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Scientists Use Nanoscale Building Blocks and DNA 'Glue' to Shape 3D Superlattices

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Taking child's play with building blocks to a whole new level-the nanometer scale-scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory have constructed 3D "superlattice" multicomponent nanoparticle arrays where the arrangement of particles is driven by the shape of the tiny building blocks. The method uses linker molecules made of complementary strands of DNA to overcome the blocks' tendency to pack together in a way that would separate differently shaped components.

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Trending Stories Report for 22 April 2015

Trending news releases with the most views in a single day. Topics include: diet supplements and cancer, pancreatic cancer, bird flu, parenting, respiratory health, physics from the DOE office of science, breast cancer awareness, and childhood cancer survivors.

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Whiteboards of the Future: New Electronic Paper Could Make Inexpensive Electronic Displays

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A simple structure of bi-colored balls made of tough, inexpensive materials is well suited for large handwriting-enabled e-paper displays

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Connecting Three Atomic Layers Puts Semiconducting Science on Its Edge

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A new semiconducting material that is only three atomic layers thick exhibits electronic properties beyond traditional semiconductors. Two nano-engineered configurations of the material have shown an enhanced response to light, possibly leading to new modes of solar energy conversion and associated devices.

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Nondestructive 3-D Imaging of Biological Cells with Sound

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In this week’s Applied Physics Letters, researchers from Thailand and Japan describe the first known demonstration of 3-D cell imaging using picosecond ultrasonics, and show that picosecond ultrasonics can achieve micron resolution of single cells, imaging their interiors in slices separated by 150 nanometers. This work is a proof-of-principle that may open the door to new ways of studying the physical properties of living cells by imaging them in vivo.

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STAR Heavy Flavor Tracker Detects Signs of Charm at RHIC

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Thousands of times a second the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory re-creates the hot quark soup that existed at the dawn of the universe. Particles composed of heavy quarks can help reveal details about the quark-gluon plasma, and by extension, the early universe and the origins of matter.

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Harvesting Energy from Electromagnetic Waves

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This week in the journal Applied Physics Letters, from AIP Publishing, researchers from the University of Waterloo in Canada report a novel design for electromagnetic energy harvesting based on the "full absorption concept." This involves the use of metamaterials that can be tailored to produce media that neither reflects nor transmits any power—enabling full absorption of incident waves at a specific range of frequencies and polarizations.

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The Microscopic Topography of Ink on Paper

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A team of Finnish scientists has found a new way to examine the ancient art of putting ink to paper in unprecedented 3-D detail. The technique could improve scientists' understanding of how ink sticks to paper and ultimately lead to higher quality, less expensive and more environmentally-friendly printed products.

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Researchers Create a New Map of Invisible Dark Matter

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Scientists on the Dark Energy Survey, including researchers from the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, have released the first in a series of dark matter maps of the cosmos. These maps, created with one of the world’s most powerful digital cameras, are the largest contiguous maps created at this level of detail, and will improve our understanding of dark matter’s role in the formation of galaxies. They may also shed light on an unknown form of energy, called dark energy, which is believed to cause the universe to expand at an accelerating rate.

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Long-Sought Magnetic Mechanism Observed in Exotic Hybrid Materials

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Scientists have measured a subatomic phenomenon first predicted more than 60 years ago. This so-called van Vleck magnetism is the key to harnessing topological insulators—hybrid materials that are both conducting and insulating—and could lead to quantum computers, spintronics, and superior semiconductors.