Chemists observe 'spooky' quantum tunneling

Chemists have demonstrated characteristics of a phenomenon called quantum tunneling by using a very large electric field to alter the ability of ammonia molecules to switch between the normal and inverted states.

Light-based 'tractor beam' assembles materials at the nanoscale

Researchers have adapted a light-based technology employed widely in biology -- known as optical traps or optical tweezers -- to operate in a water-free liquid environment of carbon-rich organic solvents. The optical tweezers act as a light-based 'tractor beam' that can assemble nanoscale semiconductor materials precisely into larger structures. Unlike the tractor beams of science fiction, which might grab massive spaceships, these optical tweezers can trap materials that are nearly one billion times shorter than a meter.

Why is ice so slippery?

The answer lies in a film of water that is generated by friction, one that is far thinner than expected and much more viscous than usual water through its resemblance to the "snow cones" of crushed ice we drink during the summer. This phenomenon was recently demonstrated by researchers from the CNRS and ENS-PSL, with support from the École polytechnique, in a study that appeared in Physical Review X on November 4, 2019.

Researchers find best classroom shapes for fish swimming in schools

A team of researchers has identified the best arrangements for fish swimming in schools—formations that are superior in terms of saving energy while also optimizing speed. Its findings, which appear in the journal Physical Review X, point to potential new ways to enhance energy-producing technologies.

Sensing magnetism in atomic resolution with just a scanning tunneling microscope

Scientists have achieved a breakthrough in detecting the magnetic moments of nanoscale structures. They succeeded in making the magnetic moments visible with a resolution down to the atomic level using a scanning tunneling microscope, a device that has been standard in science for many years.

In classical and quantum secure communication practical randomness is incomplete

Random bit sequences are key ingredients of various tasks in modern life and especially in secure communication. In a new study researchers have determined that generating true random bit sequences, classical or quantum, is an impossible mission. Based on these findings, they have demonstrated a new method of classified secure communication.

Scientists spy unstable semiconductors

Scientists have, for the first time, spotted previously unseen 'instabilities' on the surface of a common compound semiconductor material.

Extending electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy to nanoliter volume protein single crystals

Biochemists can use electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) on protein single crystals to determine the ultimate electronic structure of paramagnetic protein intermediates and investigate the relative magnetic tensor to a molecular structure. The method is, however, withheld by typical protein crystal dimensions (0.05 to 0.3 mm) that do not provide sufficient signal intensity during protein crystallography. In a new study on Science Advances, Jason W.

The secret behind crystals that shrink when heated

Scientists have new experimental evidence and a predictive theory that solves a long-standing materials science mystery: why certain crystalline materials shrink when heated. Their work could have widespread application for matching material properties to specific applications in medicine, electronics, and other fields, and may even provide fresh insight into unconventional superconductors.

Cage molecules act as molecular sieves for hydrogen isotope separation

Researchers have created hybrid porous organic cages capable of high-performance quantum sieving that could help advance the deuterium/hydrogen isotope separation technologies needed for fusion power.


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