Latest Atom Stories

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...

2011-10-20 09:31:11

An advanced material that could help bring about next-generation "spintronic" computers has revealed one of its fundamental secrets to a team of scientists from Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The material, constructed of two different compounds, might one day allow computers to use the magnetic spin of electrons, in addition to their charge, for computation. A host of innovations could result, including fast memory devices...

Image 1 - Diamonds, Silver And The Quest For Single Photons
2011-10-18 07:56:59

Tiny crystal towers enlighten understanding of photon emission, could inspire diamond microchips for quantum computing Building on earlier work showing how nanowires carved in impurity-laden diamond crystal can efficiently emit individual photons, researchers have developed a scalable manufacturing process to craft arrays of miniature, silver-plated-diamond posts that enable even greater photon control. The development supports efforts to create robust, room-temperature quantum...

2011-10-17 22:03:19

Sophisticated electron-imaging technique reveals widespread "destruction," offering clues to how material works as a superconductor It's a basic technique learned early, maybe even before kindergarten: Pulling things apart - from toy cars to complicated electronic materials - can reveal a lot about how they work. "That's one way physicists study the things that they love; they do it by destroying them," said Séamus Davis, a physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE)...

2011-10-17 09:22:34

Scientists develop new nanomaterial that ℠steers´ current in multiple dimensions Scientists at Northwestern University have developed a new nanomaterial that can "steer" electrical currents. The development could lead to a computer that can simply reconfigure its internal wiring and become an entirely different device, based on changing needs. As electronic devices are built smaller and smaller, the materials from which the circuits are constructed begin to lose their...

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Web Feed
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
  • A murmuring sound; a rushing or whistling sound, like that of the wind; a deep sigh.
  • A gentle breeze; a waft; a breath.
  • Any rumor that engages general attention.
  • A cant or whining mode of speaking, especially in preaching or praying; the chant or recitative characteristic of the old Presbyterians in Scotland.
  • To make a rushing, whistling, or sighing sound; emit a hollow murmur; murmur or sigh like the wind.
  • To breathe in or as in sleep.
  • To utter in a whining or monotonous tone.
According to the OED, from the 16th century, this word is 'almost exclusively Scots and northern dialect until adopted in general literary use in the 19th.'