Latest American Physical Society Stories

2010-10-12 08:07:44

Tiny creatures may play a crucial role in mixing ocean nutrients Two separate research groups are reporting groundbreaking measurements of the fluid flow that surrounds freely swimming microorganisms. Experiments involving two common types of microbes reveal the ways that one creature's motion can affect its neighbors, which in turn can lead to collective motions of microorganism swarms. In addition, the research is helping to clarify how the motions of microscopic swimmers produces large...

2010-08-16 17:53:37

Surprisingly large matter/antimatter asymmetry discovered in Fermilab experiments A large collaboration of physicists working at the Fermilab Tevatron particle collider has discovered evidence of an explanation for the prevalence of matter over antimatter in the universe. They found that colliding protons in their experiment produced short-lived B meson particles that almost immediately broke down into debris that included slightly more matter than antimatter. The two types of matter...

2010-08-09 14:48:00

New technique allows injections into individual cells Duke University physicists have developed a way to produce sharp fluid jets with enough precision that they can inject material into a single, living cell. The technique promises a way to deliver drugs to cells one at a time, which is likely to be very valuable for research involving stem cells and other cellular-level studies. The research appears in the current issue of the APS journal Physical Review Letters. The physicists produced the...

2010-07-12 13:43:05

Neutrinos are likely half as massive as previous estimates suggested Physicists have long known that neutrinos are among the lightest and most evasive fundamental particles. Now a survey of the galaxies is helping to narrow down the neutrino mass even further. It seems that neutrinos are at best half as massive as previously estimated, according to an analysis appearing today in the journal Physical Review Letters. The lower neutrino mass estimate is the result of a 3-dimensional survey of...

2010-05-25 11:07:24

A collaboration of French and Canadian researchers have found that sucking a portion of a spherical globule of cells into a tiny pipette provides information about the adhesion between cells and the elastic properties of the tissue. The method is a novel approach for the study of the structural properties of tissues, and should offer insights into processes such as embryonic development, tissue growth and cancer. A paper describing the research appeared online in Physical Review Letters on...

2010-05-17 09:48:09

New images of iron-based superconductors are providing telltale clues to the origin of superconductivity in a class of ceramic materials known as pnictides. The images reveal that electrons responsible for the superconducting currents in some pnictides tend to flow primarily along the boundaries between the crystal grains that make up the superconductors. The research, which is reported in a pair of papers appearing in the current issue of the journal Physical Review B, may help physicists to...

2010-05-03 10:51:43

Tetrahedral dice pack tighter than any other shape, and a single molecule can calculate thousands of times faster than a PC Dice Packing Record Tetrahedral dice, which have four triangular sides, pack more densely than any other shape yet tested, according to research performed by a collaboration of New York University and Virginia Tech physicists. The revelation is the result of a series of experiments that involved pouring tetrahedral dice into containers, shaking them, and adding more dice...

2010-04-07 07:41:41

Element 117 fills in the final gap in the list of observed elements up to element 118 A collaboration of Russian and US physicists has finally created element 117 - a superheavy element made of atoms containing 117 protons that is roughly 40% heavier than lead. The achievement fills in the final gap on the list of observed elements up to element 118. The team produced the elusive element 117 by fusing together atoms of calcium and another rare, heavy element known as berkelium. The research...

2010-04-05 10:06:52

Optical frequency combs could tame quantum bits Physicists at the University of Maryland have found a way to turn a precision measurement device into a versatile tool for manipulating quantum bits (qubits). The researchers adapted a device known as an optical frequency comb in their novel approach to performing the sorts of quantum data operations that will be vital for future quantum computers. The research appears in this week's issue of Physical Review Letters and is described in a...

2010-03-19 09:15:00

With the help of a little singing bird, Penn State physicists are gaining insight into how the human brain functions, which may lead to a better understanding of complex vocal behavior, human speech production and ultimately, speech disorders and related diseases. Dezhe Jin, assistant professor of physics, is looking at how songbirds transmit impulses through nerve cells in the brain to produce a complex behavior, such as singing. Songbirds are particularly well suited for studying speech...

Word of the Day
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.