Physics

Nobel-winning physicist Murray Gell-Man dies at 89

Murray Gell-Mann, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist who brought order to the universe by helping discover and classify subatomic particles, has died at the age of 89.

Adding a carbon atom transforms 2D semiconducting material

A technique that introduces carbon-hydrogen molecules into a single atomic layer of the semiconducting material tungsten disulfide dramatically changes the electronic properties of the material, according to researchers who say they can create new types of components for energy-efficient photoelectric devices and electronic circuits with this material.

Origami-inspired materials could soften the blow for reusable spacecraft

Space vehicles like SpaceX's Falcon 9 are designed to be reusable. But this means that, like Olympic gymnasts hoping for a gold medal, they have to stick their landings.

Exotic matter uncovered in the sun's atmosphere

Scientists have announced a major new finding about how matter behaves in the extreme conditions of the sun's atmosphere. Their work has shed new light on the exotic but poorly understood 'fourth state of matter,' known as plasma, which could hold the key to developing safe, clean and efficient nuclear energy generators on Earth.

A collaboration between art and science explores the turbulent physics of eddies

Many of us as kids have played Poohsticks—throwing a twig into flowing water from a bridge or riverbank and watching it race downstream, but then losing the competition because your stick gets caught in the endless spin of an eddy on the edge of a creek.

Evidence found of continuous phase transition when rats move from sleep to awake

A team of researchers with affiliations to institutions in Brazil, Portugal and Spain has found evidence of a continuous phase transition occurring in the brains of rats when they move from sleep to wakefulness. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the group describes their study of sleeping rats and what they found.

Lithium doesn't crack under pressure, it transforms

Using cutting-edge theoretical calculations performed at NERSC, researchers at Berkeley Lab's Molecular Foundry have predicted fascinating new properties of lithium—a light alkali metal that has intrigued scientists for two decades with its remarkable diversity of physical states at high pressures.

A novel synchrotron technique for studying diffusion in solids

Understanding and controlling how the diffusion process works at the atomic scale is an important question in the synthesis of materials. For nanoparticles, the stability, size, structure, composition, and atomic ordering are all dependent on position inside the particle, and diffusion both affects all of these properties and is affected by them.

Researchers perform simple calculations by shining light patterns through a translucent cube

McMaster researchers have developed a simple and highly novel form of computing by shining patterned bands of light and shadow through different facets of a polymer cube and reading the combined results that emerge.

Artificial atomic scale materials: Discovering how electrons fatten

A single and isolated electron has a clear electrical charge, magnetic moment and mass, and its free movement can be precisely predicted. Spanish scientists fabricated a nanoscale artificial material manipulating atoms one after the other and discovered that electrons can become heavier. Heavy electrons are promising particles which endow new functionalities to novel materials.

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