obstacle to harnessing laser-driven fusion: Under realistic conditions, hollow cones fail to guide energetic electrons to fuel

Researchers have uncovered an obstacle to the cone-guided approach to fast-ignition fusion energy through computer simulations. Scientists found electric fields that build up on the cone's edge reduce the number of energetic electrons being directed by laser beams toward the targeted fuel.

A new model accurately predicts three-dimensional sand flow

A typical storage silo can hold several thousand tons of corn, seed, sawdust and other granular material. These particles funnel down through a hopper, or chute, into freight cars, which haul the material away for processing. But it's not uncommon for a chute to clog, and the only fix in many cases is for a worker to stand by the opening and break up the jam with a mallet. At other times, a worker may need to climb into the silo to loosen material from the walls—a dangerous task that can trigger a deadly avalanche.

SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft Returns Critical NASA Science to Earth

A Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) Dragon spacecraft successfully completed the company's second cargo flight to the International Space Station on Tuesday, March 26, with a 12:36 p.m. EDT splashdown in the Pacific Ocean a few hundred miles west of Baja California, Mexico.

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