Physics

New solar-cell coating could enable a major boost in efficiency

Throughout decades of research on solar cells, one formula has been considered an absolute limit to the efficiency of such devices in converting sunlight into electricity: Called the Shockley-Queisser efficiency limit, it posits that the ultimate conversion efficiency can never exceed 34 percent for a single optimized semiconductor junction. Now, researchers have shown that there is a way to blow past that limit as easily as today's jet fighters zoom through the sound barrier -- which was also once seen as an ultimate limit.

Discovery paves the way for ultra fast high resolution imaging in real time

(Phys.org) —Ultrafast high-resolution imaging in real time could be a reality with a new research discovery led by the University of Melbourne.

Researchers use Moore's Law to calculate that life began before Earth existed

(Phys.org) —Geneticists Richard Gordon of the Gulf Specimen Marine Laboratory in Florida and Alexei Sharov of the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore have proposed, in a paper uploaded to the preprint server arXiv, that if the evolution of life follows Moore's Law, then it predates the existence of planet Earth.

Want to Have a Planet Named After You?

Or perhaps you would like to name it "Tatooine" or "Wrigley's Pleasure Planet"? If so, you are in luck--all you need to pay a small fee and keep voting. A startup company called Uwingu is auctioning off naming rights to the nearest planet outside our solar system. It orbits Alpha Centauri B, an orange star located just 4.3 light years from Earth, and currently has the ungainly name Alpha Centauri Bb. For $4.99 you can propose a name of your own, and for $0.99 you can vote on the winner. The cont

High School Technologists Win 2013 Spirit of Innovation Challenge

Four teams of high school students received top honors after competing in the 2013 Innovation Summit, which was held April 10-13 at NASA Johnson Space Center.

NASA'S Kepler Discovers its Smallest 'Habitable Zone' Planets to Date

NASA's Kepler mission has discovered two new planetary systems that include three super-Earth-size planets in the "habitable zone," the range of distance from a star where the surface temperature of an orbiting planet might be suitable for liquid water.

Best image yet of atoms moving in real time produced (w/ video)

Call it the ultimate nature documentary. Scientists at the University of Toronto have recorded atomic motions in real time, offering a glimpse into the very essence of chemistry and biology at the atomic level. Their recording is a direct observation of a transition state in which atoms undergo chemical transformation into new structures with new properties – in this case the transfer of charge leading to metallic behaviour in organic molecules. It is described in a study reported in the April 18 issue of Nature.

Scientists produce best image yet of atoms moving in real time

Call it the ultimate nature documentary. Scientists have recorded atomic motions in real time, offering a glimpse into the very essence of chemistry and biology at the atomic level. Their recording is a direct observation of a transition state in which atoms undergo chemical transformation into new structures with new properties -- in this case the transfer of charge leading to metallic behavior in organic molecules.

Quantum computing taps nucleus of single atom

Australian engineers have demonstrated that quantum information can be "written" onto the nucleus of a single atom and "read" out with incredible accuracy. The result was achieved using a silicon chip that can be wired up and operated electronically.

A new twist for quantum systems

Physicists have developed a method for precisely controlling quantum systems by exploiting a trick that helps cats to land on their feet and motorists to fit their cars into parking spots. In the longer run, the method could lead to the development of more reliable quantum computers.

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