Physics

Sunscreen for dancing molecules

This study is the first to use heavy water (D2O) - a form of water that contains deuterium (D) instead of hydrogen - in the field of transmission electron microscopy (TEM). This approach significantly delays sample damage, which is one of the major impediments for broader application of liquid-phase TEM to fragile biological samples.

Applying physics of gels to help understand formation of terrorist groups

A team of researchers from the University of Miami and George Washington University has developed a model to simulate terrorist group development using the physics surrounding the behavior of gels. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the group describes manipulating physics theories to make them work in a simulation they created. They also report on how well the simulation performed when they compared it to the growth of a real-life terrorist group.

NASA Selects US Firms to Provide Commercial Suborbital Flight Services

NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program has selected four companies to integrate and fly technology payloads on commercial suborbital reusable platforms that carry payloads near the boundary of space.

Creating a (synthetic) song from a zebra finch's muscle

Birds create songs by moving muscles in their vocal organs to vibrate air passing through their tissues. While previous research reported that each of the different muscles controls one acoustic feature, new research shows that these muscles act in concert to create sound.

Next-generation photodetector camera to deploy during demo mission

Testing tools and technologies for refueling and repairing satellites in orbit won't be the only demonstration taking place aboard the International Space Station during NASA's next Robotic Refueling Mission 3, or RRM3.

New electrocatalyst developed for ORR

Scientists have fabricated a new type of VNQD-NG as nonprecious metal-based electrocatalyst for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). This has significant practical and commercial applications.

Using physics to make better GDP estimates

A team of Italian physicists has used economic complexity theory to produce five-year gross domestic product (GDP) estimates for several countries around the world. In their paper published in the journal Nature Physics, Andrea Tacchella, D. Mazzilli and Luciano Pietronero describe how they applied the theory to economic forecasting and how well it has worked thus far.

Study reveals the Great Pyramid of Giza can focus electromagnetic energy

An international research group has applied methods of theoretical physics to investigate the electromagnetic response of the Great Pyramid to radio waves. Scientists predicted that under resonance conditions, the pyramid can concentrate electromagnetic energy in its internal chambers and under the base. The research group plans to use these theoretical results to design nanoparticles capable of reproducing similar effects in the optical range. Such nanoparticles may be used, for example, to develop sensors and highly efficient solar cells.

Supercomputing the 'how' of chemical reactions

Chemists used supercomputers to explore the molecular structure of a class of organometallic compounds. They simulated the mechanics of a palladium catalyst in order to understand its exceptional selectivity. Results of this research can be used to guide the synthesis of new and improved variants of this important catalyst family.

In a Weyl thermopile—low-power devices may one day run on new heat-based power source

A new way to generate electricity in special materials called Weyl magnets has been discovered by physicists at the University of Tokyo. The method exploits temperature gradients, differences in temperature throughout a material. This could pave the way for maintenance-free remote sensing devices or even medical implants.

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