Physics

Small magnets reveal big secrets

An international research team led by a physicist at the University of California, Riverside, has identified a microscopic process of electron spin dynamics in nanoparticles that could impact the design of applications in medicine, quantum computation, and spintronics.

Physicists simulate critical 'reheating' period that kickstarted the Big Bang

As the Big Bang theory goes, somewhere around 13.8 billion years ago the universe exploded into being, as an infinitely small, compact fireball of matter that cooled as it expanded, triggering reactions that cooked up the first stars and galaxies, and all the forms of matter that we see (and are) today.

Science reveals improvements in Roman building techniques

The Romans were some of the most sophisticated builders of the ancient world. Over the centuries, they adopted an increasingly advanced set of materials and technologies to create their famous structures. To distinguish the time periods over which these improvements took place, historians and archaeologists typically measure the colours, shapes and consistencies of the bricks and mortar used by the Romans, along with historical sources.

Deflating beach balls and drug delivery

Many natural microscopic objects—red blood cells and pollen grains, for example—take the form of distorted spheres. The distortions can be compared to those observed when a sphere is 'deflated' so that it steadily loses internal volume. Until now, most of the work done to understand the physics involved has been theoretical. Now, however, Gwennou Coupier and his colleagues at Grenoble Alps University, France have shown that macroscopic-level models of the properties of these tiny spheres agree very well with this theory.

Insulating antiferromagnetic materials for future computers

Future computer technology based on insulating antiferromagnets is progressing. Electrically insulating antiferromagnets such as iron oxide and nickel oxide consist of microscopic magnets with opposite orientations. Researchers see them as promising materials replacing current silicon components in computers.

Scientists confirm a new 'magic number' for neutrons

An international collaboration led by scientists from the University of Hong Kong, RIKEN (Japan), and CEA (France) have used the RI Beam Factory (RIBF) at the RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-base Science to show that 34 is a "magic number" for neutrons, meaning that atomic nuclei with 34 neutrons are more stable than would normally be expected. Earlier experiments had suggested, but not clearly demonstrated, that this would be the case.

Hydrogen boride nanosheets: A promising material for hydrogen carrier

Researchers report a promising hydrogen carrier in the form of hydrogen boride nanosheets. This two-dimensional material, which has only recently begun to be explored, could go on to be used as safe, light-weight, high-capacity hydrogen storage materials.

Cooking up a new theory for better accelerators

While particle accelerators may be on the cutting edge of science, the building and preparation of some particle accelerator components has long been more of an art form, dependent on recipes born of trial and error. Now, Ari Deibert Palczewski hopes to change that. A staff scientist at the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, Palczewski has been awarded a DOE Early Career Research Program grant to put the science back into particle accelerator preparation.

Extracting hidden quantum information from a light source

Researchers report on a technique to extract the quantum information hidden in an image that carries both classical and quantum information. This technique opens a new pathway for quantum enhance microscopes that aim to observe ultra-sensitive samples.

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