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2011-12-08 10:29:51

A highly sensitive method to detect atoms was developed at the Vienna University of Technology Glass fiber cables are indispensable for the internet — now they can also be used as a quantum physics lab. The Vienna University of Technology is the only research facility in the world, where single atoms can be controllably coupled to the light in ultra-thin fiber glass. Specially prepared light waves interact with very small numbers of atoms, which makes it possible to build detectors...

2011-11-30 14:48:52

New nanoscale electronic state discovered on graphene sheets Researchers from the London Centre for Nanotechnology (LCN) have discovered electronic stripes, called 'charge density waves', on the surface of the graphene sheets that make up a graphitic superconductor. This is the first time these stripes have been seen on graphene, and the finding is likely to have profound implications for the exploitation of this recently discovered material, which scientists believe will play a key role...

2011-11-29 16:51:13

Negative ions play an important role in everything from how our bodies function to the structure of the universe. Scientists from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have now developed a new method that makes it possible to study how the electrons in negative ions interact in, which is important in, for example, superconductors and in radiocarbon dating. "By studying atoms with a negative charge, 'negative ions', we can learn how electrons coordinate their motion in what can be compared...

2011-11-18 03:36:07

Like a shadowy character just hidden from view, a mystery atom in the middle of a complex enzyme called nitrogenase had long hindered scientists' ability to study the enzyme fully. But now an international team of scientists led by Serena DeBeer, Cornell assistant professor of chemistry and chemical biology, has pulled back the curtain using powerful synchrotron spectroscopy and computational modeling to reveal carbon as the once-elusive atom. The research was published online Nov. 17...

2011-11-18 03:31:25

If we could make plant food from nitrogen the way nature does, we'd have a much greener method for manufacturing fertilizer — a process that requires such high temperatures and pressures that it consumes about 1.5 percent of the world's energy. Now scientists working at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have taken an important step towards understanding how nature performs this trick, by identifying a key atom that researchers had sought for more than a...

2011-11-09 22:36:30

Not to pick up electrons, but tweezers made of electrons. A recent paper by researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Virginia (UVA) demonstrates that the beams produced by modern electron microscopes can be used not just to look at nanoscale objects, but to move them around, position them and perhaps even assemble them. Essentially, they say, the tool is an electron version of the laser "optical tweezers" that have become a standard...

2011-11-07 17:01:09

Caltech Engineers Reveal How Scandium Trifluoride Contracts with Heat They shrink when you heat 'em. Most materials expand when heated, but a few contract. Now engineers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have figured out how one of these curious materials, scandium trifluoride (ScF3), does the trick–a finding, they say, that will lead to a deeper understanding of all kinds of materials. The researchers, led by graduate student Chen Li, published their results in...

2011-11-07 16:58:00

A new generation of lighter, stronger plastics could be produced using an intricate chemical process devised by scientists A new generation of lighter, stronger plastics could be produced using an intricate chemical process devised by scientists. Chemists working on the nanoscale — 80,000 times smaller than a hair's breadth — have managed to tie molecules into complex knots that could give materials exceptional versatility. By weaving threads of atoms into the shape of...

2011-11-07 16:45:22

How massless electrons tunnel through energy barriers in a carbon sheet called graphene Electrons moving in graphene behave in an unusual way, as demonstrated by 2010 Nobel Prize laureates for physics Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, who performed transport experiments on this one-carbon-atom-thick material. A review article, just published in EPJ B´, explores the theoretical and experimental results to date of electrons tunneling through energy barriers in graphene. As good an...


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2013-02-17 09:41:03

Image Caption: This icon, known as the "feed icon" or the "RSS icon", was introduced in Mozilla Firefox in order to indicate a web feed was present on a particular web page that could be used in conjunction with the Live bookmarks function. Microsoft Internet Explorer, Opera and some other browsers have adopted the icon in order to promote a de facto standard. Credit: Mozilla/Wikipedia A web feed is a data format that provides the user with regularly updated content. It is also...

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Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'