Physics

Taking cues from nature, breakthrough 'cellular fluidics' technology could have sweeping impacts

Inspired by the way plants absorb and distribute water and nutrients, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers have developed a groundbreaking method for transporting liquids and gases using 3D-printed lattice design and capillary action phenomena.

Physicists observationally confirm Hawking's black hole theorem for the first time

There are certain rules that even the most extreme objects in the universe must obey. A central law for black holes predicts that the area of their event horizons—the boundary beyond which nothing can ever escape—should never shrink. This law is Hawking's area theorem, named after physicist Stephen Hawking, who derived the theorem in 1971.

Deep Space Atomic Clock moves toward increased spacecraft autonomy

Spacecraft that venture beyond our Moon rely on communication with ground stations on Earth to figure out where they are and where they're going. NASA's Deep Space Atomic Clock is working toward giving those far-flung explorers more autonomy when navigating. In a new paper published today in the journal Nature, the mission reports progress in their work to improve the ability of space-based atomic clocks to measure time consistently over long periods.

Decoding electron dynamics

Researchers propose a scheme to identify and weigh the quantum orbits in strong-field tunneling ionization.

First Report of a New Navigational Supersense That Birds Use to Find Their Way Home

Fluorescent atoms in pigeon retinas provide an entirely new mechanism for navigation, says Chinese physicists.

Solving a murder case with physics

In 2009, famed music producer Phil Spector was found guilty of the murder of actress Lana Clarkson, who was found dead from a single gunshot to her mouth at close range in Spector's California mansion.

Quantum melting of Wigner Crystals

In 1934, physicist Eugene Wigner theorized that when electrons in metals are brought to ultracold temperatures, these electrons would be frozen in their tracks and form a rigid, non-electricity conducting structure -- a crystal -- instead of zipping around at thousands of kilometers per second and creating an electric current. The structure was coined a Wigner Crystal and was observed for the first time in 1979. What's remained stubbornly elusive to physicists, however, has been the melting of the crystal state into a liquid in response to quantum fluctuations.

Want new advanced materials? There's a phase transition for that

Researchers experimentally confirmed three previously unknown phase transition phenomena in soft colloidal crystals. Knowledge of such phenomena will be useful for imparting new properties to materials without altering their chemical composition.

Technology only two atoms thick could enable storage of information in thinnest unit

The new technology, enabling the storage of information in the thinnest unit known to science, is expected to improve future electronic devices in terms of density, speed, and efficiency. The allowed quantum-mechanical electron tunneling through the atomically thin film may boost the information reading process much beyond current technologies. The technology involves laterally sliding one-atom-thick layers of boron and nitrogen one over the other -- a new way to switch electric polarization on/off.

Researchers document quantum melting of Wigner Crystals

In 1934, physicist Eugene Wigner made a theoretical prediction based on quantum mechanics that for 87 years went unseen.

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