Physics

Optimizing the growth of coatings on nanowire catalysts

A chemical surface treatment boosts the catalytic activity of the wire-looking nanostructures for a key reaction in solar fuel production.

Supercomputer shows 'Chameleon Theory' could change how we think about gravity

Supercomputer simulations of galaxies have shown that Einstein's theory of General Relativity might not be the only way to explain how gravity works or how galaxies form.

Producing graphene from carbon dioxide

The general public knows the chemical compound of carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas in the atmosphere and because of its global-warming effect. However, carbon dioxide can also be a useful raw material for chemical reactions. A working group has now reported on this unusual application. They are using carbon dioxide as a raw material to produce graphene, a technological material which is currently the subject of intense study.

Researchers discover semiconducting nanotubes that form spontaneously

Researchers have discovered a way of making semiconducting, photoluminescent nanotubes form spontaneously in liquid solutions. The tubes, which consist of several walls that are perfectly uniform and just a few atoms thick, display optical properties that make them perfect for use as fluorophores or photocatalysts.

Spatial confinement modulates cell velocity in collective migration

Depending on the physiological or pathological conditions under consideration, cells can migrate as large and cohesive epithelial sheets. Whereas most of the previous works suggest that migratory mechanisms are strongly regulated by intercellular contacts, the impact of physical constraints on collective migration remains unclear.

New magnetic properties unlocked for future spintronic applications

A theoretical-experimental collaboration across two FLEET nodes has discovered new magnetic properties within 2-D structures, with exciting potential for researchers in the emerging field of spintronics.

Apollo as it Really Happened: A Conversation with Tom Jennings and Mike Massimino

For children of the 1960s, Apollo was a not a single event but an extended way of looking at the world. Here, boys watch the Apollo 8 Christmas Eve broadcast. (Credit: Bruce Dale/National Geographic Creative)

The 50th anniversary of Apollo 11--which kissed lunar soil on July 20, 1969--has prompted a flood of retrospectives. My local Barnes & Noble features an entire long table covered with anniversary books. If you want a lightly fictionalized big-screen account of Apollo 11, you can wat

First observation of native ferroelectric metal

In a paper released today in Science Advances, Australian researchers describe the first observation of a native ferroelectric metal: a native metal with bistable and electrically switchable spontaneous polarization states—the hallmark of ferroelectricity. The study found coexistence of native metallicity and ferroelectricity in bulk crystalline tungsten ditelluride (WTe2) at room temperature. A van-der-Waals material that is both metallic and ferroelectric in its bulk crystalline form at room temperature has potential for nano-electronics applications.

The rock-paper-scissors game and coexistence

In 1975, R.M. May and W.J. Leonard first used the rock-paper-scissors game to model ecological scenarios in which three species cyclically dominate each other: one species dominates a second species, the second species dominates a third species, and the third species dominates the first species. The game works well, for example, for modeling different strains of cyclically dominant E. coli bacteria.

An atomic-scale erector set

To design buildings that can withstand the largest of storms, Kostas Keremidis, a Ph.D. candidate at the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub, is using research at the smallest scale—that of the atom.

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