Physics

Chirality yields colossal photocurrent

A recently discovered Weyl semimetal delivers the largest intrinsic conversion of light to electricity of any material, an international team lead by a group of Boston College researchers reports today in the journal Nature Materials.

Concept of the laser can be reversed

Scientists have found a way to build the 'opposite' of a laser -- a device that absorbs a specific light wave perfectly. This can be done even in complicated systems, in which waves are scattered randomly, and has many technological applications.

New quantum sensor could improve cancer treatment

A new quantum sensor has proven it can outperform existing technologies and promises significant advancements in long-range 3D imaging and monitoring the success of cancer treatments.

Physicists solve 35-year-old mystery about quarks

Physicists now know why quarks, the building blocks of the universe, move more slowly inside atomic nuclei, solving a 35-year-old-mystery.

Assembly in the air: Using sound to defy gravity

Scientists at the University of Bath have levitated particles using sound in an experiment which could have applications in so-called "soft robotics" and help reveal how planets start to form.

Swimming microbes steer themselves into mathematical order

Freeing thousands of microorganisms to swim in random directions in an infinite pool of liquid may not sound like a recipe for order, but eventually the swarm will go with its own flow.

New simulation methods to visualise quantum effects in superfluid fermions

What exactly happens inside neutron stars – the final stage of a giant star – is subject to speculation. In terms of physics, the interiors of neutron stars, cold atomic gasses and nuclear systems all have one thing in common: they are gaseous systems made up of highly interactive, superfluid fermions. Researchers fed the supercomputer Piz Daint with a new simulation method, and the results are finally offering insight into unknown processes of such systems.

Applying a network perspective to human physiology

In modern medicine, physicians treat organs in isolation. People with heart conditions go to heart specialists, just as those with kidney ailments seek kidney specialists. While this model has made tremendous progress and saved countless lives, it doesn't account for how our organs work together or sometimes fail to do so.

Light pulses provide a new route to enhance superconductivity

Under normal electron band theory, Mott insulators ought to conduct electricity, but they do not due to interactions among their electrons. But now, scientists from the RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research have shown that pulses of light could be used to turn these materials beyond simple conductors to superconductors—materials that conduct electricity without energy loss. This process would happen through an unconventional type of superconductivity known as "eta pairing."

Water tunnel experiments show how mako shark scales help generate super speeds

Shortfin mako sharks have been called the "cheetahs of the ocean," capable of swimming at estimated speeds of 70 or 80 miles per hour. To investigate just how the animals achieve this impressive feat, aeronautical engineer Amy Lang of the University of Alabama and colleagues tested real mako shark skin samples, taken from the flank region of the animal, in water tunnel experiments.

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